‘Another Tough Assignment’ (2018)

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For the life of me I can’t remember the actual name of this book. It has been blotted out of my mind. So you’ll just have to settle for the pseudonymn I gave it: Deeply Neurotic People with Feminism Thrown In. 

Another Tough Assigment

One of the major problems with Young Adults fiction these days is, it’s written by rather shallow adults who just don’t have a clue. Not that this one was badly written; but it was very badly thought out. They think they understand teenagers. Heaven help us.

Anyhow, this post generated a lively discussion which you may enjoy revisiting. And if I can ever remember the name of this tomfool book, I’ll come back and edit it in.

A World of ‘Empty Suits’ (Rushdoony)

Empty suit Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

Yes, we do get disappointed, yes, it’s hard to take… when we need a solid Christian stand from our leaders–from our clergy, at least. if no one else–and all we get is dodgeball. R.J. Rushdoony in 1995 took aim at “Empty Suits.”

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/empty-suits

Where do these craven, chicken-hearted, fumfering leaders come from? They come from us. Even if elections are rigged in favor of the empty suits, the lucky empty winners are still born and raised and educated by us. No enemy country imposed them on us. They didn’t drop out of the sky.

If we don’t seek God, neither will our leaders.

The Adult Fantasy’s Not So Hot, Either

Emissary by Thomas Locke, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Yesterday we looked at a review of an appallingly bad fantasy novel pitched to children.

Today’s mouldering pile of rubbish was marketed to adults.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/review-of-christian-novel-emissary

Question! When in America did “mainstream” come to mean “completely outside the Christian world-view,” and how did we ever allow that to happen?

Christian fiction author T. Davis Bunn, with a string of best-sellers on his resume, decided a few years ago to write “a wholly secular fantasy”, Emissary, under the pseudonym of Thomas Locke; and a major Christian publisher decided to publish it.

Emissary contained every fantasy cliche known to man; it was a veritable thesaurus of cliches. Why in the world do fantasy writers do this??? I mean, it’s “fantasy,” right–and that means it’s supposed to be imaginative. Like, what is the freakin’ point of a thoroughly unimaginative fantasy? Why bother to write it? Why bother to read it? If you’re an experienced fantasy reader, you’ll already know precisely what sort of characters will appear in the story, you’ll know exactly what they’ll say and do on any occasion, and the only surprise you’ll ever get is if you drop the book and fall out of your chair trying to pick it up. If you even bother.

Also, many of these fantasy cliches, in addition to their thorough predictability, are basically pagan–not “Christian” in any sense of the word. Why did Mr. Bunn waste his talents on such bilge?

Fantasy matters because it has access to regions of the heart and mind not easily explored by other kinds of stories. It matters because it ought to be included in Christ’s Kingdom and put at the service of that kingdom, not reserved as a province of neo-paganism.

And I wonder if Mr. Bunn just stopped caring about such things.

 

 

Truly Abysmal Children’s Literature

I’ve done a lot of book reviews for Chalcedon, and I thought you might like me to share them with you.

Some of these books were breathtakingly, astoundingly bad. Here’s a book supposedly written for children under 12–Spartan and the Green Egg: The Poachers of Tiger Mountain.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/book-review-of-spartan-and-the-green-egg-the-poachers-of-tiger-mountain

Looking back on it, this book is more hair-raisingly awful than it seemed while I was reading it. Conferring virtual omnipotence on children, by means of insanely high technology, is not an idea I can get comfortable with.

And what would possess any mother to name her baby “Spartan”?

This book is just so incredibly bad, I might actually be afraid to read it to a child. What if it puts him off reading for life? What if he gets mad at me for insulting his intelligence?

But worst of all–

What if he thinks it’s good?

I wake up screaming.

Our First ‘Dr. Kishore’ Article

2 with Cape ties face Medicaid fraud charges - z* Breaking News Updates -  capecodtimes.com - Hyannis, MA

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore, persecuted hero

This is the first of Martin Selbrede’s 18 articles on the pioneering addiction treatment work of Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore and his persecution at the hands of Massachusetts medical and law enforcement authorities.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/massachusetts-protects-medical-industrial-complex

Once they’d successfully “demonized [him] as a monster,” the authorities set about discrediting Dr. Kishore’s character, ruining him financially, and finally packing him off to prison.

His crime: finding a better way to treat opioid addiction instead of just replacing one addictive drug with another.

These are long articles, but they’re important. With opioid addiction claiming thousands of victims all over the country, Dr. Kishore’s sobriety-based approach produced far better results than what the medical establishment had to offer–and for this he was severely punished.

All 18 articles are available at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

We Have Lost Another Saint

Dr. Kishore (L) with Martin Selbrede

Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore, whose pioneering work in the treatment of opioid addiction set new records for effectiveness–yet landed him in prison–has died.

Our Chalcedon print magazine, Faith for All of Life, ran 18 articles about him by Martin Selbrede, starting in 2014. All 18 are available at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

Dr. Kishore, frustrated by the ineffectiveness of the medical establishment’s approach–replacing one addictive drug with another–came up with a sobriety-based treatment program instead. It worked. At least, it worked much better than the old way. And they couldn’t forgive him for that.

Dr. Kishore sacrificed his good name, his livelihood, and his freedom for his patients. He fell ill in April of this year and died on June 20. A movie about his life and work is in post-production.

We don’t know how many lives Dr. Kishore saved. We wish he could have lived to see his methods adopted in all 50 states (several have already done so) and his work publicly vindicated.

For the details of Dr. Kishore’s work and sacrifice, see Martin Selbrede’s articles on the Chalcedon website.

‘Intellectuals and Society’ Revisited

Guest Commentary: What Thomas Sowell Can Teach Us About Standing Up to the  Mob | Commentaries | courierjournal.net

I reviewed this book 11 years ago–Intellectuals and Society, by Thomas Sowell–and having revisited it recently, I can still recommend it. No one more accurately analyzes the machinations of elitist fatheads than Thomas Sowell.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/a-review-of-intellectuals-and-society

But he doesn’t get into why Western intellectuals are so feckless, so wrong, and so stupid. It’s easy to explain, though: these people have explicitly rejected God. They’re stuck worshiping themselves, and it leads them into a multitude of errors.

I admire Dr. Sowell. I enjoy listening to him on the radio. I have enjoyed and profited from his books and columns. And I can’t explain why he didn’t examine the intellectuals’ rejection of God. It’s this that makes them so profoundly stupid.

On the whole, though, his analysis of the absurd beliefs of intellectuals, the sheer uselessness of their ideas, their pomposity, and their shallowness–well, you just can’t beat it. Not even after 11 years.

We do need to understand what we are up against. We can get some of that understanding from Thomas Sowell.

Don’t Play the Guilt Game

Guilty High Res Stock Images | Shutterstock

One way to enslave people is to shackle them with guilt–guilt for this, guilt for that, blame people living today for slavery that ended 150 years ago, or 300 years ago, whatever. Mark Rushdoony calls it “An Old Strategy.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/an-old-strategy

The important thing to remember, Mark points out, is that “manipulation by guilt… is anti-Christian to the core.” Why? Because Jesus Christ is our salvation. Because Jesus Christ removes our guilt. He has already atoned for our sins. We do not have to obey The Party or Dear Leader to pay for what we’ve done. Christ sets us at liberty; the sentence has been lifted.

P.S.–Now I’ve got to re-read R.J. Rushdoony’s The Politics of Guilt and Pity, published in 1970–but reads like he’d written it today. Well, you can say that about a lot of his work, can’t you?

‘The Reversal of Standards’ (1990)

Amazon.com: Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. - "Real Music": Rosalyn  Tureck: Movies & TV

What do “conservatives”… conserve?

I often find myself wondering, What are certain “conservatives” conserving? Not the Christian faith. Not the culture.

R.J. Rushdoony beat me to it, though. He was asking that question in 1990.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/the-reversal-of-standards

He reserved some of his sharpest barbs for churchmen who chattered about “values” without even mentioning where those values come from, and at most venturing “an occasional ‘nod to God’.”

Even 30 years ago, prominent “conservatives” had cut themselves off from their Christian roots. Without those roots, whatever anyone says is merely his personal opinion, nothing more than that. It may have been more eloquent, but William F. Buckley’s opinion was worth no more than Elizabeth Warren’s. If it ain’t planted in the solid, nurturing ground of Christianity, it will bear no fruit. (Buckley did turn back to Christianity later in life.)

By 2010 I realized that bow tie-and-country club conservatives had nothing to offer but another brand of worldly chit-chat. I hear so much of it.

Conservatives! What do you think you’re conserving?

Book Review: ‘The Tyranny of Big Tech’ by Sen. Josh Hawley

Amazon.com: The Tyranny of Big Tech (9781684512393): Hawley, Josh: Books

Senator Hawley wants Congress to rein in the oligarchs and world government wannabes who own and operate Big Tech–before they can stomp our constitutional republic out of existence.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-tyranny-of-big-tech-by-sen-josh-hawley-book-review

The tech giants tried to suppress this book, but Regnery has published it and it’s doing very well. In fact, he’s already made a success of it just by delivering his message. These are things that rich and powerful bad guys don’t want us to know.

Hawley analyzes and explains the various dirty tricks Big Tech pulls on the American people. The light bulb clicks on: “Oh! So that’s what they do with all that information they have on me!”

As yet the people can’t stop these abuses. We are waiting eagerly to support powerful competition that’ll draw millions of customers away from the existing tech monsters by not spying on us, not selling our private information–and by not censoring us!

Because in addition to getting richer than anyone has ever been before, the Big Tech honchos are fully committed to reshaping the world according to their own mad utopian vision of it.

May the Lord confound them as He confounded the builders of Babel.