‘Reindeer Don’t Fly’ (Book Review)

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This is a book by our friend and colleague, Michael Riemer. I review a lot of books, and something about this title, Reindeer Don’t Fly, kept telling me that this was one of them. And lo, there it was on the Chalcedon website.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/book-review-reindeer-dont-fly

As I was growing up, “evolution” was a thing that went without saying–literally. I was out of college before I heard a single word against it. Heck, everybody “knew” that evolution was true, Darwin got it right–everybody knew that! You either had to be crazy or incredibly ignorant to believe otherwise.

Well, that’s changed.

Michael’s book will give you quite a few reasons to doubt the truth of Darwinism. Once upon a time, no one doubted it (trust me, I was there). Now there’s a great deal of doubt.

Once upon a time progressives, aka twits, who believed in Darwinism got away with passing themselves off as The Smartest People In The World. They still need taking down a peg–several pegs, actually–and Reindeer Don’t Fly certainly does that.

We should all join in.

 

Mark Rushdoony: ‘The Winning Side’

Mark Rushdoony: 'The Divided States of America' – Lee Duigon

Sometimes covering the nooze is like struggling through dense jungle where the only path available is the one you hack out with your machete.

But we have to keep our eyes on the prize, Mark Rushdoony reminds us.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-winning-side-1

The message of all of Scripture, Mark writes is “Jesus Christ victorious with all sin and evil put down.”

And who, in 70 A.D., would have given two cents for the new Christian Church’s chances of survival? Who would have bet against the might and power of Rome?

It’s not easy to do, since today in many ways we are like those early Christians trying to live out their faith surrounded by the Roman Empire; nevertheless, that’s God’s word to us and we have a duty to believe Him. Death and evil loses, Christ wins. That’s where the story’s going, no matter how many twists and turns it takes to get there.

Here’s My Podcast: ‘Does Technology Make Us Smarter?’

(Hint: No. Absolutely not.)

Here’s the interview I did with Andrea Schwartz for her “Out of the Question” series. We’re talking about The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/audio/does-technology-make-us-smarter-ep-155-guest-lee-duigon

Let’s face it: public education has always been a loser. “One size fits all” just doesn’t work for humans or any other living things. But now, with the social media and smartphones and stupidphones added to the mix, it’s worse than ever. By several orders of magnitude.

So we’re talking it over, and here it is for your edification and enjoyment.

I have ideal voice for print, don’t I?

I’m On the Air Today

This afternoon I’m going to join Andrea Schwartz for one of her “Out of the Question” podcasts, brought to you by Chalcedon. Our topic will be “The Dumbest Generation”–and what’s making it so dumb. You’ll find reviews of the book here, in the archives, and on the Chalcedon website, http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

I’m a political scientist; so when I say you can’t have idiots as the foundation for a constitutional republic, I know what I’m talking about. But idiots, big exploding bunches of them, is what our public education system’s turning out.

Surprise! Smartphones aren’t making anybody smarter.

For the rest of the morning, I’ve got a chapter of my book to write, and some more blog posts to see about.

Chalcedon Marches On

The Sanctuary Choir at First Methodist Church, Houston

You can’t always see what a ministry is doing; and sometimes what a minister of the gospel does will take years to show up on the radar.

In “Rushdoony’s Future Impact,” Mark Rushdoony predicts R.J. Rushdoony’s impact on the church and on the culture will only grow more telling–“because he addresses issues which the church has refused to address, but will be forced to at some point.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/r-j-rushdoonys-future-impact

Many readers of Rushdoony’s works show surprise when they learn the book was first published in the 1960s or 70s, yet seems still more applicable two decades into the 21st century (Rushdoony died in 2001). No one even had a keener insight into church and culture: you’d almost swear he had a crystal ball.

So Chalcedon’s mission includes keeping Rushdoony’s books in print–after all, some of these fields have yet to yield their fruit.

Reader Input Wanted: Can you think of any pressing issues which the church in America has ducked so far, but will some day have to be addressed?

The Two Roads to Destruction

Martin Selbrede | heroinamerica

This new essay by Martin Selbrede is about a conflict that can only be resolved by following God’s word–the tension between “the one and the many.”

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/dialectical-culture

Simply put, if “the one” prevails, you wind up with tyranny–and a loss of meaning in  all but the mushiest and most useless sense. But if “the many” prevail against the one, you wind up with anarchy (leading eventually, as it always does, to a dictatorship) and the cult of Me. It is the continual tension between social order and individual liberty.

Both must be limited: but only the Bible teaches that.

There is no hope for us in following only humanistic, statist prescriptions for order and justice. These always strand us in our state of Original Sin.

This is a challenging essay, but stay with it. That little light bulb over your head might come on.

Why Is Government So Awful?

Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore – CBS Boston

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore

Providence! I was musing on this question–how does government get to be so awful, that it actively abuses its citizens and favors their enemies?–when it occurred to me that I’d forgotten to post Martin Selbrede’s article, He Fought the Good Fight, from the Chalcedon website.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/he-fought-the-good-fight

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore was persecuted and imprisoned because his sobriety-based approach to treating opioid addiction was much more successful than the conventional more-drugs-to-treat-drugs approach. For his success, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sought to destroy him.

Dr. Kishore died earlier this summer.

Although they took away his freedom, they couldn’t stop other states from embracing Dr. Kishore’s model and successfully applying it.

But to come to Martin’s point:

Isaiah 57:1-2, The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

By contrast, the closing verses of Isaiah 56 describe the sloth, the ignorance, the carelessness, and the folly of leaders, false shepherds, who wouldn’t know a righteous man if they tripped over him.

Government gets awful as it grows to be more and more dominated by self-absorbed, foolish, ignorant, careless, shallow, venal, greedy, crooked leaders. Political science courses never explained it, but Scripture surely does. It gets to be that the leaders will persecute any righteous men or women in their midst–if they’re aware of them at all.

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore, servant of God, benefactor of the public–well done, thou good and faithful servant! Well done.

Book Review: ‘The Dumbest Generation’

The Dumbest Generation, Mark Bauerlein, Penguin | Yannig Roth / This is my  blog

The purposeful cultivation of ignorance–and they call it “education.”

I’m rather proud of this book review. It took a lot of thought to set it up. Being able to write snippets of it here on the blog first was a big help.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/book-review-the-dumbest-generation-how-the-digital-age-stupefies-young-americans-and-jeopardizes-our-future

We have an education system whose finished products, at least half of them, brag about never reading a book. Others read only what they need for work. And the more hi-tech “educational electronics” we throw at them, the less they read, the less they learn. And they take a perverse pride in it. They embrace their ignorance.

I suppose it’s possible that if you used computers etc. properly, you really would enhance your education. But that’s a moot point because hardly anyone ever uses computers to enhance his education. Mostly all this expensive electronics is used for idle pastimes.

Anyway, read this book. You’ll understand why American education is perhaps the most expensive disaster ever inflicted on a nation.

‘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.