Question

December 2, 2009

Why is it that when the federal government plays a minimalist role and the states are given broad powers to regulate their own affairs, it is called federalism?

And why is it that when the federal government plays a maximalist role and tramples the rights of states to regulate their own affairs, it is called statism? 

Confusing as the terms may be, the truth is that we have had way too much statism in recent decades.  It’s time to get back to federalism.

Do I Want President Obama to Fail?

December 1, 2009

In a word, yes.  Rush Limbaugh stirred up controversy by being the first to say so several months ago, but if you think about what he means, it makes perfect sense. 

Like Rush, I want President Obama to fail because President Obama is essentially a socialist.  His political theory is saturated in big government, lavish spending, high taxes, and the multiplication of entitlements.  Like he said to Joe the Plumber, he wants to “spread the wealth” around.  He is pushing hefty, unprecedented environmental regulations at a time when we are facing 10% unemployment and cannot afford to strangle businesses with more regulations (and it just so happens that in recent days the whole global warming theory has taken a massive credibility beating, yet the President remains undeterred in his desire to unilaterally save the world from carbon). 

I want President Obama’s health care plan to fail.  I want cap-and-trade to fail.  I want high taxes to fail.  I want big government stimulus packages to fail.  I want everything this President stands for to fail, because he stands for everything that is against the well-being and prosperity of our nation.  If his domestic agenda crashes to the ground and burns, then America will have succeeded, and my loyalty is to my country first, not to the man who happens to be leading it for these four years.

But there is one exception.  I want President Obama to succeed in Afghanistan and in Iraq.  He gave a good speech tonight.  This was one of those rare occasions when he talks about 9/11 and about the ongoing terrorist threat to our national security.  I hope and pray that his strategy works, that we pave the way for a secure and stable Afghanistan, that we put Al-Qaida and the Taliban on the run, and that we bring our boys home soon enough.  I don’t trust my President on anything related to domestic policy.  But listening to him speak tonight, I am giving him my trust and support on the objective of victory in Afghanistan.  I hope that if a politically divided country can find unity in nothing else, that perhaps we might be able to find some measure of unity in this.

Blog Post of the Year (or Maybe Decade)!

November 24, 2009

This poster from Despair.com accurately communicates the general worthlessness of 99% of the blogosphere.  And yet, every once in a while in this sea of insignificance you come across an island with a buried treasure.

Thanks to Justin Taylor’s link, I found one today.  Kevin DeYoung’s post about the “New Gospel” (written in response to this letter to unbelievers by Shane Claiborne) is the most significant blog post I have read in a long time, perhaps ever.  Do not miss it.

Every generation faces challenges to the true gospel.  Every alternative gospel that arises contains some elements of truth and therefore possesses some measure of plausibility.  In our day the most popular alternative gospel is the one that accomodates itself to the prevailing climate of postmodern uncertainty.  This “new gospel” is not entirely wrong.  In fact, it gets many things right, even offering a much-needed corrective to older emphases and formulations.  And therein lies its chief danger: it represents an ever-so-subtle denial of truths that belong to the very essence of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Read Shane Claiborne’s letter.  And then read Kevin DeYoung’s post.  The latter will likely be the most significant thing you will read today.

Corruption in Washington

November 20, 2009

This is nothing more than a sophisticated form of bribery.  Senate Majority Leader Reid is apparently trying to buy Senator Landrieu”s (D-La) vote for healthcare reform by sneaking into the 2,000 page monstrosity a $100 million favor for her state. 

Other than the fact that Landrieu’s single vote on this question is of massive significance for the future of our country, I realize that this kind of thing happens all the time in Washington and that both parties do it. 

And that is what is so disturbing.  Washington is a cesspool of corruption, a big game where powerful people take turns scratching each other’s backs.

I would wholeheartedly support term limits for all congressional seats.  Among politicians (not an admired group to begin with), career politicians are at the bottom of the barrel.  And the career politicians (who like to refer to themselves as “public servants”) are the ones who have made Washington what it is today.

Good Quote

November 10, 2009

“One of the few advantages to the country in having Congress overwhelmingly in the hands of one party is that the lack of need to compromise lets the leaders of that party reveal themselves for what they are– in this case, people with unbounded arrogance and utter contempt for the right of ordinary people to live their lives as they see fit, much less the right to know as citizens what laws are going to be passed by their government. The question is whether voters will remember on election day in 2010.”—-Thomas Sowell

Postmodern Irony

November 8, 2009

So I heard about John Franke’s new book, Manifold Witness, a book whose thesis is apparently that truth is inherently plural and that this is a profoundly Christian way of thinking.  Doug Wilson has begun reviewing the book here.  Wilson quotes from Brian McLaren’s foreword:

That for human beings, truth is inherently plural. John asserts this, not because it is fashionable (it’s the very opposite among his guild in the theological academy), but rather because he believes it is true, and is willing to suffer the scorn of some of his peers for this truth as he sees it. He asserts the plurality of truth, not as a capitulation to non- or anti- Christian thought, but rather as an expression of profoundly Christian thought — and specifically, of emergent, missional, and trinitarian Christian thought. In so doing, he gently implies that the dominant alternative view — that white, modernist, Western Christian scholars and institutions have a monopoly on truth — is actually a capitulation to modes of thought and power that have betrayed the life and gospel of Jesus Christ” (p. xii).

Aside from the fact that McLaren has the audacity to claim that Franke’s postmodern muddle is not fashionable in the academy (the academy is the engine that drives it!), does anyone else notice the profound irony in what McLaren says here?  Allow me to paraphrase:

John Franke advocates a pluralist view of truth, thereby denying a singular view of truth, because he is deeply convinced that his view is singularly true.  Anyone (probably a white male) who disagrees with him is hopelessly lost in falsehood, because the singular truth that Franke proclaims about truth being manifold can make no room for competing views of truth.  All truth is manifold, except of course, for the absolute, singular truth that truth itself is manifold.  Of that, I am absolutely certain, and anyone who looks at it differently is captive to modernist presuppositions and is, therefore, promoting falsehood.  John Franke is so certain of the absolute truth of his view that truth is manifold that he will gladly become a martyr for the cause. 

It looks like Manifold Witness is going to be another journey into self-contradictory postmodern quicksand, as if we haven’t had enough of that lately.

Heads Will Roll

November 7, 2009

I am a bit surprised at the audacity of the Democratic Party.  In a week when off-year elections have proven that voters (even in New Jersey!) are fed up with the government expansion going on under the Obama-Pelosi-Reid socialist machine, the House of Representatives has decided to spend the weekend transgressing the Constitution by assuming unprecedented regulatory powers over the healthcare of all Americans. 

In doing so, Democrats have virtually handed Republicans a major victory next November.  And when it comes, it won’t be a moment too soon.

An Open Letter

October 29, 2009

Dear All Southern States Like Virginia and North Carolina That Voted for Barack Obama Last November,

How’s that working out for you?

Sincerely,

Aaron O’Kelley

Pushing the Boundaries

October 29, 2009

Is anybody else out there a bit weary of medical researchers playing God?  Every few months it seems there is some story that brings us one step closer to an Orwellian nightmare.

Good Analogy

October 27, 2009

One thing I love about Douglas Wilson is that he can always come up with a fitting (and usually humorous) analogy for any situation.  This is the most recent one that caught my attention, from his post on the health care debate:

The unfunded obligations of Medicare and Medicaid are about 50 trillion dollars, give or take 5 dollars or so. The economic liars who are pushing Obamacare want you to believe their lie that the future will not go the way the past has gone, and that government mismanagement of programs like these, and Social Security, are no indicator of future performance. Things will be lots better this time around. Having floundered and almost drowned in the kiddie pool, we are now going to swim to Hawaii. If you predict unfortunate results, this is no doubt the result of you being full of spite and malice. For humanity.

Now, lest you think incorrectly, Wilson is no partisan.  He has harsh words for Republicans too, and most of the time I agree with him on that.  Read the whole thing.