Summa Elvetica

October 1, 2008

Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, brings a delightful read through a fantasy world set in Medieval Times.

The book is in two sections. The Summa Elvetica storyline, and an appendix appropriately titled Tales from the world of Summa Elvetica. The novel itself left me wanting more, and the appendix left me hoping for further titles in the world.

The storyline of the Summa Elvetica was engaging, and the plot proceeded with ample development of the major characters. The ending was perhaps more lifelike than anticipated, and especially considering the genre, more realistic. Part way into the appendix, the theme became more than satisfying. By the end of the book, I was ready to re-read the main storyline. It was even better, and more complete.

I have read other authors who, when given a similar circumstance, have brought the “appendix” into the main storyline. I am convinced that Beale took the right approach. The flow of the novel was not upset by the imposition of the historical narrative, while providing the narrative in the appendix that added to the integrity of the book. By comparison, the other authors’ approach seems like an awkward disruption of the main storyline.

In his note, Beale says that he originally conceived the novel as “an epic philosophical trilogy.” While the end product may not bear quite the resemblance to the original concept as he desired; one would be a fool to not see the various philosophical and logical underpinnings. That Beale does this while presenting a thoroughly readable and enjoyable novel while not compromising the purity of the philosophical perspectives is much more to his credit.

Absent the LOTR and Narnia; few Christians have any exposure to the fantasy genre. This is not without good reason, for most fantasy is devoid of anything Christian. And those that display a “Christianity”, more often than naught show one that is lacking in power, reason, and/or a genuine Christian theological perspective. Summa is a breath of fresh air, and delightfully fun read where Truth has not been held hostage to the genre.


Why Libertarians Lose

February 12, 2008

I love Ron Paul and his ideals. I hate the way he campaigned. It should come as no surprise that libertarian ideas don’t get much play in the media. Even the token “conservatives” on the networks aren’t all that enamored with true constitutionalism. But to blame the media while spending millions of dollars from your campaign war chest is insane.
The LA Times ran this interesting article, where the lack of Paul’s traction was discussed. I lost track myself about 2/3 of the way through the comments section, but couldn’t find any respondents that didn’t blame either the media or fear on the part of the establishment. Its time for the Libertarian movement in the Republican party to grow up.
The media loves to pin hole Paul into a rhetorical corner. And he falls for it. Repeatedly. Asked about the situation in Iraq: He sounded like a knee-jerk Carter liberal “It’s our fault.” Follow that one up with the “get out now” message, and it’s not surprising that the conservatives ran for the hills. (They’re still there actually.) If the conservatives have any hot button – it’s that the US should never lose a war. The problem is that the anti-war crowd sounds less anti-war, and more anti-US; a far better message would be that war is horrible thing, and that is why we should do our best to keep our conscience clean; acting only when we can clearly and plainly do so in response to aggression.

In the age of compromise politics (yeah – I hate the “C” word too), nuance is often the friend of the majority maker, and not always our enemy. There is a natural coalition that could exist between the anarchists/liberals, constitutionalists, libertarians, and classical (paleo) conservatives. Against the Socialists and Populists. But the various groups cannot get along. Libertarians have a purity test, and any politician who is not lock step gets thrown under the bus. Conservatives fall into two general groups, and each one is only interested in three to four issues each. Anarchists, well, hate everything involving control, but would tend to agree with almost all of the libertarians, and more than 2/3 of the conservatives; but they don’t dare move away from the socialists on the left because they fear the socialists on the right even more. These groups together don’t hold much in the way of power or population, but given the involvement of the electorate, such a coalition could achieve a plurality of the vote. And make real change.

But we don’t nuance, we don’t look for common ground. We look for division. Keep to our hot button issues. And complain about everyone else. It was about 10 years ago that the Libertarian Party asked for donations to help move the debate from socialist party A versus socialist party B to socialist parties A&B versus a liberty oriented party. I believe that their tag line was something to the effect of “wouldn’t you rather be having a debate between how we are going to expand liberty, rather than how much more oppression we’re going to have to put up with. And the really big point to whom the invitations were sent. They were sent to conservatives in an effort to build some sort of coalition. Those invitations were closely followed by the purity tests: we’ll take your money, but you can’t join us unless you agree on 100% of these issues.

I will agree with the original stated intent of the LP’s message: I would rather ally myself with other liberty minded voters, arguing over the details of how much more liberty we’re going to get, than complain about the mess we’re in and how much more oppression we’re going to have to deal with. The socialists in both parties have managed to keep us in the prior state of mind; with each group of Liberty minded peoples more angry with each other than afraid of the fascistas that oppress us all . It is a pity. If we ever get beyond what separates us to what could unite us…

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Worse than Hillary?

February 8, 2008
This just in:

John McCain is a man of honor. A man of integrity. A man of courage. A man of conviction. I may not agree with every position he takes, but that certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t a conservative. And no disagreement can possibly make him worse than Hillary Clinton would be for our country, or for the conservative values and principles we know are essential for our nation’s future.

Man of Honor: No. He is not. He is a malicious back stabbing moderate “democrat” who remained in the Republican party only because it made his liberal ideas play better in the media. As was said about TR: “When you close your eyes, He sounds like a democrat.” I intend to show him the exact same perspective of party loyalty that he has shown to us. When the conservatives were in control of the party, his loyalty to the party was zilch. He undermined so many of the conservative principles that created the modern Republican party; there is not room to count.

Worse than Hillary? Well, yes he is. Far worse than Hillary actually. With Hillary in power, the entire world will be reminded at how dangerous liberalism is. Evidently, it’s time for a reminder.

It seems to me that on two of the most critical issues we face, John McCain has rock solid conservative credentials.

First, without question, he is the most qualified, most experienced, most capable of all of the candidates, Republican or Democrat, dealing with national defense and combating radical Islamist extremists. He knows how to deal with these issues and approaches them from a conservative point of view.

I’ve heard of many logical falacies, but what is this? An obsolete war record; then endless drumbeat of his POW status? And just what is the conservative point of view? His views are more along the lines of the Roosevelt’s than any conservative that I know. Expansionist military policy? In order to sell his war, W presented it as a war of affirmative (if preventive) self defense. At which point the real conservatives were going, well, that didn’t work out. Preventive self defense is a dead policy. It was only W and his cronies (McCain in this instance), who redefined the terms and went back to the nationbuilding strategy that has doomed the typical Democratic position.

John McCain may not be as conservative as some would like, but I submit that he is far more conservative than many believe. To call him the Republican “establishment” candidate ignores his long record of independence.

Note to Blake: That is what an “establishment” means: a moderate/liberal socialist who is a Republican instead of a Democrat. If the establishment Republican votes his conscience WITH the socialists, then I’m even less likely to promote him to higher office.

Whether he is the perfect conservative poster child or not, John McCain is that candidate. And he is the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. But to do so, he needs conservative Republicans to provide their wholehearted support, not ammunition for the opposition. If we do not, we may well be faced with what I consider to be the most unacceptable scenario I can imagine – Hillary Clinton, president of the United States of America.

One socialist or the other – let me think…. Blake: If McCain is elected (which he will not be – not without a LOT of conservative votes, and they aren’t going to be there), then he will be a disaster for both the party and the country. If Hillary is elected: Then the most widespread and unified resistance against her reign will immediately be apparent, then perhaps we will only have 4 to 8 years of destructive activity to the county. 4 years of McCain? Followed by how many years of Democratic socialism?

The best argument in fact is that Republicans must sacrifice McCain to save the Republican Party and return the party back to it’s conservative bent. I’m cool with that.

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January 30, 2008

Says John:

“It shows one thing: I’m the conservative leader who can unite the party,” McCain told The Associated Press after easing past former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his first-ever triumph in a primary open only to Republicans.

Uniting the party with 36% of the vote? OK?
“Conservative Issues:
Immigration? Wrong – wants “amnesty” by another name.
Free Speech? Wrong – McCain – Feingold anti political speech law.
Gun Control? Wrong – Likes the “assault weapons ban”, “Saturday night special” bans, and laws requiring “smart gun locks” None of which have ANY beneficial results and have no place in a “conservative” platform.
Taxes? Wrong – Voted against the “Bush tax cuts” multiple times.
Life? Wrong – Supports federal funding of embryonic stem cell research – unlike all of the other republican candidates.
Life? Wrong Does not support the repeal of “Roe v Wade” because: “I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.” Even the pro-abortion legal experts recognize the it is bad law, so at least support it for that!

Conservatives used to have a term for elected Republicans who did not represent the “conservative” aspects of the Party: RINO Republican in Name Only. So what do we call a conservative in name only? I suspect that in any head to head competition against either Obama or Clinton, given the similarity of their views on just about everything; that the name would be LOSER.

So if you are going to lose anyway? Why not vote for the candidates who appeal to at least a portion of your platform?

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Give them what they want?

January 29, 2008
The problem is that even if you wanted to give “them” what they want, their wants often, (and must eventually), exceed your ability to give. Consider Kendel Williams of Orlando, who died because his car had a manual transmission instead of an automatic.

Neither of the men knew how to drive the car because it had a stick shift and instead shot the man, Marchione said.

Even life becomes cheap when everything else is free.

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Guns Versus Paper

January 19, 2008
California Dreaming:

On the day of her husband’s release, Thomas-Harris spent about 45 minutes with prosecutors and begged for “a piece of paper” that would shield her, Booth said. Prosecutors tried to get her an emergency protective order, but Lindars was on vacation in Oregon and wasn’t expected back for two weeks.

Unlike the game of Rock, Paper Scissors; paper provides no protection. The issue is absurd on it’s face. A protection order is a piece of paper with words on it. Nothing more. The paper has value only to those who are inclined to obey the law. Even if she had received that piece of paper, the police were minutes away when seconds counted. What are the odds that the man with malice aforethought would wait for the police? Yeah. Right.

Now there is one more victim of anti-gun policies. When will they realize that anti-gun policies are literal death to the defenseless?

I’m not holding my breath.

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Evangelicals are Easy

January 8, 2008
Evangelicals are easy

As much as I love the Evangelical Blogs and Columnists, the ease to which they fall for pick up lines is scary. Janet Folger, “FAITH2ACTION” on WND sums up the reasons to support Huckabee (Chuck Norris? his reasons aren’t
any more sound.):

“The only top-tier guy we can count on to stand for a Human Life and Marriage Amendment.”

We all know that human life is the code phrase for abortion and embryonic stem cell research (abortion). There is no movement on these issues at all right now, and not just because Bush is against them. Abortion is a legal minefield and with the exception of Supreme Court Nominees, PresidentHuckabee would have no more power than Citizen Huckabee. Stem cells might actually be an issue, though the science on this is rapidly turning. No one, not even Huckabee is advocating a ban on embryonic stem cell research, only on the federal funding of it. In that, he is no different that others in the field. So with regard to Life Issues, I’ve read nothing to indicate that the Huckabee would be any better than any other “republican” running, and a lot to indicate that he would be worse. Despite being a good idea, the marriage amendment is not going to happen. And even if it would, the president has NO role in approving it. Reference the following from on the 4 ways that an amendment to the constitution is ratified:

Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)

Aside from the fact that these two issues are going nowhere; what about other issues? What about:

Taxes, *not good – he raised them and can’t explain clearly without being apologetic or blaming the courts, (which puts him on par with what Romney did for same sex unions). Everybody says that they will lower taxes, so no real differentiation there. And his “great” idea for new “fair tax” is DOA in any legislature, but especially in one controlled by social demorats.

Education and Arts *not good – he wants to spend more money just like he did in AR. (This is the apologetic part where he says that education is a good thing…)

Energy Independence *not good – no mention of drilling in AK or the continental shelf, just exploration. We already have China drilling off the coast of Florida and doesn’t have the gravitas to advocate drilling where we already know there is oil. Lots of mention of conservation and alternative energy – sounds like a Democrat.

HealthCare *not good – He wants a nationalized children’s health care – got that. We have already seen where the SCHIP is already used and the markedly growing percentage of enrollees that are NOT children. This is nothing but nationalized health care incrementalism – as it is under Bush. And he advocates a national smoking ban? Don’t get me started on private property rights.

*not good – more money yet again.

Huckabee is a big government populist. He couches his ideas in the realm of Christian-speak and Compassion (just like GW), and pitches the government law or program to give you what you want. The problem is that – as Reagan is famous for saying, Government that is big enough to give you what you want, is big enough to take everything you have. Or in the words of Rush Limbaugh: We got what it takes to takes what you gots…

The same political philosophy that allows you to spend other people’s money on healthcare, arts, education, and livelihood; is the same political philosophy that allows you to use that same power to take faith out of schools, engage in confiscatory tax policies that discourage economic growth, make you pay for someone else’s abortion or self-destructive lifestyle. It is the same philosophy that has the government breaking in your door to take your child because they disagree with your health care decisions, ignoring your right to school your children as you choose, and violating your rights to self defense and firearms. All in the name of public good.

Mike Huckabee’s platform is a study in contradictions, but only because he is basically advocating the pro-life democrat position of a few years back. Aside from the gun control position, I have a very hard time differentiating his positions from Sen. Harry Reid of NV. He is nothing but a Christian liberal socialist running on a feel good platform. And the Evangelical Right has for the most part, fallen for it.

Evangelicals are easy. Pity they don’t make a morning after pill for political office elections.

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