Category Archives: Conservatism

Pardon Me a Grammar Nazi Rant

Look, I don’t like the Grammar Nazi any more than the next guy, but that’s the guy who nitpicks other folks’ usages to make himself feel superior. Occasionally, however, grammar intervention is needed to save all that is right and true.

Let’s go back to grade school, shall we? You can add ing to verbs. You can add ing to run and make running. You can add ing to jump and make jumping. You can add ing to rant and make ranting, which is what this article amounts to. You cannot, however, add ing to a noun and magically make it a verb. You cannot, for example, add ing to brain and make it mean thinking, no matter how much you might want to or how clever you might think it would be.

So, to whom is this rant directed? (Catch that? “To whom.” Mrs. White would be so proud.) I listen to a lot of sports talk radio because I can’t listen to the cheerleading for war that characterizes so much of “conservative” talk radio without my blood pressure skyrocketing to dangerously high levels. Listen to me Mr. Sports Talk Radio Guy. This is for you. No you are not efforting your next guest because EFFORTING IS NOT A FREAKIN’ WORD! Effort is a person, place or thing. Therefore, it is a noun. Therefore, no you cannot just add an ing to it to make it a verb. The English language does not work that way. You may be making an effort. You may be attempting to secure your next guest, but no you are not efforting, and the fact that Spell Check lights up when I type that word should tell you this.

I’m all for allowing common usages to become standard over time. For example, I think ain’t is fine when you are deliberately attempting to be informal. But, as the good knee-jerk reactionary that I am, I am opposed to trendy usages and especially dorks who don’t realize that their supposedly trendy usage is actually now passé. What’s next? Are they going to start Rickrolling people?

So KNOCK IT OFF, before I’m forced to march on your studios with pitchfork in hand!

That is all.

Cross posted at Intellectual Conservative.

Tom Piatak Now the Executive Vice President of the Rockford Institute

Congratulations are in order to our friend Tom Piatak. He is now the Executive Vice President of the Rockford Institute. I first became aware of this via his Facebook page.

Here is the official announcement.

The Rockford Institute has taken a bold step forward in its mission to defend traditional conservatism by appointing Thomas Piatak as Executive Vice President. A veteran of the Culture Wars and a tireless advocate of restoring American jobs and economic prosperity, Mr. Piatak is perfectly poised to raise the Institute’s profile among current and new donors, and introduce the Institute’s hard-hitting flagship publication, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, to a new generation of readers and writers.

See more here…

We are awaiting reaction from mega Piatak fan Rod Dreher.

Laura Ingraham: ‘Iraq Is Worse Off’ Now Than Under Saddam

Anyone with eyes can see the DC Empire has turned a dysfunctional country into a hellhole:

The conservative radio host made the assertion during a “Fox News Sunday” panel debating the impact of President Barack Obama’s decision to make limited strikes in northern Iraq against ultra-violent jihadists from the Islamic State. (RELATED: ISIS Threatens America: ‘We Will Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House’)

Ingraham contended that military action in the country — even to prevent genocide and oppression — seems to always backfire.

“We try to do all these things in Iraq, now Iraq is worse off,” she said. “I mean, I hate to say that, but Iraq is worse than before we went into Iraq.”

“Christians are gone, there’s no sense of order at all,” she explained. “Saddam Hussein is gone, that’s a good thing. But what’s left? A more emboldened Islamic State, not contained, apparently, even by U.S. airstrikes.”

But that’s the thing about ideologues, from Puritans to today’s antifa – determined to rid the world of all evil, they make things even worse. The Southern tradition is to deal with life as it is rather than forcing the world to conform to some abstract ideal. As Richard Weaver once noted, “The Southerner accepts the irremediability of a certain amount of evil and tries to fence it around instead of trying to stamp it out and thereby spreading it. His is a classical acknowledgment of tragedy and of the limits of power.”

That reminds me of a classic Twilight Zone episode, “The Howling Man.” Thinking he is helping an innocent man cruelly imprisoned by religious fanatics, an American tourist in Europe unwittingly frees the Devil. There’s a lesson here for do-gooders everywhere:

My Thoughts on the Mark Driscoll Drama

The church affiliation and planting ministry that Mark Driscoll founded, Acts 29, has removed Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church from their network and asked Driscoll to step down. Since I first read about this story, LifeWay Christian Bookstores has announced they are going to stop selling his books. This is all very unfortunate, although some nuance is called for.

As I said below, I do think that some of what Driscoll said and did was indecorous and intemperate, but he has largely admitted as much and apologized. He said in the past that he thought rabble rousing on a forum under a pseudonym was not the right way to go about it, and he apologized. This new brouhaha is largely because those posts which he apologized for and admitted were unwise have surfaced.

But here is the problem. All the above conceded, Driscoll’s fundamental points are correct. The Bible, history and nature do testify to the reality and importance of gender differences and gender roles. And Christian men, and American men in general, have stopped acting like men. And not only is Driscoll correct, but these are issues of utmost importance that desperately need saying if we have any hope of salvaging the Christian Church as we know it.

The feminization of American men, both behaviorally and biologically, has been much commented on in dissident right circles and is largely the impetus, along with the concomitant masculinization of women, behind the growth of the so-called manosphere. (I have a strong hunch that Driscoll is familiar with the manosphere, because he sounds like he is.) But the manosphere is largely amoral and often dismissively refers to those of us who encourage sexual continence as tradcons. Do we really want to cede primary advocacy of gender roles and masculinization to people hostile or indifferent to Christianity? This is why we need Christian voices speaking out on this matter who care about the state of the Church and the country who aren’t just looking for a way to get women in bed.

By booting Driscoll out of the Acts 29 Network, without the appropriate finesse, Acts 29 is empowering the Rachel Held Evans of the world. By not selling his book, without making the action and behavior vs. thought distinction, LifeWay is empowering PC ninnies like  Warren Throckmorton. Do they really want to do that? What are Acts 29 and LifeWay objecting to, actions or beliefs? The fact that they took these actions in response to a PC outcry makes it look like they are accepting the PC narrative unless they make it entirely clear that they aren’t, which they haven’t.

So you know that I’m not just cheerleading for Driscoll, I do think Driscoll is somewhat the victim of his own devices. He is closely associated with the emerging church movement, but in my understanding has distanced himself from it and is, as far as I can tell, doctrinally sound on the essentials.  Unlike Rob Bell, for example, who has clearly flown the coup. But in the doctrinally conservative wing of the emergent church movement’s efforts to make the Church relevant, they largely adopted “contemporary” modes of worship. I don’t think I’m breaking new ground to suggest that contemporary worship is an arguably feminized form of worship that appeals to female sensibilities. You want to man and woman up your Church? Then wear coats and ties and dresses and stop singing praise songs that sound like “Jesus is My Boyfriend.” Grab a hymnal and sing “There is Power in the Blood.”

For those who didn’t quite get my earlier attempt at humor, by feigning outrage at a minor point, I was primarily dismissing or belittling the larger outrage. But there was a little more method to my madness. In every picture I have ever seen of Driscoll, he is wearing a vest (not sweater) and looks like he needs a shave. I’m not dissing vests or facial hair. In fact, from the standpoint of masculinity, I think there is something to be said for facial hair. But the distinction that Driscoll seems to be making is a tame or lame vs. cutting edge or unconventional distinction, with tame associated with femininity and cutting edge associated with manliness. While there may be some truth to this in the milieu and context Driscoll finds himself in, this is a problem with his milieu. In the grand scheme of things, a traditional combination of loafers, khakis and an oxford cloth button down says man’s man much more so than does a vest and whatever Driscoll’s footwear of choice may be. In fact, the best way to be counter-cultural in our crazy modern world is to be radically traditional, affectionately referred to as rad trad. (For the record, once I lose weight … err … I mean my wife quits shrinking my clothes … and invest in a new wardrobe, I’m going rad trad all the way!) If Driscoll paired his vest with a suit and a pocket watch and a pair of wingtips, he would be making a much more masculine and traditional statement than he does now. Actions, not words on a forum, speak loudest.

Now that I’ve  ticked off every possible element, please discuss.

Another View on the Ann Coulter Ebola Column

Ann Coulter sure has a knack for stirring up trouble. Her Ebola column has a caused an interesting division on the right which is chronicled here.

Below, Alan Cornett takes the contra Coulter view. Tom Piatak defends Coulter at Chronicles.

I see both sides, although I have no problem with them bringing the Ebola infected doctor and nurse back to the US which seems to be a lot of people’s issue. The likelihood of Ebola spreading to the US because of those two patients is vanishingly small. Discuss.

Update: links fixed

Ann Coulter, Dr. Brantly, & the False Choice

by Alan Cornett

Ann Coulter, she of blonde and bombast, posted a jaw-dropping column yesterday in which she called Dr. Kent Brantly, who is a real medical hero, “idiotic” for his decision to go to Africa to treat the needy. It was a choice that led to his (and nurse Nancy Writebol’s) infection with the deadly Ebola virus.

Brantly’s apparent idiocy, according to Coulter, has led to Samaritan’s Purse spending more than $2 million to bring him back. “Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did,” she writes, “has now been overwhelmed” by that tremendous financial cost. Because making a cost-benefit analysis of helping others is what the Biblical Good Samaritan is best known for.

“Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa?” Coulter asks incredulously. Missionaries like Brantly “slink off to Third World countries…to do good works” when their real need is here in America, “the most consequential nation on Earth.” Brantly should have “served the needy in some deadbeat Texas town” instead of engaging in “Christian narcissism.” This is the Coulter worldview.

I know there are some, many, in fact, who in essence agree with Coulter. I have spoken with Christians who think just this way. We have enough work to do here, why go somewhere else?

But Coulter has presented us with a false choice. For us to complain that Dr. Brantly should have stayed here to do his work is, 1) to presume that we have any right to control what Dr. Brantly should do (I thought that was one of the fears of Obamacare, that doctors would be told where to work), and 2) that Dr. Brantly is the only doctor who can do volunteer and charity work.

I have made ten trips to foreign countries doing missionary work (in a teaching, not a medical, role). I have good friends who have traveled to Sierra Leone where Ebola is now spreading. And I know people who know Dr. Brantly. I understand why people decide to “go.”

When someone decides to go to a foreign field to do needed work, they are not the only ones who are capable of a certain role. Dr. Brantly is not the only doctor from Texas. There are doctors in Texas who have no desire, or ability, to go to Africa like Dr. Brantly did. That’s perfectly fine. But they don’t have to wait for Dr. Brantly to get well, decide to abandon Africa, and return to Ann Coulter’s deadbeat Texas town. No, they could go do that work themselves right now.

There are always more who stay than those who go. To criticize those who go for not staying is to make the false assumption that all our resources are currently being utilized to their fullest capacity. It is to assume that the missionary who goes does not leave behind scores—hundreds—of others perfectly capable of doing the same work here.

Paul of Tarsus spent a couple of decades traveling from city to city in the eastern Roman Empire preaching the gospel. Barnabas found Paul (still Saul at the time) in his hometown of Tarsus, but convinced him to leave to come to Antioch to help out. That began Paul’s journey far afield, a journey that would lead to him being stoned, beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and eventually martyred. Couldn’t Paul have stayed in the deadbeat town of Tarsus and just preached there? Was Paul an idiot to leave, just a Christian narcissist?

Philip the Evangelist spent some early time “going,” traveling to Samaria, encountering the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza (dangerous places, eh?). But Philip ended up in Caesarea where the account of Acts leaves him. Paul comes through Caesarea in Acts 21 where he stays with Philip, who apparently has been there all this time, probably for twenty years. Philip had decided to “stay.” We have no record of his work, but no doubt he had been busy doing what needed to be done in the deadbeat town of Caesarea.

Neither path was wrong, both Paul’s and Philip’s work were needed. As the body has many parts, and each with its own role, so we do not need to judge the one who goes nor the one who stays.

Sadly, those who often criticize those who choose to go, as Dr. Brantly went, are those who are really afraid that with those workers gone, they themselves might be expected to step into the gap.

So when Ann Coulter criticizes Dr. Brantly, is it because she laments the loss of his help in serving others, or is it because with him gone, she might be afraid someone will expect she do it herself? Ann, there’s a deadbeat Texas town just waiting for you.

Alan Cornett is a former assistant to Russell Kirk. He blogs at PinstripePulpit.com. You can follow him @alancornett. He writes from Lexington, Kentucky.

The Rachel Held Evans vs. Mark Driscoll Throwdown

Rachel Held Evans is an ex-evangelical Christian turned liberal “Christian” blogger who whines a lot about traditional Christian gender roles, sexual rules, etc. as she plays the role of ex-conservative (religiously speaking) Christian trying to come to grips with doubt and uncertainty while wholeheartedly embracing modern PC mores. You know the type, of which she is a virtual caricature. To illustrate the kind of insufferable foolishness we are dealing with here, in her blog post accusing Driscoll of a “disturbed mind” she warns her readers that the post contains “crude language, slurs, misogyny, homophobia.” Oh no, not that dreaded homophobia. Get it? If you don’t embrace wholly modern PC norms, then you have a disturbed mind. Meaning, I guess, that every human being that ever lived on the earth prior to 50 years ago +/- had a disturbed mind.

Mark Driscoll is the Pastor of the Mars Hill mega church in Seattle, WA. There is something to be said for decorum, and I believe that Driscoll does at times use indecorous and unwise language. The Church should be clear, for example, that the Bible explicitly condemns all sex outside of marriage, but discussing licit sex within marriage from the pulpit is generally unwise and in popular intended books is questionable at best. It is a subject that is best left to individual counseling and perhaps a specialty book. Some of the stuff Held holds up as evidence of Driscoll’s disturbed mind is intemperate, although for context he was writing anonymously on a blog with the intent of shaking people up. But all that said, his basic underlying premises which are upholding Biblical, historic and natural gender roles and bemoaning the sorry state of the modern American male desperately need saying. What we need is a more gentlemanly and prudish Mark Driscoll to compete against the Rachel Held Evans types and the largely amoral manosphere.

Raw Story Goes on PC Witch Hunt Against Michael Peroutka

For those who don’t know, Michael Peroutka won the Republican primary for a seat on the Anne Arundel County, Maryland City Counsel.

Now the PC Gestapo is up in arms. What amazes me about some of these stories is how out in the open they are. Anyone who is at all familiar with dissident right and third party politics should know very well where Michael Peroutka is coming from. Obviously these lefty PC thumb breakers don’t follow the other side except maybe what the SPLC says about them, so they act like they have stumbled upon some scandalous revelation. So Peroutka is a young earth creationist? Yeah. So Peroutka uses the Bible to evaluate laws. Yeah. So Peroutka was (is?) a board member of the League of the South and thinks secession is a legal and constitutional remedy. Yeah. The guy is not a phantom. He is a past Constitution Party nominee for President and his association with the League is well documented. Ever heard of the internet and YouTube Mr. Raw Story investigative reporter? Wow, you’ve really managed a scope here. I don’t follow all the ins and outs of far left politics in America, but if someone said lefty X once said nice things about Trotsky or Margaret Sanger or something, I wouldn’t be shocked. That’s what far lefties do. (As opposed to far rightists who scandalously say nice things about the Founders.)

Here is another breathless Raw Story article about Peroutka. This one is about a supposedly scandalous video of Peroutka addressing the League of the South, that was “uncovered” by a professor at Grove City College, a supposedly conservative Christian school. We have discussed this professor before. He seems to specialize in PC thought policing. If someone wants to write a real investigative report, maybe they can write one “exposing” Professor Throckmorton as the PC water carrier that he is despite teaching at a college known for it’s conservative and Christian beliefs, particularly its refusal, like Hillsdale College, to accept any federal funds. Does the Professor not realize that the PC forces he shills for hate all things Christian and conservative, and surely think Grove City is a bastion of racist, sexist, Christianist oppression?

Anyway, back to Peroutka. According to the second Raw Story article, it says Peroutka is a former board member of the League of the South. If this is true, it is news to me but I don’t necessarily doubt it. As for Peroutka saying he does not support Southern secession, this may be technically true, but I doubt it is the whole story. Unless Peroutka has had a complete change of heart, which I seriously doubt and would be very unfortunate if true, I know he believes in the right to secession and he believes Lincoln was wrong to invade the duly seceded South. What he may have said is that he doesn’t support Southern secession at this time and wants to give reforming the US a college try before resorting to it. This would be consistent with the belief of a lot of constitutionalists.

As for Perotka and race, the League has always been implicitly white as is conservatism in America as is constitutionalism as is the Tea Party, etc. but has recently become more explicitly white. That Peroutka specifically endorsed this new direction or was even aware of this change, I doubt. Peroutka has always used colorblind conservative language. In fact, I remember seeing a column he wrote fairly recently that used typical colorblind conservative language and thought to myself that there might be some League members who would object to the language. (With a lttle Google digging, here is a recent article he wrote dated July 15 that looks like an attempt to ward off his critics. It is essentially the same column as this one dated Jan 20 that I recalled. It seems to be inspired by the MLK holiday.)

So if the Raw Story PC storm trooper is really shocked that a former Constitution Party Presidential nominee and well known sympathizer of the League of the South has beliefs that are outside those of the tame “mainstream right,” then perhaps he needs to familiarize himself with the outside the mainstream right before he writes about it. Again, I’m not tuned into all the inner workings of the far left, but I would expect people of that persuasion to have beliefs and associations that are outside the mainstream left, so if I wrote an article about one of them I wouldn’t pretend to be shocked by such revelations or act as if such revelations only need to be trotted out in order to discredit someone. But of course, I’m intellectually honest, unlike PC hacks writing click bait hatchet jobs for liberal websites and PC peddling professors who “uncover” things in plain sight.

Christ Alone Movie: This Looks Interesting

This is a FaceBook post from Chuck Baldwin. Looks interesting.

A brand new documentary film has just be released by Golden Ratio Media. It features notable leaders such as Dr. Alan Keyes, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Don McAlvany, Attorney Tim Baldwin, Ty Bollinger, George Hunt, and yours truly. The movie is the masterful production of filmmaker Jason Paul Charles. I had the privilege of seeing the premiere screening of this movie at the theater in Whitefish, Montana over the weekend.

The name of the film is “Christ Alone.” But don’t let the title fool you. This is anything but a typical “religious” movie. With the aid of state of the art graphics, a first-rate script, and powerful narration, the film delves deeply into many of the burning issues of the day that affect Christians and non-Christians alike. Anyone who watches–no matter what their faith–will be mesmerized by this film. Every pastor and church should watch “Christ Alone.” I highly recommend this film to my Facebook friends.

Here is the website where you can order the DVD of this fantastic film:

http://christalonemovie.com

I haven’t seen this movie, and I have some concerns. As I said before, I’m skeptical that the “Natural Law” idea, especially as it is understood by most who use the term today, is a Biblical concept. But, based on the trailer, it incorporates the kind of esoterica that some in our sphere like, and it goes after usury and banking which is something modern Christians need to hear.

Neocon PC Hack Goes After J. Arthur Bloom

Sorry, this is a couple of weeks old now, but it just came to my attention. The Editor of The Washington Free Beacon, which specializes in neocon hit pieces, published this blog post attacking J. Arthur Bloom (a.k.a. Jordan Bloom).

Goldfarb criticizes a passage Bloom wrote as obvious “Jew-baiting.” While the passage is harshly critical of neocons, it doesn’t strike me as “clear as day” Jew-baiting. In fact, the references are kind of inside baseball so you have to know a little something to even get some of the references, “casino magnates” for example.

Note the distinction mentioned in the article between Freedom Conservatives and Liberty Conservatives. (Follow the link in the article also.) While I’m not sure how helpful the distinction really is, it seems to be an increasingly popular formulation that I suspect you will be hearing a lot about.

Quick, Somebody Call the Police! Buchanan’s Column has been Hijacked by an Imposter!

Buchanan’s latest column is cringe worthy. It’s supposedly a defense of Richard Nixon against the charge of racism. While everything in the column is technically correct, it’s PC pandering. It is a common trick of PC phobic “conservatives” to claim that Republicans supported Civil Rights and Southern Democrats opposed it. Yes, because Southern Democrats were the more conservative element at the time. And all those white Southern Democrats became Republicans as the parties somewhat switched roles. Buchanan is better than this. I’m really disappointed.

Preach It Brother Dale, Preach It!

Dale Peterson has another video out. I’m not sure what moral decline has to do with the Auditor’s job, but this is good stuff. It’s the same backdrop as the “Leaving Americans Behind” video. I’m sure it was shot at the same time. I don’t know if he writes this stuff himself. I doubt it. But he sure knows how to deliver it. It feels like an old fashion camp meeting hell fire and brimstone sermon, although I don’t like to hear God referred to as ‘The Big Guy.” It’s too casual.

Can Someone Convince Rep. John Duncan to Run for President?

Rep. Duncan, along with Rep. Walter Jones, are just about the only two* national level elected Republicans who are willing to proclaim the non-interventionist message. Neither have perfect voting records from my standpoint, but Duncan has paleo ties and is, as best as I recall, also solid against trade deals. Could Duncan perhaps revive the old paleo Buchananite coalition?

*Justin Amash is perhaps another one, but I don’t really hear him speak much on foreign policy unless I’m missing something. He’s good on the security state though.

The text of the speech is available here.

National Review is Now Publishing Jason Richwine

File this under the credit where credit is due file. And the where have I been lately file.

Jason Richwine is my Facebook friend. Recently he posted an article he had written that appeared at NRO. I was surprised. Today he posted another one. I was even more surprised, so I did a little exploring. Turns out, this isn’t a new development. He has actually been actively publishing stuff there since last year. I’m surprised by this given the way NRO threw Derb under the bus, but NRO deserves credit for risking the heat publishing Richwine could draw.

Ted Cruz Wins RLC Presidential Straw Poll, Ben Carson Comes in Second

It isn’t news that Ted Cruz won, but it is news, IMO, that Ben Carson came in second. I don’t know that much about Carson. He may be a good guy. And as I have said before, I’m not going to criticize him just because he is a non-traditional candidate, because I don’t think there are any traditional candidates out there so far who would advance our thing. But I have no real reason to think he is some sort of paleo. But this is further evidence that conservatives are desperate for a black candidate so they can say, “See look. We’re not racists.” Do these conservative not realize that this reinforces the liberal PC narrative?