Charlie's Blog: Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 44

4.09.2017

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 44


Smartphones. Who cares? Smartphones. I only have dummy phones.
DON RICKLES

1. SYRIA

There is a lot of praise and condemnation for Donald Trump after launching missile strikes on Syria after reports of Assad using chemical weapons on his people. I am in the praise camp, but I want to clarify where I stand on these things.

Once upon a time, I used to be an antiwar libertarian. I called myself a "noninterventionist." This somehow was less stinging than being called a pacifist and an isolationist. Yet, I was both of those things. Absent a direct hit on the US mainland or territory such as Pearl Harbor, I believed the USA should remain neutral or absent in virtually all foreign affairs. I also harbored some of Ron Paul's delusions that things like 9/11 were blowback from meddling in foreign affairs.

The supporters turned critics of Trump are in this Ron Paul camp. All attacks on the USA are blowback. All chemical weapons attacks by foreign dictators are false flag attacks meant to provoke our involvement. Now, I want you to think about this nonsense a bit. If we get involved in foreign affairs, we will experience blowback. If we don't get involved, we will be false flag attacked to provoke our involvement. THIS IS INSANE. What these nutjobs have created is a logical trap with the same answer. We should isolate ourselves and mind our own business. I wish things were this simple, but they aren't.

I dropped the Ron Paul foreign policy when I became Catholic and became a born again conservative. The guy who best represents my thinking now is Mark Levin. The guy is neither a radical noninterventionist nor is he a neoconservative. Basically, Levin believes in peace through strength. I believe in peace through strength. Ronald Reagan believed in peace through strength. And, it should be clear to the world now that Donald Trump believes in peace through strength.

The problem with radical noninterventionism is the naive belief that if you mind your own business then people will mind their own business. This is simply not the case. Peace is the objective, but we have to recognize the fact of original sin. People love to mess with other people, and this includes foreign leaders and countries. At some point, you are going to be in a fight or war. The best way to bring about peace is the assurance to your present and potential enemies that you will utterly destroy them if they are unable to police themselves and live in peace. This policy is the correct one on a personal level as well as a national level. This is why I support the Second Amendment and the NRA and defend the right of people to arm themselves. It is also why I believe in a robust national defense. You should always be willing to fight.

On the flip side of noninterventionism is neoconservatism. There is nothing conservative about neoconservativism. Basically, neocons believe in the positive aspects of big government at home and abroad. Essentially, they are leftwingers with a fetish for using military force. Democrats like Obama and Hillary Clinton are for this lunacy. When these lunatics are found in the Republican Party, they are called neocons. Today, this would be John McCain and Lindsay Graham.

The neocon project is to fix what is wrong with the world. Fundamentally, they are utopians and busybodies in foreign affairs. These are the people who say that we should give war a chance. Yet, what positive benefit has ever come from war? The only real winners in these wars are the arms contractors.

War fixes nothing. It merely kills people and destroys things. Unfortunately, killing people and breaking things is an unavoidable fact of life. This happened in World War II. Nazi Germany needed destruction.

War should always be the last option, but it should always be an option. The neocons want it to be the first option while the isolationists want to take it completely off the table. With Syria, the use of chemical weapons changed the game there considerably. Trump knew it and acted appropriately. He did the right thing. As a matter of policy and principle, we should oppose the use of all weapons of mass destruction. Even Hitler refrained from using chemical weapons. That fact should make us pause and reflect.

When guys like Assad use chemical warfare, they are violating a fundamental agreement among nations that has been in place since World War I. You don't use chemical weapons. That same agreement extends to biological and nuclear weapons now. The reason is that such weapons are no longer warfare on your enemies but on humanity itself. When any leader resorts to such weapons, he needs to be opposed.

The fear after the strike on Syria is the possibility of neoconservative objectives in Syria. I am in agreement with guys like Rand Paul that this would be a huge mistake. But to do nothing is to let Assad run nuts with chemical weapons. We simply can't have that sort of thing.

We will see where Trump goes from here, but he did the right thing on Syria this past week. People who feel betrayed by Trump's hawkishness need to rethink their nutty philosophy on foreign policy. It should be recalled that FDR could have saved many Jews from the Holocaust by a few well placed bombs dropped on railroad tracks and bridges leading to Auschwitz and other places. If Trump prevents the further use of chemical weapons by Assad, he will have done a really good thing even if peace does not come to Syria.

2. GORSUCH

The GOP exercised the nuclear option and confirmed Gorsuch to the SCOTUS. I am happy about this. Some lament going nuclear, but they fail to understand one important fact. The Democrats would not have hesitated to go nuclear for one of their radical leftwing activist nominees. This is the thing you have to remember about Democrats and liberals. There is no option or action beneath them. They will do anything to advance their agenda. This is because they are fundamentally evil.

There is no such thing as a good Democrat. Certainly, there are those who will try to differ, toss up JFK, or argue otherwise. But is there such a thing as a good Nazi? Is there such a thing as a good communist? Can one be a good murderer?

The Democrat party is fundamentally and philosophically the party of evil. The number one reason they opposed Gorsuch was because they believe in killing unborn babies. They actually believe in killing born babies, old people, and political opponents, but they can't be that blatant about it at the present time. The only difference between a Democrat and a psychopathic murderer is that the Democrat is willing to take the slow path to the same end.

I have high hopes for Gorsuch. He may match Scalia and even exceed him in his rulings. All I know is that his nomination to the SCOTUS was a promise kept by Donald Trump and a indictment against those who couldn't soil themselves by voting for a flawed presidential candidate. Just think of who Hillary would have put on the court. I voted for Trump, and you're welcome. Pray that Roe v. Wade gets overturned.

3. BEN OP

Rod Dreher finally published that damn book of his. I have already written what I think of the Benedict Option here, and my opinion of it remains unchanged. There is really nothing Benedictine about the BO at all. I will have to read the book myself and review it at some point, but the reviews I have read about it indicate that the book is exactly what Dreher has been blogging about over the last couple of years.

The Benedict Option is neither Catholic nor Christian. I don't think Jesus was fudging when He called us to be the salt and the light of the world. What would have happened to St. Thomas More if he had exercised the Benedict Option?

The BO is misnamed because Dreher is fundamentally an Epicurean. For those unfamiliar with Epicurus, he was was a Greek philosophy who advocated a refined hedonism and a withdrawal from the wider world and into a cultivated garden. The goal of this withdrawal is to establish and maintain a pleasant life. Now, I'm all for enjoying good things in life, but I don't believe in elevating this to a lifestyle. I suspect that Dreher does because he is always posting those "View From Your Table" blog posts like this and this and this. The man clearly loves eating. I also believe that Epicurus would recognize one of his own disciples.

I don't want my arguments against the Ben Op to be straw man and ad hominem. The fact is that the legit arguments have already been made and established, and none of them deter Dreher from his error. So, when the argument has been won, we must move to the personal. Why does Dreher advance a Christian sounding argument for an unchristian strategy? The answer is obvious. The man wants a pleasant life and lifestyle. He wants comfort. And that, Gentle Reader, is the fundamental danger and error of the Benedict Option.

Pope Benedict XVI got it right when he said that we were not made for comfort but for greatness. Dreher is a Catholic schismatic who bailed on the One True Faith when the weight of that cross became more than he could bear. He couldn't go back to being Protestant. so he started going to a Russian Orthodox church. There are two things I know about the Orthodox. The first is that they are orthodox even when they aren't. The second is that they are irrelevant in every country and culture they inhabit bowing to temporal authority at every twist and turn.

I don't see how so many can't see what I see in Dreher's proposal. Basically, Dreher wants to make us just like those insipid Orthodox who are utterly traditional and "holy" and invisible. They are the salt that has lost its saltiness. Once you cut yourself off from Peter, you are divorced from the source. Jesus can't have a second wife. As it stands, the Orthodox are a relic church.

Cowardice isn't Christian. Once you bow to the world, the world will expect you to finish it off with puckered lips pressed to its derriere. Evil is never satisfied. The world must be resisted at a basic level but also transformed per the instructions of our Lord. We are to make ourselves holy and also make the world holy as much as we possibly can. There is frustration and setbacks in this work, but we are never called to abandon this work even if it is a "strategic withdrawal."

Christianity requires suffering. Anyone who preaches a Christ who was not crucified is anathema. I don't think it is a mere coincidence that both Protestants and the Orthodox eschew the crucifix in favor of empty crosses while Catholics almost always have a corpus on their crosses except for those modernist parishes with their dreadful resurrexifixes. Yet, it was St. Paul who wrote, "We preach Christ crucified." I think a crucified Christ is an essential feature of the true Gospel, and its absence a recurring feature in heresy and schism. This is because heresy and schism propose an alternate route or "option."


There is no option to the cross. If you are in the world, the world will hate you, and that is the cross you must bear. And if Dreher or anyone else claims that this is not what the Benedict Option is about, then I have to know what it is about. Either it is quietism and retreat, or it is nothing. But we know better. Let's not fool ourselves here. The Benedict Option is a cowardly retreat from one's calling and a way to salve one's guilty conscience over this cowardice. This trickery is known as "purity." We are retreating to "purify" ourselves and become more holy. What utter nonsense and falsehood.

This is the thing that I like about Donald Trump. That guy is an utterly flawed human being. He is a hot mess of a man. But he isn't a coward. He doesn't always get it right. But he gets more right than wrong. Meanwhile, the limpwristed cowards want to camp on the sidelines in their purity while throwing condemnation at the guy actually doing something.

Here's what you should be doing. You should get in the fight. This means voting. This means running for office. This means expressing your viewpoints in newspapers, internet forums, and on the streets. Look at how tireless the forces of evil are for their agenda. They never quit because they know evil wins when good gets tired and goes home.

Yes, we are in a post-Christian America. And how did we get here? The answer is that Christianity in America has grown soft and corrupted by Protestant errors, the prosperity gospel, modernism, and all the rest. Comfort has bred this, and Dreher counsels more comfort. We need to eschew this comfort. We need to be more holy and more righteous. And we need to fight. This disaster is not a defeat but an opportunity to follow our callings. If the unrighteous Trump can fight, certainly the righteous should fight even more than him. Don't hide under a bushel. Be the light in this dark world.

4. QUOTABLE QUOTES

Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.
POPE BENEDICT XVI

Anticipated spears wound less.
ST. THOMAS MORE

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.
THOMAS SOWELL

5. ODDS AND ENDS

--Don Rickles was politically incorrect before the term even existed. And we loved him for it. He will be missed especially in times like these when we need him.

--Colbert is beating Fallon because liberals miss the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

--The problem with Alec Baldwin's impersonation of Trump isn't that Baldwin is a noxious liberal. He is just a terrible impersonator. Maybe SNL could pull Dana Carvey out of retirement to get the job done right.

--Californistan goes after a pro-life investigative journalist for being pro-life. That's it. And that First Amendment will be null and void when they secede. Of course, I give them ten years before they are absorbed back into Mexico.

--I think it is a sign of weakness and stupidity when a person moves from political opinions to lambasting someone's body or looks. The problems we face are not due to Trump's hair or Rosie O'Donnell's obesity.

6. LINKS OF INTEREST

Four Years Later: Reflections on an Unprecedented Pontificate

PAPALOTRY, RIP: Pope Ignites Counterrevolution

Wonder and Wickedness

Why Did Assad Use Nerve Gas?

DISGRACED PRIEST SHINES LIGHT ON NY CORRUPTION

Is Capitalism the Enemy of the Family?

Report: Pope Francis thanks Malta bishops for guidelines allowing adulterers to receive Communion