The Conservative wishes to master himself.
The Liberal wishes to be a master over others.
The Conservative wishes to master himself.
The Liberal wishes to be a master over others.
There are people still trying to make dead ideas work: disproved political theory, bad military stances, unreliable social constructs, false unions, deceptive moral stratagems, etc.
They are spiritually dead.
No pulse. Not a blip.
How can you tell? Every solution they propose is an order of magnitude worse than the problem they are trying to solve.
They constantly make things worse.
They are creatures wholly enslaved to wild and unbalanced emotions. That is why their answers are excitable ones: screaming, accusations, retreating to “safe spaces” (whatever those are), hysteria, panic, slander, arson, vandalism, violence, theft, defiance, rebellion, distortion, deception, malice, murder and all the rest.
They lack reason, perspective, proportion, timing, decorum, analysis, scientific rigor, human intuition and sadly, honesty.
Of course they are going to chase after the flesh — they haven’t risen above it. They don’t know any better. They remain unregenerated. They are still enslaved by their impulses, their limited senses, faulty intuitions, savage lusts, wandering wills, or what their mother or grandmother did, or what their denomination approved, etc.
Everything they invent will be based on revenge, anarchy, selfishness, indulgence, falsehood, oppression, persecution or dominating other people.
See through your Father’s eyes and feel through His Son, and all the hysteria ends.
We are entering the choke. In fact, we are well into it.
All this has to happen.
For Death to die it first must be revealed in the sons and daughters of darkness. For the total sum of all Sin to be unsewn forever it must first be searched out in those who are its slaves. For Hell to be closed a census of its final entrants must first be taken.
We’re in the torque.
These are rough waters.
I. General Observations
René Descartes (picture) is justly considered the father of modern philosophy and the founder of the rational method as applied to philosophical research. In fact, he is the first philosopher to begin with the impressions which are in our intellect (intellectual phenomenalism) and lay down the laws which reason must follow in order to arrive at reasonably certain philosophical data.
This phenomenalism does not find its full development in Descartes. Indeed, Descartes reaches metaphysical conclusions which are no different from those of Scholastic philosophy. He maintains the transcendency of God, upholds human liberty and Christian morality.
But pantheism is sown deep in every form of immanentism. The rationalism of Descartes was to be quickly and logically bent in this direction by Spinoza, while other Cartesians, such as Malebranche and Leibniz, tried — with less logic — middle-of-the-road solutions between pantheism and the transcendence of God.
II. Life and Works
Descartes was born in 1596 at La Haye in France of a noble family, and was educated in the celebrated Jesuit college of La Flèche, where he received a philosophical and scientific education according to the principles of the Scholasticism of his day. Not fully satisfied with this first education, and urged on by a desire to better himself, he went first to Paris, and then enlisted in the army during the Thirty Years’ War.
On the ninth of November, 1619, while still in the service in winter quarters, he gave himself up to meditating on how to apply the mathematical method of the sciences to philosophy. During this time he conceived the four laws which he described in his work Discourse on Method. He then abandoned the army, but before dedicating himself completely to philosophical meditation he undertook long travels throughout Europe.
In 1629 he retired to Holland, which offered him tranquillity for meditation and writing. He remained there until 1649. During these twenty years he wrote nearly all his books. In 1649 he went to the court of Queen Christina of Sweden, being summoned there by the Queen, who wished to study philosophy under his direction. Unable to resist the rigors of winter, he died in Sweden during 1650.
Descartes was a scientist and a philosopher. As a scientist he is noted for his studies in mechanics, physics and mathematics. As a philosopher he opened the period of modern philosophy.
Not all the philosophical works written by Descartes were published during his lifetime. His Rule for the Direction of the Mind was published posthumously, as was his treatise on The World.
The philosophical works published by the author were four: Discourse on Method; Meditations on First Philosophy, in which he proves the existence of God and the immortality of the soul; Principles of Philosophy, in four books, a systematic work reviewing the entire thought of the author; The Passions of the Soul, treating of the problem of morality.
III. The Laws of the Cartesian Method
Descartes, in his work Discourse on Method, after giving a criticism of the education which he had received (a criticism which is indirectly an attack on the Scholasticism of his day), goes on to set up the new method, according to him, must be the basis of all scientific and philosophical research.
These laws are four:
Having arrived at this starting point (clear and distinct ideas), the intellect begins its discursive and deductive operation (represented by the second and third rules). The second law (called analysis) directs that the elementary notions be reunited with the clear and distinct ideas (the minor of the Scholastic syllogism). The third law (synthesis) presents them as the conclusion flowing from the premises. The final law (complete enumeration) stresses that no link in the deductive chain should be omitted and that every step should be logically deduced from the starting point (i.e., from the clear and distinct ideas). Thus, working from one step to the next, there will be achieved a system of truths all of which are clear and distinct, because all participate in the same degree of truth enjoyed by the first idea, which was clear and distinct.
This, as we know, is the method adopted in mathematics. Descartes transferred it to philosophy with the intention of finding clear and distinct concrete ideas, and of deducing from these, through reason alone, an entire system of truths which would also be real or objective.
The Aristotelio-Scholastic method (as well as that of classical realism in general) is also deductive, but it is very different from that of Descartes. Scholastic deduction is connected with objective reality because ideas are abstractions of the forms of the objects which experience presents. Thus both the concreteness of the ideas and the concreteness of the deductions based on these ideas are justified.
In Descartes ideas do not come from experience, but the intellect finds them within itself. Descartes declares that only these ideas are valid in the field of reality. Thus the concreteness (or the objective validity) of an idea is dependent upon its own clearness and distinction.
IV. Metaphysics: From Methodical Doubt to “Cogito Ergo Sum”
Descartes, as a result of the principles already established in his method, had first of all to seek out a solid starting point (a clear and distinct concrete idea), and from this opens his deductive process. To arrive at this solid starting point, he begins with methodical doubt, that is, a doubt which will be the means of arriving at certitude. This differs from the systematic doubt of the Skeptics, who doubt in order to remain in doubt.
I can doubt all the impressions that exist within my knowing faculties, whether they be those impressions which come to me through the senses or through the intellect. Indeed, I may doubt even mathematical truths, in so far as it could be that the human intelligence is under the influence of a malignant genius which takes sport in making what is objectively irrational appear to me as rational.
Doubt is thus carried to its extreme form. But notwithstanding this fact, doubt causes to rise in me the most luminous and indisputable certainty. Even presupposing that the entire content of my thought is false, the incontestable truth is that I think: one cannot doubt without thinking; and if I think, I exist: “Cogito ergo sum.”
It is to be observed that for Descartes the validity of “Cogito ergo sum” rests in this, that the doubt presents intuitively to the mind the subject who doubts, that is, the thinking substance. In this, Cartesian doubt differs from that of St. Augustine (“Si fallor, sum”), which embodies a truth sufficiently strong to overcome the position of Skepticism. In Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum” is assumed, not only in order to overcome the Skeptic position but as a foundation for the primary reality (the existence of the “res cogitans”), from which the way to further research is to be taken.
This is the point which distinguishes the classic realistic philosophy from Cartesian and modern philosophy. With Descartes, philosophy ceases to be the science of being, and becomes the science of thought (epistemology). Whereas, at first, being conditioned thought, now it is thought that conditions being. This principle, more or less realized by the philosophers immediately following Descartes, was to reach its full consciousness in Kant and modern Idealism. (See: Meditations on First Philosophy, I and II; Discourse on Method, IV.)
V. From “Cogito” to the Proof of the Existence of God
The “cogito” reveals the existence of the subject, limited and imperfect because liable to doubt. It is necessary to arrive at an objective and perfect reality, i.e., to prove the existence of God.
Descartes makes use of three arguments which can be summarized thus:
“Cogito” has given me a consciousness of my own limited and imperfect being. This proves that I have not given existence to myself, for in such a case I would have given myself a perfect nature and not the one I have, which is subject to doubt.
I have the idea of the perfect: If I did not possess it, I could never know that I am imperfect. Now, whence comes this idea of the perfect? Not from myself, for I am imperfect, and the perfect cannot arise from the imperfect. Hence it comes from a Perfect Being, that is, from God.
The very analysis of the idea of the perfect includes the existence of the perfect being, for just as the valley is included in the idea of a mountain, so also existence is included in the idea of the perfect. (the argument of St. Anselm). (See: Meditations on First Philosophy, V; Discourse on Method, IV.)
Regarding the nature of God, Descartes ascribes to it more or less the same attributes as does traditional Christian theistic thought. In Descartes, however, these attributes assume a different significance and value. God, above all, is absolute substance: the only substance, properly so-called (hence the way is open to the pantheism of Spinoza). An attribute which has great value for Descartes is the veracity of God.
God, the most perfect being, cannot be deceived and cannot deceive. Thus the veracity of God serves as a guarantee for the entire series of clear and distinct ideas. They are true because if they are not true, I, having proved the existence of God, would have to say that He is deceiving by creating a rational creature who is deceived even in the apprehension of clear and distinct ideas. Thus, with the proof of the existence of God, the hypothesis of a malignant genius falls of its own weight.
Regarding the origin of ideas, Descartes holds that the idea of God, all primitive notions, all logical, mathematical, moral principles, and so forth, are innate. God is the guarantee of the truth of these innate ideas. Alongside these innate ideas Descartes distinguishes two other groups of ideas:
Both groups are considered of little worth by Descartes because they do not enjoy the guarantee of the divine veracity, and hence are fonts of error. Only innate ideas and the rational deduction made from them have the value of truth. (See: Meditations on First Philosophy, III.)
Original article: René Descartes
In an extremely troubling move three years ago, the Republican-controlled Congress handed the Internal Revenue Service the power to strip individuals of one of the most important and tangible rights possessed by American citizens – their passports. The Service is now starting to use this hammer.
What is perhaps even more disturbing than giving the IRS this power, is the manner by which the Republicans maneuvered the legislative language through the Congress – hidden deep within a multi-hundred-page piece of legislation that had nothing whatsoever to do with passports. The vehicle chosen for this nefarious deed was something cleverly titled the “FAST Act,” the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.”
Even if an astute student of the modern legislative process was on the lookout for such a provision as this, he or she would be hard-pressed to find it. The tool given to the IRS with which to pressure taxpayers into giving Uncle Sam his due, is found in the 32nd Title of the massive 2015 transportation infrastructure bill; it is simply an “Offset.” In other words, the IRS now can direct that the State Department refuse to issue a passport to an applicant, or to revoke one already issued, simply because that citizen owes some back taxes. The federal government can now “lawfully” do this because the Congress, in its zeal to implement thousands of pet transportation projects, needed to conjure “offsets” to help pay for them.
Much of my childhood – from third grade until graduating high school – was spent overseas; following my Dad who was a civil engineer. I grew up in locales as diverse as Baghdad, Tehran and Quebec. In those travels, which more than once brought me to countries and into environments in which turmoil and violence were present, I learned from an early age the value of being a citizen of the United States of America; represented by a small, but powerful document known as a “passport.” That blue-covered booklet, heretofore available to any American citizen — rich or poor, black or white, Protestant or Muslim – remains to this day one of the most prized possessions in the world. Without it, a citizen can neither exit nor enter their home country. In times of trouble abroad, it is that small booklet that gains a citizen entry to the sanctuary of an American embassy or consulate; perhaps even to save their life.
Now, thanks to a Republican Congress and a Democratic President, that protection can be snuffed out by greedy bureaucrats at the IRS.
Leaving aside for a moment the crass rationale that under laid this provision in the 2015 legislation, it is noteworthy that it was passed not long after Congress found former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for her role in targeting conservative non-profit organizations. Just a year following irrefutable evidence that the IRS had engaged in systemic abuse of its power by targeting individuals and organizations for political reasons, Republicans in the Congress introduced and passed a measure giving that very same agency significant new power with which to punish individuals. That President Obama signed such a measure is of little surprise; that a Republican Congress handed it to him is disgraceful.
Now, the Internal Revenue Service, arguably the most powerful of all federal agencies – with a demonstrated history of abusing its power — can strip away a treasured constitutional right from whoever it chooses, so long as the agency claims the particular taxpayer owes it the requisite amount of money.
How long before other bureaucracies, eager for “offsets” with which to entice Members of Congress to appropriate money for pet projects, seek similar power?
Finding oneself behind on taxes the IRS claims is owed it, could be employed as leverage with which a government agency could deny individuals the ability to exercise other rights and benefits; such as being able to secure a driver’s license, obtaining a loan from a federally-insured financial institution, or clearing a background check prior to purchasing a firearm?
Such is the insidious precedent set by this outrageous power grab by the IRS in collusion with the Congress and the former President. And for what? To help “offset” the cost to taxpayers of pet federal projects. That such a precious right can be so cavalierly denied is troubling in the extreme.
Original article: Congress Colluded With IRS to Strip Citizens of Passports
Today’s Republicans are as far from genuine Conservative theory or superior Christian values as the Democrats.
Today, both sides are as devious as the other.
How the IRS could sink any lower is anyone’s guess.
If an ice age is coming soon, how will our lives be affected? In my first blog post in this series, I described the latest scientific research that demonstrates how continued global warming will bring on the next ice age and approximately when we can expect its onset. In this post I will describe the consequences the onset of the next ice age will create for modern civilization. In the final post in this series I will briefly summarize our options for delaying the dawn of the next ice age and review what preparations we should make ahead of its arrival.
Ice Age Consequence #1: Too Much Ice
Right now, only about 10 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by ice. At the height of the last ice age, about 23 percent of Earth’s surface was covered by ice. Figure 1 shows the regions of the northern hemisphere that were covered by at least 3 kilometers’ thickness of ice. In the southern hemisphere, New Zealand, Tasmania, and the southern part of Chile were covered with similarly thick layers of ice.
Figure 1: Maximum Extent of Thick Ice Cover of the Northern Hemisphere during the Last Ice Age. The turquoise-colored parts of the map indicate those regions covered by at least a 3-kilometer (2-mile) thickness of ice. Winter sea ice extended as far south as Mexico in the Pacific and North Carolina and Spain in the Atlantic. Image credit: John S. Schlee, United States Geological Survey and Hannes Grobe, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.
In addition to those parts of Earth covered by ice 3 kilometers thick, there were many other regions covered by tens or hundreds of meters of ice. For example, in North America ice cover sufficient to prevent agriculture and the building of cities and transportation arteries extended south to Southern California.
Ice Age Consequence #2: Too Little River Water Flow
Regions of the world not covered by ice fields also would suffer. People there would find the water flow from rivers that they depend on to grow food largely locked up in ice that is not melting.
Ice Age Consequence #3: Depletion of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
Growing food would be a huge challenge for another reason—the depletion of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The greater the percentage of Earth’s surface covered by ice, the less concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
This consequence occurs because greater ice coverage and lower global mean temperatures alter ocean currents. As a carbon isotope study revealed, these altered ocean currents remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transport it to the deep ocean where it remains stored until ice coverage recedes and global mean temperatures rise.1
During the last ice age, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration dropped down to 180–190 parts per million.2 The minimum requirement for plants to make any food at all through photosynthesis is 150 parts per million at sea level, 167 parts per million at 3,000 feet elevation, 187 parts per million at 6,000 feet elevation, and 210 parts per million at 9,000 feet elevation.3 At levels of 150–500 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there is a direct correlation between that CO2 level in the atmosphere and the amount of food plants can produce through photosynthesis. Thus, it would be impossible to grow enough food to feed more than a billion humans under ice age conditions.
Ice Age Consequence #4: Extreme Climate Instability
It would be impossible to feed that many humans under ice age conditions for yet another reason. Only for the last 2.59 million years of Earth’s 4.566-billion-year history has there been an ice age cycle. Except for the past 0.009 million years, the ice age cycle has been characterized by extreme climate instability (see figure 2).
Figure 2: Temperature Variability during the Last Ice Age. The blue and purple tracings portray the global mean temperature indicated by the GRIP and NGRIP Greenland ice cores, respectively. Image credit: Leland McInnes/Wikipedia Commons, CC-by-3.0.
This climate instability was characterized by unpredictable global mean temperature swings of up to 20°Fahrenheit (11°Celsius) on time scales of 2–3 centuries. Such radical climate instability explains why humans living during the last ice age were unable to launch and sustain any kind of large-scale civilization or sustain a large population.
Ice Age Consequence #5: Species Extinction
Because the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau are continuing to rise to higher elevations as a consequence of the ongoing tectonic collision between the Indian subcontinent and Asia, geophysicists confidently predict that the next ice age will be more catastrophic to life than the previous one. Specifically, they demonstrate that very likely the next ice age will result in even greater ice coverage, lower global mean temperatures, and lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels than the previous ice age.
Most species of life presently on Earth, with appropriate human assistance, are capable of surviving these more dire consequences. However, many are not. The probable extinction of hundreds, if not thousands, of species of life will inevitably disturb ecosystems and eco-balances. Such disturbances will then impact human civilization.
Today, we possess the technology to ameliorate some of the more dire consequences brought on by the next ice age. For example, we could build glass-enclosed greenhouses on top of the more stable ice fields. We could heat these greenhouses and, at appropriate time intervals, augment the carbon dioxide concentration inside them. Since soil would be in much shorter supply and difficult to transport, we could employ hydroponic technology to grow crops inside greenhouses. Since fresh liquid water also would be in short supply, we could use a variety of energy sources to melt the abundant ice. However, no matter how much technology we marshal toward food production, it is highly unlikely that we could produce as much food as we do today.
In my third blog post, I will discuss other possible technological fixes aimed at ameliorating the consequences the next ice age is bound to bring. I will also briefly summarize to what degree we can use technology to delay its onset and review the preparations we should undertake right now in anticipation of the arrival of the life-altering event.
Original article: The End of Civilization As We Know It? Part 2
As the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reminds us there are many who would take away your life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the point of a knife or the barrel of a gun.
The Far Left reminds us they are also willing to take them away with a stroke of a pen.
All instruments become evil in the hands of evil men.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
It is always fascinating to me how you can tell somebody something and they will deny it for no other reason than it is you who told them. It’s the whole “a prophet has no honor in his own country” thing Jesus warned us about.
But then, that same person or group of persons, will go out and travel to a foreign country, go to college, visit a guru, find an expert, seek out a specialist and receive that same knowledge or revelation from that person.
Not you. No, never you. Can’t have that.
Only someone who is ever not you.
This is further exacerbated by the fact the more you try to tell them, the madder and more obstinate they become in resisting it.
I say this because, in other news, it took the United Nation’s coveted Universal Declaration of Human Rights to remind us of what Jesus already told us twenty centuries ago.
Yeah, let that sink in: it only took 2,000 years for us to believe what we learned back in the 1st century.
That’s us: slow learners.
And we’re even verbose about it.
New Testament (32 A.D.) — 2 words.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948 A.D.) — 4 words.
Twice as many words for a fraction of the facts.