The New Clarion

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Sander Levin’s Latest Statist Efforts

By Mike N · July 26th, 2014 5:14 am

On (July 21) I received his newsletter from my US Congressman Sander Levin-D District 9 Michigan. In it he reports, New study: “Affordable Care Act (ACA) lowers uninsured rate” according to which 9.5 million additional adults ages 19 to 64 are now covered by insurance, and the national adult uninsured rate declined from 20 percent to 15 percent. He adds that according to this Commonwealth Fund study “a large majority of enrollees report that they are generally happy with their health care coverage.” [Read more →]

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Advice to Republicans

By Mike N · June 18th, 2014 7:34 am

In the wake of Eric Cantor’s defeat at the hands of a grass roots unknown both the GOP establishment and the Tea Party groups are wondering what next? The GOP is wondering how to prevent future defeats and the Tea Party groups are wondering how to engineer more of them. But as conservative pundit Byron York recently wrote:

“The midterm elections are less than six months away, and Republicans still can’t agree among themselves on what it will take to win.” [Read more →]

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One reason Republicans Keep Losing

By Mike N · April 8th, 2014 10:48 am

It’s not often that an article will provide glaringly obvious proof of why conservatives and Republicans have been impotent at stopping or even slowing the liberal’s march to dictatorship. Ayn Rand has said repeatedly that conservatives keep losing to liberals because conservatives share the same moral values as the liberals but don’t preach those values as consistently as the liberals do. “In any conflict between two men (or groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.” From the essay Anatomy of Compromise. [Read more →]

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Sander Levin’s Republican Bashing

By Mike N · March 14th, 2014 8:44 am

My US Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan sent out his Congressional Connector newsletter this week and like usual never misses a chance to bash Republicans. Here is his first paragraph:

House Leaders Push Through “Polluter Protection Act”

“Instead of taking action to create jobs, or restore benefits to the 2 million Americans who have been cut off from Emergency Unemployment Compensation since December 28, the Republican Leadership of the House of Representatives brought a bill [H.R. 3826] to the House Floor on March 5th to strip the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to address carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants – the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. The House approved the measure on a vote of 229 to 183.”

First of all let me say that the reason unemployment benefits were cut off is because the emergency benefits legislation expired. Also Mr Levin’s President Obama keeps telling us we are and have been in a recovery for several years so why the need for all the emergency benefits? [Read more →]

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The Anti-Philosophical Nature of Today’s Intellectuals

By Mike N · March 9th, 2014 11:21 am

In the introduction to Ayn Rand’s book “Philosophy: Who Needs It” heir to her intellectual estate Leonard Peikoff wrote “Ayn Rand was not only a novelist and philosopher; she was also a salesman for philosophy–the greatest salesman philosophy has ever had.” Boy was she ever. The first of her writings I read was the title essay of her book “For the New Intellectual.” Her nutshell compression of philosophic history in terms of Attila and the Witch Doctor immediately oriented me to the fact that if I wanted to understand the world’s problems and by implication, their solutions, I must look at philosophy. And so I did. [Read more →]

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It’s the Principles, Detroit

By Mike N · December 22nd, 2013 1:11 pm

The Thursday 12/19 Detroit News carried an editorial by Reynolds Farley who once conducted the Detroit Area Study at the University of Michigan. Titled “The often-overlooked roots of Detroit’s bankruptcy” it looks at these ‘roots’ only in terms of details, of concrete particulars as if no underlying principles were involved. This detail caused that detail which in turn led to this other detail. But no one asks the obvious question: “What gave rise to the first detail?” [Read more →]

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Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz Right?

By Mike N · November 30th, 2013 10:17 am

Gary North, former staff economist for Ron Paul, has a blog called Tea Party Economist in which he posts links to current political and economic news. His latest posting carries an article on Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s claim that the Democrats will win in 2014 because they will stand solidly behind the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare. For those who don’t know, Ms. Schultz is the national chairwoman of the Democrat Party. [Read more →]

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Citizens Can See What the Press Can’t

By Mike N · November 1st, 2013 7:07 pm

I normally post on editorials or news stories in the media but today I want to post on an excellent letter to the editor in the Nov 1st Detroit News titled “blame the media” by Walter Konarzevski. It’s in response to an editorial by News editor Nolan Finley criticizing the White House press core’s way overdue ability to criticize the President. [Read more →]

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The Same Old Medicine for Detroit?

By Mike N · October 27th, 2013 12:48 pm

Ever since Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July of this year there has been a flood of articles in the media on the suggested causes of Detroit’s demise and almost as many on suggested solutions. The solutions invariably call for more of the same poison that made Detroit sick in the first place: a political institution, city government, trying to provide economic services–something the marketplace is supposed to provide if left free to do so.

Let’s remember that government is force. It has nothing to offer citizens except the management of force. It is not an economic entity. It cannot provide anyone with economic benefits unless it takes them from some citizens and doles them out to other citizens. On net balance the city does not gain anything. [Read more →]

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Caesar’s Messiah

By Myrhaf · October 13th, 2013 12:33 am

I watched a fascinating movie, Caesar’s Messiah, based on the book by Joseph Atwill. Atwill’s thesis is not just that Jesus did not exist, but that he was created as propaganda by writers close to the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius. The author explains his argument here.

I should confess here that not only have I not read Atwill’s book, but I have not read the Bible (though I did once search the Old Testament for the dirty parts). As a lifelong atheist, the Bible has always seemed like a tedious waste of time to read. Since there is no evidence for the existence of God, why read a bunch of lies about this supernatural being?

I laughed at one wag who, when asked if he had read the Bible, said “No, but I saw the movie.” I have used the line a few times myself, but I shouldn’t, because I have not even seen the movie. So the reader can dismiss me as biased and ignorant. Fine. You’re free to leave.

Now that I have admitted my ignorance, let me give you my uninformed opinion. Atwill’s movie convinced me maybe 40%. I have some big objections that I will raise below.

The most interesting part of Atwill’s argument is the parallels between Josephus’s account of The Wars of the Jews and the gospels. Jesus’s life follows Titus’s exploits in Palestine step by step, like a bizarre parody of the general’s war. The parallels are too numerous to be a coincidence.

My problems with Atwill’s argument are first that the Roman creation of Jesus has a dual purpose, satire and propaganda. This is an uneasy coupling. Only a state propagandist of genius could transcend the seriousness and mediocrity that usually come with his profession. A writer would be wise to pick either satire or propaganda, but to combine the two only weakens both.

Second, Atwill contends that the Romans also created Saul/Paul as a fictitious character. It would take further genius to come up with all those letters Paul wrote, and to get into his point of view so thoroughly. I can see how “Render unto Caesar” serves Roman interests, but not some of the other tenets of Christianity, such as Paul’s attacks on reason. Only a sincere, serious mystic could have written what is attributed to Paul. Moreover, Paul’s lack of details about Christ’s life make it seem as if he wrote before the gospels were written, and was ignorant of those fables.

Third, I believe there are mentions of Jesus and the Christians that predate the Flavians.

The Caesar’s Messiah thesis is a fun intellectual game, but I doubt it will persuade the faithful.

UPDATE: I don’t want to end on such a flippant note; the political and philosophic issues involved are profound. If Atwill is right, then Christianity began as a project by a totalitarian state to keep its subjects obedient. This is stunning. As the the 21st century progresses, I believe we will see that religion is still the greatest tool the ruling class has to keep people obedient.

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Used Car Salesmen Wouldn’t Try to Sell This

By Mike N · September 22nd, 2013 9:33 pm

On the editorial page of the Sunday 9/22 Detroit Free Press is a local commentary purporting to show “6 conservative reasons for Common Core” by two conservatives. They are identified as “Chester E. Finn jr. and Michael J. Petrilli are, respectively, president and executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-of-center education policy think tank. Finn served in the Reagan administration. Petrilli served in the George W. Bush administration. Both are affiliated with the Hoover Institution.”

Obviously these gentlemen are neocons, liberals who couldn’t stand the consistency of the leftists in their political circles. But that is beside my main point. The entire article is based on the premise that the responsibility for education lies with the government instead of the market. This in turn is based on a more sinister premise: that your child belongs to the state. It talks about how “Michigan has been lauded for its education reform efforts…” “Michigan” here means Michigan government not Michigan citizens. Let’s remember government is force. It forces kids to attend and forces citizens to pay for the education of their kids as well as the kids of others. [Read more →]

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Obama’s Whimsical Foreign Policy

By Myrhaf · September 11th, 2013 1:17 pm

Obama’s Syrian fiasco has been an appalling spectacle of a President who does not seem to think that attacking a country demands serious thought and preparation. Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call runs down the highlights:

First the president of the United States draws a red line, promising action if it is crossed. Then, when Syria crosses the line, he prepares for action, saying that absolutely, positively, a military response is necessary.

Then, at the last minute, he apparently changes his mind and figures that passing the buck to Congress to authorize military action is a good idea. But, of course, he won’t say what he’ll do if Congress fails to authorize action. Then, after his secretary of state seeks to mollify those worried about a full-scale war by promising that the U.S. military response would be “unbelievably small,” the president responds that “the U.S. does not do pinpricks.”

Is this an Abbott and Costello comedy routine? A Peter Sellers movie about an inept political leader?

One could go on listing the contradictions and confusions of Obama’s Syria “policy.” The interesting question is: why? Why is Obama doing this in the first place and why is he so laughably inept? Here are a few thoughts.

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Liberals for Gun Rights?

By Mike N · June 24th, 2013 8:23 am

I almost fell off my chair yesterday 6/23 when I read an oped by James Hill, the politics editor at the left wing Detroit Free Press titled “Why I Carry: why having a firearm is like having insurance.” This is strangely unlike the usual editorial policy of the Freep. Normally the paper is teeming with editorials, opeds and LTEs calling for more gun control, a euphemism for people control. [Read more →]

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Evading the Premises in Detroit

By Mike N · March 27th, 2013 5:51 pm

I have spent most of my 70 years living in and outside of Detroit. I’ve watched it go from a booming town to a near ghost town with jobs and people and of course money, leaving for greener pastures. In its earlier years if there was a problem, there was no problem. Somebody would step up examine the problem and fix it. Detroit’s leaders never feared facing a dilemma and tackling it. [Read more →]

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Towards an Unfrozen Politics

By Jim May · January 25th, 2013 2:03 am

“How should men best live together?” — Aristotle, The Politics

This is the basic question that Aristotle took to be the beginning of politics, the first and basic question which gives rise to the field.  Until recently, I thought so as well — until I realized the error involved.  There is another question that comes before this one, but which almost no one even knows is there to be asked.

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The Dunces Who Would Control Us

By Inspector · January 3rd, 2013 2:18 pm

Before the blood had even dried from the Sandy Hook mass murder, the control-freaks in the media and Washington were already screeching for new laws to infringe and destroy our right to keep and bear arms, and with it, our right to self defense. Others have already detailed the ways in which their proposed laws are immoral – stripping the innocent of their right to defend themselves, without trial or conviction – and impractical – because criminals and the insane simply do not listen to such laws (i.e. Sandy Hook was already legally declared a “gun free zone.” And we see how well that worked.).

But I’d like to take a moment to examine the fact that the gun control-freaks’ laws are not only immoral and impractical, but also stupid.

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Phony Self Esteem

By Mike N · January 1st, 2013 10:12 am

The Dec 28th 2012 Detroit News carried two opeds on gun control, one by Charles Krauthammer and one by Clarence Page. While Mr. Page blames the NRA and Mr. Krauthammer blames Hollywood, neither gentlemen focus on a mindless injustice that certainly contributed to such horrific events as Sandy Hook. I’m talking about the absurd practice of putting up signs that read ‘gun free zone.’ [Read more →]

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Happy New Year

By Myrhaf · January 1st, 2013 4:19 am

Well, my kitchen is clean, which means I’m avoiding novel writing. (I have only one resolution this year: at least 1,000 words a day, which is 4 pp.) Let me put it off a little longer by writing my first blog post of 2013.

I just read Obama’s election night speech because a recent PJTV show reminds us of a remarkable passage:

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared — (cheers, applause) — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. (Cheers, applause.)

This is one of Obama’s many explicit statements of collectivism. He doesn’t hide his collectivism; it’s out there for anyone to think about and judge.

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The Immorality of Gun Control

By Mike N · December 23rd, 2012 11:39 am

The Dec. 18th 2012 print edition of the Macomb Daily (a northeastern suburban county of Detroit) carried an oped by Roger Simon of www.creators.com, not to be confused with Roger L. Simon of PJTV fame. This Roger Simon, without the L, writes a screed pushing “real” gun control which according to him, has never been tried here in the U.S.

Right! And that’s why we still have a few freedoms left. [Read more →]

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Root Causes

By Inspector · December 23rd, 2012 10:25 am

Dated 12/14/2012:

I’m not going to talk about guns right now. I’m sure someone is going to call for some law at some point, and drag me into that. But, right now, I want to highlight that sick, murderous freaks are a product of a sick society.

Ours is a sick society. One that does not value reason. One that does not value control over one’s faculties. One that does not have a proper concept of a healthy self, and therefore no concept of healthy self-esteem – genuine, real self-esteem, not the fake imitation they make with gold stars.
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