Saturday, June 8, 2013

Father's Day Gift Idea

Father's Day is coming up and if dad is a reader may I suggest that In the Absence of God would make a fine gift. It was written primarily about men and for men, although a lot of women have also told me how much they enjoyed it and appreciated its message.

You can read more about Absence at the link at the top of this page. Here's a representative sample of the feedback I've received about it:
I finished reading In the Absence of God yesterday, which isn't anything to marvel at other than the fact that I also started reading In the Absence of God yesterday. I don't think I've ever read an entire book in one sitting before, and I certainly wasn't planning on reading this book in one day, but I simply couldn't put it down.

Also, I don't think a book has ever affected me so deeply as this one has, I cannot stop thinking about the ideas that were presented throughout In the Absence of God. I was nervous when I started reading the book that I would be bored by an abundance of philosophical ideas but the conversations in the book were engaging and masterfully weaved throughout the action and plot.

The speech at the end by "Smerk" gave me chills as I was reading it, and I was deeply disturbed by how true it was that this was the logical conclusion of a materialist worldview. I identified with Professor Weyland in that I have been through some very difficult struggles with my faith because it seems as though the more "intellectual" and "logical" way to look at the world is through the lens of materialism.

This book answered many questions that I've been asking for a long time, and I feel stronger in my faith because of it. One quote in particular stuck with me as I finished the book, "For so much of his life Weyland simply took for granted that atheism made so much more sense, was so much more reasonable, so much more intelligent, than theism, but he could no longer think that. He'd never again be able to think his rejection of God, if that was the choice he ultimately made, was because atheism was so much more appealing or satisfying. What appeal is there in a worldview that has no answer to life's most important questions?"

This describes where my mind was before reading this book. Thank you for writing this book and reminding me of the truth I should have known all along.
I'm sure a lot of dads would enjoy it as much as this reader did. You can order it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, both of which have it on e-books, or you can get it from Hearts and Minds Bookstore, as well as Berean, Lifeway, and BAM bookstores.

Crazy Logic

The more evidence of malfeasance that accumulates against Attorney General Eric Holder the more need there is, obviously, to investigate him and his tenure at the Department of Justice. Yet there's a Catch-22 buried in this observation. It turns out that the more the Republicans investigate the AG the more the Democrats complain that the Republicans are just "out to get" him, and, the more dubious the Democrats are of the legitimacy of Republican complaints, the less inclined they are to go along with any investigation of them.

In other words, the worse the AG behaves the more innocent the Democrats believe him to be. Perhaps the only way these Dems could be persuaded to assist with an investigation of an Obama appointee would be if the individual were known apriori to be squeaky clean and was not the target of any Republican allegations of wrongdoing.

The New York Times rather obliquely and tacitly acknowledges that this is, in fact, the view of at least some Democrats. Their article begins with a depressing summary of Eric Holder's inadequacies:
Under his leadership, the department scaled back a voter-intimidation lawsuit from the Bush era involving the New Black Panther Party, a decision that conservatives used to portray the black-nationalist fringe group as a political ally of the Obama administration. He reopened criminal investigations into the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogations of terrorism suspects and tried to prosecute five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks in civilian courts rather than military tribunals, which provoked accusations that he was soft on terrorism. And he abandoned the legal defense of a law barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage that social conservatives viewed as a bulwark against attacks on the traditional family.

The party-line furor peaked with hearings into Operation Fast and Furious, a botched gun-trafficking investigation by federal agents based in Arizona. When Mr. Holder, after Mr. Obama invoked executive privilege, refused to provide department e-mails relating to the fallout after the operation ended, the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress. A report by the Justice Department’s independent inspector general essentially exonerated Mr. Holder of accusations that he had sanctioned risky investigative tactics that were used in the case, but that did not satisfy Republican lawmakers who are still pressing for a court order for the e-mails.
One might think that this indictment of the AG's suitability for the office he holds would elicit the antagonism of any honest, fair-minded Democrat, but the Times closes its piece with this:
Yet Democrats remain reluctant about furthering what they see as a partisan campaign against the attorney general. “There is a set of recurring patterns on the Republican side trying to grind him into the dust, so we’re a bit dubious of their complaints,” said Representative Peter Welch of Vermont.
Has it occurred to Rep. Welch that perhaps the pattern is recurring because the AG's delinquencies are recurring? Does he think there's some point at which Mr. Holder should be rewarded with immunity for achieving the distinction of being the most scandal-ridden AG in history? Does Rep. Welch think that when the number of ethical derelictions reaches a certain level it's just partisan politics to continue to investigate them?

For the Dems, it seems, it doesn't matter whether Holder is actually an inveterately incompetent, unscrupulous, deceitful, partisan misfit heading up the DoJ. What matters is that the GOP is out to get him (precisely because he is an inveterately incompetent, unscrupulous, deceitful, partisan misfit) and therefore the Democrats resist. The idea of doing what's best for the country? Who cares about that? A similar tactic, of course, is employed by Democrats in defense of the President.

As the scandals swirling around the White House grow thick as flies in a horse barn the more assured we may be that the President's defenders will accuse his critics of being motivated by racism. It works like this: The more Mr. Obama is shown to be out of his depth, intellectually and ethically, in the Oval Office the more he's criticized. The more he's criticized the more his defenders see the criticisms as racially motivated. So, the more Mr. Obama screws up the more racist the Republican critics prove themselves to be.

The syllogism may be more simply stated thusly: Pres. Obama is a black man. Pres. Obama is criticized. Therefore the criticism is obviously due to the fact that he's a black man. If you think no one could be so addlepated as to argue like this, you haven't watched MSNBC.

As if taping a training video to illustrate the tactic here's MSNBC's Martin Bashir demonstrating it for us:
Such is the logic of those who feel compelled to defend the indefensible.