Author: William MacDonald
Source: Sermon Index
“There can be no true discipleship without profound and unquestioning faith in the living God. He who would do exploits for God must first trust Him implicitly. “All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them.” — Hudson Taylor
Now true faith is always based upon some promise of God, some portion of His Word. This is important. The believer first reads or hears some promise of the Lord. The Holy Spirit takes that promise and applies it to his heart and conscience in a very personal way. The Christian becomes aware that God has spoken to him directly. With utter confidence in the trustworthiness of the One Who has promised, he reckons the promise as sure as if it were already fulfilled, even though, humanly speaking, it is impossible.
Or perhaps it is a commandment rather than a promise. To faith, there is no difference. If God commands, He enables. If He bids Peter to walk on the water, Peter can be sure that the needed power will be given (Matthew 14:28). If He commands us to preach the gospel to every creature, we can be sure of the needed grace (Mark 16:15).
Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.
“The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and where sight and sense fail.” — George Muller
Faith says, “If ‘impossible’ is the only objection, it can be done!”
“Faith brings God into the scene, and therefore it knows absolutely nothing of difficulties — yea, it laughs at impossibilities. In the judgment of faith, God is the grand answer to every question — the grand solution of every difficulty. It refers all to Him; and hence it matters not in the least to faith whether it be six hundred thousand (dollars) or six hundred million; it knows that God is all-sufficient. It finds all its resources in Him. Unbelief says, ‘ How can such and such things be?’ It is full of ‘Hows’; but faith has one great answer to ten thousand ‘hows,’ and that answer is, God.” — C. H. Mackintosh
Humanly speaking, it was impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a child. But God had promised, and to Abraham there was only one impossibility — that God could lie.
(He) against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, “So shall thy seed be.” And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform (Romans 4:18-21).
Faith, mighty faith the promise sees
And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities
And cries, “It shall be done!”
Our God is the God Who specializes in impossibilities (Luke 1:37). There is nothing too hard for Him (Genesis 18:14). “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
Faith claims His promise, “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23), and exults with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Doubt sees the obstacles–
Faith sees the way!
Doubt sees the darkest night–
Faith sees the day!
Doubt dreads to take a step–
Faith soars on high,
Doubt questions, “Who believes?”
Faith answers, “I!”
Because faith deals with the supernatural and the divine, it does not always seem to be “reasonable.” It was not using “common sense” for Abraham to go out, not knowing where he was going, but simply obeying God’s command (Hebrews 11:8). It was not “shrewd” of Joshua to attack Jericho without death-dealing weapons (Joshua 6:1-20). Men of the world would scoff at such “insanity.” But it worked!
Actually, faith is most reasonable. What is more reasonable than that a creature should trust his Creator? Is it insane to believe in One Who can neither lie nor fail nor err? To trust God is the most sensible, sane, rational thing that a man can do. It is no leap in the dark. Faith demands the surest evidence and finds it in God’s unfailing Word. No one has ever trusted Him in vain; no one ever will. Faith in the Lord involves no risk whatever.
Faith truly glorifies God; it gives Him His proper place as the One Who is completely trustworthy. On the other hand, unbelief dishonors God; it charges Him with lying (1 John 5:10). It limits the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 78:41).
Faith gives man his proper place also — as a humble suppliant, bowed in the dust before the sovereign Lord of all.
Faith is opposed to sight. Paul reminded us that “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). To walk by sight means to have visible means of support, to have adequate reserves for the future, to employ human cleverness in insuring against unseen risks. The walk of faith is the very opposite; it is a moment by moment reliance on God alone. It is a perpetual crisis of dependence on the Lord. The flesh shrinks from a position of complete dependence on an unseen God. It seeks to provide a cushion against possible losses. If it cannot see where it is going, it is apt to suffer complete nervous collapse. But faith steps forward in obedience to the Word of God, rises above circumstances, and trusts the Lord for the supply of all needs.
Any disciple who determines to walk by faith can be sure that his faith will be tested. Sooner or later, he will be brought to the end of his human resources. In his extremity, he will be tempted to appeal to his fellow men. If he is really trusting the Lord, he will look to God alone.
[See Also: “Nor…the Smell of Fire…”]
“To make known my wants, directly or indirectly, to a human being, is departure from the life of faith, and a positive dishonor to God. It is actually betraying Him. It is tantamount to saying that God has failed me, and I must look to my fellow for help. It is forsaking the living fountain and turning to a broken cistern. It is placing the creature between my soul and God, thus robbing my soul of rich blessing, and God of the glory due to Him.” — C. H. Mackintosh
The normal attitude of a disciple is to desire an increase in his faith (Luke 17:5). He has already trusted Christ for salvation. Now he seeks to extend the areas of his life which are submitted to the Lord’s control. As he faces sickness, trials, tragedies, and bereavements, he comes to know God in a new and more intimate way, and his faith is strengthened. He proves the truth of the promise, “Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3). The more he finds God to be trustworthy, the more anxious he is to trust Him for greater things.
Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, the disciple’s desire should be to saturate himself in the Scriptures — to read them, study them, memorize them, meditate upon them day and night. They are his chart and compass, his guide and comfort, his lamp and light.
In the life of faith, there is always room for advancement. When we read of what has been accomplished through faith, we realize that we are like little children, playing at the edge of a boundless ocean. The exploits of faith are given in Hebrews 11. They rise to a magnificent crescendo in verses 32-40:
“And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy): they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
One final word! We have already mentioned that a disciple who walks by faith will doubtless be considered a dreamer or a fanatic by men of the world or even by other Christians.
But it is good to remember that “the faith that enables one to ‘walk with God’ enables him also to attach the proper values to the thoughts of men.” — C. H. Mackintosh
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Author: Paul Austin Murphy
Source: American Thinker – 12.13.2014
The thing is, it doesn’t really matter what Russell Brand says about politics or about anything else.
As with pop music, his fame and notoriety rest almost entirely on the fact that a lot of young people (of both sexes) find him attractive; as well as stylish and hip. (Some older people may too.) In other words, he’s today’s version of the Che Guevara t-shirt. I don’t mean that he’s today’s version of Che Guevara. No way: Guevara was an intelligent and ruthless killer. Russell Brand is only today’s version of the Che Guevara t-shirt. In fact, he’s all t-shirt.
Think of it this way: how big would Russell Brand’s (as well as Che Guevara’s) fan-base be if he looked like Ed Miliband and had the body of Eric Pickles?
Russell Brand makes a lot of his working-class credentials and claims that the reified Establishment is against him because of his “roots”.
He conveniently forgets that many members of the working-class have made into the Establishment; if not in very large numbers. Indeed they have even made it into the leading parts of the Conservative and Labour parties.
In any case, a lot of folks within Russell Brand’s Establishment — whether lawyers, rights/race activists, members of the Church of England, journalists, civil servants, and even members of the Conservative Party — actually believe many of the things he believes and also endorse and support many of his hip causes.
So when Brand talks about the Establishment, he must only be talking about those small sections of it which have the audacity not to uphold his own profound theories about the necessity of a Hip Revolution.
The other thing is that Brand isn’t particularly working-class anyway. And, no, I don’t have a complete least of necessary and sufficient conditions for what it is to be working class. “Class politics” only concerns me when people (disingenuously) grandstand their own working-class credentials in order to sell themselves politically.
And like the leaders of the SWP, Ed Miliband, Leftist lawyers, and many public-school boys in rock music, Russell Brand may be affecting (or simply exaggerating) a Mockney/Estuary English accent (“Parklife!”) in order to do so. (Though Brand is from Grays, a suburb east of London which he — rather that others — often classes as a “working-class area”.)
What Russell Brand appears to be doing is conflating being working-class with being from a dysfunctional background.
Brand’s parents split up when he was six months old. After that his father — who was a professional photographer — took his teenage son to use prostitutes. By the age of 16, however, Brand had attended Grays Media Arts School, the Italia Conti Academy, and a boarding school.
None of that seems particularly working-class; though, as I said, his background (on his own account) is clearly dysfunctional.
What drives Russell Brand’s recent conversion to The Revolution are the same three things which have always driven him: narcissism, hedonism, and exhibitionism.
Of course, I’m not being original when I call him a narcissist and an exhibitionist because countless other commentators have also done so. (Strangely enough, he’s also said the same about himself; if not in those precise words.)
Despite saying that, what has particularly annoyed me about the Russell Brand Phenomenon is the number of Leftist commentators and journalists who — having once classed him in the very same negative ways I’ve done — suddenly changed their minds about him. And they did so as soon as it became clear to them that he had thoroughly embraced The Revolution. Then he was no longer seen — by these same hypocritical Leftists — as a narcissist, exhibitionist, and a hedonist.
(This is especially true of certain Guardian journalists. Then again, literally anyone — whether that be Muslim misogynists, Islamic terrorists and Islamists — who can advance progressisocialism in any way whatsoever is fair game for Guardian patronization.)
Russell Brand is now, apparently, someone who “articulates the voice of youth” (do they all have the same voice?); who “speaks truth to power” (what a cliché!); as well as someone who’ll “reignite the people’s passion for politics”.
So when did Russell Brand convert to politics or, more specifically, to The Revolution?
Was it after or before he did transcendental meditation for a day (or Buddhism for a week)? He’s very much like Madonna in that, like her, he’s had almost weekly fashionable attachments to all sorts of different political and religious arcana. (Even Beyoncé, in her latest video, is Doing The Revolution; if dressed in a miniskirt and a niqab face-mask — so deep, man!)
I suppose it can be said that Russell Brand converted to politics — or to the platonic Revolution — roundabout 2009; though, at that time, in extremely peripheral ways. (E.g., as a typical mindless political fashionista Brand simply had to embrace the Palestinian cause; which is now as obligatory — for callow political hipsters — as the Che Guevara t-shirt.) This isn’t to say he didn’t mention politics in passing before 2009: sure he (probably) did. However, his commitment to Total Revolution dates later than that: it basically began in 2013, when he was 38.
Indeed even in his last book of 2010, Booky Wook 2, there are virtually no political references. There are some tangential references to political issues; though it’s all in very much in passing.
So what about Russell Brand’s Revolution?
In his own words:
“My relentless pontificating on revolution and a new social order came in for a lot of deserved abuse.”
As I said, Russell Brand is — or was — an exhibitionist and narcissist who got bored after twenty years of flagrant hedonism and then — when heading towards middle age — realized that he had to find another market (or niche). And that market is The Revolution.
That’s not strange at all.
The Revolution has always been marketed. Large parts of the hippie (post-1966) and punk (post-1976) movements, for example, succumbed to capitalism within a year. And, more contemporaneously, capitalism has even gained controlled of sizable elements of the anthropogenic-global-warming show.
The thing about Russell Brand is that he doesn’t hide his vanity and narcissism — at least he didn’t before his conversion to The Revolution.
What we have here is a 39-year-old who saying the things you’d expect to hear from 20-year-old (student) member of the SWP.
Basically, Russell Brand has had his fun. Hedonism and flagrant exhibitionism must have begun to bore him a little. Thus he thought that The Revolution would titillate him a little instead. Thus Brand is a little like the party girl who suddenly realizes she no longer has the looks to party and therefore chooses to become a sanctimonious prude instead.
A lot of narcissistic and hedonistic pop and film starts have converted to politics in their thirties or later. I presume it’s when they too have become bored with partying. The thing about these beings is that they may become bored with politics too if something else comes along to titillate them (e.g., Islam or something).
Since Russell Brand himself says that he “was born to be famous”, perhaps we should take him at his word and see his commitment to The Revolution as yet another means to further himself. Indeed since he has said that everything he did he did because he “really wanted recognition”, then perhaps his commitment to The Revolution is another way of securing that recognition.
In any case, his YouTube loyalty to The Revolution has no doubt taken him out of that “penitentiary of anonymity” he has fought so hard against all his life.
And just as touring, being on chat shows, etc. secured him sex (they were, according to Brand himself, proxies for his “biological drive”), so The Revolution may be doing exactly the same thing.
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2-3)
“…the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 13:3)
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Fanny Crosby, who wrote that joyful hymn, was truly blessed with an unwavering confidence in God’s loving grace! Born into a humble family in 1820, she became totally blind through a medical error six weeks later. But her overwhelming lifelong response was gratefulness, not bitterness or complaints. When only eight years old she wrote,
“O what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be.
“How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t,
To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t.”
Fanny shared her joy through hundreds of hymns sung in churches throughout the English-speaking world. “I thank him for the dispensation [of blindness],” she wrote one day. “I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”
Some years earlier, a young man in Prussia [part of the old German empire] was learning that same lesson.
From Prison to Praise
Few would have guessed that George Muller, a Prussian boy with a bent for trouble, would one day trust God to meet the needs of thousands of orphans. His early life showed no signs of such faith. Born in 1805, he made little effort to resist the temptations he faced during his first twenty years. He stole, lied, cheated, used forgery to prosper, and craved immoral thrills. Later he wrote in his diary:
“At the age of sixteen I became an inmate of a prison, dwelling with thieves and murderers.”
After a year of confinement, he continued his “wild” depraved lifestyle for three more years. Then everything changed! A newly converted friend invited him to a “Christian meeting.” There God touched his heart, transformed his life, and began preparing him for a ministry of prayer, teaching, worldwide distribution of Bible courses, and loving care for orphans in poverty-stricken Bristol, England.
“I had once fully served Satan,” Muller wrote. “But now, drawn by the love of Christ, I was willing to suffer affliction for the sake of Jesus.” And through the cross, God prepared him for that suffering:
“I came to England physically weakened and soon became very ill…. Yet the weaker I became in body, the happier I was in spirit. Every sin I had ever committed was brought to mind, but I realized that I was washed and made completely clean in the blood of Jesus. This realization brought me great peace….”
God opened one door after another for His trusting, listening servant. And as He led Muller through each challenge, Muller gladly obeyed and grew strong in faith.
At the heart of every ministry was prayer. Muller would accept no salary from any ministry. Instead, he trusted God alone to meet all his needs — then his Shepherd would get all the glory! 
That wonderful Shepherd heard every cry and met every need. He would touch the hearts of caring people — beginning with the poor people in Bristol, who (like the poor widow Jesus commended) often gave all they had. Later, as word of his orphan ministry reached around the world, the large sums needed for land and construction began to pour in. Gratefully, Muller wrote:
“If I, a poor man, simply by payer and faith obtained, without asking any individual, the finances for establishing and carrying on an orphan house, this might strengthen the faith of the children of God.”
Armed with this unshakable faith, he faced all kinds of tests: physical weakness, serious sickness, empty pantries at the orphanages, the loss of his little son, and the struggles of those he loved. Days — sometimes even weeks — would pass without any visible donations, but somehow the rent was paid and the children had food to eat.
One morning the concerned “matron” in one of the orphan houses rushed to Muller with bad news: “The children are all ready for breakfast,” she said, but “there’s nothing to eat.” Sure enough. As Muller came in and looked around, he saw three hundred children standing behind their chairs and empty plates, waiting for food and watching him.
Muller bent down and clasped the hand of a little girl. “Where’s the food?” she whispered.
“God will supply,” answered Muller gently. Then he asked them to join him in a simple prayer:
“Dear God, we thank you for what you are going to give us to eat. Amen.”
He smiled to the children. “You may be seated,” he said, confident that God would provide. And sure enough. As soon as they were all seated in front of their empty plates, they heard someone knocking at the door. It was a baker with a tray of fresh bread.
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” he explained. “I kept thinking that you would need bread this morning…. So I got up at two o’clock and made three batches for you…. There are two more trays out in the cart.”
While they feasted on the bread, they heard another knock. There stood the milkman. “The wheel on my cart has been broken, right outside your establishment,” he said. “I’ll have to lighten my load before I can fix it. There’s ten full cans of milk on it. Could you use them?” Then looking at the orphans sitting in neat rows, he added. “Free of charge, of course….”
Muller’s personal diary is full of similar stories, for His all-sufficient, all-seeing Father never failed to meet the urgent needs of the day:
– No money? A letter would come with the needed amount!
– No coal left for heating? “In our time of need,” wrote Muller, “our brother sent a load of coal.”
– Need land for building three new, larger Orphan Homes? In the middle of the night, God awakened the owner of a perfect plot of land to prepare his heart to offer Muller an affordable price.
The Truth behind the Triumph
Trials and triumphs have always been part of the Christian life, and Jesus’ disciples faced spiritual warfare and experienced amazing miracles again and again. But that life of victory didn’t begin until after the cross. Before the cross, Peter had to come face to face with his own utter failure to follow His Lord. Ponder this conversation between Jesus and Peter:
“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail…” (Luke 22:31-32)
Peter’s answer showed noble intentions but ignorance of his fallen nature: “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
But he was not ready! Well aware of coming failure, Jesus warned His friend, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” (Luke 22:32-34)
Peter did deny His precious Lord — three times! And the third time the rooster crowed his heart was broken. He mourned and repented, but his new life in Christ didn’t begin until after he received new life through the Holy Spirit. Finally he was ready. Like George Muller, he would count on all of God’s heavenly resources for daily triumph.
What did this victory cost our Lord? His agony and prayer in the garden of Gethsemane shows us a partial answer:
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, ‘Sit here while I go and pray over there.’ And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
“Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’ He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’
“He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? ‘Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. ‘The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”
“…a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, ‘if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.’ ‘ And He came and found them asleep again…. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time… Then He came to His disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting?… Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:38-45)
Oswald Chambers helps us understand the initial agony of our sin-bearer who endured the judgment we deserve:
“The agony in Gethsemane is the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is drawn aside to reveal all it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony is the basis of the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ is a triumph for the son of Man…. Every human being can [if he will accept God’s gift] get through into the presence of God now because of what the Son of Man went through.”
Having come to the cross and received new life in Christ, George Muller happily gave God the rest of his life. Like all of humanity, he faced his share of earthly trials and spiritual warfare, but he was freed from the chains of sin and Satan. In fact, the trials that he and Fanny Crosby had to face were nothing compared to the glory of walking with Jesus for all eternity!
Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.
3. The Autobiography of George Muller (Whitaker House, 1985), pps.12, 22, 26, 73, 124
4. Later, he would often share the various needs with his wife and one close ministry friend.
5. Janet and Geoff Benge, George Muller (YWAM Publisher, 1998), pps. 166-168.
6. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1935), p.96. (April 5)
Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 12.07.2014
There was a time when fat was in and thin was out. Obesity was the privilege of wealth and being thin meant being poor. In simpler societies, before slumming became a romantic pose, there was nothing attractive about not having enough to eat.
To be fat was to be part of the leisure class. Thin meant you were on the road to the poorhouse or to consumption, which meant your body was being consumed, not that you were the one doing the consuming.
Then agriculture was revolutionized and the values flipped. No one in the West was starving to death and the poorest man could still grow fat. By the time the social programs kicked in, weight no longer meant leisure.
With packaged foods widely available and jobs shifting from the factory to the desk, it was entirely possible to work hard and get fat.
On the other side of the aisle, exercise meant leisure time. The standard was set by movie stars who struggled to meet unrealistic standards because they had the time and disposable income to do it.
Fat no longer meant upper class gentry. Instead it meant lower class peasant. As with art, the widespread availability turned minimalism, and eventually the worthless and overpriced, into class signifiers. Conspicuous consumption of that which was widely available was lower class.
The overflowing table made way for micro portions and exotic but barely edible foods. Thin was in on the plate and the waistline.
In many Third World countries where feudalism never ended, the values never flipped. Instead of anorexia, teenage girls suffer from being force fed to make them more marriageable. The wealthy are fat and the feasts at the top never end.
In the West, weight stands in for class, at a time when explicit classism has become politically incorrect. When Europeans sneer at how fat Americans are, and American coastal elites sneer at the rest of the country for being fat, it’s a class putdown.
And no one traffics in class putdowns like the left.
Liberalism has become an engine of class repression, with the super-rich pushing down the rich and the rich liberal undermining the middle class. Its regulatory regime limits social mobility and locks in class privileges even while spewing rhetoric about these and income inequality.
Obesity is a classic moral crusade whose real purpose is to inflate the sense of moral superiority of a particular elite. With the moral codes of sex and drugs having been dismantled by that same elite, obesity is one of the few remaining class signifiers, aside from cigarettes, that it’s safe to hold a moral crusade about.
The War on Fat echoes the same old obsessions of Prohibitionism, a paranoid concern about the inability of the lower classes to care for themselves that verges on bigotry, an imaginary crisis blown out of all proportion in order to justify abuses of power and the self-congratulatory superiority lurking behind the curtain.
Their obesity concern trolling is a combination of classism and nanny statism that brings to mind the days when their ideological forebears thought that the way to deal with the poor was to sterilize those who seemed less capable than the rest to improve the breed. The breed being culled while the elites try to teach their less evolved cousins to survive by eating their arugula.
Finding moral failings in a manufactured underclass justifies endless abuses of power by demonstrating the inferiority and unfitness of those below. Obesity fits into that same template.
The solutions never work. Michelle Obama’s botched school lunch program and ObamaCare lawsuits over fitness rewards once again show that the technocratic nanny state can never achieve the goals of the moral crusade. But slimming down isn’t really the goal. Bloomberg’s soda ban wasn’t a serious solution. It was an expression of disdain and most of those on the receiving end understood that.
Barack and Michelle Obama lecture on food while gorging themselves at banquets. The lecture is the point. Cutting calories isn’t. It’s easier to oppress those who are manifestly inferior. Every elite needs these hypocritical justifications of their own superiority. The nanny state is not an act of concern.
It’s an act of contempt.
The nanny state is built on a technocratic confidence in the ability to create one size fits all solutions, overlaying that on a map of the current medical wisdom leads to the creation of single standards, which often have less to do with health than they do with the status symbols of the leisure class. 19th century popularized medicine created so many of these fads that some of them are still around today. The 20th century created even more of them. And the 21st century is only getting started.
Death though is not only inevitable, but it cannot be dodged with a one size fits all standard. Fitness guru Jim Fixx who helped kickstart the running craze died in his early fifties of a heart attack. Fixx had quit smoking and lost weight, and still died at an early age. Jackie Gleason who spent his life looking like a walking health attack, smoking and drinking, outlived him by nearly twenty years.
Medicine is individual and the collectivization of medicine is a technocratic solution that leads to broad stroke solutions, like adding calories to menus and other rats in a maze tactics designed to modify human behavior on a national level. The targeting of fast food restaurants, public school meals and food stamps reeks of the same elitist arrogance that drives the nanny state.
The politicization of food by the elites of the left always comes down to class, no matter how it may be disguised in liberal colors. From exotic to locally grown, the trajectory of food politics follows the upselling of food prices The only difference is that the dominance of the left has wrapped the added cost with no added value in their own politics. The more affordable food becomes, the more the left finds ways to add cost to food, without adding value.
But the politicization of food goes beyond the fair trade and locally grown fetishes of the politically correct elites, the more politics ends up on your plate, the more the elites are driven to involve everyone else in their food fights. What begins as a way of raising prices while diminishing value to assert wealth and privilege becomes imposed on everyone in the name of their political morality.
Once everyone else is paying more and getting less, then the classist left demands new ways to set its superior moral eating habits apart. Instead of everyone ending up with more food, everyone ends up with less.
Lefty culture practices conspicuous consumption, but the consumption has to be disguised with conspicuous political pieties. The food may cost twice as much, but it’s locally grown on a farm run by handicapped union workers who visit Cuba to receive free health care or by the indigenous peoples of Tuba-Tuba with the proceeds going to a complete sonic library of their chants and ceremonies. It’s a meaningfully meaningless hairshirt that disguises the consumption underneath.
Conspicuous consumption is now for the poor while conspicuous political consumption is for liberal elites. Al Gore may live in a mansion but he still has the carbon footprint of a mouse. The problem is the truck driver whose vehicular emissions are killing the planet. Whole Foods is just fine, but we need to do something about White Castle.
In a moment of horrifying tone deafness that makes Marie Antoinette seem enlightened, the left is cheering that fewer Americans are eating meat, without seeming to understand that it’s because fewer Americans are able to afford it because of the left’s economic policies.
What the left’s food police can’t accomplish with nudges and shaming, they can finish off with policies and regulations that raise the price of food or make it too difficult to sell. When the left fails to sell the public on conspicuous political consumption as a status symbol, it brings in the heavy bureaucratic artillery.
It isn’t unusual for elites to use the legal system to enforce their own values on the general public, though it was the kind of thing that the universal franchise was supposed to put a leash on, but there is something grim about their growing preoccupation with the habits and mortality of the population. It’s the kind of concern that has a habit of ending in eugenics and the more medicine is universalized, the easier it is to start cutting off access to medical treatment for those who haven’t been nudged far enough in the right direction.
Social medicine politicizes food consumption and a globalized economy politicizes food production. And the politicized American plate has less on it and at a higher price. While the left obsessively pursues its mission of destroying fast food in the name of lowering socialized medicine costs, they are taking affordable and filling food off the shelves, as they have done with countless other products that they have targeted.
By the time the left was done with Russia, it had gone from a wheat producer to a wheat importer and many basic food staples were hard to come by even in a country filled with collective farms. Finding modern day examples of that isn’t hard. We only have to look as far south as Venezuela to see empty store shelves under the weight of government food policies.
But one day that may be the local grocery store if the left gets its way.
Author: Melanie Kowalski
Source: American Thinker – 12.05.2014
It was not such a long time ago that former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton was viewed by the Democratic poobahs and her worshiping public minions as a shoe-in for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and ultimately the White House. But life happens, and life has found Hillary Clinton.
In a recent Politico article, “Delay of Game“, we’re getting another read-between-the lines indication that Clinton, Inc. a.k.a. “Billary” (Bill Hillary = Billary) is in rethink/regroup mode. This run for the presidency is as much Bill’s as it is Hillary. And she will need him in full campaign/strategy mode if she has any shot at all for the presidency. But are “they” running?
It’s been common knowledge since the media began profiling the public Hillary all the way back to her Wellesley days that she was considered to have the necessary bona fides and moxie to become the first female President of the United States. Now in the waning days of 2014, Hillary’s early 2015 announcement for the upcoming bid for the White House is changing from a bullet train into a heavily laden freight train which may yet derail.
The Clintons have numerous problems, chief among them, the Democratic Party itself. During the 2012 election cycle, Obama no doubt crafted a Faustian bargain with Bill which led to the latter’s rousing convention speech. However, that speech spoke to a core demographic of the Party that in the 2014 midterms either left the party for the Republicans or stayed home. It is this voting bloc — white middle class, working class, Blacks — that propelled Clinton to the governorship of Arkansas, the White House, and stood steadfastly by the Clintons from Whitewater to Monica, and for whom there is still strong appeal. Today, the Democratic Party is perceived as the Obamacare Party, synonymous with Socialism and other forms of more radical-leaning groups. In other words, today’s Democratic Party is not the Party of Tip O’Neill, Richard J. Daley, or even Joe Manchin.
The second major problem for Clinton, Inc. is the president. Now nearing the end of his game, Obama is taking provocative executive actions whose consequences may roil Hillary’s campaign. And Obama has given no clear indication other than the 2012 nationally televised Kumbaya moment, that he will lift a finger to support the Clinton candidacy. Senator Reid was able to spare the president a veto moment over Keystone XL, however, for Mrs. Clinton, she has thus far refused to take a position on Keystone, which is hurting her. She needs the fund-raising and backing of the powerful environmentalist lobbies on her side, yet her noncommittal stance is placing her within the cross-hairs of the aforementioned voting bloc who desperately want the pipeline and see it as a jobs creator.
Allies and supporters are attempting to create an opening for Hillary to distance herself from the president. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) recently spoke at the National Press Club about the mistake of pushing Obamacare at the expense of the middle class when the populace was more concerned about jobs and the economy. Next, Michele Flournoy, another Clinton acolyte considered a front-runner for the Secretary of Defense position, took herself out of the running with the speculation that she didn’t want to be a “doormat.”
Clinton problem number three is the Republicans. Should she decide to run, candidate Hillary will be Reagan’s age (70) if she reaches the White House in 2017. While that may not be of consequence to many voters, it could be a factor with others, especially if she is up against a Chris Christie or Scott Walker, or another Republican governor who has a demonstrable record to run on. Mrs. Clinton’s record, on the other hand, is not that strong. Up until the White House, she rode on Bill’s coattails. Afterwards, she carpetbagged her way into the New York Senate seat against a more qualified candidate. Her record in the Senate was hardly noticeable; except for her Iraq war vote, because she was already prepping for the presidential run in 2008.
And finally, there is Mrs. Clinton herself, who is proving to be her own worst enemy. She’s gaffe-prone when away from her handlers, as in the “we left the White House broke” remark. There’s no doubt in conventional wisdom circles that her histrionics before the Benghazi Committee will come back to haunt her should she decide to run. A sagacious Republican strategist can take that moment and project it onto a split screen with photos of service members. As the words are spoken, “what difference does it make,” people can visualize those words spoken about their family members.
Additionally, Hillary is not Bill. One either likes her or can’t stand her. There’s no middle ground. From her initial “baking cookies” comment and her first “stand by your man” performance, to the soft, warm and fuzzy, dressed in pink attempt trying to explain her role in Whitewater and as cattle futures queen, to her second stand by her man in a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” meme, Hillary can be seen as one calculating politician.
And so back to Bill and Hill. Will they make a run for 2016? The Clinton campaign machine, while still formidable in many respects, is not as daunting as it once was because of the shifting demographics and loyalties. They may very well have reached the conclusion that a White House run is not in the offing, and it’s better to be kingmaker than another bruising run at their ages and health. They’ll still be visible and rake in the cash, but odds could be that they’re using their time right now to scour the innards of the Democratic Party in search of the next “Bill,” whose appeal will be more centrist, and who’ll be capable of returning to the fold the millions of voters who feel party-less and out in the cold.
If Bill and Hillary can do that, their greatest legacy will not be the White House, but saving the Democratic Party., .l9