The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

God and Man in the Information Age

Posted on | November 12, 2017 | No Comments

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

One of the basic proofs of the Bible’s truth is the accuracy of prophecy. As every Christian knows, Jesus was the Messiah foretold by Old Testament prophecy, His atoning sacrifice prefigured in the story of Genesis 22, where God requires Abraham to prove his obedience by the sacrifice of Isaac, only to spare the boy at the last minute. The ultimate significance of this was understood by Jesus, of course, in a way that the scribes and Pharisees did not. As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, he came to fulfill the law of the Old Testament, not to destroy it (Matthew 5:17) and by delivering Him up to be crucified by the Roman authorities, the Jewish leaders unwittingly brought about that fulfillment.

Before His death, Jesus prophetically foretold the coming destruction of Herod’s Temple at Jerusalem, which was fulfilled in 70 A.D. His disciples responded to this prophecy by asking Him about the future. Jesus then warned them not to be deceived by false prophets and referring to the Second Coming said, “of that day and hour knoweth no man.”

Not even Jesus could predict to His disciples when the final Judgment Day would come, because this was known by “my Father only” (Matthew 24:36), yet speculation has flourished. Many have offered their own interpretations of the Apostle John’s Book of Revelation, which baffles every attempt to translate its mysterious symbolism into definite meaning. Especially since the the 1960s, various doomsday prophets (including dangerous cult leaders like Charles Manson and David Koresh) have claimed to possess the secret meaning of Revelation.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8 (KJV)

My son Jefferson was not yet 14 when the second Anthony Weiner scandal broke into the headlines in July 2013. Circumstances required me to interrupt my coverage of that scandal to drive Jefferson somewhere and, after listening to the latest news on the radio, I erupted in an angry lecture: “Never do that! Never think you can get away with doing anything like that! Never say anything in a text message or email that you wouldn’t want to see quoted on the front page of the New York Times!”

 

What was Anthony Weiner thinking? How did he ever imagine he could do what he did and get away with it? Having destroyed his congressional career with his first “sexting” scandal in 2011, you might think he would have learned his lesson. Democrats were willing to forgive him for that — and indeed, many had believed that Weiner was somehow the victim of a “hacking” by Andrew Breitbart — and Weiner was poised to make a comeback by running for mayor of New York in 2013. Yet it seems he thought he was smart enough not to get caught playing the same game a second time, which led to the immolation of his political career. You can go back and read my American Spectator column “The Pervert Party” (July 25, 2013), to see how the dots connected this to the 2011 “SWATting” of Patrick Frey, and also the media bias that may have led a Democrat like Weiner to believe himself invulnerable to scandal. Even after his 2013 humiliation, however, Weiner did not learn his lesson, which is why is currently in federal prison (and looking for pen pals).

The ancient prophecies are all true, you see, because we live in an age when knowledge has been “greatly increased,” as Daniel foretold during the Babylonian captivity. In the Information Age, as our current era has been called, there seems to be no such thing as a safe secret, a terrifying reality we now see every day in the headlines.

L.A. Writer Says Richard Dreyfuss
Sexually Harassed and Exposed Himself
to Her in the 1980s

Vulture

Anthony Edwards Says He Was Molested
by Producer Gary Goddard as a Child

The Wrap

Six women accuse filmmaker Brett Ratner
of sexual harassment or misconduct

Los Angeles Times

Ellen Page accuses Brett Ratner of making
homophobic and misogynistic comments

ABC News

George Takei Accused of Sexually
Assaulting Former Model in 1981

The Hollywood Reporter

Supergirl Co-Creator Andrew Kreisberg
Suspended Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

E! News

Louis C.K. Responds to Accusations:
‘These Stories Are True’

New York Times

Those are merely a few recent headlines from Hollywood, where destroyed reputations are piling up so fast we can hardly keep track of all the famous or powerful men now accused of sexual harassment, rape or pedophilia. And let me repeat my warning from October:

When a witch-hunt hysteria takes hold, differences between minor and major forms of witchcraft soon cease to matter. Amid a paranoid climate of suspicion, any accusation of witch-type behavior will suffice to have the target burned at the stake before sundown. . . .
A witch-hunt has no statute of limitations, nor any standard of due process and, as for evidence, who needs evidence? If a woman says her ex-boyfriend did awful things to her in 2007 or 1997, feminists will applaud her for her “courage” in “breaking the silence,” and nothing that the targeted scapegoat says in his own defense will save him.

This lack of due-process protection, and the absence of any expiration date on such charges, can be seen not only in the fate of Hollywood figures publicly accused of wrongdoing many decades ago, but also in Judge Roy Moore’s trial in the court of public opinion. Judge Moore has been a prominent and controversial figure in Alabama politics for many years now. Surely, any reasonable person would think, some of his enemies would have long ago exposed his alleged involvement with Leigh Corfman and other teenagers back in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Nonetheless, here we are in 2017, when Judge Moore and his wife have been married 32 years and raised four children, confronted with seemingly credible reports of his shocking behavior dating back as far as the era of Jimmy Carter, disco music and “stagflation.”

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

How many times have I heard that preached? How many times have I contemplated what Jesus did when confronted with the woman caught in adultery? The Bible tells us that when the scribes and Pharisees brought her to Him, reminding Him that the law prescribed death by stoning, Jesus first “stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” Some say that what Jesus was writing in the dirt may have been some sort of incriminating evidence against the woman’s accusers, but this is mere speculation. What we know is that these religious authorities were trying to trap Jesus into saying something they could use as evidence against Him. And what He did next became one of the most famous of His teachings:

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Her life was quite literally saved by Jesus, and the lesson of this has been taught by Christians ever since. Alas, this lesson has sometimes been taught incorrectly, misunderstood as a license for wrongdoing, as so many ignore the part where Jesus said: “Go, and sin no more.”

Our gratitude for mercy ought to inspire genuine repentance. Certainly, Jesus did not teach that adultery is no big deal. He taught quite the opposite, as anyone who has studied the Bible should know. Instead, what He taught was the gospel (“good news”) of mercy toward sinners. Where there is life, there is hope, and so in saving the woman’s life — sparing her the lawful consequences of her sin — Jesus gave her hope of a new life through repentance: “Go, and sin no more.”

How long has Judge Moore defended the Ten Commandments as the basis of law? How often has he defied secular authorities in this? Certainly it appeared to me that he must be a man with a clean conscience. No wise man, cognizant of how an accusation of hypocrisy could destroy a career built on such a basis, would have acted as Judge Moore did — or so it seemed to me. When contemplating these damning allegations about his misconduct prior to his marriage, therefore, I am compelled to ask: If these things are true, didn’t Judge Moore realize he would eventually be called to account for his past?

Well, I can only speculate as to the possible explanation, but my hunch is this: Judge Moore hoped that if he tried to be faithful to God, if he repented and committed himself to doing God’s work, that those against whom he had sinned would see this evidence of repentance in his life and, as Christians, they would spare him from the disgrace of having to publicly confess every sordid detail of his sinful past. Yet if there is no mercy for a liberal celebrity like Kevin Spacey in the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse, it is pointless to expect that a Bible-believing Republican would be spared from this conflagration. Selah.

 

 

 

How did we get here? Well, first Donald Trump won the election, enraging feminists who had thought the Access Hollywood tapes had guaranteed his defeat. Among those most angry about this were celebrities like Ashley Judd. She has since come forth as one of the many women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The Weinstein scandal is to the anti-harassment crusade what the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was to World War I. Once that first shot was fired, forces were set in motion for a war so widespread that no one could remain neutral, and once-mighty empires turned to dust.

A century after the Bolshevik Revolution, and more than 25 years after the Soviet Union collapsed into the “ash-heap of history,” we seem to have entered another empire-destroying episode of history. There are some who say Trump will destroy (or perhaps already has destroyed) the GOP, but this is small comfort to Democrats, given all the scandals and schisms currently affecting their party and the Left in general. Beyond the scope of mere politics, however, the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse may signal the end of the 1960s Sexual Revolution. When we see what a Pandora’s Box of evils was opened in the name of “liberated” sexuality, how can anyone hope to escape if this wickedness continues?

However, it’s not as if we didn’t get a wake-up call with the Monica Lewinsky scandal, as Hot Air’s John Sexton reminds us:

There are a lot of us who lived through the Clinton era, myself included, who clearly remember the vicious attacks on his accusers (liars and trailer trash). We also remember the general mood of the national media which quickly shifted from taking the accusations seriously into “everyone lies about sex” mode. Bill lied to all our faces and many on the left applauded him for him. He was the victim of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” It was a disgusting display, one undeniably worse than the one surrounding Roy Moore right now. . . .
As Mary Katherine Ham suggested [Friday] on CNN, one reason so many Republicans find it easy to dismiss claims like the ones made against Roy Moore is that we’ve seen the national media do something similar for Democrats in the past. Not just Bill Clinton but Ted Kennedy and others. As Ham points out, NBC News just killed a report on progressive champion Harvey Weinstein a few weeks ago. The media can’t keep giving the left a pass on this issue, over and over, and then expect the right to play it straight when one of their own is accused.

Bingo. As long as Democrats can count on their liberal media friends to protect them from scandal (hello, Bob Menendez?) it is foolish to expect Republicans to throw away a Senate seat because of a GOP candidate’s alleged misconduct nearly 40 years ago. That is not to make excuses for anything Roy Moore may have done, in 1979 or at any other time, but merely to say: Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Republicans can’t expect to be judged by the Ted Kennedy standard, and that’s a good thing. One of the unintended blessings of liberal media bias is that it’s almost impossible for GOP politicians to get away with the kind of shenanigans we more or less expect from any Democrat. We see now, however, that many liberals have stopped covering up for the evil deeds of men like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey (both of whom, not coincidentally, were friends and allies of the Clintons). And if any Republican thinks this latter-day Salem witch-hunt hysteria will end before it destroys a few GOP witches, they had better think again.

“Go, and sin no more.”

If you’ve ever been guilty of sexual misconduct, the Internet is a deadly weapon that might be turned against you at any moment. Back when I worked in the newspaper business, there were all kinds of shenanigans that reporters and editors heard about, but could never report because (a) no one was willing to go on the record with an accusation, (b) there were no court documents or police reports of the incident, and (c) you couldn’t risk a libel suit with a story based on gossip or hearsay.

American libel law offers strong protection to a free press, and thank God for that, but no publisher wants to spend money defending a story based on “Jane Doe said Richard Roe touched her breast.” Unless there was an arrest or a lawsuit, such accusations of sexual misconduct were never going to be reported as news. But then Al Gore invented the Internet, and the Old School standards of journalism began to crumble.

It is remarkable, although most people didn’t even notice, that instead of going to the media with her accusations against Brett Ratner, Ellen Page just made the accusation on Facebook, on her own, and every news organization then quoted her Facebook post. Nothing like this would have been possible in the pre-Internet era. Perhaps an actress could have written such a statement and handed out Xerox copies at a movie premiere or an awards ceremony, but this would not have had the instantaneous “viral” effect that online publishing makes possible.

While I’m sure my readers are inclined to applaud the DIY ethic of citizen journalism — it’s a good day to hit the freaking tip jar, eh? — it is nevertheless necessary to point out the dangers involved. We may agree with the condemnation of Brett Ratner as a “garbage human,” but is it really a good idea to have sexual harassment cases tried in the Internet court of public opinion? Instead of complaining to the Human Resources department that a co-worker said or did something inappropriate, or hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit, now the aggrieved employee just goes on Facebook and — click, click, BOOM! — blows up the office with her self-published account of harassment. In this context, think about what happened to James Damore. He was working at Google when he wrote an internal memorandum raising questions about the company’s policies. Some of his colleagues were offended by his memo, and one of them decided to leak it to the tech-industry media, resulting in a controversy that led to Damore being fired. Click, click, BOOM!

How did we get here? That’s the question everyone should be asking, as we contemplate the strange new reality we are living in. When I was a freshman at Jacksonville (Ala.) State University — just 25 miles from where Roy Moore was beginning his career as an Etowah County assistant district attorney at the time — a computer was a giant machine operated with IBM punch cards. Nobody at the time could have predicted that the next 40 years of technological advancement would lead to where we are now, with every Republican on Twitter furiously arguing about how to deal with the Roy Moore scandal.

“Knowledge shall be increased,” as Daniel prophesied, and the explosion of knowledge in the Information Age has led to this Apocalypse.

We feel powerless, as individuals, to change the course of history. The powerful people in Hollywood and Washington, D.C., do not ask our advice or permission to do what they do, and we find ourselves swept along in a tide of events that are beyond our control. A toxic sewage of immorality is poured into our culture, twisted ideologies are taught in our universities, disastrous policies are enacted by our political leaders, and We the People are living with the consequences.

However powerless Americans may feel as we see our society sink further into cultural decadence, we are each responsible for our own actions. Every day we face the choice God gave the ancient Israelites.

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil . . . I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
Deuteronomy 30: 15, 19 (KJV)

We seem to be nearing the “end times” foretold by Daniel’s prophecy. The choices we make each day will affect not only ourselves, but our children and grandchildren. And we have been warned to beware of false prophets. One of the interesting aspects of the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse is the role played by Rose McGowan, who was herself among the victims of a wicked cult led by a false prophet, David Berg.

Rose McGowan (left); cult leader David Berg (right).

Berg’s “Children of God” (COG) cult began in the late 1960s in California, and Berg preached a sort of hippie gospel of “liberated” sex:

In public, COG was invoking the name of God. In private, its prophet was running a child sex ring. . . .
Starting in the late 1970s, Berg preached “sexual sharing” to all of his followers — and their children. “God created boys and girls able to have children by about 12 years of age,” Berg wrote in one of his letters. One photo pictured mothers orally copulating a little boy. In another, an adult woman and a toddler lay naked in bed, her hand suggestively near his penis. The caption read, “Well, they told us to go to bed!” . . .
Parents [in COG] were reassured that by allowing kids to explore sex at any age, they were “raising children the natural way.”
“The free expression of sexuality, including fornication, adultery, lesbianism (though not male homosexuality), and incest were not just permitted but encouraged,” writes Richard Kyle in The Religious Fringe: A History of Alternate Religions in America (1993).

Rose McGowan’s father was a leader of a COG group in Italy, but left the cult in the early 1980s and returned to the United States with Rose, who became an actress and starred in the TV series Charmed (2001-2006). Along the way, however, McGowan says she was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. She accepted a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein that included a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) clause, which was standard procedure in such matters. In hindsight, we realize that Weinstein and other wealthy men in Hollywood were willing to pay out such settlements as hush money, a necessary cost of their habitual behavior toward young women, and the NDAs were part of the conspiracy of silence that protected this corrupt culture. The entertainment-industry press was implicated in this, because even if reporters could get the facts about such incidents — a difficult task, if actresses weren’t willing to go on the record and name names — they ran the risk that pursuing these stories could lead to them losing access to sources. If you’re a reporter in Hollywood, you’re not going to score interviews with stars if the producers and agents and publicists view you as an enemy. So the symbiotic relationship between show business and the media covering show business was an integral part of what we may fairly call Hollywood’s rape culture.

Rose McGowan was apparently willing to play along with that game, so long as she was working regularly, but that changed in the past decade. As she went from being a young vixen to being one of the sad herd of aging actresses who must compete for the comparatively small number of roles available to older women, McGowan became a loose cannon rolling around on the deck of the movie business. In 2015, she lost her agent after she complained about a “sexist” casting-call for actresses in an Adam Sandler movie. McGowan complained she was “blacklisted” in Hollywood in an interview with a BuzzFeed reporter who made mention of “a rumored serial predator in the entertainment industry, a powerful figure who is often whispered about but never exposed.” This was clearly a reference to Weinstein. In a series of tweets in October 2016, McGowan alluded to a “rapist” who had bought the rights to one of her movies.

And then on Nov. 8, America elected President Donald Trump.

This was an ironic plot twist no Hollywood screenwriter could have imagined. The feminist rage unleashed by Trump’s victory led directly to the exposure of the “rumored serial predator” Weinstein, a longtime Clinton ally who had donated lots of money to Democrat Party causes.

 

As recently as May 2017, Weinstein was seated with Hillary Clinton at a Planned Parenthood gala in New York. Even as Weinstein celebrated the 100th anniversary of America’s leading abortion provider, however, reporters were working to get the story of Weinstein’s many decades of sexual misconduct, dating as far back as the 1970s, when he was a young rock-concert promoter. Rose McGowan was clearly part of that story, and Weinstein knew it. She says she was offered a million dollars to keep quiet just days before the New York Times story was published:

“I had all these people I’m paying telling me to take it so that I could fund my art,” Ms. McGowan said in an interview. She responded by asking for $6 million, part counteroffer, part slow torture of her former tormentor, she said. “I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three,” she said. “But I was like — ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting.”

The exposure of Weinstein was the spark that lit a wildfire of accusations in Hollywood, in the media, and in politics. Roy Moore has now been burned by this conflagration, and inspired a bitter quarrel between conservatives. Among others, David Horowitz has insisted that Republicans have no choice but to fight for Moore’s election, which led Commentary editor John Podhoretz to denounce Horowitz.

 

My own instinct is to side with Horowitz. There is no way at this point to replace Moore on the ballot, and the choice is either (a) surrender this Senate seat to Democrats, or (b) fight to elect Moore. Many conservatives I admire have argued that supporting Moore is too much to ask, that the Republican Party is already damaged by its support of Trump, and that it would be the negation of conservatism to defend Moore.

The crisis cannot be avoided, and yet the truth is this: Alabama voters will resolve this crisis one way or the other.

The people of Alabama will vote Dec. 12, and all the arguments made by all the pundits on Twitter will then become moot. Given how Trump’s election stunned the pundits, it appears that many voters have ceased paying attention to what the elite “experts” say about politics. My arguments are unlikely to sway the outcome in Alabama, even though I have many kinfolk and friends there. My cousins in Montgomery are Democrats, just as all my relatives were once Democrats and, indeed, Roy Moore was a Democrat as recently as 1986. I never voted Republican until 1994 myself, and have twice voted Libertarian (for Harry Browne in 1996 and Bob Barr in 2008) rather than cast my ballot for unprincipled GOP “moderates.” There is no third-party option for Alabama voters in this election, however, and so it’s either Roy Moore or his Democrat opponent, Doug Jones.

The same media outlets who felt it important to report about who Moore was dating in 1979 have shown no interest in reporting on Doug Jones’s personal life. Alabama voters are expected to presume that the Democrat is a paragon of moral virtue. Is he? Has anyone researched what Doug Jones was doing before he got married in 1992 at age 38? Has he been scrupulously faithful to his wife ever since? While we have no reason to suspect that Doug Jones is a sexual predator, this is only because he is a Democrat, and the media never goes snooping into a Democrat’s past the way they’ve done with Roy Moore. What would we learn if Breitbart or other conservative news operations were able to send hordes of reporters swarming around every Democrat candidate for office, the way the liberal media do with Republicans? But I digress . . .

We don’t know what we don’t know. We are not omniscient and cannot predict future events. In the absence of complete knowledge, we must wait and see what happens between now and Dec. 12, when the voters of Alabama will elect their next U.S. Senator. As I said Friday, “It would take a miracle for Judge Moore to be elected, but Alabama is full of people who believe in miracles.” Where there is life, there is always hope.





 

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