The Ghostwriter

ghost_writer

It would seem appropriate, in this halloween season, to write about ghosts & goblins. But, is that what a ghostwriter is?

According to Wikipedia:

A ghostwriter is a writer who is hired to author literary or journalistic works, speeches or other texts that are officially credited to another person.

Those lofty words spoken by Barack Obama, during his two terms in the presidential office, were predominantly written by someone else. Yes, apparently Obama is an accomplished writer, having been a former editor of the Harvard Law Review. Nevertheless, the majority of his public speeches were written by an army of ghostwriters under the supervision of a Whitehouse Director of Speechwriting.

Have you ever heard of Jon Favreau or Cody Keenan? I didn’t think so.

Yet, the entire world was mesmerized by the content of Obama’s speeches and his skills as an orator. The people behind the scenes did not receive the public credit due them.

That is the life of a ghostwriter – all work and no credit given.

As a former professional communicator, I have had my fair share of speech and article writing on behalf of another. I was paid to do a particular job and had to be satisfied with that alone. Yet, it has never ceased to amaze me how CEO’s, Directors, and Politicians alike have accumulated mass followings based on their lofty words – the content or literary emphasis being the brainchild of someone else.

Another creative area similar to ghostwriting, is the photographic works that individuals produce. Often those works are produced by individuals for the companies that employ them or are directly commissioned by government. Personally, I have had considerable work published and/or displayed in public spaces that I will never receive credit for. All credit and copyright belong to either the company(s) that employed me, or are the public property of government. That is the nature of commissioned works of art, at least in my neck-of-the-woods.

It may seem that I am a little bitter about that – truthfully, I am not. But, I do visit the aforementioned places approximately once a year or so. I wander through the halls of these majestic public buildings searching for photographic works that I had something to do with, in whole or in part. What was done in “secret” as a ghost photographer is sufficient for me 🙂

Now that I am considerably far removed from the hustle and bustle of the work world, I am quite content. I had invested a significant part of my life in being a ghostwriter and a commercial photographer. I have no regrets.

As an amateur blogger, I do not feel the pressures of corporate deadlines, nor the need to be overly concerned about content. Grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc. are secondary to just having fun.

Whatever tickles your fancy. Have fun  🙂

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Strange Bedfellows? Muslim Immigrants United With Social Conservative Christians Against Abortion

In all of Prime Minister Trudeau’s political doublespeak concerning the partisan policies and actions of the Liberal Party of Canada, I do not think that the twirling pirouette in a pink shirt saw this one coming.

Trudeau’s policy of fast tracking Muslim immigration claimants in Canada has produced an unwanted side-effect that progressive liberals did not count on. The majority of Muslims coming into Canada hold very conservative family values and are generally opposed to abortion. And they are not afraid to go public on the issues.

When it comes to the practical application of Trudeau’s policies concerning women’s issues, diversity seems to apply only to women who subscribe to the current politically correct liberal ideology. In other words, if you are a Muslim woman in Canada that holds to socially conservative values, i.e. against abortion, especially sex-selective abortion, you essentially have no voice on women’s issues in this country.

According to 21-year-old student, Palvasha Qureshi:

As a young woman growing up in Pakistan, I saw firsthand what happens when girls are not counted as equal to, or as valuable as, men. For that reason, sex-selective abortion concerns me, and I am not alone in that worry…this government likes to claim that it values diversity, and it attempts to showcase that by accepting many immigrants and repeating the mantra that “diversity is our strength.” But does Trudeau not understand that many new Canadians, immigrants like myself, have pro-life and socially conservative convictions?

cbc.ca

Qureshi’s pro-life views mirror the current position of the Roman Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestants in Canada. This effectually aligns the ideologically different Christian groups with socially conservative Muslims on pro-life issues. United together, they may prove to be a powerful voice for the sanctity of human life and the unborn in Canada.

Strange bedfellows? I don’t think so.

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The Problem of Presupposition: Part 2

Recently, I wrote an article on the problem of presupposition and ultimately fallacy amongst progressive liberals.  From my experience, it is very difficult to understand, let alone reason with the liberal-minded of today because of their core belief system and their fundamental commitment to that ideology.

Of course, any ideology has a core belief system upon which an individual and/or group evaluates other belief systems and commitments. In a general sense, the aversion that conservatives and liberals have towards each other is rooted in their fundamental and often opposing presuppositions and their commitment to those presuppositions.

Before I venture further into this subject matter, I would like to offer a working definition of presupposition courtesy of another blogger on WordPress.

What is a presupposition?

So what is a presupposition? A presupposition is a core belief or core commitment that we use to evaluate other beliefs or commitments. “Pre” in this sense is not “pre” as in prior in time, as if you make up your mind beforehand. Instead, it means “pre” as in basis or eminence. A presupposition is foundational to your other beliefs and provides a basis or framework for your other beliefs. Additionally, a presupposition is not a matter of the mind only – it’s not a hypothesis or a purely cognitive supposition. It is a commitment – a matter of the mind and heart.

Jed Kampen, A Day in His Court

In many ways, I wish I had referred to Kampen’s article earlier. As one can readily ascertain from the provided definition, a person’s presuppositions are NOT something he or she decides beforehand, a matter of hypothesis or mental reasoning only, but a bonafide commitment to a worldview upon which they view or filter everything else.

This alone should bring more understanding, and perhaps a little humility into our discussion of political ideology. Now, for the sake of brevity, I will not delve into what core values constitute liberalism versus conservatism. Once again, Google is your friend here. I can personally recommend the many articles on Wikipedia concerning the aforementioned as a good starting point.

I mentioned in a previous post, that as a younger person, many of the liberal issues surrounding individual rights, like freedom of religion and conscience and freedom of speech, appealed to me as a Christian or follower of Christ. Likewise, some of the community aspects of modern socialism, including caring for the poor and disenfranchised, appeared to be very similar to my own Christian belief system. Included in that were the sociocultural elements of growing up, at least in part, in a small farming community in western Canada, where faith, the Church, and socialist politics (New Democrat Party, i.e. the NDP) were an integral part of life.

It is my understanding that many of our core values, including our belief system, are instilled in us at a very early age.

Unlike more than a few of my peers in college and university, my core values and commitment to Christ was stronger than I thought. When I encountered the myriad of contrary and contradicting ideologies in a radical socialist university setting, I was not as easily swayed as some of my fellow students. I take no credit for that – I attribute that to the sovereignty and purpose of God in my life.

Many were young, their minds were ripe for the picking by less-than-scrupulous liberal and socialist ideologues who sought to remake them (us) in their image.

Truth be told, I “went to war” against more than one of my professors on matters of morality and ethics, only to suffer some ostracism from a few classmates and retaliation from professors (or TA’s) when it came to marking my essays and exams.

So much for free thinking and open debate in university. The politically correct police were alive and well on campus, even back in the early 1980’s. It might be interesting to note that both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church had colleges on campus, neither of which I chose to enrol in. Nevertheless, more than one of the aforementioned liberal-minded socialist professors were tenured at either one of those colleges. No surprise there, but bitterly disappointing to me at the time.

It did not take me long to figure out that modern socialism is rooted in secular humanism, and by definition is Godless. That small community of farmers, mentioned earlier, supported socialism and voted NDP because it benefitted them economically at that time. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, things have changed over the last 35 years or so. The socialist politics of yesterday have been swept away and replaced with conservatism almost universally in our province. The holdouts are unionists and those who depend on social services and the gravy train, especially those living in the more remote northern regions of the province.

Although modern liberalism is also rooted in secular humanism, there has been more tolerance and latitude for belief systems such as Christianity and its inherit morality and ethics. Unfortunately, what was true two or three decades ago in Canada, is no longer true today. As alluded to in an earlier post, somewhere along the line, liberalism expunged morality and ethics from its core values, at least in terms of absolute morality and ethics. Many of us who were once liberals, and Christian, have now sought shelter amongst conservatives.

Our nation has moved from legalizing abortion to euthanasia (physician assisted suicide). Politicians, lawyers, and judges have diluted the legal definition of marriage and family to something almost unrecognizable. The powers that be have chipped away, eroded, and limited freedom of speech. Political leaders are antagonizing the very principles of freedom of religion and conscience by repeatedly caving in to specific religious special interest groups. Just about anything in our culture that represents Christianity is under attack in the public realm by the aforementioned, amongst others. To disagree with an ideology, other than Christianity (apparently it is Ok to target Christians) and to question the morality and ethics of individuals or groups is to invite a barrage of vitriol and hatred, or worse.

Why do the aforementioned hate anyone or anything that would shine a light on that which is hidden in the darkness of their hearts and minds? Because they are as wholeheartedly committed to their ideology as I am to mine.

The question is “who is right?” Which ideology is vastly superior to the other? These are the questions we should be asking rather than just assuming (based on presuppositions) that all political and religious philosophies or ideologies are equal.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 🙂

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The Problem of Presupposition

There will be pain...

Yesterday, I wrote a rather satirical article on one of the presuppositions or fables of progressive liberalism, specifically, the falsehood that the entire world is rapidly changing and is in desperate need of a “good” injection of progressive liberalism by the hands of the indoctrinated.

The truth is that no amount of personal dialogue or blogging is going to change the minds of the aforementioned unless the voice of moderates – philosophers, theologians, writers, speakers, etc., continue to chip away and expose the fallacies of their presuppositions – the very basis of their convoluted and discombobulated liberalism of today.

As a former liberal ideologue, some twenty years ago, I would also like to point out that this new wave of progressive liberalism that we witness today, especially in the US and Canada, is predominantly the brainchild of a different spirit* that, in my understanding, is leading people towards an end result of catastrophic biblical proportions. Something that will prove to be quite sinister or evil in contemporary society.

* And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2: 1-3 NASB

Now, if you were to back me into a corner, I would readily admit that there just might be some things about progressive liberalism that are good, at least as far as human perspective is concerned. Nevertheless, there is something very different about this “new wave” of liberalism that is very troubling, not only to me, but to many of my colleagues and peers.

This ideology or worldview is readily reflected in this present time in a subset of young people (Millenials) that openly express their feelings of being misunderstood, disaffected, discontented, and alienated from entire institutions (including the Church) of previous generations. It is very important to recognize that the aforementioned is NOT representative of an entire generation of Millennials and does NOT speak for them as a whole.

Nothing new here. It is almost a right of passage in the West for young people to rebel against an older generation. The difference though, today, is that this new wave of liberals appear to have closed their minds to anyone and anything that would get in the way of their incomprehensible agenda(s).

This group is social media savvy, trolling the inter-web like angry guard dogs. They are acid-tongued and vitriol in their words, intolerant of opposing viewpoints, and utilize extreme social pressure to keep their own peers in line. They are known as public haters of God and country, and have a tendency towards going far beyond civil disobedience to the point of anarchy – rampant violence, looting and property destruction. Incredibly, left-leaning Hollywood personalities, university professors and the liberal media have been aiding and abetting this wanton violence and destruction almost with impunity.

Biblical warnings like this take on a whole new significance today:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 2 Timothy 3: 1,2 NLT.

Over the last year or so, I have watched a few videos shot in Toronto during Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests. What started out as ordinary run-of-the-mill protests slowly evolved into something much more frightening. The words of hatred and violence coming out of the mouths of some of their leaders or spokespersons was nothing short of despicable. They even went so far as to call Prime Minister Trudeau, a progressive liberal himself, a white racist. I would not be surprised if these same individuals appeared on the radar of not only the local police, but CSIS in short order.

Crazy is as crazy does…our words often entrap us.

And the whole world wonders why so many of my generation, who were once liberals, defending freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and freedom of speech in Canada, have left the camp of the abominable and have sought shelter amongst conservatives. What has changed? Liberalism as we knew and understood it has changed. Somewhere along the line, morality and ethics were expunged from liberalism. From my perspective, to its own demise.

The following story clearly illustrates the frustration that many moderates experience in attempting to dialogue with an individual and/or group, who’s mind is already made up based on erroneous presuppositions:

I heard about a man who was convinced he was dead. His wife was obviously very concerned about him, so she took him to see many friends, counsellors, psychologists, even pastors, and no one could convince him he was not dead. Finally, in desperation, she took him to see a medical doctor. The doctor asked the man, “Do you believe that dead men bleed?” The man thought about it and answered, “Well, I suppose their heart isn’t beating so, no, dead men don’t bleed.” The doctor then took a needle and pricked the man on the finger. The man stared at his bleeding finger, and the lights in his eyes came on, and he exclaimed “Well would you look at that. Dead men do bleed.” 🙂

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I was born for such a time as this…

P1130188
The gull sees farthest who flies highest.

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast about fake news and the current “popular” media debate on the First Amendment in the United States. We seem to be living in a time in history where both the First and Second amendments in the US constitution are under attack. If you have no idea what I am referring to, that is OK – Google is your friend.

From my perspective, a whole lot of presuppositions existed in that hyped-up podcast, a small offshoot of a major news network. The biggest presupposition or fable is that we are living in rapidly changing times, and that either we get on the “right” side of history or we will be left behind socially, culturally, politically, etc.

What a bunch of horse shit! It is obvious to anyone with reasonable intelligence and world travel experience, outside of their own little Columbia university alumni circle, that the entire world is NOT rapidly changing, as they say, but moving along at a rather slow turtle-like pace.

Most inhabitants on the planet like it that way – peaceful, predictable, and enduring.

The majority of the world’s population has not bought into the new wave of progressive liberalism as served up by the New York Times (NYT) and/or other social libertarian rags in the West. In fact, the majority of planet earth has not even read the NYT. Oh, for the love of foosball, many of the earth’s inhabitants don’t even own a TV, let alone have unrestricted high-speed access to the internet.

No, the truth is that the “rapidly changing society” disinformation is another falsehood propagated and disseminated by the liberal media in the West. For those addicted to their phones and social media, it may appear that universal society is out-of-control and in desperate need of a “good” injection of progressive liberalism to cure it.

Nothing could be farther from the truth! Ordinary people everywhere are living their lives just like they did centuries ago.

Eat, sleep, work, rinse, repeat.

Most of us in the West do not give a rat’s ass about what is happening amongst the inbred society of the politically correct. We are too busy involved in working, raising our families, and paying exorbitant taxes to support the discombobulated liberal agenda and their muppets and puppets who have nothing better to do than protest and bellyache all day long, 24-7.

I was born for such a time as this…I relish the opportunity to dispel the myths of that loud-mouthed group of miscreants known as progressive liberals.

Get a life, get a real job, and start contributing to Western society instead of your infantile and futile attempts to burn it to the ground.

You will be assimilated; resistance is futile 🙂

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A liberal’s true wretchedness is revealed in their words…

It can rightfully be said that a liberal’s true wretchedness is revealed in their words. Take a gander at what has been said publicly over the last few days on social media and the liberal news outlets.

Hayley Geftman-Gold, former VP at CBS said that she was “not even sympathetic” to victims of the Las Vegas shooting because “country music fans often are Republican.”

Hayley would later go on to apologize for her cold and nonsensical statement(s):

“Earlier today I posted an indefensible post in a Facebook discussion thread concerning the tragic Las Vegas shooting, a statement I sincerely regret. I am deeply sorry for diminishing the significance of every life affected by Stephen Paddock’s terrorism last night and for the pain my words have inflicted on the loved ones of the victims. My shameful comments do not reflect the beliefs of my former employer, colleagues, family, and friends. Nor do they reflect my actual beliefs — this senseless violence warrants the deepest empathy. I understand and accept all consequences that my words have incurred.”

According to a CBS spokeswoman, Geftman-Gold, “who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS. Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families.”

If you commit the crime…you do the time.

Do you really want to be associated with “friends” that think, speak, and act that way? Almost no compassion, zero tolerance for opposing viewpoints, and a cavalier attitude towards human life.

To add insult to injury, the icky liberals are crawling out of the woodwork claiming that they feel sorry for Hayley and that she is a “victim” of freedom of speech.

Oh, for the love of foosball. Are these people certifiably insane? What slimy rock did they crawl out from under?

Like an invasion of cockroaches, the liberal mindset just never seems to go away.

Unless, of course, one is fearless enough to squash them one by one.

And, please…don’t resort to the same sort of violent mentality of groups like the Antifa et al. Fight incomprehensible evil with the truth. The inked quill is mightier than the sword. Combat evil, like the aforementioned, with words of wisdom and NOT VIOLENCE.

Yes, I know, it is really hard to be tolerant and respectful of individuals and/or entire groups who hate God and country. No one said that this would be an easy task, did they?

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Peace in the midst of chaos…

The Might Atlantic
The mighty waves of the Atlantic crashing along the Nova Scotia coastline. © 2017 Bruce Kraus. All rights reserved.

I would like to briefly talk about the recent tragedy in Las Vegas and similar incomprehensible acts of evil that have occurred in Canada and around the world. Although I was made aware of a number of terrible events, in a recent telephone conversation with my mom, I purposely avoided reading or watching the news concerning the aforementioned until this morning.

Continue reading “Peace in the midst of chaos…”