Friday, May 10, 2019

MONA - Defending Your Rights Away

The Kansas City Star has done a good job of smearing Missouri activist Ron Calzone over his opposition to a proposed bill 'that would add protections for LGBTQ Missourians'. But whatever you might think of Ron or his reasoning on this, what you really should consider is that laws such as these do not add to anyone's rights, they take away from everyone's rights and add to government's power over us all.
I oppose this Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) for the same reasons that I've opposed all of the various RFRA's (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), because they infringe upon the liberty of everyone. Each of these 'protections' implicitly presume that you and I lack the right and power to make our own decisions unless we have 'legitimate', govt approved reasons, for doing so, despite what the the 1st Amendment, and the 9th Amendment, and the 10th Amendment and the Contract clause of Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1, have to say on the matter.

The law, properly, defines the boundaries of our actions, not what they should be or how pleasing they have to be to popular sensibilities, moral or otherwise - that is the very meaning of the 1st Amendment! When we err and violate that hard rule 'for the greater good', we then put govt in the position of defining the morality which we then all Must adhere to - which has the affect of eliminating the moral quality from it. Worse, because we've given Govt the Power to make that choice, having made it, it can then change its mind as it sees "legitimately" fit, whichever way the popularity needle happens to point to in the shifting demographics of the day.

Whatever good intentions a bill like this might ride into law on the backs of today, you can be sure that there will be those in power tomorrow who, caring not one whit about the 'good intentions' which put that power into their hands, will wring every drop of power from it to serve their own purposes tomorrow.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

'There's a spectre haunting America, the spectre of Constitutionalism' - The Road Not Taken to Making Americans American Again

I shared a post last week that I found hopeful, concerning a small but successful program at a sizable Ivy League University that's pursuing 'Wisdom First, Job Skills Second' (which is both surprising and new for today), through studying key works in the development of Western Civilization, and the foundations of a free society. At about the same time, a friend of mine shared a post about a 'name' Republican considering a move to the Libertarian party to run for President in 2020, which seems neither new, surprising, nor hopeful to me. The paths that these two posts propose, diverge into a future which we all hope will be better and brighter, and while they aren't mutually exclusive roads, I suspect that once we take one path, we won't get a chance for a do-over. So my question is, which road do you think is better suited to make all the difference for us, and why? Which road do you think we will have to make excuses for somewhere in the future, when we tell our grandchildren about the one we traveled by?


This is the post my friend Lloyd, a small 'L' libertarian [see my update to this, from Lloyd, below] who identifies as a Whig (you'd have to ask him), shared on the continuing struggle between Republicans & Libertarians over those who self-identify as fans of "Liberty!",
"...Libertarian Party leadership is now urging Justin Amash to run for President and make a third party challenge to the sitting President, Trump. According to Roll Call, the Michigan Republican told h…"
To which he commented with a mixture of sense and something else:
"Republicans will NEVER shrink this government AND they CANNOT be reformed from within. (Trump was the party's last chance.)
It does NOT prove the LP is the answer. It DOES prove it's gonna take a different party than donkeys or elephants, or the nation is lost.
A word to the wise-- however few of us remain."
As long as I've known him, one of Lloyd's fondest ambitions has seemed to be to see our current two party system upended or ended - particularly in regards to the GOP - and with each passing year I see even less wisdom in the prospect of such 'News!' as that. Not, as my friend persistently presumes, because I somehow 'support' the GOP (I have not been a supporter since George 'Read my lips: No new taxes" Bush 41), but for at least two other reasons:
First, because I think that it is truly hopeless to look to political parties or politicians for meaningful solutions, which presume (and require) ideas and positions which the majority of the electorate are neither knowledgeable about, nor have they shown any signs of interest in, or of even being open to considering - politics is the natural end result of that process, where an idea has bubbled up from the grass roots into a political hot-button, but politics is not the starting point of that process, and behaving as if it is, is getting it all wrong.
Second, given our current situation where We The People as an electorate are facing an unprecedented threat to liberty under limited government, by a Democrat Party which is now largely and openly identifying as being 'Democratic Socialists', it seems self-evidently foolish to pursue a path that must mean dividing the ability of 'The Right' to provide political resistance to the opposing party's efforts to gain power over our lives.
No matter how enthusiastic the libertarians are, there is no evidence of massive popular support for some alternative set of political ideas that have people champing at the bit to rush into the voting booth in support of them. Instead of popular bottom up demands for a new party, these are the top down calls of the soph-infatuated who want to shove their political influence down into the power of popular opinion, and I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.

And although the second of those reasons is the more urgent, the first is the more important. As bad as I fear the electoral repercussions of a 3rd or 4th party would be, I think the inevitable failure that would result from the success of such a political agenda, would be even worse. The citizenry have to, at the very least, be already inclined towards, and open to, the new ideas and solutions being peddled to them, before they can be led in supporting them - but to succeed at doing the reverse of that, would require the mass use of force animating mass action through emotional zeal, rather than sober resolve, and that must end in disaster. That's not just my oh so humble opinion, but that of History's as well, which you can get a fair grasp of by looking at two contrasting sets of such revolutions: England's 'Glorious Revolution' and the American Revolution, both of which were successfully carried forward upon the strength of the people's support for their ideas; as against the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution, which sloganeered a largely ignorant and riled up people, into embracing tyranny and genocide. This snippet from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's short address on the subject gives a hint at the issue, and the full address is well worth reading,
"...It is now better and better understood that the social improvements which we all so passionately desire can be achieved through normal evolutionary development--with immeasurably fewer losses and without all-encompassing decay. We must be able to improve, patiently, that which we have in any given "today."
It would be vain to hope that revolution can improve human nature, yet your revolution, and especially our Russian Revolution, hoped for this very effect. The French Revolution unfolded under the banner of a self-contradictory and unrealizable slogan, "liberty, equality, fraternity." But in the life of society, liberty, and equality are mutually exclusive, even hostile concepts. Liberty, by its very nature, undermines social equality, and equality suppresses liberty--for how else could it be attained? Fraternity, meanwhile, is of entirely different stock; in this instance it is merely a catchy addition to the slogan. True fraternity is achieved by means not social but spiritual. Furthermore, the ominous words "or death!" were added to the threefold slogan, effectively destroying its meaning...."
[bold in original]
Now, am I saying that if Libertarians succeeded in unseating the GOP, without the public wanting and understanding their positions, that they'd devolve into a bloody revolution? Well of course not! How ridiculous to suggest that freedom loving people could do such things. In fact, like Jefferson, I'd say the prospects of that were an outrageous suggestion, as obviously such a liberty oriented movement would never cost a single life! Of course... Thomas Jefferson said that very same thing... just a month before the riots began that kicked off the French Revolution's downward spiral, eventually devolving into tyrannical bloodshed and genocide (the Vendee is what Alexander Solzhenitsyn was referring to

Sunday, March 17, 2019

College Education: The road not chosen

Much is being said about the rich and famous buying their kids way into college. It is shocking. Sad. But what seems more shocking to me, is what these parents and students were clearly not seeking from the colleges they sought to buy their way into, and it is shocking how little that lack has figured into the discussions I've seen about the issue so far.
Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman college scam

Of course what all of these parents and students are seeking to gain from their entrance into these exclusive colleges - whether through honest or dishonest means - is, as Ben Shapiro describes, status, connections, and the favorable appearances that come from having attended such schools.
"...The question is why. Both these families are wealthy. The children of these families weren’t going to lack for opportunity in life. Furthermore, isn’t college designed to train people for the real world? Wouldn’t admission under false pretenses result in the kids flunking out? Wouldn’t their lack of merit be revealed by the simple pressure of the schooling?

The answer is obvious: no, it wouldn’t. Colleges aren’t about training kids for the real world, or teaching them significant modes of thinking, or examining timeless truths. Universities aren’t about skill sets, either – at least in the humanities. They’re about two things: credentialism and social connections...."
But I disagree, the question is not 'Why did they do this?', just as the question isn't what they were seeking to get from college, the real question is what these parents and students were not seeking from college, and what other's aren't seeking from our colleges, either. The less advantaged parents and students which so many people are concerned have been unfairly deprived of positions due to these scams, have the very same expectations - and lack of them - even as they complain bitterly about not being able to enjoy the same diploma/golden-ticket to 'success' which graduates of the exclusive colleges are most likely to enjoy.

What these parents, students, friends and faculty, were most definitely not seeking to gain from these exclusive colleges, can partly be seen in how they sought to gain admittance to them. For instance, by arranging for others to take their tests for them, or by posing for pictures that photo-shopping would make them appear to have mad sports skilz (which they would have to lie about for the rest of their college careers), they clearly were not seeking a deeper reverence for what is True; they obviously weren't interested in learning how to live their lives with character and integrity; they certainly weren't seeking after a clearer understanding of honesty and justice; and they most definitely were not seeking to shake the habit of judging a book by its cover.
The Picture of Dorian Grey

In fact, judging themselves and others on appearances alone is what they are most clearly all about, and any deeper regard these prospective students might somehow gain for integrity and morality, would in fact have been a serious threat to what they saw as being in their best interests - they could go to jail over taking such thoughts seriously. What they are most of all not seeking in their elite college 'education', is a deeper understanding of themselves; they do not seek to develop the habit of reflecting upon and questioning what they hold to be true (not doubting, mind you, but questioning, which is a very different thing), nor do they seek a vision of what sort of life is truly worth living, and the courage to attempt the living of it. One thing we can be pretty confident that these parents, students, friends and faculty do not seek from these exclusive colleges, is a Liberal education - they do not seek to be led out of the cave of shallow appearances, illusions and the pretenses of those in thrall to power - if anything they seek to move deeper into the comforting darkness of those caves. They think they already know what success is, and only seek more of the same.

And apparently there is nothing in the reputations of these oh so exclusive colleges, that in any way causes any of them to worry overly much about the possibility of their being exposed to any such dangerous ideas and beliefs as honesty, self awareness, or any of the other traditional crown jewels of Western Civilization.

Our most exclusive colleges have excelled for well over a century now, in teaching students either a complete lack of familiarity with the stories, history, thoughts and achievements of Western Civilization, or else they instill in them a carefully parsed narrative of trivialized factoids about them, carefully sterilized with doubt and cynicism, so as to ensure that the real value and meaning of their birthright will never make it past the false fronts of their formal education. They will receive lesson after lesson in an enduring lack of regard for honor and respect, instructional booby traps that will be continuously triggered throughout their lives, dislodging and shattering any virtues that experience might accidentally instill in them.

It's bad enough that the mass of students in our culture today have these absences fostered in them by what passes for education among us, but these students, our 'best and brightest' who succeed in getting their prized diplomas, risk having entire areas of their souls  barred from them by the cherubim of modernity, to their accidental entrance. When the purpose of Education ceases to be truth and wisdom, and becomes facts and power instead ("Knowledge is Power!" don't ya know), does the fact that the educated care more about increasing the power of those in power, than in educating their students, really surprise anyone? Think of the messages we repeat to ourselves today, which I summed up in an earlier post:
"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, knowledge is power, so get an education to get the knowledge needed get a job and make lots of money, and never forget that Having lots of money is bad, and pay attention in school so you can earn more of it."
Who here really expects things to turn out differently than they do? Successful graduates are not seeking to live lives worth living, and so they will be driven by little more than the utility of appearances, because that is what our entire culture, let alone the elite schools, teach them is important. And when the inevitable storms come and wreck whatever social and material gains they've amassed, they will be rocked by those losses, as a miser is by the loss of his coin. They will know of no depths to which they can repair to and ride the storms out from. They will have no inner sanctums that will remain untouched by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Instead, these ideal graduates, as with the parents who've taught them, when deprived of the persistent distractions that wealth and privilege afford them, will find themselves faced with nothing more than what they no longer possess. And should they somehow manage to take an honest look at themselves in the mirror, it will be like unveiling their inner Picture of Dorian Grey.

What worthlessness we seek after. What wealth we shun. And what multitudes of company we have in the world today, in Modernity's graduating class.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Conservatives Continue to Hammer Themselves in the Left's 'Long Game'

A friend of mine brought an article to my attention, with the catchy title of "Roberts And Kavanaugh’s Death Penalty Betrayal Again Shows Why Conservatives Never Win The Long Game On Judges". Attention getting, eh? With a title like that, of death, betrayal and long games, you might expect to learn something about the story behind the case, presumably starting with what it's all about. What we learn about it, is that the SCOTUS recently:
"...summarily reversed the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' determination that Mr. Moore "did not have intellectual disability and consequently was eligible for the death penalty...."
, and that is all, repeat all, of the information mentioned about the actual case itself. Curious. If what's happening with a case in the Supreme Court is important enough to post on to the general public, shouldn't there at least be some mention of the nature of original case made, such as what crime was committed, which rights and laws were originally violated in it? Even just a quick aside, on the way to making another point, as the AP did here:
"...The justices ruled 5-3 on Wednesday in favor of inmate Vernon Madison, who killed a police officer in 1985. His lawyers say he has suffered strokes that have left him with severe dementia...."
I can't help but wonder what sort of view of The Law a person has, that when communicating the importance of a case to those who are unfamiliar with it, that they find the original crime and punishment of that case to be of little importance, even irrelevant to the story? The author of that post, Josh Hammer (the latest in a long line of 'Conservative!'s to sport the bow-tie look), surely knows far more about the particulars & processes of the law than I ever will, as  his blurb notes that he's clerked for a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and for the Senate Judiciary committee, and much more... including this:
"Josh graduated from Duke University, where he majored in Economics, and from the University of Chicago Law School"
Law School and Economics. Huh. That caught at my attention a bit... snagging on a fragment of a useless memory, where Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once wrote in the Harvard Law Review, envisioning a future of lawyers as "...the man of the future is the man of statistics and master of economics..." - of course Holmes was not only not a conservative, he was one of the original Pro-Regressive anti-conservatives to sit on the Supreme Court. Huh. Well, be that as it may, you might still think that having graduated from two prestigious colleges would've helped Hammer to clarify the nature of the case he's posting about. Nope, that skill seems to have been left out of his education. From Josh, we learn nothing of what crimes were committed, nothing about who was wronged, what individual rights were violated, or what injustices were perpetrated, or otherwise claimed before the SCOTUS. What sort of 'intellectual disability' was it that Mr. Moore was claiming, and why? Nope. And nothing substantive about what the issues in question were and are, not even what the death penalty is for (murder? kidnapping?), or what the circumstances or extenuating circumstances, if any, were. That seems like a lot to find irrelevant.

Hammer does however have lots to say about the technical and political aspects of this case. Of the technicalities, he tells the reader of its movement through the courts: when it was originally tried, and retried; of fealty to stare decisis norms; that precedents were set, and precedents were ignored; a 'per curiam' opinion was given (not what that is, or what opinion was given in it, just that something was improperly handled); he tells us who dissented, concurred or reversed their opinions, or gave none at all; he notes that binding and non-binding stuff happened, and so on and so forth. On the political aspects of the case, he focuses upon viewing it through a particularly partisan lens to the point that he even expresses his disgust with Republicans failing to "...work to end sycophantic judge-worship...". Seriously? The Right is often accused of many things, but 'sycophantic judge-worship' isn't one I often hear - and what does it mean? He doesn't say. If you drill into and through a few layers of his links, you might begin to get some sense of what he means by that (using federal and state legislation to reduce the scope of judicial rulings, together with a POTUS taking an Andrew Jackson approach to the judiciaries rulings: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it"), but the casual reader of this post is given no clue about what he meant by any of that, other than, obviously, the 'badness' of Republican Nominated Judges failing us.

In short, he tells us loads and loads about the particulars and processes and operational technicalities of the law that were, or perhaps weren't, followed, but nothing at all about the original details of the case, the arguments for, or against it, or how those many technicalities led it to being raised at the Supreme Court, and serve the cause of Justice being done, and all of that lack of information is packaged here to hype an agenda which largely remains unclear. This post isn't a one-off for him; while there are exceptions, it's common for him to take this approach in his posts, and he is not the only conservative today to be taking it, and it's that wider norm, more than Hammer himself, that my comments are being directed towards here. Focusing on the technicalities of law might be appropriate for a journal for law nerds, but the fact that this was posted on the Daily Wire for the general public's consumption, means that those unexplained technicalities of law are going to be driven forward under the power of the post's partisan political sizzle alone, which I think tells us something about how a successful conservative lawyer views the law today, and how they think the public should view the law: keenly focused upon particulars, processes and points scored, rather than on the principles and purposes which those processes were (originally) supposed to serve.

That, IMHO, is a symptom of the very problem that Hammer is ranting about (and is exacerbating), and points towards just what sort of long game he's playing -  whether or not he's aware of whose game it is that he's playing in (I have my doubts), is another and deeper issue.

He hammers on through his lens:
"...what is not particularly enjoyable is to watch the legal conservative movement beclown itself time and time again by nominating — and placing institutional and political capital behind — judges who more often than not deeply disappoint conservatives."
How conservative of a legal perspective is it, to show little or no concern for communicating the substance of a case (again: Murder? Kidnapping? Causes? Pleas?) to an audience, or even what meaning the SCOTUS decision had for this and other similar cases, but instead concerns itself only with the technical processes and aspects of the SCOTUS decision that ran afoul of his partisan expectations of the judges involved? That approach seems far less concerned with making an argument from first principles, than with making a utilitarian case for a 'greater good' that tilts right. Is it now a conservative legal perspective to

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

This MLK Jr. Day: Does Toxic Sanctimony Signal that Virtue is beyond us?

This weekend leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was one where our societal norms skipped right by the old 'slippery slope', and made a dash for the downward escalator of moral decay, where the earlier shock value over 'punch a nazi!', was left behind by the new virtue signaling of 'punch a teen!', and much, much, worse. I wish I could say that this was 'Unbelievable!', but... I can't, because it's not. At all.

The media, perhaps still stinging over the failure of their Trumpophobic BuzzFeed article, and eager for a viral story to put that behind them, found what their next media frenzy in the spectacle of adults deliberately using schoolkids as pawns and fodder to drive a politically correct narrative - one which had no more veracity than their own desire for it to be true. One grievance after another was brought to bear upon a group of Catholic high school students who dared to be happy, Christian and (mostly, not all, but mostly apparently means all don't need to be considered) white, while taking in the sights of their nations capital, following their participation in the March for Life demonstration.

Apparently unable to accept the 'horror' of all of that imagery, a highly edited video (and the raw full length video is linked to below, which shows how contrived this was) twisted and misrepresented a narrative in pictures and video, with a garnish of outright lies, in order to present a NeverTrump'r fantasy of 'racist... dusty crackers' (aka: high school students), as if it was they who were abusing a lone idealistic American Indian & Vietnam veteran trying to get himself some peace and understanding. Sadly, the facts clearly show that it was the groups of despicable adult activists, who were taunting and intimidating school kids on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial, deliberately provoking them in an effort to trigger an outburst from them, which thankfully never came, so they instead edited the video to push a lie they never expected to be caught in, so as to fuel a social media firestorm of political correctness, to attack the teenagers that they couldn't themselves push out of line - consumed as they were, by a fine example of what Michelle Malkin has so ably described elsewhere this week, as Toxic Sanctimony.

It is very much a legitimate question to ask ourselves, if this is a signal that Virtue is beyond the grasp of our society today? Have we really fallen from the level of a people willing to bravely confront and overcome our failures and shortcomings, and to renew our effort to live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, as Martin Luther King Jr. urged us to do from that same location a half century ago, to one that prefers the easy road of masking vice as Virtue? For a while that certainly seemed to be the case as the posturing 'adults', talking heads, and the famous for being famous of the left and right, who all eagerly shoved their way to the front of the too hurried to fact-check line, in order to denounce these kids with righteous sanctimony, without doing any due diligence of investigation or fact checking.

It's not a pleasant sight to see, but there are plenty of examples of it to see, such as this one from former CNN contributor:
"Reza Aslan @rezaaslan Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?"
, and a producer of family friendly flicks from Disney Studios, Jack Morrisey, who tweeted wistfully of MagaKids being tossed to their gory deaths in a wood chipper:

There's also the charming offer of a comedy writer for 'Saturday Night Live', offering a blowjob to whoever punched one of these teenagers in the face. There's much worse, but that sets the tone for the Left... but of course the eager condemnations weren't coming only from the Left, as many eager virtue signalers on the Right, stepped right up, such as the erstwhile Charlie Kirk and of course 'neo-con' neverTrump'rs joined in as well, such as Bill Kristol (who later deleted it):
"The contrast between the calm dignity and quiet strength of Mr. Phillips and the behavior of #MAGA brats who have absorbed the spirit of Trumpism–this spectacle is a lesson which all Americans can learn. https://t.co/EbXMa6Bbel — Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 19, 2019"
Unfortunately for Kristol, there was no 'calm dignity and quiet strength' being displayed for the frequent liar and activist Mr. Phillips to be proud of, only momentarily appealing lies to be peddled from a sympathetic face, dripping with toxic sanctimony, spreading a thick glaze of lies and spin, in order to be seen as being so seemly on social media. He and they seemed to be getting away with it, until... the facts began to trickle through, and soon after gushed out in unedited streaming videos, and the tide began to turn, led, fortunately, by a number of 'Oops' heads from the Right, and from the Left, who realized that they shoulda known better.

For those people who simply 'condemned' the students out of credulous ignorance, ok, maybe their apologies might be appropriate, but for those who doxed them (made the home, school and business addresses, etc public), and called for violence to be visited upon KIDS, for the horrendous crime of wearing a hat and making a face? These kids, their families, their lives, safety, employment, were and are still being subjected to serious threats of violence - their High School closed down, shut down their website until further notice - How is that in any way forgivable with only a 'Oh. Sorry.'? Hopefully that won't be the case for long.

Tragically, it turns out, the kids in this incident are among the few involved who behaved as adults and maintained their dignity, while the majority of the adults, both onsite and online, behaved little better than a pack of schoolyard bullies. This post in Reason has been updated at the end, to include the full statement of the teen who was confronted by the 'adult' Mr. Phillips, who for several minutes beat his drum with a mallet two inches from the face of a seventeen year old boy, and the boy, Eric Sandman's statement, is well worth reading, prompting the question that Dana Loesch asked in her Facebook post, that:
"...Lastly, why are kids being treated as responsible adults and the adults being excused as kids here? Ideology gives no adult an excuse to abandon their responsibility to lead by modeling good behavior for the next generation...."
Yet even as the facts emerged via unedited video, some dug in and amped up the spin to misrepresent the facts even further, and others sought to spread them as well, hoping perhaps for the cover of relativity to shield them with 'the truth can't be known, and must fall lost into a dark space in the middle of the Left and Right.'.

Yeh, sorry, no, I call B.S. on that.Even with that, there are those, such as Phillips, doubling down on his claims of being harassed and insulted even though the video shows differently. There are also

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Mitt Romney blows a sour note on his Trumpet

Some people, especially NeverTrumpr’s, are wondering why people haven't been especially welcoming to Mitt Romney’s ‘op-ed’ attacking Trump’s character flaws.

Personally, I'm more surprised about how those NeverTrump'rs who identify as being 'conservatives', and especially those veterans of the Tea Party, who see themselves as being level headed, reasonable, people, somehow find credibility and justification for the actions of a self described 'progressive conservative' who never met a political principle he wouldn't bend or break, a political machinist who often belittled and undermined the Tea Party movement, a voter defined 3+ time loser of the POTUS races, who has now decided to make his entrance into the legislative body as a Junior Senator from Utah (again, conveniently), by penning an attack piece in the hostile pages of the Washington Post, upon the successfully elected President of the United States and leader of his political party.

This is really someone you want to hear from?

His op-ed purports to be making an important statement, yet states only banal baselines and personal beliefs (often at odds with his own history) that amounts to little more than a slew of three year old warmed over obviousness (at best), providing no new or courageous insights, nor anything else that is new to anyone in the English speaking world (and beyond). On top of that, he's doing this in the midst of negotiations over a 'govt shutdown' concerning border policies that have been central to his party's politics (and his own recent senatorial campaign), which can only serve to undercut both the POTUS and the political aims of his entire party.

Who's interests, besides his own, did this op-ed serve? What is there in this that is admirable? Anyone? Bueller?

For those NeverTrump'rs who do somehow wonder at the response to Romney's op-ed, I wonder if they've considered the possibility that people’s displeasure with the very moral Mitt's musings, might have something to do with their own very clear memories of how his idea of showing 'character' in politics, in practice, has repeatedly meant his demonstrating a spineless RINO'ism and affinity for appealing to media favor by making politically correct statements and gestures, often in support of policies that the 'conservative' wing of his party has traditionally been in deep opposition to, rather than by demonstrating the character and effectiveness required for taking actual principled stands? SoOo... maybe they simply have less than zero interest in hearing yet another ration of Mitt's self-serving 'Cap'n Obvious' preachings to them, about anything whatsoever at all?

One former Tea Party NeverTrumpr friend of mine, deploying all of his famously persuasive skills, actually expressed his surprise over the op-ed's reception, in this manner,
"... It’s fascinating to see the trump apologists and cultists not address a single point Romney made, but rather go 110% ad hominem on him. It’s almost like they can’t bear to admit he’s right about their infantile and malicious Idol....."
That particular rhetorical flair, which NeverTrump'rs in general take great delight in applying to those who either support Trump, or who don't knock him enough, demonstrates a skill which I personally blame as being at least partly responsible for Trump winning the GOP nomination to begin with. When I noted some of the above as possible reasons for their dislike of Romney's opinion, my friend replied that Romney’s
"... a stand up family man with good character."
And ...? And so? Just in case anyone takes that as a relevant point, I'll point out that the character which one displays towards family and friends is of course very important, and laudable, but a political candidate is not running to be your family or friend, and if the character in question fails to effectively extend his positive character traits into the field which he is busily preaching to everyone else about... he really shouldn't be preaching about others  not having the full package of admirable character traits, when he himself is lacking more than a few (much more relevant) character traits himself.

My position on Romney is not a new one. Although I’ve had a general dislike for Trump since the 1980’s, I’ve been much more pointedly opposed to Romney's lack of political principles and political character since I first caught wind of his 'Massachussettes Miracle' and of course RomneyCare. I opposed him in the 2008 election, and in the primaries of 2012, when there were rumors that Romney was again working the establishment machine to become the GOP's nominee, I said:
"...Pardon my shocked look of surprise, but seriously, during a time when Mitt Romney can be considered a conservative... do you really expect actual conservative candidates and issues to come to the fore?

Sorry, but I don't, and I'm not shocked by how this campaign is shaping up...."
, he famously slung underhanded and 'unmannerly' political shenanigans in that, and every one of his other failed efforts to become President of the United States - what character is he now demonstrating in trying to present himself as some sort of conservative conscience? Too bad we can't call John McCain for a comment.

But for those who do want to have a point-by-point response to Romney's op-ed, I’m more than happy to oblige, I picked these points out on my first skim of his op-ed:
"...and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down..."
This, from a man who's often and nearly always enthused about international treaties that limit and prescribe restrictive 'trade' rules upon America, while giving advantages and benefits to its 'allies', under the name of promoting the 'free market', is one of the reasons why Trump won.
"...To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation...."
That has the rancid odor of pro-regressive conceit & the 'nudge' of political correctness about it of the typical Pro-Regressive republican who believes that govt can 'help you' by making better decisions for you - which is also one of the reasons why Trump won. Preferably, of course, an American President should be of solid and admirable character, as well as experienced in demonstrating a solid understanding of, and willingness to defend, the concepts and principles that America was founded upon. Lacking that though (and pretending you don't lack that, because you don't want to admit it, is not an acceptable option), a candidate's unapologetic lack of that stature while demonstrating effectiveness in some relevant practical matters, is a far more preferable option, than a posturing and ineffective candidate who's prone to sucking up to the corrosive political correctness (Hello RomneyCare (which was not just a foolish ‘seems fair’ remedy option, ala Trump, but a vile legislative effort that reflected Romney's concerted thought and effort to devise – IOW there is no excuse for his assault upon basic American concepts and principles of govt), his nearly every public comment, etc) that a RINO fraud such as Romney exudes from his every inauthentic pore.
"...In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent...."
Those who after 8 years of the Obama administration, held an 84% confidence in the U.S.'s willingness and intention to 'do the right thing', are not the ones that I'm going to look to for an assessment of the U.S.'s intentions and ability to 'do the right thing'. Neither am I going to put much stock in those who do look to them for an opinion on the same.
"...we must repair failings in our politics at home. That project begins, of course, with the highest office ..."
I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that our current problems and failings can begin to be repaired from the top-down by starting with the office of the POTUS, rather than by starting from the bottom-up with the American people, is, on that account, a fool.
"......America is strongest when our arms are linked with other nations. We want a unified and strong Europe, not a disintegrating union..."
As long as those nations we are to be linked with are aligned with supporting and enhancing America's best interests, rather than serving as a means of continuing their decades long demonstrated intention of pulling us down and climbing up onto our backs. That Romney, and other establishment types of the Left and Right, think that the E.U. is more aligned with American interests and values, than are those of those supporting Britain's Brexit, is yet another reason why Trump won.
"...I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault...."
Except, no doubt, when it's useful to him, as he’s demonstrated again and again since his failed interview to be hired into Trump’s administration.
"...But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions..."
Or otherwise at odds with the media loving Politically Correct vision of being a 'statesmen-like' 'maverick!' - another reason why Trump won.
"...More importantly, noble instincts live in the hearts of Americans. The people of this great land will..."
The American people demonstrated in the 2012 election, that they would rather rebel over the expectations of those (such as Romney) who posture as being Pro-American, while in practice prefer groveling and kissing up to those ideals that are perniciously anti-American at their heart and core (again, RomneyCare demonstrated not only unprincipled political expediences, but directly reflected his pointed assessments and intentions), than be lectured to by them. Another reason why Trump won.

If we want a president that is better than Trump – and I do - we'd do well to stop making such opportunistic shows of giving regard and political respect, to those who've embodied the very failings that are at the root of the reasons for why Trump won. Maybe we should put more effort into promoting an understanding of those ideals, than with pumping up those who’ve repeatedly shown a lack of regard for and understanding of those ideals, just so they can try to deliver a public slap to Trump.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Of the 2nd Amendment, bumpstocks, and philosophic step-brothers.

Trump's bump-stock ban is, to the extent that I know the details of it (still minimal), IMHO, unacceptable. Bad news. Unsupportable. A dangerous wedge. However, it's hardly an indication of Trump's hostility to what the 2nd Amdt defends and preserves, it's just more of the typical poorly thought out attempts at being 'reasonable', which the Right is so painfully afflicted with (Bill O'Reilly is another example). But poor decisions such as this, dangerous though they are, aren't evidence of Trump being opposed to the 2nd Amendment, but only that he doesn't fully grasp what it's meaning and purpose is.

There is no credible, supportable, argument, IMHO, that the ATF's banning of the bump-stock accessory, can be compared with Hillary's praise of Australia's methods of gun confiscation, or of Obama, Feinstein, Swalwell and all of the rest of the Pro-Regressive Left & Right's persistent efforts at banning 'assault rifles', demonizing gun owners, attempting to deprive returned veterans or elderly of such rights via medical 'concerns', and other and various efforts to directly, or indirectly, limit our right to keep and bear arms (not just firearms), and to make that claim is little short of buffoonery. 
The outlandish claims and memes that I've seen this week, primarily coming from my Leftist and Libertarian friends, does much to hint at their common parentage and status as philosophic step-brothers.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Happy 227th Birthday to our Bill of Rights!

227 years ago today, December 15th, 1791, our states were united in ratifying the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America! Strange, that these same individual rights which we once understood to be so essential to living in liberty,  are what we seem to be the most divided over, and by, today.

With that last in mind, maybe we should all pay especially close attention to the preamble that I've put in bold for you... just in case your eyes are getting as bad as mine (IOW They didn't trust govt with the Founding Fathers themselves... are you really going to trust the bunch we've got today? Pay Attention!).

And although it wasn't planned, I'm very pleased that the first two amendments that were originally proposed, weren't ratified at the time (though one of them was ratified in the 1990's... do you know which one?), because those individual rights, including Freedom of Speech, should be protected in the 1st Amendment!



Proposed Amendments and Ratification
1789 Elliot 1:338--40

Congress of the United States;
Begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789.

The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;--

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the legislatures of the several states, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said legislatures, to be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, namely,--


Articles in Addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the Fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Art. I. [Not Ratified] After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand.

Art. II. [Not ratified... for two centuries] No law varying the compensation for services of the senators and representatives shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

Art. III. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Art. IV. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Art. V. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law.

Art. VI. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon principal cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Art. VII. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offence, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Art. VIII. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right of a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Art. IX. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reëxamined, in any court of the United States, than according to the rules in common law.

Art. X. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Art. XI. The enumeration, in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Art. XII. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.

FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
JOHN ADAMS, Vice-President of the United States,

and President of the Senate. 
Attest. John Beckley
Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Samuel A. Otis, Secretary of the Senate.
Which, being transmitted to the several state legislatures, were decided upon by them, according to the following returns:--

By the State of New Hampshire.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 2d article.
By the State of New York.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 2d article.
By the State of Pennsylvania.--Agreed to the 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th articles of the said amendments.
By the State of Delaware.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 1st article.
By the State of Maryland.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve amendments.
By the State of South Carolina.--Agreed to the whole said twelve amendments.
By the State of North Carolina.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve amendments.
By the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve articles.
By the State of New Jersey.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the second article.
By the State of Virginia.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve articles.
No returns were made by the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, and Kentucky.

The amendments thus proposed became a part of the Constitution, the first and second of them excepted, which were not ratified by a sufficient number of the state legislatures.


The Founders' Constitution
Volume 5, Bill of Rights, Document 12
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss12.html
The University of Chicago Press
Elliot, Jonathan, ed. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. . . . 5 vols. 2d ed. 1888. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, n.d.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Remember, remember, the 7th of December

Remember December 7th, 1941... another morning when a world of change came out of a clear blue sky.

Remember that when you hyperbolically use words to inflate minor incidents into raging crises - that a crisis that is appropriate to those words, can still come about and leave you speechless.

Remember that things can become worse, in an instant.

Remember that the smoke that rose over our ships December 7th, 1941, led to the smoke over Hiroshima and Nagasaki four bloody years later.

Remember, remember, the 7th of December, for if history becomes only about the past, it will lose all meaning, and your children will have to learn its lessons anew.

Remember that on December 7th, 1941, in the midst of negotiations to preserve peace, those we negotiated with, attacked us.

Remember that sometimes negotiations for peace are simply preparations for war.

Remember that those who serve are always at risk of having the ultimate price demanded of them - and they have agreed up front to pay it for you.

Remember that at Pearl Harbor 77 years ago, Americans were reminded that the freedom to be on the left or right, is not free.

Remember to honor them, and to honor that which you share with them, the liberty and freedom of being an American.

These are lessons to learn, and to remember.

Remember... it matters.

Look around you, in time and place, and remember....

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Wanna see something really scary? How about looking at what your political positions are based upon...?!

Are you upset about the political climate today? Do you sometimes wonder who is to blame? Well, Trick or Treat, I think that I can help you with that.

Do you have political positions that you support? Good... good, good. Now let me ask you a couple questions,
  1. Where did those positions come from?
  2. What is it that you know, which makes you think those positions are correct and appropriate?
Now of course, if your answer is they came from family, friends, church, feelings, traditions, school, economics, that's fine... that's a start, no worries. But of course, now you need to ask where they (yes, even the professors, and even the authors of the books they're quoting from) got those positions from, and on what basis it is that they, and you, claim to know them to be true.

Now... if their reply, points to still more family, friends, church, feelings, traditions, school, economics... and so on... and so on? If that's the case, then... well... I've got some good news for you... and I've got some bad news for you.

Because you see, if that's the case, that your positions are simply other people's positions with no known - to you - basis in reality for them, then we've just identified where your ability to reasonably disagree and discuss your political positions ends, and where your role in the worsening political climate of today begins! Yep, that's right, mystery solved - you're to blame!

Well... at least partly. Why? What are you going to say when any political discussion you enter into, reaches that point where you know nothing more to say? What can you say, but 'Well.. my [family, friends, church, feelings, traditions, school, economics] are better than yours!'?

What else is there left to go to from there? Only anger's many masks of laughter, dismissal, derision, insult, and in the end, the bottom line of spittle spewing fury.

Do you still wonder who is to blame for the angry nature of our political climate today? Find a mirror. Look into it. Seriously.

But here's the good news: If you don't like that answer, and if you really do care about the sorry state of discourse in our society today, then there is something that you can do about it. All you have to do is try to get a better understanding of what your own positions are based upon. And then discuss them with someone else who is willing to admit that they don't know what their positions are based upon, either. Seriously - it's not as if it's going to be difficult to find someone else like you. Right? And no, that wouldn't be a case of the blind leading the blind, but one of the sighted learning to see.

Do that, and you will be taking an active hand in fixing the nature of the discourse in our society today.

Oh, and BTW, it might help to recall that this nation, and our liberty, were not founded upon either 'The Declaration of Independence' or 'The Constitution', but upon the (then) commonly known and understood ideas which those documents summarized and codified. It was because those ideas could and were understood, that we our nation could be founded upon them. As Jefferson said of the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence, that their,
"... authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney,..."
If you really want to make a difference, try doing something different: think about, and try to understand, the 'Rights' you're 'talking' about, before you leap straight into arguing over them.

This Halloween, remember what's really scary to those who've been doing their best to keep you trapped in that hall of mirrors: You, reading, and discussing, those 'elementary books of public right', such as these:
  1. Aristotle
  2. Cicero
  3. Locke
  4. Sidney
Be the Horsemen, headless no more.

Trick or Treat!

Monday, October 08, 2018

Happy Columbus Day!

I do think it's time to re-post this, from Columbus Day, 2015 - Why? Because after a few weeks of being bombarded with unsubstantiated charges and hysterical outrage from the most outrageous folks imaginable, I think it's time, even with as small a nod as this is, to explicitly disregard the rantings of the failed and the botched, and to lift a glass of cheer and celebrate the heroic adventures of those who actually dared to do what others feared; deeds which, even though tinged with a great deal of error, led to the greatest advances for mankind in all of our nations known histories. Celebrate this day, even moreso, because everything it represents is loathed and feared today by those who oppose celebrating this day, even moreso than was the voyage that Christopher Columbus undertook to take in 1492.

 IOW:

  Happy Columbus Day!
"In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."

If you don't know the rest, or refuse to repeat it, your ignorance is too deep for me to fix in so little time and space. I won't bother a protest, qualification, any hint of apology or take any other sort of a defensive stand on what is and should be recognized and celebrated on this day.

What we like to think of Captain Kirk doing, Christopher Columbus actually did, and he did it without electronic wizardry, without science officers or communication specialists or even replaceable extras in red shirts, but with only wooden boats, a compass and a number of guesses about how the extent of the world might be shaped.

He and some ninety crew, set out on an uncharted ocean with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, and it was incredibly brave and bold, and resulted in Western Civilization expanding westward around the globe, and even entertaining the notion that we today need to defend or justify that, is not only stupidity on stilts, but a repudiation of all that is good.

If that isn't laudable and self-evident bad-assery to you, begone and darken my door no more.

In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know How to find the way to go....

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Judge Kavanaugh's Senate Confirmation Hearings: To search and destroy the senate's role of advice and consent

What has become the routine process for the Senate to give 'Advice and Consent' upon a nominee to the Supreme Court, is to have a background check performed by the FBI, prior to a hearing by the Senate Judiciary committee, to review any judicial record or relevant comments a nominee might have or have made, and then onto questioning by the senators on the committee, in order to satisfy them about his understanding of the Constitution, and his fitness in interpreting it, on the bench. Bret Kavanaugh has had six FBI background checks over the course of many years, going back to the time he held jobs in the White House, another before becoming a federal appeals court judge in 2006, and again for his current nomination to the Supreme Court. At no time during any of those checks, were any concerning facts or concerns about his conduct and character discovered by the FBI, and his record as a jurist gives no reason to question his integrity, his understanding of, or his ability to, apply the Constitution to the cases that came before him on the court.

Sen. Feinstein, during the period which those hearings were being conducted, held onto letters sent to her by individuals making claims about memories they'd recovered or been troubled by, from 36... or so... years ago, when teenagers, while drunk, at parties... somewhere. Had the letters made charges that were creditable, and had the senator been concerned about either the incidents described being legitimate, or had they raised actual concerns for her about Kavanaugh's character, she would have brought those letters to the attention of her fellow senators, and would have done what she could in order to see to it that actual investigations could be conducted that would go beyond the background checks already performed.

Because there was no reason to be concerned about Judge Kavanaugh's fitness for the Supreme Court, and no reason to credit the accusations in those letters as being serious charges, Sen. Feinstein took no actions, other than to withhold the letters from the judiciary committee.

She didn't do any of that, because she had no real concern for the 'victims', she was not concerned about having discovered hidden flaws in the character of a potential Supreme Court justice, and she did not care about seeing that justice was done in regards to those 'incidents' the letters recounted. What she and her fellow Democrat Senators were concerned about, was having a sensational means of upending the nomination process at the last moment, resisting, and delaying the appointment of a nominee who seemed to be of exemplary character and judicial record.

That was what was, and is, important to Sen. Feinstein. The reason why she, and the Left are concerned about Judge Kavanaugh sitting on the SCOTUS, is because he's a judge that has a good understanding and respect for the Constitution of the United States of America, and would treat and interpret it reasonably and fairly, and because the prospects of another such judge having a seat on the Supreme Court, would spell disaster for the collective ideological aims and agendas of the Pro-Regressive Left (and Right), be they Democrat, Democratic Socialist, or Establishment Republican. The prospect of that so terrifies them, as to push them all to engage in promoting not only the vague and outlandish recollections of his activist accusers, but also the clearly spastic and attention seeking lies of other media whores as well.

Also, let me state clearly for the record: None of these accusations deserved to be heard in 'court'.

Why? Not based upon whether or not I think they happened as claimed, but because there is no reason to entertain the possibility that they had. If you read the different accusations, at least three so far, the 'better' one being made by the professor who testified today, don't bother trying to be a Nostradamus: you cannot know whether or not Dr. Ford was assaulted, or if so, who did it. Both you, and I, have no way of knowing the truth and accuracy of the claims being made, and we shouldn't pretend to! What we can know, and what we should restrict our comments to, is to what we can know about the charges, and their correspondence to facts that can be known, and witnesses corroboration of them. And though the 30+ years have passed are suspicious, that is not the basis for discarding them - see Bill Cosby's conviction and sentencing this week, on the basis of 30+something year old charges (made to the police) - the problem with the charges, lays in the charges and claims themselves.

Let's review: The accusations being made, were made 36+ years ago, when the person claiming to be

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Playing politics with politics, is a threat to all concerned

The line that "If you don't vote for Candidate X, THEN YOU’RE VOTING FOR CANDIDATE Y!!!”, is neither a good argument, nor a laughing matter, and treating it as one, or the other, or both, is not a responsible approach to one of your most fundamental civic responsibilities.

There are a couple things at play here, that need to be considered. First being, what is it that you think that you are doing when voting - are you voting for a candidate, or are you voting to influence who will hold power in a political office? The distinction being made there is one that makes a difference. If you subscribe to the former, then it's pretty likely that you've made the above statement, either in seriousness, or by mocking those who do, or in whining that those who do are 'browbeating' you, in order to make excuses for how you intend to vote. Either approach is a dead end that is harmful to the entire body politic.

If you're exasperated with how someone says they intend to vote, don't tell them what you think about candidates X, Y & Z - they'll just tell you what they think about what you think. Instead, ask them about how they think their vote will affect the results of the election - that at least might give you something to talk about.

Such as... it is important to remember that the ultimate aim of what all of the candidates and voters are participating in, is a means of determining who the occupant of a seat of political power will be, and how the powers of that office are likely to be employed by them upon We The People - that is what your foremost concern as a voter should be. The candidate you favor - if you should be so lucky as to have one you can - is and should be a secondary matter in that choice, and a distant one at that.

The electoral process begins in the primaries, and if you are a member of, or align with, a particular political party, then that party's primary election is your opportunity to examine the candidates, to make your opinion known about their fitness, and about what direction the party should go, and to support what best represents your political ideals. If you chose to participate in that party and in their primary, then by choosing to vote for one of that party's slate of candidates, you tacitly agree to support the winner - whether they were your choice or not. If you are a member of that political party, and you participate in their primary election, and your candidate loses, and you find yourself wholly unable to support the winner, then the principled thing to do would be to resign from that party. If you continue on as a member or supporter of that political party, while vocally denouncing the winner of its primary election and those who support them, then you, above all people, are in no position to prattle on about 'Principles!' of any kind, as you've already demonstrated your disregard for the fundamentals of being principled, and apparently lack the integrity which such a concept requires.

Where the primary election was about your preferences as a voter, the general election is about your responsibilities as a citizen.

If you do support a candidate that has a credible chance of winning the election, and you have no serious objections to the other credible candidates running in the campaign, all is well and good, vote for who you support.

But if there is no candidate running in the general election whose ideals and positions you can wholeheartedly support, or if the candidate you do prefer has little or no chance of winning the election, then it is your responsibility as a citizen to remember that the general election is not about either the candidates or your feelings for them, but about how the powers of that office are likely to be used by the winner of the election, and to vote accordingly.

That is not a case of choosing the lesser evil, it is a matter of opposing the greater one!

If Candidate Y (Hillary, Claire, etc) supports an agenda that is a clear threat to your political ideals and values, and they have a credible chance of being elected, then your own personal preferences, both those for Candidate X, and against Candidate Z (Trump, Hawley, etc), are no longer valid considerations in how you will cast your vote! Political maturity demands that you coolly and clearly take stock of the situation, and that you judge which candidate poses the greater threat to what you consider to be of political importance, and that you then cast your vote so as to ensure that the candidate which poses the greater threat your polity, is defeated in the general election.

If you fail to hold what will result from the election as your main concern, then you are putting your ego and vanity above that of your community, and you will be manipulated by the froth of personalities and identity politics, and your contribution to that miasma can only harm your community, and worsen the political climate for all.

If you as a voter choose to allow yourself to be driven by your personal feelings for candidates, rather than by what your judgment tells you about how that office will be utilized by the winner of that election, then your vote will be futile in every meaningful way, as it can and will accomplish nothing more than to flatter your own personal vanity and sense of self importance. Such a vote of 'Principle!' reflects no principles at all, it is the act of a politically immature child, and all such voters, for the good of the community (which is the ultimate point of politics), should strongly consider refraining from dabbling in politics for the foreseeable future, because playing politics with politics, is a threat to all concerned.

Think less about your personal feelings about candidates, and more about what your vote is, and what it will mean, and act accordingly.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Constitution at 231 years old - for Patriots, Protesters, and even #MeToo'rs

[Re-posting this date adjusted post, on what is now the 231st anniversary of our Constitution, because it asks those few questions that are really worth asking ourselves today. Last year they were especially worth asking after two days of rioting for 'Justice!' in St.Louis, and this year of course there are efforts to derail a Supreme Court nomination over #MeToo charges of 'Justice!' - today, again, it's very much worth asking yourself:
  • What do you think of the Constitution, and why do you think that? 
Not which favorite catch phrases come so readily to mind, or repeating what someone else wrote, or said, but what do You think, and why do you think it? You might even find a few points that you've never thought upon for yourself. 

Hard to imagine a better activity for the day.]

Today marks the completion of what both Patriot and Protester, knowingly or not, are unified in referencing. What was signed as completed upon this day, two hundred and thirty years ago, September 17th, 1787, by thirty-nine of the fifty-five Framers, was the Constitution of the United States of America, and whether you stand in respect for, or disrespectfully turn away from, the Flag, the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance, you do so in reference to that document which is the oldest existing instrument of its kind, still in operation.

Why?

Is it simply a list of rules for governing by? Is it nothing more than a favorite fossil of 'white people'? A document of oppression? Frederick Douglass once thought so, but because he was a thinker in order to understand what was true, he didn't stop with answers that were given him by others, but continued on thinking upon the matter, and discovered the Truth which such vile falsehoods seek to smother and erase.

But today I'm really not much concerned with your answers to those 'points', but am only interested in whether or not you are familiar with the ideas, principles and purposes which animated the writing of it - are you? And if not... what worth can your opinion - pro or con - have for me, or for anyone else?

Whether you mouth its praises, or make showy protests against it, without understanding what it is

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Patching together memories of September 11th, 2001

In remembering what happened on September 11th, 17 years ago, I've patched this post together from a number of memories and posts and comments I've made from then to now. Where they began, of course, was on the morning of September 11th, 2001, when my wife, who was a flight attendant with TWA, called me as I was driving into work on I-70, just passing through Earth City, to tell me a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center.

I was thinking a Cessna, but she said it sounded like it was larger, the impact too large. I knew a plane had once hit the Empire State Bldg on a stormy night, but she said the weather looked clear, how could that be possible? As we were talking, another jet hit the other tower.

That made it clear what was going on, we decided that she'd pick the boys up from school and bring them home.

I continued on into work, and news came that another plane had hit the Pentagon.

A blue streak of horror and animal fury blasted back at my radio as the news came that one of the towers was collapsing. As I walked into work, 7th floor of A.G. Edwards, people were crowded around the T.V. in the lobby and the second tower came down.

I went to to my desk, one of the guys there was trying to get a hold of his son who worked in one of the World Trade Center towers. I to our project coordinator and told him I wouldn't be working that day, and headed for home.

I told the boys the obvious as we watched the news, that the world had just changed, we were at war, and nothing would be the same.

To those who want to think of this day as a time for healing or a day of service, Fuck You. We are not going back to the reflexive evasion of reality which is what made this day possible.

Political Correctness began its well deserved death that day ten years ago today, it may be a long, agonizingly slow death, fitting perhaps for the cancer that it is, but it was the beginning of the end of the view that it is in any way good or proper to pretend a lie can pretty up the truth.

The lie is nothing but darkest evil, and the light of Truth chases, confines and obliterates it... as we have, and will do, to those who did this evil – you are nothing, and to nothingness you will be returned.

And yet there are those who will shake their head and ask "How do you kill an idea?"

How do you kill an idea? If it is an idea that people are not open to discussing, an idea that will not tolerate reasonable alternatives, an idea that requires your death or your submission, then the answer to that question is a very simple one:

You cannot defeat an idea.

All you can do is make physically certain that those of the enemy who might survive a war with you, would live in constant fear and dread at the thought of that idea ever again being in their head, let alone upon their lips. You cannot defeat an idea, you can only make people determined to no longer entertain them, because of the memory of the war they fought with you over it, and the fear of the possibility of such a conflict ever happening again, is too painful to think about

How do you kill an idea? By killing its hosts, and causing everyone else to fear and dread the thought of thinking it.

Screw healing.

We should pick at the wound, keep it burning. Remember the parents on the plane heading in to strike the Towers, their child sitting next to them... remember the people in the Tower on the phone to 911, crying, scared, burning from the heat, and then screaming as the impossible happened, the tower collapsed beneath them into nothingness. Remember the wives, husbands, children, of those who just went to work that day, and had their lives and world stolen from them by islambie thugs.

Remember that no matter what idiot politician or educationista prattles... we are a people who have known, and still know freedom and liberty and law, a people who believe it is good to live a moral life and pursue our happiness where we see fit to choose to. Remember that there are alleged human beings who wish noting more than to destroy that possibility.

Remember Sept. 11, 2001. Be angry, feel hatred, seek the destruction of those who seek yours. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do so, and remember that those who lost their lives, and those who have since given their lives in this cause, have hallowed this day far beyond and above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say today, but it will remember what happened, and it will take note of whether or not we remember.

A proper foreign policy is "Mind your own business & we'll mind ours. Mess with us or ours, and we'll destroy you. Period."

Anything less, reasoning with those who are unreasonable, giving measured responses in reply to savagery, etc., are concessions and only serve to enable those who wish us harm.

Perhaps more than anything else, remember that forgetting how and why the attacks of 9-11 were made possible, guarantees that its horrors will be revisited upon us, courtesy of our willful inability to recognize their approach, and the cost of that will be history rhyming itself once again, as the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more:

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Please, try to remember 9/11 as the lesson we won't have to learn once more.

Reality will not be denied, and Evil will not be turned aside because you choose to turn away from it. Deny that, and the Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return. Please. Just face the facts and learn the lesson so we don't have to learn it once more.