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.


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Do you want to play 'The Enemy of America Game'? - The only way to win....

Would you like to play a game? Careful now, because if you choose to play, you could lose... and then you might end up as the enemy you are so loudly seeking after. You sure you want to play the game? Well, ok then... let's start.

You will probably have heard of some of these recent headlines:
Trump calls 'Fake News' the enemy of the people!
, many of whom turn around and call him that right back. Fun, eh?
(I've gotta say, I snickered at this part:)

"...Let's recap. Only 10.7 percent believe the press is the Enemy of the People, but 36.5 percent agree with the statement: The Press is the Enemy of the People.
I pause for your frowning, head-scratching and booking of tickets to Canada or New Zealand. ..."

  • One-Third of Americans Think News Media Is the Enemy of the People ...Newsweek-6 hours ago
  • Now, we should try and clear up some of the confusion involved here, because sometimes who the 'enemy' is, and is of, or even what an 'enemy' is, is a wee bit muddled. Sometimes it's asked enemy of, and completed with 'the people', 'America', 'the republic'... maybe it'd be good to start with some basics of popular definitions.
    en·e·my - ['en?me] - NOUN - a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
    people. plural people. 1 plural : human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest.
    na·tion - ['naSH(?)n] - NOUN - a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.
    Interestingly, to find a definition for 'America' that didn't take paragraphs to get passed the geographic landmasses of North & South America, and the Indians, and an ancient Rock Band, I had to go to a British Dictionary definition for 'America'
    "America - noun - short for the United States of America"
    Or diving down into Merriam Webster's 'Definition of 'American' for Students'
    American 1 : a citizen of the United States
    More sadly amusing, only Merriam Webster's 'b' definition of Republic is correct,
    republic - 1 a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
    b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
    c : a usually specified republican government of a political unit the French Fourth Republic
    Of course if you know me, you may be able to see where I'm heading with this, that in the context of what we're talking about, 'the people', and 'America', and 'the state', and 'the republic', are all by one or more legs, and boiling either up or down, ultimately referring us diligent players back to the American Constitutional Republic, and specifically to the Constitution by which it was formed.

    Can 'The Press', or Trump, or 'The People' for that matter, be enemies of that? I'd say, yes indeedy they can... but are they? And of those, who is more so?

    Well, lets look back at what constitutes an 'enemy', shall we?:
    "a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something"
    What would that, er, constitute in this context? Speaking for myself, I'd say that refers to those who are actively opposed or hostile to a key 'someone', which in this context would refer most correctly to the people as a whole, who are its sovereign, or to the leader of that Republic which they elected by its lawful rules to govern it, which would be President Trump; or in the case of the 'something', referring to the Republic, which has its being from the Constitution which formed it, our Constitutional form of law. This gets a bit trickier.

    Are the Press generally hostile or actively opposed to the idea of government limited to the express powers of the Constitution? Um... yes. I'm not in the mood to argue the obvious right at this moment, but if you've heard the likes of The New York Times, or Rachel Maddow, or Brian Williams, sniggering when talking about 'constitution', or the foolishness of adhering to that 'out moded' document, you know what I'm referring to - and if you wish to pretend that you haven't, I've no time for your merely pretending to play by the rules of this game. And of course, if you are one of those in the public, or wacademia, who want, or yearn for, undermining or overturning it, if you are in the habit of openly praising systems which you hope to put in place of it (ObamaCare, Universal Basic Income, the unfettered authority of Administrative Agencies, etc), which are antithetical to its words and spirit, if you speak respectfully or yearnfully of 'socialism' for instance, or the Administrative State, then, yes, that makes you an enemy of our American Constitutional Republic.

    If you have so little regard for it, that you prefer what has come to replace it, to it - administrative agencies, super national organizations such as the U.N., WTO, EU, etc., legislation that ignores it, Judges who pronounce their own judgments over it, and in opposition to it, then yes, that puts you actively opposed to it as well, and so you too, by your own words and intentions, are an enemy of America.

    If you teach that the origins of its culture and system of laws are invidious evils, patriarchies of tyranny, if you scream at the top of your lungs "F America!", tread upon, spit upon or burn its emblem, the flag,... then, yes, you also qualify - by your own words and actions - as an enemy of America.

    If you march about in menacing disguises - whether 'antify' or 'kkk' or their many likes - beating or sucker punching people for their opinions, using unprovoked violence (for the triggered: This means provoked by imminent threats of actual physical violence, not words you dislike. Sorry. Penalty points to you for that), if you complain about and call for the repeal of all or part of the Bill of Rights, especially in regards to the 1st Amendment and those individual rights of religion, freedom of speech and the press (and no, no irony here), of petitioning govt and assembly that it protects, or the 2nd Amendment's protection for the individual right of self defense without which they cannot exist (if you don't have the right to defend your rights, you don't have the right to exercise them either), if you deliberately and violently disturb the peace, intimidate passers by, destroy property, while expressing your dislike and hatred for everything that America is and stands for, then... yes... you do qualify as an enemy of America too.

    If you demonstrate embarrassingly little care for its fundamental laws, though perhaps while speaking warmly of it, habitually show affection for 'Americana' and the traditions associated with it, you are committed to defending it but aren't all that committed to confining your exercise of political power in accordance with its, or are generally careless of, its laws - and you 'conservatives', 'principled!' Libertarians and Union people opposed to 'Right to Work' while using political power to force the association and support from your fellows as a condition of work: I'm looking at you - all of you... well... calling you an enemy... may a bit much, but, certainly, you show yourself more of a 'sunshine patriot' than a steadfast friend to it - and hello to you too Mr. President - you all might want to tone the rhetoric down just a tad. Or at least the tweets.

    So... who ISN'T an enemy of America?

    Are you in a position to answer that?

    Do tell.

    Strange game. The only way to win, is not to play.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2018

    The Utility of Tyranny - To Keep and Bear Arms Across Time - pt5

    Here's a conundrum for you: There are many things in life that some of us might be unfortunate enough to have to defend ourselves against - thugs, thieves, mobs... lions, tigers & bears - but there is only one power that has the potential to prevent each and everyone of us from choosing to think, speak and act in our interests, or in the defense of them. And of course that fearsome power is held by the very same institution which our society channels our collective power through, in order to safeguard those interests and actions for us: Government.

    That is a conundrum. Enter our Bill of Rights.

    Our 2nd Amendment was not written simply for us to have easy access to arms (guns, or any other form) - It was written and ratified as a 'No Trespassing!' sign to be thrust into the faces of that collective power of our society, who would understand it to be backed up by those personal arms each judges to be best suited to the defending of them, to dissuade us from intruding ourselves into those choices and actions that we engage in during the course of living our lives.

    Why? Not to fight against our society, but to live in liberty within it! If you can be prevented from having the means to defend your decisions, your life and your community, then you do not have the liberty to have or enjoy any of them.

    I'll repeat that: If you do not have the right to defend your rights, then you do not have the liberty to exercise them.

    It is that simple.

    Sure, your society may permit many, any or all of those actions you typically choose to take, but only by appointing someone with the power to grant (or deny) you their permission, which is a very different thing altogether - isn't it? For government to transform our rights into their permissions, it first needs the ability to disarm its citizens ability to resist it.

    The 2nd Amendment exists to prevent that sort of transformative trespassing. In fact, every amendment in our Bill of Rights, exist to prevent that.

    The existence of our Bill of Rights, and every amendment within it, is evidence of your liberty. Its compromise is evidence of your lack of it.

    Did you notice that when our Founders' said "Shall not be infringed", they were looking directly at you?
    What the clear intent of our Bill of Rights is, and that its promise was fulfilled, is evident in how it was presented for the approval (ratification) of We The People, with the following preamble:
    "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;-"
    IOW, We The People demanded that clear limitations be put upon our government's power to exercise its (our) powers, through law, for what would doubtless be seen as being for the greater good, because We The People understood so well that We The People are too prone to misuse power with "the very best of intentions".

    Our Bill of Rights comes down to us from those who had a clear understanding of our limitless ability to convince ourselves that doing what is wrong is ok, if, in our humble opinion, it is done 'for the greater good'. Our Founders - and in this case I am not talking about those who gathered to frame the constitution at the convention in Philadelphia, but rather of that general population of We The People - who on reviewing the Constitution which that 'assembly of demigods' had proposed, found it wanting. The people conditioned their acceptance of that document which was to define the limits (or lack of them) of our laws, on the promise that it be amended to prevent their new government from exercising its power in the most politically essential areas of our lives.

    Of those twelve amendments that were proposed, what became the 1st through 10th Amendments, were designed to limit and prevent We The People's best and brightest from using the collective power of their own government, to alter, limit, eliminate or otherwise violate the ability of any number of their own people from enjoying the liberty of those essential rights, 'for their own good'. These amendments are explicitly there, because their understanding of history taught them that tyranny couldn't easily rise to power, in the face of a people who were armed with the liberty to exercise those politically essential rights.

    The Bill of Rights, and the 2nd Amendment in particular, exist to prevent ourselves from using our own govt to do what it should not do. Not out of a fear of some anonymous 'they!', and not because they feared some bogeyman called 'government!' - this is an important point that few seem to realize: they didn't fear someone else, they understood and feared themselves! Us! We The People!

    That we today have forgotten to even be wary of our own selves, and of our own good intentions, is a confirmation of how well placed those fears of theirs were - and how fortunate we are that they safeguarded our essential individual rights from us.

    How have we forgotten that? Easy - it was thought to be useful to.

    Tyranny's Slippery Slope
    People too easily slide into tyranny. Have you ever wondered why? It doesn't really require any deep learning to understand, only a basic grasp of the fundamentals of human nature and a regard for what is in reality right and true. We are prone to becoming tyrannical, not from a desire to do evil (though true, some few may), but from our well intentioned desire to 'do good', even if that means imposing 'Good', upon others, to 'fix them'. For their own good.

    My friend Virginia Kruta, saw this firsthand this weekend, when she went to see self-described 'Democratic-Socialist' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speak in St. Louis this last weekend, where, from speaker after speaker, she saw the frightening lure of such good intentions:
    "...I saw something truly terrifying. I saw just how easy it would be, were I less involved and less certain of our nation’s founding and its history, to fall for the populist lines they were shouting from that stage. 
    • I saw how easy it would be, as a parent, to accept the idea that my children deserve healthcare and education.
    • I saw how easy it would be, as someone who has struggled to make ends meet, to accept the idea that a “living wage” was a human right.
    • Above all, I saw how easy it would be to accept the notion that it was the government’s job to make sure that those things were provided."
    I watched as both Ocasio-Cortez and Bush deftly chopped America up into demographics, pointed out how those demographics had been victimized under the current system, and then promised to be the voice for those demographics..."
    As they stare and yearn to 'do good!' with those policies, as they see that usefulness as being 'good', they are not seeing (or looking for) the fine print in what powers must be brought to bear upon (all) others in society, in order to do that 'good', and they are not seeing the ramifications of having done those 'goods' unto us all. It's conveniently not easy to see what is out of sight - but what they want it to be 'good' is easily seen; seeing how it could go bad... is... not what you're looking for when you're looking to 'do good'. If you'd like an example of doing bad for 'good' reasons, read all of Ginny's short piece linked above, and then read how it's deliberately parsed to alter her meaning in this, and so many others, so that what she said is easily ignored, and so that what she didn't say, could be criticized, as if it was what she had said. That's a lie... for the 'greater good'.

    These issues are 'the ends justify the means', in action - telling lies for the greater good, because they do not doubt that those 'goods' will be useful... no matter how often they have repeatedly resulted in disappointment, hardship, corruption, destruction, and eventually wide-scale death (and they can never do otherwise - in the end).

    People are rarely willing to see what they are doing, as being wrong. If you've ever looked back upon some dark point in time - present or past - and wondered 'how could they do that?!'; this is how they could, and did, do what they did - whether in Venezuela, Cambodia, Cuba, Red China, USSR, Nazi Germany, and so on, and so forth - the darkness we see in looking back upon those times, is not the darkness that they saw when looking around at what they themselves were doing. They saw in what they were doing, their good intentions, and they saw themselves as opposing that darkness which they did see all around them, which is what they saw as justifying those actions that needed to be taken 'for the greater good' - as they saw it.

    Those policies that Ginny listed - government provided healthcare, government provided education, government provided wages for the needy, and looking to government to provide privileges instead of upholding rights under law, those are the very same justifications for policies that were used to 'do good', in Venezuela, Cambodia, Cuba, Red China, USSR, Nazi Germany, and so on, and so forth.

    If you don't see that, it's because that is not what you are willing to look for. And yet it is true nonetheless.

    The motive power of pulling the saintly wool down over our own eyes, is Utilitarian in nature, through replacing 'The Good' with the useful, motivationaly empowering 'The ends justify the means!', in which the 'good' (meaning...?) they intend to do unto you, provides them with all the justification needed to exercise whatever 'unfortunate' means might be necessary for that which they fear or desire. For the 'greater good'... as they see it.

    The problem is that "The Good", then, has less to do with what used to be described as the 'Good, Beautiful and True', and more to do with what is useful in getting what they desire - transforming it from what was good, in and of itself, into a means of the power to do something else... followed by something else... and always more something elses' will be necessary, for evermore. And by that time what was once understood to be 'wrong', is no longer seen in their mind as being wrong, or at least not in the same way; 'wrong' having been transformed into 'needed' - is almost certainly urgently necessary to do.

    Our interests and desires have a natural tendency to shift our awareness away from looking for what is right, good and true, into looking for what is useful, efficient and needful. It is in that action of shifting our ethical perspective, that we succeed in hiding the wrongful nature of our actions from our own eyes, eclipsing them with the more interesting 'good' which we intend to do, blinding us from the possibly unsettling (or even evil) nature of what is now clearly seen as being oh so necessary and useful for our chosen ends.

    If you are unaware of this tendency in yourself, then you are, in an important and essential way, uneducated, and a danger to yourself and to those around you.

    What a proper Education is supposed to accomplish, is to enable us to see this tendency in ourselves, and to question the reality of what we are so eager to 'see' as being so. Not to question reality, but to question our pretenses of it: Are we seeing what is, or what we desire it to be?

    "...We are told that the aim of Socrates in his training of the young was not to make them efficient, but to inspire in them reverence and restraint ; for to make them efficient, said Socrates, without reverence and restraint, was simply to equip them with ampler means for harm..."
    Irving Babbitt "Literature and the College", from 'Bacon and Rousseau' - 1908
    Our Founders' generation was well educated on the whole, and so were wary of their own potential to do wrong for the best of intentions... but they were already well on their way to losing that habit of seeing their own shortcomings. The re-purposing of Education away from 'moral ambitiousness', towards economic utility, which even some of our Founder's generation helped to lay, laid down a foundation that our nation could not have been erected upon had it come just a few decades earlier, and those new inclinations have been weakening our true foundations ever since. What had soared from Locke to Adam Smith to Jean Baptiste Say and crested into Frederic Bastiat, was already giving way to its mirror imagery, in Rousseau, Robespierre, Babeuf, and then Marx and the swarm of 'isms that followed in their wake.

    IMHO, our Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution, were created, at the last historical moment that it was possible for them to be established, and just how close we came to being too late, can be seen in the success of the American Revolution, and the horrific failure(s) of the French Revolution so soon afterwards. We were at the peak point of a couple century's spread of common understanding of the ideas in those works that Jefferson had called 'the elementary books of public right', but their comprehension of them had hit its peak by 1793, and was already in the process of giving way to the up and coming mechanistic, utilitarian views. Those new directions are easily seen in what were popularized in Rousseau's enthusiasm for naturalism, over civilization, and in his popular reforms for Education, moving as they did away from striving to inculcate an intelligent virtue in mankind, in favor of a tantalizing and youthfully indulgent sense of self-fulfillment. Taken together, they served to move us away from our Founder's understanding of inalienable rights, and towards Jeremy Bentham's view of such rights as 'nonsense upon stilts'.

    I can't tell you how many times I've been in discussions with Pro-Regressives of the Left or Right - with those few who are at least willing to discuss their proposals - who will within the same sentence, chide 'the other side' for 'seeing every disagreement as of evil intent' and then go on to rail against 'the evil 1%!'; they'll roundly denounce the other side's use of the broad generalities of 'they' and 'always' when discussing their opponents, and then immediately denounce the 'Right' who are all 'greedy' and unethical. They will fume against the use of propaganda by 'Fox News!', while demanding a restoration of state regulated and approved speech (aka: propaganda) through a new 'Fairness Doctrine'.

    Yes, that is nonsensical if you are focused upon what you see as being right, good and true. But for those that have replaced what is good (which in any meaningful sense, tightly integrates with all of your life, morality, manners, ethics, etc), with what they see as being for 'the greater good' (which needs have no more consistency with other policies you promote than the right people are for them - which is the entire point of pivoting their orientation towards power), they are simply seeking what is useful, efficient and needful to implementing the 'greater good' unto us, which, of course, makes 'perfect sense', and as such applications of force upon 'bad' elements, is necessary to achieving that greater good. For all. Obviously..

    They do not see it as being wrong or bad, because their definition of 'good', now follows from the pragmatic ideal of 'what works' for the moment, instead of the ethical and philosophical ideal, of what is timelessly 'Right, Good and True'. What they see, is that what you do, is 'bad', because it conflicts with what they would have done. When they do the very same thing, it is 'good', because it furthers their good intentions. What this means for the use of political power, is that virtue - its substance, not simply the appearances of it - is no longer able to serve as motivation or guidance for them, only power can fill that role - not the power to objectively identify or correct wrongs that have been done, but the desire to forcefully act upon others, to do unto them, utilizing power that others will surely see as being useful and needed for 'the greater good' - that form of understanding is incapable of containing meaning that is in conflict with what you, in your own eyes, see as being useful.

    And still they do not see it. To be clear, this excuses them from nothing - they would see the wrongs in what they do, if they would put reality and truth ahead of what they wished reality to be, but they will not, and so they do not, and we all suffer the consequences, seen and unseen.

    The ability to see that what seems sensible to you, might pose unforeseen dangers to you and all you love, the ability to '...to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it...' is an important aim of an Education, to be "... released from a multitude of opinions...", and the distracting shadows on the wall of Plato's cave. Conversely, the inability to see - or to even look for - the possibility that what you see as being necessary and justified, just might endanger all, is a result of, in at least some significant area, a lack of education - particularly if you attained that ability through years of classroom earned degrees.

    The views of those educated as our Founders generation was, aimed at a pointed self-reflection that questioned what you were inclined to think seemed certain, that is what enabled We The People, to gift ourselves with our Bill of Rights.

    The views of those 'outmoded' ideals of education replaced with getting a good job, had an enthusiasm to act upon 'obvious' certainties, and is what is driving our current efforts to dent, damage and dispense with the protections of our 2nd Amendment, and the 1st Amendment, and all of the others, which enables us to be protected from 'the greater good' which they are so eager to do unto us - which is when We The People need to hold on to them more strongly than ever - not to fight our society, but to live in liberty within it.

    There's a quote from C.S. Lewis that sums the danger of this up well:
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment". "God in the Dock". Book by C. S. Lewis, 1970.
    And to those armed with good intentions - a power that is far deadlier than any material weapon - they will seek, use, and apply that power to achieve their ends, and they will do so with a clear and approving conscience. Tyranny is above all else, in the minds of those who deny they seek it, useful.  Unless their minds are turned anew towards the nature of those essential rights that our Bill of Rights were created to protect, they will, with the very best of intentions, turn each of them against the other.

    How that is done, in the next post.