Wednesday, April 01, 2015

DESE: Are correct answers discarded if they are perceived to be Right?

I meant to address this issue last week (MO Education Watchdog has more details) but I let it slip my mind and now it's the last day for you and me to do so. If you agree with this post, please send an email with the subject:
"Principles expressed in the documents shaping the Republican Form of government of the United States.", to DESE's Sharon Helwig, to: Sharon.Helwig@dese.mo.gov

This is what I sent today:
A year or two ago, I was asked to provide some research assistance in addressing an error in the MO Social Studies documents, regarding some anachronistic references to our form of government being a "constitutional democracy", when it is properly referred to, as per our government's defining document, as a Republic. See Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution for reference :

"Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government..."
It would be legitimate to expand upon that, such as referring to 'Constitutional Republics', or 'Constitutional Representative Republics', but it is not legitimate to formally refer to our form of government, especially in Educational materials, as a 'Democracy'.

It is true that in our founding era, the terms 'Democracy' and 'Republic' were often used almost interchangeably when referring informally to the general spirit of self governance, but when making more formal references, especially when proposing actual measures for government, the term 'Republic' was the term usually used. Obviously, as this was long before the creation of either of our current two political parties, there was no party politics behind the choice (nor should there be today), they made that choice because the actual meanings and failures of each form of government were well understood. It's a simple fact of record.

Even DESE seemed to acknowledge the fact, though perhaps a bit petulantly, as I've found that a number of our social studies curricular documents were in fact updated, though apparently none too carefully, by means of a mass 'Find & Replace', from 'Constitutional Democracy', to 'Republic'. The result of that change was that in our standards, educational standards mind you, our form of government is often currently referred to, ungrammatically, as 'Principles of Republic', or still as 'Constitutional Democracy'.

State Sen. Emery recently took the concern over the misuse of these terms a step further than we had, in a letter to DESE, insisting, properly, that,

"The term "constitutional democracy" is a flagrant misrepresentation of the principles of the constitutional republic in which we live."

He went on to note that:

"The differences between the structures of government are clear. In a constitutional democracy, the majority has complete control through democratic elections without any protection for the minority. Conversely, a constitutional republic consists of the people electing representatives to serve on their behalf ruled by law with checks and balances established to protect the rights of the minority.
In order to provide clarity for educators that teach Missouri children and to ensure Missouri students are taught the proper governmental structure of the United States - a governmental structure that has made our nation exceptional - we urge you to correct this error in the Show-Me Standards."

DESE's response has been to propose making the change like this (the text within the brackets to be replaced by the bold text hat follows them):
"1. Principles expressed in the documents shaping [constitutional democracy in] the
government of the United States
;"
So... while they acknowledge that they had made an error, they want to correct that error in reference to a very specific form of govt, by changing it, from 'constitutional democracy', to -'government'.

From Democracy, to government.

This feels a bit like it might if after pointing out to a printer that they'd made an error in listing your address as, say, "#1 Riverbend Drive", when you actually live on "#1 Riverview Drive", and after pointing that out, they offered to make the following correction:
"Oh, we see our mistake, tell you what, we'll correct your address to show that: "you live in a house".
What would you say to that? 

What sort of correction is this? It is difficult to see this correction as anything other than a rather blatant evasion. Republic is the correct word, please use it.

I had no problem accepting that an error had been made in using 'Democracy', though a careless (and probably ideological) error - it's still a mistake, understandable and forgivable. The fact that some efforts to correct it have been made shows that it has been recognized as an error. But to refuse to correct that error by naming it as it correctly, demonstrably, legally, is, a Republic (if you can keep it), is appalling.

To refer to the government of the United States as 'the government of the United States', as if that adds some educational clarity, is ridiculous. Democracy is the wrong term, Republic is the correct term, please, in the name of Education, use the correct term.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You built that RFRA - and I object!

I object to Indiana's RFRA! Yep, that's right, but hold on, because whether you are for it, or against it, it's highly likely that I'm strongly objecting to what you don't object to.

You see, I don't object to Indiana wanting to protect the religious liberties of it's business people - at the very least I applaud the sentiment; and I don't object to it because numerous twitter-heads say it permits the persecution of homosexuals - and if that's not stupid enough of an idea on the face of it, it's unlikely that reading it will help you realize how deeply stupid the assertion is ( but it couldn't hurt) - but I do object to RFRA 's continuing the process of devaluing everyone else's liberties in the process - and by 'everyone' that should be understood to include those who are homosexual, straight, native born or immigrant, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Atheist or [please insert your neglected grievance group of record here] - in order to do so.

In short, I object to Indiana's RFRA law, for the same reason that Chuck Schumer and Bill Clinton supported the original Federal RFRA law of 1993 which Indiana's law was derived from - because it implicitly presumes that you lack the right and power to make your own decisions unless you have 'legitimate', approved, 'longstanding religious 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.

How can people not see the real issue here? Maybe it'll help if you take a look at what a virtual friend of mine had to say when he said this about that:
"In my opinion, a business has a right to refuse service to homosexuals if the particular service they perform (wedding photography or wedding cake makers) would seem to tacitly support an activity that goes against their "legitimate" religious or moral beliefs."
Now, except for the scary scare quotes around "legitimate", that almost seems sensible; the problem is that the sentence before that said:
"It should be patently illegal to refuse service to homosexuals simply because they are homosexual. For example not serving a gay couple at a restaurant. "
, which amounts to holding the primary hostage to the secondary, putting First Principles in the back seat to circumstances and incidentals. Note that this has nothing to do with homosexuals and everything to do with the Individual Rights of every one of us. If that's not clear, maybe another example will help:
"Amendment I - 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."
"Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Amendment X - "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."
"Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 - No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."
Suppose you own a printing store, and someone comes in expecting you to print flyers and handouts which you find to be hateful, racist and disgusting. Do you have the right to refuse them? What if they are black? What if they are homosexual? What if they are Muslim? What if they are Nazis? What if they are black, homosexual Muslim Nazis?

Which of those incidentals gives, or withdraws from you, the right to make your own decision about whether or not to serve them?

Walter E. Williams, H/T Stacy on the Right

IOW, by proposing the various RFRA's, you concede that you don't have the liberty to make your own decisions in your own businesses, UNLESS your decisions can claim the backing of what govt considers to be 'legitimate' religious or moral beliefs!

This turns the 1st Amendment on its head, putting freedom of speech, association and religious practices, at the peril of what legislators and judges consider to be 'legitimate' practices. And just how easily even high caliber judges can rationalize away your right to do what they personally disapprove of, can be seen in the earlier SCOTUS case of Reynolds vs U.S. (1878), when a Mormon's fervently held religious belief in polygamy, was struck down by the Judges distaste for it - and the situation is little different today, they just need to show a compelling interest for doing so, as they most surely felt that they had done back then.

And for those of you foolish enough to trust in the wisdom of legislators and judges to look out for a greater good that includes you, rather than them, you need look no further than Senator Chuckie Schumer's position on the law today is - you see, he was not only for it before he was against it... he sponsored the original RFRA twenty two years ago! - and his vehement opposition to it now, is due to his gauging of the politically correct winds of today. Do you get that? Laws like this don't put THE LAW behind your 'liberty' (religious or otherwise), it uses THE LAW to undermine your Liberty - all of it - with one big crocodile tear of a bill that plays to the sympathies of the day.

Where did the power for govt to tell you what you should do for the greater good? The 1st Amendment already tells congress that it "...shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;", why on earth do we now need yet another law to prohibit what that already prohibits? Especially one that says "... well congress can pass laws that prohibit the free exercise thereof... but they have to think it's reallllyyyy important first..."?

What the hell is going on here?

Iliberty
The only reason we have a RFRA in the first place, was to quiet a populace that was figuring out (perhaps a few decades too soon?), that something the govt was doing for the greater good, was leaving our liberty in a precarious state. And the precarious state of affairs that we find ourselves in today, is one where the govt has taken upon itself the power to disregard your Individual Right to make your own decisions for your own life and property, so long as they feel that their reasoning comports with either the politically correct reasoning of the day, or some other interest the govt has in disregarding your rights. Which of course ultimately means that We The People have no right to make our own decisions for ourselves, but only the power to exercise approved ones.

What do you suppose could have seemed so important and necessary to Americans, thirty or more years ago, as to make them think that it would the greater good for them to give up the substance of their Individual Right to live their own lives?

Yes... I can see that uncomfortable look in your eye from here, yes, this does mean that I'm not only venturing into that territory that Sen. Rand Paul stuck his toe into and then ran from, but unlike Sen. Liberty, I'm jumping in with both feet: Yes, the Civil Rights Acts which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin, was detrimental to all of our liberty - both the bigots and the rest of us. While I certainly understand the emotional appeal to put such fools in their places, and to an extent revel in it myself, I must point out that it is by making intellectual decisions on the basis of emotional appeals, that good crisis' are prevented from going to waste.

So long as you don't violate another person's Individual Rights, you have the Individual Right to make your own decisions for your own life and for your own property, which includes your own business - or else you no longer have that Individual Right, or any other, you left only with having the permission of those in power to do what they approve of.

The law, properly, defines the boundaries of our actions, it does not - and it should not - define whether or not our actions are morally acceptable - 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, ala Sen. Chuckie Schumer, change its mind as it sees "legitimately" fit, with the spin of the next elections, or more likely, by appointments and regulations.

It's also worth pointing out that in this day of shifting demographics, ensuring that all are equal before the law, is the only sure defense for every demographic, no matter what their numbers might be yesterday, today or tomorrow.

Understand, I'm not denying anyone the right to determine what they consider to be legitimate religious or moral beliefs, I'm denying that govt can or should be in a position to determine what religious or moral beliefs are "Legitimate". The 1st Amendment wasn't written to make you smile and nod politely to your neighbor - that was the province of a decent upbringing and community outrage - the 1st Amendment was to prevent Govt from interfering - 'make NO law - abridging your right to speak your mind, associate with who you chose - or chose NOT to - and to forbid govt from making any laws that might favor - legitimate or otherwise - any one religion over another.

Morals, particularly in the Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian tradition, are what you choose to do, and if that choice somehow ceases to be a choice, then it ceases to be a moral decision. Do you really want to put Govt, or more pointedly, do you really want those people who manage to be elected to political office, to be in charge of what is to be considered a moral 'choice'?

The Rule of Law does not, and cannot, relieve you of the necessity and responsibility of being a decent human being - that's on you!

Freedom is so easy, even a cave man can do it. How so? Freedom means that you have the power to do, what you can get away with doing. It also means that those who have the power to stop you from doing it, can, and that their power gives them the freedom to stop you or take anything they'd like from you - freedom is so easy, that that's what democracy looks like!

Liberty, on the other hand, is Hard. Liberty takes thought, Liberty takes consideration of consequences over the long term. Liberty is the rarest thing in human history because it requires of you that you respect the Individual Rights of other people whom you may despise, to do what they think is best, no matter what you might think of it. And it also requires that you think long and hard about what you believe, and that you speak out for it, and that you stand up to those who'd violate it, even if you detest everything else about them.

For those on the Right (or left) who argue that laws which forbid businesses from refusing service on the basis of race, religion or gender bending, are necessary and good, but then want to also claim that govt cannot tell businesses who they can refuse to bake cakes for, are not simply guilty of not connecting the dots, they have somehow managed to forget that the dots ever existed at all. Egregious violations of our Individual Rights under law, have come about only after imposing 'necessary!' and acceptable violations of our Individual Rights under law, for the 'greater good'.

The plain truth is that Govt mandated health care, with all of its violations of our Individual Rights, property and religious freedoms, could not have come to pass, had govt not been enabled to take the first step against our Individual Rights, by forbidding businesses to deny services based upon race, religion, gender, etc.

Govt has expanded through our seeking to shirk our own individual responsibilities as thinking, moral, individuals. The fact is that rather than actually facing up to our friends, neighbors and relatives and telling them, arguing with them and convincing them that such bigotry, racial or otherwise, was ignorant, stupid and harmful to us all, we took the easy way out and got govt to use its power to force them to act as if they had listened and understood that.

But did they? No, they didn't. Look around you, and no, that sort of stupidity isn't limited to skin color. And what that has cost us, has been the substance of all of our rights, and the 'permission' to shirk our responsibilities to say and do what we know to be right. Such a deal, eh? Our seeking to offload our own moral and reasonable responsibilities, to govt, has put us firmly upon the pro-regressive road to losing our ability to make our own moral and reasonable decisions ourselves. From Marriage laws (WTH is Govt involved in those at all for?!), to Education, to Prohibition, to Civil Rights and Health Care - we have sought to rid ourselves of the burdens of making our own decisions for our own lives, and have consequently lost the ability to make our own decisions for our own lives.

I for one am not surprised in the least that we are where we are today. Look around you. It's all ours. Own it. Or do you now really agree with Elizabeth Warren and President Obama, when they say:
"You didn't build that."
Hmmm?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Breakfast Club 30 years ago, tomorrow the HB1490 Workgroup club. The world's an imperfect place.

I'm getting ready to drive to Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, tomorrow morning, to meet up with a number of others - on all sides of the political fence - in the HB1490 Workgroup to help in rewriting our educational curriculum standards for Missouri's public school system.

30 years ago I was watching The Breakfast Club. Now I'm putting ridiculous amounts of time and money into trying to fix a system which makes Mr. Vernon's 'Schermer High School' seem a shining gymnasium on a hill.

I shouldn't disclose details of private email conversations, but a friend who's very much involved in the process made an apropos, and very depressing, analogy between our public system of education and the Titanic, basically that it can't be fixed, it will sink, and in the meantime we do our best to help reduce injuries to as many of the passengers we can, while also doing our best to encourage as many as we can to get to the lifeboats as soon as they can.

For those of you out there with a more optimistic view of things, I'll remind you that we're trying to save a system that was largely designed by a fellow who, in 1909, after setting the template for our modern school systems with their superintendent structures, textbooks, centralized testing, etc, chortled that
"Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent.” 
If you're interested, I've got a few more details on that in this post from several years back.

So why am I heading out to Jefferson City early tomorrow morning for our HB1490 workgroup meeting? Partly because I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't do what I could to help make the system less bad, but... fix it? Well... here's a question I've yet to hear come up in any of the debates about 'education reform':
"What do you mean by Education?"
Shouldn't that be the very first question asked, before setting out to reform or fix it?

Yes, it should.
The Brat Pack we ain't, but we're working on it.

Any questions?

One more - a question for myself and everyone else who feels beaten down by the educational system and by the political system: What can't we do about it?

What we can't do, is do nothing. Our system of public education is not separable from our system of government. The education system we are all fighting right now is the very same system that is tearing our system of government apart before our eyes and it would like nothing better than to do so ever faster, without our interference. The state of our nation, our government, our culture and the widespread lack of understanding of all of it, is a result of our current state of education, and as my link points out, this problem began a heck of a lot earlier than the 1960's.

And it's not going to come back, or even improve, if we leave them to their own devices.

So long as we as a people retain some shred of ability to reason, then we have to do our best to change the system through the laws, and as the cooler heads among us have pointed out, that requires engaging with our legislators and with those who'd like nothing better than to 'teach us a thing or two' to the contrary.

And you know what? One of the nicer surprises I've had in this process, is that it is not only possible to work together with those who see things very differently from how I do, it can be interesting and rewarding to do so.

And hey, if you're stuck on the Titanic, might as well rearrange the deck chairs.

 So... see ya'll all again in the morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Was Senator Cotton's letter to Iran treasonous? No. Illegal? No. Addressed to the right people? No!

Was Senator Cotton's letter to the 'leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran' illegal or in any way treasonous? No. Was it addressed to who it should have been addressed to? IMHO, no way, not even close. But before getting into what the letter got wrong, lets look at how the letter and those who signed it are being wronged.

The ridiculous claims that the senator's letter was in any way treasonous or illegal, are not only easily dismissed, they betray a dangerous preference for partisan propaganda over easily verifiable facts, the details of which have been easily and briefly explained in Commentary Magazine.

But on top of the pure idiocy of the accusations, the frothing leftist intelligentsia is either deliberately ignoring, or betraying an appalling ignorance of, a large number of basic facts of record about Democrat congressional behavior over the last 40 years or so - including that of the current President (who reportedly contacted Iranian leadership prior to being sworn in as President).

Several online sources, such as Hot Air, have already done a good job of pointing out the numerous prominent Democrat politicians who have, going back to the 1980's, deliberately sought to undermine or thwart Republican administration's foreign policy, both secretly, and through personal visitations, as this excerpt makes clear:
Senator Ted Kennedy encouraged the Soviets to interfere in the 1984 election. Noah also mentions Nancy Pelosi’s trip to visit Bashar Assad in 2007 against the Bush administration’s express desires. But there are even more instances that speak more directly to Congressional interference with executive branch efforts on foreign policy.
Joe Scarborough pointed out one example this morning on Twitter from the Reagan era. The Reagan administration wanted to block Soviet influence in the Western hemisphere by backing rebellions against Communist dictators, especially in Nicaragua. Reagan supported the contras against Daniel Ortega, a policy which Democrats opposed and for which they later passed the controversial Boland Amendment in an attempt to restrict Reagan’s options in foreign policy (and which led to the Iran-Contra scandal.) Before Boland, though, 10 Democrats in the House — including Edward Boland (D-MA) — wrote a letter to Ortega called the “Dear Commandante” letter pledging their support to his government. See if this sounds familiar [follow the link, it will sound very familiar]
IOW, if the cries of 'Treason!' were to be taken as credible, it would require also charging our sitting Secretary of State John Kerry, several sitting senators on the Democrat side of the aisle, the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and more than a few of those she 'leads. There are some pedantic quibbles on the language of Sen. Cotton's letter that can be found here, but brushing all the silliness aside, was Sen. Cotton's letter a smart thing to write, and was it addressed to who it needed to be addressed to?

Both answers follow from who it was addressed to: the 'leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran'.

And who are they?

The Iranian regime is a theocratic dictatorship consisting of brutal, primitive and barbaric thugs. A regime which routinely, even daily, condemns America, and its ally Israel, as the Big and Little Satan, a regime which publicly leads prayers for our destruction. Their rule has been repeatedly defined by how brutally it crushes all dissent against it. They publicly state their intentions to wipe out Israel and to dominate the entire Mid-East in the name of (as their own interpretation of) Allah.

So with that in mind, I've got a couple questions:
  • How can you possibly address a letter to them (let alone conduct negotiations with them), with the expectation of it receiving an intelligent response, or serving a rational purpose?
  • How could you not expect the ayatollah to do with that letter exactly what he did, using it as a means of peddling propaganda about America being confused and crumbling?
  • And finally, if you don't want a deal to be made with Iran, what benefit would it serve to strengthen their hand, and the administration's, against congress in the eyes of a world media (not to mention the U.N.) which very much favors the idea of an agreement between Iran and the Obama administration?
Lest my lack of support be taken the wrong way, let me say that I am someone who believes that since the ending of the administration of the second worst president in U.S. History, Jimmy Carter, an invasion of Iran has been at the very least justified, though perhaps not always justifiable, (I don't agree that doing so under this president would be at all wise). I think that any discussions with the Iranian regime that are done with the expectation of producing an agreement that will be adhered to by Iran in any way other than as a means to hobble the United States, is childishly naive and downright stupid. The only comments they should receive from officials of the United States of America, are of condemnation, isolation, and a very clear description of dire consequences to follow from any actions outside their borders - and a bill for any actions they prompt us to take against them.

And so I'll ask again, was the senators' letter addressed to the right people?

IMHO: No.

While I entirely understand the desire of Sen. Cotton and the other signatories to publicly rebuke the Obama administration for attempting to strike a deal with Iran - I have no complaints there at all - and I don't think the letter itself was wrong to write (though a bit weak, and addressing it to Iran made the Senators look weak), but tell me, why the hell would you address such a letter to someone who is not only irrational but our avowed enemy?

Who should it have been addressed to?

How about to those who actually do need to hear and consider it: the President, our media, and We The People of the United States of America? Not to mention the rest of Congress? Were the senators somehow thinking that the Ayatollah would not get such a message of 'how our constitution operates' through other channels than direct postage? We are the ones who are in need of letters such as theirs, there was no need to direct it to those who would have no interest or intention upon receiving it, from doing anything other than using it against us.

Sen. Cotton, if you want to be a true leader, and you certainly have the makings of one, focus your attentions upon helping those you would lead, to understand what it is that must be understood, if America is again to be the leader in the world that it could and should be.

So to wrap up:
  • 1 point to Sen. Cotton for chutzpah.
  • 2 demerits for Sen Cotton and the other signatories for a poorly thought out PR stunt, which wasn't even directed towards those who might have benefited most from it - US.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

If you 'Stand with Ferguson Protesters' please stand far, far away from me.

If you 'Stand with Ferguson Protesters', please stand far, far away from me. And do me another favor while you're at it, don't call them 'peaceful protesters' when I'm around; they are anything but peaceful and it is infuriating to hear them given such undeserved cover to hide behind. Which means of course, that there are plenty of media types doing just that, prattling on about the dastardly police donning riot gear just to 'confront peaceful protesters':
"The shooting took place shortly after midnight following what had been a mostly peaceful protest in front of the department Wednesday night demanding more action over the report."
Here are just a couple of the many things I'd like to say to that:
  1. When you have a 'mostly peaceful' mob gathering in the street and making demands, if you don't prepare for a riot you're a f#$!$%& idiot - that or the Governor of Missouri, or, obviously, both.
  2. There's nothing, nothing, peaceful about an unruly mob gathering in the streets into the night, milling and marching about, loudly chanting insults and threats, obstructing or intimidating passersby, confronting the police and calling them out, to say nothing of throwing rocks and bottles of urine at them, or setting fire to the town.
Peaceful? Really? Here's some of the latest peaceful offerings from the protestors gathered in Ferguson:
From GatewayPundit:


St. Louis County Police Chief complained about the constant pressure put on the county police by outside groups.

If you support such 'peaceful protesters' as these, then you are supporting the effort to bring about political goals by force and violence, and evil will follow from that - how could it not? To expect anything less, or to pretend surprise when evil makes its inevitable entrance as it did last night, is nothing less than a lie.

This entire episode has been a sustained assault upon the public peace and upon the law, and it is no surprise that it has received gushingly sympathetic support, and millions of dollars of Pro-Regressive Leftist George Soros cash infusions, and even aid from those elected to uphold the law and keep the peace.

And what was it that brought Ferguson to the boil yet again? A double dose of appeasement with the the resignation of the embattled Police Chief of Ferguson, following on the heels of Eric Holder's shameful attempt to save face with his drummed up report against Ferguson.

This is a lesson that is lost on the Left in general, and the Obama administration in particular, don't let yourself be drawn into thinking that appeasement is just for prime ministers and presidents - that's the path of fools. It is folly and evil for them to practice, because appeasement is folly and evil for mankind in general - it encourages and leads to the same heart-breakingly avoidable results, an emboldened abuse if power, no matter what level it is practiced on.

Appeasement doesn't disperse the mob, it doesn't deliver "Peace in our time", it doesn't placate evil - it encourages and inflames it - and life is more than happy to teach us that lesson, again, and again, and again; and if that's the type of lesson you want to waste your life on not learning? Please, do it way the hell away from me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mayor Guiliani - what do you mean by America, and why question only President Obama's love for it?

Have you heard what what Rudy Giuliani said about President Obama not loving America? Me too! Were you outraged? Me too! Can you believe he only said that he wasn't sure whether President Obama loved America?! Me neither! Huh? That's not what ticked you off? Well... why the hell not?!

I'm not all that much of a fan of Mayor Giuliani to begin with. Why? Because when as a U.S. Attorney in New York City, he practically invented the 'perp walk', arresting high profile professionals to parade them in handcuffs before the press, as a means of boosting his own political aims  - someone who'd do that... that sets off warning bells. But as far as his saying this:
"... I do not believe that the president loves America..."
I'll go ahead and say that - providing that we first define what we mean by America - he didn't go far enough. The real problem with what Giuliani said is that he limited it to President Obama alone, as if the issue begins and ends with him. Why stop short of applying it to all of those of like mind with the President, who seek to impose policies upon America which are opposed to what it means to be an American, and which in doing so causes real damage to what America actually means and is?

If your reaction to that is something like:
"GASP! How can you SAY THAT?!"
Then again, I've got to ask how can you not say that? 

Look, America is not a typical nation. Unlike most other nations, America wasn't simply formed out of the ethnic identities of people who'd lived here for thousands of years. Unless you are a racist or a bigot, to be an American is not about being of a particular race, religion or ethnic identity, it's about being part of a nation formed from a set of ideas which were declared here, established here and fought for both here and abroad. If you don't accept those ideas, if you oppose those ideas, then by means of your own opinions and decisions, you've necessarily defined yourself as being anti - opposed to - what it means to be an American.

To love America means, at the very least, to value, practice and support that particular set of ideas which are based upon the understanding that Individual Rights are not doled out by men but are inherent in the nature of man and irrevocable by men, ideas that value Liberty and recognize its requirements, and the determination to seek to preserve both through a constitutional Govt whose powers and laws are limited to upholding and defending those Individual Rights and the Liberty which results from them. Those who love America, love it not because (or at least not only because) it is where grandma baked her apple pies, or because it's a great place to go camping, but because they love those ideas and the liberty which they bring into all of our lives.

So I'll ask again, unless you base 'loving America' upon nationalistic, ethnic, racist or some such bigoted foundation, how can you claim to love America while opposing the ideas which America was formed from? That doesn't mean, necessarily, that those who believe in that way are bad people - they could be swell folks, good family members, and they might even be fine contributors to the community (in a limited sense), but I do not believe that they can be said to love America - not in any meaningful sense.

The plain fact is that those who support ideas which are antithetical to America's founding ideas of liberty and limited government, are by definition, by choice, by action, demonstrating that not only do they not love America, but that they are passionately opposed to it. If you define yourself as a leftist, a Pro-Regressive (of the Left or of the Right), a Communist, a Socialist, a Fascist, etc., etc., etc., then you, by your own choice and professed ideology, do not love America.

How can you possibly claim otherwise? How could you claim to be offended by the clear meaning of your own ideas and positions?

You might love the idea of replacing what it means to be an American, with what you'd rather America meant, you might wish to transform America into the idealized horror of your dreams, you might even love a particular geographical section within the borders of America, and some of those who live within them with you, but you do not love America.

Sorry, fact.

How is that possibly a controversial thing to say?

And all it requires of you to justify saying that the President and other such people do not love America, is to ask them to explain how their own stated desires might somehow not directly conflict with America's founding ideas. It only requires that you have the willingness to ask them to define the ideas behind their oh so high sounding ideals, and the principles which their political aims rest upon. It only requires that you ask them to explain how their own ideals could possibly come to pass without directly opposing and violating those fundamental principles which this nation was founded upon. And of course, most of all - which, if you do love America, should be the least difficult of all - you will need to be able to briefly state and explain those fundamental ideas of Individual Rights and Liberty which America is defined by.

Fact.

BTW, the other side of the coin here, which should be obvious, is that anyone can come to these shores (lawfully, it should go without saying), and if they accept, value, practice and support those fundamental ideas of what it means to be an American, then they not only love America themselves, but they are American, every bit as much as, and in many cases more so, than those who were merely born here. No matter what country of origin they came from, or what religion they do or don't practice. I hope you get that as well.

Sorry, fact.

So Please. Whether you're from the Left, Right or Center, don't come running to me with your outrage for or against Rudy Giuliani's comments. If you understand what it means to be an American, the only problem you should have with Mayor Giuliani's comments, is that he limited them to President Obama alone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'Woven into fabric of our country'? Which fabric and which founding are you speaking of Mr. President?

The only two options I can think of for justifying this, from President Obama speaking at his "summit on countering violent extremism", are either willful, purposeful ignorance, or the attempt to promote a knowingly false agenda. Can you think of another legitimate option?

Look at this:
"Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding. Generations -- (applause)"
Woven into America's fabric? Since its FOUNDING? Presumably he means in some manner that made some significant difference, so maybe he can tell us...in what way did that happen? Based upon what evidence? His answer is this:
"The first Islamic center in New York City was founded in the 1890s. America's first mosque, this was an interesting fact, was in North Dakota." -[It was established in 1929]
I don't know if he knows it or not - seriously, he was an academic, he might not know this - but the earliest founding of colonies, the creation of the fabric from which this nation was formed, came from the early 1600's, and by my count, that's MUCH earlier than the 1890's. Our nation began to be formally formed, its fabric woven into a distinctive pattern, with the Declaration of Independence in 1776 - that too is MUCH earlier than the 1890's. Our Constitution was written in 1787 (without a Muslim in sight of the constitutional convention), and ratified in 1788, without, to the best of my knowledge, any Muslim involvement in the process - that too is MUCH earlier than the 1890's.

The Civil War was fought in the early 1860's, again, to the best of my knowledge, without any Muslim influence of significance; and even that is earlier than the 1890's. WTH is he talking about?

Seriously, WTH is he talking about?

The only significant instance of involvement with Islam that I can think of, was our having to deal with the Barbary States off and on from the late 1700's through the early 1800's. While Franklin, Adams and Jefferson attempted treaties with them, beginning in 1784 - it soon transformed into the issue of our first foreign wars with the Barbary Pirates... is THAT the involvement he wants to applaud? Yes the Marines got the line "to the shores of Tripoli" in their anthem from fighting the Barbary Pirates on Islamic shores...but is THAT really what he wants to tout as Islam being 'woven into the fabric of our country'?

Even Wikipedia, as one desperate defender of the President threw my way, cites only a few rumors of people reputed to be muslim, having been noticed in North America, in the 17th & 18th centuries, and, incredibly, even an example of of how some things never seem to change:
"...An early Egyptian immigrant is mentioned in the accounts of the Dutch settlers of the Catskill Mountains and recorded in the 1884 History of Greene County, New York. According to this tradition, an Egyptian named "Norsereddin" settled in the Catskills in the vicinity of the Catskill Mountain House. He befriended the Indian chief, Shandaken, and sought the hand of his daughter Lotowana in marriage. Rejected, he poisoned Lotowana and in consequence was caught and burned alive.[21][22]..."
But seriously - how in the hell does anyone justify his comments? And especially NOW, in the context of fighting Islamic terrorists and the spread of ISIS, how can anyone, with a straight face and a shred of concern for intellectual integrity, how can any person not call this out for the bundle of willful ignorance, or pack of lies, that it is?

I'm telling ya', we need a new word, 'Unbelievable' just doesn't cut it anymore.

Which Founding?
There is of course one other option, the "Progressive Era" began to take solid shape in the 1890's, and since the Pro-Regressive view is the only view of America that I've seen this President support, maybe that's what he had in mind? After all, a few years ago he went out of his way to mark the 100th anniversary of Pro-Regressive President Teddy Roosevelt's signature speech, entitled “The New Nationalism”, and which Obama praised and reprised in his own speech, given in the same town of Osawatomie (and which I posted on here: "Presidents Obama & TR’s Nationalism vs Original Americanism"). During his speech, about that speech, Obama noted with a smile how the press of that time had characterized TR’s speech as socialistic and even communistic.

Or IOW, the very opposite of what America was understood to stand for.

Maybe THAT is the 'founding fabric' he has in mind.

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Daily Obama Kos

Occupy Democrats calls this idiocy thoughtful and wise.
"...And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ...."
Really. Sooo... let me get this straight: You want to justify the barbaric mentality of the middle ages being resurrected by ISIS today, by (misleadingly) referencing our own behavior during those long past middle ages?

Dude, you're missing your own point! Would you scold your fellows for objecting to someone in a workplace who punched someone else for annoying them by saying "Remember, in the 3rd graded you did that too"?

We left the Middle Ages in the Middle Ages where they belong. ISIS is bringing them back. We separated Church from State, they see them as the same thing. We moved on, they're not only trying to go back, but to drag the rest of us back with them.

And you have the audacity to to call drawing a moral equivalence between barbarity today and supposed barbarity then, thoughtful? Wise?

Twits. Absolute friggin' twits.

Piggy-backing on that epic twittery, we have the dailykos with some truly top-notch Hate-America-Firsterism.:
"..American Exceptionalism blinds those who share its gaze to uncomfortable facts and truths about their own country.

For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the "medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes..."
Tell me, aside from that heinousness - a heinousness which, BTW, ISIS aptly demonstrated as NOT being an exclusive trait of Americanism, but of being human - aside from that also being relegated to our past, was that period of our history ended by trying to make the racists feel more comfortable amongst us?

Did we end that by allowing their 'laws' to spread unmolested? By trying to empathize with their unique views?

Did we end such lynchings by treating them with respect (hint: if your brain comes up empty, consult Hollywood (good and bad))?

Or did we end it by calling them out for the barbaric disgraces they were?

I don't know about you, but if someone speaks wistfully of such bygone traditions, I've got a ration of condemnation and vitriol ready browbeat them to dust and sweep them from my company. And I sure as hell wouldn't, under any circumstances, attempt to use it as justification for similar atrocities.

But maybe that's just me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

How do you defend a friend?

How do you defend a friend? That shouldn't be a tough question, should it?

When someone you care about, that you've worked, marched and protested with, broken bread and shared highs and lows with, is attacked, misrepresented and lied about... what do you do?

If its your sister, brother, neighbor, co-worker, the answer's simple: You jump into the fray, you get between them and who's attacking them and discuss, argue, yell, bang, shove and if necessary trade punches to defend them.
Laphroaig! Chris, Me, Dana & Ginny Kruta
when Dana's book tour came through St. Louis last year

That works great when you're dealing with people, one on one.

But it seems to change when you're dealing with one on millions. Then... it gets complicated. Because when you try and defend them against lies and half-truths twisted into even bigger lies, you run into people who have opinions about them, but don't know them, yet shoot their mouths off about them as if they did, and even former friends with axes to grind, and they do it all from beyond your reach.

Those people aren't standing in front of me where I can talk to, shout down, pound the table and shut them up until a civil tongue returns to their heads. They're on Twitter, Facebook, radio and T.V., saying the most hateful and vile things you can imagine, and worst of all, if you jump into the fray and raise your voice, it increases their voice and their range and spreads their bilge, not your defense of your friends.

And you can't do a thing about it.

Or so it seems. As my wife sometimes has occasion to say, sometimes I'm an idiot.

I like to deal in ideas, arguments, and if need be toe to toe debates and battles, which is great and all for arguments. But sometimes rather than go win a battle, what you, I, really need to do, is shut the hell up and just stand by your friends. Tell not just the world, but them, that you care about them, that you trust them, that they mean the world to you, and that whatever it is that fools and filth have to say... it's their words that mean nothing at all.

What means the world to me, is them. That doesn't need an argument. It doesn't need a shouting match. It just needs a couple simple words. They're my friends. I know them, I trust them, I'm proud of them and care about and love them. And whatever it is that happens, I'll stand by them,.. even when they do something stupid like move to Dallas.

Dana & Chris Loesch are some of the finest, truest, most decent people I know, are great parents, and both have exceptionally good taste in Scotch. It's a bitter thing to see them attacked, but it's a much better thing to see their success, and while I can't swing a media empire in their defense, I can still say they're my friends.

So shut the hell up already, ya damn morons.

UPDATE: Read Stacy's post at "Stacy On The Right", she has no confusion whatsoever over how to defend our friend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The State of the Union: What?

What? What's there to be said? There's only so much filth that you can be confronted with, without becoming violently ill.

There's not much to add, is there?  certainly nothing uplifting. But maybe tangentially enlightening could be useful.

Ok,  here ya go: From John Adams' defense of the Red Coats in the Boston Massacre trial:

"... In the continual vicissitudes of human things, amidst the shocks of fortune and the whirls of passion, that take place at certain critical seasons, even in the mildest government, the people are liable to run into riots and tumults. There are Church-quakes and state-quakes, in the moral and political world, as well as earthquakes, storms and tempests in the physical. Thus much however must be said in favour { 250 } of the people and of human nature, that it is a general, if not universal truth, that the aptitude of the people to mutinies, seditions, tumults and insurrections, is in direct proportion to the despotism of the government. In governments completely despotic, i.e.where the will of one man, is the only law, this disposition is most prevalent.—In Aristocracies, next—in mixed Monarchies, less than either of the former—in compleat Republick's the least of all—and under the same form of government as in a limited monarchy, for example, the virtue and wisdom of the administration, may generally be measured by the peace and order, that are seen among the people. However this may be, such is the imperfection of all things in this world, that no form of government, and perhaps no wisdom or virtue in the administration, can at all times avoid riots and disorders among the people.
Now it is from this difficulty, that the policy of the law hath framed such strong discouragements, to secure the people against tumults; because when they once begin, there is danger of their running to such excesses, as will overturn the whole system of government. There is the rule from the reverend sage of the law, so often quoted before.
I. H.H.P.C. 437. “All present, aiding and assisting, are equally principal with him that gave the stroke, whereof the party died. For tho' one gave the stroke, yet in interpretation of law, it is the stroke of every person, that was present aiding and assisting.”16
I. H.H.P.C. 440. “If divers come with one assent to do mischief, as to kill, rob, or beat, and one doth it, they are all principals in the felony. If many be present, and one only gives the stroke whereof the party dies, they are all principal, if they came for that purpose.”17..."

If one only gives the stroke, whether he be thug, community organizer or POTUS, makes no difference, all those with him, are guilty all the same riot. Compare last night's speech, to our Constitution, to our foundation of Law. Then compare it to others... Read again, retch, repeat.

Nighty-night.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A moments musing: Spy vs. Spy, Zombie vs. Ghost, ISIS vs. Anonymous - all in all a new state of war?

Musing on - So here's an odd notion to think about - perhaps one of those moments when folks of the future will look back and say 'Wo, we didn't see that one coming!'

For those who didn't know, the ubiquitous, solid, non-porous structures called the "Nation State", which we all take for granted as being solid and permanent structures, are barely as old as our own youthful nation. There power and presence following from the ability for government to establish clear borders, and extend its laws over its jurisdiction, without competition - or at least without competition from anything less than another Nation State vying for the same territory through War.

The means and ability of these nation states has rested upon their ability to say what was theirs, and to identify those who openly dispute them. The bugaboo of such states has been the guerilla bands, as Great Britain found out in the American Revolutionary War, as France and America found out in Vietnam, and as the USSR found out in Afghanistan. Etc.

But those guerrillas have always had a physical presence, sometimes tough to nail down, but as they did have actual physical locations, not impossible.

Here, today, we are perhaps seeing the coming irrelevance, or at least what will instigate a major mutation of, the Nation State as we know it, and we're seeing it in the clash of semi-guerrilla/semi-hactivist groups of ISIS/Al Queda, and the entirely amorphous group of hactivists, which call themselves Anonymous.

ISIS supporters having just slaughtered a particularly visible outpost of non-islamism in the French satirical organ of Charlie Hebdo. And feeling their oats, they've also been cyber-attacking American military and press outlets on Twitter and YouTube.
“ISIS is already here, we’re in your PCs, in each military base,” one of the messages read, using an acronym for the Sunni extremist group. “We wont stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children. U.S. soldiers! We’re watching you!”
Anonymous, becoming sensible to the utter lack of fun and hackery which will be available should the islambies manage to get a more sizable politically correct foothold, has issued a cyber-fatwa against the islambies.
"You will not impose your sharia law in our democracies, we will not let your stupidity kill our liberties and our freedom of expression. We have warned you; expect your destruction."

The press release ends in typical Anonymous fashion:

"We will track you everywhere on the planet, nowhere will you be safe. We are Anonymous. We are legion.

"We do not forget. We do not forgive. Be afraid of us, Islamic State and Al Qaeda - you will get our vengeance."
What we are perhaps about to see, is a clash of Spy vs. Spy, of Zombie vs. Ghost, and no doubt it will be played out across the 'territory' which existing Nation States are currently claiming as their own.What, I'm wondering, will happen, if this potential battle happens in real time and real space, while all the while the Nation State finds its ponderous self having no ability to take part in or interact in the battle, little or no ability to control the territory, or even find itself able to identify the combatants whose battlefields and bodies may nonetheless be strewn across their 'jurisdiction'?

That just might pose a problem to the substance of their substance.

Note: I'm not at all being wistful here, for all its flaws, I'm rather attached to the the idea of solid jurisdictions for the Rule of Law.

But.

Here's a question that our current slew of politicians just might want to take a moment and ponder:
"What happens if We The People begin to think that they not only do not listen to us, yet still burden our lives and liberties with their endlessly stupid contests for power over us, and find themselves unable to even secure our lives, liberty, property and ability to pursue happiness?"

Hmmm? Even the seemingly impregnable Nation State requires foundations... if it begins to seem as if those are built upon sand... well... who knows?

Perhaps this will little musing of mine will amount to little more than a moment of Cyber-Poli-Punk speculation. I hope so.

On the other hand... perhaps it's just as possible that we're about to see the next stage in Poly-Sci evolution... or maybe a new instance of webbernetic political regression to a cyber-war of all against all.

Well that was cheery.

/Musing off.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The future must not be left in the care of fools who'd say such things

The last time islamists ruptured their funny bone over cartoons, President Obama said:
"The future must not belong to those that slander the prophet of Islam."
Yearghhh!!!
The future must not be left in the care of fools who'd say such things, or else it will be bloodied beyond belief by those beasts the fools set loose upon us all.

But I wonder, how aware are you of how many fools are saying the very same thing?

Look at these seemingly unrelated issues,

If you think that one of these things doesn't go with the others, well that's the thought that just doesn't belong - you're being distracted by the shiny attention getters, instead of looking for the principle that unites them - and can defend you from them.

I blog on about this stuff ad nauseum, I'm gonna take the day off and give you a chance, so you tell me... what is the One in these Many foolishness's?

Let me give you a hint, if you think it has to do with race, or religion, or politics, you're being distracted by the shiny attention getters. And those shiny attention getters can make the fundamental issues appear to be different, but that's only because you're looking at them, instead of looking into them.

And that just will not do- those aren't the 'skills for the 21st century!'... or for any other time either.

Do these examples have wildly varying conscious motivations? Absolutely. Are they relevant?

No, not really.

Don't allow yourself to be distracted by inconsequential particulars, look through the surface to the principles which are driving them.

If you do not want the future to belong to fools, we'd better fill it with people who choose to think, and who choose to make sure that how they think valid, or in other words, those who fill our future will need to choose whether to make Progress, or Regress.

What do you think it will be? One more hint: It has to do with what they aren't concerned with.

The future hinges upon the choices you make today.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Is the combination of Racism and Communism Newsworthy? Nyahhh!!!

Our local evening news just drove home the point of my last post, which might be summed up by the line:
"Does anyone really not realize the significance of an entire people having little or no reaction to being wronged and lied to?"
It's cold here in St. Louis, and my wife flipped on the evening news for the weather, and then up popped a story that just stunned me to the couch. The cracker-jack Channel 2 News team announced a Ferguson story, entitled"“Black People’s Grand Jury” indicts Officer Darren Wilson", and I looked up to see several people giving a press conference while standing behind a big banner that read: "Black People's Grand Jury", which all by itself was enough to drop my jaw, but on top of that, sitting on top of two of their heads, one the spokesmen, were big fur hats with a large golden emblem set with a blazing red star and a hammer & scycle on the brim.
The Death Star


The spokesmen, identified only as   Omali Yeshitela - Lead Prosecutor, Black People's Grand Jury" (BTW, you might find Omali Yeshitela's history of interest), said:
"We cannot trust our children, the future of our community, in the hands of this establishment that has proven to us over and over again its disregard for black life,"
What I noticed, and my friend Patch at Progressives Today (read his post!) noticed, was something that our local Fox 2 News team failed to notice. But not only did they fail to make a high school level observation (and yes, my 15 year old girl noticed it) in regards to a story that is allegedly about racism and injustice, as bad things mind you... this 'News team' not only failed to make any mention of the avowedly racist nature of the group (hello? Did you read their name?!), but that it had two members (not to mention the banner's iconography) who were deliberately giving prominent display to a political ideology that is responsible for policies of gross injustice, massive human rights violations and well over 90 million deaths over the last century. Let me say that again: their local Fox 2 News Report, by virtue of their silence, helped to promote, without so much as a cautionary comment, an ideology that is responsible for well OVER NINETY MILLION DEATHS over the last century, an ideology which vowed then, and still vows now, to bury the United States of America... and this crack news team had NOTHING to say about either point.

That wasn't worth even a mention?

Nyahhh. Why worry?  Not even so much as a dorktastic anchor-to-anchor joke about the fashion faux-paux of their head wear.

But no worries, no doubt some Common Core equation (excuse me) 'math sentence' can be found to clearly prove to all that Racism + Communism = Justice. Socially speaking. And I'm sure that that whole problem with combining racism and fascism the last time around, ending with WWII, was a total fluke, right?

(sigh).

I haven't had the stomach to check and see if our other local news stations ran the story.
(Note: Fox 2 News has since updated their story by tacking on a paragraph at the end which notes:
"This grand jury is an effort of activists connected to the Leadership Coalition for Justice, formerly the Justice for Mike Brown Leadership Coalition, and the African People’s Socialist Party"
)
A Weeks Worth of Perspective
To put that into perspective, last week's 'News!' treated us to blaring and lurid tales of a GOP congressional leader, Steve Scalise, who, 10 years ago mind you, gave a speech to a 'White Supremacy' group (say, did they call themselves anything like "White People's Grand Jury"? Nope, 'Euro'), and the media burned up the wires with that 'Story!' on CBS, NBC, CNN, USA Today, and all the rest.

Dis-Friggin-Gusting.

How did they even get by themselves with this? Was it because the group is black? If so, then that is, by their standards, RACIST. Or is it because they don't mind Communism? because 'we're all socialists now'? Then that is gross intellectual negligence and unforgivable idiocy. And if it passed unnoticed by their attention because they did notice both points but considered them to be a 'non-story', then that is horrifying.

What was it again that we were supposed to 'never forget!'?

Was it really only to beware of one particular nasty totalitarian party whose leader sported a silly mustache?, or was there supposed to be something a bit more to it than that? Do you think it just might be possible that that particular party brought about the deaths of millions of people (only about 10% the kill rate of the Communists BTW) due to something more than their party name and leader's mustache? Might there possibly be something worth noticing about how such a political social justice movement slowly, then swiftly, swept aside an entire people's standards, laws and common sense resistance?

Nyahhh... why bother.

We live not only in an apathetic world, but one that is apathetic because of the dominant nature of 'critical thinking' (aka skepticism) that is promoted into us as education, and as such we now no longer seem to have either the ability to recognize right or wrong - without being told it is so (and who knows if it is?) - nor the ability to be outraged at an insult to those ideals (if any) we hold as true. As I noted in the previous post:
"...But someone who is skeptical of even our ability to know what is Right or Wrong? It is entirely within such a person to express either apathy, or violent indignation, at the emotional prodding of a demagogue, because there is no substance within them to resist his beguiling appeal.

The Skeptical mind, far from being mentally tough, is a mind with no substance, no form, they can be molded into either riotous frenzy, or just as easily convinced to bring their apathetic efficiency to filling out death sentences in triplicate - they are without heart. The Skeptic, via their dis-knowledgeable apathy, will be unperturbed over pits full of corpses, its evil found entirely unmoving, and unremarkable, and as invisible, to them, as the water a fish swims in...."
When those charged with bring us 'the news!' show no signs of even a meager enough wisdom to draw a connection between groups that identify themselves by race, that call for 'justice' by pre-judging guilt and insisting upon a conviction before even a hearing was ever heard, and a political ideology that historically and avowedly uses propaganda protests to gain position and power, with the aim of eventually seizing power... when that is all missed by those who are suppose to be ready to
"...stand ready to sound the alarm when necessary, and to point out the actors in any pernicious project...."
, then we are in far more trouble than will ever make the local evening news.


Forward Pro-Regress!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodby 2014: From Gruber to Ferguson, Evil is the new Good - The History of Progress begins with its absence, part 5 a,b, c & d

a) Evil is the new Good
I know what you're asking, 'Why this?' Right? I mean, we've got Ferguson exploding again, and what with all the rest of the News Cycle churning around and more, why am I continuing with this odd... sort of History-ish series of posts pursuing the nature of Progress and Regress?

Let me answer that question with another question.

Why are these situations so common, rather than uncommon?

Consider that since I first began writing this post, we've passed through several news cycles, led by Jonathan Gruber admitting that ObamaCare was a lie to fool the 'stupid people', Obama has declared his intention to issue an Executive Order to let in illegal immigration, Ebola has come and (or so we hope) gone, ISIS is still beheading fast and furiously, Houston's Mayor launched an assault on religious liberty (forgot about that one, didn't you), Gruber is back, ongoing efforts against the 2nd Amdt, or Common Core#Ferguson has exploded with rioting against against the judicial system, and now Korea closing our movies and Taliban slaughtering a school... and that was within hardly more than a month's time.

And we certainly don't need to limit our time frame to just the last couple months to see a virtual parade of more of the same. I mean, it's not as if these very same issues are really anything new, right? Ferguson/Watts? Ebola/AIDS? ISIS/Al Queda? Houston or Catholic Hospitals or forced fed healthcontrol? Marysville/Sandy Hook/Colorado? And Common Core/Race To The Top/every-educational-reform-going-back-to-1800? Don't let the seeming kaleidoscopic events snow you, instead ask yourself if there is some sense in which these very separate events are in some sense fundamentally similar?

I've questioned, answered and posted on these ever recycling news cycle issues enough times already - more than enough times. The reason why these issues are so common is because having the ability to look at these situations in a more productive way, has become so uncommon. All of these seeming changes, are the result of a long ago change that has too long remained unchanged and unchallenged, and that change is central to the reason why all of the progress made in recent centuries has been transforming into the rapid regress of today. Granted, beneath the surface of the news cycle, what has not changed is difficult to see, and while the superficial distractions of the recycling are easily mistaken for real changes - the only real changes taking place have been within us - all of which serves to mask what remains unchanged... and so... here we are.

Yes, that requires a bit of explanation.

Easier done perhaps by looking at one aspect of some of the more recent changes in us as a people, one that is very much worth noting, though maybe not for the reasons you might think. The embarrassing boastings of Jonathan Gruber, and the results of the #Ferguson Grand Jury verdict, though seemingly different on the surface, have quite a lot in common, with each other, and with the recycling of the news cycle.

I've already ranted a bit on the #Ferguson situation here and here, and even a quick hit on Gruber, but aren't Gruber's lies just politics as usual?

Nope, at least not the part that I see as being worth noting. What's easily noted is that we had a well respected MIT economics professor, Jonathan Gruber, who was a highly paid consultant to the administration precisely because of his position as a highly respected MIT economics professor (and who was previously employed by Romney, BTW, and for the same valuable 'insights' that the Obama administration payed him so handsomely for), who was caught on video - multiple times - cheerfully advocating for a policy of highly opaque administrative lies, so that they could take advantage of the 'stupidity of the American voter' - for their own good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rant: Say Goodnight (if you dare), the Party's Over.

rant:What does freedom of speech depend upon? What depends upon freedom of speech - other than every freedom and liberty we have? Do we really have freedom of speech if the Govt doesn't censor us, though it meekly allows any random thug or nation to prevent us from speaking freely? Threatening the American people and businesses with death and destruction should they dare to watch and listen to something that a foreign tyrant finds offensive, is... tolerable? 

THE worst act that President George H.W. Bush committed in office was his mealy mouthed - 'measured' - response to the Ayatollah of Iran when he threatened to bomb American book stores if they dared to sell Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses". That utter failure to defend not only our freedom of speech, but of commerce, trade and association, on top of Reagan's retreat after the barracks bombing, guaranteed, as weakness to tyranny always does, the terror soaked decades that have followed.

Today North Korea has topped the Ayatollah ten fold, threatening American theaters with a "9/11 response" should they dare show a movie he finds offensive. And not only has there been no response from this administration, there has been very little response from ether the media or from the public at all.

Seth Friggin' Rogen has made the most vocal response to this.

Might as well turn out the lights folks, the party's over.
/rant

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Gruber is as Obama does.

Courtesy of the Gateway Pundit, here's ObamaCare co-architect Jonathan Gruber taking a stab at putting on a 'humble and contrite' face, after being called to testify to the House today, in regards to
the multiple videos (6? or is it 7 now?) gloating about conning the American 'Stupid People' into buying ObamaCare (and being paid millions of dollars to do it). Here you can hear him as he tries mightly to hide the words he can't avoid saying:
"Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI): The Obama administration promised the American people 37 times that if you like your plan you can keep your plan. When you were working on the law did you believe Mr. Gruber, did you believe, that no one would lose a plan that they liked due to Obamacare.

Gruber: I believed that the law would not affect the vast majority of Americans.

Walberg: The vast majority? But did you believe that no one, as the president said, would lose a plan they liked?

Gruber: As I said I believed it would not affect a vast majority of Americans. But, it is true that some people might have to upgrade their plans because their plans were not comprehensive as defined by the law.

Walberg: So they couldn't keep their plan, even if they liked it.

Gruber: What the law says is that there are minimum standards to be met.

Walberg: Why did the President make this representation if his experts, including you, knew it was not true, that some, as you said, would not be able to keep their plan, they'd have to upgrade, or they'd have to change it?

Gruber: I'm not a - political adviser, I have no answer to that question. "
But Gruber needn't have put himself through all the discomfort of trying to seem like a decent person, there was no need to call the American (Leftist) people 'Stupid', had he simply reflected upon two old American sayings first. They are:

"You can't cheat an honest man." and "There's a sucker born every minute."

Because an honest man isn't looking to get something for nothing, the American Right were never among those Gruber and Obama aimed their ObamaCare con at, so he wasn't addressing them at all, stupid or otherwise.

But he also didn't need to call the Leftists, Independents and RINO's 'stupid people', they were simply willing partners to the lie. After all, anyone who's interested in getting something for nothing, clearly isn't interested in anything to do with reality or the truth to begin with - they're simply looking for an excuse to justify going along with the deception.

The people Gruber called stupid were really only partners to Obama & Gruber's lie, and so calling them stupid was not only clumsy and rude, but self incriminating. True, that is stupid, but as neither their target audience nor themselves were ever interested in the Truth to begin with, there was no point in telling that inconvenient truth at all.

Oh well, I suppose there's another old saying that fits here: Stupid is as stupid does.