Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Contextualy Tortured Thoughts of Man Caused Disasters

Here's a scenario for you,

“Did you blow his head off?”,
“Well… yes, but…”,
“Sorry, no but’s, Sarge, string him up!”,
“But he broke into our house while we were sleeping! He was robbing us and trying to rape my daughter! He grabbed his gun and was pointing it…”,
“Hush you murderer! Quick Sarge, hang him so we don’t have to hear his stupid excuses, string him up!”

Keep that in mind, we'll come back to it in a few minutes.

Is the latest outrage from Washington D.C. (take your pick, releasing CIA memo’s, taking over banks, firing CEO’s… so many to choose from) merely a result of our experiencing a ‘bounce back’ from the previous administrations, which will produce a ‘bounce back’ as well? Like pinball’s in a pinball game?

Lance asked on the previous post, “I do feel and I have written this before that the election of Obama was a direct response a bounce back away from the policies of Bush and in four years there will be another bounce back the opposite way. I just hope the ball ends a little more in the middle and with a little better understanding of fiscal responsibility and the idea that if a company fails due to the nature of finance that isn't the end of the world.”

I don’t mean to criticize Lance directly, but the comment it seems to me reflects a certain view of the world that is common… and rather dangerous… all that bouncing back and forth, is not only very deterministic, but seeks to do something (required of determinism in general and leftism in particular), it seeks to drop the wider, and more relevant, context of what is happening in our lives.

For instance, by ‘bounce back’ one could mean that the uproar over the release of CIA Memo’s, could be a bounce back against demagogues such as Nancy Pelosi(D), who knowing full well about interrogation methods, and approving them – which is the only thing someone in the position of representing the people is doing when presented with information about actions to be taken, and does not speak out against it – she gave her voice, representative of all the people she represents, in at the very least non opposition, and implicit approval of those methods and actions – and then with unbounded cynical and pragmatic pandering to the most dangerously passionately uninformed among us, preyed on their stupidity in order to whip up political opposition (and power… primarily Power, for her benefit) to those who, because of secrecy, could not expose her perfidy (a little aerobic run on sentencing to get the day going).

This unhealthy, passionate, ignorance and shallow thought, which Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and John Kerry, and all the rest, preyed upon, preyed upon the weak thinking of the leftist multitudes in order to gain political power, while knowingly hindering, hurting, and opposing the interests of their country in a time of war.

I don’t need much prodding to pronounce that as being, if not legally, then morally, treasonous. But, at least in my case, I don’t regard that as ‘bouncing back’, I regard it as an open eyed examination of the issues, and with consideration, I render judgment. Bounce back… doesn’t really fit in with that process.

Do I think they really wanted to cause America harm? Did they really want to get American soldiers killed (look at what happened after the fictional Koran flushing)? No, I don’t think so, I think they merely wanted to take advantage of the situation, gain some power, I doubt they thought it’d really cause any harm, after all, responsible people would ‘do something’ to keep things going as they should. Just like with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, they didn’t really think that their forcing banks to make unwise loans, surely those in charge would just ‘do something’ to compensate… to bounce things back in line. After all, things aren’t really integrated or dependent upon each other, what’s true for one situation isn’t necessarily true for another, all things are relative… if you chuck the context, that is.

If we do want to consider it deterministically, where does the ball bounce back to from here? If it only rebounds from one passionately uninformed position to another… what results from that? I can tell you this, it won’t be good.

I too have been alarmed over the last… lets confine it to Bush admin for brevity's sake… 8 years, but probably for other reasons than most. I was alarmed that Bush signed, rather than vetoed, McCain/Feingold, a horrible assault upon free speech and the Constitution, into law. Probably he felt he could confidently pass the buck to the Supreme Court to strike it down. I termed that, then and now, as negligence and opportunism and a betrayal of principles. It was also, for anyone who had been watching the doings of the Supreme Court, stupid.

It also has opened the door for the current administration to carefully examine dangerous right wing extremists at the DHS.

On another front, Enron was a financial calamity of poor business leadership and short sighted opportunism for quick buck payoffs, it was an example of shoddy thinking and criminal behavior – in other words, typical human failings which people in general, and investors in particular, need to be sharply on the look out for. For the people who put their life savings into a company, trusting others to look out for them and to keep them safe from incompetents and criminals and save them the burden of responsibly looking into where their life savings was put… and lost everything… they get some sympathy from me, for their condition, if not how they got there, they got what they deserved. BTW, if you trusted the Gov’t to look out for you… for the SEC to do your due diligence and thinking for you, or a broker you don’t even know beyond a phone call to put your long term interests above his commission tallies, then you got what you deserved. If you sought to escape examining the wider context of issues and requirements for security… that puts you into another context, which you cannot escape from either.

There is a risk involved in investing your money in the Stock Market, and the risk increases the more you delegate the necessary oversight to others, and exponentially so when you trust Gov’t regulations and regulators to do so for you. But their plight is not where my concerns lay, where my concerns are focused, are on egregious cases of governmental overreach into private lives and businesses, through such ‘legislation’ such as Sarbanes-Oxley. If you want to trace our falling standing in the world financial community (not speaking of our current troubles – it’s a part of it, but not a principle portion), the point where the financial capital of the world ceased to rest securely in New York, and began to float towards London and elsewhere, that heinous bill which extends governmental interference into day to day management decisions, will be found at its root.

You can’t separate the urge of politicians to “Do Something!” from the results that will result from what they do. That also is an issue of context.

Bush began many things well, then let them peter out in cancerously moderate fashion. He began by saying no to Kyoto, but gave moral courage and comfort to the global warming hucksters by granting them the status of having reasonable concerns. He began by identifying states that support terrorism as being the enemies of freedom and liberty… and then in short order, offered diplomatic dialog, fresh starts, and ‘opportunities’ to ‘join the world community’. He began by seeking to solve the immigration issue… by ignoring the context of why it is an issue, of why we have borders, and of why they are particularly important in a time of war… and by ignoring the obvious anger of the public over the issue of amnesty – ignoring existing laws - twice. That too has laid the groundwork for congress to ram its stimulus package down our nations collective throat. Bush began by seeking to end Social Security, but tried to do so on efficient grounds (“This govt backed program will be better than that because it involves profit” – yeah, good selling point to leftists), instead of qualitative moral grounds – such as it is wrong for Government to operate a Ponzi scheme, to misrepresent a transfer of wealth from those creating it now to those only consuming it, as if it were an insurance or investment program; but far more importantly, it ignores, and condones the fact, that it is wrong for Government to be involved in the private actions and finances of its citizens – it tramples upon property rights, and by extension all other rights. At that critical point in our history, perhaps the last feasible point in time, when it was possible to identify the issue in its real terms, he didn’t, and compounded it immeasurably, by destroying the free market in order to save it, or as he put it “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system”.

Very Kantian, that last… “I’ve found it necessary to destroy knowledge, in order to save faith”.

Not surprising, not at all, keeping in mind that he attended both Yale and Harvard – what can you expect?

While I obviously disapproved of most of Bush’s policies, why do I not revile the man? Because I am not a leftist. I do not make the ‘100 percentalistic’ error of the fraudulent application of principles, demanding that any deviation be devalued and destroyed. I do not make the hubristic error of assuming that because I have identified a principle involved in a situation, that I have identified all of the principles bearing on the situation. For all of Bush’s errors, and they are many, I don’t believe he intended harm to the Constitution or the Nation, and for his efforts in the ‘War on man caused disasters’ (ahem), flawed though they were, he deserves and receives, my heart felt gratitude.


His comment about “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system” is sooo telling, it is consistent with (gotta laugh at that) the mixture of leftist, pragmatic, Kantianistic, slop, which is taught in our system of education. It teaches anti-conceptual, anti-contextual methods of… not of reasoning, but of calculating. And it has consequences.

This brings me to our latest bout of public turmoil over the leftists attempting to destroy our knowledge, in very Kantian fashion, in order to impose their faith - the brouhaha over ‘we don’t torture’.

It is, at its core, an attempt to destroy knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, and to substitute paper thin decrees in the place were reasoned, morally active thought, should be. Which is at the heart and deadened-soul of the left.

Thinking and applying laws and moral reasoning, requires a careful examination of context and principles, sorting and sifting away the chaff from the wheat, the mud from the gold, the relevant essentials form the irrelevant particulars. If that were not the case, we would not have, and would have no need for, Judges – it would be sufficient to write down a law, post it in the public square, and punish those who violated it. No deliberation would be needed, just:

“Did you blow his head off?”,
“Well… yes, but…”,
“Sorry, no but’s, Sarge, string him up!”,
“But he broke into our house while we were sleeping! He was robbing us and trying to rape my daughter! He grabbed his gun and was pointing it…”,
“Hush you murderer! Quick Sarge, hang him so we don’t have to hear his stupid excuses, string him up!”

Most leftists hyping the interrogations methods as torture, are quite happy with just that level of consideration. Others, having some nagging notion of there once being such a thing as morality… at one time or another… but which they’ve conveniently relativised, will ask “but what of “Thou shalt not kill”?”

Well, if you believe that that is all there is to it (leaving aside the fact that the original Hebrew was closer to ‘Thou shalt not murder’… and that they considered them to be more like the ‘Ten Categories’ of commandments, rather than stand alone commandments… and what need for the volumes and volumes of the Talmud, if ‘It is written!’ was enough?), then you are either a literalistic fundamentalist, a leftist and/or an atheist of the deterministic creed.

But you are not a Reasoning person to whom morality is truly important (‘positions’ I’m sure they have loads of, and which they’ll fervently claim to be morally righteous, but such declarations can hardly be considered moral; at best, they are political), and are unlikely to exhibit even a whiff of wisdom.

Leftists, determinist's and Kantians (which is an extended redundancy) would like to have you believe that you can have faith in ‘Kantian categorical imperative’, flat line commandments which require no context or consideration to follow, but that is only something which only the most crudely inept of computer programs can adhere to (which is btw their ideal of man), but is an evil of untold proportions to teach as being a Moral ideal.

As my scenario demonstrates above, context is not only critically important, the full context is what really actually occurred, attempting to ignore any portion of the relevant context, is to dispense with a full grasp of reality.

For instance. I got into an argument once with a relative who was proposing govt health care, and she attempted a hypothetical argument “If your neighbor had in their home, the only antidote in the world which could save your wife and children from dying from a horrible disease, and refused to sell it to you, would you break in and steal it?”

One of the chief evils of hypothetical’s, especially in the hands of professors and those who have been distorted by them (as she was), is that they are usually used in an attempt to dispense with reality. They attempt to discard all context, all that is real and true, lock you into their one dimensional scenario, and then try to apply your deeply dimensional concepts (in this case Property Rights) to their little hell, in such a fashion as to make you discard your ability to reason – which is what you do when you ignore contextual issues. Like trying to shove a package through a mail slot, it won’t work, one or the other will be destroyed in the process, and they are banking on it being your package of contexts, rather than their narrow slot in the wall of flatland views, which will break.

In her hypothetical, she attempted to dispense with everything which would have made the development and attainment of some precious antidote possible in the first place: Reason, Medical Science, a Pharmaceutical industry, peaceful law abiding neighborhoods with homes that are not and do not need to be surrounded with defensive moats, and a free market which would make all of that possible – all of which is dependent upon a lawful defense of property rights, she attempted to discard that entire deeply contextual and integrated world view - in favor of a scenario of the basest of lifeboat ethics, a situation which requires immediate action and where reasoned thought and debate is not possible – a situation antithetical to ethical consideration and thought – and in that flattened context of nightmarish impossibilities which would still be dependent upon property rights in order to even conceive of, she attempts to force me to ‘admit’ that property rights are of no real value in the real world.

Again, the context matters, in most normal situations, a simple reference will suffice, you don’t steal, someone who doesn’t, gets punished.

Truth be told, most libertarians (of the Murray Rothbard variety) fall into this same trap, when they declare that all taxation is theft, that the government can have no right to their money. But just as my relative sought to construct a hypothetical which required property rights to exist, in order to attack them, the anarcho-libertarians attempt to use the concept of rights, which are reliant upon a proper government to uphold and defend them, in order to attack government for violating them. But you can have no political right to weaken or do away with that which makes political rights possible (more on this when I get to the end of my posts on Justice).

Where was this ramble rambling towards… oh yes, in the context of a group of fanatically violent theocratic anarchists, who are waging the most savage and uncivilized of wars upon the west in general, and upon America in particular, and having just slaughtered 3,000 civilians engaged in no aggressive behavior towards them, and planning more such attacks; in that context one of the creatures was captured, and with a sizable amount of evidence to indicate this filth bucket had information which might help prevent another imminent and horrific attack upon our people, into that context the aclu-Pelosi generated moonbat leftists wanted to uphold and defend the man-caused-disaster-generators right to constitutional privileges, and conventional legal respects and regards due to any other civilized person.

That’s a huge load of context dropping.

On top of that, the leftists want to ignore or discount the extensive measures that our government took, carefully examining legal obligations and treaties and constitutional law, in order to discern whether or not we could interrogate such a terrorist with a degree of roughness which would be unthinkable in normal situations. They want to ignore the limitations and restraints the Bush Administration determined would be necessary for that creatures ‘rights’ and safety, in order to remain within our law, and which would require the President of the United States of America to individually authorize particular instances which required the use of those methods. They also want to ignore the huge outcry and debate which has been raised among We The People once we heard what was happening – they want to ignore all of this – drop all of the relevant context – in order to draw an equivalence between the monstrous actions which are eagerly indulged in by the islambies (and I might mention, by many of those ‘appalled’ world leaders so loudly criticizing our actions, who routinely indulge in as much by their local police dept’s, not to mention what their secret police do to their own people, at their own discretion and pleasure… China anybody? Russia? FRANCE? )… is … just… asstounding.

And Horrifying.

And it is all the inevitable result of a pervasive leftist philosophy which rests upon, and depends upon, the discarding of context which such things as Kantian categorical imperative require.

They, and the left in general, are fundamentally anti-conceptual, anti-reason, and anti-American.

Period (contextually speaking).


Joan of Argghh! said...

the discarding of context.

Yep. A text without a context is a pretext.

Very good essay, sir!

lance said...

Thanks Van, I am glad I am able to help you create such a well thought out piece.

Perhaps, "bounce back" wasn't the right choice of words. Maybe a reaction to the previous administration? I think that the reason we have a largely Democratic congress right now is because people were fed up with what the largely Republican congress was doing. The problem that I see is that when we have only one other choice, a choice that at least is theoretically the opposite of the incumbent, we are forced to live with that choice for good or bad. So now we are seeing that the Democrats in congress are as bad if not worse then the Republicans were. I am not overly surprised by this. But, that may be due to my cynicism and the fact that I feel that our two party system is inherently flawed and will continue to put us in this situation for years to come unless it is changed.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent post, Van!

I think the problem is a bit more complex.
First, we have such a poor public education system that is so bad, even many college graduates no little of our history and politics(and thus it's probable that they will make many avoidable mistakes when they vote).

The quality of those running for office has degraded, along with the increased apathy of voters to do even minimal research to see what candidates really stand for (not what they say they stand for).

The root problem is bad education, and yes, parents (or parent) are to blame as well, not just leftist or left-leaning teachers.

History is full of examples of the destructiveness of socialism and communism and populism. Which is probably why it is so ignored and there has been a concerted effort to "rewrite" history or to "revise" it.

For example, now it is commonly taught that dropping A-bombs on Japan was "bad" and didn't really save hundreds of thousands or millions of lives.

The dangers of Communism and especially Socialism ain't even taught for the most part. Some teachers say that capitalism (free markets) are "bad."

Moral relativism is rampant in public schools, and again, this isn't conducive to liberty, it actually destroys it.

I could go on, and Van has written a lot about why and how our education system got so bad, but I'm sure you know that.

Without a decent education, from schools and parents, and a rejection of moral relativism and socialist ideology...without the wholehearted embrace of liberty by the voters, it doesn't matter how many political parties we have.
Because they will all have very few good candidates to choose from, and become popularity contests based on charisma, good looks, and articulation, not substance and principles.

This is why we have stupid politicians and/or politicians that only seek power over the people who hurt more than they ever help.

mushroom said...

I'm glad I got around to reading this today.

I guess the good news is that when they round up the right-wing radicals to ship them off to re-education camps, they won't have to worry about being tortured -- aside from having to listen to endless repetitions of "Dear Comrade" speeches from Obamba.

(I would say "we won't have to worry", but I ain't goin'.)