Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Support Kleefisch - Real Progress requires standing with those who stand for your ideals

The Proregressive Leftist is all about 'the will of the people', except for when what the people wills, will not sit with what the proregressive leftists wants - then they will use every low blow, every cheap trick, and every corrupt coin they can stir up to overturn the will of the people, and get what they want.
The battle is now! Help the voice of We The People to be heard over the power plays of those who want only your silent 'consent'! Click and put your money where your mouse is!
That is what has been happening in Wisconsin, as the will of the people, electing Scott Walker to Governor, and Rebecca Kleefisch to Lieutenant Governor, has been challenged with recall elections. Not because of any wrong doing on their parts, but precisely because they set about doing what they campaigned on doing, and were elected by We The People to do!

Rebecca Kleefisch is someone who entered politics not for political party reasons, but to put political practices right. That put her at odds not only with the left, but with the GOP establishment as well, which she bucked, and won against, defeating the party favorite in her primary - while also battling and winning against cancer at the same time.

The article linked below details what she's helped to accomplish, and the the money saved, and the red tape cut, and it is well worth reading - and not only by the people of Wisconsin.

The importance of this recall election applies nationwide, the reasons why she is having to battle this trumped up recall election, is something that applies far beyond the Wisconsin electoral map. The proregressive leftists are throwing every dollar and dirty trick and outrageous insult (and no, no call from President Obama over the obscene insults hurled her way) in order to prevent the will of the people from interferring in their power to do what they want, over the clear voice of the people spoken in their original election.

As Dana Loesch put it in her article on Breitbart.com,
"Does any race better embody the struggle between the future of liberty and the iron fist of oppression and tyranny than that of a Wisconsin mom verses the machine?

Make no mistake: a loss in Wisconsin will derail the first generation of reform governors. It will affect every other state, and give the President a singular victory from which to campaign as he slides his failed policies off the table.

Not only that, but a loss for Kleefisch could discourage other women from running for office. Conservative women have been met with a barrage of abuse simply for being conservatives, and Kleefisch is no exception. If other potential female conservative candidates see what the left is capable of doing to one currently in office, don't expect to see them take on the heat of a campaign in the future.

Kleefisch isn't a victim, though; her focus isn't on the "war on women" as much as it is the "war by women," the war the conservative women will wage on big government. Help her."
This election is less about recalling Rebecca Kleefisch, than it is about recalling the voice of the people for real reform. If you want to see the nation put right again, you've got to stand up for those who are trying to do what you know is necessary and right. Your help is needed, if We The People want to see things change for the better, We The People had better stand up and support those who are trying to accomplish the true will of the people - defending the Rights of all of the people.

Real progress and real reform, requires standing with those who stand for your ideals, it requires putting your money where your mouse is - click & help!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Remember Memorial Day - and those who threaten it

Here at the start of Memorial Day weekend, I want to join up with what conservative bloggers around the blogosphere are making an effort to draw attention to - not because it has a connection to Memorial Day, but because of how entirely opposed to, and antithetical to, everything those who are being honored this weekend, died for.

When you pause this weekend, and bow your head in memory of those whose lives were spent in purchasing the liberty you enjoy today, remember that there are people alive today, here, now, who are doing their very best to tear down and destroy, what those who died in service to our nation, sought to preserve.

One of these people Brett Kimberlin, is a former domestic terrorist, as was and is, Bill Ayers, the sort of characters that our President likes to pall around with. Back in the day, Kimberlin and was known as 'The Speedway Bomber', when during the 1970's, he terrorized an Indiana town with a string of bombings, which were all the worse, because they weren't done for a specific cause, but only to cause mayhem, Helter Skelter like:
"...In the worst incident, Kimberlin placed one of his bombs in a gym bag, and left it in a parking lot outside Speedway High School. CarlDeLong was leaving the high school football game with his wife when he attempted to pick up the bag and it exploded. The blast tore off his lower right leg and two fingers, and embedded bomb fragments in his wife’s leg. He was hospitalized for six weeks, during which he was forced to undergo nine operations to complete the amputation of his leg, reattach two fingers, repair damage to his inner ear, and remove bomb fragments from his stomach, chest, and arm. In February 1983, he committed suicide...."
And yet, after release, while posturing for 'liberal causes, one of his organizations, 'Justice through Music', it states,
"“We support the aspirations of youth worldwide to be free to express themselves, and we take a stand against oppressive regimes that suppress freedom and deprive citizens of basic human rights,” Kimberlin’s website continues."
, he spends the bulk of his time terrorizing conservative bloggers, such as Aaron Worthing and even a Los Angeles D.A. - you've got to follow last two links - I can't do them justice here. Read them.

These people posture as "liberals", but they are nothing of the sort. Proregressive Leftists like the look & feel, and the market share, of the word 'Liberal'... but few of them have bothered to look into what the word means, and those ones, if they stay leftists, simply turn the page and 'move on'.

Those who aren't willing to turn a self-blinding eye, will recognize that people such as Kimberlin and Bill Ayers and his wife and fellow 'former' domestic terrorist, Bernadine Dohrn, they have things in common which bar them from association with words having to do with true Liberty. They believed and continue to believe in the same leftist ideals, they are drawn to the same patterns, mindsets, dispositions, the sorts of things which made Dohrn say, in reference to the original 'Helter Skelter' of the Manson Family murders:
"... at the Weatherman "War Council" meeting in 1969, Ayers' fellow terrorist and now-wife, Bernadine Dohrn, famously gushed over the barbaric Manson Family murders of the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three others: "Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach! Wild!"

And as Jonah recalled yesterday, "In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered 'fork' gesture its official salute." They weren't talking about scratching up the wall-paper."
The type of mind that can gush about a murderer sticking a fork in a victims stomach, and take that imagery as a symbol of their "movement's" ideals... that is not a mindset that is conducive to a respect for human life, much less that of Liberty.

Your life and your liberty are prices that they are willing to pay for what they want
When a proregressive leftist dares to call themselves a "Liberal" (one who loves and strives for Liberty – our Founders were Liberals in that classical sense), just keep in mind that these are the people they associate with, rally around and defend. Bret Kimberlin, Bill Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn – they are cut from the same cloth as are the hoods of the KKK or Swastikas of the National Socialists - not only that 'Might makes Right', but that it is right to do so, with any amount of force and violence, murder and mayhem, as may be 'required', and to do so without regret.

Your life and your liberty are nuisances to them. The Rights which protect you are obstacles to their Utopian plans. Your life, Your Liberty, Your Happiness, are the petty cash they are willing to expend as payment for the utopia they want to force everyone to live in.

They murdered before just to make a "Wild" point, just to stir things up, they never renounced their previous actions, they've never expressed regret... and you think that today... they are ok? You are comfortable with the idea of their being close to your president? Of having close input into the HealthControl bill that is currently threatening this nation?

If you don’t fear Kimberlin and the rest of these people, and their current ‘legitimacy’, and as in the case of Ayers & Dohrn especially, their highly influential positions in the education of your children, if that doesn’t fill you with a profound feeling of dread, you are a fool.

Men & Women have died for this nation, died to support the Constitution which preserves the liberties you are still able to enjoy, even today. Remember - there is a reason for this weekend, and for some it is more heartfelt and meaningful, than for others. Enjoy the day, enjoy your family and the liberty to do so, but remember - prices were paid, and some paid their all.

There are people around you today who'd just as soon spit on those we dedicate this weekend to remembering.

Remember that.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eclipsing Justice

So, did you see the eclipse yesterday? No, no, no... not the intriguing but irrelevant light show in the sky, I mean the dark show that played out on our city streets by the Occupy movement, now protesting NATO, the one where the light of civilization was being eclipsed by the savage hordes of our educated populace?

This one (see pic to right), did you see that? Those were some seriously 'peaceful' activities from the Occupy movement, weren't they? How many people, I wonder, did it occur to, that most of those throwing rocks and bottles for peace... were either college students or college graduates? Doesn't that seem odd? Shouldn't that seem odd?

Where do you suppose they learned such violent ideas about peace?

Did you see the OWS members being arrested for making bombs? Arrested for planning to express their views with Molotov cocktails? Arrested for planning to blow up bridges? Arrested for plotting to blow up President Obama's house and the Mayor's mansion? Have you heard any of their catchy chanting? Lovely and uplifting tunes such as:
"1-2-3-4-No War but Class War! Eat the Rich!"
And how about their peace mongering manners and dress? Capped off with surrounding, attacking and stabbing, the Police?

Do you, from time to time, wonder how these people, these mostly well off American youth, managed to become infected with the ideas which transformed them into those kinds of people?

These ideas they are agitating for, after all, in their minds at least, are about their ideas of Justice.

What is that?

They tell themselves that in using govt power to improve our lives and make life more 'fair', that they are pursuing a greater form of good than is made possible under our nation's constitution, than is possible to be obtained through individuals making their own choices in life. The occupiers believe that their good is better served by telling you what to do, rather than through you living your own life in liberty and pursuing happiness; that the state mandated market is more just than what is possible through the Free Market and its pesky demands for individual rights and property rights protected by law.

These educated mobs truly want to cast that all aside in order to promote 'Democracy!' and Social Justice! But their standards of justice, are ones which, by our traditional western and American standards, are the height of injustice... so where did their barbaric ideas come from?


Think about this as well, when you hear them chant about how they love 'Democracy' - that they think that lawless violence is the way to achieve peace and fairness... do you think that their idea of democracy is the same as your idea of it? Or are you also one of those who thinks that our nation was founded upon principles of 'Democracy'? Wrong. Don't feel too bad though, most of our school's textbooks say just that. What they don't say about Democracy, is what the... majority... of our Founders said about Democracy, as expressed by Madison ,
“…a pure Democracy, by which I mean, a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.”[emphasis mine]
Our Founding Fathers knew their history, and they knew philosophy, and they knew that 'Democracy' inevitably meant demagogues agitating the mob to the point where 51% of the people could choose to sacrifice 49% of the people. And while that fits in just fine with the chanting of the mobs in Chicago, that doesn't fit in with our American ideas of individual Rights and Liberty and Justice for all. Our Founding Fathers understood that an individuals Property Rights were vital to the protection of all of their Individual Rights,
"The right of property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive the people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty". (Arthur Lee of Virginia 1775).
Where did our fellows, your children, get the idea that Individual Property Rights is an evil? Aside from Marx, I mean, who said,
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "
, because Marx understood that Property Rights were a barrier to the kind of total power he wanted the state to have. But how, in the United States of America, did Marx's ideas of 'justice' get into American kids heads as their idea of Justice?

Our Virtual 'Education'
The answer is that they got their ideas from School, of course. It is through our schools that the occupiers are made, and it is through schools that these ideas are pushed onto the next generation, in ever larger numbers than the one preceding it. Our children are  taught, not explicitly perhaps, but most definitely by implication, that power, that wise and caring leaders using force, is the path to fairness and peace. And they are taught these pernicious notions, not as ideas to be understood, but as beliefs to be accepted, without question, and they are taught that questioning them is wrong, very wrong.

A case in point this last week, from a student in a high school 'Social Studies' class who recently captured the scene of their teacher demanding, in a very belligerent manner (listen to the OWS crowds chants, see if you can hear the same melody), that he accept her political beliefs,
"The teacher yells -- literally yells -- that Obama is “due the respect that every other president is due … Listen,” she continues, “let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom.” She yells over the student repeatedly, and yells at him that it's disrespect for him to even debate about Romney and Obama."
This student had been trying to tell his parents about this situation at school, but they were sure he was exaggerating, so,
"... the student had asked his friend to record the discussion to "prove to his parents what he has been trying to tell them for some time. The teacher in this video has a long history of pushing a liberal agenda, by shouting down students. She is very intolerant of other points of view that she does not share. The atmosphere at this school is not very conducive to opposing views.""
Virtual Philosophy = Actual Misosophy
The peoples of the Occupier movements of course come from some of our classrooms (some is all it takes, it doesn't require many bad apples to ruin bunches of defenseless students), and some of those classrooms are taught by teachers who have learned that teaching means indoctrinating students with 'the right ideas', or 'outcomes', and they learn that notion from some of their college classrooms.

Courtesy of Academia (the Irony runs so deep), one philosophy department is now making it possible for you to see a favorite method for how this dastardly deed is done, online. You can now catch a glimpse of how these ideas are taught, how these choices - to be violent or to be violated - are made to seem to be the only choices there are to choose from, you can actually see how students, students in Ethics classes, supposedly devoted to understanding what is right and what is wrong behavior, are being taught that force and sacrifice 'for the greater good' is how justice must be done.

Are these ideas something that's likely to have been discussed in depth? No, exactly the opposite. Most in depth discussions would cause the sorts of notions that are put forth as ideas, such as this, to collapse under their own lack of weight - they truly are meaningless. Instead these issues involve arbitrary situations, with no fundamental principles to rest upon (Surprise!), thrown at you with the expectation that you will make a 'decision', with little or no basis for making it. Translation: Do what is the politically correct thing to do. These are usually passed on through hit & run survey courses in the humanities & philosophy classes (the shallower the better and easier they are to be dogmatized) and they teach their students that questions of right and wrong are to be determined by unresolvable issues made in an emergency situation, such as in the leftists favorite scenario, an overloaded lifeboat.

Soon, it has been announced, these weightless ideas will be able to be wafted through the open minds of even more people, and with much less effort, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, requiring only nominal input from professors of philosophy, and some serious effort by programmers (again, the irony...) so as to make a virtual education indoctrination available on online to all.

These Philosophy professors (keep in mind that 'Philosophy' means 'Lover of Wisdom'), at an American university, are developing a 'Virtual Socrates' program, designed to engage students in a 'virtual dialog', that is supposed to be like "an interactive exercise to try to replicate the classroom experience online", which I'm sure it will do a bang up job of... right down to manipulating the students into situations where they have no choices, no chance to think, no alternatives, but those forced upon them by their sophistic (those who manipulate ideas to achieve predetermined conclusions) professors - the very sorts of people that the real Socrates battled and eventually lost his life to - thanks to a democratic majority vote.

This article tells of the new wonders of Virtual Philosophy
"Some assume that online education is not a suitable medium for courses that rely on the Socratic Method. But the philosophy professors at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are skeptical.
Oh... how I'd like to churn out a few pages on just that ... but I'll spare you. You're welcome. Moving on...
The Greensboro philosophy department, which already offers online versions of eight of its courses, has adapted two additional ones, including a “capstone” seminar, for the Web. Pending the approval of the university system’s general administration, the new courses would make it possible to earn an undergraduate philosophy degree from Greensboro without setting foot on its campus.

That would make philosophy the first department at Greensboro’s undergraduate college to offer a fully online degree.

"That might strike some observers as odd, given philosophy’s reputation as a discipline that relies on classroom exchanges and whose pedagogical model has hardly changed since ancient Greece. But philosophy and technology are more closely linked than some might assume, says Gary Rosenkrantz, the chair of the department.

“It’s not as ironic as it seems if you reflect on the fact that computers -- both hardware and software -- derive from logicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” says Rosenkrantz. Threads of inquiry that use the “if-then” protocol of formal logic are the “foundation of both the computer chip and basic computer software functions,” he says."
If you've been reading my posts, you know just how nauseatingly true that last part is... but again, I'll spare you a rehashing of it, because there is more than enough here to be seen with your own eyes in this single demo, to rant on about.

The online demo is complete with an actor portraying the Greek Father of Philosophy, 'socrates', dressed  in a roman toga no less, and wearing a laurel wreath on his head - if you're not struck by the error there, it's a little like presenting Ben Franklin as wearing an Armani three piece suit while talking on an iPhone in Russia, which is the sort of foul-up I'd expect to see on Saturday Night Live, but not in a presentation by the philosophy dept of a university. On top of that we're given a socrates who mugs, rolls his eyes and shakes his body at you, even pulls his toga over his head in horror, if you dare to click any of the replies that the programmers were doing their best to program out of you.

This is seriously sick stuff, and it is being put across with a straight face, as an innovative approach to something they like to call 'education'. But beneath the awful appearances, lies some truly evil material, and it is a perfect example of how students are fed the bilge which they are taught to think of as thinking about 'justice' and 'ethics', and result in violence, which is the only way they can play out in real life.

Here's the content of one of the slides:
The Lifeboat Problem You are on a lifeboat with 11 people (including you) aboard. The water surrounding the lifeboat is freezing such that no one can survive in the water. There is no rescue ship in sight and worse yet, the lifeboat is sinking. You then notice there is a sign posted on the lifeboat that reads "Capacity 10 normal sized persons." Looking around you notice 10 normal sized persons and one 400 pound man. No one wants to jump out of the boat and if nothing is done it will sink leaving all 11 to die. Would you:

  • A. Push the 400 pound man out of the boat to save everyone else. (Achieving the greater good.)
  • B. Refuse to push the 400 pound man or anyone else out of the boat and hope for a miracle.
  • C. Denounce the person who presented this scenario as an exercise in philosophy, as a fiendish fraud and a misosopher.
Yes, "C" is my wishful addition to the options, but you can bet your bottom dollar that no such option will be presented to your children, instead they will be told that those are their only options, that these are real world examples of 'Ethical choices'.

These supposedly ethical issues, are presented with little context, in situations which forbid contemplation or discussion, without covering any of the concepts involved and with arbitrary options which you cannot question, all of which is presented in order to railroad you into situations where you CANNOT make an intelligent decision... do you get that? You cannot make an intelligent decision with this scenario and these options, and that is exactly their point - you are simply expected to Act, for the moment... pragmatically, with no regard for fundamental principles, with the expectation that you will have no choice but to 'choose' the politically correct thing to do. Go to this page, click on the options that you know are not politically correct, and you will see 'socrates' grimace at you, even hide his face from view, until you just 'get' the right ideas into your head as being the ones you should 'choose'.

If you are interested in doing what is Right, if you are interested in discovering what the meaning of justice is, and how society should be organized so as to exemplify it every day, you do NOT learn to understand it through a an emergency crisis situation, a situation which, by definition, has to be decided and acted upon without thoughtful deliberation.

In the Lifeboat dilemma, as with all emergency scenarios, life itself must be made paramount, and all the secondary issues which are required to support it in everyday living, must be pared away, tossed away, in order to preserve the most life possible. It is, literally, "Women & Children first!", there is no time to consider whether or not one person has led a good and just life, and another a one of debauchery and crime, that goes out the window as those with the breath of life are equal by virtue of that as life itself become the standard, and quantity becomes the goal. The contemplation of life, liberty, property, justice, happiness have no place in a life or death scenario... and that is EXACTLY what the leftist wants to make as the standard for every day life, because they want to throw overboard any and all considerations of Quality - principles of philosophy, law, justice, liberty, must be discarded in their ideal utopia, in favor of quantities of breathing bodies - their quality of life held as irrelevant - and the requirements of living a quality life over the long term, which leads you back to principles, are to be discarded.

You, YOU, and by 'you' they mean them, are to be given god-like, life or death power over the actual you.

What these lessons teach has nothing to do with Ethics or with Justice; those principles require the careful use of deliberative Reasoning, informed with a thorough knowledge of the concepts which they are derived from, in order to discover govt's role in ordering society so that men can live and deal justly with their fellow man. Instead, the purpose of these lessons is to prevent the students from ever arriving at the actual concept of Justice - something the real Socrates would have been driven nearly to the point of madness over. And btw, the real Socrates was no flaccid & flabby priss, such as the actor portrays in the 'Virtual Socrates', the real Socrates was a stone cutter and a veteran of war, he was a man whose battles, in hand to hand warfare, were legendary. He understood well the differences between action and reflection, between sophistry and wisdom, and he spent his life in conversation, seeking to understand the concepts of Justice, and Injustice, which these misosophers defame so despicably. The notion that these put up jobs could be considered in any way as legitimate attempts to teach ethics or justice, would have been, and is, obscene.

These 'lifeboat ethics' are the antithesis to educating students about Justice, but they aren't new, only more visible as of late, as are the results of having be taught ethics from them. I noted in a post on "Teaching Justice at Harvard... Not!" a few years ago, how a popular Professor of Law, an authority on Ethics, was using just this type of scenario, 'lifeboat ethics' to 'teach' his classes with, and each one filled with hundreds of students:
The express purpose of such a scenario, is to put the student into a situation where he has no time to think, and must just react, in order to 'do the right thing'. Somehow.

Look at that again.

A philosophy course, an introduction to philosophy, the study of wisdom, and in this case focused upon the central point of the jewel of Justice, which seeks to resolve issues into what it is good to do and what is wrong to do... dealing with the highest concepts and truths, requiring the most deliberate and refined practice of reasoning... and as an example of entering into this, the most concentrated form of thinking, of reasoning upon vital life changing issues, we are given, as the introduction, your 'first impression' which you never get a second chance to make, and as the choice made for setting the tone for the entire course, is chosen, chosen, a situation designed "to put the student into a situation where he has no time to think".

Where, I want to ask, is the Justice in that? He then rolls on with questions of Marxist derivation, and anti-justice thinkers such as Rawls… the students rapt attention at the entertaining philosophical vivisectionist at work upon them… horrifying.

This is very much representative of the 'teaching' professors employ in philosophy classes today.
There is nothing good that can come of this, and you can seen in Chicago how nothing good is coming from those who have likely been taught with just these 'lessons'. Precisely because these sorts of lessons have been allowed to be drilled into the brains of America's youth, there is no way left for us to find a 'middle ground' with which to co-exist with these people - they have been indoctrinated with the lesson of Lifeboat Ethics, that Justice and Ethics are simply 'Kill or be Killed!', and that it is only a matter of deciding who is to be given the power to make those decisions. The lesson finally learned is that Power! is the path to their conception of Peace, and that Power must be seized through power - Power to the People! No War but Class War! Eat the Rich! Sound familiar? Gotta give em credit, the occupiers are practicing what they were taught to.

What I worry about most lately, is that we are being maneuvered into a situation, similar to a hundred and fifty years ago, where there will be no room left to find a reasonable alternative to action. I pointed out in a recent post, that:
...Conservative positions will always be perceived as a threat, and for at least two reasons.
  • First, your principles are a reminder that there are consequences for all that we do, which is an affront to everything they want, and everything they want to believe.
  • Secondly, your claim to such principles and rights, are barriers which are keeping them from what they want, in just the same way that the Constitution is a barrier to the power to ‘provide’ the universal healthcare they so dearly want.
Read that lifeboat scenario above, to you see any room for principle? Any mention of it? Worse, if you take that 'ethics' track from the start to finish, it deliberately seeks to draw out your principles, and then after the above scenario, no matter which option you choose, show you that your principles are in conflict with whichever choice you make, the inescapable conclusion being that principles as such are useless, and that all such important decisions must be made 'pragmatically', on the range of the moment. It is intended to teach you that Right and Wrong are childish fantasies. These scenarios are taught to inculcate the 'answers' that there are only two options available to you.
  1. to eat your neighbor
  2. to be eaten by your neighbor
The conclusion that must be drawn from those options, by any person with the ability to count to three twice in a row, is that you'd better use whatever force you can, in order to secure what you think is fair, before the Other guy does... IOW, someone will have to choose which neighbor is to be eaten, first, for the greater good.

What the educated Occupier just knows they Ought to do
For an example of how someone educated in these types of these ideas believes that they ought to be put into action, this article gives a glimpse into how one of the occupiers arrested recently for plotting bombings, a college student at a New Hampshire community college, thought his ethics demanded he ought to behave:
He posts against perceived “authoritarian control” and states he would “rather die for a cause than live a life that is worthless”. When Anonymous targeted Oakland officials in revenge for what they perceived as bad treatment of Occupiers in Oakland and released personal information on the internet on the officials, Chase’s comment was “Eat it dirty pigs!” He notes his arrests at Occupy Miami and in D.C.. One of his Facebook friends asks him what is the purpose of Occupy, to which he responds, “Revolution, disent”[sic].

The two most striking comments include a threat against the Miami police:

Jared Chase Miami has the most crooked cops in the country. We should execute them before they do something well regret.
That is the only sort of justice which Lifeboat Ethics can produce in action, in real life; a demonstration of how 'Virtual Philosophy' means 'Actual Misosophy' (Hatred of Wisdom).

Look around America - what you see is what your modern ideas of education, of 'useful' and 'pragmatic' education, of turning the primary purpose of going to college, into getting a good paying job, has brought you to. Parents, fellows, there are no skills that can compensate for the loss of liberty, and there is no liberty that can be had if you don't first how to employ Right and Wrong in your own life. Such an 'education' can only deliver us to the cultural loss of the concept of justice, loss of the self; that is the popular understanding that this form of 'education' is bringing us to.

I was reminded this weekend of an essay by the great Richard Mitchell. He stirred the pot up as "The Underground Grammarian" in the 70's & 80's, doing his best to alert us to what the 'educationistas' were bringing our way. This from his book on Educationism, The Leaning Tower of Babel, opens with a quote by Lenin who's giving advice on how to deal with those who disagree with the Party - see if it rings any bells for you,
"'Why should we bother to reply to Kautski? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There's no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautski is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.' - Nikolai Lenin
... Lenin's bolshevism and American educationism have so much in common.

"Give me four years to teach the children,'' said Lenin, "and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.'' He wasn't talking about reading, writing, and arithmetic. He wanted only enough of such skills so that the workers could puzzle out their quotas and so that a housebroken bureaucracy could get on with the business of rural electrification. Our educationists call it basic minimum competency, and they hope that we'll settle for it as soon as they can cook up some way of convincing us that they can provide it. For Lenin, as for our educationists, to "teach the children'' is to "adjust'' them into some ideology."
His books & articles are online at this site (which I highly recommended), if anything they are even more relevant today, with our "Education Reform!" mantras for Basic Minimum Competency, No Child Left Behind, Common Core Curriculum, Competitive Skills, Data Driven Education, Educational Choice through private Charter Schools!(which have to follow federal govt rules and guidelines - wow, bet that'll  show some real entrepreneurial initiative, eh?!)... Lenin would smile and Marx would chortle. Mitchel is worth a read, especially if you are one of those who thinks that the purpose of an education is to get a good paying job, because soon enough, due to just that form of educationism which has already reformed, or deformed, our nation into its current shape, there may, perhaps sometime soon, be no good paying jobs left.

At that point it will only remain to be decided who is to be on the menu for dinner.

Oh, and if that doesn't trouble you, you might want to recall that Obama defined 'The Rich' down from his previous campaign's high of those who 'were paid' over $250k, to being any household making above $100k.

Bon Apetite

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hunger Gaming the Minotaur

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in an examination room with my daughter, waiting for the pediatrician to come in and see her. As we waited I was sneaking a few more minutes of guilty pleasure reading on my tablet. As the doctor came in a few minutes later, he asked what I was reading, "The Hunger Games" I answered, "Oh..!", he said, grimacing a bit, and then said,
"I must be the only person who isn't reading those books."
I'll admit to feeling a little awkward being seen reading 'teen fiction', not that that itself makes it somehow 'less' than worthwhile, but... still... 'awkward'.
"Yeah, it's not my normal faire, but... my son Ryan recommended it, & when I picked it up in the bookstore a few days ago, I couldn't put it down. I'm just finishing up with the last book now. It's no masterpiece, but it's a surprisingly good action story."
I was ready to feel goofy for being a grown man reading 'teen fiction', but our Pediatrician cured me of that pretty quickly. The good doctor glanced at me and said,
"Well, maybe it's just because of my line of work, but I just can't imagine reading or seeing something having to do with kids being harmed."
, which I thought, more than a bit... odd. Oddly enough I thought it was a rather juvenile way to assess fiction - teen, children's, adult or any other variety you'd like to pretend exists. What sober method of evaluating and criticizing fiction, its plot devices and themes, allowed you to get away with a literal assessment of the story, as if you were reading a news story or an innovative new approach to physical fitness. Seriously? Still... temper... doctor... come on Van, relax... but curiosity... just... just a quick, teensie, comment.
"That's got to put a big limit on your choices..."
, I said, and then looking over his glasses at me, he said,
"Well I guess I'm just a bit pickier than most."
, and there was an audible sniff of holier-than-thouness dripping off his words and manner that got my hackles up. Now, he's a good doctor & I like the guy... and he was just about to treat my daughter... sooo... I tamped down my ready reaction of grilling with a side order of mockery, and just let it go with,
"I suppose you'd have to be picky in order to find anything worthwhile with those standards; what with starting off by ruling out 'Romeo & Juliet' and the like."
He blinked over at me, smiled, and went on with his examination, and I let mine rest.

He's a very good Doctor, but that sentiment, I couldn't help but thinking is some very bad medicine. I finally got to see the Movie of "The Hunger Games" this evening, with Rachel,(two thumbs up, btw), and seeing it brought that exchange back to me afresh. It goes much farther than simply 'teen fiction' and movies, the same tone has creeped into all areas of our language, behavior and thought - our culture has been prescribed this malicious medicine and we've been dosed with it, and overdosed with it, for going on two centuries now, and it seems to me that an emergency room visit isn't too far in the future for our society.

What do I mean by that? What I mean is that this sentiment, this habit of literalizing and denouncing everything which contains less than pristine behaviors or distasteful situations or language, as if doing so is somehow going to rid us of having less than pristine thoughts and less than admirable behavior... is... sick. IMHO it is a near pathological delusion, and it is far from limited to our choices in entertainment, we see it in our day to day speech, we see it in all forms of our Political Correctness, and in all areas of our lives - mustn't say target or kill, mustn't be insensitive to those who are 'disadvantaged' or to those having delicate sensibilities, and so on.

We see it in practice in our schools, where they either seek to vandalize books, excising or pasting over language, as with Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn', or banishing them entirely, as with 'Grimm's Fairy Tales' and 'The Iliad' too violent, disrespectful to witches, unkind to the handicapped, demeaning to the 'different', etc.

This literal prissiness is dulling our ability to be able to speak our minds, and it is dulling our ability to know ourselves.

But maybe the worst part is that it is futile, it is folly, it is an absolute waste of time, and we are devoting enormous amounts of our time, energy and wealth in pursuit of something that is not even remotely possible to achieve; I think you'd have more luck exterminating the human race, than in eradicating these stories and sentiments from us, in the West, at any rate.

"Waitttt a minute," I can hear people stammering at me, "We were just talking about 'The Hunger Games', weren't we?!"

Well. Yes. And no.

Here, in case you haven't seen the movie or read the books, let's go over a quick plot synopsis, I won't reveal any spoilers, but just see if you recognize any of the theme here:
A central imperial power, offended at rebellion among its vassal states, and determined to prevent their ever rising up again, demands that every year, each of them will be forced to offer up a tribute of their best youths, and those youths, the flower of their lands, will be gathered up by lottery and sent to their capital city, where they will be violently slain for the amusement of their conquerors.

This particular year though, in one of the more backwater locales, one person, a brave and skilled youth, will volunteer to take the place of another, and vowing to their family to return, the volunteer goes as a slave goes off to the slaughter, but secretly they are resolved to put an end to this annual tribute of young lives.

During the trek, the volunteer's valiant heart stirs the heart of another, and together their efforts set in motion a series of actions that will end the annual tribute, and bring about the destruction of the imperial power.

Through their heroics and sacrifice and their intellectual sharpness, the volunteer succeeds in finding his way through the game of the labyrinth, killing the Minotaur, and getting back out, but in the process of accomplishing that, the two heroes are divided - the golden thread that brought one out is not sufficient to lead him beyond the labyrinth - and unexpected tragedy is visited upon the volunteer's family as a result, even in the crowning moment of their victory.

Wounded, saddened and wiser, the volunteer carries on and leads their people to greatness.
Was that a spoiler?

Well, not really, at least it's not directly a spoiler for the "The Hunger Games", though people who've seen the movie know that there is no 'Minotaur' in The Hunger Games, or labyrinth, or golden thread (really? You sure about that?); still though, those who've read all three books should recognize this as essentially being the general plot of "The Hunger Games"... so... was that a spoiler?

Well... sort of, I suppose, but come on now, I mean, really, after a certain amount of time some plot lines have got to be understood to have been revealed, right? I mean, after three thousand years or so, the story's gotten around, hasn't it?


No, I'm not saying that Suzanne Collins, the author of "The Hunger Games" books is exceedingly long in the tooth. But the plot line of "The Hunger Games", in its essentials, is little different from those I mentioned above, that of Theseus and the Minotaur, and countless other Myths, Fairy Tales, tall tales, stories and more, and in all of them, youths, youths & teens, are put into perilous positions, even battling against themselves to...

... to do what?

Why tell such 'awful' tales?

What is the point? Are the stories meant to exploit the young? Are they stories told to be insensitive to the handicapped and deformed? Are they glorifying violence?

No, they are not, though they also are not unrealistically pretending that violence can be pretended to not exist, either.

More to the point, in banning these scenarios, as they've been progressively excluded from our children's education (beginning around 1800 when our ProRegressive 'teachers' began seeking to set aside all instances of classical literature - Greek, Roman and Hebrew - until they've nearly succeeded in expunging the heart of Western Culture from our lives) have they come even close to 'saving' us from such stories, plot themes or archetypes?

A quick glance at "The Hunger Games", "Star Wars", "The Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter", Spider man, Superman & The Avengers, should tell you that, no, they haven't succeeded, not in the least. But in the effort to, we seemingly have lost our ability to recognize them, lost our ability to appreciate these images and perhaps even lost the ability to better access and understand their wisdom through their many facets refracting from the jeweled surfaces of our cultural crown jewels... but they haven't eradicated them from us.

Not yet.

The fact is that they can't eliminate these stories from us, or at least I don't think they can; but they can, and have, set us back centuries, Millenia even, in our ability to make those fine distinctions that a healthy culture must be able to make, and which they must be able to recognize in themselves and in their day to day lives. The great and small heroism's, tragedies, passions, virtues and evils, and the tragic impossibility of separating Us, from Them, that is something that's central to the West(maybe even the origin of the west), and it is something which I think we must always have before us - whether we're talking Shakespeare or Star Wars or The Iliad. Such material is never, Never wholly dispensed with, not even for a moment.

But pretending that it can be accomplished, leads to people who think that they can make a man made heaven right here on earth, and what inevitably follows from such notions (once highly familiar to us all as Hubris... ever heard the word? Ever really understand it? Ever spent much time trying to understand it? Have your kids? If not, welcome to the culturally walking wounded), is, as those old stories did so well to illustrate, is hell on earth, in precisely the place they sought for heaven.

Fortunately for us, in our movies, in our video games, cartoons and comic books and in the libraries of some of us more stubborn sorts, they haven't succeeded in wiping our culture's wisdom out of us.

Not yet.

But they have gone a long way towards getting us to stop looking for them, and when found, they've gotten us to stop looking beneath the surface of them, with powerful illusions posing as 'answers', like 'teen fiction', and 'action/adventure'. But the truth is that there is much more to these stories, just as there is more to 'myths' such as Theseus and the Minotaur, than meets the eye; as there is more to the story of The Hunger Games than is expected to be found in 'teen fiction'. To find what isn't seen on the surface, requires readers who aren't satisfied with floating on the surface, but who've learned to dive beneath it, who've accustomed themselves to seeking and plunging into the depths, but that requires readers who've learned to ask questions - and that is something our school system (or any other labyrinth) is fundamentally unsuited to teaching - it is much more concerned with packing kids heads with answers - which tends to keep them from asking questions that might reach beneath the surface of appearances.

Which is not surprising, if you understand the labyrinth and the monster within, these, and all such stories, have at their heart the struggle of virtue against vice, of love against hate, and Truth against Power... which are unlikely to be found floating on the surface with the answers - and King Minos is damn sure not going to clue you in.

But as long as the stories are there, the questions are still there waiting to be asked, and the gamers of the labyrinth haven't succeeded in hiding that golden thread yet.

Not yet.

They're trying... but... not... yet.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Has the Tea Party gone away? Ask Sen. Lugar or FreedomWorks.

The state of the Tea Party came up in a short discussion the other night with some friends, as one of them wondered aloud about 'why the Tea Party failed', to which I had an immediate, and somewhat loud, response. This was by no means a hostile crowd, these were conservatives and libertarians, people who are very sympathetic to the Tea Party in general, and so I was more than a little startled by the statement, and it’s a view I'd like to scotch quick.

On the more obvious end, it's baseless, and not any different than asking the week after Super Bowl, where all the football fans have gone, “I don’t see crowds of 50,000 or people with their face painted up at the stadiums anymore, where’d they go?”, well, the answer is nowhere. They’re still there, but there aren’t any games to congregate at, at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that they are any less passionate about football.
A Tea Party Crew
Dana Loesch(in perpetually illness burka), Me, Patch Adams, Chris Loesch

Has the Tea Party gone away?
Ask (soon to be former) Sen. Lugar, who flaunted his establishment RINO mindset and behavior and derided the Tea Party for their 'unrealistic' ideas… as this 'powerful' 36 year incumbent lost to Richard Mourdock
“By trying to make deals with the Democrats, we’ve only lost ground. [Democrat Majority Leader] Reid has demonstrated he’s not going to make deals, he’s not going to abolish ObamaCare or repeal Dodd-Frank. The idea that somehow we have these experienced statesmen that are going to negotiate this truce with the Democrats is just not true. I want to make the arguments to the unfriendly crowds because we’re going to make some converts. I want people to know we have an option; it’s called conservatism and yeah, it works. So, bring it, bring it. I’m ready--we’re ready.”
Do Nat'l organizations, such as Tea Party Express & FreedomWorks speak for the Tea Party? Ask former senatorial candidate for Nebraska, Jon Bruning, who was endorsed by them as the 'Tea Party Candidate!'. And who lost to Grassroots favorite, and Sarah Palin endorsed, Deb Fischer.

"But wait!", some people are saying, "The Tea Party candidate lost in Nebraska!", to which I'll answer, Who did? Don't forget - the Tea Party is not an actual organization and it’s not a Nat'l organization, never has been and never will be. How do I know? Partly from direct experience, and partly from seeing the obvious - the people who are the Tea Party, have lives – and political organizations are what they are tick'd off at, and not what they want to become.

Just because some organization formed itself up and called itself the 'Tea Party' & endorsed a candidate, did not, and does not, mean that they actually speak for the residents of Nebraska who ARE the people who make up the real Tea Party there. If a Nat'l org wants to ride around in a bus and try and promote issues and candidates that its members feel are 'Tea Party' worthy, that's fine and all, I wish 'em luck, but if the people who ARE the Tea Party, are less than impressed with who the 'sound byte, photo bomber Tea Party' people WISH they supported... they're going to have egg on their faces.

A lot.

Steeping the TEA
And that gets to the more meaningful aspect of what’s wrong with the comment of ‘What happened to the Tea Party?’, and that is the assumption that the Tea Party was ever a Party, as in an organized political entity, as if it were ever a monolitic organization which had tried to accomplish political goals that fizzled and then faded away, as Ross Perot's organization did in the 1990's.

I think that is entirely wrong-headed.

For one thing I don't think that the people who came out on the streets in 2010, ever, EVER saw themselves as a Political Party, EVER saw themselves as wanting to elect a slate of ITS candidates, or EVER became a fixed organization of any type, more to the point, they simply saw themselves as being angry that they had to be out on the streets in the first place.

There are organizations that have tried to present themselves as representing the Tea Party nationally, Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks, etc, but never credibly. They may have been driven by people, some of whom came from the Tea Party, and many, most or perhaps even all, who thought that trying to form actual national organizations would enable them to be capable of fielding candidates or pushing issues... but intentions and realities are not nearly the same thing.

These organizations are NOT the Tea Party, never have been, never will be - or so I fervently hope. FreedomWorks has done some good things, helped facilitate quite a lot of people getting together and passing the word, but THEY DON'T determine what the word being passed is, and frankly, some of their choices - promoting common core curriculum & its 'charter schools' because they have the patina of ‘choice’ associated with them, shows me that the depth of their understanding and judgment of what the Tea Party is, and is motivated by, is highly questionable.

Their endorsement of establishment favorites in Missouri and in Nebraska, says that even louder.

The, for want of a better term, 'authentic', grassroots groups who have formed and provided some direction to the movement known as the Tea Party, such as several in and around the St. Louis area, and hundreds, if not thousands, of other groups nationwide, are not organizations in the sense that pundits typically think of them being. There are usually a few particularly active individuals (whose numbers fluctuate), who step up on one issue or another, and help in passing the word on various issues that they feel are important; they help coordinate demonstrations, try to keep some sort of regular get-togethers between die-hards for brainstorming, organize educational or social events, register conservative voters, and get messages moving out to the broader population when needed.

These are the people who ARE of the Tea Party, and though there are some people who have become nationally recognized as being with the Tea Party, personalities & pundits such as Dana Loesch & Gina Loudon, or news sources such as Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit, or even videographers such as Adam Sharp of SharpElbows & 'Patch Adams' of Po'ed Patriot, whose videos you've seen be instrumental in bringing down politicians with slips of their lips, or exposing thugrofessors in our university systems, they did, and do, have lives and careers outside of their Tea Party activities - they weren't paid for their time and efforts to begin with, and for the most part neither the individuals, or their groups they'd been part of had formed any formal organizations, except here and there as technical matters or for tax purposes.

What is known as the Tea Party, have been those amongst us who, in a phrase that I've heard more times than can be counted, 'Couldn't sit by and do nothing any longer'... have they gone anywhere?

To figure out where they've gone, it would be best to ask where they came from to begin with.

They became so extremely visible because there were issues that had 'fixed targets', so to speak, that people could converge upon, Healthcare forums, making themselves heard on Voting issues and candidates who were speaking out against them, Representatives forums, Bills & Initiatives that drew fire - those were visible issues we could come together at and be heard upon, and we did so in order to try and influence important issues that were being decided upon at the time.

After the Healthcontrol bill was pushed through, many of the fixed targets for rallying against disappeared, which meant that there weren't obvious events with high visibility that we could be seen at. Do you really think that these people, who never wanted to take time away from their lives in the first place, are less or MORE fired up now? Does anyone really think that these people must have figured that since the limelight's gone, they might as well go back and turn on the TV & relax?.

If you think so, I think you're dreaming some very big and silly dreams.

The lack of events to rally at, in no way means that the Tea Party has gone anywhere. Events which we felt could be effective in furthering our voice, may have disappeared for the moment, but WE haven't.

Dick Lugar could offer a few comments on that... if he had a campaign any more... which... he doesn't... thanks to the Tea Party that's 'gone away'.

We, who surged out into the streets in 2010 & 2011, have not cooled off, we have not gone away, we have not lost touch with each other or with what is happening in the political world.

We're here. John Nolte, of BigJournalism pegged it well, regarding the upset victory in Nebraska a few nights ago.
“Wisely, the Tea Party remains leaderless. This makes it impossible for the MSM to do what it wants to do more than anything, and that's destroy the movement by destroying its leader.

Instead, under the radar, one battle at a time, the Tea Party keeps on keeping on -- winning many more elections than it loses and forever making fools of its primary enemy, the MSM.”
Where has the Tea Party gone? Where do you think millions of people nationwide have 'gone to'? Where has the Tea Party gone? Nowhere. And everywhere. The fact that you don't see us everywhere, doesn't mean that we can't make ourselves felt just about anywhere and at any time.

The more important point is that you shouldn’t allow your ideas to be corralled by the MSM, don’t be fooled into thinking of We The People as being ‘Grassroots’ or as being ‘Tea Party’, because we are neither! We are simply people who have been roused by wrongs, and we aren’t going anywhere before those wrongs are righted, and yes, most of us realize that that may not be accomplished for a very long time.

I've been to several meetings in recent weeks, met and talked with many people who are just as fired up, if not more so than a year or two ago, but are more focused on practical actions and long term goals, than on venting with signs on street corners.

The true source of my loudness at hearing that question from my friends the other night, was pure Guffaw-Ha! Surprise… because sitting at the table with me was no less than four people, ‘ordinary’ had-enough work-a-day folks, who had just become candidates for local offices; a couple others who were very active in rousing and informing their neighbors and pestering their elected officials, and a few others who were active in educating as many people as possible about the ideas that America IS.

Tea Party minded people - those who are the Roused - are extremely active & busy in unobtrusive areas, in politics and out; those who feel they can reform the GOP by replacing the current members of the GOP, are taking it over from the ground up, swamping the Grassroots level Committee Men (MOPP ), melting the phones when legislators are considering wrong steps, teaching their fellows on constitutional issues... we are virtually everywhere (via Twitter & other social media), and actually everywhere, working your neighborhoods and running for offices that you’ve probably never heard of.

Just because we aren't visible, sometimes even to ourselves, doesn't mean we've gone anywhere, it only means we aren't easily seen.

Ask the British Red Coats dying in retreat from Lexington & Concord, how comfortable or safe it is to have unseen Patriots with their eyes on you.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Proregressive Leftist Merchants of Hate

And now for a few words of dispassionate clear thinking from a leading light of the left, Sanjay Sanghoee, from his fair minded and oh so swell post on the Huffington Post: "The Merchants of Bigotry". I bring this to your attention, because this high minded proregressive leftist (those who believe that Natural Rights are not final, that governmental power can be brought to bear to 'enhance' and add more benefits to mere individual & property rights, with things like 'economic rights', without destroying the original Rights they meant to enhance) has a timely warning for us, warning us against hate mongering, pandering and the destruction of Free Speech, which he at least likes to think he thinks is very important to him, and for us. Which is something. Sort of. But I'm getting ahead of myself, anyway, Sanjay wants to ask us:
"Why is this important? Because by promoting extremists like Ted, Rush or Glenn, these companies (and they are not alone) are lowering the standards of our national debate and encouraging Americans to consume garbage rather than substantive thought. "
Quite the statement. I certainly agree that lowering the standards of our national debate is not a good thing, and that encouraging Americans to consume garbage rather than substantive thought, well, that's surely a big bad thing too. So, I thought that we'd better have a look at what Sanjay Sanghoee has to say about this.

He opens his thoughtful post with this:
"Ted Nugent and Rush Limbaugh make the perfect couple. No, I am not implying a homosexual relationship between them (although it is entirely possible) but a true meeting of the minds and hearts. Ted and Rush are not just both conservatives, but conservatives who love to hate, and have made a successful career out of it."
Hmmm. Attempting to slight two conservatives with some implied anti-homosexual innuendo is not only... bad form, but it seems a bit out of place this week, what with the annointing of our first Gay President, but... oh well, it's fairly meaningless as anything other than insult, so... moving on, it's not what I'd call a promising start at fair minded reasoning, but, well, maybe Sanjay is just a slow starter, eh?, maybe level headedness is something he has to work himself up to?

That seems even less likely as we immediately get to his assertion that 'conservatives who love to hate'... if he was interested in fair mindedness, reason, etc, rather than just engaging in bashing these folks, you'd expect some definitions, wouldn't you? And some examples of their engaging in that nastiness as well, right?

You can read it yourself, but unless my eyes have taken another turn for the worst... you won't find either. Which is kind of odd, isn't it? Crying out against unjustified comments, by making unsubstantiated accusations?

I don't think I'm being overly picky in expecting that when I see accusations being made, when I see people labeled as what I assume I'm to take as bad things, 'Extremists', 'Haters', etc... I'd like to know what the accuser means by those terms. And since we're being all concerned here about the standards of national debate... wouldn't you think that defining your terms would be a reasonable place to start?

Oddly enough, Sanjay doesn't seem to do that... well, that's too polite, there's no 'seem' about it, he does not define his terms at all. It may be enough for bright, high-minded and right thinking leftists to somehow 'just know' that those terms are bad... but I'd like a few more details than the tone of voice they use them with. How about you?

The fact is he doesn't explain what he means by 'hate' at all, the closest he comes to an example is this,
"Rush's rants and bigoted comments have become so common that we barely notice them anymore..."
which is Sanjay saying essentially 'Hey, take my word for it!', which is a line which I don't think even the cheapest of used-car salesmen try to use anymore. It seems that in Sanjay's mind, he feels no need to enlighten the rest of us who have somehow missed out on these bigoted comments, rather than waste time on silly things like evidence and explanation, we should just take his word for it. Sanjay should take a tip from the used-car salesmen who stopped saying 'Trust me!' because they stopped getting sales, the only people who still say things like that are leftist politicians who... oh. I see.

Moving on. Sanjay ups the ante a bit a little further on, with:
"... spewed hatred towards our leader and advocated violence against him ..."
Our leader? When was the last time you heard someone refer to the President of the United States of America, out of the blue, as 'Our Leader'? I don't know about you, but as an American, I'm just a little uncomfortable with that. You know, North Korea has a leader, a Dear Leader, in fact, but I'm just a bit more comfortable referring to our head of state as President, or by their name, last name, etc. 'Our leader'... blech.

Here he gives us some more of the same, but with a little extra spice thrown in:
"Ted and Rush make a lot of money by throwing Molotov cocktails into the public discourse, and the organizations and companies who give them the platform to do so enjoy the benefits as well. "
Throwing Molotov cocktails into the 'public discourse', eh? Sanjay, you might not have noticed, but many of your politically minded brethren have been throwing actual Molotov cocktails into public, and private, property, smashing real windows, beating, raping and murdering real people in the many 'Occupy Wall Street' demonstrations across our nation and even worldwide... but strangely enough, looking through Sanjay's posts on Huffington Post, and his own site, I don't see Sanjay denouncing any of those instances of that actual violence or the Occupy movement which fosters it.... though he does spend a considerable amount of time denouncing the utterly non-violent (and clean) Tea Parties for their 'violent' and hateful and dangerous rhetoric, and no, no definitions or examples given there either, innuendo is simply A-Ok with Sanjay, as he stoops to advising people about their blind ideology and lack of sense,
"The Tea Party is a powerful force but it is misdirected and driven by blind ideology rather than common sense. If they really want to make a positive change, they need to examine where the real problem lies and address that."
, speaking of common sense, Sanjay displays his own lack of even the most basic sense, and knowledge here, the sense and knowledge which I know from experience that even the least Tea Partier has a firm grasp of,
We do not live in a pure democracy anymore but in an oligarchy, and the only checking force that protects us from abuse is the government.
, for him to say that 'We do not live in a pure democracy anymore', implies that he thinks that at some point in time, we did! I dare you to go up to any Tea Party member and tell them that our Founding Fathers gave us a 'pure democracy' without ear-plugs firmly in place. I wouldn't advise it, because what you will hear in reply is some variation on,
And as far as 'oligarchy' (Oligarchy: a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few. 2. a state or organization so ruled.) goes, what form of government is it that you think is promoted by having administrative Czars, unanswerable to those they make their rules for, and empowered to give 'exemptions' to those they favor? Hmmm, Sanjay?

Twit. Moving on.

He also likes to slather on some serious hate (Hate: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward;) towards Sarah Palin.
"What Palin really needs to do is shut up. She needs to stop her fear-mongering and her hate-mongering and either learn to be a responsible leader or vanish back into the obscurity from which she came."
Interesting. And again, sadly, without examples or evidence of any kind, other than the use of cross-hairs in a political ad... which democrats used first, that and Sanjay's assertion of it being true.

You know, it's beginning to look like Sanjay isn't interested in actual discourse or reasoning, in fact it's beginning to look just a bit like he's interested in nothing more than smearing those he doesn't agree with, because he doesn't agree with them; it's beginning to look like the reality of them or their positions, or even his own, are just not of any concern in his form of 'reasoning'.

Wow. Who'da thunk it. And from a proregressive leftist at that. Huh.

The rest of his post goes on in the same vein, picking up on Rush's 'slut gate' comments... somehow he fails to note that those same darlings Rush referred to held a 'slut pride' parade the following week, but, hey, Sanjay's probably just trying to keep his own head out of the gutter, right?

Yeahhh... maybe. My real problem with this is that with all his calls for 'reason'... he does little, well, actually, he engages in no reasoning (1. Use of reason, especially to form conclusions, inferences, or judgments. 2. Evidence or arguments used in thinking or argumentation.) in his posts at all. He accuses, defames, insults, labels and maligns, without offering anything more than a word or two in reference, if that, neither clarifying what his charges are, nor supplying evidence of his charges, not even links to someone else who does - we are apparently simply supposed to take his word for it. Because he's him. And was successful in the banking industry. When he pulls out his buzz words: Hate, Extremist, Intolerance... does he offer any definitions? Does he offer any examples of what they are doing or saying that is hateful, extreme or intolerant? No.

Do you suppose Sanjay has ever considered the sort of society which forms up around the willingness to accept such charges without evidence? Which accepts charges of hatred towards individuals or groups, simply because it is fashionable, and expected of those who wish to be accepted and fashionable, to do so?

Even more disturbing, he makes many claims to Rights (those actions required by the nature of being human, which a person must be free to engage in, in order to live a fully human life), and how some people's (Tea Party) concerns for them are unfounded (depending upon the strength of your stomach, or blood pressure, have a look at his thoughts on the 2nd Amendment), but does he offer any definition of what he says Rights are? Or how they are being harmed, other than his assertion that Ted & Rush are savaging them? Any examples?

No. None. He simply says it is so, he thinks it, and therefore you are to believe that it is. As with,
"... those who provide them with the outlet to spew their hatred do it to protect "freedom of speech" but that is utter nonsense. Freedom of speech is a guy in his basement posting his views on the Internet without being censored, or an activist picketing Capitol Hill without being arrested. Giving someone like Ted, Rush or Glenn a national megaphone to advocate bigotry, while making a massive profit out of it, has nothing to do with protecting the First Amendment, but with making lots of money. ..."
So in Sanjay's view, Rights in general, and Freedom of Speech in particular, are transient things whose protections vanish in the presence of profit? I know the Founding Fathers were somewhat technologically challenged, but I'm pretty sure that some guy in his basement writing posts or pamphlets was not the only 'type of person' (I guess that in Sanjay's world, only the 'right type' of people warrant the protections of their Rights - that's the type of world proregressive leftists like Sanjay are rushing us towards) or issue they had in mind with Freedom of Speech. And I'm pretty damn sure that whatever it is that 'Rights' are in Sanjay's head, our Founders had something a bit more substantial in their minds than some few privileges that could be eliminated by a person earning a profit.
"Why is this important? Because by promoting extremists ... are lowering the standards of our national debate and encouraging Americans to consume garbage rather than substantive thought. "
They certainly are Sanjay, they certainly are.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Just a few thoughts on the unthinkable

I was sitting here on the couch, thinking about the unthinkable, and I figured, 'What the heck, misery loves company', why not spread the wealth around.

Over the last few days, I’ve been looking at Questions that no one ever questions, looking at the blatant and casual willingness towards self-contradiction of a man employed to THINK for the President of the United States of America; at the deliberate (at best) refusal to think, on the part of one of our Senator from Missouri seizing on the concrete form of an off-hand comment, at the expense of refusing to acknowledge or understand a fellow person’s meaning, simply because it was disagreeable to this powerful Senator; and at the ever reforming business of 'education reform' which entirely ignores the question of what Form a true Education should take.

People are so willing to accept questions such as “Is it better to be feared than to be loved” at face value, and seemingly without a moment’s reflection upon what answering such a question commits you to denying and to not thinking of at all. These are truly important considerations, important to your mind and your heart and your soul… and people don't question it.

Similarly people don't bother to bat an eye when someone who is employed to think and advise the most powerful man on earth is un-bothered, and possibly even unaware, that he contradicts himself, even contradicting his own statements within a single paragraph of his own posts. On top of that we have at least one entire half of our body politic that has rendered themselves incapable of engaging and allowing imaginative thought, and at the root of it all we have schools who teach what isn't worth teaching, from materials not worth reading, to kids who are painfully aware of that fact, for a society which is concerned not with their children having received an Education (quick, ask yourself 'what is an Education', I rest your case), but with saving money in delivering those materials, doing it more efficiently, and verifying that 'all the important facts' have been received - more like a UPS Delivery Receipt, than a Diploma.

What of those important thoughts that should have been given serious consideration during their 'education'? "Sorry, addressee no longer resides at this address - Return To Sender".

There is a profound paucity of imagination involved here, the sort of poverty that doesn't come about by accident, but results only from deliberate plans - no, not conspiracies, but involving plans just as intricately laid, and entirely inadequate to what they sought to achieve. The type of culture wide poverty such as we are experiencing, doesn't come about from never having earned wealth, but from having had it and thrown it away.

There is a lot that is so easily lost in this and far too much that is a common thread through it all, from the tendency to think of our Rights as being nothing more than a set of perks, to the impolitic state of our state of politics and on around to the transformation of our educational system into one that accomplishes only dis-education... I could dig forty pages into this before batting an eye or breaking a sweat - but you wouldn't, so I'll spare you my long-windedness... for now (you're welcome ;-).

Looking Back to our Future
A friend reminded me this evening of something Ben Franklin did 258 years ago, when faced with 13 colonies who thought they could go it alone. He thought about how he could quickly communicate the problem he saw in this, the peril it held to not just one, but to all of the colonies, and he thought of a solution. The solution, strangely enough, didn’t involve a listing of facts or citing of references or a feat of mathematical calculation. It was a solution that didn't seek dry fact, quite the opposite, what it involved was a supremely appropriate exercise in imagination, humor, and trust in the intelligence of his fellows to grasp what they did not yet realize.

Today, no doubt, rival politicians would take Ben Franklin’s ‘cartoon’ of a snake chopped into 13 chunks as an affront to Animal Rights and a violent hatred of reptiles. Thankfully, our Founder’s generation – not simply the great men and women who were once household names, but the vast majority of those people who lived in the households across the eastern seaboard of North America, they possessed an Education that sought something more than skills and test scores – no matter how efficiently delivered, those people understood that an Education was something which involved more, much more, than mere skillfulness.

After all, mere skills could be acquired by anyone who already knew how to think - that's what apprenticeships were for.

What Franklin's fellow British Americans possessed were Educations formed upon the stirring poetry of imaginative literature, from histories written by some of the finest minds to have ever lived and helped in forming the histories they wrote to be 'Treasures for all time'; they benefited from respecting a religion which charged them with seeking to perfect their soul, and possessed minds tuned to seek and recognize what was Good and Beautiful and True, and capable of understanding, discussing and explaining the same – as well as being deeply interested in discovering and rooting out error and folly. Not to pass a test, but to improve their ability to live their lives.

In short, the education which our Founder’s generation had the benefit of, was one which taught a person to understand themselves and become self-governing individuals admidst a society of fellows who had also become habituated to behaving virtuously and morally and so sought to be fit for living a life in Liberty with their fellow man.

They didn't always succeed - they were no different than you an I - they failed and fell short, right and left. But they didn't fail to realize that they should strive towards what was worthwhile, and as the line from George Washington's favorite play, "Cato" put it -
"’Tis not in mortals to command success, But we’ll do more, Sempronius; we’ll deserve it."
Such a people would cringe at the thought that multiple choice or true false questions could tell themselves, or their teachers ANYTHING about their state of education. Such a people as they were, were a people capable of understanding and appreciating the gift of liberty, and the responsibility of respecting and demanding respect of others for the Law.

Such a people took one look at Ben Franklins cartoon, and they didn’t see anything as asinine as a threat to snakes, but through it's imaginative depiction, they comprehended the real threat to their liberty and happiness that was posed by each person of each colony thinking that they could go it alone – Franklin's message, imaginatively portrayed, communicated to them all the importance of unity in the face of adversity.

But there was something even more important about Ben Franklin's little cartoon, the first one ever published in America - it wasn't forgotten. It taught a lesson that was worth remembering and applying, both then, and in the near, and distant future. For you see, he didn't, as you might think, draw his little cartoon for the American Revolution, but decades earlier, in 1754, during the French and Indian War. And there was a specific practical purpose he also hoped to further with it, which failed, his proposed 'Albany Congress',
" It came to be published in "virtually every newspaper on the continent"; reasons for its widespread currency include its demagogic reference to an Indian threat as well as its basis in the popular superstition that a dead snake would come back to life if the pieces were placed next to each other [6]. Franklin's snake is significant in the development of cartooning because it became an icon that could be displayed in differing variations throughout the existing visual media of the day-- like the "Don't Tread on Me" battle flag-- but would always be associated with the singular causes of colonial unity and the Revolutionary spirit. In the same way that Biblical stories are an element of shared culture, "Join or Die" became a symbol to which all Americans could respond. Even though the Albany Congress was a failure, Franklin's snake had established a connection between a drawing and a specific political idea in the American imagination."
, but his cartoon did succeed in his larger purpose - it helped stir the imagination of his fellows, and it taught a lesson that would pay off big time over the coming years.

Back to the 'Future'
258 years later, what progress have we made? What understanding do we have that would be worthy of the term as Franklin would see it? What our Presidential advisers, Senator’s and ‘eductional reformers’ might seen in the wise old man’s cartoon today… I don’t care to imagine.

There's a lot here, and it's is going to take a while for me to cover… a new set of posts I suppose, to be taken on as soon as possible.

For now, just look at Franklin's cartoon, and keep in mind that what Franklin sought to teach his fellows, is something that you will not find in any textbook in the land, even - and especially - those who require their students to answer what year Franklin published his cartoon, and what the shape of it signified, and what the parts represented.

What Franklin sought to teach with his cartoon, will not be found there in those silly factoids, and that, my friends, is why its lesson is not, and will not, be learned by our children who we send to our schools to receive such lessons, and who take such lessons into business, and politics... and into teaching the next generation.
For want of a nail - rhyme
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.