Sunday, July 29, 2012

Defending Our Rights to Death

What sounds good, must be good: part 3-The People's view of control
Rounding out these last couple posts on defending our Rights from their defenders, particularly those which are defended by the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, there's a quote by Thomas Sowell which comes to mind, and which, I think, sums our last century up very well:
"Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what has worked with what sounded good. In area after area -- crime, education, housing, race relations -- the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them." - "Is Reality Optional?" - Thomas Sowell (1993)
The view that our Rights can be arbitrarily experimented upon, on the basis of "Well, it's just common sense to limit...", is one that is far too common, and no doubt largely thanks to the successful work of our 'educational system'. But as I've pointed out in the last two posts, here and here, this is not a view that is isolated to our intellectuals or legislators alone, I heard these same views, coming from several different forums, over the last week, and they are 'arguments' that We The People must learn to combat, or our Rights will lose the support of our laws.

The good news is that defending our Rights against these 'arguments' is not a difficult task. What they typically amount to, is that those who are more than willing to speak for 'the largely too stupid' members of We The People, say that they want gun control, because they want to be controlled. They don't put it this way of course, but there is no other worthwhile interpretation.

The difficult part of winning the argument, is convincing those making it, that there actually is another argument to be made, that it has been made, and that our nation was founded upon it. This is not such an easy task against those who think that 'if it sounds good, it must be good', and who think that government is there, not to defend our Rights, but to make our lives easier, smoother, safer.

ProRegressives, of the left and the right, want government to control our environment as much as possible, so as to produce the Utopian ideal which they feel will result from such top down imposition of 'common sense' ideas. Because they are Utopian, because they can't imagine their notions not being 'a good idea', they want to see them imposed upon us all, so that we can all be happily controlled towards a better life. And there are a great many of our fellow Americans who want just this very thing.

That's a problem.

In this post, I'm going to hit on a few of the common positions that I ran into most often in the wake of the Aurora CO theater shooting. One person, after I posted a few links on the results, and unexpected results, of gun controls, which didn't support their position, asked me if I had a 'confirmation bias'. They didn't refute the information in links of course (which I provided not as proof, but only to indicate that there were legitimate questions worth asking of their own assumptions), they attacked the source (ad hominem), and my unwillingness to accept their view.

As it happens, I had heard of confirmation bias, and they confirmed to me that they clearly suffered from it themselves. Not to mention a severe Irony deficiency.

What I tried to explain to them, was that I personally did not come to the argument from a position of whether or not one study or another is valid, or even whether crime can be controlled. I began from the position of understanding what our Rights are, and the absolute necessity of not weakening or violating them in anything less than an actual, temporary, emergency.

On the other hand, the promoters of 'Gun Control', are more than willing to give the government the power to 'modify' our rights on the basis of 'Well... this makes sense, I'm sure it'll work', or 'that'll reduce crime' or 'There's no proof that respecting your Right (really doesn't matter which one) reduces crime, but... let's keep trying to reduce crime by trying a method we have no proof is, or ever has been, working".

In pursuing such a bias towards unproven, yet politically correct positions, and against the significance of Rights, its proponents are showing a willingness to give the government the power to infringe upon all of our rights. Rights, whose source and purpose have nothing to do with fighting crime, and have everything to do with ensuring that We The People will always have the means (Rights) of preventing the rise of tyranny over us on our shores, and very possibly from our own government.

But that relies upon We The People understanding what our Rights are and being very jealous regarding our Rights, and again, thanks largely to our schools, that is becoming a view that is held by fewer and fewer people... at least prior to the Tea Party movement. Thanks Obama, you did that!

Defending our Rights against our Rights defenders
In the discussions I've been involved in, I often hear this argument, such as 'Ned' took, in an attempt to defend our Rights, through what amounts to a very popular, though un-American idea, that the 'government gives you your rights', or the false idea that we have 'constitutional rights' (see my post against this pernicious notion, too often voiced by 'conservatives'). Ned said,
"The only rights we have living here are the ones in the Constitution..."
, for those afflicted with this misconception, I strongly suggest that you have a look at our Bill of Rights, where you will find the 9th Amendment of some interest to you, before you go trying to make that argument in public. It says:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
'Others'? What others? If Rights are only those legalisms enumerated in the Constitution, where from come these 'others' which this amendment speaks of? Hmmm?

It is very much worth remembering that the Framers of the Constitution did not originally believe that the Constitution needed to have a Bill of Rights, after all, the states had their own Bill of Rights, "Why worry?", their argument went, "about such a Bill of Rights being applied to the Federal Govt? The Constitution gave no such ability in its enumerated powers to violate them? There's no need to worry."

We The People disagreed.

The Constitution only managed to be ratified, barely, once its supporters agreed to pass several amendments to it, securing the Rights of the people against the potential abuse of power, on the part of the Federal Govt.

The Framers of the Constitution however, were not just being lazy in this matter. Most of the framers, Madison especially, did not want a Bill of Rights added because they feared that such a document would have the effect of eventually limiting our Individual Rights to only those listed in the document - IOW, James Madison feared that a Bill of Rights would lead to exactly what people like 'Ned' believe today!

But then Madison hit on a solution that alleviated his concerns and that solution ended up as being our 9th Amendment and the 10th Amendment, which expressly stated that those Rights not specifically listed in the Constitution, remained with the people, and that those powers not specifically given to the Federal Govt, were to be retained by the states.

Why?

Because, if the only Rights you have are those which your legislators have listed in the laws... then your Rights, as our Founders understood them to be, coming from Natural Law, derived from man's nature via 'Natue and Nature's God", would be non-existent. But if it was recognized that our Rights were ours prior to the writing of this, or any other constitution, then it makes sense that no constitution could ever enumerate them all - only those whose defense was especially felt to be necessary by We The People.

That's worth a thought, don't you think?

Our Rights as dangers to our lives (!)
Another view is often heard today, from the left and the right, that our Individual Rights, such as the 2nd Amendment defends, are somehow to be seen as dangers to our lives; our Rights somehow actually empower criminals, and that curtailing them, as needed, will make us all much safer.

Uh-huh.

One person, 'Dan', volunteered what he thought was a helpful article to help us all see the light of this amazing idea. Personally, I found that the title alone,"Gun Lobby Counts On Short Attention Span", expressed (and presumed) an extremely shallow understanding of what your Rights - 2nd amendment or otherwise - are, and what they are for. One line, referring to the theater shooting in Aurora CO, sums it up best, and makes clear why, IMHO, the rest of the article is an absolute non-starter, and why we will remain at loggerheads on the issue forevermore:
"It's hard to imagine an incident that would be more likely to advance the cause of gun control in Washington. But nothing happened."
The side supporting that line of thought, and gun control in general, think that such measures are good ideas for fixing problems in society, whether crime, mental illness or otherwise.

The other side is not willing to entertain the issue, because they (and I am most definitely am of that they) see the issue in more fundamental terms, that being that none of our Rights, and none of the Constitution, were written to solve particular societal issues, other than that of how power should be used to govern, maintain the law and at the same time restrain those in power from abusing the lives of its people - us, You.

The fact is, that We The People insisted on those amendments we think of as the Bill of Rights being amended to the constitution, in order to secure our lives against the potential abuses of power which any government should always be assumed to be in danger of slipping into. The Preamble to the Bill of Rights makes this quite clear:
"The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;..."
Dear We The People: There are many of your fellow Americans who do still have this understanding (or at least the memory of it) of our Rights; Rights which are derived from our nature as human beings, and which were amended to the Constitution as a means of securing our freedom to act as we conclude is necessary for our own purposes (pursuit of happiness), securing our ability to 'live our own lives', and which, because they come from the nature internal to each of us, are inalienable from any one of us. We also understand that these Rights were not specified as privileges or benefits, but as legal barriers, secured to the Constitution, for the purpose of making it as close to impossible as is possible, to prevent anyone or body, from accumulating the power which would enable them to act as tyrants over us.

Your Rights to speech, to associate with those you choose, to be secure in your possessions, contract and the rest, are not 'nice to haves' and they are not there to make your every day life more pleasant or even safe. Far from it. They were, and are, meant as defensive weapons against those who might gain the power to oppress you - the power to tell you how to live your life, and the power to prevent your resisting their doing that to you.

That anyone could begin the discussion of our Rights from the point of reducing crime, means that they are not approaching the issue from the proper perspective to begin with - they are simply coming at it form the surface of daily life, and forgetting about what makes it possible for us to engage in that daily life to begin with.

On top of that, there is not even any conclusive, iron clad proof, that any such controls upon us, would actually succeed in reducing crime (see Chicago) or prevent crazies from behaving like crazies.

There are numerous studies which I could cite, and which you might cite showing the opposite, about whether or not gun control would work to control crime, but the real issue is:

  • I don't care if it does or not. I am against giving authorities the power to live one more inch of my life against my wishes.
And without iron clad proof that such controls would even begin to accomplish what you can only hope they would, I have no intention of even entertaining the thought. What's more, should you attain such proof, and even if I agreed with it, I would not comply. Why? Because it would be the right answer to the wrong question.

That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for discussion, does it?

Sorry about that.

But the fact is that it is the pro-gun control position which has the short attention span in this argument, not those of us who are standing up for the 2nd Amendment; our position is secured in centuries of history, and philosophical understanding of it, and I for one am not budging from it so that you can trust my life, and that of my loved ones, to someone else’s promises and theories!

Next.

Rights as 'mere Rhetoric'.. isn't that mere rhetoric?
One person who didn't appreciate my point of view in pointing out that our Rights are not subject to any one's point of view, said
"That's a nice text wall... but such Rhetoric...deflects from the bottom line"
Really? So, in your opinion, the 'bottom line' of a modern civilization has no need to be based upon any deeper issues, principles & law... that simply reacting to events as your 'gut' tells you, is what you consider to be sound advice? That seems odd, doesn't it? The idea that deeper issues, concepts and principles might have been thought more important in 'simpler' times centuries ago... but for us today, for all of our continental spread of cities & myriad industries and diverse peoples... we require only that we follow what you 'feel' Should work?

And you accuse me of using rhetoric? Have you who believe such notions, have you bothered giving any consideration to your own thoughts, or is it enough for you to simply pass on, unquestioned, whatever you hear?

Such a charge of 'Rhetoric', is itself an old (and lazy) rhetorical device used by those who have no argument, no answer to, and no ideas to defend, to defend the facts, principles and argument they would prefer weren't ever even made.

To touch on the surface issues, which is about as deep as those who bitterly cling to this view are able to grasp, can any of you give me an example of where gun control laws have worked? Gun control laws certainly did nothing to deter the mass murderer in Norway, who slaughtered those who were disarmed by their gun control laws a year ago the same week as the Aurora theater shooting... can you give me any example of their working (aside from prison, that is)? Any? One unambiguous example of how gun control laws have succeeded in bringing down crime, violence and murders? Hmmm?

Or could you explain to me why the strictest gun control laws have worked out, 'unexpectedly', as they have, in ever rising murder rates, in places such as Chicago?

Or why Conceal Carry laws seem to reduce crime?

I don't mention these as proof of course, but as proof that those who are making this argument, have no decisive proof for their claims... and yet they are willing to sacrifice the integrity of all of our Rights, for their unfounded fancies?

Can any of you proRegressives out there justify that?

Without rhetoric, of course?

But I'll gladly leave that all aside, if any one of you would bother to explain to the rest of us, what it is that you, in your non-rhetorical fashion, understand our Rights to be, and to depend upon?

Come on, humor me.

I'm begging you.

(Crickets)

Bartender, gimme a double of Rights to go!
There was one other fellow, one, who did actually try and make an actual argument, rather than simply whine out an emotional appeal that the world stop being bad. This fellow, Charlie, asked:
"Hey gun nuts, try this on for size. If you are a bartender or bar owner, and you sell someone a bunch of drinks, then they get in a car and kill someone because they were incapacitated (that is, not able to operate a car responsibly), you are liable in a civil suit. Let's do the same thing with guns. If you sell a gun to some nut who is incapacitated (read: mentally unstable...not able to operate a gun responsibly), then why shouldn't your ass get sued into the dirt?"
Aside from Charlie's 'new tone', that's actually a decent question. While I'm not a 'gun nut', I have a Right to be and so I'll reply. First though, while I don't agree with the idea that a bartender is necessarily culpable for another persons actions, in an age where our President can say "You didn't do that on your own!", the flip-side is an inability to recognize where blame actually is due and where punishment is warranted. Nevertheless, we do have those laws on the books, and so it is a legitimate argument to make.

The problem is that the analogy, by its own analogy, doesn't apply here.

In the bartender/DUI scenario, the bartender is said to be actively participating in the impairment of the person, who then goes out and has an accident, for which the bartender is held partly responsible.

That is not at all the situation which occurs when someone buys a gun and commits a crime.

In the first place, the gun mfg or dealer is not in any way participating in the impairment of the gun owner (unless of course you believe, like Sen. Feinstein, that a gun 'being there' causes you to shoot people).

To apply the analogy to gun makers or stores being responsible for the crimes committed with the guns they sell, to the bartender/DUI example, you'd be saying that the bartender impaired the driver, the driver got in his G.M. SUV and killed someone with it, therefore G.M., or the car lot that sold it to him, was responsible for their deaths.

That doesn't quite work. Does it?

However, if you were to actually apply the bartender/DUI scenario to the gun/crime one, then you'd need to go after the people who actually participated in impairing the gun owner. You'd need to go after the people who taught him the ideas he was acting on, who taught him the inability to tell right from wrong, who taught him that might makes right, who taught him that you're wanting something makes it OK to resent those who have what you don't... then this analogy might apply and you might have a case to make there.

But I don't think our schools or entertainment industry would appreciate your making it.

As the Supreme Court has stated, and it should be chilling for those who believe that the police is who they should rely upon to defend them, the court has decided, Castle Rock v. Gonzales, that the police are not responsible for any such thing.
"The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation."
"Who is then?!", you ask? A simple answer. You are. Had even a few of the theater goers in Aurora CO been informed of that simple reality, perhaps they would have taken their Right to 'bare arms' more seriously, and would have been able to stop the slaughter before it had much of a chance to get started. Who knows, had the fiend who took it in to his mind to think he could saunter into a theater of unarmed victims, been concerned that they might not be unarmed, his evil little plan might never have left his demented head.

But that is speculation on my part. What is not speculation, is that in the end, each person is responsible for their own actions, and the more we get away from that, the more tragedies we are going to suffer.

I'll leave off this post with a quote (from memory... probably somewhat off...) from the movie, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises:
"You think not fearing death makes you strong. It doesn't, it makes you weak." "Fearing death makes what you value clearer, brighter. Gives you something to live for. Without that, you're weak."
The same applies to your Rights. Not fearing for them, trusting govt to protect them, imperils our Rights, your Rights, to those who would willingly defend them to death.

And your life, liberty and ability to pursue happiness, depends upon your being able to understand them, and defend them, for life.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Confession is said to be good for the soul... but... what if you're boasting?

While hunting up a few links to polish off the followup to my previous post, I came across this revealing little tidbit:
"...what the Founding Fathers called corruption, depravity, venality, and vice, many of us would call freedom"
I'll get to the source of it in a few inches, but really, isn't that something? I mean, I realize that confession is good for the soul... but I suspect that boasting about your vices is probably going to cancel out any benefit you might have had from confessing them freely... don't you? But it fits in nicely with what I wanted to say, so I'll cheerfully let HuffPo help me out. 


Rodin's "The Gates of Hell"
Hang on a bit, you'll see what I mean.

Picking back up from the previous post, I noted that our Rights can survive the attacks of the likes of Sen. Feinstein and the rest of the proRegressive leftists who would like nothing more than to convert our rights to regulated permissions... but can our Rights survive the attempted defense by the likes of O'Reilly & Kristol? Can our Rights, survive as Rights if their thinking - 'no reason to allow big scary guns or anything other than would be common sense for hunting' - is the best argument that can be mustered against those who, like Sen. Feinstein, say that 'Rights must be controlled by those in Govt who know best.'.. if that is the popular understanding and 'defense', can you be said to have any Rights at all?

As I've said before, the answer is No, I don't think so.

If you are one of those who are relying on O'Reilly's & Kristol's words to inform your understanding of what your Rights are, they will leave you holding onto a large, pretty, piece of constitutional paper, and entirely defenseless against those with the power to abuse your Right to live your own life.

The Examiner sums up the typical post-high-profile-shooting rush to encourage gun control, that blur what the Right to 'bear arms' means,
"While the 2nd Amendment does guarantee the right to "bear arms," there never seems to be a clear definition to what "bear arms" really means. Did the Founding Fathers mean a musket? Does it mean a pistol or a rifle? Does the 2nd Amendment mean automatic, or semi-automatic guns with 100 round magazines? At some point, rational people will need to put their feet down and say "enough is enough." For people like Sen. Johnson, "enough is enough" might never might be the answer."
Do they think that to "bear arms," was really written with a specific weapon in mind? Does the concept of self defense depend upon what you defend yourself with? Does the concept of self defense depend upon who you defend yourself against? Seriously? This is nothing but the plaid suit scam artist attempting to distract you with what isn't really relevant, in order to take your attention away from what is relevant, in order to get something else of value from you.

Distraction, equivocation and arbitrary claims, are the methods they use to do that, attempting to run away as fast as they can from the principle of the Right to bear arms, and towards which particular arms the Founders, in the 1790's, in their preposterous wigs, and muskets, might have been able to imagine, in order to take from you what is inalienably yours:

  • your Right to your own life,
  • your Right to defend your life,
  • and your Right to make your own decisions about your own life
, IOW, your Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that is what is at stake, that is what you lose if you lose your focus upon what really is important. They have no real argument, nothing more substantial than Feinstein's "I disagree", no reasoning, only arbitrary disagreement.

Equally distracting and dismissive, is this:
'Oh, the founders couldn't have imagined such bad things as we face today'.
That isn't an argument, but a way of avoiding one. According to Feinstein, and The Examiner and William Kristol, our Founders couldn't imagine a day like today, that unlike any other time in American history, today is the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day of the violent, which our innocent, simple, pre-technological agrarian Founding Fathers could in no way anticipate or comprehend.

Uh-huh.

This is the underlying assumption of our day, that our time 'is different' from their time, and all they say depends upon your believing it: it is a lie.

But it is more than a lie, it is a tactic, it is the method of distancing us in our time, from the timeless principles that our Founders stood up for in their time. It is the tired old meme that was begun with the likes of Woodrow Wilson & Teddy Roosevelt, saying that
'that may have been true then, but that was ages ago and what was true then, no longer applies to a modern, technological age such as ours today'
It is a lie, and as with all lies, every ounce of its perceived strength, is dependent upon your ignorance of it, and of what it conceals.

Such a lie must be identified, targeted and killed, but guns will be useless in this battle, and you kill it with your knowledge of what is true.

Allow me to offer you a Truth that may not have occurred to you.

Have you considered that Woodrow Wilson & TR's notion of how ‘modern technology’ transforms our time into something different from our Founders time, comes to us from a time that was still aghast at the idea of automobiles, electricity and the electric light bulb? An age where airplanes were still a dream?! An age where the epitome of high-speed communication was the telegraph?!The ProRegressives of Woodrow Wilson & Teddy Roosevelt's age, who first formed and floated these idiocies back in 1886, and which are exactly what Obama is promoting today, have you considered that their time, is even more ancient to our time, than the Founder's time was to theirs?!

Using their own criteria then, the idea that Truth is not timeless but ages poorly, that you should free yourself from the past and be 'pragmatic' and 'do what works for the moment', if that is their ideal, why should anyone today, be so foolish as to listen to such dark age, pre-technological fools as the ProRegressive Leftist clinging to their ancient notion of a 'living constitution' in blind and embittered thoughtless adoration?!

And of course, they have to answer that 'That's ridiculous, these ideas aren't invalid just because they are old!', to which the obvious reply is that our Founding Father's ideas aren't invalid just because they are old either. And with that established, then logically you must agree to compare and see which set of ideas are more true, more coherent, more representative of the nature of man and more durable across time.

And that is an argument that they are doomed to fail against. And they know it. So let's get a few things straight before we get into what is right and wrong about Rights.

No lost golden age, no future utopia
There never was, never has been, and never will be a lost 'golden age' when men were better, more innocent, and our Founders era was no different in that regard. In this sense, there may be differences in degree between their time and ours... perhaps, but not in kind. Mankind has always been and always will be, subject to making errors - it is the dark side of our greatest gift, Free Will, and the Founders era was no different in that way. What was different, was that they had a better understanding of what could be, of what should be, and of what we should strive for, and a more sound foundation of reliable knowledge and principles to build a path upon and to seek what should be sought, with - that is what is missing today, and the difference that the absence of that imaginable high ground makes, the present absence of 'a city on a hill', is profound.

It is the source of the darkness we are benighted with today.

Lest you be taken with the conceited ignorance of our time, that uniquely in our time have bad things happened in society or even in the schools, I'd like to give you a googled moments worth of hints, that there were instances of violence in the founders time as well, just as there is today - there is nothing special about our time - our Founding Fathers were well aware of the darkness inherent in us.

For example:
Our Founder's era saw our first recorded serial killers, the Harpe Brothers who supposedly killed up to 40 people in the late 1700's.

Schools were not full of students that were meek, obedient and politely following their teacher's every word. There were instances of student rebellions at Harvard in the 1760's, from the slightly silly sounding 'Great Butter Rebellion",
"the earliest recorded rebellion at harvard occurred in 1766 over bad butter at the commons. Numerous others followed, for similar reasons, both there and elsewhere."
, on down to the far worse situations that sometimes saw students bringing pistols and shooting their fellows and teachers dead. In Britain there were full scale rebellions and riots on the part of the students against their teachers,
"As they approached, one of the students yelled out that he would shoot the bailie if they continued their plan. John ignored the student's warning and charged ahead with the battering ram. William Sinclair, the student who had previously yelled the warning, fire two shots from his pistol, both of which entered John's head and killed him."
, and instances of violent death brought to students in their classrooms,
"During the class, four Delaware (Lenape) American Indian warriors entered the school. Enoch pleaded with the warriors to spare the children. The Lenape Indians silenced Enoch with a shot and then scalped him. The warriors then turned on the children with their tomahawks. The warriors scalped all twelve students and killed ten of them. Only two survived this early American act of school violence. In historical records this act of school violence has become known as the Enoch Brown School Massacre."
What? Savagery only counts if it was committed by Whites and not Indians? Racist much? It is savagery, no matter how 'civilized', which you have a right to bear arms against.

If you hunt for references available online, going back to Sam Adams' first stirrings against British Rule in in the early 1760's, you'll discover that a good deal of the reasons for why they sought to establish liberty, was so as to require, raise and improve the morals of We The People, which they feared were being brought low under the rule of a distant other. They weren't deceived into thinking that our Rights or our Liberty came from the govt, but rather that a too powerful Govt was corrupting the peoples morals, and through that process, they were discarding their liberty and their Rights, which the crown was then scooping up and using to increase the power it had over them.

There's a hint of this, in a letter John Adams wrote, replying to a Mr. Gordon, who was seeking to write a history of the Revolution, this is from Philadelphia, 8 April, 1777:
" I had your favor of 27th March by this day’s post. That this country will go safely through this revolution, I am well convinced; but we have severe conflicts to endure yet, and, I hope, shall be prepared for them. Indeed, there is one enemy, who to me is more formidable than famine, pestilence, and the sword; I mean the corruption which is prevalent in so many American hearts, a depravity that is more inconsistent with our republican governments than light is with darkness. If we can once give energy enough to our governments, and discipline enough to our armies, to overcome this base principle of selfishness, to make citizens and soldiers feel themselves the children of the commonwealth, and love and revere their mother so much as to make their happiness consist in her service, I shall think we have a prospect of triumph indeed."
Which brings me back to the quote at the opening of this post, for in googling around for these few examples online, I was surprised to find a reference to this on, of all places, The Huffington Post. My initial surprise though, quickly turned to amusement, as I realized that they found Adams' urging of morals and virtues to be priggish, tyrannical and offensive to them - proving his point rather well, I think. HuffPo's tone against Adams', might be described as describing John Adams, as sinfully puritanical, have a look:
"...The Founding Fathers hoped that self-rule would cure Americans of their love of frivolities. A government of the people, John Adams argued, would make the people disciplined, stern, hard-working, and joyless -- the qualities he most admired. It would "produce Strength, Hardiness Activity, Courage, Fortitude and Enterprise; the manly noble and Sublime Qualities in human Nature, in Abundance." Adams understood that democracy forced the people to shed their pleasures and surrender their personal freedom, because they alone would shoulder the responsibility of managing society.
"Under a well regulated Commonwealth, the People must be wise, virtuous and cannot be otherwise. Under a Monarchy they may be as vicious and foolish as they please, nay, they cannot but be vicious and foolish. ... Virtue and Simplicity of Manners are indispensably necessary in a Republic among all orders and Degrees of Men. But there is so much Rascallity, so much Venality and Corruption, so much Avarice and Ambition such a Rage for Profit and Commerce among all Ranks and Degrees of Men even in America, that I sometimes doubt whether there is public Virtue enough to Support a Republic."
But what the Founding Fathers called corruption, depravity, venality, and vice, many of us would call freedom ... "
Don't you love that? The tone of sarcasm directed towards morality and virtue? And sense. And how about the last part? A better mirror of the dark soul of the modernist, is hard to imagine. I don't know about you, but seeing The Huffington Post describe John Adams 'favorite virtues', that of being disciplined, stern and hard-working as being 'joyless', is far more descriptive of The Huffington Post, than of John Adams. They cannot quite fathom his concern over sagging virtues, as being anything other than a prudish dislike for their treasured 'joys' of decadence... it is completely beyond them.

Much as Individual Rights are beyond Sen. Feinstein, and for the same reasons.

The idea that, as someone recently said, 'if you throw open the gates of Hell, don't be surprised when it comes out!", is so completely beyond their comprehension or famous 'toleration', as to be from another world, or the 'different time' they confess their yearning so for. But as I said, while confession is good for the soul... I suspect that boasting about your vices, cancels out any benefit that it might have brought you... don't you?

So, to sum this little diversion up, while the measure of our modern day vices (and virtues) may differ from our Founders time in degree, but there is little or no difference in kind between our time, and their time. Our Founders were well aware of the knowledge that guns could be used for purposes other than hunting (you might want to read up a bit on the French & Indian war, not to mention the Revolutionary war - nothing is as famously savage as civil war, which our war for independence was), or that evil men would do evil things with whatever weapons they might bring to bear - that would have been no shocker to our Founders whatsoever.

What might have shocked them, for a moment, would be the thought that a free people would seek to respond to evil, by disarming themselves against it. But only for a moment.

The refrain of Sen. Feinstein, O'Reilly and Kristol, that,
'Oh, the founders couldn't have imagined such bad things as we face today'.
, is pure, conceited, naive, ignorance and self-blinded stupidity, and it shows an ignorance of history and of human nature, that should warn you away from anything else they might have to say that relates to history and how you should live in it.

But, in the modernists defense, it is the only way they had, and have, of dragging the Founders down from their once revered heights. They had to drag them down so that they could be ridiculed, and cast aside. Dragging them down as figureheads, so that they could avoid having to challenge their ideas in open and honest combat - which they could have had no hope of winning - and so escape to the safety of making feeble jokes about their muskets and lack of fashion sense.

And that is, and always has been, the leftist proRegressive method of response/attack, even before there was an Alinsky, a ProRegressive or even a Left... Socrates would have recognized it just as well as the M.O. of the Sophists: to reduce Truths by pulling down higher concepts, by attaching them to some irrelevant incidental that can be mocked, such as powdered wigs, and in tying them to that particular instance, they can then be safely contained, ridiculed and discarded.

As I mentioned last post, what Alinsky so recently coined as,
"Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It."
, has always been the coin of those who seek power over what is right and true; it has been the stock in trade of peddlers of power for thousands of years, and the only thing new about it is our ignorance of its ancient, traditional, stodgy, and awkward intellectual stuntedness.

What it literally means to do is to pull down what is Good, Beautiful & True, in order to transform it into what is Grey, lifeless & 'Machiavellianly' useful to those who want only to use you. Aka: Power.

A friend reminded me this weekend of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which is one you should keep in mind all day, every day, as you go about your work - listen to what those around you are saying:
"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. We can only see what we are, and if we misbehave we suspect others."
There is much that I have come to disagree with Emerson on, but on this point, he was dead on accurate. In their comments upon 'gun control', Sen. Feinstein, O'Reilly, Kristol and all the rest, expressed something central to their character, as well as those who believe as they do. They are expressing their belief in their prerogative to make choices about your life, their belief that their sensibilities are more important than your own ability to defend your life, that their belief that their decisions about what constitutes 'common sense' are more valid and binding upon the people of the United States of America, than the Constitution by which our government was established, and whose laws must abide by, or risk making the law itself unlawful.

What they confess in themselves, through their attack/defense of your Rights, is a share in the  characteristics of tyrants, which is not in any way mitigated by their 'good intentions'.

The only defense we have against them, or need, is to refuse to follow. Refuse to comply. Learn about what your Rights are and educate your fellows. Shine the light of truth upon them, and stand back as the roaches scatter.

To be continued....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sporting with the 2nd Amendment

In the wake of last weeks "The Dark Knight" shooting in Aurora Co, the old calls for gun-control have resurfaced, and unfortunately some of the same old inappropriate, self-defeating attempts at defending the 2nd Amendment, have been floated as well. I wish each would sink without a trace, but that and fifty cents... well... $3 or $4 bucks... will get me a cup of coffee, sooo... I guess we'd best have a look, starting with the least important danger first - those advocating gun control - and moving towards the greatest danger, those defending the 2nd Amendment with their 'common sense' understanding of it.

The Legislator's view to control
Let's hit a few of the most common instances from the last few days, of people sporting with your Individual Rights, via the 2nd Amendment. For instance, here's Senator Feinstein, a Senator with a great deal of power in our government, telling us her understanding of your Rights, on Fox News Sunday::
"...I think -- you know, we've got to sit down and really come to grips with what is sold to the average citizen in America. I have no problem with people being licensed and buying a firearm. But these are weapons that you are only going to be using to kill people in close combat. That's the purpose of that weapon...."
Notice she said 'sold to' and not bought by - believe it or not, that's a telling and significant perspective, more later. Also noted is that the purpose of the weapon, what it was designed to do - kill - as all 'Arms' are designed to do - is an unbearably appalling concept to the senator, and though it was utterly non-controversial to those who demanded the 2nd Amendment 223 years ago, Sen. Feinstein can see it as nothing other than a very bad thing - not something which can be used lawfully for self defense, or misused for ill, but only as an evil - which is a sure way to smother what is good and inflate what is evil.

When a United States Senator says that
'I have no problem with people being licensed and buying a firearm.'
, she is expressing her view of your rights, and of her own generosity in willingly allowing you the privilege of exercising them.

To a certain extent.

Under certain circumstances.

And I guarantee you, she is not limiting her approval, or her 'right' to withdraw her approval of your 'rights', to firearms alone (see her support for Campaign Finance Laws, Net Neutrality, Broadcast 'fairness', etc).

Just try and see if you can find in her understanding of what your Rights are, any hint that your Rights are meant as the means to defend your personal pursuit of happiness against possible abuse at the hands of those in power; I certainly don't see any sign of it in her discussion of the 2nd Amendment. More importantly, she expressed her conception of how individuals, Americans, YOU, act, how you 'seem' to make choices, and with this, more than anything else, she tells you what her conception of Individual Rights actually are - which should tell you how endangered they are under her care. For instance:
"...but let me say I believe that people use these weapons, because they can get them."
In the leftist worldview, people behave and act, because of, and in reaction (not response) to, things in the environment which determine their behavior. In Leftie land, the material objects and circumstances in your environment: guns, lack of money, violence in movies or on T.V., etc, are those things which are actually responsible for the actions which are then produced in you. Your choices are not made of your own Free Will, your decisions are not informed by virtue or morality or a lack thereof, but simply because environmental conditions deterministically caused them to occur - or as Obama might say "You didn't do that on your own!"

If those words don't 'cause' the realization within you that your right to live your own life is in deep peril, then although you just proved that their theory is invalid (doesn't matter, it's not as if they think it's actually true, it just provides a rationalization for saying what they want you to see as being true), it is no less dangerous to your liberty.

You see, in the eyes of powerful people such as Feinstein, because the government has the ability to cause you to behave 'better' by shaping what is found in, and what is removed from, your environment, then they are more important to your life than you are. Think about just how much room such a view as hers, held on the part of those who have power over your life, leaves for you within your own life.

The answer is: Not much.

Through a mirror darkly
The truth is that this is fundamentally an Anti-American view, and it is the view that is dominant in fashionable circles of the modern era, and it is the philosophical wedge issue that split the intellectual stream which separates our Founders era, from the modernist era we are adrift in. What it boils down to, is this:

  • Our Founders believed that people must be left free to live their own lives.
  • The Left, beginning with Rousseau, believed that people must be forced to be free by those who know better what is best for you.
Our Founders gave political birth to the Liberal idea of Individual Rights, an outlook which now has to be referred to as 'Classical Liberal', that is the view that America was founded upon, the view which our Constitution, and those Rights secured by it, gives form to. The view expressed by Feinstein, is the view that has typified the left since Rousseau first made it popular, and Robespierre put it into logical practice with Democracy ,The Terror and the Guillotine (and which Napoleon happily cleaned up after), and it is not compatible with our constitution, or with liberty. They've even destroyed the word 'Liberal', which means the idea that men can live in liberty - square that with a speech code or laws forbidding you from buying a Big Gulp, and I'll give you a dollar.

We have to qualify the liberal beliefs of our Founders as 'Classical Liberal', because in the early 1900's, after the proRegressive the Wilson administration showed America what 'Progressive' actually meant - alcohol was outlawed, the Income Tax imposed, thousands of Americans were jailed for the crime of disagreeing with Wilson's proRegressive 'new ideas' - and as Americans sought to 'Return to normalcy', leftists did what they always do, they looked for something to hide behind. They didn't change what they believed in of course, only the words they used to mask them (as with referring to 'taxes' as 'investments'), and so they began calling themselves 'Liberals' instead. And they've been dragging that name through the intellectual gutter ever since. But that's another 20 page digression, which I'll spare you from today.

Back to the future with Sen. Feinstein, as she continued to reveal the philosophical monster behind the modernist's mirrors,
" I believe that a revolver and a rifle and shot gun isn't going to do the damage. It's the big clips. It's a hundred rounds. You cannot get him to dislodge the gun because he fires so rapidly and has so many bullets.
Why do you need this? You don't need it for hunting. Most states have limits on the number of bullets you can have for a clip. You don't need it for self defense.
Why do you need it? Why do we make it available?"
She's doing several things here. 1st, again, it isn't you making your decisions, but the presence of the guns that are causing your reactions. 2nd she's converting an open ended philosophic Right, to a particular, closed, activity - hunting - with the intent of then being able to regulate it as any other run of the mill activity, like driving or trash disposal - which is precisely what the Bill of Rights were amended to the Constitution to prevent!

Sigh. Look at the 2nd Amendment...
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
... and then look back at what has been said above. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong.

If you look closely, what you'll see is what Alinsky saw and described as "Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.", but it's less a tactic than the only way concepts can be seen and wrestled with, by people who are blind to them. If you have given over thinking in long range principles, for the momentary pragmatic quick fix, you have to treat ideas as if they were flat, dead, things, mere lists having no more value than one persons preference for them. The idea that they might bear some meaning and relevance in reality is quite literally lost upon them.

Alinsky's tactics aren't so much a brilliant method for opposing principles - they are simply a confession of their inability to comprehend them in the first place.

What Feinstein is asking above, is why do you need the Right to exercise your Rights? 'Why is it necessary for you to have this liberty? What can you do with it? What can you do with your life, on your own, that wise legislators (or wise latina's) in Govt couldn't do better for you? Can you justify yourself? Why do you need to exercise your right? '

Even in the face of the most obvious & blatant demonstration of why good people should arm themselves for defending their lives & property, rather than being defenselessly gunned down like fish in a barrel, the leftist denies that having people able to defend themselves would be a good thing. As you can see in this back & forth between Sen. Johnson, & Chris Wallace, Sen. Feinstein simply cannot grasp it. Sen. Johnson makes the point that had there been people in the theater who were armed for self defense, they might have been able to stop the shooter before he ran out of bullets and left, that if:
JOHNSON: ... a responsible individual had been carrying a weapon, maybe -- maybe -- they could have prevented the death and injuries. I mean, that's just the truth.
FEINSTEIN: And maybe you could have had a firefight and killed many more people. These are people in a theater. This is a --
WALLACE: You had a massacre as it with him undefended, Senator.
FEINSTEIN: That's right. That's right, because he had such a big clip.
Think that over: 'we had a massacre because he had a big clip.' Seriously. A Senator.

Don't try and talk yourself out of what she means by that, that is what she means by that; what she didn't mean to do, was to express it so clearly. In her view the deaths were not caused by a person choosing to shoot unarmed individuals where there would be no one armed who could have tried to defend them, but because he had a big clip; and if someone had been armed and able to defend themselves, that would not have been a good thing, that would have meant more guns, more bullets, more bad things in the environment, and that, that, is a bad thing. What that is is sick.

Wallace tries to get her to elaborate on what had just slipped out, and she tries to pivot away to the 'sportsmen' excuse which for so long republicans have been willing to help the left further.
WALLACE: Now, what if someone had a gun and been able to stop him.
FEINSTEIN: I would be very surprised if hunters in your state hunted with a 100-round ammunition feeding devices. In the bill I did, we exempted 375 rifles and shot guns by name so that no weapon used for hunting was affected at all. It just the military style assault weapon.
But thank goodness for the 4th estate, right? The Press? And Fox News, who brought such balance to the force, right? Balance such as that brought to bear with regular 'Conservative' panelist William Kristol, who dove right in with a traditional defense of the 2nd Amendment:
"KRISTOL: I am a squish on gun control. I agree substantive with Kirsten, you can -- the reason those numbers have changed in that poll is originally in 1968 after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, gun control made controlling handguns. That is unreasonable. I think people have a right to handguns and hunting rifles. I don't think we have a right to semi-automatic machine -- quasi machine guns which can use -- shoot 100 bullets at a time.

And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they're being cowardly. I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control if they separate it clearly from the desire to take away everyone's handguns or hunting rifles.

WALLACE: All right. Good luck with that, though.

KRISTOL: I'm just giving out free advice to people.

You can put more pressure on moderate Republicans. It's not as if Republicans from New York and Illinois and California couldn't be -- that President Obama couldn't do what President Clinton did in the 90s and put pressure on them.

But it is -- President Obama at least on this one is just unwilling to take a strong stance."
Riiight. But on the bright side, Kristol is just a back-bencher, right? A panelist & editor of an obscure journal, right? Surely more recognized Conservatives, someone like... um... O'Reilly, will do a better job of defending our Rights through the 2nd Amendment... right?

Riiight....:
"“O'REILLY: ... But it also makes sense for Congress to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed. Joining us now from Washington, Congressman Jason Chaffetz who disagrees. Where am I going wrong here, Congressman?
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) UTAH: Bill, giving the FBI a master list of everybody who owns weapons in this country is not the right direction.
O'REILLY: Now do you think you just categorize what I said accurately everybody who owns weapons. That's not what I said and you know it? I said, heavy weapons, all right. Mortars, howitzer's machine guns. In this age of terrorism, if you do a flight school, the FBI is alerted. But you can buy a machine gun and the FBI doesn't know. And you think that's responsible?
CHAFFETZ: No that -- well, first of all, I don't think that's absolutely not true. If you buy a fully automatic weapon, you have to go get a tax certificate from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in order to do that. You have to pass a fingerprint background check.
O'REILLY: Have you ever been to a gun show, Congressman? Have you ever been in a gun show?
CHAFFETZ: Yes, I have.
O'REILLY: You know, you can buy any weapon you want there and there's no reporting anyway; you can walk right out there.
CHAFFETZ: No. You don't have, you can't go out and just go and buy a bazooka as you suggest or a fully automatic machine gun. There are laws on the books.
(CROSSTALK) O'REILLY: You can buy an AK-47 in this country and no federal agency will know you by it. And as the guy in Colorado proved, you can buy a mass amount of ammunition on the net, ok, and nobody is reported. Look, here is my deal and you tell me where I am wrong. If you sell heavy weaponry -- all right -- semiautomatics, automatics ammunition, all you do is you file with the FBI. And that way the FBI can cross-reference, all right. Say the FBI has you on a terror watch list. And then it comes in that you are buying an AK. Well, the FBI is going to put you under surveillance. Say this guy was bought 60,000 rounds in Colorado, which he did, and the FBI in Denver got wind of that, they would have been watching him. All right? This just makes common sense. It's not intrusion on gun rights.
CHAFFETZ: No you're not -- you're not going to sign -- you're not going to sign an FBI agent to follow each and every law abiding citizen.
O'REILLY: Did you get 60,000 rounds? He certainly will.
CHAFFETZ: You -- you cannot -- you cannot say that the laws on the books are not tough and stringent.
(CROSSTALK)
O'REILLY: Sure I can. The kid bought 60,000 rounds and no federal agency knew about it. Are you kidding me?
CHAFFETZ: You -- you -- you are not going to have an FBI agent who is suddenly trailing everybody in this country who buys what is -- whatever your definition is a large number of pieces of ammunition.
O'REILLY: Congressman, let me break this to you, let me break this to you, if the FBI is alerted that somebody is buying 60,000 heavy duty rounds, they are going to check it out. Because that's what antiterrorism is. That's what they do.
CHAFFETZ: Bill -- Bill, that's -- Bill that's why we have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. We have a specially designated law enforcement officer --
O'REILLY: That kid's purchase on the Internet wasn't reported to any federal agency. That's why he was able to assemble that armor that he had. And you are telling me you -- you object to this? This doesn't intrude on any hunter, anybody with a handgun to protect themselves.
CHAFFETZ: Sure it does.
O'REILLY: Anybody with a rifle. This is an AK, come on.
CHAFFETZ: This is the -- this is the Second Amendment. You have a lawful and reasonable right to be able to go out and purchase weapons.
(CROSSTALK)
O'REILLY: The key is "reasonable". I'm not saying you can't purchase. Report the purchase in case it's a terrorist.
CHAFFETZ: But Bill, Bill you are ignoring the current law on the books. You are coming up with this wild definition of what is so-called heavy armament.
"
The real common sense, is that if you are not actually informed about either the Laws or the Rights they are based upon, you tend to not realize that what you think is sensible is actually stupid to the core. P.S. Even on the facts of the law, O'Reilly was dead wrong.

But that's hardly encouraging news.

We can survive an attack upon our Rights from the likes of Sen. Diane Feinstein, but our Rights, such as those defended by the 2nd Amendment, cannot so easily survive a defense such as this.

Neither Kristol nor O'Reilly's position is substantially different from Feinstein's in any way other than incidental style and preference. It is simply pathetic that these two speak for a considerable portion of 'conservatives'. Far worse than the leftist's attempting to tear down our Right's defenses in the Constitution, these 'conservatives' are supposedly trying to defend them by claiming that 'self defense' and 'what is needed for sporting uses of guns',  and other such 'common sense' arguments that lack any informed sense, are all the defense our Rights really need. Truly pathetic. And frightening.

Sen. Johnson at least, though touch and go for a few moments, didn't fall into the 'sport' defense, and he did point out that gun control, whenever it's been tried, has failed to accomplish what it claimed it would.
JOHNSON: But the result of that ban, it didn't solve many problems. I mean, we've had bans here in Washington, D.C. We've had bans in Chicago.
And you can argue statistics, but I take statistic and I say it has no measurable affect. You could actually argue this made matters worse.
FEINSTEIN: I don't agree.
She doesn't agree. Simple as that. Not because of factual evidence, not because of any other reason than she wants to not agree. Reality isn't helping her views, so reality is the problem, not her views, she simply ignores all claim to reasoning and says 'I don't agree'.

And that's about the extent of a justification that you'll find from such people as Feinstein, Kristol or O'Reilly - 'I don't agree'.

Oh the changes that Time can bring
What you will not find in a discussion with someone who ideologically supports 'Gun Control', is any discussion of the actual issue of what Rights are, or of how to defend them, or that they need to be defended. You will only find a panicked retreat from the concept as a whole - which is why it's called 'Gun Control' and not 'Rights Defense' - they want to control your life, not defend your Rights. Their only escape, and thus their driving tactic, is to transform the idea of Rights into a static thing, a thing which can then be ridiculed and ignored, or dismissed with 'Common Sense' rules, which is what they have to do. In order to make the issue appear legitimate, they have to turn the argument to random data, issues & events, and away from ideas, concepts and principles, because such intellectual ground is anathema to proRegressives of either the left or of the right.

In short, they must simply say: Run away!!!

It is some measure of the fix we find ourselves in today, that where once conservatives were clear enough on where they stood, to be able to say with Charlton Heston:
"I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my colddead hands"
, which, while not much of an argument, it at least made their position clear. Yet today, in order to find such a position in the popular press, we have to turn to an ex-rapper like Ice-T.

Ice-T was once a Rapper on the cutting edge, who Heston, in the 1990's, shamed Time-Warner with, resulting in their cancelling his recording contract, by reading the 'lyrics' of one of his popular rap songs into the minutes of a corporate shareholder's meeting.

Yet today, in order to find someone with Heston's fire and conviction, it is Ice-T himself, who does the best job of stating it:
As some pathetic talking head reacted in surprise that he would defend the right to bear arms, Ice-T answered:
“It’s legal in the United States,” the rapper said. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”

“And do you see any link between that and this sort of instance?” Guru-Murthy challenged.

“No. Not really,” Ice-T responded. “If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it.”

“Makes it easier though, doesn’t it?” the host pushed back.

“Not really. You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time.”
Would it be better if he'd stuck with 'tyranny' and left the police out of it? Sure. But these days, we've got to take what we can get. Would Charlton Heston roll over in his grave at this? Maybe. But if he did, I bet you he'd do it with a great, big, smile upon his face.

To be continued....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quick thoughts on the too sudden approach of the eternal

People have been struck by the hard senselessness and criminal evilness of this day, and have been trying to deal with, and find ways to comfort their fellows in the face of such present darkness. One poster in a group on Facebook wrote some brief thoughts and put up this excellent clip from "The Lord of the Rings", where Gandalf the Wizard, in the face of approaching doom, conveys some brief and warming rays of enlightenment to the Hobbit Pippin.

One fool of a commenter, chose this occasion to mock and ridicule the heartfelt thoughts of all, and attempted to demonstrate his own superior wisdom with sneers of 'sky gods' and "religion requires no intellect."
Oh? Really.

Most of my religious friends would consider me not to be religious, and yet this sort of comment has always seemed to me to be one of the most thoughtless things that can be said about the subject. What is it that you suppose Does require 'intellect', 2+2=4? There is much intelligence and conceptual depth expressed within that, but if you use it only for calculating, being unimaginatively 'realistic'... that is no sign of Intellect.

When we read an uninteresting story, or see a boring movie... what is it that it lacks? Why is it boring? Because it lacks something which anyone can do, write, film, without effort? Without thought? Without intellect? No, a good story requires imagination, but not just fancifulness, imagination integrated with plausibility, something which connects familiar facts and perhaps previously unconsidered thoughts, and principles we'd forgotten and which connect our being to the deepest Truths which we so easily misplace in the hurry of the everyday; such poetry connects us to and entwines us with them, and shows them to be interesting, enriching, and extremely valuable to our ability to meaningfully live our lives.

That requires intellect. Above all, it requires intellect.

Do you think Religion to be somehow Less than a story or movie? Are you dull enough to think that The Bible, or Homer for that matter, are somehow less complex or worthwhile than a good movie or a stirring book? If so, then some of the most formidable intellectual minds in all of history have been thoughtlessly lacking in 'intellect'. If that is your 'judgment', well, I'm not sure how much intellect it took to make it, but I'm sure you easily make the most of it.

Religion, or the hint of it that Tolkien gives Gandalf to convey to us, doesn't just posit 'sky gods' and fancy - if that is all you see here, then you are already dead to yourself, or wishing you were.
The highest religion and (meaning no disrespect) mythologies, touch upon what is the most essential in the truths we know of daily life, and the principles we've discovered to be true, and carries them forward, idealizes and projects 'what they must mean' into the future we have no way of yet knowing, like a flashlight into the darkness.

Religion isn't some ignorant marxian 'opiate of the masses' (though all flavors of marxism are), but a distillation of the most essential aspects of all we know to be true, and conveys them in a manner that even the simplest of minds among us (unless hardened from the inside out), can grasp. Ask the best author or actual artist you can find, about the nature of accomplishing that task, and I guaran-damn-tee you that 'requires no intellect' is Not the answer you'll receive.

I don't know what comes after death, if anything at all, but what I do understand, and from what I appreciate of what Gandalf, who Tolkien had speaking the flavor of Christianity through, says here, is that because of that understanding, and the deep center it makes possible in my life, here, now - it doesn't matter if death is the end, because the religious experience - what someone like myself might put more flatly as philosophic performance art - enables me to find a deeper meaning in everything I do here and now, because of it.

If there is a hereafter - fantastic - if not, well I've at least lived a more meaningful life here and now because of it (and of what I once failed to appreciate).

If you want to dismiss all of that as something that can be accomplished with no intellect... then I very much doubt you have much use for an intellect in your life to begin with. And it's probably best that you keep that to yourself. Especially at a time such as this.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

President Obama and the Oppressor in the Mirror


You know what's really infuriating about Obama's 'You didn't do it alone!' statement? Not only the economic ignorance it expresses (which for $140 grand you too can attain along with a handy-dandy college degree, suitable for framing!), but the pure insult it issues to anyone who has ever chosen to purchase a single thing.

When you decided, on your own, to go to the store and buy a dozen eggs, did you impose your will upon the chicken farmer? Did you oppress him into doing your bidding? Did you use the grocery store as a proxy for that?

The free market is the means by which complete strangers, people who in other circumstances might even be enemies, are able to come together to cooperate for their mutual benefit.

And he derides this. Of course this man is Anti-American, he doesn't understand the first thing about being an American.

Do you?

The idea that building a business on your own, would, could, mean that you would do so isolated and alone in a vacuum, is, and should be, offensive and inexcusable in anyone other than the smallest of children. Any business person, any child, realizes that doing anything in any society, means doing so with not only the involvement of others and by means of the real wealth - roads, bridges, coffee, high thread count sheets - which that society has had the liberty necessary to produce.

The idea that to attain any wealth means not only doing it on your own, but that it means doing it without the cooperation of others, that using money means imposing your will upon others, rather than being a means of coming to mutual agreement, is less a description of how free markets operate, than a confession on the part of leftists, of their deepest desires.  Obama sees businessmen and the wealthy not so much as oppressors, but as rivals to the power he desires.

The leftist presumption, from Rousseau to Marx to Keynes to Wilson to Obama, is that lives are lived not by those who are living them, but by the environment which shapes them; that you do not choose to live your life, rather, as a steel ball in an old pinball machine, you are bumped, or nudged, by one external environmental obstruction or another, towards the hole at the end of the game.

In the ideas of leftists, it is not Law and Liberty which free you to choose and build a life, but power which must be used to affect the direction and speed that your life should be reformed into, in order to shape society as those 'brighter lights' among us - 'intellectuals'(not!) and legislators - determine is best for all.

For the leftist, power is what they desire and pine for, and money is the means of seizing the power required to impose their will upon all 'for their greater good'. Any money which you retain, is power which they have been deprived of - for the moment.

The only thing that is really at issue here, is whether or not you are to be free to make your own decisions, and to associate with those you choose to, or not.

Will you be able to live your own life, or will you allow government officials to to make your choices, live your life, for you?

Obama & Fauxcohontas Lizzie Warren, Cass Sunstein, Harry Reid, Paul Krugman and all the rest, not only deride the idea of the Free Market and its most fundamental requirement, your liberty and its defense by The Law; they insult you and anyone else who ever chose to do anything, whether buying a dozen eggs, or building a successful business, they curse you as misanthropes, oppressors and tyrants - in other words, they curse you for what they see in the mirror.

Will you choose to live your own life and allow others to live theirs, or will you use the power of government to force your neighbor to please your desires.

That is what you are voting for this November, and the result will tell us all who America sees when it looks in their mirror.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Obama does Fauxcahontas - and you're surprised?

Ok, I'll bite. I tried to side step Obama's latest words of wisdom with a short post yesterday: In the 57 states of Barack Obama's America, Harry Truman said: "The Buck stops with you.", but since everyone is in a tizzy over this, in which he said:
if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own
, I'll just remind you that this is nObamao we're talking about here, Mr. "I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."' right? I mean, what did you think that meant? Means? Hello?

He has always meant exactly what he says, and this is nothing new:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
It's standard Obamao, not only is he purely anti-American (though I'm sure he means that in a nice way), but he typically hasn't an original notion of his own, and this speech was no exception, mostly plagiarizing the plagiarizations of his Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren's campaign speech of last year. But, just to keep up to date with the past, I'll take a pointer from the POTUS and do the same,  reposting what I posted when Fauxcahontas's made her speach last year (if you want to skip my froth and spittle (which is part of the reason for this re-post, rather than posting anew), just skip down a few paragraphs to the "Post-chill pill Update"):


Former White House financial reform adviser, and failed nominee, Elizabeth Warren, now running for Senator in Massachusetts, has exposed herself in public, and (shock), it wasn't a pretty sight.

As she made a stab at discrediting charges of engaging in class warfare, she denied it by attempting to fan the flames of class warfare, and inadvertently exposed her naked idiocy in public,

"No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody."
Uhm. How can I put this best. Oh, here we go,

DUH!

Do you know how their fortunes were MADE lizzie?! By EMPLOYING people, hiring people - and for the governmentally impaired, that means rewarding them for their Work with the MONEY they earned, which they did not have, and would not have had, without first being hired to work in the factory which they could not have created themselves - in order to help Produce the product that factory made!
Ho-ho! Adam Sharp of SharpElbows provides the video... and an extra little tie in at the end:

You ignorant leftist D.O.B! (Hey, if her buddies in the unions can call me and my buddies an S.O.B., I'm ok returning the favor. Just be glad I started it with a 'D', and not a 'B').

But lizzie Warren wasn't done yet (no word yet on whether she'll be arrested for such indecent exposure of her dark and private soul),
"You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for."
Hey! Lizzie! Where do you suppose 'the rest of us' got the money to help pay for those roads? Hmmm? It was earned, made, produced, and otherwise became the property of 'the rest of us' because of either our labor in 'their' factories, or 'our' farms, businesses, etc.

Because of the Free Market, people were able to offer their services in trade with others, creating wealth in the process, and from the profit each of 'the rest of us' earned from those transactions, 'we' were able to, in some way, turn around and pay a (once) small percentage of our excess profits towards taxes so that 'the roads' could be built. And you know what else? Those 'rich people' also paid taxes, one hell of a lot more $$$ than 'the rest' of us did, and do you know why they were able to build factories and hire people for a wage and become rich?

Because we had a legal system that protected Private Property, and so wise risks of time, effort and wealth could be directed towards producing a product that might possibly be of interest to enough of 'the rest' of us to voluntarily purchase, and if so, the initiator of that cycle could then become 'Rich', and the people working for them, could then earn livings which they otherwise would not have. And if it turned out not to be such a wise risk? The 'rich' had a damned good chance of becoming 'the poor'.

Anyone ever explain this to you lizzie?

And guess what else Lizzie... those 'roads' didn't magically appear by socialist-govt decree, they were contracted for and built by contractors in the Free Market, who hired skilled, and not so skilled, labor to produce the roads which you, and 'the rest' of us drive on, and so the virtuous cycle continues on, and on and on.

Or at least it does until some damn bureaucratic _.O.B. gets the slobbering idiot idea in their brain pans that they can just print money and 'roads' will appear (BTW, do you know what comes of the idiot notion that money can just be 'printed' and distributed? Experts become surprised at the crash the 'rest of us' saw coming from decades away).

Lizzie continued,
"You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate."
I won't go into the obvious repetition of the above for how those schools are built and paid for, but I will say that the world today, and your own blatant ignorance, is a direct reflection of the pitiful job which you and your like minded ninnies, have wrought upon the field of 'education'.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Ladies and Gents, do you see the arrogant attitude with which she dismisses the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears that goes into building either a factory or a paycheck? Do you see the predatory ease with which she assumes she can use power to take whatever she wants, from whoever she wants to?

Look at that face folks, that is the face of a truly, ravenously, greedy, D.O.B.

I'm going to put another post up soon, an economics lesson which is simple enough that even a leftist economist, and possibly even a leftist politician (no promises on the last part there, but I'll try) can understand.

Good lord, the horrible price we pay for ignorance.
*************

Post-chill pill Update:
As the froth fades from my lips, I should probably say something more than the above... and a bit more calmly.

The statement from her “No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody."... is such a thoughtless, condescending and – no other word worthy for it (other that ‘duh’) idiotic one, it is as appalling, and it was infuriating.

Where did that Chill Pill go... it was here a moment ago....

I got some feedback (and flames fanned) from a friends facebook page as well, who actually captioned her words as "Well, said, well said.", and a friend of his said of this post, after chiding me on my rantguage, that,
"Regardless, you don't address the thesis, that there is a social contract that exists prior to and in conjunction with our system of Market Economy. That the conditions that allow you to do exercise your rights are built upon that foundation."
Well. To say that her comment had a 'thesis' is I think stretching it a bit, but while I'll agree that her subject was the social contract, the only meaning of one that can be taken from her description, is that of master to a slave - and in her scenario, the person who actually makes the workers job possible, is the one that is being put into the position of a slave to 'the rest of us', by her version of, what amounts to, a 'socialist contract'.

Saying the words ‘social contract’ doesn’t give you a free pass to ignore everything that a contract entails, such as coming to an agreement with the parties involved - in her view it is just assumed that the factory owner OWES those employed by him, more than their jobs. According to her statement, the factory owner does nothing but take from the 'working people' of America... how he does that by first offering them a job, for a wage which the worker agrees to before ever coming to work, she doesn’t get around to saying in her 'thesis'. How the worker and 'the rest of us' ever get our own money, from which we somehow (as she would have it) entirely pay for ‘the roads’ and so forth out of our pockets alone, she doesn’t say, ignores, and tries to bluff her way on past as if the thought is unthinkable.

That she says, and even worse, doesn’t say, all of this, while running for the office of a United States Senator... is sickening to me.

She, and other such non-thinking leftists, while mouthing the words of Liberty, proceed to make demands, which if ever fully implemented, would mean the complete loss of liberty and individual rights throughout the land.

In short, they petulantly whine for effects, while trying to ignore, and even denigrate, the causes of them. I will try and keep my cool better, but I will not stand aside and allow such vitriol (and that is what such language truly is) go by unchecked.

If anyone has an interest in pursuing the matter beyond this point, I'll direct you to a couple of my previous posts, Liberty - It all hangs together, or we all hang separately for the highlights, or
Liberal Fascism: The Spiral of Knowledge for a broader overview. If you're up to really digging in to matters, here are a few from my Justice (Posts series in progress...) posts:

* There oughta be a Law
* Teaching Justice at Harvard - NOT!
* Point of order
* What IS Justice? eh.. what is the question again?
* What is Justice: Two mis-States of Nature
* Forgotten Beauty and lost Justice
* Cruising for Justice
* The Contextually Tortured Thoughts of Man Caused Disasters
* Unknown Conspiracies – You don’t think, therefore, they are
* Louis L'Amour: Laconic Law - From Cicero to Blackstone to You
* Back To The Basics: Where Is Justice To Be Found?
* The Liberal Mind of a Conservative - what may not be known - Must be known
* What does Athens have to do with Justice?
* Athens and America: The Bog Of The Gaps
* What Would the Founders Do? Common Sense says WHO CARES!
* Common Sense Anti-Americanism
* Arbitrary Disasters - The Health of Justice in the Age of Obamao
* Common Sense Conspiracies - a Race To The ... Where?
* ♫ ♪ ♬ You say you want a Constitution ... wellll ya know, we all want to change the world ♬ ♪ ♫

If anyone who disagrees with me, and is capable of rubbing a couple thoughts together briskly enough to produce a spark - I always enjoy a good argument.

Pick a spot and dive in, comments are always open and welcome.

**********

Heh... one final comment. A fellow at my friend's site says
"Again, her point was simple- that individual accomplishment does not occur in a vacuum."
No, it wasn't a simple point, it was a fairly complex one, and it insinuated that businesses contribute nothing and intentionally leach off the benefits 'the rest of us' provide for it.
"She did not say that individual accomplishment is not of value, nor did she say..."

It isn't necessary to say that individual accomplishment is not a value, if you do say that 'too much' individual accomplishment should not be allowed... you've said the same, and created the power to determine how much is too much.

How much has anyone read of what she has said, when she wasn't saying it to an audience she wants to woo? Words don't simply have meanings, they come from the ideas a person holds. and those ideas will guide her actions - and the results of those actions - more accurately than the words we choose for others to hear. If you read the report of the panel which she chaired, the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), the measures she calls for would have the effect of essentially nationalizing - though under different terms (as with G.M.) - of banks and other financial institutions.

I'll try and find a line to the actual the report itself, but a quick scan looks like this one hits the highlights, such as,
"The report essentially argues for nationalization on the grounds that, under government reorganization, bad assets can be removed, failed managers can be ousted or replaced and business segments can be spun off from the institutions. "Depositors and some bondholders are protected, and institutions can emerge from government control with the same corporate identity but healthier balance sheets," the report argues, parroting a position that has been staked out by many prominent economic pundits.

Clearly, this is Elizabeth Warren's particular crusade against the banks, since a majority of panel members dissented from the direction the report took and two refused to sign off on it at all. Her letters to Secretary Geithner and Chairman Bernanke stop just short of attacking them for trying to restart the market for asset-backed securities. These markets have been an important part of the financial intermediation system for decades, funding student loans, consumer credit and small businesses. But Professor Warren has had a long-standing antipathy to consumer credit markets."

My friend's friend continues,
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
Yes, well, and sometimes a smokescreen is just a smokescreen for something else. Before striking the 'reasonable' pose, it's a good idea to look into matters a bit more to see whether or not being 'reasonable' is actually a reasonable thing to do.
Sometimes the things we think we see lurking in the shadows tell us more about ourselves than the world we live in.”
And of course the obvious reply is that sometimes what we want to pretend to not see lurking in the shadows, can tell us even more about ourselves and the reality we’ll soon find ourselves in.

You may want to believe what I’ve said is a stretch, that Warren doesn’t intend to practice what her fundamental ideas clearly mean. I have too many friends & family on the left to think that they have bad intentions, but frankly, their intentions don’t concern me too much, and I’m not interested in interpreting peoples actions to match my conclusions – I’m more interested in the ideas they’ve demonstrated that they accept – those ideas are what precede their actions and my conclusions about them; I’m more interested in philosophy than psychology.

I’m quite sure those who pushed for prohibition didn’t intend to establish organized crime or cause the death of thousands through gang warfare. Same with those wanting a war on drugs. I’m sure that those who want to impose a minimum wage, don’t intend to put people out of work. I’m sure Ben Bernanke feels he learned the lessons of the Great Depression and really intends to help the economy, not wreck it.

Doesn’t really matter. Despite their best of intentions, the place they lead to is still the same old hot, dry place.

Intentions don’t count for much, when their ideas are put into practice and given the force of law, certain things are bound to follow from them. President Obama says he never wanted to run G.M., nevertheless....

If nothing else, the last twenty years has given me a lot of empathy for Cassandra.

But as Lance says, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. While we can.