Monday, June 29, 2020

The Polluted Narrative of Justice - Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

A veritable thirst for kneeling to narratives fills the air, a demand that we show our support for some lives mattering, demanding that we all echo that 'Silence is Violence!' and 'Check Your Privilege!', even the heinous notion that 'It's only property!'. These demands for compliance come from kids, neighbors, friends, even former Tea Partiers, and though many I'm sure are innocently urging the narratives along as if it really is a matter of Justice, there are still some of them who should absolutely know that real Justice is not, and cannot, be served by such narratives as those. And yet all around me I see people thirsting for this faux 'justice!', and what comes to my mind is "Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink", and I wonder how many of them understand that some waters are not fit to drink?

Do you understand that? And if so... then what?
"But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

Imagine if someone were actually dying of thirst, would you want to deny them the water they're reaching for? Of course no decent human being would want to do that. But would you deny them that water, if their health and even their life depended upon it? If you knew that the water they were reaching for was poisoned with a carcinogen that guaranteed they'd soon develop a fatal cancer, would you stop them, or maybe, seeing how desperate they were, would you step aside to allow them to satisfy their thirst? I hope you wouldn't step aside... but I'm far from convinced.

Why? Well, tell me, how would you explain refusing that water to the person dying of thirst? After all, the poison isn't obvious, you can't see, smell or taste it, it requires close examination to identify it, and as no one's dropping dead on the spot from drinking it... do you really think they'd calmly listen to your reasons for denying them the water they're desperately thirsting for? And on a scorching hot day, with the poisoned water tantalizingly sparkling & cool and clear right before their eyes, how likely are they to calmly listen to you telling them they need to climb up a steep hill to drink warm, slightly muddy water that you're telling them is truly good to drink? Would you risk injury to turn the desperately thirsty away from the bad water, to lead them to the water that is truly good to drink? Maybe some of you would do all you could, but... looking both around me, and yes, inwardly too, I feel deluged with many more disturbing questions, than satisfying answers.

For instance - what of yourself? If you were near to death with ravenous thirst, would you resist quenching it with what on the surface appears to be cool, clear, pure water, just because someone cautioned you that it contained a fatal carcinogen? Would you resist taking a cool drink, while crowds of people pushed you aside and gasped about how good it made them feel to drink it? Would you take the time to probe deeper, to examine and test the water you are thirsting to drink to see for yourself if it truly is good to drink? People adrift at sea often become so desperately thirsty that they drink their fill of saltwater, even knowing that they'll sicken and die from it - would you?

Maybe you'd resist. But what would it take to do that? To resist the tempting thirst for the sake of an unanswered question, and then... to prove it to yourself, and stick to that understanding, I suspect that would come down to how much you actually care about what is real and true, and how consistently you connect such matters to what you should do, even in the face of external opposition and internal desire... where would you learn to make such connections and value abiding by them? School?(!) Doubtful. Those sorts of lessons don't come from worksheets and multiple choice questions, now do they? You've been to school, you can answer that question yourself.

Even so, if you somehow are that uncommonly sensible and brave person, what would you do about your fellows who, ignorant of the poisoned water, are innocently and enthusiastically directing the thirsty crowds to drink it?

Worse, what would you do about those who do know that the water's carcinogenic, but, worried about how they'd react to being kept from drinking it, hastily mix it with good water in hopes that will make it safe (Spoiler alert: It won't, but they're ok with the easy ignorance of hoping it might)?

How would we, how should we, respond to that?

And what of those who do know that the water is poisoned, and still direct the thirsty to it, and those who do know that diluting it won't make it good, but they choose to do it so that more and more will drink and eventually sicken and die from it?

And in what might be the worst predicament of all, knowing that those who're consciously corrupt are few & far between, and that those who're innocently ignorant of the dangers are many, and with still more fools mixed in between, we feel the need to act yet have no way of immediately distinguishing which from which - what are we to do?

You can scoff at my questions, but it seems plain to me that this is the very situation we are in, following in the wake of George Floyd's life being ended beneath the knees of four cops in Minneapolis.

Those who truly intend to peacefully protest, and who innocently seek after Justice while chanting and supporting these narratives, are for the most part unaware that they are drinking in the deceptive waters of a socially carcinogenic 'justice!', and yet most are neither willing, nor tolerant of having any discussion of the less appealing, tepid and distant muddy waters of a distant Justice, even though that system is the only one that mankind has ever had any hope of finding any actual Justice through.

And then there are those who do have some knowledge of who BLM & Antifa truly are, what their ideas are founded upon and promote, and yet they still 'bend the knee' by virtuously signaling that 'black lives matter!', and demand we join in on chants of 'silence is violence', 'acknowledge your privilege', 'it's only property!', which are at best, rationalizations for diluting good water with bad, and furthering the poisoning of our society. And there are some among us who know damn well that their message is lethal to America, and deliberately spread it to stir up as many cancerous waves as they can - such as those of Seattle's CHAZ/CHOP Autonomous Zones, violently 'peaceful protests', and Talcom X's iconoclastic calls for statues of Jesus to be thrown down - in hopes that they will grow into a tidal wave that will sweep our land from sea to shining sea.

I know that the majority of my 'fellow Americans' have a thirst for Justice, but in a monumental case of mistaken identity, most are chasing after 'justice!' instead, ignorant of the fundamental injustice that lies just beneath its glistening surface, amounts to vengeance (at best) clothed in finery, which they've been taught to see as 'justice', and even as being something that is admirable to demand.

If you're surprised, maybe you didn't pay attention in school... or to school, but our educational systems have for decades taught that so long as only property is destroyed and people aren't killed, such violent riots are really 'peaceful protests', and with such pernicious lessons they've taught generations of students that the shallow waters of what they learn from textbooks, worksheets and multiple-choice tests, are deep enough for students to swim in and to dive headfirst into adulthood with. Decades of such misguided graduates have taught additional generations of successively more misguided graduates, who's instruction has made them doubly zealous as living examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect in their calls for this misidentified 'justice!', and they do not see the true nature of the monster that they are staring straight into the face of. They see what they've been taught to see, and want to see, and even what they want to be seen, as seeing - yet most are unwilling to pursue any further questions that might poke beneath the pleasing surface of appearances, unwilling to stick even a toe into the water, let alone examine its depths - and very little of what they've learned has taught them that they should.

"Know Thyself" has been exchanged for "Just do it!" - whatever 'it' might popularly be believed to be at the moment.

That being the root cause, it should come as no surprise that no simple "other" can be neatly blamed for our predicament, the Pro-Regressive Left hasn't been acting alone (if ever) for over a century, and their early 'progress' has ensured that a great many Libertarians, and members of the Right & Conservatives, are involved as well. All have gone through the same educational system, and all have learned "How to Think" through the same lesson templates, which reduce concepts and ideals to the disintegrated pabulum of textbooks, captioned pictures, and worksheet factoids, whose meaningless text all students soon learn to scan for the options framed for them in multiple choice tests to choose their 'answers' from, which involves neither teaching nor learning, in any traditional sense, instead it trains both teachers and students to seek out and further selected narratives.

As noted in an article on "How Public Schools Indoctrinate Kids Without Almost Anyone Noticing",
"... in the absence of thinking, many teachers who engage in indoctrination do so unconsciously. They themselves take what they’re given and pass it along without thinking. Ideologues often intervene at this level by writing the scripts for teachers, which is how LGBT advocacy and anti-Semitic fabrications become included in their lessons.

Thoughtlessness is essential. As the fictional demon Screwtape, from C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters,” states in his letters to Wormwood, “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” ..."
As most educational theory from John Dewey on down to the present makes quite clear, their lessons have much less to do with the material being taught in them (mere 'rote facts', dontcha know), than with the form of the lessons, which are intended to teach "How to Think".

Even those who might manage to reject the particular conclusions of some lessons, nevertheless have learned how to perceive the world through the limited scope of those same lesson plans, textbook pabulum, captioned pictures, worksheet factoids and multiple choice tests, and so their differences are less often actual disagreements, than a differing matter of preference within the same multiple choices already provided to be 'chosen' from (BTW, the flowcharted 'Critical Thinking' which 'educators' devised in 1946 as an 'alternative' to the system of reasoning developed over 3,000 years of Western Civilization, is but another gimmick for diverting the thoughtful away from deeper reasoning). Few look beyond the 'worksheet lessons' provided, and fewer still see the need to question what they think they know, as a result of them.

And so here we are.

If you say 'Prove it!'... what do you mean by 'prove'?
As most graduates can attest, most of the names and dates meaninglessly drilled into our heads over twelve or more years of schooling - public or private - are gone from our heads soon after graduation, but the methods and patterns we learned to think with, those aren't lost at graduation, that habit of 'learning' to scan for 'answers' from the options presented - that habit stays with us and we don't stop employing it without making a deliberate, sustained and conscious effort to look beyond what's given. If you haven't consciously relearned how to learn, then every lesson learned since school, is likely still leading you to the easiest and shallowest of answers, which was the central lesson that the lesson plans were designed to teach.

If you're laughing, I may be able to turn your mirth into embarrassment, with just a few example narratives that've been so helpfully provided to us by several outlets for Leftists, Libertarians, and various members the Right. Having exchanged our school's textbooks and worksheets, for media's pictures, videos & commentary posted in our news & tweets, it's notable that those narratives, though differing each from the other in some measures, all bear a similarly common shallow signature. But before we take a closer look, let me ask you:
A) Are you the narrator of your own narrative? And B) if so, how well do you know the nature of what it is it that you're narrating? And C) is that narrative something that can or should be thought of as being reasonably human?
My guess is that you're A) not, B) not well, and that C) no it can't. But to prove me wrong, all you've got to do is observe a couple videos, and ask yourself whether or not you are seeing what you expect or wish to see, or what is available to be seen by you.

First, seeing as the racial accelerant that's so inflaming people's passions at the moment, obscures so much of what we see, it'd be best to start with one without that, and believe it or not there is one which fits that bill, the much videoed incident of the elderly man who was hospitalized after clashing with police at a demonstration in Buffalo, New York.

Have you already seen or heard of it? Write you're impressions of the incident down.

Now watch the two videos of the incident while noting your own reactions as well as the action in them, and ask yourself if the reactions you find yourself feeling follow from what you're actually observing, or from what you expected to see in them? Did those come from your own judgment (current or past?), or from a larger narrative that's popular with you & yours? And one more thing which may be the most important of all, as you focus on what you have observed, how intently do you remind yourself that what you are observing isn't all there is to observe, or to know, about the context of the matter you're observing?

Ok, so now let's go through them together. The Libertarian eZine, Reason, gives us the headline: "Buffalo Police Seriously Injure 75-Year-Old Man During Protest", while CNN, emphasizing a more distant camera angle, and with much setting up what they desire you to assume and echo, they caption it (from :34 mark) as "Video captures Buffalo police push elderly man to the ground", and then at the :41 mark: "...officers knocked down elderly protestor Martin Guigino", and which NPR simply captions their video as "Police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground"

Now I want to emphasize here, I am neither excusing nor condemning the police (a worthwhile evaluation of their actions can only come from a methodical on-the-spot investigation), I'm simply pointing out how easily popular narratives lead us to see something, that isn't actually there to be seen, and how easily people then agree that they are in fact seeing it.

Watch the videos, and note what you think you saw.

Ok, so here's what I can observe:
  1. The 1st observation is on what's ignored in the reporting on the video, and that is the context that this incident is occurring after days of violently 'peaceful protests' and rioting, in which significant damage and injury and even death, have been inflicted upon the places, persons and police, in that city, and across the land.
  2. The video picks up as police have already given an order to the people gathered there (and almost not shown in the video at all) to disperse, and
  3. they have formed a line for the purpose of pushing back the remaining protesters, and the police are advancing as a line for that purpose.
  4. The elderly man has ignored that order,
  5. at the :02 mark (of the NPR Twitter video) he pokes at the 1st of the two cops involved with his iPhone (?), which is ignored, and then
  6. he pokes the 2nd cop with it, which is again at first ignored,
  7. but then as he pokes again around his weapons (?) belt,
  8. the cop that raises one arm and pushes him backwards. In my evaluation of the movements in that much described shove, I can observe no movement in the push to suggest that it was intended to shove the man down to the ground, in that his push moves up and straight outwards, he is not grabbed ahold of, and the cop's arm doesn't curve downwards during the contact or appear to strain with a downward shove or pull.
  9. The man staggers directly backwards, stumbles a little sideways, and then falls back, and in the long distance video we see his head hit sickeningly hard on the pavement.
  10. The police are still formed up in a line stretching across the street and most of them visibly turn and react as the man hits the ground,
  11. the 1st cop's initial reaction is to attend to the man, but he is motioned back into the front of the crowd control line, as such lines are supposed to be maintained as unbroken as possible, the strategy being that breaking the line reduces its effectiveness and even puts the rest of the police in jeopardy.
  12. Another cop almost immediately makes a call into his radio, motions are made, calls for 'get a medic' are heard and an onlooker is answered that 'we have an EMT'.
  13. At the :19 second mark we see, and loudly hear, one of the protestors swearing, making threats, swinging his sign in the disorderly manner of resistance, which is the reason why the police line was formed to push the remaining protestors back.
  14. Seconds later at the :24 mark uniformed people from the rear are kneeling down to attend to the man.
  15. The NPR reporter is saying "better get an ambulance" and is told that "we have an EMT on the scene".
I'll repeat, I'm not defending the cop's actions, I'm describing what both you and I can see in the videos, all of which should be taken into consideration before making any judgement one way or the other - which you should be noting that the scene was not only not described that way by Reason, CNN or NPR, but instead they deliberately phrased the scene very differently, with essential details omitted from their captions and stories, in order to form the narrative that the two cops involved had deliberately and without provocation shoved an old man to the ground, and coldly stepped past his bleeding body. Worse still, there's a narrative that was popular with fringes of the Right and Libertarians, suggesting - in a very "I'm not saying its aliens, but it's aliens!" kind of way - that wires can be seen coming out of the man's scalp, that the blood was a WWE Wrestling stunt packet of fake blood, and that the fall was staged, which... staggers the mind to grasp how much of what can be seen, not to mention the hospital personal who'd have to be in on it, which must be ignored. Like Descartes, the conspiracist prefers "...that all the things which we very clearly and distinctly conceive are true..." over what their 'their own lyin' eyes' might dare to show them.

Such popular media narratives as those, gain the appearance of substance through repetition, and become in our minds the virtual textbook captions & worksheets which we've all spent 12, 16, 20 years being taught 'how to think!' from, and most people - of all political leanings - dutifully scan them for the multiple choice options to select 'our own' answer from.

Some criticized the official police report for describing the incident as 'a man tripped and fell', calling them out for committing 'lies of omission', saying, as one friend did:
"...They forcibly pushed him down and now he is at a hospital in critical condition. But we should also note that the police report was all a lie and it didn't reflect what was captured on camera..."
, while ignoring the 7 very relevant factors that they themselves omitted, and without noting their own evaluation of the 8th point, which, by the terms of their own criticism, makes their own statements into 'lies of omission', and of a far greater magnitude than what they're criticizing the police for. Perhaps not surprisingly, neither appreciated my pointing that fact out.

Consistently, across political beliefs, most people (Left, Libertarian, Right) either attacked the cops, or (Right & Conservative) attacked the protestor via his reported history of agitation, or even made wild claims of fabricated theatrics, etc, by which those narratives became what they believe they actually saw, instead of what was there to actually be seen. My point being that neither CNN, NPR, Reason, nor the vast majority of those of the Left, Libertarian, Right or Conservative camps, made any sustained attempt to observe first, and judge second, let alone reserve final judgement on what they couldn't know, and shouldn't pretend to know.

That's just one lesson in the lessons of 'how to think!', which we've all learned in pursuit (or avoidance) of A's in school. So again I ask you,
"Are you the narrator of your own narrative? And if so, how well do you know the nature of what it is that you're narrating? And is that narrative something that can or should be thought of as being reasonably human?"
As you've probably guessed, I have my doubts about that. What I don't have many doubts about, is that that is our problem, and all of the causes, politics, ideologies, are but symptomatic diversions for them.

But wait! There's more!
The previous narrative is almost sanitary in comparison to how dirty they become, once the racial accelerant is added in and sends us down into the ideological gutter, at which point the 'thinking' can no longer be considered to be even reasonably human. The bizarre comments below, came at me from a sorta-family member - let's call her 'Karen' - who'd posted a video showing someone dressed in black & breaking windows in one of the 1st Floyd protests, accompanied with the caption "Are White Dudes Sabotaging The George Floyd Uprising".

No one else had yet commented, and after watching the video a couple times, and doing some searching I could see several reports of people inflaming the protests, which some claimed to be 'racist' cops (which the police had immediately investigated and debunked), and other reports of Antifa taking an active part in inflaming the demonstrations, some accompanied with pictures and video of known members. I then made this comment:
Looks a lot like antifa.
'Karen' immediately replied to my comment by posting a still of the four cops kneeling on George Floyd, and:
What does this look like you bozo? Wrong again, Van. I call bullshit on you. Are you a racist? Then defend George Lloyd. Ok?
Leaving aside that my comment was not on the cops ending Floyd's (with an "F" BTW, not an "L") life, but on a masked white vandal breaking store windows, I was being called a racist, for, ironically, not assuming that the vandal was a racist because he was white, and even though I knew nothing more about the unidentified person than that they were clothed and masked in black. Apparently because I didn't 'judge' the vandal on appearances alone, but instead considered their actions in the video, and news reports of similar incidents before suggesting that they might be antifa... I was called a bozo, a racist, and was assumed to be unconcerned about George Floyd's death.

I shrugged and replied,
"Always nice to see your judgment on display 'Karen'"
Which was immediately followed by 'Karen' replying that:
"And yours too. Racism is the provenance of the right. And your worldview. That is why you twist everything up. Hate. You want to come after me, Van? Really? I see you. All of you."
I'd made a statement about what was seen in a video, twisted nothing, expressed no hate, and neither said or did anything that I can imagine being interpreted as threatening to 'come after' her. I called her no names and made no insults, and yet I was immediately barraged by a slew of insults, and those were the more calm & considered comments of the thread, a plateau which she rapidly slipped downhill from. And BTW, for someone to imagine such a common human failing as racism, as being something that is 'the provenance of the [other]', is not only a bigoted statement, but a confession of their own ignorance of human nature, and (reaching into the psycho-babble grab-bag) possibly symptomatic of deep seated tendencies of denial and projection, being used to hide her own guilt of the same, from herself. Eh, [shrugs] beats 'bozo'.

I don't think 'Karen' consciously fabricated these things about me, more like she pre-selected the 'multiple-choice' answer that she knew should be 'true' of anyone questioning her narrative, and then reflexively pasted all of its baggage onto me.

It's worth noting that she is and has worked as a High School guidance counselor, for years. Let that one... sink all the way in.

So no, I don't think that most people are their own narrators. It seems clear that the narratives which most people attend to, are not narrations of what they saw was there to be seen - their narratives and the conclusions they draw from them, are not reasonably human ones - they themselves are human, sure, but they're not reasonable. Where do their narratives come from? It seems that in most cases they are less instrument, than echo, relaying the ideological lessons that they've previously heard or habitually associated with what they 'approve' of.

The dangerous waters which the current narratives empty into
Which brings us back to the poisoned waters of justice, with BLM.

I think the vast majority of people who saw the George Floyd tape, or heard about it, reacted with horror at seeing a man's life being ended in such a way as few of us can imagine there being any reasonable excuse for. Whether or not such incidents are common or not (and the fact that the narrative is statistically unfounded, matters not), we want such issues to stop. Period. People don't want any people to be mistreated by the very police who are supposed to protect & serve them - the police are supposed to uphold the peace, not violate it - and so, as the narrative goes, they've assembled to protest.

If that were all there was to it, I would be fully behind them. If that were all there was to it, I'd be fully behind the Sheriff who took off his helmet and kneeled with the protestors, and you can see by everyone's reaction, and the way it went viral, that that was greeted like the cool clear water of rationality and justice that everyone so deeply desires it to be.

But. Believing that requires ignoring the entire context of the matter, and nothing reasonable can follow from doing that.

The inescapable fact is that people are not assembling peacefully; even the more orderly ones are assembling enmasse wherever they please. They forcibly obstruct traffic and businesses, they surge onto highways, and most soon after begin damaging property, verbally and often physically abusing dissenters (actual or presumed). By such means their peaceful assemblies are transformed into mobs and riots - those are not peaceful, they are riots, and calling them peaceful changes nothing - a riot by any other name would reek the same, and they cannot be permitted to stand. And yet, that is exactly what organizations such as Antifa & BLM desire, encourage, and instigate.

Similarly, the organization 'Black Lives Matter', claims to care about black lives, but their words are sharply at odds with their actions, and it becomes clear on paying closer attention to both, that like Google's "Don't be Evil" motto, it's only words to them, their corporate logo, their pretext for being - Brandon Morse put it perfectly in the title of his post: "Black Lives Matter” Is Preying on America’s Belief That Black Lives Matter", in order to get what they want.

The 'Black Lives Matter' organization, is not simply designed to end unjustified violence against Blacks, if it was there'd be nothing to push back against, and much to welcome them for and to aid them in. But that isn't their sole motive (if at all), which can be seen in the nature of what they denounce as being 'systemic racism', One obvious problem with the 'systemic' issue, is that our system has no documented system of laws, agreements, rules, etc, to support the claim. South African Apartheid and 'Jim Crow' laws, were examples of 'systemic racism', and we knew them to be, because they were written down in a system of laws for enforcing racism. Those laws are gone now, those laws are now systemically forbidden in our written laws which define such actions as being unlawful. Are there racists who live amongst us? Sure there are, I've seen and dealt with them myself. Are there racists in law enforcement? As policemen are drawn from our population, no doubt there are... and you know what? The written laws that they are sworn to uphold, forbid them to act on their own racist beliefs in violation of those laws, and if they do, if they violate the law, they can and are prosecuted for violating our systemically non-racist laws which forbid that behavior.

If you say that that's not enough... what more do you seek? Is eliminating the Rule of Law, or eliminating the Police, going to eliminate racism? How? Is promoting mob rule more likely to bring Justice to any minority, or is it more likely to result in the majority forming a mob against them?!

Words not only have meaning, they bring about actions - what actions are likely to follow from the meaning of the words you are chanting?!

In regards to 'systemic racism!', the fact is, that nothing of the kind exists.

If you want to shift your goal posts and claim instead that what you mean by 'systemic racism!', is instead some non-written 'systemic racist beliefs' which drive racist behavior, well then there is one systematic fact which you've somehow failed to observe, and which pervades nearly all of the locations that are rife with charges of 'systemic racism!', and that fact is that they are nearly all in Democrat strongholds, where Leftist, 'Progressive' beliefs, have near total political control of the areas that are most troubled by riotous behavior and unrest. As Walter E. Williams pointed out,
"...the most dangerous big cities are: St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Newark, Buffalo and Philadelphia. The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by liberal Democrats. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. On top of this, in many of these cities, blacks are mayors, often they dominate city councils, and they are chiefs of police and superintendents of schools...."
, to which should also be added the fact that most School District Administrators, Ivory Towers of Academia, Corporate Human Resources Dept's, the Entertainment Industry, and News Media, all are overwhelmingly controlled by not just the Left, but by the radical Left.

If BLM cared about 'systemic racism!' or 'systemic racist beliefs', they'd focus on reforming the Left in general and those Democrat party policies in particular which contain these bastions of 'systemic racist beliefs'. Instead, they consistently $upport the '$ystemic Left', and overwhelmingly align with those policies, and are openly dedicated to advancing still more absurd 'causes', such as America needing "... to dismantle cisgender privilege...", and to "...disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure..." (who in America has had their family structures more disrupted and harmed by the helpful hand of govt, than Black families?) in favor of the highly Marxist notion of "...“villages” that collectively care for one another..." (self avowed 'trained Marxists' don't form organizations to seize political power in order to urge people to behave more neighborly, they do so to impose an even more extreme version of Child Care Services, which will regulate - and enforce - every aspect of any and every family's daily life, to ensure they adhere to the politically correct party-line) and "... freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking...". Such ideas cannot benefit any society, they disrupt, corrode, and collapse them without regard to race or religion (so there's that...).

What is plain to see, is that BLM does not care about 'systemic racism!' as being anything more than a useful means to their ulterior ends. What ulterior ends? Eric D. July reminded people of those ulterior ends once more, when he again pointed out that the founders of the 'Black Lives Matter' organization, are self-described Marxists, as one of its co-founders, Patrisse Cullors says herself (3:08 mark),
"...we do actually have an ideological frame, myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers, we are trained Marxists, we are super versed on ideological theories..."
If you want to shrug that off as only a academic discussion of 'political theory', well then here's the leader of the New York chapter of BLM, Hawk Newsome, making excedingly clear that those theories motivate their actual actions:
"...“If this country doesn’t give us what we want then we will burn down the system and replace it,” Newsome replied. “And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”
Newsome then broke down recent history, claiming that every time a police officer had hurt someone, they had been told to wait for due process.
“But the moment people start destroying property, now cops can be fired automatically,” he continued. “What is this country rewarding? What behavior is it listening to? Obviously not marching, but when people get aggressive and they escalate their protests, cops get fired. Now, you have police officers and Republican politicians talking about police reform. I don’t condone nor do I condemn rioting, but I’m just telling what I observed.”..."
, and finally putting a finer point on the matter, Newsome stated that,
"...I just want black liberation and black sovereignty by any means necessary”
His, and their, ulterior motives, are that they believe that their Marxist ends, justify their bringing them about any means necessary, and when the ends justify the means, the means are determined by power, not justice, and their implementation will be as violent and murderous as their people's lack of decency and regard for individual rights, property and justice, will encourage.

When you reward the violent by giving them what they want, they will want much, much more from you. One thing they will not want, is law & order. It should be surprising to no one that a movement founded upon Marxist ideals is violently advancing ideals which mean and require the elimination of individual rights under a system of Justice rooted in the Rule of Law - even though that system has historically been the only means of having a peaceful society that's able to enjoy justice and liberty. It is not, and should not be surprising, because justice and peace are not their goals, destroying American society is.

The sad fact is that Black Lives don't matter to BLM, except as a propaganda tool, and as a useful pretext to their ends, and if BLM's Marxist ends are ever realized, then, as July noted above, these very same Marxist ends '...has killed millions upon millions of people...' as the means of acheiving their ends. If those goals are ever realized here, it would mean death and destruction on a scale matched only by the USSR & Communist China, and you can be sure that a great many black lives would be consumed in that conflagration as well.

BLM does not seek Justice, they seek to pollute the waters of Justice by poisoning our ideals with irrational hatred and violent injustice, and if you support BLM, if you chant "Black Lives Matter", you are lending your support to promoting a lethal narrative of lies, and the elimination of the possibility of justice for people of all colors, creeds & ethnicities.

For all of these reasons and many more, I cannot, and will not, support BLM or its associated mottos & chants. At All. Ever. Their Narrative is not a reasonable one, and no Justice, and no Peace, can come from promoting either it or them.

Can it be reasonable to promote an unreasonable narrative?
Are the exchanges and narratives above, evidence of any form of higher reasoning? Are those assessments, conclusions and replies reasonable? I don't think so. All living animals, including human beings, think to some degree or another, and all react to what they've 'learned', but only human beings are capable of going above and beyond that - not automatically, but only by deliberate choice and intent - to rise above their default mentally reflexive responses. Deliberately doing so, engages us in a form of higher reasoning, with which we can imaginatively shape and reshape the contents of our minds, in a methodical manner which evaluates, questions & re-questions and verifies its contents, and so becomes what can then be considered to be, and further criticized through, reasonable thought.

Methodical reasoning is not a 'natural' process, it's not the result of a reaction that simply pops into your head, and it's not simply regurgitating ideological positions and counter-positions with emotional vitriol, it's a habit of mind that must be deliberately learned, practiced, refined, and valued, in spite of every natural inclination of yours which urges you to go with the first presumption that does naturally pop into your mind.

Given that, when I see people protesting, and looting, and rioting and claiming to do so for 'justice!', because words have meanings which I pay attention to, I can see no basis for a reasonable connection between these ideas, events and conclusions; I can see no possible, let alone justifiable, cause and effect involved here - the conclusions are non-sequiturs, they 'do not follow' - there is no interest in Justice that can be expressed with "No Justice, No Peace", rather, as a friend noted, such a chant is a declaration of your violent intention to be, and no sense of justice can be associated with, or follow from, that.

People wonder how and why we've wound up where we are, and again, the answer has and should be obvious. We have been schooled in learning lessons that systematize the dropping of context, and learning to ignore our own ignorance through the substitution of a narrative. The difficulty with such faux 'reasoning' being reasonable, becomes clearly visible, when we recall that the first lesson of Logic is to 'first make sure that your premises be true', and after having verified them, then and only then, do you move onto the syllogistic logical method of 'If this, and this, then that'. Skipping that step (and scanning worksheets for keywords that square with multiple questions, systematizes abandoning that dropping of context), unavoidably transforms peaceful reasoning into unreasonable violence.

If you scoff at that, then you're ignoring the many instances of school & school district endorsed, and teacher led 'demonstrations' of students 'supporting' BLM by marching into traffic, and my reaction here, is not nearly as severe as those more closely involved in what is going on in and about our schools,
"...Some Americans might comfort themselves with the notion that this is a passing madness, but it is instead the inescapable consequence of what is being taught from kindergarten through graduate school. A nation that teaches its children to hate their country cannot endure. A nation that pays out $700 billion a year, and trillions in taxpayer-financed student loans, to train future citizens to see their country as hopelessly and irreparably racist cannot continue.

If the justice at the heart of the American project is no longer taught in the education system, there will be no peace."
Through decades and decades of teaching an approach to thinking that leads to missing what matters, even in that which they are consciously examining and attempting to correct, their accepting untested and false premises, furthers and deepens the existing errors.

If you fail to see the truth of that, even as we've gotten to the point of teachers toppling statues, you are not simply missing it, you are refusing to see it.

You can also see these lessons learned narratives of unexamined premises continue to apply in action, in this popular meme on property and lives. On the surface it appears to be sensible, until you question its premises, where their deep flaws become incredibly dangerous to the very sense of justice it is purportedly intended to promote:
You keep saying "It's horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop"
Try saying "It's horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop"
You're prioritizing the wrong part."
, which, seems sensible only if you are ignorant of the fact that Property doesn't mean simply possessing 'material objects', and so are ignorant of the role that the concept of Property plays in upholding and defending all of our lives and individual rights. By missing that once 'self evident fact', we miss out on what we should conclude from such a meme as that, which is that:
Because we tolerate property being destroyed, innocent men are and will continue to be, killed.
This is more than a failure to prioritize, but a failure to see what made America exceptional in the first place, and if you don't understand that, then you do not understand what is central to the historic exception which made America so historically exceptional!

If you too have been educated into an inability to translate the phrase "It's only property!" into its actual meaning, allow me to point you to a couple of helpful hints from three very different Founding Fathers, of two very different systems, John Adams, James Madison & Karl Marx:
"Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist."
John Adams, 'Discourses on Davila', following his 'A Defense of the Constitutions of the Governments of the United States of America'
"...Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own...."
James Madison, 'Property', 29 Mar. 1792
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."
Karl Marx, 'Communist Manifesto'
In case you missed it, this is one thought that Founders of both America and modern Communism understood and agreed upon; that private property was indispensable to securing your individual rights under a government of limited powers, and that when private property is abolished, the doors to a government of total and unlimited power over its people, are thrown wide open.

Ben Franklin expressed that understanding in 1772, in one of his 'Silence Dogood' essays,, and America could not have been born if there hadn't been a sizable number of people who understood this as well,
‘Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or controul the Right of another: And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only Bounds it ought to know.

‘This sacred Privilege is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own.”
In that brief passage, Franklin expressed a conceptual integration of the ideas of freedom of speech, with wisdom and liberty, and of Property as being infinitely more than merely a claim to material possessions - "...where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own..." which is a marvelous illustration of having Property IN speech (read Madison's essay!), and in the very spirit of his very life.

And for those who might want to dismiss those founding principles, and the right to self defense protected by the 2nd Amendment, as 'theories,' a couple here in St. Louis, just discovered what these 'theories' mean in practice, when a mob forced their way into their neighborhood and threatened them in their homes:
"... as soon as I said this is private property, those words enraged the crowd. Horde, absolute horde came through the now smashed down gates coming right at the house. My house, my east patio was 40 feet from Portland Place Drive. And these people were right up in my face, scared to death. And then, I stood out there. The only thing we said is this is private property. Go back. Private property. Leave now. At that point, everybody got enraged. There were people wearing body armor. One person pulled out some loaded pistol magazine and clicked them together and said that you were next. We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog's life being threatened..."
What masked mobs promote in chants of 'silence is violence', 'punch a nazi', 'it's only property!' and firing people for daring to have a different opinion, are ideas which are fundamentally anti-American and pro-Tyranny, and an America filled with Americans who have little or no understanding of the nature of their mutually shared and assured individual rights and systems of justice, is an America that is not sustainable. I've referred to such people as those being Pro-Regressives (and they are found not just on the Left, but on the Right as well), because they actively seek to regress us to a time before ideas as fundamentally American as these were ever heard of. If we allow this regression, we cannot hope to escape from those realities which our Founder's ideas had eventually managed to displace: Slavery, Tyranny, and the form of 'justice!' which has always been preferred by those in power, wherein those who they've accused are assumed to be 'Guilty, unless (somehow) proven innocent'.

Justice and Lies serve very different ends
The idea of ending slavery in the world came about only as the Judeo-Christian religious views met and were married with ideas of Greco-Roman philosophy and law, and even then it only began to become a reality through the predominantly English recognition of the significance of Property ("Every man's home is his castle") and it's vital connection to Individual Rights under a Rule of Law (James Madison summed that up brilliantly in his brief essay on Property - read it!).

Fixing America, making its millions of isolated residents into being our "Fellow Americans", requires understanding that individual rights are inherent in our nature as human beings, it requires understanding that property is our means of securing the individual rights of us all, through the Rule of Law, and it also means understanding that giving favoritism to some, means having already eliminated those rights of all, and replacing them with petty privileges bestowed upon some, by those in power, to those who are useful to them - at the moment.

Seeking after such favoritism and 'justice!' is the equivalent of being adrift in the lifeboat and drinking the saltwater, or even the cool clear carcinogenic water, in order to quench your thirst, even though it will soon bring you a slow and miserably painful death. While it may not be as plentiful or attractive as its doppelgangers, true Justice can only work if it is widely understood that in order for anyone to be secure in their rights and property, all people must be be secure in their rights and property, and that everyone must be treated equally before the law - do that and you transform the power of the state into the personal army of every one of its citizens.

It took centuries for these ideals to culminate in the founding of America. Today, we've not only willfully forgotten those ideas, but we actively teach our students that they are not true (see the '1619 Project'), and we teach them in a way that the lessons learned cannot be used to discover the errors that they hide. How long will it take to 'fix' things? I don't know... does it take more time to learn something is true, or to unlearn something that's false, so that you can relearn something that's true? The Confucian image of the monk overfilling the students tea cup comes to mind.

If you don't start with the understanding that you could be wrong, then the errors that you don't know that you have, have no way to be identified, no way to be removed, and so they'll continue to permeate all of your other beliefs - your 'tea cup' cannot be emptied - and you cannot be filled up with what is true. You must consciously insist to yourself that not only can you not know all of the context involved, but that because of that, what you are able to observe, may be more appearance than substance. Repeat to yourself that, in the words of a forgotten quipster: "To inform is to influence", both by what is said, and by what is not said.

For a society to be 'inclusive', it's people must be reasonable, and the baseline for being reasonable (not to mention for enjoying Justice), is realizing that you may be wrong, and that other's may come to different conclusions, and insisting on toleration for those you disagree with. So long as they are peaceful in their actions, society must tolerate its discontents and give them reasonable consideration, even while disagreeing with them. It also requires understanding that the primary way for discovering your own errors, is through having reasonable, methodical, discussions with people who don't fully (or at all) agree with your assessments & opinions. If you yourself exclude others from discussion because they disagree with you, you've eliminated a fundamental and essential component in your ability to discover your own errors, without which you are unlikely to grasp or understand what is true. Read the quote above from Ben Franklin, once again.

Liberty and Justice require that true form of actual inclusiveness of context, which includes the ongoing commitment to that maxim of Western Law: 'hear the other side', both are required to be reasonable, and being reasonable requires having such a respect for Truth, that you are willing and able to realize that you may have missed it.

People who are not taught to be reasonable - and once again, no, the checklist flowcharts of 'Critical Thinking' is not equivalent to being reasonable (that's what it was designed in 1945 to replace) - people who are taught that their own presumptions are unquestionable, cannot reasonably be expected to be 'allies' of Justice.

The kind of approach that assumes the worst of your own presumptions to be true, and rejects out of hand any and all who disagree with you, is an Ideological position, and not a reasonable understanding.

What is… reasonable? What do we mean by that? Do you question and verify your premises, before reasoning with them? If not, then no, you are not being reasonable.

As I said in the previous post, the default presumption that what I see on social media is not enough to form a solid judgement from, but that if the police - in this or any other matter - are found by appropriate review (made public at least immediately after the fact, if not during), or in court of law, to be in the wrong, I'm fully for bringing down the maximum force of law upon their heads, as it's a far worse thing for those charged with upholding the law, to abuse or violate it, than for others to do the same. That is, IMHO, a reasonable approach, and while it may not be the naturally human response to make, it is, IMHO, if Justice is what you seek, the only reasonable one to use.

"Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink"
So back to my original question: Will you try to stop those around you from drinking the poisoned water of 'justice!', even while reasonably suspecting that they'd attack you for it? If you doubt that is a problem, you are probably missing out on the News of school principal's being fired for not praising BLM, and even of teachers being let go for daring to express a very reasonable idea - not to mention the only one that Justice can be found within - that:
“Each of us here believes in the unparalleled force for good that is Western Civilization, that is our heritage, whether we were born here or not,”
, but the fact is that the positions promoted by the 'Black Lives Matter' and Antifa organizations, and the sentiments expressed in 'silence is violence', 'punch a nazi', 'it's only property!', are not compatible with either Western Civilization or America. To think that they are, neglects not only the News, but the 'olds' as well. The 'Olds', being what history once was used to teach us, was what was wise to know of ourselves today, through lessons from the past. Lessons such as what Thucydides spoke of, where in the final disastrous battle of the doomed Sicilian campaign, the Athenian's were desperately fleeing in thirst for water, even though they saw the enemy laying in wait for them, even as they had missiles showered down upon them, and even as the Spartans were wading through the muck and butchering them as they fell and drank, the Athenians still trampled their fellows to get to that water,
"... The Peloponnesians also came down and butchered them, especially those in the water, which was thus immediately spoiled, but which they went on drinking just the same, mud and all, bloody as it was, most even fighting to have it..."
When people have a thirst, they aren't easily reasoned away from satisfying it, and when those whose thoughts are satisfied with skating along upon surface appearances, are not inclined to be reasonable... you've got a problem.

America, we've got a problem, and 'racism!' is too often used as only a pretext and distracting symptom to obscure the deeper issues which cause it. The 'culture' that we've been educated into, has infused us with a thirst for a false and unjust 'justice!', a thirst which cannot be satisfied without destroying ourselves, and as history shows to those willing to look at themselves in the mirror, we are calling upon ourselves to do just that. If we - all of us - don't consciously begin transforming ourselves into Americans, based not upon meaningless matters of place and circumstances of birth, but through the ideas that this nation was founded upon, then all of the actions we might take to 'fix things', will only make all of our lives much, much, worse. Thinking that racism is about skin color or ancestry, rather than a usefully shallow way of thinking, for manipulators to influence others to act unwisely and unjustly, ensures only that more racism, more violence, and more murder, will be what follows, even as the possibility of true Justice recedes ever further from our grasp.

Simply put, seeking a 'justice!' that is unjust, means seeking our own self destruction. And a great many people today are very much intent upon doing just that.

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