Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, fact.

How is that possibly a controversial thing to say?

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

Fact.

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

Sorry, fact.

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

Seriously, WTH is he talking about?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Daily Obama Kos

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

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

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

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

Twits. Absolute friggin' twits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But maybe that's just me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

How do you defend a friend?

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you can't do a thing about it.

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

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

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

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

So shut the hell up already, ya damn morons.

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The State of the Union: What?

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

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

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

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

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

Nighty-night.

Monday, January 12, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The press release ends in typical Anonymous fashion:

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

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

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

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

But.

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

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

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

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

Well that was cheery.

/Musing off.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

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

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

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

Look at these seemingly unrelated issues,

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

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

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

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

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

No, not really.

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

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

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

The future hinges upon the choices you make today.

Monday, January 05, 2015

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

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


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

That wasn't worth even a mention?

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

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

(sigh).

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

Dis-Friggin-Gusting.

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

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

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

Nyahhh... why bother.

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

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


Forward Pro-Regress!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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

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

Let me answer that question with another question.

Why are these situations so common, rather than uncommon?

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

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

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

Yes, that requires a bit of explanation.

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Gruber is as Obama does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What Justice is to be found in the passionate rejection of the process for attaining Justice?

RedState's Ben Howe has been catching some flack for his tweets on the #Ferguson issue, which he's ably summed up in an article entitled: "Why I Said I’d Have Shot Michael Brown in the Face". If you find that too provocative of a title, you should read it yourself, he defends his position well and needs no help from me.

But if you've got a moment, I'd like to ask you a couple questions myself. It won't take long.

Do you believe that Justice is something most likely to be attained by a methodical presentation of evidence and deliberated upon by a disinterested jury of peers? Or do you think that 'justice' is what the more vocal and passionate demand as satisfaction, and which everyone else must be compelled to agree with as well?

If you believe that the Judicial process is a Just process - not an infallible guarantee of determining THE Truth of what happened - but as being the most just process, the path most likely to achieve a reasonable and justifiable conclusion about what may not ever truly be known; if so then you'll have to concede that the decision of a jury of 12 citizens, who, after hearing extensive testimony, considering evidence, deliberating carefully upon it, concluded that Officer Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown was not an unreasonable action.

Not because he one was a policemen, and not because of the race of the dead person, but because that that was the conclusion most supportable by the facts.

If, on the other hand, you believe that the demands of the more vocally aggrieved are what society must appease, if you believe that those who are so sure that they know best, should have the power to punish those who disagree with them, if you believe that the passionate certainty of some confers upon them the ability to Just KNOW what other mere mortals can have no direct knowledge of; if you believe that intimidation and the threat of violence, actual violence, assault, arson, destruction of property and the violation of everyone's individual rights are justifiable because a few claim to know best and that everyone else must agree with them or else be subjected to invective and cast out... then you will conclude that 'Justice' can only be served by those who agree with you, and that those who disagree with you must suffer the consequences of their opinions.

If you align yourself with the second, congratulations - you are fascist fodder and your time, your rise, and your fall, is coming.

If you align yourself the the first, but quietly allow the second to parade on by without speaking up, then congratulations - you will be the first to be consumed by the second group.

If, on the other hand, you are one of the few who have bothered to learn the lessons of history, but are living in a society where such lessons were discarded from the educational system a century ago - then congratulations and pull up a seat, for we are very likely going to be stuck living through the lessons of history that everyone else seems so intent upon dooming us all to repeating.

Cheers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So tell me America, you feeling fundamentally transformed yet?

After the #Ferguson Grand Jury decision, a unanimous decision[NOTE: I mis-heard the verdict tally at the press conference, there IS NO WAY to know if unanimous or not. My apologies.] by - it shouldn't need to be said but does - white and black jurors, who actually heard and deliberated upon all of the evidence, they concluded that there was not enough evidence to charge the police officer with wrong doing.

A short time later President Obama came out and said:
"First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so, we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction."
Understandable?! To Friggin' WHO?! Did any of those who 'are deeply disappointed', have any rational reason whatsoever for feeling that way?

Better yet, did they have any, ANY, basis for presuming the police officer to be guilty, but for the fact that he was white, and his assailant was black? Do you know what that's called? RACISM, that's what!
Walgren's looted and burned

And what were these 'disappointed' thugs upset about? 'No Justice, no peace'?

Justice?! For WHO?! The Grand Jury sat for an unusually long period of time, heard all of the evidence, and determined that justice would be served by not bringing an indictment against the police officer. Just how in the hell is it 'understandable' or a means of furthering 'justice' to demand that the officer be killed, for doing what the Grand Jury could not find fault with?

And where in the hell is the Nat'l Guard in ‪#‎Ferguson‬?! Our Gov. Nixon, putz in chief, declared that people's lives and businesses would be defended - How?! Where?! One of the primary reasons why we have a government, is to maintain law and order - we all saw endless loops of Nat'l Guard troops being trucked in to the well-to-do town of Clayton - where in the hell are they?!

Ferguson's business, Ferguson's people, Ferguson's property and livelihoods are not being defended! WTH Governor!

This poor neighborhood, its businesses are being burned & looted, and even for those that might manage to go untouched (somehow), this is Thanksgiving! The Thanksgiving shopping period is here, which they'd probably pinned their hopes of salvaging what the earlier riots damage had done to them - what are they going to do?! Most will likely be closed. And the businesses that served them will have certainly have their earnings reduced as well.

Little Caesar's Pizza looted and burned
What do you think is going to happen to their employees? To their families? To their kids? What do you think is going to happen to this community after all of this?

Every damn last one of you who've posted your idiotic 'hands up don't shoot' and 'no justice no peace' B.S., Every damn last one of you who've been supporting and egging this agitation on to this inevitable point of violence... let me put this clearly: You are scum.

How despicable.

When President Obama was elected he famously said that we were days away from:
"fundamentally transforming America!"
So tell me America, look around today, not only at Ferguson MO, but Oakland, L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Washington D.C. and all air traffic diverted away from St. Louis - take a good look and tell me:
Are you feeling fundamentally transformed yet?
Police Car set aflame

So you tell me America, does this fundamental transformation seem more like Progress, or Regress to you?

From Ben Howe:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Undocumented Power

I listened to the President's speech. I listened to the responses to it. I didn't hear the real problem being identified as a problem on either side.

Here's the problem:

The problem isn't immigration, legal or illegal. The problem is a Govt that is supposed to be bound down by laws to protect and defend the Individual Rights of We The People for which "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...", and which is instead seizing hold of the power that we've given them and ignoring those laws that bind it; exercising the power that we've given them in opposition to our laws; exercising the power that we've them without even the pretense of respecting any restrictions or limitations upon their ability to exercise the power that we've given them.

When those we've given power over our lives to, promise to use power in pleasing ways if... we'll just... look the other way... and let slip our lawful restraints, they leave us with no way to restrain them with laws again, we leave ourselves with no way to prevent their using their power over us in ways that we do not find to be so very pleasing. When that's accomplished, then "As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn", they'll eventually use that power in ways that we'll find to be utterly horrifying.

That's the problem. And yes We The People, I'm looking directly at you.
"Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate; and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another. This is acknowledged in subordinate magistrates."John Locke - OF CIVIL-GOVERNMENT BOOK II, CHAP. XVIII. Of TYRANNY
"... in questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution."Thomas Jefferson
"...There are Church-quakes and state-quakes, in the moral and political world, as well as earthquakes, storms and tempests in the physical. Thus much however must be said in favour { 250 } of the people and of human nature, that it is a general, if not universal truth, that the aptitude of the people to mutinies, seditions, tumults and insurrections, is in direct proportion to the despotism of the government. In governments completely despotic, i.e. where the will of one man, is the only law, this disposition is most prevalent.—In Aristocracies, next—in mixed Monarchies, less than either of the former—in compleat Republick's the least of all—..."John Adams, A Defense, Boston Massacre
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams
“It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” Samuel Adams
“If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experiencd Patriots to prevent its Ruin. There may be more Danger of this, than some, even of our well disposd Citizens may imagine.” Samuel Adams

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day - Soul Food

I've posted these three poems for Veterans Day before,  and rather than respond to the gutter filth at salon.com, I will instead, with heartfelt thanks, post them again, as soul food for our Veterans,

William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903
Invictus

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1837)
The Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We place with joy a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

O Thou who made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, --
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raised to them and Thee.


John McCrae. 1872–1918
In Flanders Fields

IN Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Make Trick or Treat count for something this year, hand out "Hands Off My Gun" by Dana Loesch

If you want to give your favorite leftist a big scare this Halloween, put Hands Off My Gun, by Dana Loesch in their Trick or Treat bag (and treat yourself to a copy as well!). I can't say it will do much for their heart health (the cover alone might be too big a shock), but their mind could benefit greatly from it. Either way, I strongly recommend this - it's sobering, LOL entertaining, blunt, informative and surprisingly optimistic.

Dana succeeds in putting the emphasis where it belongs, not upon particular weapons or their accessories, but upon the reason for which the 2nd Amendment was written - the Individual Right and ability to defend your and your family's lives, and the liberty we should all expect to enjoy. This is a solid book through and through, and I'll make particular note of the following highlights:

From the opening pages of the Introduction and Chp. 1 'The Tragedy Caucus', using anecdotes from her own experiences growing up, she drives home and personalizes the importance of the Individual Right which the 2nd Amendment defends - and the importance of knowing, especially for the young, that it, and they, can be defended. This isn't simply a political ad issue, it is important to everyone's life, whether you choose to own a gun or not.

Chp. 2 'Obama's War on Guns', traces the views of Barack Obama from his early years, when in answering a questionnaire on whether he
"...supported a law to "ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns."
...Barack Obama simply answered,
"Yes.""
, to his later political responses that
"a complete ban of handguns is not politically practicable."
- let the implications of that answer sink in - to his administration's support for the U.N.'s 'Arms Trade Treaty' that would establish and maintain a national control system, with lists provided to the U.N.'s Secretariat. From that and much more, it is clear that the progressive left in general, and this administration in particular, would like to end the protections provided by the 2nd Amendment as we know it, and that we must oppose them by informing ourselves and speaking up.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Materialist's inversion: When power is not forced to serve Truth, truth is abandoned for Power - Progress or Regress pt.4c

Yesterday's post illustrated a few useful points of History to keep in mind: that savagery is normal, even easy, for human beings, that power over others is naturally tempting for people to seek after and to excuse using in order to maximize their political and personal security. And maybe most important of all, that neither primitive grass skirts, fashionable tweed jackets, nor their accompanying technology (or lack thereof) are reliable indicators of whether or not the people wearing those clothes are savages themselves.

We also left off noting that it would be the simplest and the most natural thing in the world to be socialized into such a society - unless you happen to experience the interference of something which somehow helps to dispel that society's illusions, rather than being drawn in to them. What that is and how to magnify it is a question that's worth asking, continually, because doing so is what leads you to steady Progress, upwards and outwards from the societal baseline. But examining that, for the most part, will have to wait for a later post; not that we won't see hints and flashes of it here and there, but as important as that certain something is, we've still got to get a clearer picture of what it is that we hope to make real progress away from. Because if you don't have a clear idea of what regressive movement would be, we're all too easily tempted to pursue what unknowingly cannot lead to real progress, and so confusing motion itself with making real Progress, and History is replete with this tragic trajectory, we become Pro-Regressive instead.

A worthwhile distinction to make is that while savagery is the historic norm for humanity, being natural, has almost nothing to do with whether it is Right or Good. And if you'll continue to question appearances, you find that the features with which a society naturally flatters itself with, being 'Modern'; having technological skills, material wealth, and a wide web of cultural habits and stylized dress; you'll find that they are not only not, in and of themselves, marks of real progress, but more often than not they are the means of suppressing worthwhile change and avoiding real progress, dressing their natural savagery up in more appealing clothes. The widespread acceptance of the significance of appearances ( from race to technology to fashion) and unquestionably meaningful and distinctive, is a sign that most people are unaware of or unconcerned about the differing directions that Progress and Regress would lead them in.

The problem of Materialism isn't in pursuing stuff, but in becoming stuff
The features of the societal baseline worth taking note of are not those features that seem so very different on their surfaces - remember from the last post that despite what appearances might lead you to expect, the anthropologist's academic brethren behaved every bit as savagely as the Yanomamö did. And so as with other appearances, from war paint to web pages, they are but variations and elaborations on the eternal theme of getting, protecting, and in one way or another, becoming, stuff - the fruits of power. And by 'stuff' I do not mean Money, or 'Property', but the mental action of reducing them to possessions; so that these very different things are easily mistaken for being one and the same. The problem of materialism isn't the quest for more material goods - antibiotics and Smart Phones can be fantastic things to have, improve on, and get more of - but the process of seeing ourselves and our ideals as little more than materials that we desire more of for utility, gain, attaining pleasures and overcoming obstacles, is. The truth is that reducing our goals to these won't differentiate them from of the goals of any other savage in any way other than that of fashion.

The action of seeing people and values as but materials for your goals, is the materialist inversion, and is a most common and time honored societal norm, and key to redirecting movement towards the societal baseline, rather than away from it, and when you seem to see all change reduced to appearances, it's a trick you'll willingly perform upon yourself - a judo flip of the soul.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Savagery has a History in the past and the present - Progress or Regress pt.4b

In yesterday's post I proposed taking a trip into the not so distant past, for two reasons. The second reason was the more traditional of the two, to more clearly see the troubles of our present. Has anyone ever fed you that line before? How is that supposed to help? Has anyone ever sat up in History Class (or the 'social studies' that passes for it), and asked
"Why? Why do I need to know what so & so did x hundred years ago?!"
If the answer they give you is only that it's for you to learn 'important and and useful cultural references', you might want to consider leaving. If their answer is 'to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past', you should probably go ahead and get up and start for the door. If their answer is 'to get an appreciation for diverse points of view', I suggest burning rubber to get out of there.

Not that those points, even the last one, aren't useful, and even necessary results of 'inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation' (the original Greek definition of History), they are, but they are not, in and of themselves, separately or combined, worth your wasting hours of your life every week to 'learn'. The purpose, the benefit, the value of studying history, aside from it being just plain interesting (and if yours isn't, then you are probably studying it from a... let me guess... 'textbook'? RUN!) is to gain a better understanding of yourself and your position in your life, and how to better your life, here and now. History enables you to identify and familiarize yourself with the tendencies that are common to men in society everywhere, meaning common not only to those of the past, present & future - but to that space between your own two ears as well,

History isn't for learning about dead people, but about the living, about yourself, so that you can understand something of, and develop the habit of reflecting upon, how people end up doing what they do - that is after all, what History is made of. If you aren't trying to put yourself in the minds of those you are reading about, if you aren't managing to, in some way, identify with the thinking of the slave holder as well as the slave, then you aren't learning any lessons worth the time you're spending on learning them.

Seriously. And if that isn't what you get out of history, or if it seems that those teaching it to you are intent on your not getting those valuables out of their lessons, then you should either figure out how to do it yourself, or get the heck out of there, or if that's not possible, at least do some serious daydreaming.

But I digress. Back to why we're here.

The first reason I'd given was a fairly tangible one: to begin to identify a 'societal baseline', a recognizable point which any sound claims of progress should be clearly moving your society away from, rather than back towards.

Make sense?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow & Moral Mondays: The Recognition of Progress begins with its absence - Progress or Regress pt.4a

Movement is only progress if it moves in the right direction. That's a fairly non-controversial remark to make, right? I can't imagine that there'd be too many who would argue with that, saying "Nah, it doesn't matter which way you move, forwards or backwards, it's all progress, right?!" Right?
Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
Power without wisdom falls by its own weight:

Horace - Odes Book III, ode iv, line 65.

Yet many people blithely, even enthusiastically, promote those political actions they find superficially pleasing, without bothering to consider whether or not those actions are good, or even can be good. And forgive me if my bias is showing, but yes Gwenyth Paltrow, I'm looking at you, for saying this:
“It would be wonderful if we are able to give this man all the power he needs to accomplish the things he needs to,”
, because I do take it as uncontroversial - I pray that it is - that wanting to give an already powerful head of state even more power, and with fewer restraints upon that power to do as they please, is an exceedingly poorly thought out... thought.

Any arguments with that? No? Good.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don’t know whether or not the actions you are taking are good, if you haven’t carefully considered what those actions mean, what premises they rely upon, and what they are likely to lead to, and yet you advocate for them because of the fond feelings you have for them (whether Left, Right or Center matters not), can you really be said to be for ‘Progress’? You might be Pro-Furthering your personal agenda of the Left, Right or Center, but that cannot legitimately be called Pro-> Progress. True?

Can any of you tell me how taking any action at all, differs from taking an action you find pleasing but don't understand? Anyone? Personally I find it difficult to see the difference between the two. And unfortunately many of our leaders, intellectuals, business leaders, reporters, legal counsels, members of congress and legislators, are more of Paltrow's mind, than mine.

How could such a thing possibly be Progress? And the answer of course, is that it can't. A further answer is that when people speak of Progress... they don't know what they are talking about - and worse - they don't know that they don't know what Progress is, or what it could not be.

That's a problem. Especially since everyone is running around urging us to make progress, could anything come of that but Regress? No. Which means that what such people are actually advocating for is Pro-Regressive. That's disturbing. Isn't it?

This is not simply a political matter, it is far greater than that, and I'm continually amazed that the question of Progress vs Pro-Regress is not seen as a bi-partisan, tri-partisan, if not entirely non-partisan affair. But too many otherwise intelligent people that I know are oblivious to the fact that the positions they are advancing, have far more to do with ideas that are entirely regressive, rather than progressive - and it is their ignorance which has enabled the dangerous state of foolishness we have today, where people laugh at 'brainless' starlets, yet nod at 'deep thinkers' who say the very same things, but with more words.

For those who may be riled up by that, can you explain why? Can you base your explanation upon anything other than a reference to what some party, politician or other such person said or did? And can you explain in your own words, why? If you can, please do, I've been waiting a very long time to hear from you. Otherwise, I'll continue.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

DESE: Facilitating the control of your education

Show Me MO Shame!
I spent two days last week in our state capital of Jefferson City, becoming a member of one of the work groups tasked with rewriting our states educational curriculum standards over the course of the next year. While I was there I learned a nice lesson in self governance, and the consequences of its abandonment, a lesson that was willingly taught by DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). Their lesson was very instructive, in one part teaching how to use chaos to control the sale, and in the other part how it is just as important what you do not to do, and not allow to be done, as is what you offer to and intend to do.

If you want to understand this lesson yourself, as well as how you and your children's education is being sold down the river by it, then there are five key issues that need to be addressed:
  1. Why do we have work groups to write our curriculum standards.
  2. Were the work groups convened with an eye towards success.
  3. If not, why.
  4. What does DESE need for a win.
  5. What does Missouri need for a win.
1) The issue here is that the state of Missouri recently passed a law, HB1490, to undertake the significant task of rewriting our educational curriculum standards.The sole reason why this law was passed, was because of DESE's ham-fisted and incompetent attempts over the last several years to roll-out their pet Common Core standards by steam rolling them over any and all questions, debates, and opposition. That behavior infuriated both parents and teachers alike and caused the Missouri Legislature, Left and Right, to pass HB1490 into law, stating that our curriculum standards will be written by representatives from across the state of Missouri, selected from experienced teaching professionals and parents selected by Missouri's Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate Pro Tempore.

2) To successfully lead large numbers of people, departments, divisions and other entities who may have either no history of working together, or worse, a history of working poorly together, there's a common practice to follow. To getting all members working towards a unified goal, the formula would be to,
  • Kick it off by gathering all parties together in one place for a launch meeting,
  • giving leaders from the various stake holders involved an opportunity to set the general tone and key points for the project;
  • clarify your project's purpose and getting understanding and buy in from the various departments and people involved.
  • let participants know who they'll be working with and making them aware of any slots yet to be filled,
  • establish clear channels for coordinating efforts and preserving communication between the several groups,
  • informing all of who will be attending meetings, who to contact with questions,
, and so forth.