Monday, October 14, 2019

Happy Columbus Day!

I do think it's time to re-post this, from Columbus Day, 2015 - Why? Because after years of being bombarded with unsubstantiated charges and hysterical outrage from the most outrageous folks imaginable, I think it's time, even with as small a nod as this is, to explicitly disregard the rantings of the failed and the botched, and to lift a glass of cheer and celebrate the heroic adventures of those who actually dared to do what others feared; deeds which, even though tinged with a great deal of error, led to the greatest advances for mankind in all of our nations known histories. Celebrate this day, even moreso because everything it represents is loathed and feared today by those who oppose celebrating this day (as the 'Sultan of Knish' said so well) of commemorating the voyage that Christopher Columbus undertook to take in 1492.

 IOW:

  Happy Columbus Day!
"In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."

If you don't know the rest, or refuse to repeat it, your ignorance is too deep for me to fix in so little time and space. I won't bother a protest, qualification, any hint of apology or take any other sort of a defensive stand on what is and should be recognized and celebrated on this day.

What we like to think of Captain Kirk doing, Christopher Columbus actually did, and he did it without electronic wizardry, without science officers or communication specialists or even replaceable extras in red shirts, but with only wooden boats, a compass and a number of guesses about how the extent of the world might be shaped.

He and some ninety crew, set out on an uncharted ocean with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, and it was incredibly brave and bold, and resulted in Western Civilization expanding westward around the globe, and even entertaining the notion that we today need to defend or justify that, is not only stupidity on stilts, but a repudiation of all that is good.

In fourteen hundred ninety-twoColumbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know How to find the way to go....
If what Christopher Columbus ventured and accomplished isn't laudable and self-evident bad-assery to you, begone and darken my door no more, but do so with my Happy Columbus Day! ringing in your ears.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Red Flag down on the battleground of our Bill of Rights: the American Mind - To Keep and Bear Arms Across Time - pt6

The Bill of Rights which once defined and united us as Americans, is now the issue which least defines and most divides us. Unfortunately what we are so divided over is not what those amendments of the Bill of Rights were written to protect - our individual rights - but over various particulars involved in aspects of exercising them, while the rights themselves are rarely even mentioned. This is especially noticeable in the targeting of the first two, as the importance of those rights that are protected under them, in favor of spittle spewing matches over particular types of speech: 'hate speech','divisive', etc, or in favor of shrieking hysterically over one of the particular types of arms which the 2nd Amendment secures from abuse for us: Guns. This is not the behavior of people who understand and are concerned with the 'inalienable' nature of their individual rights, but that of a people who consider such rights (to the extent they do at all) for their utilitarian usefulness or nuisance value, to the conveniences of everyday living.

This lack of interest is a tri-partisan affair, shared by most on the Left and Right and the non-aligned, so it's not surprising that the rights that are protected by the first and second amendments, are treated not as individual rights, but as lists of privileges that were permitted to us in the past by an old landlord, but which need to be tinkered with so as to be made more useful for the 'greater good' today. In everything from Beto O'Rourke's 'Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47', to Mitch McConnell & Atty General Barr's memo proposing 'common sense gun laws' (for political purposes), we're awash in proposed legislative assaults such as Red Flag laws, Safe Speech Zones, national gun registration databases, Hate Speech Laws, waiting periods, 'gun buy-backs' or flat out confiscations, all are proposed as a means to alter and reform us by adjusting this or that environmental factor in society, to bring about the 'change!' that they so desire to see in you & me.

The fact that there is absolutely no proof that such tinkerings have ever, or will ever work (and much to indicate that they make matters tragically worse), or that their marching and chanting has more in common with efforts to work sympathetic magic than with objective law, doesn't sway them for a moment, should hint at just how contentedly disconnected from reality such people are - the flashing lights and sounds of the political games they are playing, and their relative ranking amongst the players, are more than enough reward for them.

The responses of those who do still grasp the importance and inalienable nature of our rights, shy away from the virtue signaling and calls for limiting everyone's liberty because the criminal actions of a few, they focus on reminding us of the dangers which these proposals pose to our lives, individual rights and responsibilities; the sober need to punish actual wrongs, and the importance of having a deeper understanding of these important principles. The people who care about our individual rights, tend to see you, not as a statistical blip in a political pinball game, but as a human being, and the need to be secure from our own worst and best intentions, because they see the deep and widespread damage which such tinkering will have on our ability to live lives worth living. Case in point, Dana Loesch's comments about the various proposals of Red Flag laws, has been focused on what most other people seem to work so hard at not noticing, that these proposals are reckless attacks not just on guns, but are attacks [as all regulatory law is] upon concepts that are fundamental to all of our rights, such as “innocent until proven guilty":
1) #RedFlagLaws are an inversion of “innocent until proven guilty.” The standard of evidence is low and while state laws vary, many different people, not just family, can report you.
, and the right to face your accusers:
2) You don't have to be in the room (and advance notice isn't required) for the petition to be granted meaning you must wait to defend yourself. Most laws provide no penalty for abuse and no state law allows for civil cause of action against false accusers.
, a speedy trial,
3) Time varies as to how long until respondents can have their day in court. A study conducted on Indiana's law, which said 14 day wait, revealed that the average wait was 9 months. Rights delayed are rights denied.
, and more, while doing nothing to solve the crisis they strive not to let go to waste, no matter what harm they may cause,
4) @davekopel , who has done excellent research on this, has noted that of the four states with the oldest gun confiscation laws, Connecticut, Indiana, California, and Washington, no research has revealed any statistical reduction in crime. #RedFlagLaws​ (Also still No. 4) Furthermore, Kopel notes that nearly 1/3 of such orders are improperly issued against innocent people."
"5) No advance notice is given ahead of serving a #RedFlag order. That worked out horribly for Maryland resident Gary Willis, who was shot and killed when answering his door early morning before the sun was up. This puts LEO in a HORRIBLE position of enforcing these orders," Loesch continued. "
6) Counsel is not provided (Blumenthal draft does, it's of little solace considering), meaning you could be like FL man Jonathan Carpenter, who is waging an expensive court battle to clear his name and reclaim his property because his name was too similar to a drug dealer's."
"7) We aren't arresting people, we're arresting guns. State laws ignore the very reason the petition was granted in the first place: danger resulting in violence or mental instability. No mental evaluations given, no charges for a crime," Loesch continued. "
8) How will confiscated firearms be stored? Local police will be tasked with figuring out storage and bearing the cost of any liability or insurance -- at a time when some struggle with budgets to afford body cams."
"9) This isn't just about the 2nd Amendment. It doesn't matter if you're a 'gun nut' or even own guns. The deconstruction of due process calls into question your 5th and 14th Amendment rights, too," Loesch continued. "
10) Lastly (not really, but I'm sticking to 10), if there is enough evidence to strip you of your rights THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CHARGE YOU or commit you. There are NUMEROUS other options to start fixing this problem WITHOUT sacrificing due process."
Those shrieking for such legislative assaults shrug off concerns for the dangers posed to all, they take it as a given that because some people are dangerous, all should be disarmed of their rights. They take no concern for the likelihood that Red Flag laws will be made use of by the same sorts of people that continue accusing Bret Kavenaugh of high crimes and misdemeanors with less than zero evidence, and those who will destroy lives and reputations in order to further their ideological agenda, out of fear for what a person might do to their favorite cause. This shouldn't be surprising, as the nature of those who act on their good intentions, do so because they expect pleasing outcomes, and consequently the question that is always on the minds of those who intend to 'do good', is not 'should they do these things', but "How best to get around those ten amendments?" in order to transform our lives into something better suited to meet their expectations of their treasured 'greater good'.

Ever since James Madison introduced his first draft of our Bill of Rights as "... an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive ...", it has been seen as, and has served as, something of a 'No Trespassing!' sign thrust into the faces of those who, seeing themselves as being 'the best of us', seek the power to do what they so clearly see that the rest of us need done to us, for our own good, a good which they are supremely confident is in their ability, and responsibility, to bring about, for their vision of 'the greater good'. When you hear and see those who respond to tragic events by shrieking for more laws to ban, censor, reform and re-educate, you know that you're in the presence of a Pro-Regressive of the Left or Right who's seeking to use our laws to tinker with and control your life, as a pinball wizard might shake the table and bang its flippers to control the movement of a pinball through to winning the game.

We are not in a Left vs Right battle, but in one between those who believe in the reality of truth and its centrality to what is good, and those who prefer to think that good is what poll numbers show to be preferred by sufficient quantities of people, and then to pragmatically taking whatever actions would be most useful in making those things 'work'. When you hear some calling for 'common sense' laws to limit your rights and power to live your own life, what you should hear is a call to ignore what is real and true, in favor of what they prefer and find most appealing. It bears repeating: The battleground of our individual rights today, is not primarily on the field of politics or popular culture, but upon our understanding of and regard for what is real and true, versus how pragmatically utilitarian views could be useful in making things 'work'.

No Conspiracies needed - Only a point of view -
If you wonder how this has all come about, I think that the most important point to consider is the way in which we got here:

  • Willingly
Until we realize that, and how, we are unlikely to understand why it's happened, why it's a problem, or how we can even begin to find a way towards remedying it. It was the once widespread understanding of the inalienable nature of our individual rights that enabled the Bill of Rights to serve so effectively in preventing government from trespassing upon our individual rights and powers for so long, but once We The People faltered in seeing those rights as being vital to the hard work of living lives worth living as human beings, and more as things that might help or hinder us in pursuing an easier path to pleasantries, popularity and entertainment... our willingness to thrust the Bill of Rights' 'No Trespassing!' sign in the faces of those who also intend to 'do good' unto us, also began to falter.

For those of us who desperately want the Bill of Rights to remain standing guard, it's important to understand how such vital rights are transformed into merely useful things in people's minds, and to recognize what it is that we ourselves habitually do, which aids them in that. Those who want to find a way 'through the gate or over it', intuitively follow a pattern of actions which circumvent them, and it requires focusing on anything but what the point of each amendment is about, and that gives the battleground over without a fight. How is that done? Conspiracy? Nope, just seeking to 'do good' for useful reasons, with little understanding of the the fundamentals involved or of the consequences likely to follow from such actions, and in the process, all the barriers you would've put up to doing what you may secretly have most wanted to do, fall.

Denis Prager formulated an excellent expression for this, is:
"GI - W = E", which means, "Good Intentions (GI) minus Wisdom (W) leads to Evil (E)."
Sums it up well. It takes real thoughtfulness and attention to be able to see self evident truths and to avoid unexpected evils, and all it takes to blind people to them is by not mentioning their need to do so. Our educational system has been deliberately not doing that for well over a century, and the pay off for that has been the endlessly entertaining spittle spewing matches over everything except what should be attended to and considered, and the steady encroachment of govt power on our politically essential individual rights which the Bill of Rights was written and ratified to defend and protect, moves on.

One way to notice more of what mostly goes unnoticed in all the spittle spewing matches, is to, for just a moment, ignore the language of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and looking instead at what they were written for.
  • 1st Amendment's purpose is to shield your actions from government interfering in your right to think, question, worship, assemble, and hold your government to account.
  • The 2nd Amendment's purpose is to preserve your right to defend your life and what is rightfully yours, by forbidding government from interfering in your ability to keep & bear those arms which you deem best suited to that purpose.
Now compare that with how their opponents attack them:
  • The 1st Amendment's protections are reduced to only 'free speech', and while it makes no mention of what kind of speech it is to protect, the amendment is attacked for permitting 'Hate Speech!' to be spoken.
  • The 2nd Amendment's protections for your ability to protect you and yours, is reduced to being a permit for, not even arms, but to what the amendment makes no mention whatsoever of, guns - today the AR-15 and yesteryear the .38 'Saturday Night Special' handgun - and it's then attacked (and defended) by behaving as if that's what it's all about.
By such means, both amendments are scarified and polarized and reduced down into more easily assailable particulars of 'Hate Speech' and 'Assault Rifles', through our ignorance of and inattention to their purposes, and without reference to or concern for those rights which they were written to secure us from govt trespasses, and if unchecked both they and all the other individual rights which are protected by them, will vanish along with their abridgment. And yet, predictably, the issue has devolved into actively preventing 'hateful' speakers from assembling, worshiping, or speaking, and all arms are reduced to some guns which are to be banned, and those 'arguments' are made through attacks that are promoted by those who are most willing to be loud, obnoxious and even violent.

Of course these assaults are made most effective with the unwitting co-operation of its enemies and its defenders. We are awash today with those who oppose guns, and who oppose offensive speech, but equally damaging are those who weakly or misguidedly defend particular things, be they types of speech or particular guns, rather than the right which that amendment preserves, consequently they either emphatically defend keeping all guns (which is itself a concession against all arms), or those who concede that some (and implicitly all) guns are scary and require regulations upon them, or those who assault freedom of speech with campaign finance laws or calls to 'get tough on' hate speech. This is what both Beto's 'Hell yes we're coming for your assault rifles!', and GOP's eagerness to agree to 'common sense' background checks and red flag laws, have in common, and exemplify. Neither one deals with those rights which a well lived life depends upon, but only with permitting those things that promise to make the daily activities of life easier, safer and more pleasant. Of course making life easier, safer and more pleasant is not a bad thing, but making that the point and purpose of life, is, and using law to ensure that is the key to the gates of hell on earth.

Another problem here, is that along with the desire to 'do good!', comes the hunger for enough (which always translates as: more), and the need for enough power (which always translates as: more) to do that good unto you, and of course the need to have enough power (which always translates as: more) over those in their way. The desire to 'do good!', coupled with the pragmatic desire to ignore what's true, in favor of what will seem to work, for now, can easily accomplish the destruction of any system of laws and justice, no matter how good and strong they might be. Look around you for reference

We are where we are today because we willingly went along with pursuing the useful and 'greater good' in our schools, in our politics, and in our lives. Moving the direction of your thoughts and purposes from what is Good & True, to what is useful - of utility - is not only the means of, but the actual action of, diminishing individual rights in the substance of your thinking. Not only is accepting that utilitarian purpose a means to tyrannical ends, but the danger of that is inherent in the very moment of accepting that as your purpose, as it philosophically dissolves the conceptual substance of those rights within your own mind, as surely as salt chemically dissolves into water, or a 'conservatives' spine dissolves in Washington D.C.

Making usefulness the point of your thoughts and actions, on that purpose which is common to its attackers and its 'defenders' - it serves their needs and their purpose and their vision of the 'greater good', and not the Right itself. It's at this point in time that our newly denatured rights must battle it out for popularity with every other preference that's been newly elevated to the status of 'rights!' - 'Gay rights' and 'Worker's rights', and 'Women's rights', 'Gun rights', 'Constitutional Rights!', 'Right to live near work!', 'Right not to be offended!'. As a result of that continual popularity contest, we are explicitly dividing our culture and ourselves apart from what was once an integrated one, back into a fragmented many, and as it's being done at the very root of our national identity, it's progressively eroding our understanding of our inherently individual rights, into group based privileges of power, which feed upon supplying you with what you 'need', which always involves threats to other group's power, and requires more and more power be given to the state, in order to satisfy ever more competing 'needs'.

It's not a plan that has or will lead to anything actually good.

There's more to say about that process of pitting our individual rights against 'Rights!', to the detriment of our liberty, which... I'll get to in the next post.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Happy Constitution Day - The 232nd Birthday of considering the greatest of all reflections on the perils of human nature

[Combining two previous posts marking what today apparently doesn't warrant a 'Google Doodle', it is the 232nd birthday of the United States Constitution. Learn it or lose it... and the liberty it was written to preserve.]
Today marks the completion of what both Patriot and Protester, knowingly or not, are unified in referencing. What was signed as completed upon this day, two hundred and thirty-two years ago, September 17th, 1787, by thirty-nine of the fifty-five Framers, was the Constitution of the United States of America, and whether you stand in respect for, or disrespectfully turn away from, the Flag, the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance, you do so in reference to that document which is the oldest existing instrument of its kind, still in operation.

Why?

Is it simply a list of rules for governing by? Is it nothing more than a favorite fossil of 'white people'? A document of oppression? Frederick Douglass once thought so, but because he was a thinker in order to understand what was true, he didn't stop with answers that were given him by others, but continued on thinking upon the matter, and discovered the Truth which such vile falsehoods seek to smother and erase.

But today I'm really not much concerned with your answers to those 'points', but am only interested in whether or not you are familiar with the ideas, principles and purposes which animated the writing of it - are you? And if not... what worth can your opinion - pro or con - have for me, or for anyone else?

Whether you mouth its praises, or make showy protests against it, without understanding what it is you are referencing - your praises and protestations fail to even rise to the level of being wrong, they are but verbal dust to be brushed away, meaningless and of no consequence. But if you are one of that thoughtless many, you may take comfort in the knowledge that you are in the happy company of millions of such Pavlovian 'Conservatives', Pro-Regressive Leftists and Libertarians, for whom the United States Constitution is little more than a paper bell which they bark at.

But for those of you who do see it, not as a mere object of ink upon paper, for those of you who don't insult the memory of they who strove to produce it as having been anything other than men of flesh and blood, for you who understand that it was written so as to give physical form to, and to best enable, the implementation of some of the greatest political ideas of Western Civilization -
  • that Individual Rights result from the nature of being human("...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."),
  • that men who understand that are capable of self governance,
  • that well ordered argument can lead to a self-correcting means of governance,
  • that such a system, established by such a people, can enable lives lived in liberty while in society with others, so long as the beast of Power is bound down and limited by laws whose purpose is to uphold and defend the Individual Rights of every person
, and that for such a people, intellectually armed through a document such as this, Liberty is possible.

But it is only possible for those who understand that.

For those intemperate folk who simply wish to sing the praises of, or rain curses down upon, that which they know little or nothing of, so that they can 'do what they will', as they want, because they desire to... well for them, as Edmund Burke said in the face of the debut of Fascism:
“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
Whether you are 'for or against it', especially on this day, in our day, you'd be wise to consider what would happen if we should lose the last vestiges of it, and those protections it uniquely extends to both sides.

For those of you who already do, or who are at least willing to make the effort to, understand those ideas which animated the framing of this document, those of you who understand that such principles and ideas as these cannot be owned by any race or culture, but can only be discovered by some for the benefit of all, then by virtue of that understanding, you and I are unified through these thoughts which were so well formed, written down, and 'completed' (and not to forget the first debate on amending its completion), on 'the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven'.

What is it that we celebrate today, Constitution Day, but the efforts of our Founding Fathers, 232 years ago, to harness the pursuit of power, and force it to serve the pursuit of happiness? It is simply the greatest achievement in history, to date, to enable men to live in liberty, with one another, while disagreeing with each other, under the protection of the Rule of Law.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
It's worth noting that our Founding Generation found the efforts of the Framers of the Constitution... wanting. They very nearly refused to ratify the document, not because it wasn't an elegant solution to harnessing power, but because they felt it didn't go far enough in securing our Individual Rights. But, in the end, they took a risk, that politicians could be trusted to provide the lacking Bill of Rights afterwards, and though they almost reneged, James Madison insisted that their word be kept, and though he disliked the idea of a Bill of Rights, he submitted a series of amendments which, after vigorous debate, became the original Ten Amendments to the Constitution that we know of as the Bill of Rights, amended to the Constitution for the purpose of restraining the power which the Constitution harnessed into the hands of men:
"Begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789.
The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;--"
Madison didn't dislike the idea of a Bill of Rights because he didn't want to secure our Rights, but because he feared that any list of Rights, in the hands of politicians, would serve as snares and loopholes to all our Rights, limiting them to only those words written upon parchment. But in the process of writing his amendments, he hit upon the ideas that would become our 9th and 10th Amendments, reserving all those Rights and Powers not listed, to the people and those powers not listed, to the states.

And now we are engaged in an elections, an election, "testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." If you have not considered what rests at the core of our Constitution, the balancing of powers against powers, forcing ambition to serve liberty... not an easy task. As Madison put it in Federalist #51:
"But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack..Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."
Coming into another election year, forget about the personalities of the candidates, and look at what they propose. Consider whether or not a federal agency that can arbitrarily decree that Americans must purchase no less than four gallons of gasoline; consider whether or not that power is balanced against anything at all, so as to serve your liberty - or to extinguish it.

Our Constitution was devised so as to put Government at the service of your ability to live your own life. Is it still serving that function, or imperiling it? That's a question you'd better consider, because it will determine the direction of this government turns towards, or forever away from, enabling you, your children and your children's children, to live their own lives - or not.

One final point, whether you are an old hand with, or relatively new to, this document and its ideas, I take it as an obvious point that your reading of it can be greatly improved and informed by those arguments for, and against it, that were in the minds of those who debated the writing and ratifying of it. One of the best tools I've ever found for considering and reflecting upon the whole or particular parts of the Constitution, is the University of Chicago's site "The Founders Constitution". Scroll down on the contents page and you'll find that it goes through the Constitution clause by clause, and that each is supplied with a list of links to those relevant portions of not only the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, but to documents which the Founders had in mind when writing the Constitution, to what the Anti-Federalists objected to (this is particularly helpful in understanding the arguments for the Constitution which the Federalist Papers make), as well as early Supreme Court opinions and judgments that were relevant to that clause being acted upon, as well as the commentaries by early Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (which are fantastic).

Without further ado:

Constitution of the United States and the First Twelve Amendments 1787--1804

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected as follows

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article. III.

Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage in the Senate.


Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, The Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page. Attest William Jackson Secretary
done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

Go: Washington--Presidt. and deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire { John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman
}
Massachusetts { Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King
Connecticut { Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman
New York Alexander Hamilton
New Jersey { Wil: Livingston
David Brearley.
Wm. Paterson.
Jona: Dayton
Pensylvania { B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris
Delaware { Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom
Maryland { James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl Carroll
Virginia { John Blair--
James Madison Jr.
North Carolina { Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson
South Carolina { J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler.
Georgia { William Few
Abr Baldwin
Amendments to the Constitution
Preamble to the first ten Amendments:

Congress of the United States; Begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789. 
The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;--


Article I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article II - A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article III - No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article IV - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Article VII - In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article VIII - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article X - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 1, Document 9

The University of Chicago Press
Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States. Edited by Charles C. Tansill. 69th Cong., 1st sess. House Doc. No. 398. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1927.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The 9/11 Copybook Heading - Doubling down (Once again)

Doubling down on their efforts to deny and rewrite reality, the New York Times today tweeted that "... airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center...", which they've for some reason deleted. Why, I can't imagine, as they also ran a full story today "The Twin Towers After September 11: A Tribute or a Painful Reminder?" which mentions neither 'islamist' nor 'terrorist'.

As I've said many times before, in everything from this B.S., to the 57 genders, to ilhan omar talking about 'somone did something', what the Pro-Regressive opposes most, and is most terrified of, is identifying what is real and true. It burns. Well... burn 'em.

On September 11th, 2001, islamic terrorists attacked America by hijacking four passenger planes, and turned them into weapons that killed 3,000 Americans. And they were able to do that, because for decades we failed to identify their nature and the nature of the threat they posed to Western Civilization in general, and to America in particular.

Remember that... or be prepared for the Gods of the Copybook Heading's, return to remind us, once again. And now, I return you to September 11th:

[I first posted this back in 2012, and I haven't seen anything from then thru now, to alter my opinion. Worse, especially in light of the GOP not only ignoring warnings but permitting the Iran Deal to not only go forward, but to schedule the vote on it on Friday, Sept. 11th, 2015 - I can do no less than double down on it.[and of course the newest 'Iran Deal' in 2016, and with paying billions of dollars in ransom... nothing's changed]

There's no doubt that we will remember 9/11 for quite some time to come, but what we remember and why, is far less certain.

More than remembering where I was 11 years ago, I remember how we got there. By denying the reality of what we faced in the World Trade Center bombing, the hijacking of airliners and cruise ships, the bombing of our interests around the world and of the USS Cole, by refusing to deal with evil as is required, evil strolled up and gave us a hug on 9/11, 11 years ago.

Have we learned the lesson? I don't even need to turn on the News to know that the answer is: Not even close.

The cost has been, and no doubt will again be, the likes of 9/11, as the Gods of the Copybook Headings limp up to explain it once more... reasoning with those who are unreasonable, giving measured responses in reply to savagery, enables the evil to harm the good. Remember this 9/11, that 'measured responses' are why those who attacked us on 9/11, 11 years ago, were still alive and able to attack us - the fruition of a decade worth of 'measured responses'.

Leftists deny the existence of Evil, and 'Conservatives' deny the necessity of dealing with evil as the evil that they are. Fearing that Just retribution brings us 'down to their level', they insist on 'reasonable' and 'measured' responses, blind to the fact that such measures extend a hand up to evil, which it will use to reach up and hammer you in the face - the face they never could have reached without the aid of those 'measured responses'.

Conservatives like O'Reilly are the reason why I'm uncomfortable calling myself a Conservative. For conversations sake, I use the term as a shorthand, half-step towards the more accurate term, Classical Liberal. And I have a holy hell full of spite for the ProRegressive Leftists who have made it necessary to tack 'Classical' onto that.

If the policy of the interviewee in this video, Leonard Peikoff, had been followed back in 2001, I believe we'd have been done worrying about Iran & the Middle East a decade ago. Instead, we followed the lead of dunderheads like O'Reilly, whose 'measured responses' have drawn the conflict out, strengthened Iran and put us in the position we are in today.

A proper foreign policy is "Mind your own business & we'll mind ours. Mess with us or ours, and we'll destroy you. Period."

Anything less, reasoning with those who are unreasonable, giving measured responses in reply to savagery, etc., are concessions and only serve to enable those who wish us harm. The history of the last couple decades is that of those who wish us harm, understanding this truth, and understanding that we don't understand it, and using it to play us to their benefit.

And the cost has been, and will be, the likes of 9/11, as once again, as the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more:

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Please, try to remember 9/11 as the lesson we won't have to learn once more.

Reality will not be denied, and Evil will not be turned aside because you choose to turn away from it. Deny that, and the Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return. Please. Just face the facts and learn the lesson so we don't have to learn it once more.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Our Lack of Causes for Mass Shootings - The deadly effects of treating effects as causes pt.2 of 2

There are more causes than we can count for why so many people today have so little interest in living lives worth living or showing respect for human life - theirs or others. While we can't say what causes any one person to choose to murder as many of their fellows as they can manage, we can identify some causes for why living respectful and worthwhile lives was not central to the lives they chose to live out in our midst, and IMHO identifying why so many lack that is more meaningful to know than the endless and meaningless details of these shooters lives that are obsessed over in our tragically repeating news cycle.

I pointed out in the previous post that causation in human affairs was once understood to have a deeper more pyramidal structure than the cartoonishly flattened out 'cause & effect' (see gun->shoot people, hate brown skin-> shoot all skins, be bullied by someone-> shoot everyone, etc.,) accepted today, and pointed out how at least one central issue that is lacking in each of these shooters, is also lacking in those who shriek the loudest afterwards about disarming their fellows ability to defend themselves against such attacks - shooters and shriekers alike lack a regard for that fundamental ideal that America was formed from and upon: a respect for individual rights. This absence is 'present' in all levels of our society today, and should be even more disturbing to us than these mass shootings which are its most extreme effects, and the fact that most who lack that ideal have not yet chosen violence (though a great many do enjoy talking about it), should be cold comfort indeed - we as a society are imperiled not by the things surrounding our lives, but by what is lacking within our lives.

This lack of regard for an ideal that is so fundamental to America is not only concerning, but puzzling, as all societies have a means for understanding, elevating, spreading, and acting on their highest ideals in daily life - why does ours now (for clearly we once had it) lack that? Previously we looked at the effects which the lack of that ideal can have on a individual thoughts and actions, this post will look at what is lacking in our means of transmitting that ideal into the American people. Again, by not getting distracted by the many meaningless effects, and concentrating instead upon what is meaningfully lacking, we can better see the layers of the pyramid of causes from top to bottom - material, formal, efficient and final - in our means of conveying our most fundamental ideals.

A Material Cause
The ideal of individual rights is vital to the mind of any who is deliberately an American, but despite their good intentions it is unlikely to be sustained alone in a person for long, without the support of that person's habits, actions and aspirations, which is what makes a person's character the Material Cause (“that out of which” something is done) of their behavior.

Of course one essential character trait that's present in those who are not inclined to slaughter their fellows, is that they value and admire living a good life, and doing so requires them to have developed a habit of making choices that are respectful of what is real and true and good, which in turn requires a person to have developed a habit and method of thinking - IOW a reasonable method of asking questions that lead to a deeper understanding of what is true, while identifying and rejecting what is false - and a sufficient wealth of supporting knowledge, understanding and inspiration to draw upon, for successfully carrying their choices towards, safely through, and past, the turbulent passions of the moment.

Having and sustaining a good character is not such an easy thing to do, and an important point to acknowledge about virtuous habits, is that they're an extremely unnatural thing for a human being to seek, develop, and sustain. Even with the benefit of a good character, it is not easy to choose to do what is best and right, over what is easy and tempting, but it's damn near impossible to do so when caught up in the midst of your passions, with no habits or anchoring truths whatsoever, to help you

Monday, August 26, 2019

A culture of shrieking about mass shootings - The deadly effects of treating effects as causes pt1

I held off on responding to the news of the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. Like me, you've heard what happened, you too know the awful arithmetic of the casualty statistics... and the endlessly contentious talking points surrounding them. More than likely you, like me, don't want to hear yet another rehashing of the details of these events, partly because such details of the moment don't change in any meaningful way from one slaughter to the next, and mostly because the ideological agendas they are often shamelessly made to serve on both edges of the aisle, are treated as being more important than the only news that's actually new and important in these events: the particular lives and relationships that've been brutally ended, destroyed and otherwise mangled.

But as horrific and tragic as those effects are, they are but the effects of causes, not the causes themselves, and endlessly dwelling on such effects as the shooters name, ethnicity, religion, angry words, weapon used, favorite politicians, selfies, tweets, apparel...etc., helps no one to better understand the very real causes that lead human beings to deliberately choose to slaughter their fellows. If you want to have a meaningful discussion of those causes which can be identified, then actual causes are what you've got to consider, and sorry, but with apologies to all, bundling a slew of effects together under the labels of 'mental health', 'hatred' & 'racism', won't lead to more meaningful discussions or results, but will only serve as yet another opportunity to trumpet a grisly scorecard in driving an agenda forward.

An Uncomfortable Truth: Those who choose to slaughter their fellows don't do so just because they're 'really angry!' - that may be the excuse given, but more fundamental causes were there well before anger surged them into murderous effects - they do so because they, like the gun-grabbers who shriek about confiscating their fellows means of defending their lives, share a belief in using power to force their will upon the lives of their fellows. Both shooter and shrieker alike have an entrenched disregard for the need of each person to be able to use their best judgment in order to live a life worth living, and both share an ignorance, if not an outright contempt for, the role that plays in being able to be respectful of both their own, and other people's lives.

Is that putting it a bit too uncomfortably? I'll grant you that it's more comfortable chattering on about meaningless effects than it is to consider meaningful causes, but as it's true, I humbly suggest that there's more to be gained by taking a deeper look into those uncomfortable causes, than we'll ever get by chattering on about the same old meaningless effects as if they were meaningful causes. There's a pyramid of deeper causes & ideas (or lack of them) leading up to both the Shooters' & Shreikers' actions, and that entire structure is shared by a great many people throughout our society today, and that should be far more alarming to us than even these horrific slaughters, as they are isolated incidents inflicted upon us by a handful who's character flaws have taken such causes to their most extreme consequences. Imagine what potential horrors might be unleashed as more of their character traits are no longer seen as being flawed... but easily become praised as '“beautiful, painful, and devastating” martyrs for 'the cause'. See the early 20th Century for further reference.

Do you want to tell me that I should be criticizing racism and 'white supremacy' instead? Oh please do, and while you're at it, I'll direct your attention to what it is that racism is itself ultimately a result of: an explicit denial of full humanity 'to some', in exchange for the power to grant unequal powers to a favored few - in ignorance of the fact that to deny our inalienable rights to some, is to deny them to all (themselves included). First and foremost the racist shares in the underlying causal ideas which transform humanity into something less than fully human within their own minds, and the fact that