Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The Concord Hymn - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1837)
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.


I really shouldn't... and I'd rather not have the picture on the same page, but it's too obvious to pass up.
Memorial Day honors those who fought and died in all kinds of weather,

You'd think that those charged with officially remembering them could manage to brave the rain to do so.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The U.S. Constitution vs The Bigotry of The Now And The Shamanic Eye-Roll

I was talking to someone the other day about the problems in the country today, and as I mentioned the Constitution, I noticed a familiar tick that passed across his face at the word… you might have seen it before too… a quick flick downwards of the eyes, a fleeting grin-twitch across the lips… almost as if I’d slipped in a “ya’ll aint” to an grammarian. When I asked what the matter was, there was the ‘Oh… you’re not really going to ask me about this are you?’ look, as if I was forcing them to embarrass me… and with a sort of “Yes, the world really is round” patronizing look, he said ,
“Well… it’s just… the whole ‘Constitution’ thing… I mean… we don’t wear wigs and leg hose anymore either, why should we be bound by something written centuries ago by people who know nothing of us?”
Ah. Well… in that case… do you mean we should just ignore the Constitution?
“Well… we can’t ignore it, it’s just that it means today what we need it to, not what they meant it to mean back then... kinda like the Queen of England... quaint by not especially relevant... we shouldn't let ourselves be bound by what guys in wigs said two centuries ago.”
"We shouldn't be bound by it" that's an interesting way of putting it... it certainly goes well with the world upside down nature of the news these days. Does that same sort of bigotry of The Now apply to other things too? Math for instance?"

"Oh... come on..."

"Ok... how about resisting tyranny? Is that old fashioned too?"

"Well... no... but...."

"Was 'Freedom of speech a bad idea too... or was that good then, but is it just outdated today?"

All I got with that was a sigh. Of course, being a flogger, I didn't let that slow me down, and while I couldn't remember the full quote, I tried the gist of this one from Jefferson,,"
""It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights... Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power... Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go... 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: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:388 "
Got the blank stare for that. "Just not too big on Jefferson, eh?"

Only got an impatient 'Nope'. Just disagree with him and the other wig wearer's?


"So you've read them and disagree with them?" I think he was about to answer 'Yep', but worried that I'd quiz him further (and I would've), but he just said "It's just not as relevant to our world today." I answered that his 'oh so modern' notion, is well over a hundred years old, and was many years old when Woodrow Wilson mouthed it, but that didn't help either, knocked down with another eye-roll - apparently some centuries old stuff is 'modern'... and some is 'outmoded'... depending on the needs of the speaker, I suppose.

Well... I couldn't do much against magic incantations like those eye-rolls and mutterings, spells which have the power to banish the accumulated wisdom of ages with a simple set of shamanic motions and mutterings. So after a moment I thought maybe I'd try out the meaning of Jefferson's quote on him...rather than just the words,

"Well in that case, it might as well be irrelevant, but if so, then what is the use of the Constitution?

If you're left leaning like yourself, I can see that you probably might be mostly happy with how things are proregressing at the moment... but if you know even only a smattering of political history, even just recent history, you know that following a President Carter, there was a President Reagan, right?; and from the other side of the aisle, the conservatives should know that following such a conservative even as that, there will likely be a President Clinton soon afterwards, or maybe just a mixed message like President Bush (I or II), who might lead into someone like an Obamao.

What that should bring to mind, is that while you may very well be happy with the current bunch in the Whitehouse, you may not like the next one, or maybe the one following that, right?

(A sigh and a nod)

So to prevent a future ‘bad’ administration from doing more to you than you’d like, and vice versa for the other sides point of view, don't you think that there should be limits on those in power to limit whatever it is that they want to do?

"Well... sure"

Well... handily enough, we do have just such a set of restrictions on the limits of power. Not only do we have such a set, but it is what our representatives and our judges - and even a President such as Obamao - all solemnly swear, pledge and affirm to uphold and preserve it - and in the case of our military personnel, it is what they pledge their very lives to defending against all enemies, foreign and domestic – it is what they are sworn to die for, if need be.

Given that... got any friends or relatives in the military? 'Yep' Given that they, and others, like my son, have their lives sworn to uphold it, doesn't that seem like something they - and we - should take at least a little bit seriously?

Uncomfortable silence.

At the very least that should give someone pause who might otherwise be tempted to snicker at the mere mention of our constitution, shouldn't it? Nothing else in this land receives such official recognition and is held in such importance and given such legal protection,
...not the President,
...not the Judges,
...not the Flag,
...nor anything else, only this short piece of paper – why?

This Constitution which our government, from its inception in 1787, to now in 2010, finds within this scrap of paper written by old dead white guys, not only every source of every one of it's powers to act, but also lays out the key Rights of our fellow citizens that are to be protected, and far more importantly, there are to be found within it those restraints upon what the government can do to We The People and to the country.

If you don’t trust politicians, or you don’t trust the other side’s politicians, then you should want to know, protect and promote this short outmoded piece of paper, because if you don’t, if you allow your politicians, while they are in power, to act beyond what is constitutional – and the ONLY thing which prevents them is the public’s awareness of their going too far (and believe me, it isn’t the Judges or Congress, it is YOU - if the Law ceases to live in We The People, it will cease to live - and cease to protect you) – then you can be assured that there will be even less restraint upon the other guys when They come to power, and they will be even more able to do whatever they want to do because they Too will feel that what they want to do will be the Right thing to do! And your feeble yelps of ‘not fair’ or even funnier (by that time) ‘that’s not constitutional!’ will fall on deaf ears.

And in that time you will find yourself at the mercy of the political power of the other side of the aisle... so ask yourself now, how will you feel then, and what you wouldn’t then give if you could just go back in time to our time, to today, and say – (or in other words vote) - Stop!

If you don’t do that today, then when some seemingly distant tomorrow becomes today – and in the blink of an eye it will - the opportunity may very well be gone.

The Constitution – use it – or lose it!

And that was of course the end of the argument. He couldn't answer... but with another magic incantation of eye-rolls, and muttered '... just can't talk to you luddites', his spell was cast, absolving him from all need to think any further on this uncomfortable topic, and from the need of making his thoughts conform to reality... with the magic spell weaved... his contradictions were safe and secure, locked up within his super smart and cool leftist brain.

It is baffling... the contradictions the leftist requires that they live by. And while it's good to see that it's not just baffling to me, it isn't only Obama that's always contradicting himself, you simply cannot be a leftist, without blatantly contradicting yourself. Leftist thought requires arbitrary, contradictory positions - it fundamentally means opposition to reality.

It. Is. Unavoidable.

Aristotle had a thing or two to tell us about contradictions, when he first identified it, and called it the 'Law of non-contradiction', here stated in his Metaphysics

"...For a principle which every one must have who understands anything that is, is not a hypothesis; and that which every one must know who knows anything, he must already have when he comes to a special study. Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say. It is, that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject and in the same respect; we must presuppose, to guard against dialectical objections, any further qualifications which might be added. This, then, is the most certain of all principles, since it answers to the definition given above. For it is impossible for any one to believe the same thing to be and not to be, as some think Heraclitus says. ... "
Impossible for anyone but a leftist, that is. Whether or not they aware of what they are doing, the embrace of contradictions (and they are often embraced quite deliberately and lifted up with admiring comments of 'paradoxical' and of complicated personalities) the use of arbitrary statements, the disregard of context, are the chief techniques of sophists and other dishonest fools (aka: Leftists), in order to equivocate and obliterate the possibility of meaning, and absolving themselves from obeying reality.

They have no grasp of Metaphysics or respect for reality... hopefully I'll finally get to that more in my next post.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apologizing for America Early and Often - Slap yourself if you're surprised (updated)

U.S. Asst. Secretary of State, Michael Posner says that in talks with the Communist Chinese, he brought our 'situation' in Arizona up early and often,

this is better read as Gateway Pundit puts it, as stating that he "...apologized early and often to the Communist Chinese regime for Arizona’s ID check law during last week’s talks...." - hey, no surprise, it's an Obamao administration tradition.

Are you surprised? Really? If so, slap yourself for it, and begin getting yourself informed. Really. Sorry, I've little sympathy for you here in 2010, open your eyes.

Look around you.

I mean... really... if you think America is being run by Americans, in either the Gov't, the Press or Wackademia, keep in mind that the House Majority Leader Pelosi, the House Whip Steny Hoyer, the Senate Majority Leader Reid, and NUMEROUS other prominent politicians, have in one form or another chuckled at the thought of actually reading the bills they are voting on wittily summing it us with something like "I wouldn't have time for anything else if I did that!"... several, Pelosi & Hoyer for instance, actually laughed at the thought... well with that in mind, here's what James Madison had to say about bills that are too big to read in Federalist #62..
"...The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?...
Or how about the Attorney General of the United States of America (among others... like... the President... the Homeland Security Director... etc), denouncing a law duly passed by one of the states... which he hasn't read? Isn't that sorta like profiling?

Where from does your surprise spring from?

But wait, there's more!

But.. first... keeping with the theme, I'll go ahead and apologize too... for being blog-gone for so long and coming back with this as a greeting, but seriously, come on, this was just the latest in a string of slaps that should have roused you long ago (and yes... there's more below).

For now though, I'll just apologize for being AWOL for awhile... our household's been jostled between boot camp and Air Force and a new job (finally)... and really... my head has just been shaking from the headlines... the concrete stupidit of it all... isn't it enough to make you say WTF? Hold that thought through November of 2010 and 2012.

Aside from everything, I've been rereading my Aristotle... slow going, but good stuff, and one of the very few antidotes to what ails us in the world today, which I'll be blogging on soon (and applying it here as well). But while I don't have more than a minute this morning, I just couldn't let this latest one-two punch pass. I'm sure most of you have heard the latest idiocy form the Obamao administration regarding the Arizona immigration law (which apparently none of the Obamao's have read, but feel competent to comment on anyway), but still, that's not all... no no no... read on.

As I was receiving some good news from Gretchen Logue regarding the Race For The Top program getting another setback in Missouri (Franklin County just shot it down and even the MO's NEA is against it), when I saw this bit of insanity - which should make Michael Posner's position a little bit more understandable for you,

"...the Chinese education ministry has been extending its tentacles worldwide, from the 550 higher-ed programs (“Confucius Institutes”) already operating in 90 countries (including almost 70 on American shores) to the newer but no less worrisome K–12 language programs that are taking the U.S. by storm. One of Beijing’s chief U.S. partners in this venture, the Asia Society, has already opened 20 pilot sites in American public schools and seeks to launch 80 more by fall 2011. Some districts and states — notably North Carolina — are working directly with the Chinese government, while still more districts are turning to their local-university-based Confucius Institutes to get started..."

 The communist Chinese are teaching Americans in American Schools... maybe this makes the actions and words of the boob job Posner apologizing to the Chinese, a tad more understandable? After all, he's just the type who would have attended such classes and would likely send his own children to them.

"...The basic offer is surely tempting, and doubly so in a down economy: At little or no cost to you, the government of China will teach your students Chinese language and culture. Chinese nationals handle instruction (almost 5,000 of them currently roam the globe, secondary and higher education combined); their government subsidizes their salaries and pays their airfare. China provides a free curriculum, textbooks, and materials...."

... the Communist Chinese Govt, teaching Americans. Of Course Posner apologized to them. After all, they're only responsible not only for something like 90 million deaths of their own people just a few decades ago, and continuing brutal oppression of any dissent of their people... slave labor, not to mention a policy of killing or deporting illegal immigrants from places like North Korea back to them for certain execution, this administration is equating and apologizing for, Arizona's legally enacted laws against illegal immigrants... to the beasts of Communist China... I mean... it's not like they support 'freedom' or 'profit' anything really disgusting and offensive of that sort, so seriously, what's the big deal, right?

I'd like to say that I'm surprised by both Under Secretary of State Michael Posner and the fact that a communist Chinese program to 'teach' American students ... and you can be sure it involves officially or unofficially lessons in how to be 'ethical'... but I've been investigating the history and philosophy of the left for far too long - it. just. doesn't. surprise. me. one. bit.

If you really are surprised... please... slap yourself again, and start looking into the matter!

This article isn't a bad place to start, John Taylor Gatto's "Some Lessons from the Underground History of American Education", he gets a bit libertarianish, a bit too free and easy with the shallow blame 'corporations for all our ills' type stuff, but the educational info is spot on.  I came across Gatto's article this weekend while cross checking some references regarding a proregressive fellow named Ellwood P. Cubberley who'd written a history of Education in the early 1900's, and was pleasantly surprised to see Gatto (and Cubberley!) taking note of many of the milestones I've bee harping on for ages, like the Morrill Act, etc. And incidentally - if you ever want to hear proregressives say what they really think, you can either wait for an idiotic slip-up like Posner's, or you can just look at what they said flat out and in the open, in the years before Hitler made all their pet ideas look so bad.

Seriously. The Proregressive left is that bad... well, I suppose they don't want to gas you... but they do want to do away with your rights and liberties, and once that's done, the only thing that would prevent such a thing, is their inclinations against such nasty business. Does that really make you feel comfortable?

Again if you are surprised either by Posner's apologetic comments to one of the worst mass murdering regimes in all of history, or by the fact that the Communist Chinese are being welcomed in to teaching American students, and in some cases in American schools... please... for me...slap yourself, and begin looking into the matter.

Take some action, help out in primary elections taking place today,

That or prepare your own apology to your grand children on how and why you let America dissappear from the face of the earth.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Beating Bootcamp!

I've only got a couple minutes of wi-fi access, but wanted to put up a quick post for Ryan, who graduated with honors - the top 10% of the class was eligible, and those recommended by their Training Instructor made it - from Lackland Air Force base, Lackland, Texas.

("01/01/2006"? Yeah... and if we still had a VCR, the time would still be flashing.)