Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nine out of ten dictators agree with Emperor Palpatine: "I love Democracy..."

In response to my previous post helping to rouse opposition to a harebrained scheme to dissolve Missouri into a National Popular Vote, one commenter objected that,
"The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate."
Hmmm. Does that language look at all odd to you? I began responding to the comments, but more and more it had that boilerplate look to the language, and doing a bit of Googling on that line alone told me that the truest thing this commenter said was this,
"I am clearly not odd or alone."
, which is only too true, for like Sybil, the commenter is simply copy & pasting the same boilerplate comments that have been pasted around the net in forums ranging from Ron Paul sites, to Christian forums, Bob McCarty & Bill Whittle articles, under the monikers of toto, SE, mvymvy, Susan Anthony and many others... apparently toto is Legion, which is particularly appropriate for a supporter of the National Popular Vote, a movement eager to transform the citizens of our nation into the Borg. One thing is clear, toto ain't in Kansas anymore, and with those green-energy powered emerald glasses on, everything smacking of Democratic collectivism looks like sparkling goodness... but for the rest of us with any concern at all for what is good and true, all that green just turns our stomach.

I was tempted to delete the twit, but then I thought, what the hey, it isn't every day you get to confront Legion, so... why not.
"I am clearly not odd or alone.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state...[reams of meaningless statistics]

Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win. They want to know every vote equal, and every voter to matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

American voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it's wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic."
Notice the measure of what is right and best, in tofu's minds, is what the largest quantities of people can agree that they all want... and why does that make it worthwhile? Because they want it, desire it, hunger for it, they want the power to do what they want to do. And the surest means of going about getting what they want, is as true today as it was 3,000 years ago, by switching out Quality, for Quantity; abandoning Principle for pleasing Particulars; aka Tempting you with what you Desire in exchange for abandoning what you know Reality requires - aka: what is Right.
But as has been the case since the Athens's majority democratically voted to put Socrates to death for speaking his mind freely about what they;d rather not to have had to think about, the question that should come to mind, is,
'Is having a majority the measure of whether or not something is right?'
, and of course, answering as an enthusiast of democracy, as Legion has always been, their answer is Yesss. They love democracy. The modern proregressive left (and right), Presidente Chavez, Sadam, Castro, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Robespierre, all the way back to Emperor Palpatine - well ok, that reference may be too long ago... and too far away, but everyone else, from Thracymachus who first put it to Socrates that Justice is whatever is to "the advantage of the stronger" or "Justice is what serves those with Power", or Might makes right!, whatever form the words take, democracy loves it.
Why? Look at a thumbnail sketch of Aristotle's Politics (I have some deep disagreements with his political advice in practice, but his analysis is top notch):

When the Sovereign power of the state is held by:
  1. One person, for their benefit - we call that a Tyranny
  2. Many people for their benefit - we call that an Oligarchy
  3. Many people for the benefit of the State - we call that an Aristocracy
  4. The Majority of the people for the benefit of the Majority - we call that a Democracy.
  5. ???
Do you see the resemblance between the first, and the last? The Sovereign is out to serve the interests of the Sovereign, at the expense of the people... does it really make any difference whether or not the Sovereign is made up of one person, or a hundred million? The only real difference between them, as all the truly crafty democratic leaders discover, is that The Majority cannot serve themselves without selecting someone as their spokesmen, someone who will keep them focused on how best to serve themselves, and that is the place taken by the Demagogue, the rabble rouser, the 'man of the people!'... and guess who gets the majority of the power and privilege in that arrangement?
What is the fifth? The fifth, and best form of government is none of the above. The best form of government is a constitutional govt, one where the power of the state is held by:
5. The Law, for the purposes of serving the Rights of - not one, or some or of most of the people - but of serving the Rights of all of the people - that form of government we call a Constitutional Republic.
This alone has the potential of being a Just government. And it is particularly the enemy of the Tyrant and the Mob, because it prevents both from using, or even of acquiring, the 'freedom' to wield physical force to serve at their pleasure, which is what they assume to be true power (they're wrong of course, but that's for another post).

Tofu had many other glittering jewels to share with us, such as this:
"the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power, not an attack upon it."
An exercise of that power. Oh. That's all, just Power? Well... nothing to worry about there, then, nosiree Bob. But just to humor us right wing nut jobs, let's think about that, just for a moment, um kay? You see, Power can be exerted in many ways, power can be used to maintain stability. Power can be used to defend. Power can be used to attack. Power can be used to kill. To imprison. To uphold Justice. To commit injustice. To enslave. To take more power and leave others powerless in the face of it. There is no question that the power is in the hands of the States to exercise. The question is how should it be used, and why?

It is not a question of whether or not a state can choose to award its electoral votes pooled with how the popular vote of the entire populace, simple or plurality, might choose... but whether or not they should do such a thing, and why - or why not. Or do you think that simply having the power is justification enough for exercising it however you, and enough of them, wish... without restraint?
The fact of the matter is that our system was designed the way it is, with numerous restraints built in, and it is antithetical to the meaning, spirit and purposes of a Republic, of representative government, of federalism, and even to the rule of law itself, to allow such power to be used and abused by virtue of the will of a majority alone, inflaming the power and spread of demagoguery as it would unavoidably do.

What lures you, I suspect, and you reinforce, is the power to do as you will. The power of 'the people to choose!'... it is intoxicating, isn't it? Especially if you can throw it in the face of those who have lorded their power over you for ages? But what it will mean in practice, is the power it will give to those who can present particular choices, with rhetorical attractions and with as little substance as can be gotten away with. The 'National Popular Vote' is about accessing the power of the people, with as few obstacles as possible - obstacles such as consideration, discussion, vetting, deliberation on the proper application of principle, and with regard for the Rights of all, of whether or not the choice is right and wrong before considering whether or not it is desirable - but all of that, those annoying obstacles to action, are of little or no concern to those whose primary concern is whether it is popular, or not, because that majority vote is the closest thing to a straight line between two political points as possible - the two points being the Power of The People... and the power to take it and use it 'for' the people.

Our nation was created as a Republic for a reason, by men who spent a great deal of time reasoning upon the issues you blabber on about so thoughtlessly. Our Constitution was designed to hinder and slow down the 'will of the people!', so that a Just decision had a better chance of being acted upon, than a passionately desirable one. I do not have the least respect or admiration for Democracy, or those who advocate it, because I understand what it is, what it means, and what must and will result from it if it is ever attained.

Flunking out of Electoral College
Tofu continues to follow its nose, wherever it goes, now in the direction of the Electoral College:
"The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended. "
, and its words actually gets a lot correct here, though I suspect by accident only . The Founders intended the electoral college to be made up of those who represented the people of their districts - which is a very different thing from simply transmitting their will - the college was to be filled with those who could be counted upon to vote as their best judgment and conscience dictated. That is the meaning and purpose of representation - in the legislature, or the electoral college, a person represents the people they serve, they do not, or at least should not, simply serve as a proxy for the majority of them.

The issue of rubber stamping is in fact yet another 'unforseen' (my ass) consequence of what the popular vote mania of a century ago brought us with the 17th amendment - also constitutional, and also extremely damaging to our republic and to your actual, meaningful representation in Washington D.C.
"The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections."
B.S. It does so in name only, gutting it of its purpose and meaning and making the Electoral College into a rubber stamp for a popular majority, aka: Democracy.
"It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. "
"The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens."
Double Duh. Not only did they not require it, they feared it, and did what they could to avoid such a thing ever coming to pass. Being well versed in actual, worthwhile, history, our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine to the contrary, knew better than to encourage such idiocy.
"The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution."
Triple Duh and you're out! (If only).
"States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond."
Thank you Dora the democratic explorer (ralph). Please, take your pathetic 'make all of their voters relevant' back to your drum circle, along with all the rest of your therapeutic crap and shove it. Damn that's sickening.

The question that most needs to be asked, which we'll get to at the end, is what do you mean by 'relevance'? Is it simply seeing your hand counted amongst the millions of others? And what do you assume that representation does not include? But first you've left a couple other low hanging stupidities to be knocked down. Like this:
"Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments."
Yes, the people have spoken, or at least repeated at the polls what others led them to believe would make them more relevant, and those democratically driven attacks upon republicanism began before the ink dried on the constitution. Tell me, how 'relevant' should a person be to the governing of his community, if they have invested little or no responsible time and effort and property into that community? We're not talking about Rights here, or equal representation before the law - that is a given no matter your status or wealth, all are equal before the law - but how the community should be maintained, grown, the directions it should take - governed - if you have little or no stake there, why should you have a voice in deciding those affairs? If I had my druthers, I'd reinstate property requirements (though modest ones) for voting in everything from dog catcher to president. If a voter doesn't have a stake in the community that is being governed, they shouldn't be having a say in voting for those who are governing it.

And if you want to argue with that, answer me this, what is the likelihood that someone who has no stake in the community, is going to make good decisions for those who do? See modern day Detroit for reference.
"Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors..."
Unable to agree... really. Although there was dispute as to the best way to implement it, as there was on nearly every single clause of the constitution, the reasoning behind Article 2, Section 1, Clauses 2 and 3, was fairly broadly understood, more so than many other areas of the constitution. Madison said of it,
"The difficulty of finding an unexceptionable process for appointing the Executive Organ of a Government such as that of the U.S. was deeply felt by the Convention; and as the final arrangement of it took place in the latter stage of the Session, it was not exempt from a degree of the hurrying influence produced by fatigue and impatience in all such Bodies, tho' the degree was much less than usually prevails in them."
It was not so much of an example of being unable to agree (you can read the full debate here), as it was an example of understanding that the federal, representative nature of the republic, required that such matters should as much as possible, be decided locally and outside the common concerns of power. And with that in mind, it is interesting that you chose to leave off the rest of the clause, here it is in full:
"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."
, which part of it did you wish to avoid? Was it " which the State may be entitled...", or maybe the last "...but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.", or both? Or have you given it no thought at all? With 'The State may be entitled', that gives some significance to the consideration of the interests of the people of Their state itself, doesn't it? And with 'no Senator or Representative' or anyone else who held an 'Office of Trust' implies a quite a lot as well, doesn't it? 'Or Profit'. Why do you suppose that they were so adamant about that? An Elector to the Electoral College was to be none of these things, because they wanted to make sure that Electors would be as little influenced by popularity, or by being in any way beholden to those in positions of power, or commerce, or to the people at large - they made explicit that the Elector was to be free from powers other than their own reasoning and conscience when casting their votes. And I think that it's fairly clear that included in those powers that they were and are to be free of, is that of the power of popular opinion.

And although it is one of the most amended sections of the Constitution, the original wording is interesting,
"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 Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot. Individual Electors were to vote by ballot, not by show of hands, not by polling or caucus, not with any concern for popular opinion at all, but from out of their own level best judgment. And their votes were intended to be tallied by State, not through a plurality of votes. James Madison, a few decades after the Constitutional Convention, in discussing needed revisions to the matter with George Hay, had a comment about your plurality of votes:
"The mode which you seem to approve, of making a plurality of Electoral votes a definitive appointment would have the merit of avoiding the Legislative agency in appointing the Executive; but might it not, by multiplying hopes and chances, stimulate intrigue & exertion, as well as incur too great a risk of success to a very inferior candidate? Next to the propriety of having a President the real choice of a majority of his Constituents, it is desirable that he should inspire respect & acquiescence by qualifications not suffering too much by comparison."
In other words, wouldn't providing a ready means for faction to escape the bounds of Federalism, be an engraved invitation for popular demagogues to excite interests and passions across borders? It would indeed, and that - that which you seek - was precisely what the Electoral College was devised to prevent. Joseph Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution, had this to say,
" ...there remained various other modes, by which it might be effected; by the people directly; by the state legislatures; or by electors, chosen by the one, or the other. The latter mode was deemed most advisable; and the reasoning, by which it was supported, was to the following effect. The immediate election should be made by men, the most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favourable to deliberation, and to judicious combination of all the inducements, which ought to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass for this special object, would be most likely to possess the information, and discernment, and independence, essential for the proper discharge of the duty. It is also highly important to afford as little opportunity, as possible, to tumult and disorder. These evils are not unlikely to occur in the election of a chief magistrate directly by the people, considering the strong excitements and interests, which such an occasion may naturally be presumed to produce. The choice of a number of persons, to form an intermediate body of electors, would be far less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of one, who was himself the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors chosen in each state are to assemble, and vote in the state, in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation would expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all convened at one time in one place...."
Our tofu Legion continues its ignorant opposition,
"...With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a representative democracy, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections."
And here you finally show yourself. We are NOT a 'representative democracy' and we are not a 'constitutional democracy', not sort of, not kind of, not at all. We are a Constitutional Representative Republic, some of whose members are democratically elected (Ideally only the Representatives).

For the would-be Dictator, what's not to love in Democracy?
But it is in here, that the demagogue seeks to have the people hear his wiles,
"Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election."
That is the sales pitch of the power luster,'Every vote will be counted!' but nothing could be more false than the assertion that a popular vote means that you, your vote, will gain in relevance and power. Under a National Popular Vote, every vote would be counted, and relegated to even more irrelevance, than the individual voter now 'enjoys' in their Senatorial elections, thanks to the 17th amendment.

Which is a good place to start, as everyone can see and feel it in practice right now.
Prior to the 2nd worst amendment to the constitution (loses by a hair to the 16th), each senator had to court, impress, reason with and keep faith with a relatively small number of legislators (Mo is something like 135), in order to win enough of their votes, to be elected as one of their state's senators. Of those handful of legislators, there were at least two (your state rep & sen) which you could easily know and have some influence with, and if you had friends with similar concerns on particular issues, you and your fellow citizens could easily make several of your state legislators aware of your concerns, and those legislators had easy access to the ear of your Senator. If that Senator did not give a good faith effort towards those concerns, concerns which your local legislators own elections might hinge on, then that Senator could easily lose their support and their vote in their next election - the equivalent of losing large swaths of the population in a popular vote.

That is representation that is relevant.

The original method of having your State's representatives elect your United States Senators, gave individuals not only a real measure of representation - their interests made known and relevant - to their Senators, but it secured their Senators attention, efforts and concerns, for the real interests of their states - they owed their office to local legislators, who knew the interests and needs of their constituents, and they had to address them in good faith to continue as a senator.

That ended with the 17th amendment, which brought "Equal Say! Every vote counts! Real Democracy!" to the people, trading away representation for a hand count and securing their relegation to sound byte status. Why?

When the senators depended upon the votes of a relative few legislators representing the entire state, campaigning and consulting with them was not only relatively simple to do, consumed little time and even less expense - visit the state capital, walk the halls, and it was accomplished. Substantive discussions could be had, and worthwhile decisions could be made, with very little in the way of concern for misleading publicity tactics and empty, but crowd pleasing, speeches.

Today, a senator ideally must campaign through, meet and greet, smile, blather cheery or condescending platitudes to the masses - quickly - across the entire state. Which is not possible. It isn't feasible in terms of time or logistics, and the expense of even attempting it would be prohibitive.
So what they must do, is what they do do - they hit only those areas whose populations are sizable enough, and potentially favorable enough, to make it worthwhile (meaning get 'name recognition' out there). And even to do only that, is exceedingly expensive, it requires not only ads, signs, bumper stickers, campaign workers and staff, but transportation and a deep indebtedness to those who can provide the funds to do such a thing - hello special interests.

So thanks to "Popular Vote!" of the 17th amendment, you, the voter, are exceedingly unlikely to have any influence upon your senator whatsoever, you are unlikely to be able to let them know what concerns you, if you were able to meet it would be brief and shallow - heavy on sympathy and light on substance - and the person who will have real and lasting influence on your senator, will be those few people who can produce dollars and crowds.

And as far as your Senator caring about what your legislators care about in your neck of the woods... ask you local legislator when the last time was that their senator called them, let alone returned a call.
A national popular vote would go even further than we've already gone, towards making Mr. & Mrs. American an irrelevance in their Presidential Elections, becoming even more irrelevant, than every one's vote has been made by the 17th amdt (also constitutional, also fundamentally opposed to the concepts this nation was founded with). Despite the slight of hand methods of tallying votes and then 'awarding' electoral votes from your state, what it amounts to is that a candidate for president will need to travel only to those few population centers in those few states that can help deliver a majority of the popular vote. The reality of that means that wealthy and powerful special interests who can gin up popular opinion in their population centers, will become even more powerful, than they are now, while the suburban and rural voter will be of little or no concern as politicians will have even less incentive to fly over fly-over country than they do now, let alone stopping and campaigning through them.

That doesn't spell more relevance for the individual voter, but less. That is what it means to trade away your Representation for Relevance, and the enthusiasts for Democracy know it only too well.
We are a Republic, and each and every state is guaranteed to be a Republic by the Constitution, and your Liberty depends upon that fact more than you know. We are not a Democracy, get that out of your head, get that out of your ideas as standards to be measured against, and you can then concern yourself with what it means to have representation, and hopefully, eventually, you'll work to help us all regain it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Exploit the Earth or Die! Celebrate a respect for Reality, Reason and Rights!

It's again time to celebrate life, to celebrate mankind's ability to live in peace and liberty with his fellow man through the Free Market and its requisite respect for Reality, Reason, Rights and a passion for the Truth.

Exploit the Earth or Die™This means you do not, under any circumstances, or in any way, celebrate the birthday of a murdering enslaver of millions of people worldwide, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, whose birthday was April 22nd, or the day which, to our ever lasting shame, was designated to remember him by, through the propagandized 'Earth Day' - Remember that Environmentalist Green is the new Communist Red.

Remember that the only political systems which ever brought peace and prosperity to mankind, were Free Market, made possible by the rule of Law, not men; rooted in a respect for Property Rights - the only possible political foundation for Individual Rights and Liberty; and that of the only Nation compatible with that, which was founded as the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America.

Live your life, live it to the best of your ability, and use the earth as it can best serve your life and that of your fellow man.

"Exploit the Earth or die. It’s not a threat. It’s a fact. Either man takes the Earth’s raw materials—such as trees, petroleum, aluminum, and atoms—and transforms them into the requirements of his life, or he dies. To live, man must produce the goods on which his life depends; he must produce homes, automobiles, computers, electricity, and the like; he must seize nature and use it to his advantage. There is no escaping this fact. Even the allegedly “noble” savage must pick or perish. Indeed, even if a person produces nothing, insofar as he remains alive he indirectly exploits the Earth by parasitically surviving off the exploitative efforts of others.
The fact annoys some people. But it shouldn’t: Hence our “Exploit the Earth or Die” campaign."
Fill up your car with gasoline, rev your engine, burn every light in your house today, live!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Residents of the Show Me State - Show me you have sense... Please!

Another underhanded attack on our Republican form of government is underway, and if you are a resident of Missouri you need to contact your State Representatives NOW and let them know that the 'National Popular Vote' is not popular in Missouri. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on this Tuesday, April 17th at 8:30 a.m., so there's no time to waste... and it wouldn't hurt a bit to tell them to Vote Hell No! on "HB1719 " - let them know, that you know, that you live in a Republic, not a Democracy, and that you know that the only way to keep hold of what remains of your rights, is to keep it that way.

From the Missouri Eagle Forum Action Alert::
"...HB1719 would require Missouri to join an interstate compact, as proposed by the National Popular Vote organization. This compact would require Missouri to give all its presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote, instead of the winner of Missouri’s state vote. If enough states agree to the plan, the Electoral College will be effectively eliminated.

HB1719 must be stopped. It is important to make your voice heard before this dangerous bill becomes law...."
I don't have time to write a post right now, but since I've posted on this, and related issues, mucho many times before, I'll include a few blasts from the past....

From a couple years ago:
Athens and America: The Bog Of The Gaps
"...A democracy of ‘majority rules’, has no need whatsoever, for 49% of the population. A Hierarchy is a pyramid. A radical democracy is a pillar, and if you don’t support the top, you are flung from it. Ask Socrates.

Everything about our Republic is an affront to the democratic sensibilities of progressives. For instance, in our current electoral map, a candidate must please the views of far more than a majority of the states and their people… in a direct democracy, one would only have to please more people than their opponent – that would mean that a single issue which was for some reason appealing to city dwellers, could carry a Presidential election, the rest of the suburban and rural dwellers across the state or nation, be damned. In such a direct democracy, as progressives are still seeking (see their National Popular Vote initiative ), it is only necessary that a candidate get the nod from a simple majority, meaning that 49% can safely be dismissed from consideration and concern, which requires only a moderately able demagogue to stir up the passions of the target majority, to win the day – Reason need not apply.

But voting is only the top layer, a mere result of what is at the bottom of the matter.

From the beginning, voting has been elevated to a primary ideal by the left, and the Founders did all they could to reduce it’s influence, voices for direct democracy by such as Rousseau and even an otherwise respected patriot such as Thomas Paine, were refuted, denounced and distanced. In our original constitutional plan the only representatives that were directly elected by the people, were the Representatives in the House. They were included there so that the people would have a direct voice into the workings of government, but the nation was insulated from their heated passions becoming law, by the legislative structure of the House being the entry point at the bottom, with the Senate securely above them – modifying or discarding the efforts of the House, acting as “a saucer to cool it” which gives those interests which demonstrate an actual value to all States, an equal voice with all other states based not on population or popular passions, but the quality and value of the issues; it is this which makes it possible to reasonably take into account the competing rights and interests of all of the citizens of all of the states.
From July of last year:
Q: When is a democracy not a democracy? A: When it’s a Republic - If you want to ensure that 'Your Vote Counts', you'd better Act like you know the difference
"...For those thinking that “Your Vote Counts” is really about making your vote count... you might want to consider what the backers of this 'citizens initiative' actually want your vote to count towards. What is it that they want to accomplish? Is it simply what they say they want to accomplish, or might they have another agenda in mind? What if they have a separate agenda and it is at odds with what they've told you, in order to get you to vote their way? Wouldn't that essentially be swindling you out of your vote, in order to use it to pass what they know you'd never vote for?...

What do you think, is it possible that perhaps past performance is an indication of the future they are working towards? These particular groups think anything done by Man is bad, do you really think they count your vote any differently? This 'Your Vote Counts' act is exactly the sort of measure which all of these sorts of groups want to see passed... what do you think counts most to them, your vote?... or swindling you of your vote to further their agenda? Got your attention?

Ok then.

What the demagogues of "Power to the People!" want your vote to count towards, is not tied to what they're telling you your vote is for, but what advances their agenda.

Neither the puppies lives, nor your liberty and right to vote are of concern to those who say they want to make your vote count, what they want is their power to go unchecked, they want to have their ability to stir up the passions of We The People into passing their agenda, and then they want those decisions to go unchallenged; the clear intent of this act, is that those who want to stir the public up into approving rash measures, want to then ensure that cooler heads cannot prevail against the power they succeeded in grabbing ahold of.

In short, they want a Democracy.

And while it gets old having to say this, even more so than hearing it said, we are not a democracy, we are a republic. We are a Republic at the federal level, as defined by our Constitution, and as per Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, we are Republics at the state level as well.

“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””
Despite the various attempts that have been made, and innovations introduced over the years, to try and change that, even in the face of something akin to a coup d'etat has been (is being) tried upon the entire population through the educational system in an attempt to change us into a democracy within our own heads, if not on paper; but even so, a Republic, we remain...."
And from two years ago:
No Representation Without Taxation!... Yea...(blink)... WTF?!
"...Did I leave a position out of who we directly vote for? The President? No, I didn't. Your vote isn't cast as a vote for the President, your vote is tallied and guides the vote of an Elector in the Electoral College, and the electors of your state then cast their votes for the President, and yes, it is a good thing that it is done that way.

The President is not elected directly by popular vote alone! Leaving out the issue of delegates, the popular vote determines who the states delegates will be awarded to, and it is not only very possible, but has happened several times, that the candidate elected President, is NOT the one with the most popular votes, but the most delegates via the states - or maybe more to your understanding, the President is elected via the popular vote within the states, and then (typically) by the majority of the total votes of the states - as determined by each State.

There is a purpose behind this, though every few years, some would-be demagogue makes another stab at eliminating the Electoral College (I believe Hillary made a few speeches to that effect). You ought to ask yourself why.

Their purpose is, that by making it possible to eliminate the necessity of getting votes from the interior flyover states like Missouri, Nebraska, Idaho, etc, you could elect a president through the most populous states like New York, California and a few of the urban areas of major cities (read: likely by fellow elites and easily swayed poor inhabitants), and the rest of the counties and suburban areas, and indeed entire states themselves, could safely be ignored.

If the president was elected by popular vote alone, there would no longer be any need to refer to him as the President of the United States of America, but as President of a few populations centers and the rest of the states be damned! One way you can identify would be tyrants in America, is by their eagerness to push for, and rely upon, the 'popular vote!' (btw, the 17th amendment was their last big victory).

Try as the Progressives have to eliminate the states influence in the federal government (we came perilously close to having the electoral process dumbed down to your level in 1970), they do still play a major part in our federal system.

The Point of the Vote
The important point to take away from this review, is not that Votes are used to elect people and pass or fail legislation, the Vote is used as a method for the transmittal of judgment, which, as on the part of the elected officials IS NOT to tell them what to do, but selects them as being who the voters judged to have the values, ideals and ability of judgment they think will enable them to vote and act in a way worthy and justifiable.

NOTICE: to my fellow Tea Partiers, even if everybody in a district told their Representative they want him to cast his vote a particular way, while that may influence his judgment, he is IN NO WAY obligated to vote as the vast majority of his constituents demand he does. Not even if a million plus show up on the mall in Washington D.C. shouting "Kill The BIll!" (as I did locally). Candidates aren't voted for so that they can behave as virtual vote-a-grams, delivering this or that vote as a majority of their constituents demands, but to use his own judgment to vote as he sees best - just as it is wrong for them to force us to buy their obamaocare, it would be wrong for us to force them to vote against what they saw fit - they are Representatives, not proxies. Now, it might be politically wise for him to consider his constituents views, especially when it came time to vote again come election time; if the constituency disapproves of their voting record, then they are free to exercise their vote for or against the person, and that is part of the due diligence each voter owes to his vote in each election.

The Vote doesn't guarantee that elections will go your way often or ever, it only guarantees you an opportunity to participate in the process of governance - how much you participate in the process, is up to you, but rest assured, punching the ballot card, or carrying a protest sign - or sitting it out - are the barest minimum of input open to you...."
And a couple others for good measure:
Liberty - It all hangs together, or we all hang separately

Thinking Through the Popular Vote Machine - Damned if they didn't, Damned if they did.
But don't just sit there reading, contact your Representatives and tell them No!, while you're still in a Republic, and can.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don't mistake the holding action for The War - hold the line. Galvanize.

A very quick post before heading out the door. For those who are whining and think they've got it rough because the Tea Party hasn't magically transformed the transformation in one easy election cycle, here's a polite slap for you, from Dana Loesh on Breitbart:
"... Yesterday I received a few hundred emails and less than half, but still a sizable amount, talked of giving up, taking their ball, and going home. We speak a lot of the Founding Fathers and their accomplishments but focus little on their fire and most importantly, dedication. The Revolutionary War took over eight years. The revolutionary movement which preceded the war began ten years prior. The shoes of Revolutionary soldiers were worn through, if they had shoes, and their supplies were in meager. This was during the winter, even, when men suffered through illness and freezing temperatures. Many died from the elements. Still, they persevered and eventually won America's liberty. That wasn't the end, however; as Thomas Jefferson said, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance and our resolve to fight for those freedoms was called upon multiple times afterward... "
Some of my friends have been looking for ways to herd our conservative cats into one, streamlined, focused response to the Obamao agenda. It doesn't work that way. Focus yourself, fight what you can see needs to be righted, don't try and lessen a fellow fighters vision by forcing them to use your glasses, your near sighted lenses won't help them when they're correcting their vision for farsightedness.
"You have to change the people first and then the politicians will change... The greatest mistake that we are making as a movement is to ignore this. We fight the symptom and not the cause. We try to destroy the bullets without taking out the gun that fired them. "
Whoever the nominee is, we support him. Of course. Even if he wins little will change. Which is one hell of a lot better than a massive change for the worse. But as long as laws are thought of as rules, we'll have 'Conservative!'s' talking about saving Social Security.

There are several battles to be fought. Media is a huge part of it. "We try to destroy the bullets without taking out the gun that fired them", but there's also the industrial base which manufactures the guns, which needs to be taken out , which is the educational system. And behind that, those who provide the intellectual funding for that industrial base, the philosophers (misosophers) and intellectuals.

The assault on America began before it was born. The invasion began shortly afterwards. It came to our shores through the educational systems, starting in the universities, then through the teachers they manufactured (and our agricultural system in the same move), then through the writers and entertainers they shot out. Then the politicians who pandered to what the electorate found entertaining.

It's taken them over two hundred years to get to where they are, and we've got to fight them on all of these fronts just to lose our ground more slowly.

We are going to have to retake the same ground they took, in roughly the same order, to effect any true and lasting change.

The good news is that we don't have to begin as they did, from scratch. We already have a proven and tested philosophy and culture available to us, stretching back from our Founders through Blackstone to Locke to Aquinas to Cicero to Aristotle, on the one hand, and the Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian culture on the other.

We also have reality and truth on our side, which our enemies acknowledge every time they try to attack us using what we believe in in order to do it ("Justice for Trayvon!" relies upon our idea of Justice, in order to bamboozle us into supporting their idea of injustice).

Samuel Adams, the Father of the American Revolution, began the revolution about 15 years before the Revolution began in 1776, and he began it virtually alone, and he did so by talking to people. Talking to his co-workers and friends and neighbors, warning them about the tyranny that was coming and their lack of understanding of the principles they thought they could continue to benefit from without understanding and employing in their daily lives.

I place us at our point in time now, somewhere early in that period that Sam Adams struggled through, which means that we haven't even begun to have the difficult struggle yet.

Hunker down. Galvanize. Learn what you can. Talk about it. Put it into practice.

Whoever the Republican nominee is, no matter how uninspiring he is, no matter how unprincipled he is, support him. Don't make the mistake of thinking you are supporting him and his ideas, you are fighting to lose less ground. You are fighting to gain time so that you and your fellows who are fighting the real war: In the universities, in the entertainment industry, in the media, in the schools, in your neighborhood, can gain ground, get a foot hold, and eventually take the War to those who have been fighting us for centuries, and take our nation back.

Quite your poor pitiful me schtick. Galvanize yourself. Don't mistake the holding action for The War - hold the line. Galvanize.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear Rom and Non-Rom'rs calling for candidate X to drop out: Shut The Hell Up. Thank you.

Dear Rom and Non-Rom'rs calling for candidate X to drop out of the GOP race for the party's nomination for POTUS; it's really nice and swell that you've decided that your candidate is THE candidate. It's nice that you think that your candidate should be THE nominee... I think the rest of us  kind of figured that that was your opinion when you decided to support them... yeah, we've got our clever moments too... now and then. But you know what? There just might be some others out there who disagree with you.

Yep. Hard to believe as that is, see all those people out there who are still sporting signs and bumper stickers for their favorite Rom/Non-Rom candidate? THEY all think that THEIR candidate should be THE nominee, and I'm pretty sure that they probably think it'd be a swell idea if YOUR candidate dropped out 'for the good of the party'!

Amazing, isn't it?

What you need to consider, is that the Primary system was set up so each state could hold a primary, so that each state could have its say... and you know what? Some of our 50 (Yep, count 'em, FIFTY states (No Barack, not 57, sit back down please)) haven't had their primaries yet.

Now, on the other hand, if you want to say that you think that perhaps the primary system has proven itself somewhat less than the most efficient method for giving the people a voice in selecting their party's candidate, I'm right there with you. But until we settle upon a better method, it may not be the nominating system we'd like to go to election with, but it is the one we actually have, and you've got to go to election with the nominating system you've got, not the one you wish you had.

So until we do declare the extended primary system to be a failure and settle upon a new one, how about you just shut the hell up, umkay?

Thank you.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Shining a Light on the matter: Kinkade - 'Painter of Light'?

Sadly, the painter the 'Art' world loves to hate, Thomas Kinkade passed away over Easter, and his passing raises an interesting question. The question isn't whether or not his paintings are good Art - I have as little interest in your opinion on that as you probably have in my opinion on that - but what is interesting, is what people look to Art to do for them.

I won't get into the deeper depths of the question, you can find an excellent exploration of it, beginning with "Pulling Back the Curtain", at 'Art Renewal' (which, BTW, I highly recommend) , but rather, what is it you expect Art to do for you? Not whether or not it is good Art, but what do you expect Art, as Art, to provide you... what makes it worthwhile - or not (and why not) - in your life?
Munch 'The Scream'
Kinkade 'The lighted path'

One expectation, popular in the modern era, is the expectation that Art will generate a reaction in you... that when you look at the art work, and not only a reaction, but usually an indignant one, one that drives you to seek justice for this and that offense, or which calls into question your complacency over this or that social issue, or which drives you to support one cause or another, etc, etc., etc...and there's also usually a reaction that makes it very easy for you to feel superior to others (a common side-effect which its promoters expect, though they won't publicly claim) .

As you might guess... that's not what I look to for Art.

Though honestly, I don't primarily look to Art for Art... meaning, I'm more inclined to literature, or music, than visual arts (painting, sculpture, etc.), but even so, I do not look to Art to 'prompt' me to action. When I turn to Art, I'm looking for... a means of contemplation. It could be contemplating simply pleasures, or the meaning of some aspect of, or of life itself, or of the difficulty of distinguishing between the two, but in either case I look to Art to provide me with a pathway... inwardly outwards... so to speak. By that I mean that Art gives me a way to delve deeper into an idea, or an ideal or the choice between the two, or to a deeper contemplation of a choice which is necessary to pursuing them, and which in some way draws my thoughts into direct contact with my sense of my own place in the scheme of things, and how that idea connects me to it.

Picasso 'Dora Maar Au Chat'
Can you say the same for the 'art' which follows from the modernist sort? My usual victim to pick on here is Munch's "The Scream"( top left above)... or the pathetic blotches of Picasso (left), or the splatterer, or the 'piss christ'r, etc.

What is it that the person who finds 'value' in such 'art', looking for? Are they either seeking or finding a pathway towards contemplation? I suppose you could view the piss christ and think about how... what... how religion pisses you off, I suppose? Or life is miserable and pisses you off? But ask yourself, do such reactions seem more likely to direct your attention in towards understanding yourself better, or to the more easy outwards gaze of judging the actions & deeds of others?

Godward 'Classical Beauty'
It's a question that the person who claims to appreciate Art, should spend some time asking themselves, as Dumbledore put it, 'the choice between what is right and what is easy', what do you choose?

That question doesn't mean that Art must always be 'heavy' or significant in some pretentious way, my idea of Art doesn't exclude what seemed to be Kinkade's theme, that of contemplating the simple pleasures - which Kinkade's art seems exceptionally well suited to (see top right) - a relaxing "Ahhh... that'd be nice....", rather the question of 'what is right and what is easy', to me, is less one of degree and more one of direction.

Does your idea of art direct your attention in towards your engagement with the subject, as I think  Godward's "Classical Beauty" does, or does it give you the the easy out of finding fault (or pleasure) outside yourself, through others? Does it connect you to your relation with the subject, or, be it porn or Picasso, does it let you to dodge the issue altogether, finding reactive fuel in others?

Kinkade's art, though usually dis'd as 'shlock' or 'Hallmark in a frame', served to find some harmonizing chord in those who responded to it, it somehow solidified their grip on themselves in the world.
Dicksee 'Chivalry'
Other art, such as Dicksee's 'Chivalry', is beautiful... but if you look at the lady's gaze who has been rescued... does she really look like she feels entirely safe and secure? There's a question raised for you to pursue. And a far more extreme case can be found with Carvagio, hardly the serene contemplation of beauty and justice - though they are inseparable from it... in either case what it has the effect of doing is illuminating and harmonizing my thoughts on this or that particular subject, or on life in general.
Caravaggio 'Judith Beheading Holofernes'

But notice what the Daily News article notes about Thomas Kinkade and his art, from a sniffy artsy type:
“I think the reason you probably aren’t going to find his work in many museums, if any, is that there really wasn’t anything very innovative about what he was doing...,” said Michael Darling, chief curator of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. “I really think that he didn’t bring anything new to art.”
They are far more concerned with 'innovation', something that pushes the envelope... an envelope that has been pushed from a Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain ", which displayed a urinal as 'art' at the opening of the 20th century, to Chris Ofili's dung covered rendition of the Virgin Mary at the close of the 20th century - you'll have to find your own links... not something I interested in seeing. Modern Art, in all its guises, tends to direct your attention, and any semblance of thoughts they might incite, towards problems and issues outside yourself - things which require action or reaction, just as a pinball machine paddle strikes the pinball and sends it scuttling across the playing surface, modern art strikes your passions and sends you out after one cause or another, maybe even seeking 'justice!'... but does it bring you any closer to your understanding of yourself, your deeper relation to the world or even towards any sort of sublime understanding of life?

I confess, I can't see how.

On the other hand, the artists I mentioned, Art or Sculpture, observing their art, draws you in - not only towards the Art, but in towards yourself. The Pieta, by Michangelo, with Mary mother of God, holding the dead body of her Son, the Son of God... the clarity of her predicament is an engraved invitation to examine your thoughts of what is of worth, how it can be lost, risked... what is worth such sacrifice... what good can be served, and then towards the Good which she, and her son, felt was served... how that impacted her, and every other life over the last two thousand years....

Godward's, Beauty with a Mirror, she is beautiful... in harmony, and yet there is a cast to her stance and expression, that says that the beauty in her form must find it's source, and expression, in something more than a mirror...
Godward's 'The Mirror'
The Pieta, by Michangelo, depicting Mary Mother of God, holding the dead body of her Son, the Son of God... the depth and clarity of her predicament is an engraved invitation to examine your own thoughts of what is of worth, how it can be lost, risked... what is worth such sacrifice... what good can be served, what good did she, and her son, feel was served... how that impacts her, and every other life over the last two thousand years....

Annibale Carracci's Hercules Choice, the choice between easy pleasures 'what's good for the moment', as opposed what is Good for the eternal... turns your thoughts towards what is Good, and how do you identify and place, and reverence it, live up to, or fail to live up to, it in your life... there are hours that can be expended in that pursuit, and it wall all tend to perfect your life within, and that understanding tends to be reflected now and then in your actions without.

Kinkade's paintings... I don't see them as being in the same league, but they are certainly in the same game... they stir an 'ahh' from me, I can imagine someone coming home from a long day, or week, to his paintings, being soothed and re-collected within themselves... that's nothing to sneeze... or sniff... at. Personally, it doesn't lead me much further than that... but there is something that should be pointed out, that you can't contemplate such a scene without... experiencing, and desiring... the harmony it portrays. In his paintings, all is right with the world and with your place in it. It is good. You do not view his paintings and experience a fracturing of your spirit, or feelings of guilt, or anger, or hate... but soundness, harmony, and perhaps even a quiet, relaxed affection, even love, for life, the world, and what you would at the very least HOPE was or could be, your place in it.

Look at The Scream. Or the splatterer, Jackson Pollock

What do you find in that? You could contemplate much, but it would not be integrative contemplation, which is what beauty inspires, instead it would be angst, strife, ... oppression and guilt perhaps, anger and fear... at the world, at the unfairness, the utter lack of control you have over your life or anything in it... it is an overall fracturing which such 'art' produces within a person and their soul. Not an identification that you need to do more... but that nothing can be done, despair for despairs sake.

Is that Art?

Is that worthwhile?

Is that something you WANT in your life?

Take another look at Kincaide's paintings. 

They may not have the depth of Michelangelo, or the subtlety of past masters, but they do produce some sensations of beauty and of your drawing into harmonizing with it.

Is that Art?

You really should ask yourself these questions... because there are philosophies which are ruling and even destroying the world, which are very much more in line with one of these styles of Art, than the other.

Can you see which one?

Which way leads to Light and progress, and which to darkness and regress?

Which do you think is more likely to fortify you to endure, to lead you through the inevitable darkness towards the light on the other side, and which is more likely to turn you towards the darkness and dump you off into ever deepening strains of it?

You really do need to contemplate that question... and to choose.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

"Justice for Trayvon!" = Injustice for us all

This last week St. Louis's own 'Occupy Wall Street' held a rally seeking 'Justice for Trayvon!’ - in a park which their supporters had vandalized just the previous week. Prior to that the Mayor of St. Louis promoted justice by attending a prayer vigil... chanting 'No Justice, No Peace!' for Trayvon Martin. Various other high profile individuals all over the country have been ‘speaking out!’ and holding rallies and marches, demanding that action be taken, demanding that we all recognize that George Zimmerman IS a racist! That he must be Jailed! Tried! or, if the New Black Panthers, or Spike Lee, have a say, he, or anyone who shares his name, should just be ‘rounded up and dealt with!’ with the dealers being nicely rewarded for their vigilante service. Meanwhile, they are all taking their actions and making their demands before anyone knows for sure, or even has a reasonable guess, as to what did or didn’t happen that night between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, which resulted in the teenagers death.

No one knows the facts, but all of them should know that this ‘rush to judgment’ is the anti-thesis of truthfully seeking after Justice. Certainly the main players in these marches understand this, Mayors, judicial activists and community activists and other fascist gangs - all of these people who are using this incident not only know that they do not know what happened, but they are entirely unconcerned with their own ignorance, and worse, they are thankful for yours.

So many people are excitedly using the story of Trayvon Martin's death as a pretext to further their own aims – that you as an American, you as a Parent, you as a Citizen, need to consider the situation carefully, because in this context, it becomes a far worse issue for all of us than simply the heartrending tragedy of a teenage boy having lost his life for no good reason. For those people who are using this incident to further their own agendas, the fact that a teenage boy lost his life is welcome news, even more welcome, for their purposes, than if he had 'only' been wounded or put into a coma.

And if it turns out that the shooting was motivated by racism, or by some ignorance easily spun as racism, then that will be all the more better for their purposes - IOW, they are discarding the Principle of Justice, rules of evidence and the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty', while appealing to the appearance of 'Seeking Justice!' in order to inflame your sympathies so that you’ll overlook theirincidents of injustice (for the cause!); they are in effect calling for “Injustice for Justice!”, because they feel it will work for the moment, and help them further their positions.

How pragmatic of them (see my last few posts).

You, on the other hand, need to keep something in mind:

If we had a way of knowing what happened and who was to blame, we’d have no need for a Judicial system.

That is the very foundation of the Western concept of Justice, indeed of society. Clearly these people who are so loudly and violently calling ‘for justice!’, have no interest in Justice, whatsoever.

Did they ever have an an interest in pursuing the truth? If they did, then... they would have sought it out, wouldn’t they?

The fact is, however, that issues such as these exist in plain sight, though only the 'New Media' seems able to see them::
"“You will recall the incident of the beating of the black homeless man Sherman Ware on December 4, 2010 by the son of a Sanford police officer. The beating sparked outrage in the community but there were very few that stepped up to do anything about it. I would presume the inaction was because of the fact that he was homeless not because he was black. Do you know the individual who stepped up when no one else in the black community would? Do you know who spent tireless hours putting flyers on the cars of persons parked in the churches of the black community? Do you know who waited for the church-goers to get out of church so that he could hand them flyers in an attempt to organize the black community against this horrible miscarriage of justice? Do you know who helped organize the City Hall meeting on January 8, 2011 at Sanford City Hall?? That person was GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.” – from a letter to Turner Clayton of the Seminole County NAACP written by “a concerned Zimmerman family member”"
, should at the very least, raise questions about the prefabricated narrative, yet the lamestream news went out of its way to portray Zimmerman's response to a question during his 911 call, as if it were a damning declaration of his own racist! views...
"Back on March 27, a full month after the shooting, NBC’s Today Show aired Zimmerman’s call to the police, featuring these words:
“This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black.”
The recording then went viral as did the presumption of racism in Zimmerman’s overreaction. The juxtaposition of Martin looking suspicious and looking black was enough to accelerate a firestorm of anger and protest. Apparently, hearing is not exactly believing, or rather shouldn’t be. The folks at the the Today Show had shortened the Zimmerman tape for broadcast (as if the show didn’t have lots of time to devote to the story). Here is the fuller version of the recording:"
Zimmerman: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about."
911 dispatcher: "OK, and this guy -- is he black, white or Hispanic?"
Zimmerman: "He looks black."
, but even worse than what NBC did, IMHO, is what this columnist did in portraying the fraud, and which was reflected in nearly all of those few mentions that were made of this damning episode. In his characterizing of their actions - actions which were deliberate editing decisions on the part of several people in the editorial staff, not only of NBC, but of every other news organization which itself had heard the raw audio, knew it was altered and didn't report that news! - there is no possible way that key news material such as that was altered in a vacuum - with that in mind (or carefully kept out of mind), this columnist, a professor of criminal law, characterized these actions in this way,
"Earlier this week, NBC revealed its blunder."
A blunder?! Hellooo (or should I say Hell-Ooohhhhh...!)

Understand - I'm not in any way suggesting that Zimmerman is innocent or guilty, a swell guy or trigger happy nut - I don't know, but I do know that if you are concerned with truth and justice then the typical pattern of questioning and thinking which you go through does not begin with making accusations before making an investigation. And since it's obvious that with just a few google searches there is plenty of information available to, at the very least, make leaping to conclusions seem a less than wise thing to do.

Clearly however, 'they', those whose habitual thinking patterns enable them to go through the motions of thinking in a very different way, are not seeking out facts with which they can consider and infer conclusions from, rather, they have prefabricated conclusions which they seek some data, any data, even manufactured data that can be presented in such a way as to give some credibility to the conclusions they drew without them. 'They' have no interest in seeking out the Truth. None. This was not an error such as failing to carry over a digit in addition, this was the result of multiple and deliberate decisions which were made in order to mislead the public (that’d be YOU!), so as to sensationalize and stir up popular passions, and not only on the part of NBC News, but on the part of the rest of the media as well, who deliberately sought to promote their 'blunders' as fact - Truth be damned!

Clearly they have no interest in the Truth.

Clearly they have no interest in Justice.

Clearly they have no interest in your knowing of either.

The form of thinking which enables a person to be fully engaged in the mechanics of thinking - the questions asked, and not asked, the decisions explicitly made as well as those implicitly made through evasion - while showing no concern at all for whether or not their thinking reflects reality, is that of a pragmatic escape from what enables man’s thoughts to not just 'work for the moment' (which is the pragmatic ideal), but to retain an allegiance to the Truth over the long term. They have no interest in Principles, they only want to be 'pragmatic', they only want what will 'work for the moment'. Pragmatism, the philosophy which forms the basis of modern American thought, and is explicitly the guiding 'principle' behind America's Educational Philosophy (thanks to the Father of modern 'education', who also happened to be one of the founders of Pragmatism, John Dewey), is what enables a person to brazenly step over inconvenient obstacles such as principles of Justice and of evidence and of truth, in order to cobble something together that will 'work for the moment' in moving them closer to the Power they seek - and I have no doubt that they do so 'for the greater good'.

Clearly, this should scare the hell out of you.

In all its guises, the Change that the proregressive left is agitating for, is to get the power to do what they decide is best for you to do, and whether that means going through the govt, or, when govt is held back (by what?), then through inciting the mob, they are seeking for the power to force their will upon society without being hindered by such inconveniences as Individual Rights, or Property Rights, or your right of contract. Your desire to live your own life isn't going to thwart their desire to see to it that you live the life they know is best for you.

After all, "the science is settled" and 'the constitution is out dated', so just sit back, be quiet, and let them 'do good' unto you as they just know is best.

Where is the Justice in that?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Principles Left Behind: The Rush to Slut-Gate and Esau’s Pottage pt 3 of 3

Trading Truth for Tidbits
I began these three posts (first and second) because of how people were responding to the over the top statements and charges made by Sandra Fluke in support of the Obama administration’s Health Insurance Mandates; responding to Fluke & Friends as if they were honestly trying to convince you of something, rather than (very successfully) manipulating the opposition (you), into helping them further their own agenda - and bury yours. Since the first of these posts the media has shifted focus to the latest firestorm and away from Rush Limbaugh’s ‘horrific’ questions of whether or not a woman who needs $,3000 of contraception to make it through law school might reasonably be considered a ‘Slut’; unfortunately that shift has enabled the Fluke flaks to escape with nary a mention of this tidbit of news: “Fluke-associated ‘reproductive justice’ group hosts ‘Slut-Pride’ event at Harvard” ,
“Radio talk show giant Rush Limbaugh has been condemned by nearly every sector of the feminist and left-wing movements for using the term “slut” to refer to 30-year-old contraception activist and Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke — but at Harvard’s “Sex Week” Monday the Harvard affiliate of Law Students for Reproductive Justice championed the term with its own “Slut-Pride” seminar.”
Seriously, could they make my point more clearly than that? Do I really need to make my point more clearly than that? I think... maybe I still do, because while the media storm has changed, the tactics, whether the Fluke flaks or those capitalizing on the Trayvon Martin tragedy, have remained the same.

What was my point? You might find it in comparing what had been cited as Rush’s offensiveness, using the word ‘slut’ in relation to hard working Ivy League law students, while the next week finds that these hard working Ivy League Law Students are festively engaging in a week long celebration of “Sex Week” complete with a “Slut-Pride seminar”, now, does that sound like ‘slut’ was an issue for the left… or a godsend?

If you did get my point, then you should realize that the point was NOT that the left are being hypocrites, but that they purposefully make outlandish statements and accusations, not because they truly have any basis in fact for them, or to convey meaningful information to you, but in order to suck more power from you, through your responses to them.

My point was that they make their attention getting accusations, and this applies equally to last weeks “War on Women!” or this weeks “White Hispanic racial profiling stalking and murder of hoodie wearing people... or blacks”, as well as to whatever the heck news next week brings, while fully expecting to be able to follow up on your responses to them with even more heated, self-righteously offended reactions, reactions which have, and could have, no heat without your principles to fuel them with.

Take a look at that headline again, who was offended and who was on the offense?

It was conservative sensibilities that they were playing to, only conservatives would actually be offended over the word ‘slut’, clearly the use of the word itself could not have inflamed leftist sensibilities – again, see the article above, leftists revel in vulgarity, their cultural signature is that of pursuing the vulgar, flaunting a coarsening of standards ‘pushing the envelope’ or 'defining deviancy downwards' (see the ‘Reason fest’ for evidence ). The Proregressive Left’s huffiness is powered across the media through statements that are spun to magnify conflict with conservatives sense of right and wrong - though the sanctimony is all theirs.

The power of the Left's accusations, comes from the Right's reactions to them, as is made clear in  Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals - and pay special note to the word 'enemy' - that's you:
: …the fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
More importantly, my point was that they do not make their accusations in order to win an argument they never actually made (claims and assertions are not arguments), but instead they are made to lure you into answering their charges, and in so doing they succeed in getting you to abandon the only solid ground you had to stand upon to begin with, that of principle. Here, let me let Alinsky make my point for me, Alinsky
“The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a “dangerous enemy.” — P.100”
Alinsky wasn’t some brilliant innovative thinker, he just had a talent for recognizing what the meaning of the ideas the proregressive left espoused must mean when put into practice, and the actions that would be needed to do so. They are nothing new, he just reformulated what had been practiced a few decades before, and without the German accent.

More than one way to skin a Con….
One way to win an argument you cannot win by strength of argument, is through shifting the argument to another argument, without your opponents realizing it, which is not as difficult as it sounds, it simply means running the old Quality to Quantity switcheroo. When you begin an argument over whether Healthcare should be provided by Govt, and the leftist replies that
“30% of Americans are not covered by healthcare, what about them! Are they just out of luck?! Would you leave them to die on the sidewalk?!”
, they just shifted the original argument - that providing Healthcare is not a proper function of Govt - to what you would do about large numbers of people who are dropping dead of being uninsured – they just shifted your argument, to their argument, which is an entirely different one, they shifted it from the One Principle to the many particulars, Quality to Quantity, Concepts to Percepts, High to Low, it is the sure fire method for transforming Steak to Beef Jerky, and it easily transforms your concern for ‘doing the Right thing’, into useful sympathies for the quantities of people in peril… and why?

The ‘Why’ is critical here. It’s Not because it will help those quantities of people gasping on the sidewalk, not because it will further the cause of liberty and individual rights, not to help you to understand them, most definitely not because it is a better argument, and not even in order to win the argument. No, the purpose is to move YOU from the positions of standing on principle, to their position of standing on an intellectual dinghy, a lifeboat, separated from all long range ideas, principles and truths, leaving you bobbing there, in the moment where urgency and crisis rule, with your attention and sympathies focused upon the sympathetic image of ‘30% of Americans being without healthcare’, which of course means any moment they could have their lives destroyed by medical bills – the purpose is to move you away from the solid ground of integrated Principles, where they know full well that you are unassailable.

This works fine in a one on one debate… but when you want to win something more than the argument of the moment, when you need to battle a whole people who habitually look beyond the moment… you’ve to go that a step further, after all, you can easily step back onto solid ground… right? When the argument is over, you could easily shake your head, and go back to your principled position… right?

The way to destroy your ability to go back, is also the best way to ‘win’ (and by win I mean sabotage) an argument that cannot be won by strength of argument, is to combine the ‘Quality to Quantity’ method with another, destroying the ground under your feet, destroying their opponents (you) ability to make their own argument. That’s done by introducing an arbitrary issue, usually either an asserted standard of ‘fairness’, or something that’s urgent!, into your argument (‘Contraceptive rights’ and ‘woman’s health requirements’ are prime examples of this), which if accepted, you not only find that you must respond to it, but must think of it as if it had meaning, IT becomes the standard which the rest of your argument must justify itself by, and like introducing a nest of termites to the timbers of a home’s foundation, your work there is done, the timbers crumble, the foundation cracks, and your principles come tumbling down.

Look at the ‘development’ of the GOP over the last century. With each accommodation it has made to the themes of the proregressive left, the Taxation, Prohibition, labor law, Social Security, it has slid from the party which won the Civil War, which insisted on Civil Rights, pushed through Constitutional Amendments to secure those Rights for all Americans (13th, 14th, 15th), the party which opposed the President who introduced official segregation into the Army – Democrat Woodrow Wilson – and has slid down into the party (though it still thinks of itself as believing the same things) which is snidely, without effort or question, spoken of, mocked, derided as, being opposed to minorities, the middle class and civil rights.

That is how it works. Read Saul Alinsky, he’ll show you in detail how to make it work. Why does it work?

Termite Taunts
As Aristotle pointed out almost 3,000 years ago, you cannot respond to fallacies as if they were legitimate arguments, they are “that which does not follow”, they are examples of dis-meaning, and if you don’t identify what is meaningful and discard what isn’t, the weeds will take root in your thoughts,
Book Vii, Part 17
""The object of the inquiry is most easily overlooked where one term is not expressly predicated of another…, because we do not distinguish and do not say definitely that certain elements make up a certain whole. But we must articulate our meaning before we begin to inquire; if not, the inquiry is on the border-line between being a search for something and a search for nothing. Since we must have the existence of the thing as something given, clearly the question is why the matter is some definite thing; e.g. why are these materials a house? Because that which was the essence of a house is present…."
Aristotle identified all the fundamentals, that the purpose of considering anything, is to judge its soundness and value, and that value has value by having a credible connection to reality, by being true. You identify what the nature and purpose of a house is, and then you determine what belongs in it by how they support the purpose of the house – or not – if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t belong. The purpose of logic is to ensure that what you’ve said is in that full measure, reliable; not just in what you said, but in the premises which support your saying it. In honest attempts at reasoning, fallacies are made through honest error - even outlandish ones. For instance, it's conceivable that someone could, after noticing that you have a garage, and a shower in your hall, propose installing a car wash in your hall as well -
'well, since people need showers 'cause they like to be clean, and they own cars, it'd be convenient to clean their cars after taking a shower...'
, but even the densest dunderhead would be able to see that while showers have some similarity in purpose and plumbing, the purpose of a home and the needs of typical homeowners would be at odds with an indoor car wash, both sides could eventually reason their way to an understanding as the faulty reasoning is identified, exposed and discarded because of the desire on both parties to respect and reflect reality.

The arbitrary assertion has no such connection, it isn’t even wrong… it is just there, like an elephant in a dining room… it doesn’t belong, it has no place there, it doesn’t enhance the room or its purpose and it isn’t made to enhance the purpose of the house, but to destroy it – there is no possibility of making a convincing argument against it, it wasn’t made to convince you in the first place. When an assertion is made which has no reason for being other than to inflame and corrupt, the only proper response is to dismiss it, with silence or laughter (see post #2), while returning the discussion to the fundamental nature of the discussion, leaving the burden of them for making a logical case for it – which they cannot do – a logical case, a connection to reality – never existed even in their minds.

Put the burden on them, and you will win, but if you answer the arbitrary charge directly, you will join them in their flight from reality. Bon Voyage!

Yet, in time honored Conservative tradition, we take the bait, abandon our ground, and fall flat on our faces at their feet. As I said in part 1:
“A word of advice to all when trying to understand how to respond to the left - don’t bother looking for the answers where the left isn’t concerned with your finding them - IOW what they are saying, and the implications of what they are saying - no matter how outrageous or hypocritical, or even on occasion, sensible, they may seem - it is all safe ground for them, and they know it; it is after all the position they've prepared for you, and if you take the bait and engage them on it - you lose.”
We must realize that proregressive leftists are not making their statements and ‘arguments’ because they believe what they are saying has any real relation to the truth, but only because they see it as a way of ‘making things work’ to further their positions and weaken your ability to rely upon principle.

They are not trying to help you to understand their ideas - they have goals, not ideas – they assert their positions in order to further their ends, not by way of arguments, which their misosophy (via hyper pragmatism) makes them ill-equipped to construct, but through your over generous willingness to believe that they did have one to begin with.

The left has no arguments or even any real intention of arguing with you (as Monty Python pointed out, Contradictions, Assertions and Insults are not Arguments… that’s down the corridor (and too the right, no doubt)), the Proregressive Left cannot make true arguments because they are entirely focused upon the pragmatic ideal, as Dewey said
“There is no absolute and unchanging truth, but rather, truth is what works””
, or more truthfully put:’ “What works at the moment, is what is ‘true’ enough”’, and with such thoughts they sever themselves from reality and the only means man has of discovering and living within it – principles. The Pragmatic ideal is to take action, don’t deliberate, there’s no overriding truth to be sought or found, just try something, anything!, just take action. Not surprisingly, that goes exceedingly well with even more of Saul Alinsky’s advice:

“The fifth rules of the ethics of means and ends is that concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa. To the man of action the first criterion in determining which means to employ is to assess what means are available. Reviewing and selecting available means is done on a straight utilitarian basis — will it work? Moral questions may enter when one chooses among equally effective alternate means. — P.32”
Keep in mind, the leftist will appeal to high-minded values, brazenly so, in fact that is how they attract the youth as they do, they sound so enticingly idealistic, Alinsky pg 32,
"The organizer, the revolutionist, the activist or call him what you will, who is committed to a free and open society is in that commitment anchored to a complex of high values. These values include the basic morals of all organized religions; their base is the preciousness of human life."
They know the power and importance of principles, and they desperately seek the appearances of valuing them, that is the heart of propaganda, but they do so in only the shallowest of ‘photo-op’ instances (Spike Lee promoting ‘Hoodie’ solidarity for Trayvon… from a Nick’s game - sans the hoodie); they do not and cannot practice the ideals they mouth, the first probe for principle ("So Mr. Lee, what is the connection between jobbing apparel and Justice?") will scratch the surface and expose that nothing is there but their own gaping void. For the proregressive leftist the Ends do justify their means, even when they try to moderate them, they do so only to pursue them more efficiently, as Alinsky points out:
"Democracy is not an end; it is the best political means available toward the achievement of these values.
Means and ends are so qualitatively interrelated that the true question has never been the proverbial one, "Does the End justify the Means?" but always has been "Does this particular end justify this particular means?"
Luring you in with the sizzle of steak, while never intending to feed you anything other than a pack of beef jerky instead. Review the last two posts if you miss my point, but it should be clear by now that the left is only interested in using Reason as a tool, a weapon for winning arguments, and accordingly they consider logical fallacies not as errors and flaws, but as useful tactics which will ‘work for the moment’ in swaying opinion in their favor, which is as close to ‘truth’ as they are interested or care to come.

Or to put it ironically: They are opposed to principle, on principle.

So who is Esau and what was his pottage?
It's forgivable to not recall what 'pottage' was, a thick red (very appropriate) stew, but if you don’t remember Esau, you can thank your proregressive education for that. Such stories were eliminated from our educational systems long ago, and respectable discussion of them soon after; I don’t want to shock you too much, but, brace yourself, it’s from (whispers:)The Bible (gasp!), Esau’s Pottage is a very brief passage about two brothers, twins in fact, Jacob and Esau. Esau was the older brother, a hard worker, kind of gruff, who was not all that concerned with impractical things, Jacob knew Esau pretty well, and he knew that when Esau wanted something, he wanted it right then, he wanted satisfaction, then and there, and would value that satisfaction above and beyond any future concerns.
Genesis 25:24-35
24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.[a] 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[b] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Esau Sells His Birthright
29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.[c]
31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”
33 Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
We don’t have the luxury of having a Jacob, as a direct result of our educational system we’re all Esau’s today, but if you don’t want to end up in a well, or sold to a slave driver (read the rest of the story yourself), there are certain things we need to remember. You cannot lose sight of the fact that your reliance upon principles unbound by time, is the anti-thesis to their pragmatic positions made for the moment - you are their enemy and they sense it, and like Esau, they too have a hunger which they must satisfy, but they can only do so by passing some of their own hunger off on to you (ever wonder why zombies are so popular lately?), which they do through moving your focus from planning for the long term, to satisfying the urgent needs of the moment. All else is done or made to serve that, no matter what long term consequences that may cause, or cause them to lose out on – as their patron saint of mis-economics, Lord Keynes said about the long run,
“In the end, we're all dead."
The left by nature chooses Quantity over Quality. The question for the Alinsky generation, isn’t "Is stealing wrong, or right?", it is whether or not it seems as if the particular ‘good’ which they can imagine doing with someone else’s money, ‘justifies’ their stealing it, with ‘justify’ here meaning little more than what Marshal McLuhan and Andy Warhol meant as the new definition of Art:
‘“Art is what you can get away with”
, which is an excellent, real life example, of how the principles which one does, or doesn't hold, truly do surface in your approach to both Art and Justice - a principle the left vociferously denies... yet practices daily.

The proregressive leftist will exuberantly trade away the Right of individuals to live their own life, for gaining attractive privileges in a life that another must provide for them. The Proregressive Leftist’s marketing plan for Utopia is that of getting what you want, when you want it, without fear of consequences – what works for the moment – without fear of an unpleasant consequence in tow.

But the reality is that when you abandon Reason and embrace chaos, you are choosing to eliminate your ability to choose. You cannot embrace, shake hands with or be polite to leftist positions (I’m talking about the positions, mind you, not the people) and expect to be able to hold onto your own principles, or what they provide – a path for pursuing happiness –‘they’ cannot allow it.

When I say ‘They’, I don’t mean a collective of people, but the nature of the ideas which collectivists ascribe to, the philosophy of the left. Even if not consciously, the sensibilities built upon them will shudder at the suggestion that there are universal truths in anything, it’s a slap in the face to the entire leftist program of lifeboat ethics, the foundation of which is urgently doing what seems to work at the moment, because after all, the moment is all there is. Lifeboat Ethics is a favorite tool of college professors for disarming and destroying the morals of new students with something along the lines of :
"You have five people and a lifeboat in shark infested waters that can hold only 4 people, who will you push out?"
, they shift the argument from Ethics, to a situation which urgently requires immediate expedient action and where extended reasoning and debate is not possible – a situation antithetical to ethical consideration and thought, is used to undermine whatever ethics that students might have managed to make it to college with.

Conservatives, need to realize that no matter how much they do to ‘accommodate’ the left and gain favor and popularity with them, or even attempting to win favor through debating them, they never can or will. Conservative positions will always be perceived as a threat, and for at least two reasons.

  • First, your principles are a reminder that there are consequences for all that we do, which is an affront to everything they want, and everything they want to believe.
  • Secondly, your claim to such principles and rights, are barriers which are keeping them from what they want, in just the same way that the Constitution is a barrier to the power to ‘provide’ the universal healthcare they so dearly want.
But enticing you to yield the power of your principles to them, bit by bit, has shown itself to be a means to their getting the power to get what they want, whenever they want it, and so they will do what they need to do to get that power, the power of your principles and rights, away from you. Which is why they will forever gleefully taunt conservatives with promises of niceness, as Lucy does with holding the football for Charlie Brown.

They will wine you and dine you, celebrate your ‘good guy’ness – ‘Maverick’ John McCain come to mind – while focusing your attention upon the moment with them, urging conservatives to see the urgency and need to deal with a situation, “Choose to be your own man”, they’ll say, “Work with us, be reasonable, be pragmatic, just this one time” they'll say – supporting your choice to choose as they’ve chosen for you,

  • thwarting Bush,
  • furthering Campaign finance reform or
  • saving healthcare!
As long as you advance their positions they’ll happily feed you their approval and their access to popularity, and as the conservative takes their eyes off of looking at the world through a principled perspective, they will be cajoled into making a bargain with them, trading their favors for ‘modifying’ your principles in thanks, or in anticipation of the approval which popularity starved conservatives will hungrily eat up, just as Esau ate his pottage, in exchange for their birthright and yours – your principles and your rights, without which, no lesson can be learned.

As the left implicitly understands (and which the rest of us once knew), taking your attention off of what is the highest good, and focusing it upon the immediate and urgent desire you hunger for, is the best way to separate you from your Rights and from your ability to recognize what is true. The more mileage that can be put between you and your principles, the more easily you can be led. The nature of temptation is that you don't gain power over people through forcing their compliance, but from their being tempted into following your wishes... and helping them to 'forget' that choosing ‘just this one time’ means for all time – that to corrupt a principle is to cripple it, and to abandon a principle 'for a time', is to abandon your grip upon the eternal truths in exchange for a satisfying morsel... for the moment. But since it took over a century of corrupting the educational system to rid it of such lessons for most of us, they’re not about to enlighten you on that score.

Once upon a time in America, a good professor could take a passage like that of Esau’s pottage, and spend the entire day, if not the week, drawing lessons out from it, lessons that would Enlighten their students understanding of how best to live, which, once upon a time, was what teachers taught in order to Educate their students – it was Why they were Teachers, and why parents sent their children to be their students. But that was back when an Education was understood as, not a means of training you in skills to earn a living, but as something which made you better at living, something which made you capable of being a moral, self-governing individual and fit for living in liberty with their fellow man. Back then they understood that a side benefit of a good education was that it enabled a person to earn a living in any field they chose… now… it fits you only with the skills useful… for the moment.

A Slap out of Left field - Just For You
So, now, after all of this, as the deeper slap to the face, I'd like to offer to you, in addition to the political argument, and the threat to your Individual Rights that you and, or, your fellows are selling out for gain, I'd like to point out that they are not the real issue here; it isn't even the rhetorical ability to make an argument that has me fit to be tied. It is your willingness to focus upon this circus in Washington D.C. that is centered around healthcare and the legal standing of all of our individual rights - important stuff, no doubt - but the real issue, the point upon which American has been ushered up to the edge of the abyss, is that you, and it is very likely that I do mean you, have quietly allowed your children's education to be sold for pottage, an 'annoyance' to be conveniently offloaded to govt functionaries to handle so that more urgent hungers of your own could be satisfied, but... tell me... what do you suppose your children are being fed by these people who are employed by (directly or indirectly), and beholden to, the people who are writing 2,000 page bills that no one does or can read?


Do you think that they are being taught the importance of reading and reasoning? So that they can be fit to fight for, defend and live in liberty?

Have another bowl on me, brother.

Today, lacking such lessons, our students are ‘feducated’ into becoming good workers who scoff at impractical ideas of Right and Wrong, and we thoughtlessly trade away the birthrights of our children to satisfy our urgent need for some pottage.

Or maybe even for some contraception... eh? Yummy.