"...what the Founding Fathers called corruption, depravity, venality, and vice, many of us would call freedom"I'll get to the source of it in a few inches, but really, isn't that something? I mean, I realize that confession is good for the soul... but I suspect that boasting about your vices is probably going to cancel out any benefit you might have had from confessing them freely... don't you? But it fits in nicely with what I wanted to say, so I'll cheerfully let HuffPo help me out.
|Rodin's The Gates of Hell|
Picking back up from the previous post, I noted that our Rights can survive the attacks of the likes of Sen. Feinstein and the rest of the proRegressive leftists who would like nothing more than to convert our rights to regulated permissions... but can our Rights survive the attempted defense by the likes of O'Reilly & Kristol? Can our Rights, survive as Rights if their thinking - 'no reason to allow big scary guns or anything other than would be common sense for hunting' - is the best argument that can be mustered against those who, like Sen. Feinstein, say that 'Rights must be controlled by those in Govt who know best.'.. if that is the popular understanding and 'defense', can you be said to have any Rights at all?
As I've said before, the answer is No, I don't think so.
If you are one of those who are relying on O'Reilly's & Kristol's words to inform your understanding of what your Rights are, they will leave you holding onto a large, pretty, piece of constitutional paper, and entirely defenseless against those with the power to abuse your Right to live your own life.
The Examiner sums up the typical post-high-profile-shooting rush to encourage gun control, that blur what the Right to 'bear arms' means,
"While the 2nd Amendment does guarantee the right to "bear arms," there never seems to be a clear definition to what "bear arms" really means. Did the Founding Fathers mean a musket? Does it mean a pistol or a rifle? Does the 2nd Amendment mean automatic, or semi-automatic guns with 100 round magazines? At some point, rational people will need to put their feet down and say "enough is enough." For people like Sen. Johnson, "enough is enough" might never might be the answer."Do they think that to "bear arms," was really written with a specific weapon in mind? Does the concept of self defense depend upon what you defend yourself with? Does the concept of self defense depend upon who you defend yourself against? Seriously? This is nothing but the plaid suit scam artist attempting to distract you with what isn't really relevant, in order to take your attention away from what is relevant, in order to get something else of value from you.
Distraction, equivocation and arbitrary claims, are the methods they use to do that, attempting to run away as fast as they can from the principle of the Right to bear arms, and towards which particular arms the Founders, in the 1790's, in their preposterous wigs, and muskets, might have been able to imagine, in order to take from you what is inalienably yours:
, IOW, your Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that is what is at stake, that is what you lose if you lose your focus upon what really is important. They have no real argument, nothing more substantial than Feinstein's "I disagree", no reasoning, only arbitrary disagreement.
- your Right to your own life,
- your Right to defend your life,
- and your Right to make your own decisions about your own life
Equally distracting and dismissive, is this:
'Oh, the founders couldn't have imagined such bad things as we face today'.That isn't an argument, but a way of avoiding one. According to Feinstein, and The Examiner and William Kristol, our Founders couldn't imagine a day like today, that unlike any other time in American history, today is the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day of the violent, which our innocent, simple, pre-technological agrarian Founding Fathers could in no way anticipate or comprehend.
This is the underlying assumption of our day, that our time 'is different' from their time, and all they say depends upon your believing it: it is a lie.
But it is more than a lie, it is a tactic, it is the method of distancing us in our time, from the timeless principles that our Founders stood up for in their time. It is the tired old meme that was begun with the likes of Woodrow Wilson & Teddy Roosevelt, saying that
'that may have been true then, but that was ages ago and what was true then, no longer applies to a modern, technological age such as ours today'It is a lie, and as with all lies, every ounce of its perceived strength, is dependent upon your ignorance of it, and of what it conceals.
Such a lie must be identified, targeted and killed, but guns will be useless in this battle, and you kill it with your knowledge of what is true.
Allow me to offer you a Truth that may not have occurred to you.
Have you considered that Woodrow Wilson & TR's notion of how ‘modern technology’ transforms our time into something different from our Founders time, comes to us from a time that was still aghast at the idea of automobiles, electricity and the electric light bulb? An age where airplanes were still a dream?! An age where the epitome of high-speed communication was the telegraph?!The ProRegressives of Woodrow Wilson & Teddy Roosevelt's age, who first formed and floated these idiocies back in 1886, and which are exactly what Obama is promoting today, have you considered that their time, is even more ancient to our time, than the Founder's time was to theirs?!
Using their own criteria then, the idea that Truth is not timeless but ages poorly, that you should free yourself from the past and be 'pragmatic' and 'do what works for the moment', if that is their ideal, why should anyone today, be so foolish as to listen to such dark age, pre-technological fools as the ProRegressive Leftist clinging to their ancient notion of a 'living constitution' in blind and embittered thoughtless adoration?!
And of course, they have to answer that 'That's ridiculous, these ideas aren't invalid just because they are old!', to which the obvious reply is that our Founding Father's ideas aren't invalid just because they are old either. And with that established, then logically you must agree to compare and see which set of ideas are more true, more coherent, more representative of the nature of man and more durable across time.
And that is an argument that they are doomed to fail against. And they know it. So let's get a few things straight before we get into what is right and wrong about Rights.
No lost golden age, no future utopia
There never was, never has been, and never will be a lost 'golden age' when men were better, more innocent, and our Founders era was no different in that regard. In this sense, there may be differences in degree between their time and ours... perhaps, but not in kind. Mankind has always been and always will be, subject to making errors - it is the dark side of our greatest gift, Free Will, and the Founders era was no different in that way. What was different, was that they had a better understanding of what could be, of what should be, and of what we should strive for, and a more sound foundation of reliable knowledge and principles to build a path upon and to seek what should be sought, with - that is what is missing today, and the difference that the absence of that imaginable high ground makes, the present absence of 'a city on a hill', is profound.
It is the source of the darkness we are benighted with today.
Lest you be taken with the conceited ignorance of our time, that uniquely in our time have bad things happened in society or even in the schools, I'd like to give you a googled moments worth of hints, that there were instances of violence in the founders time as well, just as there is today - there is nothing special about our time - our Founding Fathers were well aware of the darkness inherent in us.
Our Founder's era saw our first recorded serial killers, the Harpe Brothers who supposedly killed up to 40 people in the late 1700's.
Schools were not full of students that were meek, obedient and politely following their teacher's every word. There were instances of student rebellions at Harvard in the 1760's, from the slightly silly sounding 'Great Butter Rebellion",
"the earliest recorded rebellion at harvard occurred in 1766 over bad butter at the commons. Numerous others followed, for similar reasons, both there and elsewhere.", on down to the far worse situations that sometimes saw students bringing pistols and shooting their fellows and teachers dead. In Britain there were full scale rebellions and riots on the part of the students against their teachers,
"As they approached, one of the students yelled out that he would shoot the bailie if they continued their plan. John ignored the student's warning and charged ahead with the battering ram. William Sinclair, the student who had previously yelled the warning, fire two shots from his pistol, both of which entered John's head and killed him.", and instances of violent death brought to students in their classrooms,
"During the class, four Delaware (Lenape) American Indian warriors entered the school. Enoch pleaded with the warriors to spare the children. The Lenape Indians silenced Enoch with a shot and then scalped him. The warriors then turned on the children with their tomahawks. The warriors scalped all twelve students and killed ten of them. Only two survived this early American act of school violence. In historical records this act of school violence has become known as the Enoch Brown School Massacre."What? Savagery only counts if it was committed by Whites and not Indians? Racist much? It is savagery, no matter how 'civilized', which you have a right to bear arms against.
If you hunt for references available online, going back to Sam Adams' first stirrings against British Rule in in the early 1760's, you'll discover that a good deal of the reasons for why they sought to establish liberty, was so as to require, raise and improve the morals of We The People, which they feared were being brought low under the rule of a distant other. They weren't deceived into thinking that our Rights or our Liberty came from the govt, but rather that a too powerful Govt was corrupting the peoples morals, and through that process, they were discarding their liberty and their Rights, which the crown was then scooping up and using to increase the power it had over them.
There's a hint of this, in a letter John Adams wrote, replying to a Mr. Gordon, who was seeking to write a history of the Revolution, this is from Philadelphia, 8 April, 1777:
" I had your favor of 27th March by this day’s post. That this country will go safely through this revolution, I am well convinced; but we have severe conflicts to endure yet, and, I hope, shall be prepared for them. Indeed, there is one enemy, who to me is more formidable than famine, pestilence, and the sword; I mean the corruption which is prevalent in so many American hearts, a depravity that is more inconsistent with our republican governments than light is with darkness. If we can once give energy enough to our governments, and discipline enough to our armies, to overcome this base principle of selfishness, to make citizens and soldiers feel themselves the children of the commonwealth, and love and revere their mother so much as to make their happiness consist in her service, I shall think we have a prospect of triumph indeed."Which brings me back to the quote at the opening of this post, for in googling around for these few examples online, I was surprised to find a reference to this on, of all places, The Huffington Post. My initial surprise though, quickly turned to amusement, as I realized that they found Adams' urging of morals and virtues to be priggish, tyrannical and offensive to them - proving his point rather well, I think. HuffPo's tone against Adams', might be described as describing John Adams, as sinfully puritanical, have a look:
"...The Founding Fathers hoped that self-rule would cure Americans of their love of frivolities. A government of the people, John Adams argued, would make the people disciplined, stern, hard-working, and joyless -- the qualities he most admired. It would "produce Strength, Hardiness Activity, Courage, Fortitude and Enterprise; the manly noble and Sublime Qualities in human Nature, in Abundance." Adams understood that democracy forced the people to shed their pleasures and surrender their personal freedom, because they alone would shoulder the responsibility of managing society.Don't you love that? The tone of sarcasm directed towards morality and virtue? And sense. And how about the last part? A better mirror of the dark soul of the modernist, is hard to imagine. I don't know about you, but seeing The Huffington Post describe John Adams 'favorite virtues', that of being disciplined, stern and hard-working as being 'joyless', is far more descriptive of The Huffington Post, than of John Adams. They cannot quite fathom his concern over sagging virtues, as being anything other than a prudish dislike for their treasured 'joys' of decadence... it is completely beyond them.
"Under a well regulated Commonwealth, the People must be wise, virtuous and cannot be otherwise. Under a Monarchy they may be as vicious and foolish as they please, nay, they cannot but be vicious and foolish. ... Virtue and Simplicity of Manners are indispensably necessary in a Republic among all orders and Degrees of Men. But there is so much Rascallity, so much Venality and Corruption, so much Avarice and Ambition such a Rage for Profit and Commerce among all Ranks and Degrees of Men even in America, that I sometimes doubt whether there is public Virtue enough to Support a Republic."But what the Founding Fathers called corruption, depravity, venality, and vice, many of us would call freedom ... "
Much as Individual Rights are beyond Sen. Feinstein, and for the same reasons.
The idea that, as someone recently said, 'if you throw open the gates of Hell, don't be surprised when it comes out!", is so completely beyond their comprehension or famous 'toleration', as to be from another world, or the 'different time' they confess their yearning so for. But as I said, while confession is good for the soul... I suspect that boasting about your vices, cancels out any benefit that it might have brought you... don't you?
So, to sum this little diversion up, while the measure of our modern day vices (and virtues) may differ from our Founders time in degree, but there is little or no difference in kind between our time, and their time. Our Founders were well aware of the knowledge that guns could be used for purposes other than hunting (you might want to read up a bit on the French & Indian war, not to mention the Revolutionary war - nothing is as famously savage as civil war, which our war for independence was), or that evil men would do evil things with whatever weapons they might bring to bear - that would have been no shocker to our Founders whatsoever.
What might have shocked them, for a moment, would be the thought that a free people would seek to respond to evil, by disarming themselves against it. But only for a moment.
The refrain of Sen. Feinstein, O'Reilly and Kristol, that,
'Oh, the founders couldn't have imagined such bad things as we face today'., is pure, conceited, naive, ignorance and self-blinded stupidity, and it shows an ignorance of history and of human nature, that should warn you away from anything else they might have to say that relates to history and how you should live in it.
But, in the modernists defense, it is the only way they had, and have, of dragging the Founders down from their once revered heights. They had to drag them down so that they could be ridiculed, and cast aside. Dragging them down as figureheads, so that they could avoid having to challenge their ideas in open and honest combat - which they could have had no hope of winning - and so escape to the safety of making feeble jokes about their muskets and lack of fashion sense.
And that is, and always has been, the leftist proRegressive method of response/attack, even before there was an Alinsky, a ProRegressive or even a Left... Socrates would have recognized it just as well as the M.O. of the Sophists: to reduce Truths by pulling down higher concepts, by attaching them to some irrelevant incidental that can be mocked, such as powdered wigs, and in tying them to that particular instance, they can then be safely contained, ridiculed and discarded.
As I mentioned last post, what Alinsky so recently coined as,
"Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.", has always been the coin of those who seek power over what is right and true; it has been the stock in trade of peddlers of power for thousands of years, and the only thing new about it is our ignorance of its ancient, traditional, stodgy, and awkward intellectual stuntedness.
What it literally means to do is to pull down what is Good, Beautiful & True, in order to transform it into what is Grey, lifeless & 'Machiavellianly' useful to those who want only to use you. Aka: Power.
A friend reminded me this weekend of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which is one you should keep in mind all day, every day, as you go about your work - listen to what those around you are saying:
"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. We can only see what we are, and if we misbehave we suspect others."There is much that I have come to disagree with Emerson on, but on this point, he was dead on accurate. In their comments upon 'gun control', Sen. Feinstein, O'Reilly, Kristol and all the rest, expressed something central to their character, as well as those who believe as they do. They are expressing their belief in their prerogative to make choices about your life, their belief that their sensibilities are more important than your own ability to defend your life, that their belief that their decisions about what constitutes 'common sense' are more valid and binding upon the people of the United States of America, than the Constitution by which our government was established, and whose laws must abide by, or risk making the law itself unlawful.
What they confess in themselves, through their attack/defense of your Rights, is a share in the characteristics of tyrants, which is not in any way mitigated by their 'good intentions'.
The only defense we have against them, or need, is to refuse to follow. Refuse to comply. Learn about what your Rights are and educate your fellows. Shine the light of truth upon them, and stand back as the roaches scatter.
To be continued....