Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Shocking New Year's Resolution: Prefer being alone with your own thoughts, to an electric shock

As the year 2019 comes to a close, and a new decade begins, ask yourself this: Can you spend fifteen minutes in a room alone with yourself, with no digital devices, TV, music, books or anything else but your own thoughts? According to a study, 67 percent of men, and 25 percent of women, would rather give themselves painful electric shocks, than spend an uninterrupted 15 minutes of being alone with their own thoughts, without any distraction at all. Apparently there's a connection between that, and why “depending on where you get your numbers, somewhere between 81 percent and 92 percent of New Year's Resolutions fail.

Can you face fifteen minutes alone with your own thought?

While I have zero interest in making New Year's Resolutions, that seems like a worthy one to strive for!

This is an interesting article on how most people fail to face themselves without distraction:
"...What is striking, is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.

Wilson and his colleagues summarized their findings this way: “The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself....”
Their 'studies say' that your resolutions to avoid snacking, drinking, surfing online fail, because you need those distractions from yourself, and that,
"...We reach for a donut the same way some study participants reached for the electric shock.

Is it a surprise that we turn to celebrity gossip or Facebook again and again? Anything seems better than an uncomfortable feeling. Coping works for a few minutes, but then we reach for a distraction...."
If you too would rather indulge in any distractions, even to the point of experiencing pain, over the prospect of being alone with your own thoughts, might I suggest that rather than making New Year's Resolutions to break bad habits... which you are 80% to 90% likely to fail at, that you instead begin the novel notion of getting comfortable with your own thoughts, by, wait for it: Thinking upon things worth thinking about?

I've suggested some of this for beginning a New Year before, and for giving thanks within the year as well, but now that 'studies show' that my suggestions might have a 'scientific basis' for them 😎, I'll suggest again that instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I propose some old questions to be newly asked. And while you won't have to return any membership fees if you fail to answer them, if you get in the habit of just asking them, you might also get to the the point of preferring your own company, to that of a painful electric shock!

Start off with some basics:
"...Western Civilization didn't catch on because of its answers... those are still being argued about more than 3,000 years on... but because of its questions, and its method of comparing your answers to reality, and pursuing the questions which those answers lead to. Questions such as:
  • What is real and how do we know it?
  • What is Good? Why should we care?
  • How can we recognize what is not Good?
  • What is a Good life?
  • What is Happiness?
  • Should what is Right and Wrong, guide our actions?
  • What is Beauty?...What is Truth?...What is Justice?
  • What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?
Ask the right questions, and your listeners [even if that listener is you] will question their own answers, and reality will do the rest...."
Most of all, question what you assume to be true.

There is of course also another very practical, and very important reason, to get comfortable with asking yourself these questions, and for questioning what answers you might first come to, and that is that they are consequential to your life, and to the future of this nation in the year 2020, and for the coming decade of the 20's. The immediate impact of considering such questions is in fact very likely to be far more compelling to our new present, than when I first suggested asking yourself them five years ago:
"...As the old year slips out and the New Year opens up, it's a particularly good time to ask questions that have to do with what is timeless... lest auld acquaintance with them should be forgot. And while it might not seem so, on the surface, these questions we've been asking most definitely involve issues that are timeless - see if you can see how. For instance: Where do you think you fit in, in today's world, are you Pro-Progress, or Pro-Regress? Are you for the Rule of Law, or the Rule of Rules? Are the 'Big Ideas' of Western Civilization something you think much about, or do you mostly shrug them off and just kinda make a snap judgment on various news stories that happen to flit into your view, now and then... and then forget about 'em? Or are you one of the many of us who don't see the point of considering such questions at all, especially not in the midst of the current events raging around us today - ''I'm not getting sucked into THAT mess!'? I hate to cast a pall upon the coming New Year, but I have a sad suspicion that what most people think doesn't matter, isn't going to matter much longer.

Can anyone really think that the precious snowflakes on our college campuses, or the SJW (Social Justice Warriors) brigades in our streets who are openly advocating to eliminate the Freedom of Speech, or 'unbiased' newscasters talking openly of how those they violently disagree with are 'enemies of the state', can anyone really think that these types are going to be tolerant towards those who say 'Oh, I don't pay attention to that stuff' for much longer? How much longer? And when that vocal 'majority' refuses to allow others the choice to either disagree or evade deciding, what do you suppose is going to be the reaction of those who do disagree with them, and what options will they have to do so?

Will the one side have any option left open to them, but to take the other side at their own words, as being their enemies?

No, the time is coming where all will have to decide, one way or the other, where they stand on these issues, because they are what is driving our current events, and your place within them, and brushing them off cannot remain an option much longer. Each person is going to have to choose what they support, and what they will reject. But for those who haven't been paying attention, those - Left, Right, Libertarian and the target rich Moderate center - who've been coasting along on the strength of their snap judgments on this and that - what are they going to base those decisions upon?..."
Again, don't worry so much about whether the answers that come to your mind are correct, just focus on questioning them. Even questioning just one or two of those questions, is likely to carry you through at least fifteen minutes of time. And at the very least, the results are likely to be less shocking than being left alone with nothing to distract you from them.

And remember, as the 'studies show' showed,
"Try to notice: Right before you reach for the habit you want to break, do you experience an uncomfortable feeling that you are trying to distract yourself from?

You won’t break a habit if you are not comfortable with being uncomfortable...."
Break the habit. Prefer the company of your thoughts for fifteen undistracted minutes, to getting an electric shock, for after all, the new year, not to mention the new decade, is going to be very much longer than 15 minutes!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Happy 228th Birthday to our Bill of Rights!

228 years ago today, December 15th, 1791, our states were united in ratifying the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America! Strange, that these same individual rights which we once understood to be so essential to living in liberty as Americans, are what we seem to be the most divided over, and by, today.

With that last in mind, maybe we should all pay especially close attention to the preamble that I've put in bold for you... just in case your eyes are getting as bad as mine (IOW They didn't trust govt led by the Founding Fathers themselves... are you really going to trust it with the bunch we've got today? Pay Attention!).

And although it wasn't planned, I'm very pleased that the first two amendments that were originally proposed, weren't ratified at the time (though one of them was ratified in the 1990's... do you know which one?), because those individual rights, including Freedom of Speech, should be the first set of individual rights protected, followed immediately by the right to keep and base arms in their defense, as the 1st & 2nd Amendments! Providence strikes again.


Proposed Amendments and Ratification
1789 Elliot 1:338--40

Congress of the United States;
Begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789.

The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;--

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the legislatures of the several states, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said legislatures, to be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, namely,--


Articles in Addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the Fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Art. I. [Not Ratified] After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand.

Art. II. [Not ratified... for two centuries] No law varying the compensation for services of the senators and representatives shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

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

Art. IV. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Art. V. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law.

Art. VI. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon principal cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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

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

Art. IX. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reëxamined, in any court of the United States, than according to the rules in common law.

Art. X. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

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

Art. XII. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.

FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
JOHN ADAMS, Vice-President of the United States,

and President of the Senate. 
Attest. John Beckley
Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Samuel A. Otis, Secretary of the Senate.
Which, being transmitted to the several state legislatures, were decided upon by them, according to the following returns:--

By the State of New Hampshire.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 2d article.
By the State of New York.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 2d article.
By the State of Pennsylvania.--Agreed to the 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th articles of the said amendments.
By the State of Delaware.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 1st article.
By the State of Maryland.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve amendments.
By the State of South Carolina.--Agreed to the whole said twelve amendments.
By the State of North Carolina.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve amendments.
By the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve articles.
By the State of New Jersey.--Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the second article.
By the State of Virginia.--Agreed to the whole of the said twelve articles.
No returns were made by the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, and Kentucky.

The amendments thus proposed became a part of the Constitution, the first and second of them excepted, which were not ratified by a sufficient number of the state legislatures.


The Founders' Constitution
Volume 5, Bill of Rights, Document 12
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss12.html
The University of Chicago Press
Elliot, Jonathan, ed. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. . . . 5 vols. 2d ed. 1888. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, n.d.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Two Liberties and the Futility of Utility

To hear the proponents of 'Free Trade!' tell it, America's national policy should be guided by economic interests, and government should never interfere with international trade. Odd then, that the power to "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations" is one of the enumerated powers in the constitution, while 'Free Trade!' isn't even mentioned - and not just because the 19th century term 'Economics' wasn't yet a thing (though Adam Smith assuredly was). The then well known issues which Economics now claims to speak for, and which 'Free Trade!''rs claim the sole right to speak for, weren't even hinted at in the Preamble of our Constitution, because other concerns were understood to take precedence in its 'mission statement':
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
To be sure, a robust and prosperous economy was expected to follow from securing the 'Blessings of Liberty', and it did follow, once a Rule of Law had been established to govern upon the framework of our constitution, but that followed as an effect of our form of government and not as either a cause of it, or as a purpose for it.
"... liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty,
as well as by the abuses of power..."
James Madison, Federalist, no. 63

Am I trying to make a case for Govt intervention into business? Absolutely not. The case that I am trying to make, is that a sound Rule of Law is a necessary precondition for liberty and that is the government's primary concern, and from which secondary issues such as a Free Market can and will then follow upon and within that system, because those primary issues were attended to first. Once a government has established the framework for liberty, which includes providing adjudication of contracts and legal consequences for negligence, fraud, injury to persons & property, then that Govt has no further business involving itself in the operations of businesses within that or compatible external frameworks - but neither do businesses, or those 'economic experts' who claim to speak for them, have any business dictating how such secondary concerns should govern how government ought to handle its primary concerns.

The tendency to promote economic matters as a primary driver of national policy (whether that be pro 'Free Trade!' or pro 'Regulatory State' matters little, both are flip sides of the same counterfeit coin), is to adopt, at best, a Utilitarian view of the purpose of a nation's govt (and of its people), a view which is very much contrary to the understanding that our nation was derived from and founded upon. You'll often see this sentiment cheerfully expressed by Libertarians and Conservatives alike, through misleading lines such as this:
"There cannot be political freedom without economic freedom. This argument is not controversial, even on the left"
Each time I hear such statements, I want to grab someone by the lapels and ask: Why in the world would such a statement be controversial on the Left? If taken seriously, or simply accepted on the face of it, it induces you to put the effect (Economics) before its cause (Political Philosophy), in reverse of the requirements of liberty - hello, guess what Karl Marx himself proposed? In making or going along with such statements as that, you've agreed to play their game by their rules, at which point which 'team' you play for in their league is really of very little consequence or controversy for the Pro-Regressives of the Left (or Right). There are no 'economic rights' that aren't but features of the Individual Rights which give rise to them. To produce or purchase or contract to do either, are but a sliver of the actions which derive from the individual right to speak, associate and act, as well as the right to property which serves to anchor them into the laws of that society. To disregard that and fixate upon such abbreviated 'economic rights', severs them from their roots and props up a fragile and superficial facade in their place, which are then easily buffeted about by the winds of policies and popularity, while the roots that gave rise to them wither and become forgotten. Why in the world would that be controversial on the 'Left' - is that not their constant aim and pursuit?!

Secondary economic issues should not be advanced as if they were the highest priority, and especially not in our relations with foreign governments such as Communist China, which engage in widespread fraud & theft in their dealings with us, not to mention subjecting their own people to the rampant and oppressive denial and abuse of individual rights, enslavement and murder. Such issues are and should be the primary concerns of our government and its policies should be driven by them, while secondary concerns such as trade should come in at a distant second place. To prattle on about unrestricted and even unilateral 'Free Trade!' with such nations as Communist China, to demand the 'liberty' to aid & abet and enrich such nations as that in order to 'make a buck', displays such an appallingly disordered set of priorities that it is necessary to ask: What is it that they mean by 'Liberty'?

Taking liberties with Liberty
When people proclaim that they are 'for Liberty!', it is important to ask them what it is that they mean by that word. Case in point, you've probably heard of the book that is much admired by Libertarians and many Conservatives alike, "On Liberty", written in 1859 by John Stuart Mill - have you read it? If not, you should, if only to discover that there are a great many reasons to not be a fan of either the

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Remember, remember, the 7th of December

Remember, remember, the 7th of December, 1941... another morning when a world of change came out of a clear blue sky.

Remember that when you hyperbolically use words to inflate minor incidents into raging crises - that a crisis that is appropriate to those words, can still come about and leave you speechless.

Remember that things can become worse, in an instant.

Remember that the smoke that rose over our ships December 7th, 1941, led to the smoke over Hiroshima and Nagasaki four bloody years later.

Remember, remember, the 7th of December, for if history becomes only about the past, it will lose all meaning, and your children will have to learn its lessons anew.

Remember that on December 7th, 1941, in the midst of negotiations to preserve peace, those we negotiated with, attacked us.

Remember that sometimes negotiations for peace are simply preparations for war.

Remember that those who serve are always at risk of having the ultimate price demanded of them - and they have agreed up front to pay it for you.

Remember that at Pearl Harbor 78 years ago, Americans were reminded that the freedom to be on the left or right, is not free.

Remember to honor them, and to honor that which you share with them, the liberty and freedom of being an American.

These are lessons to learn, and to remember.

Remember... it matters.

Look around you, in time and place, and remember....

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all my friends and family who understand the importance of talking to each other, and discussing all matters about family and friends, and religion and politics and nutrition, and know how to disagree reasonably without becoming disagreeable - I give thanks that you are in our lives.

For those of you who just can't quite manage that... bless your hearts. :-)


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Digging in: The Devil is in the details of dollars & sense - Economic Politics vs Political Economy pt2

Yes, I know. With all the news about the impeachment follies, and the gaphtastic Democrat POTUS race and stories of the life & mysterious(not so much) death of that 'pedophile to the politi-stars' Jeffery Epstein, I'm over here diving into the differences between 'Free Trade!' & a Free Market, because... why? Well, because they're related. You've heard the line about the Devil's greatest trick being getting people to think that he doesn't exist, right? Similarly, the Pro-Regressive's greatest trick has been getting us to treat national prosperity as a matter of Economics. How... exactly? Well it's a slight-of-mind trick that works like this: In the act of accepting that prosperity is a matter of Economics, your thoughts are diverted away from what actually does cause prosperity (those central ideas of our nation's moral, ethical, political philosophy & practices), and fixated onto those downstream distractions of percentage rate adjustments and trade issues, and before you know it, what truly does matter most has vanished from popular thinking as thoroughly as if the Devil himself had waved his magic wand and said 'Abracadabra... be gone!'. Conceptual vanishing tricks like this have led America's once signature regard for living a good & proper life, to slip quietly out of sight & out of mind, and sorry folks, but when calculating gain is allowed to push moral and ethical reasoning from the center of your thinking, you're going to find yourself confronted with just such bizarre follies as we face today. What happens when you allow yourself to be distracted from what matters: your ideology takes the wheel and speeds you on down the road of good intentions as your GPS locks onto that hot & sulphury destination where all such roads eventually lead. Like most good tricks, it's not all that complicated... neither is what happens when you mistake trickery for reality.

The absence of those central ideas are noticeable all around us today, such as in the recent survey where "Seventy percent of millennials are very open to voting for a socialist candidate..." People ask "What's driving this?", and then typically answer their own question as that post did, in economic terms, where a 'Democratic Socialist' is simply '...a political affiliation keen to spread wealth around through collectivist practices...', and expressing an oddly deterministic fear that such notions are due to "a faith of the cities" - all of which lacks that quality which might actually cause people to answer such surveys differently than they currently do. Do you see the mark that's being missed in this? Tucker Carlson sure doesn't, as he misses that mark even further, and more frustratingly. While he at least concedes that colleges have some connection to our 'current malaise', he says that it's not so much due to what is taught there - according to Tucker, what students are instructed to think (never mind those thoughts they're unlikely to ever encounter, as a result of that instruction) is only 'part of' the problem - but that for Tucker the real problem is an economic one in the form of the financial debt incurred under the influence of 'capitalism'. Both are fine examples of why so many are so open to a socialist candidate today: By treating Socialism/Communism/'Free Trade!'/Populism/[Insert other label here] as merely economic matters, they command about as much attention from people - and the very same type of attention - as they'd give to their credit card 'Rewards!' programs or to picking up a few extra bucks driving for Uber - such attentions invite exactly the distracted shallowness that they've typically received.

Do you see what's missing in them? Little things... like life or death, good and evil, true and false, justice or injustice, perhaps? Once upon a time before the Pro-Regressive era had taken root, the causers of prosperity were studied under the wider ranging heading of 'Political Economy' and was led by the likes of Jean Baptiste Say & Fredric Bastiat, whose desire to know had not yet been divorced from reality and their moral vision (though truthfully you can see signals of the coming turn

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Don't miss the Impeachment Follies' relevance to your life!

I'm worried that people are missing the most important point in the impeachment hearings. One point, which is not that point, has been made often recently, that impeachment is a political process, not a legal process. Yes indeedy that is true, and if you want to get all of the legal details supporting its extra-legal status, I recommend Andy McCarthy's post "Right to Confrontation: The Latest Bogus Legal Argument over the ‘Whistleblower’".

But that isn't the point you should be paying attention to right now.

Let's sneak up on that point kinda slowly. Our legal system, with of its adversarial structure, its methods of what is and is not permitted to be said in court and why, its rules of evidence, its procedures for examination and cross-examination of testimony - these and more, are features that have been developed over the course of 2,500+ years, and developed and refined for a particular purpose. That purpose, is to devise as objective, as verifiable and as fair of a means of getting to the truth of a matter, by those (the judge, jury, public) who do not have first hand knowledge of what actually happened, and who cannot have indisputable knowledge of who is innocent and who is guilty in a given event. In addition to that, our legal system has developed with the understanding that even with all of those rules and systems and checks & balances, the jury's verdict could still be in error, and so we've built in a system for appealing the decision of the court.

IOW: the goal of our legal system is to come as close as possible to achieving Justice, as is possible to mortal men, without forgetting the foreboding fact that our conclusions could be wrong.

And here's the point: the Democrats want no part of that system in the operations of their impeachment hearing.
Whatever their excuses, whatever their assertions and pretensions, the bottom line is that they do not want their political passions to be hampered by a system designed to be as fair as possible and to produce the best conclusions possible. Instead, they simply want to impeach President Donald J. Trump, as they have since before his inauguration. And some, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), ran for congress for the express purpose of :
' we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf-----.”'.
Pardon me, but for myself, in regards to those who want to put on the appearances of having a 'trial', with all of the trappings of our legal system, with few to none of its functional features, in order to achieve their prejudiced and predetermined purpose - which is manifestly not Justice - I'm sorry, but their impeachment follies are of next to no interest or value to me.

But what is of the deepest interest to me, is that what they are demonstrating most clearly in these follies, is that they - the Pro-Regressive Left & Right - believe that their interests are best served, through unjust means, and that is why they are doing what they are doing.

Remember that!

And along those lines, here are two very important points that you should keep foremost in mind, much more than whatever silliness is said in the impeachment follies, as Dana Loesch noted, these people who are right now demonstrating their preference for getting their way, preferring favorable hearsay over serving Justice, these same people want very much to use that same power over you and your right to defend yourself against them.

Keep that in mind in each and every election, and in every discussion of one:
"This video is INSANE: "Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley (IL) on evidence: "Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct ... and it's certainly valid in this instance"

These lawmakers who say “hearsay can be much better evidence than direct” are the same ones who want to subject you to a due process-less red flag system. I’m sure that will just stop with guns, right?

Are those who support that bonkers red flag policy still cool with it?"
Oh Hell no!

Monday, November 11, 2019

For Veterans Day - Thank You For Persisting 'The Harder Right', Across Time

Commemorating Veterans Day once again with two earlier memories; one from four years ago now, which was itself remembering this day from 5 years before that, and doing so recalls what persists across time on this day, our fellows who choose 'the harder right' by volunteering to serve in our military. No matter where they may end up being stationed, when they volunteer to serve they are volunteering to put their lives on the line, period. There is no assurance that they won't at some point be sent to physically put their lives at risk, be injured, or be killed. None. Whether their service ends up being given entirely stateside in administrative duties, or repeatedly at hazard in war zones, the worst case is risked by all at that moment when they sign their lives on the dotted line. In pledging their lives to support and defend our Constitution, they serve to secure to us the ability to live lives worth living (should we choose to).

To all of our Veterans - Thank You.

[And now, back to 2015:]

[For Veterans Day this year, I'm going with a re-post from four years ago, which isn't - for me or others - the typical Veterans Day post, but for me it really goes to the heart of the occasion. This post came back into mind a couple days ago when a 'Memories' app popped up some pictures from the 2011 Veterans Day parade in St. Louis that I took part in with Chris & Dana Loesch, "Patch" Po/ed Patriot and our kids [Patch just confirmed my sketchy pictureless memory, Stacy Washington was with us too). The memories were a nice tug - I mostly only see Patch online now, and the Loesch's have since moved to Dallas (catch "Dana" on the BlazeTV), but more than the sentimental value, was the point of this post, well illustrated in the movie clip, of the importance of choosing the Harder Right - not only in the sense of putting your life on the line for it, but the importance of choosing the harder right to a life worth living, and that is what I associate most with our Veterans.

Our Veterans volunteer their lives onto the line, and in pledging their lives to support and defend our Constitution, they serve to secure to us the ability to live a life worth living, should we also take the harder right, and choose to.

To our Veterans - Thank You.

[And now, back to 2011:]

For Veterans Day, a clip that doesn't at first appear to have anything to do with Veterans or Veterans Day. It's the climactic scene of a movie that's really grown on me over the years, The Emperor's Club. In this, the point of not only an Education, but of a life well lived - or squandered - is conveyed in just a few moments.

The now aging Mr. Hundert, a Classics Professor, is found in the restroom after a debate competition, by his former student, Sedgewick Bell, who is now grown and launching a campaign for the Senate. Bell was a student he'd tried far more than he should have to help, and Hundert has realized that Sedgewick has yet again cheated in the "Mr. Julius Caesar" debate, which Mr. Hundert was moderating.

He lets his former student know that he knows he tried to cheat, again...
Mr. Hundert:"I'm a teacher Sedgwick, and I failed you. But I'll give you one last lecture, if I may. All of us, at some point, are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror, and see who we really are, and when that day comes for Sedgewick, you'll be confronted with a life lived without virtue, without principle - for that I pity you. End of lesson."

Sedgewick Bell:"What can I say Mr. Hundert? Who gives a shit. Honestly, who out there gives a shit about your principles and your virtues. I mean, look at you, what do you have to show for yourself? I live in the real world, where people do what they need to do to get what they want, and if that means lying, and cheating... then so be it.
So I am going to go out there, and I am going to win that election Mr. Hundert, and you will see me EVERYwhere! And I'll worry about my 'contribution' later.
(Sound of a toilet flushing, stall opens, Sedgewick's little boy comes out, stares at his dad in disgust)
Sedgewick Bell:"Robert? Robert...."
(Robert turns and leaves)
Sedgewick stares after him, stares down, glances at Mr. Hundert, and leaves.
What Mr. Hundert has, he has without need of power, position or wealth... what Cedric threw away, he can't replace through any amount of power, position or wealth.

The best things in life are free... but you've got to earn them, and sometimes fight for them; and some worthy few even choose to risk their lives for your chance to enjoy them.

Thank you to all those who chose the harder right, and especially the Veterans who agreed to risk their lives for it, if need be.

UPDATE - Pictures from the St. Louis Veterans Day Parade
Special thanks to Dana Loesh for inviting us to march with her crew in the parade, my daughter & I were honored to show our support.

Dana Loesh (in a strep throat burqa), Me, Patch Adams and Chris Loesch , ready to roll

... coming around the corner... (pic swiped from Patch Adams)
Parading past Soldiers Memorial
The best message of all!

Patch posted a video that should be an alarming shame in contrasts to all. For those who did turn out for the parade yesterday, thank you, your quality isn't questioned, but for the quantities of others who couldn't be bothered, shame on you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

What if 'Free Trade!' Undermines a Free Market and Liberty itself? - Economic Politics vs Political Economy pt1

Of the hot topics making the rounds at the moment, bringing up the Hong Kong protests, or economic Tariffs, or both, is sure to get you peppered with opinions from all perspectives, each more confidently given than the last (glances at mirror, winks), many of which are sure to be delivered with a rousing round of 'Principles!'. Funny thing though, many of those 'Principles!' folk who are upset about LeBron James and some in the NBA & Hollywood caving in to Communist China to keep the $$$ flowing despite China's lawless abuses of 'human rights', are often the very same Libertarian-ish folks who are advocating for 'free trade!' with Communist China to keep the $$$ flowing despite China's lawless abuses of 'human rights'.... because... uhhh...hmmm.

Why... it's almost as if some people's 'Principles!' are more rooted in ideological positions, than in a principled view of reality.

What do I mean? Well, if you've read any of my posts, I probably don't need to explain why I support of the Hong Kong protesters against the actions of Communist China. But maybe you question how 'Free Trade!'rs opposition to 'Tariffs' against Communist China, somehow conflicts with fundamental principles of Liberty?

I'm so glad you asked!
What if it's thinking that "It's all about the Economy, stupid!",
that's stupid?

We'll eventually need to clarify what is meant by 'Free Trade!' of course, but starting with first things first, let's look closer at those "Principles!" folks, who're so adamantly insisting that their economic "Principles!" should be consulted first in anything and everything that's even remotely related to economic matters. There are several questions which, if they take their 'Principles!' seriously (most do not, hence my annoying italics) they should have carefully considered and worked their way through in the process of arriving at their "Principles!", which if you ask them questions like these the next time they raise their 'Principles!', the blank stares that will follow from most, will help separate the principled from the posers. For instance:
  1. From what basis does the core of those principles of yours come from?
  2. ... and what sort of principles, if any, do those 'Principles!' of yours displace...?
  3. Did you derive and develop your 'Principles!' through those fundamental first principles that are rooted in the beginnings of Western Civilization?
  4. Or... maybe you feel those that (somehow) 'sprang up' from the 18th & 19th century political economists such as Richard Cantillon (if you don't recognize that name,Hayek did), Adam Smith, Jean Baptist Say, Frédéric Bastiat & Richard Cobden are plenty good enough all on their own, so... why ask why?
  5. Or do you trace your "Principles!", as most today do, to those who built the appearances of them into our lives in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, as Pro-Regressive 'Progressives' actively pursued political power and influence in their take over of America's systems of higher education... and beyond?
Did you realize that there may be some conflicts between what are taken as 'principles', between one or more of those groups? How do you evaluate and decide between them (or do you bother to)? Of those groups, how much do you want to bet, that the latter one's "Principles!", have more to do with exerting political power, than with what is right and true - economically or otherwise?

If you're not sure what I mean by that, I've got an outstanding book that'd be well worth your while to read, from, of all people, a Professor at Princeton, Thomas C. Leonard, "Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era ". Each page is an eye-opener, and to this particular point, on page 19. he notes how the original vehicle of the Free Market, under 'Political Economy', began to be progressively transformed into a more statist friendly system of ideological

Monday, October 14, 2019

Happy Columbus Day!

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

 IOW:

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

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

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

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

In fourteen hundred ninety-twoColumbus sailed the ocean blue.

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

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

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

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

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

The responses of those who do still grasp the importance and inalienable nature of our rights, shy away from the virtue signaling and calls for limiting everyone's liberty because the criminal actions of a few, they focus on reminding us of the dangers which these proposals pose to our lives, individual rights and responsibilities; the sober need to punish actual wrongs, and the importance of having a deeper understanding of these important principles. The people who care about our individual rights, tend to see you, not as a statistical blip in a political pinball game, but as a human being, and the need to be secure from our own worst and best intentions, because they see the deep and widespread damage which such tinkering will have on our ability to live lives worth living. Case in point, Dana Loesch's comments about the various proposals of Red Flag laws, has been focused on what most other people seem to work so hard at not noticing, that these proposals are reckless attacks not just on guns, but are attacks [as all regulatory law is] upon concepts that are fundamental to all of our rights, such as “innocent until proven guilty":
1) #RedFlagLaws are an inversion of “innocent until proven guilty.” The standard of evidence is low and while state laws vary, many different people, not just family, can report you.
, and the right to face your accusers:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

But it is only possible for those who understand that.

For those intemperate folk who simply wish to sing the praises of, or rain curses down upon, that

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 08, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 26, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Trump's Tweets - De-ranting Washington's Rules of Civili-Tweeting.

Ok, so... as my Monday rant on the furor over Trump's Tweets has faded from my blood pressure, some questions have surfaced about it - sorry, but rants being what they are, it may not have been too clear on who or what my rant was directed at in the wake of Trump's tweets.

No, I was not ranting against Trump... directly. I was more ranting over how the ludicrous offendocrats (Left, Right & Center), have dutifully ignored ALL of the instances of truly anti-American, racist, mendacious, tyrannical and ideological norms that've run amuck in our Politically Correct world today (I'd hoped that the many links in the rant would point ya'll's attention that-a-way). Outrages which they've  so easily and entirely ignored for decades, and yet these same flustered pearl-clutchers come wide awake and fully aroused, when Trump tactlessly points out some harsh opinions, flawed facts and obvious truths, causing themselves, the media, and the various 'spheres (Twitter, Blogger, etc) to spaz out with an:
"Egads! The Orange Man has failed to be a shining example of George Washington's Rules of Civility! Burn him! And everyone who agrees with him!"
They vent their outrage over Trump's Tweets, while ignoring the fact that they themselves not only utterly fail to live up to that ideal (in everything from Pink Pussy Hats & Slut Walks, to violently silencing Free Speech & fascist antifa terrorism and thuggery, etc), but it's a standard that they've been actively ridiculing for decades (again, see my rant's links).

To give the short answer first, before getting into the details of why, no, Trump's Tweets were not racist, and what is most upsetting about the the outrage over Trump's Tweets, is that there's nothing, nothing, to be upset about in them - the outrage you find there, is your own. And by focusing on these four, the outrages of thousands of others, are ignored. But if racist is what you're looking for, I'll be happy to direct you to a select few of the many comments of Omar, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and more, that are racist, and biggoted, and anti-Semitic and anti-American. That being said though, Trump's Tweets were worded in such a way as to guarantee an uproar, and as bad as that is, what's worse is that it's very likely the only way that We The People of today would take notice of what desperately needs being taken notice of, and now. Sad.

To be clear about what direction I'm coming at this from, as I've said too many times before, I'm not a Trump Supporter (though I most definitely used Trump's name on my ballot to counter the greater threat to the nation in the Pro-Regressive Hillary presidency posed), but I'm also not a Trump Hater, I'm simply not a fan, and haven't been since the 1980's (even in his "Art of the Deal", he showed a willingness to use govt to aid his own ends, which I'm opposed to, and his personal style in doing so, doesn't appeal to me), but I've never had reason to think him to be a fool, or a racist, or a fascist, or a [insert idiotic blank here], and while I've been unsurprised at the number of his missteps, loose comments, self-inflicted tweets, etc., that's he's made, I've also been pleasantly surprised, and pleased by the majority of his actual actions in office, especially those which involve reducing regulations, making generally good use of the military, and the judiciary - mostly in the lower courts, as Kavanaugh is about what I expected of him, yet Gorsuch was a very pleasant surprise.

What I do support politically, is our Constitutional form of representative, limited govt, where Govt's powers are limited to upholding and defending Individual Rights and (and that last 'and' is only