Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How Music Killed Racism

Before I even get started, let me say that racism in America will never disappear completely. So, if you're one of those hyper-sensitive people that looks for evidence no matter how obscure, this is not for you. I suggest, with all DUE respect, go back to your coloring and eating boogers. I'm speaking in general terms about how America was transformed from a country with predominantly racist views to one in which it had all but disappeared for all intents and purposes. Music, and more importantly, black musicians, is what/who we have to thank.

I grew up in a culture that remembered discrimination very well. I listened to older Italians talk about how they couldn't get jobs because of their nationality. I've been on my own since I was 12 or 13 living on the streets of Boston and my friends were a mixed bag of misfits who had one thing in common...The Blues. My friend Entz (whose family was from Germany) had a record player in his basement and we would gather on weekends or afternoons and listen to the greats- Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Elmore James and a host of others. Almost all of our musical "heroes" were black, so racism just didn't seem to make any sense to us.

Music was the catalyst that brought 1950's America out of it's racist coma. Values that pervaded white culture since after the War of Northern Aggression were vanishing. As the saying goes, "rock & roll was here to stay." It was driven by music that had it's roots in black culture. The blues and later jazz were products of the gospel music and "slave songs" of the American South and were perhaps the only uniquely American contribution to world culture.

Not many in my generation will ever forget sitting in a car with their girlfriend listening to Johnny Mathis to "get her in the mood." Johnny's singing transcended race and spoke to us on a much deeper level (somewhere just below the beltline in many cases). Black music was pervading America's youth culture, much to the dismay of many parents and other authority figures; but we didn't care...and we also didn't care that the musicians themselves were predominantly black.

Chuck Berry brought us Rock & Roll. Admittedly, there were many, many white R & R musicians and they were good as well, but there was something special about Chuck- he was animated! While most musicians stood and played, Chuck danced around the stage doing his now famous "duck-walk." Elvis may have come fairly close, but most of his early music was cribbed from black artists and while Chuck danced, Elvis shimmied and shook. He reminded my friends and I of an "escaped mental patient." (Not my words, you can thank Peter Christian [not his real name] for that)

As the 50's turned into the 60's the music got even better and racial barriers melted even more, despite the cries of racism by people who stood to gain themselves. The black music culture gave us Jr. Walker, the Temptations, Otis Redding, B.B. King The Four Tops and many others. Artists such as B.B. King and Otis Redding had been around for years and were being discovered by white audiences. Racism, as an institution was disappearing. There will always be instances of it somewhere, but the outright practice was all but gone. The Civil Rights Movement and ensuing legislation was made possible by black musicians who made their culture acceptable to white youth.

Next: How Politicians Brought It Back

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cultural Marxism: The Long March to Despotism

As the assault on America's cities continue in the aftermath of the election, it is important to take a look at just who it is that is protesting and why. One look at the crowds will tell anyone that it is not mainstream Americans, but Black Lives Matter thugs, dissatisfied college students and other "millennials". Why does President-elect Trump, and presumably what he stands for, pose such a threat to these people?

To understand this, we must understand Cultural Marxism, because that's what is driving the protesters into such a frenzy. As the video points out, when Marxism failed to unite the masses before WWI, something new was necessary if Marxist theory was to succeed. Without rehashing the entire video, to succeed in implementing Marxism, a transition in which political Marxism was to be replaced with Cultural Marxism.

It began in the United States almost by accident during the Great Depression when FDR began Social Security and other state funded assistance programs replaced the existing means of helping people. Prior to the 1930's if a family needed help they went to their local church. Needless to say, during the depression, church funds became stretched pretty thin so the state stepped in. The problem is, when you get help from your church, you're getting it from your neighbors who you see frequently. This encourages everyone (except the chronically dishonest) to receive help responsibly. Conversely, when you're getting help from the government, a faceless entity, there is no incentive for responsibility. This played into the hands of the incipient Cultural Marxist movement perfectly.

In the 1960's two important things happened. First, was the counterculture movement, ushering the politics of resentment. For anyone wishing an in-depth explanation, see my blog of the same name (The Politics of Resentment). Second, and equally important was the Great Society program of LBJ which fueled the welfare state and began the breakdown of the nuclear family- all part of the Cultural Marxist revolution. For CM to succeed a rejection of existing values must occur, thus an attack on traditional values such as nationalism, patriotism, Christianity and the family. A cultural elite sprang up in academia, the arts and education that embraced "critical theory," an all out attack on everything most Americans respect and hold dear. The goal- to destroy Christian culture and with it America.

The educational system morphed from an institution that taught into a tool of indoctrinating America's youth. Critical theory attacks critical thinking, replacing it with collectivism. Cultural collectivism becomes political statism. The family is replaced by the government- the "Nanny State." One of the most tragic effects of the social welfare system has been on the nuclear black family. Prior to the 60's the black family was one the strongest social units in America. We are now witnessing the result of the Great Society...over 70% of black children born out of wedlock and an adult male population with an astronomical incarceration rate. To what quote LBJ: "I'll have those niggers voting Democrat for the next 200 years." There was never any intention of helping, only in amassing a block of voters.

The goal- a socialist state. The real tragedy of all of the rioting and protesting by the Cultural Marxists is that even if they were to get what they want, it wouldn't help them one iota. There are cultural/globalist elites who stand to benefit from the efforts of the Cultural Marxist pawns. Having been weaned on the myths of the self-esteem movement these pawns (and that's all they really are) are only capable of viewing the world in terms of myopic selfishness. Thus, the histrionics of the post-election tantrums are explained. They didn't get their own way and their fragile value system is under attack so they act out- just as they have since birth.

What they don't understand is that the Cultural Marxist elites don't care a whit about them. Even more tragic is that they don't understand that the values that they fight so hard against are the very values that afford them the luxury of protesting. If Cultural Marxism was to succeed and middle-class values wiped out, all the CM pawns would have to look forward to is institutionalized misery.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Human Nature: What Is It?

This is probably going to amount to a lot of stuff I've already addressed but before going into Cultural Marxism (tomorrow) we need to look at human nature to fully understand how human beings can be swept up by it. So, what is human nature?

All social scientists make some form of a "state of nature" argument. How do humans interact and what drives them without political or social restraints? Are we in fact cooperative, or competitive? The answer is not so clear cut. Clearly, in a primitive state some cooperation is necessary for survival. Also, there must necessarily be competition for scarce resources. The error in Marx and Marxist theory is that he/they believe that humans are altruistic in a natural state and that competitiveness is socialized into social units by Capitalism.

First, there is no such thing as Capitalism. There is a free market, which is the ability to exchange goods and services unencumbered by governmental or social restraints. If Marx were correct, altruism would reign supreme and all economic interactions would be conducted in an atmosphere of fairness and equity and the need for government and the pursuant regulation would be unnecessary. However, people are not generally altruistic, they are generally selfish. This is why we need at least some government (how much is better left for another discussion). Adam Smith, generally credited with designing the market economy, believed that the role of government is to provide internal and external security and to enforce contracts. For our purposes, that is sufficient.

I've written before about how people are inner-directed or outer-directed. We are all, out of necessity, born inner-directed and as we mature we become more outer-directed. At least that is how things are supposed to occur. Clearly this does not happen to all people, especially in an affluent (comparatively speaking) society. It seems that the more affluent the society, the more self-possessed people tend to become. Ironically, during the Great Depression, charitable contributions reached an all-time high compared with the relative prosperity of the 1980's and 90's when "greed was good."

This brings us to another aspect of human nature that may or not be relevant- you can decide for yourself. If not, at least it will make me feel smart. How do we know what we know? Are we, as some social scientists argue, born tabula rasa, as blank slates, or is some knowledge present at birth? Tabula rasa theorists argue that all knowledge is experiential or a posteriori. Everything we know is a result of the acculturation process. Conversely others, argue that there is a priori, a pre-existing knowledge. Plato, a godfather of creative bullshitters everywhere believed that we were born knowing everything and certain events triggered these inherent memories. Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, believed in racial archetyping: that some memories are embedded from before birth, some kind of group memory. For example, we are almost all afraid of the dark when we are kids. Jung would argue that this is not an irrational fear but the result of a prehistoric memory, where we would wake in the morning and find that brother Oog had been eaten by some predator during the night.

Is it possible that cooperation or competition is a part of some a priori trait, or memory? Or is it a result of acculturation? Cultural Marxism is based and dependant on "group-think," although thinking has very little to do with it, in reality. In the hypocrisy that is Cultural Marxism concepts such as good or evil are subjective, unless you disagree with them and then evil is a very real thing...and you are it! Up next, the evil that is Cultural Marxism and the damage it has done to American society.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Art of Creative Bullshitting: A Tongue-in Cheek Look at Philosophy


"Stand-up Philosopher..."

"Oh, a Bullshit Artist"

Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon penned what came to be known as Sturgeon's Law: "90% of science fiction is bullshit because 90% of everything is bullshit." Concomitantly, seeing how this is a discussion of philosophy, we should factor in Stanislaw Andrzejewski's Law of Nebulous Verbosity: "Verbiage increases to the extent that ambition exceeds knowledge." This is not to say that philosophy lacks knowledge but for our purposes we might also expand on the old adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing by adding that a lot of knowledge can prove disastrous.

So, let's begin with the "Fathers of Modern Philosophy," Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. What is it that sets them apart? Well, it could be argued that each of their particular mode of bullshit was "original" although Plato would argue that there is no original thought. Socrates cribbed from Hesiod, Heraclitus, as well as others. Plato cribbed from him and Aristotle from Plato. These lofty thinkers were practicers of as well as victims of sophistry although the proponents of Aristotle would argue against that point. One characteristic of philosophers of every age is their use of excessive verbiage to explain often simple concepts. This leads us to our two types of thinkers: Intellectuals and Practical Thinkers (Practicalists...A term I employ as a convenience not as a philosophical definition related to the school of practicalism)

Intellectuals, for whatever reason, seem to be easily bullshitted, whereas Practicalists seem to possess some innate defense mechanism, probably common sense. For example,by examining the three schools of philosophy, we can observe how each would view them. Metaphysics: asks the question what is it? An intellectual would argue: we can never be truly certain without fully understanding all if "it's" characteristics and would inevitably get lost in a miasma of labyrinthine verbiage (bullshit). A Practicalist would say "it" is what it is and be done with it. Epistemology: How do we know what it is (or anything else, for that matter). This would include the great unanswerable question: "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?" The Intellectual would undoubtedly posit that it is indeed unanswerable even though it is not necessary for human ears to be present to become excited by sound waves emitted by falling timber. The Practicalist would say, "who cares, if no one is there, what possible difference does it make?" Similarly, if an Intellectual views a cow he/she would ask how can we truly know it's a cow, if "cow" is just a label? The Practicalist would say, "I've got vision, it's got horns and's a fucking cow!" Ethics: What is just? Here is where the sophistry of the Intellectual class really shines through. The Intellectual would attempt to rhetorically obfuscate this simple issue with arguments such as: "right and wrong are subjective concepts." And, "nothing is black & white, only shades of gray." The Practicalist, naturally would say, "right is right, wrong is wrong." And from Ethics we get philosophy's political bastard stepchild, Ideology.

In applying Intellectualism vs. Practicalism to American politics, it must be noted that Ideology is the antithesis of Practicalism. There is nothing whatever practical about Ideology. The Framers of the Constitution were not ideologues, they were, with perhaps one exception, very practical men. George Washington was a surveyor and soldier. Jefferson was a farmer. Franklin was a printer, an inventor and tinkerer. John Hancock was a businessman. Paul Revere, a silversmith. Hamilton was a real estate speculator (con man) and soldier. The one exception perhaps, was Madison whose job it was to write everything down in hard to understand language. That way the concepts would also appeal to Intellectuals. Ideology really took root with the advent of Marxist "thought." The reason I used thought parenthetically is that Marxism's appeal is more emotional than the product of reason. Instead of looking at the world in terms of what is practical, the Marxist ideologue looks at things in terms of emotional desirability. It is based on a Utopian fantasy, nothing more.

It is Ideology that gets us gender politics, race politics, LGBT issues, etc.. No reasonable person can argue that everyone in the country should not be entitled to the same rights and privileges. But the ideologues want more... nothing will ever be enough. Because philosophy is based on the ability to reason (no matter how poorly), Ideology should not even be a philosophical consideration. Given that Ideology is based solely on emotional appeals, there is no argument against the ravings of an ideologue. Therefore, in conclusion, on a philosophical bullshit scale, Ideology (particularly Cultural Marxism and its many offshoots) is off the chart.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Taxation: Consensual Theft

The title of this video is The Horrible, Obvious Truth Hidden in Plain Sight...I don't know why it was cut off. I've shared this with several friends and on social media. It shows in current terms what we already fairly well know, that taxation is theft- in the case of contemporary America, by an oligarchy. Having watched it I reread an article by Mancur Olson of the Univ of Maryland, an economist and social scientist (if such a thing exists in reality). It appeared in the American Political Science Review, the publication of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Sept. 1993. I was in college when it came out and had just recently presented a paper on NAFTA at the APSA conference in Washington DC and read it after the conference. It caused me to look at politics in a new light.

It is axiomatic that history is written by the winners and therefore doesn't always provide an accurate account of what happened, or why. Olson's article entitled, Dictatorship, Democracy and Development cites the example of the Chinese warlord Feng Yu-hsiang who began as a roving bandit who went through the countryside taking what he wanted. He decided, for whatever reason, to settle down and begin extracting "loot" from the citizens in the form of taxation. It's, as Olson points out the formation of, the "Stationary Bandit" vs. "Roving Bandit" paradigm. In return for taxation the bandits provide protection from roving bandits. On the surface it seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement. But, roving bandits only come through sporadically, so why is it preferential to the citizens to be constantly "taxed" at the whim of the stationary bandit, who by now has taken on exalted titles such as king etc.?

Olson's answer is that in the human psyche, order is preferable to anarchic violence. In this context, anarchy refers to an absolute absence of order, not anarchy as a form of government that provides individual liberty- it is the "law of the jungle" or survival of the cruelest, I suppose. It is almost unarguable that some form of order is necessary for any civilization to develop, socially and especially economically. How then does this apply to America?

In 1776, the colonists in America rejected a tax rate of approximately 3%. Britain had evolved into a Parliamentary Monarchy and the British citizens in the colonies had almost no say in how they were governed, or taxed. The cry of, "no taxation without representation," rang out. However, after we had gained our independence, the tax rate was at least at pre-war rates. The war then, was about individual rights, in particular the right to help determine how, and how much, we were to be taxed. As Olson argues, individual rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom to enter into contracts, are a necessary condition for lasting democracy and economic development.

Jakob Burckhardt wrote, "beware the effect of creeping socialism." Creeping socialism is exactly what has happened since the beginning of our nation. The implementation of a national bank, tax hikes to expand the country, war expenses have all contributed to the expansion of governmental power. It goes without saying that the power of government cannot expand without the power of the individual diminishing, This culminated (but by no means stopped) with the presidency of the biggest despot in American history, Abraham Lincoln. The history books tell us of how Lincoln fought a war to stop the spread of slavery, but nothing could be further from the truth. The War of Northern Aggression was fought to preserve and expand the union and with it the size and scope of federal power. 675,000 or more Americans died to centralize power in one locus- and with those brave people went our rights as individuals.

After Lincoln the growth of government accelerated to the point where the Founders wouldn't recognize it. We are no longer a Democratic Republic, but an oligarchy run by corporations that can afford to buy access to power. It has become, literally, the best government money can buy. We are "allowed" by our rulers to elect someone from a group of oppressors that we have no say in selecting. Multi-national corporations run the media outlets and the flow of information. It is they who select the oppressors that we choose from- it is merely the illusion of choice. Whether or not Donald Trump is outside the mold remains to be seen. He speaks as though he opposes the global elites, we can only hope this is so.

The problem with oligarchies is that there is never a shortage of oligarchs. As Olson writes, dictatorships usually last only as long as the dictator is alive. If Trump turns out to just be another oligarch, our downfall is imminent.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Few Random Thoughts

Black Lives Matter has damaged black people more than the KKK.

Why Hasn't Obama condemned the riots or tried to stop them?
First: He's ideologically aligned with the rioters and hoping to be able to maximize the violence for his own purposes.
Second: He has no moral authority. The rioters simply wouldn't listen. Anything Obama has accomplished has been through fiat and/or "Chicago Politics;" getting the goods on your opponents and using it against them. No one respects him; the only support he has is from corrupt people or recipients of government largesse.

Why Hillary lost.  Hillary didn't lose per se...the Left lost...Corruption lost. If you subtract the number of illegal voters (18 million) the dead (2 million) and discount ballot box stuffing (no figures available) the election was no way near as close as the final numbers indicated. The American people turned out to reject decades of governmental mismanagement by electing a political outsider.

Kneeling for the National Anthem:
When Colin (I can't spell his last name and quite frankly don't think he's worth the effort to look it up) kneeled for our National Anthem, he believed he was making a political statement. What he fails to understand, or even more disrespectful doesn't care about, is that millions have fought and died for him to have that right. He has lived a life of privilege, makes millions of dollars a year to do what he loves and is revered by thousands of children who look up to him as a role model. The people who died or returned from war maimed were never afforded the benefits that he takes for granted. Now school children across the country are kneeling as well...and they don't even know why, only that it's become the cool thing to do. They should be on their knees thanking instead the brave individuals that didn't do the cool thing and were instead, willing to put their lives on the line.

White Privilege: I keep hearing about white privilege and am confused about what it is and what it includes. Somewhere down the line, I must have missed something because nobody told me where to sign up. I don't know a lot about my family but I know that my Grandfather came from Sicily and worked in the granite quarries to earn 50 cents a day during the Depression to support his family. Does that count as white privilege? Over 65% of people (per capita) receiving government assistance are white. These figures are prior to the Obama Administration, but I doubt that they have changed that much, discounting illegal immigrants and "refugees." That must be some more of that white privilege. I was homeless for a number of years and I'd estimate that 80% of the people I encountered in shelters were white. So whatever this white privilege thing is, it's vastly overrated!

Self Esteem: Years ago I began to see articles such as: Johnny Can't Read or do Math, But He Feels Good About Himself , and I started to look into what was going on in our educational system. I read Thomas Sowell's, Inside American Education and found that our schools had pretty much stopped teaching and babun to focus on making kids feel good about themselves. The upshot is that if kids feel good about themselves, they will become curious and learn on their own. We are all witnessing the result. The protesters and rioters and all their histrionics are a product of this failure to educate. When their feelings are hurt, these overgrown infants lash out. McDonald's employees are demanding $15 per hr. because they are unaware that their jobs do not merit a higher wage. They only understand what they want, or feel that they need. A friend of mine, Dr. Tom Bertonneau, did studies on education for the Mackinaw Center, a think tank in Michigan. He interviewed executives at large corporations such as GM, Ford, EDS and many others, asking what is the biggest problem in hiring recent college grads? The overwhelming answer was that nobody can write a complete sentence, much less a coherent synopsis or paper. When I was in college, my friend's dad was an administrator with Michigan Fish & Game. He showed me an applicant's masters thesis, Zebra Mussels: Those Pesky Mollusks. He said, "You'll get a kick out of this." It read like it had been written by a 5th grader. But, I'm sure the author felt good about himself.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Liberals & Conservatives: Do the Names Even Mean Anything?

"A man who is not a Liberal at 16 has no heart; a man who is not a Conservative at 60 has no head." ~Benjamin Disraeli

"A Liberal is just a Conservative that hasn't been mugged yet."    !~Anonymous

What began as a joke when I was in college became a project that has been ongoing for several decades. A Conservative professor friend and I would show how most Liberal academicians were intellectual frauds by employing Stanislaw Andrzejewski's Law of Nebulous Verbosity- "Verbiage increases to the extent that ambition exceeds knowledge." I was to write a paper and present it at an academic conference. My friend contended that the thesis would soar over the heads not only of the audience, but the panelists as well. And it did, like a TWA! I guess I should point out that at this time I was still an undergrad, in my Sophomore or Junior year.

For a thesis I chose, how the Liberal and Conservative paradigm was an unreliable model for political analysis because they tend to change, particularly with age. There must be some more reliable model based on some immutable characteristics of human nature. I contended that there were, instead four rather that two political types. In keeping with Andrzejewski's law, I entitled my paper: The Will to Power: An Analysis of Power Distribution Developed Within a Quadra-modal Political Typology Model- a mouthful, to be sure. In other words, people fell within one of four political types. As my research went on, the cumbersome moniker not withstanding, I found that I might be on to something.

There are leaders and followers. Leaders being people that possess some innate leadership abilities, not those who lead by fiat. There are also followers whose personalities really bear no explanation.   Outside of leaders & followers, there are two other types of people that each fall within the leader/follower groups. There are Positive and Negative types, for lack of any better names. Positive types are driven by what is typically called rational self-interest. As Adam Smith points out, "the butcher does not sell us meat out of the kindness of his heart." It is in his own best interest to do so. Likewise, if I am to live in society, it is in my best interest to attempt to get along because my survival is dependent upon the survival of the society at large. Traits such as altruism are identifiable characteristics of the Positive type. In psychological terms people of this type would be labeled as "outer-directed."

Conversely, there are people that are driven by what I call irrational self-interest. Psychologically, they are "inner-directed," suffering by what can be described as myopic selfishness. They see the world only in terms of what they can gain personally from any relationship. Unfortunately, this group is the one that is attracted to power, particularly those with leadership attributes. Some of these would be Hitler, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Castro, etc..

To clarify, let me backtrack a bit. The four types would be A+ (Positive Leader) A- (Negative Leader) B+ (Positive Follower) B- (Negative Follower) For purposes of analysis, the Followers are fairly inconsequential except in a Republic, they vote (and act out as in the case of the rioting going on currently).

When I began to apply the model to America and looked at who was in power terms like Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative seemed almost irrelevant. Especially once I began to look at the meanings of terms in an historical context. Edmund Burke is widely known as the "Father of Conservatism." Yet I doubt that few if any Americans who consider themselves Conservatives are familiar with him beyond, "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." The term Liberal would be unrecognizable to Classical Liberals: men such as John Locke, Adam Smith and most of America's Founders.

The only category that maintained any meaning, as far as the model applies, is "The Left." There is, despite the ravings of the Left, no Right in America. There is the Left and people that disagree with them. When applying the model, I found that the Left in it's entirety, falls within the Negative type. They have leaders and followers all driven by the myopic selfishness inherent in their movement. Republicans are not exempt from the Negative types at all. It was only after America spoke in the recent election that Mr. Trump, a political outsider, garnered any support from them. Lamentably, politics seems to draw Negative types. Lord Acton's admonition, that "power corrupts" is only too true, especially in a profession that seems to draw the inherently corrupt to begin with. The only way we can expect any meaningful change in America is for Positive types to become involved. If the treatment that President-elect Trump has been subjected to is any example of how the Negatives can be expected to behave, I'm not optimistic.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Thousand Miles From Nowhere: A Tribute to Mose Allison

I know this is a little off the mark as far as my usual blogs go but a true genius has left us for good. Although his music will live on forever, his molecular structure, as he would put it, is gone. I've included some of my favorite pieces for your enjoyment but, if you're not familiar, I would encourage you to explore the wonderful contribution this man has made to American music.

Mose Allison was born in the Mississippi Delta at his grandfather's farm in Tippo in Nov.11, 1929. At age 5 he discovered that he could play songs he heard on the radio by ear. His life was dedicated to music from that time on. He played in his high school band and went to the University of Mississippi for a year before joining the Army in 1946. Allison married his wife Audre in 1949 and they were together until his death at age 89 Nov. 15, 2016.

Mose is credited with writing over 150 songs and was an inspiration to many of the bands of the 60's particularly in Britain. His music has been covered by Van Morrison, who dedicated his album Tell Me Something exclusively to Allison's songs. He was also covered by artists such as, John Mayall, The Who, The Clash, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and my personal favorite cover,  I'm Not Talkin by the Yardbirds.

If I might interject a personal note- as I told my friend Lamar on Facebook today: we used to paint on little moustaches with mascara pencils, don hats and shades and sneak into the Jazz Workshop on Boylston St in Boston to listen to Mose play his piano and sing. They knew we were underage but we never tried to order alcohol, or start trouble so they let it pass. Mose Allison's music has moved everyone with any soul at all, that has ever heard it. There are tears in my eyes as I write this...Good bye my friend, you are gone but you will never be forgotten!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Silencing Liberty: The Curse of Political Correctness

What prompted me to choose this subject is a recent post concerning the removal of quotes by Thomas Jefferson from the University of Virginia curriculum, an institution for those unaware that he founded. Political correctness, in the guise of sparing people's feelings, is a blatant attempt to accrue power by controlling the narrative. A strategy generally attributed to Dr. Josef Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, who is credited with having said: "If you tell the lie long enough, it becomes the truth." I've included some videos that illustrate how ridiculous PC has become. The last, by Skep Torr (with whom I am unfamiliar, but he makes a lot of sense) explains how this phenomenon affects whole societies.

I guess if anyone's going to criticize PC it should be an Italian. we're the least politically correct people on the planet. If you have some physical difference, we'll incorporate it into your name- hence, "Fat Tony," or "Jimmy One-Eye." When we were kids there was a gang of five or six of us that all hung out together. One of the guys, Eddie, had Cerebral Palsy so his nickname was "Eddie the Cripple." We were his friends so we could call him that, if you did we'd kick the crap out of you. That's how it works with Italians. With the PC crowd, it's like if nobody says anything, maybe they won't notice. Eddie knew he was crippled, he sucked at baseball and was always the last to get picked. In a PC world he'd get a special trophy for trying. When he grew up he got a job working for the City of Cambridge as a garbage man- that's like hitting the Lottery!

What brought about the PC revolution was the Hippy culture of the 60's which in turn gave birth to movements like the Women's movement. the Gay rights movement, etc.. Martin Luther King had been replaced by radicals such as Malcolm X and the whole protest movement had become radicalized. It's axiomatic that it is virtually impossible to get mainstream America to agree with radical ideas, it became necessary to control the dialogue if their ideas to gain acceptability. Employing tactics like Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals name calling and hysterical outbursts were employed to silence dissent. Silencing dissent is exactly what political correctness is all about.

The removal of Jefferson (because he was a slave owner is the excuse given) from UVA is just an attempt to rewrite history by controlling the narrative. If future generations are unaware of the values upon which our nation was built, for all intents and purposes they never existed. Withholding information because it might hurt someone's feelings cripples discourse, as Carlin so aptly puts it. Carlin also points out that the PC mavens have strayed from reality so far that it is barely recognizable.

I began to notice in the 70's that histrionics had become an acceptable form of political discourse. Crowds of chanting people demanding rights cluttered the political landscape. Leftovers of the Anti-Vietnam movement of the 60's demanded recognition for everything from women to trees. Now we have groups like Black Lives Matter burning and looting cities across America and if you criticize them you're labeled a "racist." They are even supported by the president. Like I observed back in the 70's, mental illness has become a foundation for public policy. The more outrageous the claims, the more attention they seem to draw. All the while these arbitrary demands by PC "administrators" are enforced by a cadre of the perpetually miserable- the perennially offended. The video I included last gives a magnificent explanation of mass psychosis as it pertains to political correctness.

It's time we all stand up and say, No More. If someone tries to force speech codes on you, call them out. Expose them for the frauds they are. It says in the Bible: "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:11 Through strength and solidarity lies victory.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The NY Times Apology: Too Little, Too Late

Has the New York Times committed journalistic suicide with it's coverage of the latest election? The hubris of the mainstream media has been evident for a long time. It's clear that they see themselves as the gods of information and have for quite some time. The apology by the Times seems less than sincere when you look at it from an honest perspective. In keeping with a tradition of disingenuous journalism, the Times, having failed to sway the election, began back peddling even before all the votes were tallied.

Spouting platitudes of a return to journalistic objectivity, one naturally wonders why an outlet of information would have to "return" to telling the truth. Isn't that the purpose of a free press in the first place. Their job is to be the watchdog that warns us of political improprieties, not create them. It's no secret that virtually every "news source" supports liberal causes. This is quite possibly why they, on the whole, enjoy a less favorable rating with the American people than Congress. Their claims that they underestimated Donald Trumps support is less than true.

If there is any truth in the claim, it's that they are so out of touch with America that it is they who should be coming to us for news, not vice versa. However, what I suspect is that they, in fact, overestimated the power of the MSM in controlling the political narrative. For that we have the alternative news sources on the internet to thank. If the Times had bothered to look they would have been able to call the election correctly...this is the result of creating news rather than reporting it.

The apology of the Times is pure cynicism, nothing more. They have no intention of changing one iota. What they are too blind to see is that in the long run it will cost them. Their apology was about one thing, money. If they lose their subscribers, they will also undoubtedly lose their advertisers. When this happens- and it will- they will go under. Given that they will go on attempting to control the political narrative, America can watch with glee as the "Grey Lady" sinks into well deserved oblivion.

Medicaid Fraud: The Real Culprits

For the second time in my life I find myself in the unenviable position of having to depend on the taxpayers to help with medical expenses. After working all my life, paying my taxes and having served my country honorably, I don't feel terribly bad about accepting help. I certainly am not one of the individuals that have used the system for generation after generation, like some. I became ill in 2014, my savings were depleted, I lost my home and found myself with enormous hospital bills. But let me back up a bit.

When I was in college, I found myself struggling to support a wife and four kids (the reason for attending college) and found it necessary to solicit aid from the state. I will say that after graduating I paid at least some of it back ( the people at DHS looked at me like I was crazy when I started bringing them checks). It was at this time that I began to notice that something was amiss. I realize that all of this evidence is anecdotal, but I can't believe that if this is happening to me, that it is an isolated case.

After breaking my back in a fall in 1985, it has become necessary for me to have occasional medical treatment. When seeing my primary care physician in the 90's I happened to see the computer screen at the billing window. Medicaid was being billed $1500 for an office visit that included one x-ray. Now I'm no expert, but I've paid out of pocket for both x-rays (which generally run between $75 & $125) as well as office visits that seldom run over $150. It was at this time that I began to suspect that the patients were not the ones running healthcare costs up.

More recently, at the tender age of 71, I find myself in need of frequent medical care which has caused me to witness a fairly troubling trend. Specialists. I am constantly being sent to a myriad of specialists, whether something is wrong or not. My philosophy about healthcare is fairly simple- if you're sick, you go to the doctor. To my way of thinking it is irresponsible to bill the taxpayers for seemingly endless tests for everything from sleep apnea (which I don't have) to hepatitis (which I also don't have). After a mild heart attack, my physician wanted me to see a cardiologist- understandable. After determining that my heart was OK he looked in my mouth for all of 5 seconds and determined that I suffer from sleep apnea that he insisted on treating. I insisted otherwise.

I was then sent to a liver expert for hepatitis (my liver enzymes were off on one doctor visit) He insisted I get additional insurance "just in case." I told him that I'd get back to him. I've noticed in the waiting rooms of doctors who specialize in Medicaid cases, that most of the patients seem to be poorly educated and likely to fall prey to scare tactics. This is how these unscrupulous doctors are able to bilk Medicaid out of billions of dollars. It's not the patients that are corrupt, they simply don't seem to know better. We're raised to trust the medical profession and if the doctor tells us that something is wrong, we tend to believe them. But, I guess I was born cynical. If I see something wrong, I'm going to say something. This is also to say that all doctors are involved. I go to a pain doctor who is wonderful. She puts the patients first and has never tried to suggest tests that are unnecessary.

Once again, I realize that all I have to go on here are my own experiences. But as I stated before- if it's happening to me, it's got to be happening to others. When you're spending other people's money there is no reason to be responsible. Personally, I feel a great debt to those who are footing the bill for my healthcare and if the doctors don't want to behave responsibly, I guess it's my duty to do it for them.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beware the Mischief of Faction: The Tyranny of the Minority

Hard to believe that this is America, except that rioting as a form of political expression is hardly something new. Discounting blacks rioting over slights, real or imagined, that is in reality simply economic opportunism- rioting goes back to the dawn of America. The protests themselves aren't as troubling as the reason- a presidential election outcome. The protests are over the will of the majority of voters, something that is accepted whether we like the outcome or not. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose. The reason that we have an Electoral College is to prevent exactly what is happening- mob rule.

The Framers, Alexis De Tocqueville and others have written extensively on the "Tyranny of the Majority." What about the tyranny of the minority, or more specifically, minorities? The Civil Rights movement of the 60's gave rise to the Women's movement, the Gay Rights movement and others in a cabal of left-wing fanaticism. Operating on the squeaky wheel gets the grease principle, this consortium has whined it's way into political prominence. Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying that the Civil Rights movement wasn't in response to legitimate issues, but after racism was all but eradicated, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other race hustlers found that there was big money in continuing the "fight."

Also joining the fight is the news media who, in the age of instantaneous dissemination of information, needs something to keep the airwaves full- the more sensational and outrageous the better. After all, there's nothing sensational, or mildly interesting for that matter, in viewing the mundanities of everyday life. We have an alliance of low-information blacks, liberal women (and their beta-male counterparts) gays and brainwashed college students attempting to achieve political hegemony through protests, rioting and circulating petitions designed to overturn the election results by urging the Electoral College to ignore the will of the electorate and elect Clinton. Because they didn't get their way, they want to scrap an institution that has existed and functioned well for nearly 250 years. All spurred on by the MSM.

It's minoritarianism at it's oligarchy of fanaticism. The lunatics are attempting to take over the asylum- by any and all means necessary. The media is behaving in the most irresponsible manner imaginable. One journalist from the British paper The Guardian has called for the outright assassination of President-elect Trump. She also freelances to the New Yorker and several other American publications, making this not only irresponsible, but dangerous as well. What is really at issue here is who gets to rule. Do we preserve a system that has served us well, or do we give the squeaky wheel the grease and accede to the whiners? If it should turn out to be the latter, our Republic is finished. When the will of the people is usurped by those who contribute nothing to the experiment we call Democracy, the losers have won and the asylum is theirs!

Friday, November 11, 2016

What Price Democracy: Earning Liberty

With all of the rioting going on after the election, it makes me wonder if some of us even deserve what little liberty we have left. This is part one of a two-parter...or three if you count The Politics of Rejection, which kind of set up these two. Tomorrow's will be The Tyranny of the Minority.

We all know (most of us at least) that America is a Republic, not a Democracy. It is, however, a representative democracy- the polity is allowed to participate in the electoral process (for what it's worth). The word democracy comes from the Greek- Demos (people)  Kratia (rule of). In other words, self rule. In a pure democracy each issue is debated and voted on by the polity. In a republic, we have representatives, who because of human nature, require monitoring. Remember Lord Acton's admonition: "Power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." What we are currently witnessing at the federal level is a concentration of power in one locus because we (the polity) stopped paying attention.

If democracy requires the participation of it's citizens. a republic requires even more. It requires two things: first, it requires that each member of the polity behave in a responsible manner- self government. We must all merit the liberties that accompany self-rule. Democracy must be earned, it cannot be imposed. One mistake that President Bush made was in thinking that he could democratize the Middle East (if that in fact was his intention). Democracy is a product, a process more than a thing. The other requirement is that the people participate, as I said before; not only by voting, but by staying involved.

Societies are in a constant state of change, something noticed by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, who wrote that everything is in a constant state of flux. The purpose of government, then is to maintain a state of dynamic equilibrium- to act as a referee, you could say. Adam Smith, who designed the market based economy, said that the purpose of government is to provide external security, internal security and to enforce contracts. This was the model that America's political system was based on. What happened?

During the 1860's Abraham Lincoln forced the Southern states into a war. Not to free the slaves as the history books tell us, but to usurp the power of the individual states. In effect he repealed the 10th Amendment, which before his administration, had limited the size and scope of the Federal Government. Using executive orders (sound familiar?) he established a state of virtual tyranny. Prior to Lincoln, the sovereign states had the power to decide their own fates. He consolidated power in the name of preserving the Union and in doing so created the nascent leviathan that would grow in power to what we have now. Almost every president has contributed to expanding centralized power.

Franklin Roosevelt created the "Nanny State." and with it the perception that government could somehow solve our problems. Little by little we conceded our individual power to Washington and with it our liberties. Now, people rarely exercise their power to vote. Almost nobody pays attention to what goes on in the Federal Government unless it's a war or something drastic that affects us all. Even then, most depend on the corrupt media to make issues understandable. Believe me, those in power know that we have our political eyes closed...They depend on it.

This still doesn't explain the rioting and protests. But, in fact, it does. People, for the most part, don't want the responsibilities that democracy requires. Politicians get elected by promising "free shit." That's what people want. The fact that government seldom delivers, seems to matter little. The meager benefits handed out by the nanny state are still easier than earning one's own way. When Donald Trump was elected the indolent were gripped by paroxysms of fear. The threat of forced responsibility suddenly became a reality.

I keep seeing memes of liberals crying and the captions read that it's the result of being given trophies just for participating. This is more profound than one might think. I wrote in my previous blog that everyone is a "victim." Not because they actually are but because victimhood pays- it means that nobody is responsible for their own behavior. Beginning with the Baby Boom Generation, America has turned out several generations of spoiled brats...When they don't get their own way, they act out. That's what we are witnessing now. We can blame several culprits.

In the 70's and 80's the therapeutic community, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc., came up with blame transferral. In other words, if you can dredge up someone in your past that had "harmed" you in some obscure way, it is they who are responsible for your behavior, not you. The "self esteem" movement that permeates the educational system just feeds into the spoiling of America. Children pass all their classes most often with high (albeit undeserved) marks because to do otherwise would damage them. "Everybody gets a trophy."

Another factor, in my opinion, is the decline of religion. It seems that people who adhere to religious/Christian principles deserve democracy more than those who adhere to Humanist doctrines that just seem to feed into the whole "do your own thing" worldview. Democracy is predicated on self-governance/responsibility. What becomes of a nation that turns it's back on Christian values and embraces abberant behavior? You get the chronically self-indulgent rioting and protesting, for fear of losing government induced slavery. We can only hope for a restoration of values-based equilibrium. It is clear from the ratio of voters in the last election that a slight preponderance of the polity deserves democracy. What becomes of the rest (as well as us) is anybody's guess.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Art of the Deal: The Trump Presidency

I almost wrote "I told ya so" at the end of yesterday's blog and left it at that, but I guess I'm just too loquacious. Congratulations to our new president, it will be a welcome relief to have an American in the White House again.

During the election, Mr. Trump made quite a few promises, as all candidates do. Whether or not he will be able to fulfill them is another matter. I have absolutely no doubt that he intends to keep his promises, but I think he's going to find that running a country is very different than running a business. Not that he's not up to the task.

Businesses are competitive and to maintain a competitive edge they must be efficient. Governments are the opposite. They are designed to be inefficient to ensure that mistakes are minimized. Obama used executive orders, his "pen and phone" to get things done- in effect bypassing Congress. It would be a shame to see President Trump do the same thing. As corrupt as the Obama administration was, it is incumbent on Mr. Trump to reverse this trend and return to a Constitutional Republic rather than Obama's self-imposed dictatorship. In other words, Trump has to do it right, or he is no better than Obama- regardless of how noble his intentions. Trump's voters were Americans who demanded our country back and that means our Republic.

I know that it will be tempting to undo the damage inflicted by Obama by employing the same methods used to do the damage in the first place, but I have faith in Mr. Trump as well as the democratic process- after all it's worked pretty well for the last 240 or so years. Having a Republican Congress will help providing that as president Mr. Trump can persuade the Republicans to overlook their obvious dislike for him and put the country first. It will take all of President Trump's deal making skills to make it happen. If he uses the bully pulpit effectively, he will succeed. Remember, just because we have a businessman in the White House, one not beholden to special interests, the politicians in Congress will in all likelihood continue to operate as they always have.

Not being a part of the political culture will work to "The Donald's" advantage, if he plays his cards right. He can shame Congress into doing what he wants by using their culture of corruption against them- to do so he must use the media effectively. He should, also, not use Ronald Reagan as a role model. Reagan wasn't a very good president, he had the good fortune of being in office when the USSR fell which made him look presidential, but all he really accomplished was to deregulate industries that benefited his backers. Before anyone says: "He was a lot better than Obama," remember, so was Jimmy Carter.

Trump can make America great again if he keeps his promise to renegotiate our trade deals. Being a businessman will help immensely in this. He didn't amass a fortune by being stupid. He must also follow through with the investigation into the corruption of the Clinton political machine. This includes their foundation and Obama who was complicit. He should also investigate the DOJ, including Eric Holder and "Fast & Furious." This will go far toward securing our Southern border.

It is extremely unlikely that he will be able to enact term limits given the hegemony that money holds over the political process. I doubt that he will be able to do much about the Federal Reserve- the last president that tried was assassinated. But with some luck, he may at least be able to audit it. If all the bureaucrats that have promised to quit keep their promise, Mr. Trump will have succeeded to cut the size of government, although I can hardly imagine anyone quitting a government job.

One thing is certain...he can't do worse than the man he's replacing. Obama has set the bar very low. If President Trump remembers that he was elected by us, the people: and that he was elected in spite of the political establishment, not because of it, he will be successful. I hope he takes Jefferson's advice and remembers: "That government is best that governs least, because its people discipline themselves." Although given the behavior of some of our citizens following his election, the last part seems questionable.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Politics of Rejection: What are Modern Liberals All About?

The easier question may be: what are modern liberals against? Almost everything of any value to humanity, it seems. White people are bad and should feel guilty about things that they had nothing to do with. The free market is bad because it excludes certain groups. (Nobody has any idea who, except perhaps people too lazy to work for a living) Even work itself is bad, it seems. Western Civilization, which has undoubtedly contributed more to human civilization itself is viewed by liberals as "oppressive." I could go on with this almost forever. But what is it that drives the politics of resentment?

This is a topic that I have studied long and hard and here's what I've come up with. The problem (and it is a problem, probably the most profound problem that faces America, if not the world) began in earnest in the 1960's. At least that's when we began to see the effects. The Baby Boom Generation, as people born in the late 40's are called, grew up in a new environment- one not experienced any time in history. Our parents had lived through the depression and were determined to see that we were not subjected to the depravations that they had endured. On the surface it would seem to be beneficial, but, adversity builds character and we grew up with none. We were spoiled. This is not to say that it's true of everyone, but in general it seems to be the case.

Fueled by the economic boom of the Eisenhower years we had it all, so to speak. Dr. Spock, had taught our parents new techniques, devoid of the spankings that had permeated their childhood. Once again, not all children were exempt, just in general. It does seem that the children who were subjected to the horrors of corporal punishment tended to be more responsible citizens in adulthood. Those who were not became the Vietnam War protesters of the 70's.

We were also the first generation to witness the proliferation of television sets where we watched in awe children who had perfect parents (who, more often than not, gave them everything they wanted) while we had to endure imperfect individuals who struggled to live up to our ever increasing demand for attention, worldly goods and whatever whim or fad we came up with. I believe that television is responsible for creating the utopian fantasy that fueled the discontent of the 60's. When our families were unable to meet our impossible demands, we resented them and rejected their values. They didn't understand us... how could they, they had character based on hard work and deprivation. We had demands based on an unrealistic worldview created by the utopian childhoods lived by fictitious characters on TV. How could our parents possibly measure up to this? Moreover, to make matters worse, we carried those unrealistic expectations into adulthood.

In the 1960's we began to see a profound division in our national character. Most of us who grew up adhering to our parents values, enlisted to fight in Vietnam. Those too poor to afford college and the deferments that went with along with it got drafted. Those who were spoiled and self-indulgent became protesters, not because they opposed the war itself- but because they viewed themselves as too valuable to society to risk their own lives. Their objection to the war was predicated more on the writings of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky (both proponents of violence) than any deep-seated moral objections. The Communists of North Vietnam were viewed as the "good guys" and our own soldiers were often portrayed as evil, psychopathic baby killers. We were often spat on in airports when returning from the war. The disintegration (and depredation) of American culture had begun in earnest.

The politics of rejection didn't end with Vietnam, it gained momentum. As time went on, the culture of protest grew up and became politically active. Many have been elected to office as Democrats- one might reasonably argue that they have usurped the Democratic Party. If you look at the political division in this country, on the one hand there are Democrats who depend on causing discontent among their voter base...minorities, women (although certainly not all) gays and a plethora of malcontents who all believe they have an ax to grind against "the Establishment." Whoever that is- it seems to be average Americans. And the liberals have now become parents who attempt wholeheartedly to sow the seeds of discontent in their children.

These unfortunates are the product of an education system incapable of teaching critical thought. Those fortunate enough to go to college are further radicalized by liberal professors who themselves are incapable of educating. After four or five years of Black Studies, Women's Studies, they emerge unable to find meaningful employment, disappointed that Lesbian Dance Theory and other equally nonsensical courses failed to prepare them for the competition of the job market. Having more often than not amassed enormous debt and no marketable skills, the resentment that drove their parents now fuels their discontent. Unfortunately, having accrued no critical thinking skills, their anger is misdirected toward the establishment rather than those that cheated them of their future.

The politics of rejection/resentment  has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Election of 2016, for better or worse, is a resounding condemnation of liberal ideals. Where we go from here is anybody's guess. One thing is clear, at least to me, our grand-parents may have been right. Adversity builds character- and in the end...Character Counts!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Failure of Institutional Remedies: The Philosophy of Jesus Christ

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help." This phrase has been described by many as, "the scariest nine words in the English language." Who can argue, given the government's penchant for bungling, corruption, expense, unreliability, ad infinitum. The real issue isn't that government is bad per se, it is just that institutions in general have proven to be the most inefficient and least desirable method of getting things done. It has always been so, yet that hasn't prevented us from depending more and more on institutions to govern our everyday lives. The reasons are fairly simple and here are the two most important significant.

First: institutions must ensure their own existence to perform the task for which they are designed. For example, let's imagine that we were to start an institution to aid blind people- if the institution were to cease to exist, we could no longer help the blind. Therefore, the primary purpose for which the institution is intended is supplanted by the institution's need to exist...the original purpose is relegated to secondary status.

Second: every institution, movement, or organization is eventually usurped by its very worst element. One need only look at what has happened to our government over the last 250 or so years. What began as a beautifully conceived experiment in democracy has degenerated into a cesspool of corruption, on both sides of the aisle. I don't think we need to go further with this, the evidence is overwhelming and it is not limited to the public sector. This has been going on as long as there have been institutions. Jesus understood this better than anyone.

We look at Jesus in the context of having been a religious figure. But, I would argue that he was not... if anything, He was an anti-religious figure. Let me make it clear, I'm not an atheist- I believe in God, Jesus is my Lord and Savior- I am a Christian. Having said that, I look at the teachings of Jesus as a spiritual guide for the individual, not as a religious text. God created man. Man created religion and with it, religious institutions. Institutions that share all of the fallibilities of all institutions. In the Gospels, I have not found any passage in which Jesus instructs his disciples to "go out and start a religion...and by the way, name it after me." The closest I can find is when he says of Peter, "upon this rock I build my Church." This was the beginning of Christ's ministry. A church is not a religion. It is a group of people bound by a common belief.

When Jesus came and began his ministry, the religion in His region was Judaism. One issue that necessitated God assuming flesh and intervening was that Judaism had come to emulate the political structure of the Roman state. Instead of tending the spiritual needs of the flock, it had become a hierarchal system of oppression. The Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes had become virtually omnipotent in religious matters, as well as corrupt. We all remember the story of Jesus and the moneychangers from Sunday school. This was Jesus rejection of religious institutionalism.

I read where Jesus was supposed to have been similar to Libertarians. This is not true. Jesus encouraged His followers to be good citizens. "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is god's." Jesus teachings are completely apolitical, except for the previous passage. Jesus' message can be summarized by the Golden Rule, "Do unto others..." and "Love thy neighbor..."  In other words, if your neighbor needs help, help him as an individual, not by contributing to some institution in hope that they will render aid. Christianity did not begin as a religious institution, but a small number of autonomous churches bound by the teachings of Jesus. It wasn't until the Council of Nicea in 325 AD that a common doctrine was established. In fact until then there was a good deal of disagreement about many issues that faced the nascent Christian movement. It would be difficult indeed to presage what Christianity would evolve into.

Having read the Gospels numerous times as a religious text, it was not until I read them as a work of philosophy that I came to understand the message that Jesus was imparting. Philosophy, and it's by-product, ideology is the engine that drives societies. I look at the Gospels as a guidebook for living in the community of man. I know that this will undoubtedly make some people upset but, in my opinion, religion has done more harm than fact I believe that religion is the worst thing that has ever happened to God. It is the unthinking adherence to religious ideals that causes problems. Blind obedience to principles created by men, rather than the teachings of the Son of God, is what leads people astray. Look at radical Islam. Those people believe that they are going God's work. So do the members of Westboro Baptist Church. They are pawns of institutions similar to Republicans and Democrats who believe that the leaders of those institutions have their wellbeing in mind.

Jesus knew all of this. When he said, "the only way to the Father is through me," he meant that blind adherence to institutional dogma will not get you into Heaven. It is a personal relationship with Christ and adherence to His principles that will get you there. The gospels are full of anti-institutional teachings. When Jesus says, "I knew ye not, " to people who claim to have performed miracles in His name, he meant that these so-called preachers did their deeds for selfish reasons or as part of some institutional paradigm. Well, that's my two-cents worth. I encourage everyone to reread the gospels...with an open mind this time. Not as a member of one church or another, but look for Jesus message to YOU, as an individual. Try it as a philosophical work instead of a religious was written for you. Jesus wants YOU to be saved and no institution will get you there.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hillary Clinton: Something to Think About

Before tomorrow's election, there is just one more thing I want to say about Hillary. All of the scandals and potential corruption aside, there's another consideration. Anyone still considering voting for her needs to think about this. When Bill was Governor of Arkansas, Hillary was First Lady (I almost choke on that one...I use the term Lady in it's loosest possible connotation). She was the most unpopular First Lady in the history of the state. I live here and remember. She was rarely seen in public and when she was is was always with a look of utter disdain on her face. There was absolutely nothing I can recall that she did to either promote the state or it's people and their issues. She hated Arkansas and we hated her back, with good reason. Hillary Rodham Clinton was/is a shameless self-promoter...if there wasn't something in it for her, she didn't care enough to show up.

Virtually all of Arkansas' First Ladies have been gracious representatives for our state. They have promoted important issues such as education, the environment and similar causes. Janet Huckabee, wife of Gov. Mike Huckabee, was an eloquent spokeswoman for state beautification and our native wildlife. There is a nature preserve here in Ft. Smith that is named for her. Hillary doesn't even have a dead-end street named after her that I'm aware of.

When she ran for the Senate in 2000, Hillary ran for a seat in New York. One would naturally assume that she would run in Arkansas, after all, it was her second home for a good many years. Why did she not seek office here? Her husband had just finished his presidency and still enjoyed a good bit of popularity. The reason is that she couldn't muster 100 votes without massive voter fraud. In the current election it is unlikely that she will garner 30% of the vote here in Arkansas. Story after story of her involvement in the Whitewater fiasco and corruption in the Rose Law Firm did little to improve her public image here.

One need to only think back to her husband's presidency and her unpopularity as the nation's First Lady then. She was put in charge of healthcare and made a complete mess of it. After that, she was practically invisible, spending much of her time abroad (where they didn't know her). She was arrogant and divisive and time has done little to temper her personna, public or private.

I hear women say it is time for a female president. I have no problem with that...there are many good women who would do an exemplary job in the highest office in the land. I don't necessarily agree with Jill Stein, but I would support her should she win. She is honest (probably why she doesn't have a chance) and worthy of respect. As I said, there are many good women...unfortunately, Hillary Clinton is not among them. She is dishonest, corrupt and in all likelihood guilty of a multitude of crimes. Given all this, would you vote for someone like this just because she is a woman?

Sieg Heil: The Influence of Media on Politics

Before I get started, I guess I need to make some kind of explanation as to why I keep making references to Hitler, National Socialism and America, particularly where politics and the Clintons are concerned. When I was an undergraduate in the 90's I read a book entitles The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America, by a man named Leonard Peikoff. Mr. Peikoff was a professor of philosophy and the heir apparent to Ayn Rand's Objectivist movement. He believes that philosophy is the engine that drives history. In his book, about 350 pages of political, economic, social and philosophical indicators that outline how Germany went from being a nation of "poets and philosophers" to one driven by bloodlust and evil. He compares the rise of National Socialism in Germany to the ideology that is pushing America toward totalitarianism.

As I've written before, Hitler exploited that failings of the Weimar Republic to his own advantage and the advantage of his Nazi Party. He was able to accomplish this by employing the media of the day. The symbiotic relationship between politics and the media is so evident today that I almost could have titled this the Effect of Politics on Media- either way they are so enmeshed and intertwined as to be almost indistinguishable. There are two important aspects we must observe. First, in Hitler's time, as now, the media of the day was privately owned. In his day, it was newspapers, radio and movies that were used to bring the Nazi propaganda to the public. Although the Party had a radio station, broadcasts of speeches by Hitler and his cohorts were available on private stations as well. The newspapers were privately owned and almost every political party (I believe there were 12 at the time of Hitler's ascendency) had a paper sympathetic to their cause. The second aspect was the profound power of propaganda on the viewing/listening public.

As the video points out the Nazi's were masters of simplifying complex political messages, reducing them to slogans that everyone could understand. Sieg Heil became the national slogan- two simple words embodied the zeitgeist, the national psyche. If you look at American history, slogans have played an equally important role in defining our national mindset: "Remember the Maine," "There is nothing to fear but fear itself," during Vietnam it was "end the war," and "bring our boys home." The list can continue almost indefinitely.

Movies have also played an important role, then as well as now. The early German cinematographers were experts at employing light and shadow to create a desired environment. F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang were masters. Anyone who has seen Murnau's Nosferatu will remember this. In the age preceding "talkies" it was the best method of creating an emotional response from the audience. This was used to perfection in the propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl. In her Olympia she used light to showcase the nobility of the athletes. In her propaganda films, Jews, homosexuals, Communists and anyone who was one of "them" were cast as shadowy sinister characters. The favored "Aryans" and their women and children (Hitler's Sonnenkinder) were always bathed in light- there was no confusion as to whom the "good guys" and "bad guys" were. This has a very powerful effect on the viewers.

Although the technology has become more sophisticated, the propaganda has not. It is still, "us" vs. "them." Contemporary filmmakers use their medium to sow the seeds of discontent. During Vietnam, for example, we were the bad guys. Oliver Stone in his movie Platoon created an image of American soldiers as child molesters and psychopathic killers. I was there and saw no untoward sexual acts perpetrated on children...most of us were too busy trying to stay alive. This is very different than the films made during WWII where the nation is shown coming together to fight a common enemy.

Television is the same, particularly in the broadcasting of news. With the advent of the 48 hour newscycle stations have to inundate us with story after story of the same news. When Michael Jackson died we were subjected to two weeks of expert after expert explaining what happened. In political news we are subjected to the same cadre of experts explaining every issue over and over again ad nauseum. Always with the same Democrats are the "good guys" and Republicans the "bad guys" mindset. It's a case of know your audience and shape their minds accordingly. Since the 60's the Democrats have exploited black voters for their own purposes. Election after election they make promises they never deliver. But they have been successful in creating a condition of fear in that segment of the population that they believe that a vote for a Republican candidate will propel them back into slavery.

The same is true of women and other minorities. This us against them mentality has been so ingrained into the national psyche that we don't even look at ourselves just as Americans anymore. With Hitler, it was the Jews, Slavs, Gypsies or some other group that threatened the national wellbeing. Now, in America, it's racists, misogynists, homophobes, etc.. And there is no shortage of experts to make us feel bad about ourselves. Every time a crime is committed by a "protected" minority, the experts are there making excuse after excuse as to why it is OUR fault.

As we close in on the election, the media of today is doing it's best to influence us to vote for their candidate. As it was in Hitler's time, the propagandists fight for their hegemony on the dissemination of information and their influence on the political process. Remember, Hitler was an elected official, not some evil genius who seized power through military means. He played upon the fears of the German people, aided by the media, to acquire and maintain political power. Information is power. If you seek alternative sources of information, you can make informed decisions. Let's not make the same mistakes the Germans made...People who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. (I didn't make that one up...I forget who did). Be wise and if you can't be wise, be smart!

Anonymous: Message to The Citizens of The World

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Good Guys, Bad Guys and Something In Between: Is Trump the Answer To America's Crisis?

There is no arguing that America is in a crisis: a much bigger one than many seem to realize. We are in the midst of a major crisis of conscience- our National conscience. It should be, by now, clear to anyone with even the most rudimentary ability to reason, that Hillary Clinton is not the answer. In fact, she is the very embodiment of the underlying problem.

I was born in the aftermath WWII (four days before Hiroshima, to be exact) in the era when we believed that hiding under school desks would keep us safe from nuclear attack. In the War things were clearer, their side wore one uniform, our's wore another. It is said that things are more complicated now- they're not, they're just less clear. We still know who the "bad guys" are, they just hide among the rest of us now. Back during the Cold War the Russians were clearly the bad guys. So to were the Communist Chinese. I fought in Vietnam and things during this time period started to become less and less clear. In Vietnam, there were civilian combatants (if such a thing can exist), they wore no uniforms yet performed military functions, often more successfully that the NVA regulars. It could be argued that this was the beginning of covert wars, although they have probably been around from the dawn of time.

There was a covert war here at home as well. War protestors, steeped in the writings of Marx, Chairman Mao, Saul Alinsky and the like, fought to undermine the values our country was founded on. I'm not trying to justify the Vietnam War- whether or not we belonged there is for another discussion. These radical protesters were not fighting against the war, but against American principles and values. Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, John Lennon and many news reporters were among their ranks. Walter Cronkite announced in the 1960's that the war couldn't be won. The radicals used these celebrities to wage their against America and many of them are in positions of power today. Hillary Clinton is one of these radicals, embodying those who have mounted an unending assault on everything that has made our nation strong and good. She is the posterchild of un-American values.

Since the 1960's America has been degenerating into a cesspool of immorality. What pass for values would have made our grandparents turn away in horror. Celebrities emulating sexual acts in public, in the guise of entertainment; the out of wedlock birth rate is astronomical compared to just 50 years ago. Almost every act of perversion is deemed as acceptable- an expression of one's "personhood." The list of what's acceptable now just goes on and on. It's not that we don't know right from wrong. Moral issues have not become more complicated- the lines of acceptable behavior have become blurred from a constant barrage of graphic images (both sexual and violent) on mainstream media. Witchcraft is packaged as "just another religious choice."

Perhaps this is why the scandals and corruption surrounding the Obama administration and the Clinton candidacy seem commonplace- we've just come to expect this often criminal behavior from our leaders. The new allegations of "spirit cooking" and witchcraft surrounding Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, seem to go unnoticed in the MSM. We have to turn to alternative media sources just to get the news. If not for Wikileaks and Anonymous we probably wouldn't even know about the network of criminal activity involving the Clinton's, their foundation and any other of a number of despicable individuals associated with both- not to mention a plethora of countries with interests inimical to ours. WE are indeed in a crisis.

We have gotten so far away from what the Framers envisioned, it is doubtful that they would even recognize what we've become. Back in the 90's, a professor friend described me as a "Jeffersonian Fundamentalist." I guess that sobriquet kind of stuck. I've spent better than 25 years studying political and economical systems in terms of their utility. I'm not an ideologue- I look for what works from a rational perspective. I would like to see us go back to being a Constitutional Republic..."One Nation under God." I would like to see a system of morality that works, not everybody doing as they please. "If it feels good, then do it" doesn't work. It never has, it never will (and it's been tried). The question is: Will Donald Trump take us there?

We know for a fact that Hillary Clinton won't! I've heard people say that if she's elected, it's time to grab our guns and take to the streets. That's just what the powers that be are counting on. When Hitler was elected he had about 36% of the vote. Granted, the Germans had a somewhat different system- more than 2 parties. But, one of the first things he did to consolidate power was to confiscate guns. Simply put- no guns, no political opposition. If we are to avoid a political hegemony, Trump is our only hope- forget about a revolution. 90% of the "internet tough guys" will back down and concede. A Trump presidency may be a small step toward political liberty, bit at least it's a step in the right direction. Remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day," but it was destroyed just as gradually. It took centuries of decay from within to fall. There are many similarities with modern America (I suggest Stephan Molyneux's video "The Fall of Rome), the similarities are astounding. America is in crisis- we are at the breaking point. If Clinton is elected, our republic is lost. A vote for Trump is a vote for a continuation of the Great Democratic Experiment.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Illusion of Virtue: Hitler, Obama & The Clinton Foundation

VIDEO: Clinton Cash: Everything is for Sale

This is going to be a little difficult to explain: the reasoning perhaps convoluted as we wend our way through the labyrinthine dealings of the Clinton Foundation, Obama's role and their relationship to Hitler and National Socialism in a practical, rather than ideological framework. This is not to say that no ideological similarities exist- what we are exploring here, however, are the outcomes of policy and the effect of corruption at the highest levels of society have on it. The video eloquently shows in detail the web of corruption surrounding the Clinton Foundation as their donors, both political and corporate pay for access to the former president and the Sec. of State. The absolute audacity with which they operate is astounding. To begin we need to look at some definitions that will help clarify the complex relationships, in both the video and their relationship to Hitler.

National Socialism- A system of government set up on a Socialist (Totalitarian/Authoritarian) political model while allowing private ownership of businesses with a myriad of governmental regulation.

Corporate Socialism- Basically the same as above.

Corporate Statism- Once again, the same only under National Socialism/Corp. Soc the corporations have become multi-national and with them the political infrastructure (United Nations, NATO and other alliances play a big role in policymaking)

Democratic Republic I- The United States began as a Democratic Republic: a system of government where citizens elect representatives to mediate issues such as security, regulation of currency, etc..

Democratic Republic II- What the US has evolved into. Citizens still elect reps. chosen by the media and ruling corporate elites. However, these reps are influenced by lobbyists who funnel money and favors to elected officials to influence policy...the citizens foot the bill, via taxes, for government contracts and other issues favorable to corp. elites. In so many words, Corporate Statism.

Nazism/Fascism- The ideological underpinnings for National Socialism/Corporate Statism.

If you're not confused yet, just bear with me. As we begin to unravel the complexity of all these relationships, let's step back in time to the 1930's. When Hitler came to power, Germany was in a mess. Their economy was decimated by reparations from WWI, the Great Depression hit the vulnerable economies of Europe extremely hard and hyperinflation had made the German Mark almost worthless. Unemployment was rampant, people were begging in the streets for food. Germany had one of the first welfare programs in existence and it was stretched beyond it's limits. Crime was manifest everywhere and the social structure was crumbling rapidly. Along came Hitler and his National Socialists (Nazis) and within a few years the economy stabilized, people were working again (many on government programs such as the Autobahns) and order was restored. Hitler was hailed around the world as the savior of Germany. In 1938, Time Magazine named Hitler Man of the Year. The point is that history is written by the winners- as long as you're in power, you control the narrative. This point was not lost by Josef Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda and the media of the day.

Hitler's popularity enjoyed support in the US as well with such luminaries as Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and Prescott Bush (along with partner W. Averell Harriman) of Union Bank promoting Hitler and his policies. It was not until the beginning of WWII that Hitler became a "bad guy." His atrocities in the concentration camps never became public knowledge until the Soviets invaded Poland. What began as a global eugenics experiment (see my article Culture of Death) embraced by most of the civilized world, evolved into "the Final Solution," proving once again that whoever controls the flow of information, controls history. How is this relevant today?

Throughout Bill Clinton's Presidency, and even until Wikileaks began to uncover their deceit, the Clintons have enjoyed the support of an oft times fawning media. Even in the face of criminal investigations, they are not only portrayed as "good guys," the media have been instrumental in hiding their misdeeds. As the video shows, the Clintons and their global corporate partners have amassed a fortune exploiting natural disasters, political unrest, the AIDS epidemic and other tragedies- always to the detriment of the people they are purporting to help. The United Nations is almost always complicit in these malefactions giving the Clinton criminal consortium the patina of respectability. After the Haitian earthquake in 2010, the UN made Bill Clinton "Special Envoy." As the Video so abundantly elucidates, the people of Haiti benefited little, if at all, from the Clintons and their foundation, who raised over $30 Billion for disaster relief. It's not necessary to go into great detail about the Clinton's transgressions, the video does so much better than I can. I am merely trying to establish a pattern of corruption on a global scale that would make Hitler green with envy. I'm not trying to vindicate Hitler here, but at least he was trying to accomplish something that he perceived to be noble- a perfect society- it was his method that was odious. The Clinton's are interested in only money & profit...their motives are entirely selfish.

It is, as stated above, the illusion of humanitarianism that allows the Clinton and their Corporate Statist partners to dupe a largely unsuspecting world into supporting their agenda. When president Obama made Hillary Sec. of State he opened up the floodgates of corruption. Whether he did it knowingly or not seems open to debate except in light of recent revelations of his involvement in the e-mail scandal. Obama has been compared to Hitler, called a malignant narcissist, and an autocrat. After seeing all of the information pertaining to the political and financial influence of the Clinton Foundation, I'm starting to believe that Obama may just be a footsoldier. That's how big I think this thing really is. One thing is certain: the Clintons represent a vast corporate conspiracy. I wrote before about powerful financial interests tied to their foundation. They are also tied to the Council on Foreign Relations who have a profound interest in seeing Hillary become president. The Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and other powerful "charitable" organizations have ties to the Clinton Foundation whose intentions should, by now, be abundantly clear.

In the 1990's I began writing a book outlining how people like the Clintons, in their thirst for power and money, would use humanitarian concerns as their vehicle for world domination. It seems almost prophetic now (Which only proves the adage that "even a blind squirrel stumbles over a nut once and again") that I began uncovering evidence of this corruption even back then. I completed 5 of 7 chapters (around 360 pages) the last chapter being entitled "The Failure of Modernity: The Rise of Therapeutic Fascism."

People such as Hitler, Obama and the Clintons are driven by ego- irrational self-interest, myopic selfishness, inner-directedness, call it what you will. Hillary Clinton sees herself as a ruler in waiting, not a presidential hopeful. If she is elected, western Civilization is lost. Hitler's National Socialist dream has gone global and has very powerful backers with a world to lose. Hitler was stopped by an angry world. If the new Fascism has become a global phenomenon, who will stop it? It's up to us! If we do not elect Donald Trump ( the other candidates have no realistic chance) we are lost. The corporate elites will win and their Queen will be coronated. We owe an immense debt of gratitude to people like Julian Assange and his Wikileaks; Anonymous, the group of hackers who fight to uncover corruption at every level; The folks who did the video above and many others who refuse to be silenced- often at the risk of their own lives. Youtube is full of videos such as "The Clinton Body Count." People have died so the truth can be known...We owe it to them to ensure that they did not die in vain. Thank you for your patience- stay involved!