There will be no more posts here. I am now Blogging at The Deeper Thought. Please visit me there...
Breath of the Beast
It came close enough to me that I could feel its hot breath on my cheek. I will never forget that feeling. It didn't matter that I was liberal and open-minded. It didn’t matter that my little girl was sweet, beautiful and charming. It wants blood, mine and my daughter's would do. If you have had a moment of terror like this let me know... (the /at/ in my email address below is written that way to defeat the spammers, you need to type it in as @) ...yaacovbenmoshe/at/comcast.net
Monday, November 2, 2020
Sunday, November 4, 2018
The Privilege of the Grave- and The Voting Booth
Mark Twain wrote The Privilege of the Grave at the age of 69- the same age I am now. I survived a bout with cancer this past spring so I know a bit about having thoughts of the grave. It was Twain's opinion, while a man is living he does not really have free speech. Then he qualifies it, “The living man is not really without this privilege—strictly speaking—but as he possesses it merely as an empty formality, and knows better than to make use of it…,” That essay was only published recently (in 2008) having been put aside out of a reticence that Twain clearly but coyly described in the last few lines of the essay itself. “I have just finished an article of this kind,” Twain wrote, “and it satisfies me entirely. It does my weather-beaten soul good to read it, and admire the trouble it would make for me and the family. I will leave it behind, and utter it from the grave. There is free speech there, and no harm to the family.”
I would like to commend this delicious essay to my readers at this, the threshold of the 2018 midterm elections because Twain secreted a timely message in this essay. That message is hidden in plain sight within this long neglected masterwork. He wrote these words five years before his own death and they lay dormant for 103 years. Now ten years after that, I have discovered a plea he embedded in it- to try to save us from making a terrible mistake.
Let me explain. He sheepishly admits that thirty years before the Civil War, he and most other Americans actually accepted the existence of slavery. It was, “… not because we wanted to, for we did not, but we wanted to be in the swim. It is plainly a law of nature, and we obeyed it.” “In the swim,” (today we might say, “to be mainstream”) he explained, is the main motive for party and ideological identification. According to Twain, “The average citizen is not a student of party doctrines…after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best.”
In Twain’s time political feelings were personal and ambient. The only media were newspapers, flyers and the occasional speech. These days, we have television, radio and social media all of which leverage “the mainstream” into a flood tide. In place of Twain’s neighbors, co-workers and townspeople, we are beset by the almost unanimous howling, bleating and self aggrandizement of preening Mass Media Personalities. They are the avatars of the elite establishment. They are telling you what to think and feel and how to think and feel it 24/7. They mean to make you understand that if you do not do it precisely as they say, you are NOT IN THE SWIM!
This is why the loudest most persistent cries in public and private life are anti-Trump. The constant battering our president takes from luminaries like Don Lemon, Morning Joe and Rachel Madow are as prejudicial as they are unfounded in facts. Its mostly name-calling and hysteria. Then there are the rage filled mobs of “liberals” who publicly harass and intimidate anyone connected to Mr Trump. A reasonable person would accept Twain’s approach: “…oftenest we suppress an unpopular opinion because we cannot afford the bitter cost of putting it forth. None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned.”
Hated and shunned! When did it happen that the hard working people in fly-over country became so out of “The Swim” as to be objects of hate? When did it become smart to shun religious principals? The workers, the business people, the taxpayers- when did liberal elitists and media nabobs become so smart that they can tell us what to think? I don’t like it and I don’t accept it.
But then, what hope does Mark Twain offer? What secret message has he left us?
Here it is: “When a man has joined a party, he is likely to stay in it. If he change his opinion—his feeling, I mean, his sentiment—he is likely to stay, anyway; his friends are of that party, and he will keep his altered sentiment to himself, and talk the privately discarded one. On those terms he can exercise his American privilege of free speech, but not on any others. These unfortunates are in both parties, but in what proportions we cannot guess. Therefore we never know which party was really in the majority at an election.”
That’s it! That’s why the polls were all wrong in 2016. It's also why we now have the best economy in decades and we down here in the hoi polloi have the feeling that things have gotten better than we could ever have expected if we had listened to the smart people in Washington and New York. We have remembered that we can vote against “The Swim” and that free speech is not just for the grave it is also the privilege of the vote! Please, let's show them again. Show them that the “Blue Wave” was just their wishful thinking- just like “Ready for Hillary”- whistling past the graveyard, if you will. Get up on Tuesday and express yourself!
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Denunciation- the Deadliest Activism
|The Kavanaugh Family Being Harassed|
If the Senate Democrats succeed in defeating the Kanvanaugh nomination with these women’s foggy, ephemeral and unspecific “memories”, we will have entered a new stage in the decline of American civilization. Let’s be clear; these are not, as they have often been referred to, “accusations”. They are mere denunciations, put forward by politicians who are pandering to “activists”.
Denunciation is what happens when an accusation is saved or fabricated and timed in order to damage an individual and/or process and achieve a personal or political goal regardless of the truth or validity of the facts. Denunciations have been associated with the most infamous and cruel movements and regimes in human history. They were a mainstay of repression and terror in the Spanish Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, The Third Reich, The Stalinist Purges, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and ISIS’s Islamic Republic. A denunciation, if it is not identified, debunked and punished as such, can destroy in an instant the lives, dignity and livelihoods of everyone the touch.We are seeing that now in the Kavanaugh nomination.
From the opening of the hearings, when the “activists” in the gallery erupted in coordination with the obstructions and whining of Booker, Harris et al to the dismay and terror of the Kavanaugh family and their daughters, to the cynically timed and orchestrated introductions of the denouncers, one thing is clear. There seems to be no depth of shame the extreme left will not sink to and no craven pandering to their emotions below which the Democrat partisans will not lower themselves.
But the timing, negotiation tactics and invincible callousness of the Democrat Senators have not just attempted to destroy a fine man and his family. It has also projected two women, who, by their own admissions, are confused and unsure of what they are alleging, into a moral and legal crucible they did not understand at the outset. They will pay the price for allowing themselves to be used in this way but there is a greater concern. The denunciation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, tapping into the already super-heated witch hunt atmosphere created by the Me Too phenomenon, has opened the door that leads directly, if not quickly or inevitably, to the Gulag Archipelago, Auschwitz, and the killing fields.
I close with a quote from Solzhenitsyn’s master work, The Gulag Archipelago . If you substitute the word “abuser” or the old made up term “male chauvinist” for the Soviet term “podkulachnik” you will get the idea:
“…in every village there were people who in one way or another had personally gotten in the way of the local activists. This was the perfect time to settle accounts with them of jealousy, envy, insult. A new word was needed for all these new victims as a class—and it was born. By this time it had no "social" or "economic" content whatsoever, but it had a marvelous sound: podkulachnik — "a person aiding the kulaks." In other words, I consider you an accomplice of the enemy. And that finishes you! The most tattered landless laborer in the countryside could quite easily be labeled a podkulachnik."
And yes, they were called “activists” by Solzhenitsyn. Think about it before you proclaim, “I believe the denouncer!”
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Renewing the Faith of the Founders
Clarence Thomas, in a rare interview, asked the question “What binds us as a nation?” It is the perfect question of our time. We seem to be increasingly hard pressed to find enough in common to call it a national purpose; I don’t like the word identity anymore for the connection it makes to identity politics.
In my last article, I began to make the case that at the inception of our national movement we predicated our understanding of our “rights” as something with which- in Jefferson’s formulation- we were “endowed by our Creator“: only God can save us. I ended with a paragraph that I called “my best shot at a sales pitch for a revival of faith”. I have made two key refinements to that paragraph and now it reads this way:
“Here is my best shot at a sales pitch for a revival of a nonsectarian “public” faith: Religious exclusivists*, agnostics and atheists are at a far higher risk of being a “glass is half empty” person. Having a belief in a loving Creator/God gives you a much better chance to be a “glass is half full kind of person”. Having a personal relationship with that loving and transcendent God is the portal to becoming a “cup runneth over” being.”
Of course, I am aware that this seems a very old fashioned, maybe even an anodyne statement, but allow me to explain why it is actually a very challenging and “anti-postmodern” idea.
Post modernism, and by that, I mean the fashionable progressive notion that there is no truth- only alternative narratives- that the quest for truth is a futility. This leads to a susceptibility to the emotional attractions of socialism and the idea that human nature can be changed. Its been tried many times and the outcome is always bad and usually a horror. Fitting actual people to a progressive socialist system has never been done without some form of bullying, repression, “political orientation”, “re-education” and terror. Progressivism is the modern utopian delusion, the poisonous fruit of the postmodern tree.
The most poignant thing about postmodernism is its very human attempt to understand and, in a way, control the pain that ambiguity causes in all people. Take for instance the gender fluidity craze that is sucking so much of the oxygen out of the halls of academia recently. When adolescent humans who have not solidified their social, intellectual and sexual identities are allowed, even encouraged, to pretend that they know who they are and what they want, free (or, rather, bereft) of moral guidance or ethical compass, they do not choose with freedom, and they act out their stress. Gender fluidity and the welter of nonsensical pronouns and ground rules are nothing more than attempts to adapt to and control the anxiety over a natural source of ambiguity by exaggerating that ambiguity all out of proportion with reality - making it a political cause rather than a personal issue.
Post modernism is a betrayal of our truest selves. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has written. “We should challenge the relativism that tells us there is no right or wrong, when every instinct of our mind knows it is not so and is a mere excuse to allow us to indulge in what we believe we can get away with. A world without values quickly becomes a world without value.” Rabbi Sacks, a great intellect and an even greater soul, has put his finger directly on the turning point of our age.
Implied in Rabbi Sack’s statement above is that there is a source of truth and value. From the earliest days of the last century, the time when postmodernism was gathering a following in the intellectual cafes and salons, comes this epigram (erroneously) attributed to G.K. Chesterton: “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” Anything, can be, for just a few examples, that your biology does not determine your sex; that you can call yourself anti-fascist while employing all the street tactics of fascist thugs; that your beliefs and feelings are “science-based” while you don’t actually know how the things you believe in work; and that you are an intellectual while you ignore, denounce and shut-down anyone you disagree with. Does believing in God correct the susceptibility to error?
It can. God and creation are beyond our understanding. It is arrogant and self-important to think that we could understand the universe and life completely enough to avoid the stress and cognitive dissonance of knowing certain things that are true and constantly observing other things that feel like contradictions but are also true. The “Progressive” postmodern solution is not to believe in a divine creation and to shun and ridicule the belief in order and truth. Only if you believe in God does it become clear that our poor human instruments can only understand so much, and that if you have the idea in your mind that there is a creator, a purpose and a “whole truth” out there, you can stop trying to explain everything and let “God take care” of the ambiguity you perceive. This is a source of inner peace and strength and it keeps us from struggling against reality.
But, we are humans and limited in capacity to understand God so there are almost as many ideas about God as there are people. We certainly do not all believe in the same God. In one way, it seems as though it should be an easy thing. After all, a cynic would surely ask, “If it is true that there is only one God, doesn’t that mean that everyone who believes in God must be thinking of the only one?”. So, how is it that the seemingly simple task of making sure that everyone believes in the same God is the dream behind every tyrant, every torturer and every conqueror that has ever lived? They all wanted so desperately for every person under their rule to be under their control - all the way down to the way they think and dream about God. That is the genius of the founding fathers of the U.S.A.! America is exceptional from its birth precisely because it is the first country to be founded on the idea that those inalienable human rights are granted to us by God and not subject to rescission by anyone.
For those who believe in God as the creator, our moral calling and ethical responsibilities spring from our belief that we are “created in the image of God.” For Jefferson et al, liberty comes from the same source and thus cannot be taken away by any king or ruler.
We are blessed to be the inheritors of a great constitution and an even greater Declaration of Independence. On one hand, The Constitution never mentions God at all and is clear about the separation of church and state- specifying freedom OF religion (not, as it is often misinterpreted, freedom FROM religion). On the other hand, The Declaration is equally clear about a very particular kind of deity as the basis of all the policy that is set forth in the Constitution and the laws. Anthony J. Minna has given us a wonderful description of how that deity is framed”
“The genius of the Declaration is the inclusive way the divine is given expression. The appellations of God are generic. Adherents of traditional theistic sects can read the words “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” and “Supreme Judge,” and understand them to mean the god they worship. The claims made on numerous Christian websites attest to this. Yet opponents of dogma read those same words and see an embracive, non-sectarian concept of divinity. This is no small testimony to the wisdom and foresight of the Founding Fathers. All Americans could support the Revolution and independence. All can regard their rights as unalienable, their liberty as inviolable.”(link)
This was how the compass bearing was set on the ship of the newly founded state. The country that has navigated by that bearing has become the most prosperous and most egalitarian in history. There have been boom and bust cycles and there have been moral failings, but the preponderance of the record leaves this verdict without dispute: America still is, “the last best hope of earth.” Every citizen can be a stakeholder in this country but we need to protect our values and the best way to do that is to find our way back to that divine compromise set forth in The Declaration.
What it boils down to, in my view, is that it makes you a better, freer and happier person if you believe in (and worship) God in your own way. It makes a nation better and happier if all have agreed to seek a true understanding of and trust in God and to share what is knowable, while keeping a deep reverence for what is un-shared and unknowable.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
God First Means America First
|Image by creative communications.com|
As much as I have always tried to confine my reasoning, observation and writing to secular and factual areas, I often wind up with this (mostly unexpressed) thought: “Only God can help us now.”
I have known that if I were to write it or even just say it out loud, it would sound like despair and resignation- but it is not. It is really just my belief that if our fellow Americans, inheritors of the great Judeo-Christian culture, whether Jews, Christians or secularists could find a reconnection to The Divine many of our worst problems would just evaporate. I am not talking about a specific religion or even, necessarily, a belief in “God” as such. All that is required is an appreciation of the divinity behind the miracle of creation. It is only with faith in the creator as a force for good and order, that we can hope to dispel the moral relativism and post-modern sectionalism that are daily degrading our culture. In the guise of justice and equality they are dissolving our commonality of interest and sapping our energy as a civilization.
This is still an upstart of a nation- the fastest growing, richest and most diverse country on the planet. There is more opportunity here for anybody than anywhere else in the world. In this age of globalist ennui, faltering faith, Islamic conquest, rejection of tradition and conceited intellect, we are still as Lincoln said,” …the last best hope of earth”. All we really need, in my opinion is a general reconnection to the source of all life and goodness. For inspiration I look, as I often do to the founding documents of our country and the framers who were inspired to create them.
When the founders of the US sought to create a new kind of nation, one more immune to corruption and abuse than any other in history, they did a profoundly revolutionary thing. They sought a higher authority to overrule the “rights of kings”- an even higher authority than the doctrine of any particular church. They assessed human nature as flawed and prone to corruption. So they also sought to avoid the rule of "a man" or a secular "theory of man” (socialism, fraternalism etc…). The result was a nation governed by three independent branches of government, empowered to counter-balance (read: stymie) the natural human drive to amass power and wealth. The higher authority that superseded royal prerogative, they called “natural law” not so much derived from God as it was from their understanding that every man may have his own “personal relationship” with The Creator. It is fortunate that Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Washington were themselves men of complicated and subtle faith who were of such generous spirit that they could credit any other person of good faith with equal right to their way of worship.
Jefferson called upon "natural law” in the Declaration of Independence not only to sever the “right" of the British King to rule the American colonies, but to found the first nation in history that would set as its charter, every individual’s “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The founders called on the highest possible authority to construct our nation for a very important reason. They and their forebears were here on this wild continent because they had already disagreed with, fled and finally, revolted against kings and churches in “The Old World”. They knew that without God, we are just so much meat- animated by dangerous proclivities, taking up space and making trouble. Yet they were also acutely aware that with any specific and organized God there would be unavoidable and ultimately fatal conflict over the exact description of that God and its laws. Only in the sometimes infinitesimal space between the personal God and doctrine is there a hope of finding a common ground for unity and mutual respect. The already disparate collection of religious mavericks, lumberjacks, northern farmers, slave-holding planters, self-sufficient pioneers and merchant traders needed to find that common cause to be worth fighting for for the new nation to survive. Otherwise they would be unable to resist conquest or co-option by the powers of The Old World. Without a higher binding principal they would have been left with only fear, envy and anger and their evil results. The founders provided a meaningful and successful framework by acknowledging the blessing that God’s love for the individual and his liberty could bring forth. They created a nation that mirrored that blessing or as Abraham Lincoln put it at Gettysburg: “…conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…,”.
Lincoln was our president at the moment of the nation’s greatest peril and need. He staked everything on what he knew was right. He did so with the certain knowledge that God would bless his actions. Here is a bit more of the lines that I quoted a few words of above. It is from his address to congress about his forthcoming Emancipation Proclamation:
“We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free -- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just -- a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”
The blessing of whatever divinity you acknowledge must be used to help us blend that plain, peaceful, generous, and just way into our common existence here in America. If we can recreate that unity of spirit, we will continue to be safe, happy and secure at home and maybe even inspire some of our old allies and even, competitors to a better way. But we owe it to ourselves to do it in America First.
Here is my best shot at a sales pitch for a revival of faith: Take God personally! Religious fundamentalists, agnostics and atheists are at a far higher risk of being a “glass is half empty” person. Having a belief in a loving Creator/God gives you a much better chance to be a “glass is half full kind of person”. Having a personal relationship with that loving and transcendent God is the portal to becoming a “cup runneth over” being.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Unconditional Surrender, Next to Fall?
I live part-time in Sarasota and I have begun to fear that one of my favorite works of public art may be swept up in the new fad for the destruction of art, grammar, history and culture. Unconditional Surrender is 26 feet tall and it stands at an ocean front crossroads in beautiful Sarasota. It is an evocative sculpture based on a famous photograph taken on V-J day in Times Square. If you don’t know what V-J day is, you think any physical contact between a man and a woman must be ratified by permission releases and non-disclosure forms signed in triplicate or if you think V-J only happened because Harry Truman was an atomic war criminal (he certainly was not!), kindly click away from this blog and find a safe space.
I was curious that I had not heard of any petitions advocating that Unconditional Surrender join Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in the Statuary Hall of incorrect Art. A Google search quickly turned up a number of references to controversy. Most of them were mild and vague like the one titled
The Dark Controversy Behind The World War II Times Square Kissing Photo
OK, that one wasn’t about the statue but about the original Alfred Eisenstadt Photograph but it proves my point even better that way. It is not political art. It is art. It captured a outburst of the human spirit that sprang from a moment fraught with relief and joy against a backdrop of the most disastrous, brutal and bloody war in human history (and brother is that saying something!). If you can’t value preserving that moment over your nauseating new rules for what is correct to think and do, then I understand why you cannot understand the value in the old, beautifully rendered statues of Lee, Jackson and others who were brilliant and steadfast in a horrible and (rightfully) lost cause and why they are still meaningful to their descendants and fellow southerners.
For God’s sake get over it!
Thursday, December 14, 2017
The FBI: Has it Become the Secret Police?
Let’s not miss the most damning dimension of the texts between Strzok and Page. If you read all of their texts it becomes clear that their complaints about candidate Trump and his supporters are nothing more than ad hominem slurs - no different, really, than Hillary’s “deplorables” remark or Obama’s dismissal of Americans who "cling to their guns and religion" in bitterness. They are an attempt to dismiss a legitimate political movement and the, human aspirations behind, it with irrelevant but pungent slander. They are not texting about policy differences, social problems or even constitutional issues. In fact, these are law officers at the highest levels, who took an oath to protect The Constitution of the United States and they are actively engaged in discussing ways of denying a legitimate political movement its constitutional right to a free and fair election. This is dangerous and disturbing and it is a
This text from Strzok is the proof:
"I want to believe the path u threw out 4 consideration in Andy's office-that there's no way he gets elected-but I'm afraid we can't take that risk.It's like an insurance policy in unlikely event u die be4 you're 40”
The very idea of these three sitting in the office of the deputy director of the most powerful law enforcement agency spinning ideas for an insurance policy against the unlikely election of True against the howling headwinds of the mainstream press and other efforts of the establishment should scare anyone interested in preserving The Constitution. There are only two possible explanations for their behavior and the sinister direction of this and other tweets. One might be that they are so sure that they know better what is best for this nation and all her people that they feel it incumbent upon them to become our unseen benefactors - manipulating the results of elections and saving us from our own stupidity. The other, which I find more likely, is that they knew that they are not the pure hearted “public servants” that they portray themselves as and that they are at personal risk if the status quo of and the established power structure are shaken up.
I think the second explanation much more likely- because of the lack of substantive reasons and complaints in their texts and because the slander they throw at Mr Trump and his supporters fairly reeks of hatred, anger and vengeance. These are the blind feelings of a threatened animal who feels attacked or perhaps the cringing of a fraud in danger of being exposed. Whatever the case, they are not the arguments of a passionate believer in something good.
How did it come to this? How did the supposed protectors of our laws and civil order come to feel entitled to despise us and contemplate (we still don’t know the extent to which they did or didn’t carry them out) plans to thwart our political wishes? It is the arrogance of Progressivism, the entrenched interest of a class of political actors who see themselves as entitled to be our leaders and the loss of faith in any ethical, moral or constitutional standard.
Monday, October 16, 2017
What Progressives Really Want- They Are All Grubers
Newt Gingrich in his excellent book Understanding Trump has used Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s formulation of IYI (Intelligent Yet Idiot) to describe the class of Elitists, intellectuals and “experts” who typify the heavily credentialed but mostly incompetent policy charlatans, intellectual shamans and academic planners against whom the Tea Party, Brexit, and Trump/Make America Great Again movements have reacted. This is a very useful observation and a good starting point if you want to really understand who Progressives are and what they want.
In the most general sense, they want to rule us and decide everything for us. They want to put their policies into effect, as Jonathan Gruber so aptly put it, by writing their laws in such “tortured” (read: deceptive) ways that the “stupid American voters” would just let them do it. They think we need them because they are educated and knowledgable. They have studied and attained degrees and other credentials that supposedly entitle them to say whatever they feel is necessary to get control of us and our lives. If they really understood what they were doing, it would not be so so bad. All their education has endowed them with a great deal of knowledge about certain things and yet it has not given them (or allowed them to develop) a true understanding.
The great inventor and researcher, Charles F. Kettering once said, “Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.” When Kettering was running the research group at GM, he made a point of retraining any PhD that the company hired. He would train him not to (as most PhDs do) proceed to try to fit the problem to what he already knew but to “,…encounter a problem without preconceptions and to let the problem teach him to both know and understand it. In this way the problem becomes its own solution. The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.” Kettering had a sign hung in the laboratory. It read simply, “Let the problem be the boss.”
But no, the Progressives want to rule us with knowledge not understanding. I don’t want to create the impression that I am picking only on Gruber, its just that he and his guileless truth-telling about his methods and aims give us the perfect example of how disastrous Progressiveism is as an approach to government. Mr Gruber has a complex and subtle knowledge of computer models and economic systems. About human nature and our economic behavior, however, he is as clueless and callous as a robot with Asperger’s Syndrome. Not only does he think we are stupid, he thinks that no matter how abjectly his designed programs fail, he can point to us as the problem- not his failure to understand. When, in 2016 Gruber was questioned on CNN about the incipient failure of the marketplaces he was ready to double down:
“There’s no sense in which it needs to be fixed,” Mr. Gruber said. When questioned further about why the insurance companies were pulling out of the exchanges he blames the companies for not being prepared for a “new kind of insurance market” and goes on to say, “The law is working as designed. However, it could work better. I think probably the most important thing experts would agree on is that we need a larger mandate penalty. We have individuals who are essentially free-riding on the system. They’re essentially waiting until they get sick and then getting health insurance.” Which is to say, that he wants to see people bullied with higher penalties to force them into the Obamacare plans. When someone like Gruber refers to “experts”, you can bet that he is talking about PhDs and knowledge mongers like himself.
One last example from Gruber comes from an interview he did with Maria Bartiromo- and this is the quintessential knowledge vs understanding argument. when at 7:30 of this interview Bartiromo tells Gruber that ten CEOs of corporations have told her that, from their personal experience, they know that Obamacare is hurting job growth because they have had to halt hiring in their companies, he replies that they and she are wrong and that Obamacare is not hurting job growth. He claims to have data and equations that disprove it. I am reminded of one of my favorite cartoons by S Harris:
These people are not our “betters” they are smug, self-important fools whom we have allowed too much power in our nation and our lives. On top of it all Gruber has been exposed _ at least by the State of Vermont as a thief and a fraud for over billing and billing for work that he claimed had been done by a (probably) non-existent research assistant.
It is just this kind of bald-faced denial of true understanding- this shoveling of data points and “expert” opinion invalidate the real experience of real people- that has finally alerted so many people here and in Britain, at least, that Progressives don’t want to understand anything they just want to find ways to force us to do what they “know” we should be doing. How do they know that? Well, they are experts. What makes them experts? -Credentials earned in sterile, politically correct universities and experience producing essays, books and research that get approval from journalists, others like themselves and (most importantly) political “buy-in” by politicians who know more about how to get elected and re-elected than they understand about their constituents.
The funny thing is, for all that they call themselves Progressives, “progress” is also something they know but do not understand. If their idea of progress is equality, they do not stop at equality of opportunity. They want to to find ways to insure equality of outcome- and that means socialism at the least and communism at the worst. But then, for decades they have been making policy to foster the economic advancement of racial minorities and the black family has been gravely wounded and inequality of outcome is worse than it ever was.
In spite of all their failure, they want the world to work the way they “know” it “should” work and if it doesn’t they are prepared to bully you for “the common good.” and if bullying fails on the first try they will feel - as Gruber does about mandates- to move to coercion and beyond.
There is a Gruber in your future. The rise of this form of charlatanism has been stalled by President Trump but make no mistake, the Progressives are still coming on. They are not just Democrats the Bush administrations were full of them. Many of them are now in the ranks of the “Never Trumpers”. Emboldened over the thirty years since Reagan’s presidency there are too many academics, PhDs, consultants and authors without understanding who have been elevated with riches, position and praise.
By the way, I understand this myself because for the first few years after I got my Master’s Degree, I worked in the belly of that beast. I was a statistical programmer at, what was at the time, one of the premier social science and public policy research companies in the nation. That was a long time ago - Gruber was still in grade school. Since then, I have been in business for myself in honest, productive work but every time I read or hear what “The Establishment” wants to do or prevent, I recognize it as Progressivism and have come to think of it as The Voice of The Gruber.
They are not all without understanding but if they have never done any real work or had to really solve a problem, they should not be trusted to tell us how to live. Know him or her for who they are, they are all “Grubers”. As is written in Isaiah 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
Friday, October 6, 2017
This IS “What Happened"
It would be easy to dismiss this recent gag-worthy, disingenuous, kitsch demonstration as just another feeble, thinly disguised attempt by the liberal elite to negate the true meaning of the 2016 election- a message they are desperately ignoring. But it is more than that.
It is the very reason we should rejoice that this obscene puffer fish of a politician is not our president and why we must continue to fight for our message to be heard. This pack of, barely out of college joke peddlers and the absurdly now I’m a slut, no- now I’m a pot-head, no, really, now I’m a teary-eyed, maudlin pop singer are far more dangerous than they appear. They are quite literally blinded by what HRC represents to them and deliberately ignorant (in a stereotypically totalitarian way) of what she really is. The First Woman to be Nominated by a Major Party, indeed! Robert Mugabe was the first dictator of Zimbabwe, so what?
And if that nudnik thinks that the only thing that was criticized about HRC during the campaign was hair, wardrobe and appearance, then, I guess, she never heard the expressions, “Crooked Hillary” or "Lock Her Up”. The topper comes when HRC writes her note and goes all Stuart Smalley. She tells all the little girls out there that they are, “Smart, Strong and Deserving of Every Opportunity”! This is not just barfable, and pathetic it is a puerile dose of the kind of emotional blackmail that is the only sustaining force behind the Progressive agenda. They do not answer to reality and necessity they are slaves to causes, feelings and needs - all manipulated and prescribed for them by “leaders” like HRC.
This is the scary fruit of the “every soccer player gets a trophy” generation. This is what we are up against.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The Destruction of the Individual
The American Left makes a show of disapproving any but the most denatured, toothless and universalist religious beliefs. They are suffused with a sexual ethos that is amoral and libertine by the standards of the recent past. Their intellectual post-modernism specifically prevents any moral judgement or ethical framework. In fact they pride themselves on the ability to“deconstruct” the traditions and values that under-pin our civilization. Yet, they seem able to put aside their fractious identity politics in order to be unaccountably tolerant- even supportive of Radical Islam That political religion commits terror against the rest of the world and has spawned despotisms of religious elites of some degree in the entire Muslim world. They also demand the killing of apostates, the torture and murder of homosexuals, the subjugation, rape and “honor” murder of women and children: This begs for explanation.
I have a simple answer, and I want to hold it up for my liberal friends so that they will see themselves in it and think again about their current leftist doctrine.
Some have said that the affinity between the Left and Islam has to do with the historic crimes of the West and the Judeo-Christian culture. In doing so, they willingly ignore the murder and terror that accompanied the Islamic conquest of Arabia, The Levant, North Africa, large swaths of Western Asia and even parts of Europe in the heyday of the Caliphate. Although there may be some element of truth to the accusations of Western crimes, it does not compare in scale, ferocity or longevity to the crimes of Islam. In any case, the affinity is deeper and more central to the Left and Islam than that.
It is about human nature, and the urge to change and control it. Islam, you see, is about surrendering the individual will to Allah, and although Progressivism purports to be about compassion and “humanity”,it shares with Islam a kind of surrender of the individual. The Left and Islam are united in their animus toward individualism, family loyalty, nationhood, liberty and and an open and questioning religious faith. At the very bottom of the issue, Islamic Jihad and the progressive Left have this in common: as Dostoevsky put it in The Brothers Karamazov, “…the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.”
That’s a harsh thing to say, so for clarity’s sake let me stipulate that I do not mean they are incapable of loving individual people. There is a difference between what we call “the individual” and a particular person. You may love one or many people but if you cannot love, or at least accept as human, someone who does not behave as you think fit or subscribe to the same political doctrine that you do, then you are denying and hating “the individual”.
The name “Progressivism” itself implies that there is a ‘humanistic’ ideal that can be reached in an orderly, planned and (if necessary, enforced) progression. This is nothing more than the same intellectual fantasy that has given birth to all of the utopian movements in history. Utopias always seem so promising at their invention, but they lead only to dystopia and suffering. The annals of socialism, communalism and communism are replete with failure and horror.
At their worst, they have led to mass killings in Ukraine, Russia, Nazi Germany, China, Cambodia, and Venezuela (to mention just a few) and at their best they offer a kind of tepid, quasi-democratic environment where individual advancement is all but impossible for any but the members of the elite. Even the best, Post War Germany, Sweden and Denmark, for example, are fast succumbing to the fecklessness of their fuzzy progressive ideals and the incompetence or their effete leadership. In the face of (irony of ironies!) Muslim immigrant hordes that serve as a Trojan Horse for Jihadists and the terror they bring the socialist democracies of Europe are dying before our eyes.
All they offer us as a rational for their failure is hatred dressed up as love and tolerance. Only consider what passes for political polemic from the Left. The “Nazi” meme, thinly veiled character assassination and other unproven ad hominem attacks prevail. In the liberal media Donald Trump is constantly characterized as a heartless, vicious, greedy fascist, and even insane. Anyone who supports him (or even refuses to denounce him!) can count on being vilified and dismissed.
Disagree with his policies and personal conduct if you want, but this is all out of proportion and a shameful proof that the Left is without any means of logical or reasonable argument for what they believe. Its not just Trump either. There is not a single conservative that is immune. They have even condescended to despise Ronald Reagan- arguably the last successful U. S president. The best they could do against Reagan, though, was to call him an “amiable dunce” or a tool of the corporations, even though his policies lifted the nation out of the self described “malaise” of the Carter administration into the headiest era of prosperity and universal well-being we have known since. But that is really just further proof that they hated him- not just for being different from them but also for proving that Jimmy Carter, one of their own, was hateful and incompetent. Whatever small respect they had for Reagan and the office, if they could only muster something like it for Trump, we might again experience a new “Morning in America” era.
Unfortunately, that does not appear to be what they want. They sooth their discontent by assassinating the character of individuals who stand for The Individual. Their so-called humanism seems to be more of a means toward other ends…which begs the question… What is this “progress” the Progressives have in mind for us? In my next article I will address where “progress” of their kind leads.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Are You Tired of the Lies and Rage?
This is a voice America needs to hear! Her name is Candace Owens. I can only pray that her clarity and energy stay strong in the face of the tempest she will surely bring down on herself.
The only quibble I have for her is her is her riff about Jews and education. After correctly and charmingly telling her audience that the public education system offers them “an education” if they will trade in their brains in exchange, she does not connect that to the fact that so many Jews have done the same thing. The moral posturing and virtue signaling of the Jewish establishment arose on its own but is sustained in the younger generations by the educational Gulag of the schools and universities in the U.S..
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Trump and The Hidden History Behind Charlottesville
|Nazis and Communists fought many street battles in the late 1920s and early 1930s|
The Nazis and White Supremacists as one faction and the Antifa and Black Lives Matter as the other faction are two sides of the same coin. Expressing this is what has gotten the president in trouble with the politically correct media and their dupes. His point is that too many are are purposefully ignoring the real meaning of the other equally dangerous set of thugs who have caused violence in Portland, Berkeley, Ferguson, Evergreen College and at least half of the problem in Charlottesville. If the Nazis are the spawn of Hitler, then Antifa and BLM are the spawn of Lenin and Stalin. The late twenties and early thirties in the Weimar Republic saw riots and pitched battles between those same factions in most German cities. For whatever reason the media will not talk about the similarity between Charlottesville and Altona (riots in Hamburg that left 19 dead). The only difference between these two sides is that one is national socialism (nazi) and the other is international socialism (communists). That, and the identity groups they are pandering to are the only difference and thats why they vie for similar disaffected losers and why they hate each other so much.
The world suffered under both Russian Socialism and German Socialism in fact many more millions of people died of intentional starvation and torture and in the Gulag under the International version- and that;s not even taking into account China's Great Leap Forward and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. And somehow none of THAT gets attentions in Academia and the media - I guess because international socialism seems so “progressive” and cool- except that the Russian intellectuals lots of them Jews who thought it cool wound up being slaughtered or sent to the Gulag.
Useful idiots is what Lenin called them because they were progressives who thought of themselves as “free thinkers” even though they all thought pretty much the same thing. They were sucked in by the progressive allure of socialism - not realizing or willing to aknowledge that in order to have socialism there must be a "strong man" and and governmental apparatus to make it work. Totalitarian systems do not suffer any sort of free thinkers. The only progress is the the progressive dominance of “the state” or “The People".
The media, academia and the elite establishment have formed a chorus of "free thinkers" who torture logic and magnify minutia in order to find fault and "danger in Trump. What they should be doing is recognizing that the danger posed by the enforced equality the Antifa and BLM is every bit as odious and sinister as the supremacy of the Nazis and the White Supremacists. Our survival as a free people depends on it and right now President Trump getting pummeled for even bringing it up.
h/t to Michael Rechtenwald
h/t to Michael Rechtenwald
Friday, July 28, 2017
Who is the Ruling Class?
They Exposed Themselves Last Night
Let me start by saying that I have a deep reverence for John McCain as an American hero of the last century. In his currently stricken state, it might seem that he is a poor choice of starting point for this particular argument. I would argue that exactly the opposite is true. For more on the other side of Senator McCain, here is a good primer.
Last night he and two other Republicans drove a stake through the heart of the attempt to stop the nationalization of health care. He left the care of his own doctors and flew to Washington for that express purpose. This is the very pinnacle of ruling class hubris. Whilst engaged in a battle for his own life and taking advantage of a level health care that most Americans can only dream of, he flew across the continent to cast a vote against the tide of failed government interference in the market for medical care that has succeeded only in breaking the system to the point that we are on the brink of an irresistible movement to take freedom out of health care altogether and institute “single payer” government control. Leaving aside the illogic of increasing the control of the government in order to “fix” what the government broke in the first place, I want to focus on the people whose ”leadership” keep us digging while it becomes more and more improbable that we could ever climb out of this hole into which we have all, leaders and constituents, dug ourselves.
The most privileged people in our country are arrogant and self-important. But they are still dependent on the votes and confidence of the public. To convince the voting public, themselves and each other that they are magnanimous and trustworthy, they make public shows of “compassion”. They crusade to expand insurance coverage for “the uninsured”. They open our borders without discrimination both to those who will enrich our culture and those who will impoverish it. They grant subsidies for all manner of anti-social and counter-productive behavior: low interest financing and tax benefits for useless degrees at schools that offer not much more than “party campuses” and breeding grounds for political unrest, welfare benefits that encourage families without fathers and multi-generational dependance the list is endless. The bottom line is that The United States of America is turning into a modernized reproduction of the Ancient Regimes of pre World War I.
Instead of “The Church”, The Royal Families and the Landed Aristocrats, we now have Politicians, Academics, Journalists and Money Manipulators as our “betters” but the result is very similar. If I had the artistic talent, I would do an updated version of the Heinrich Kley drawing above showing the new worthies loading up the backs of our working people and entrepreneurs with illegal immigrants, affirmative action, alternative energy, relaxed mortgage requirements for people designed to encourage minority home ownership, single payer health care and all the other vanity projects of our ruling class.
John McCain is sick and he is fighting, once again, for his life but let’s get this straight because it is life and death for the rest of us. He had the opportunity to get treatment and his operation at the VA. He is entitled and deserving of that for his service. As a grateful nation, we should ensure that the VA gives the best care possible to our veterans. He, however, chose not to get that treatment but to go to The Mayo Clinic. I cannot fault that decision personally but politically, it is very telling. More and more our “public servants” send their children to private schools, use government paid transportation, live behind security walls with armed guards, ignore laws and ethical practices the rest of us are held to, avoid taxes with impunity, amass private wealth at the public trough and, in general, live lives that are entirely unlike ours. They keep pushing the idea that they are compassionate, not by living compassionate lives or even by helping the poor achieve better lives, but by posing as compassionate people. It is an illusion! The programs they create do nothing but continually decrease the difference between those who work and those who don’t work. They take our tax money and create federal fiefdoms (EPA, HUD, BLM, Education, etc…,) that create and exacerbate more problems than they solve.
Most corrosive of all, they tell the undocumented aliens and the entrenched poor they have taken into their plantation that they are their benefactors. then the go home, with a wink to their fellow elitists, to their gated communities. This is where we are headed as a nation unless we can get the right leadership in place. We now have a president who gets it but the McCain, Collins, Alexander, Moore-Capito, Heller, Murkowski, and Portman votes of last evening just added more burden for us all, This virtue posing and false compassion is killing us. We need it to stop.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
The Church of Globalism Wants Your Blood (and Money)
The complete lack of self-awareness on the part of the media/academic/Progressive ruling class has always puzzled me. How do they do it without falling into a pain-induced coma from the cognitive dissonance they should be suffering… What monstrous thing lies below their consciousness to enable it? I have come to believe that it is a bigger thing than the seemingly separate concerns and issues they champion. it is really about the quasi-religious "Church of Globalism" and its priesthood. They will sacrifice anything on its alter.
I am still concerned with what I have been writing about as “human sacrifice” (here and here) but in the aftermath of the London Bridge Attack it has become apparent that there are deeper concerns and the death of innocent people is a symptom of an even graver danger.
I am still concerned with what I have been writing about as “human sacrifice” (here and here) but in the aftermath of the London Bridge Attack it has become apparent that there are deeper concerns and the death of innocent people is a symptom of an even graver danger.
it is, surely, “The Jihad” and the renaissance of fundamentalist Sharia law that are the proximate causes of the slaughter but it is a mistake to focus solely on the Muslim side of the equation. It is not so much the Islamists that we should be afraid of, it is the Globalist movement in the west that has allowed, and even fostered, those squalid barbarians to grow so dangerous and impudent.
The limp, mealy-mouthed responses of Kahn and May to President Trumps tweets after London have gotten me thinking. The majority of our elected officials, and their bureaucratic minions along with our leading academics and the majority of our artists and entertainers have conspired to lull us into suppressing our spiritual, intellectual and cultural defenses and open our borders to the unfettered immigration and the terror, disease, rape and murder it brings. But the terror is just the most noticeable manifestation. There is a whole complex Globalist movement that has pervaded and polluted our body politic.
I am not one of those who believe in an organized Globalization Conspiracy. I know there are conspiracy theories out there but they seem a bit overwrought and impossibly arcane. I think, though, that once you understand Globalism and its underpinnings you will see that its worse and more pervasive than any centralized conspiracy could be.
Globalism is actually a pseudo-religion, it is the Sharia Law analog of the West. It is an extreme belief in the infallibility and inevitability of Globalization. It and all of its doctrines are unassailable and anyone who questions them are disqualified from legitimacy. There are a number of dogmas connected with Globalism Chief among them is what is now commonly called Climate Change. Other dogmas include:
- The Right to Migrate (for western countries this means unfettered immigration- legal and otherwise)
- Multiculturalism (which is more accurately described as Cultural Relativism)
- Disdain for Nationalism and Populism
- Condemnation of Income Inequality (although, ironically most of those who trumpet this the loudest are pulling down vast incomes for doing so- see Bernie Sanders, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, et al)
But you don’t need to take my word for it. An excellent, if unintentional, indictment of Globalization may be found on the Barclay Bank website. The research paper abstracted on this page is a perfect case study in the arrogant cluelessness of what might be called the Globalist Elite. The title “The Politics of Rage” sets the tone. It is cold research seen through a pro-globalist lens. It presents a chilling picture of what Globalism aims to do. Here is the list of of factors necessary to globalization that are identified as causing the rage against globalization among the middle classes:
- Sovereignty (as in the loss of national sovereignty through Trade Pacts and the EU - See Brexit)
- Representative Reform (related to Sovereignty- the loss of local representation through mandates from national governments and their commitments to supra-national bodies)
- Immigration (unfettered migration of the un-assimilate-able, terrorists, carriers of diseases and non-productive third world populations into western countries)
- Trade (free trade that costs jobs and economic dislocation in developed countries)
- Redistribution of Income (related to Trade- loss of employment and depression of wages costs the lower and middle income people in developed countries and creates more profit for the wealthy and corporations)
- Anti-Corporatism (see Redistribution)
I finally have a complete understanding of what Barak Obama meant when he vowed to “fundamentaly transform the United States of America.” The picture that emerges is that the middle and lower middle class in the developed countries of the world are being sacrificed, in every way possible. Their jobs and wealth are being diluted and lost to the tidal wave of “migration”. They lose their very lives to the terrorists who wash ashore with that same wave. All the while, the corporations, government apparatchiks, media pundits, academic theorists and financial manipulators, those that I call the Global Elite, get ever fatter and more insolent. They are not the ones being run over, slashed to death and shot in the streets. They live in enclaves with high walls. They are not loosing their financial security, their interests are doing very well thank you. It is no transformation. It is a betrayal.
And to what effect is all this havoc being visited on the workers, earners and entrepreneurs who make it all possible? There is no proof that refugees from failed states can adapt well enough and in large enough numbers to modern western economies to do anything more than increase the burden of entitlements in those countries. There is no proof either that there is any chance that the other “benefits” predicted for globalization will ever materialize.
The Barclay researcher blandly asserts that it would lead to faster development in undeveloped countries. Even allowing for the scabrous old allegation that the abuses of the colonial era are responsible for the economic devastation in those countries, colonialism has been over for a century and the third world is still poor.
Culture is the most important determinant of development. Israel, for example, is a country founded in a place bereft of natural resources on land that had been poverty stricken for two millennia. In sixty years, under constant hostility and attack from neighbors with overwhelming numerical advantage, it is one of the strongest economies in the world. Globalists hate Israel for the very example that she is!
No! The only benefit that is real in the globalization scenario is that which accrues to the Globalist Elite who are trying to squelch the natural resistance to it by calling our distress “rage”. They call us “bitter clingers” (Obama), “deplorables” (Clinton), “uneducated” (Mainstream Press), deniers and they belittle our very sacrifice with statistical cruelties like “London is still one of the safest cities” or “undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the general population”. These are untrue in any sense but they are most sinister in the way they negate real suffering. It is heartless to tell the families of the little girls killed in Manchester, or of the nine year old boy killed in Boston or of Kate Steinli that they should be comforted by those cold statistics when their loved ones would be alive today if immigration were under sufficient control. This is not inchoate “rage” as Barclay and the progressives try to invalidate it. It is not we who are “the deniers”.
Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)