Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

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You are a modern liberal …

Posted by DNW on 2014/07/21

 

 

You are a modern liberal

… and you don’t believe in natural rights.

Ok … let’s ask some questions which may even seem silly at first, but which, in the asking, will clear away some of the unhappy vagueness we tend to live with out of social politeness or the fear of seeming too radical.

So:

Do you have, let’s say, a right to breathe? If so, where does this “right” come from? An act of Congress?

Do you have a right to be served by others? If so;

Do they have a right to be served by you? If so;

Do they have a right to serve themselves by not serving you?

 

The questions are too general or abstract or silly or provocative you say? And anyway, it all depends, you say? Alright then, “it all depends”.

In hopes of making some kind of progress, let’s wave away any of the question begging “balancing of rights” or “cultural context” distractions into which you would like segue, and try to press forward instead.

To continue on a slightly different tack.

Do you (yeah you personally) let’s say, have a right to speak freely? If the answer is “yes”, is that “right” merely a contingent legal permission – be it constitutional, statutory, whatever – which you for the time being enjoy? Can you equally well be deprived of that permission in a way which would leave you with no rational cause for complaint to someone else? If you cannot so be deprived without a rational cause for complaint to someone else, do you then claim a more basic right to that express right? If so, how, or upon what, is that claim grounded?

 

You are a modern liberal; and, let’s say for the sake of argument, that I am not.

And you’re determined that you are not  going to “fall for” any of the questions I have asked. A “right” you insist and will boldly maintain, is nothing more than an arbitrarily recognized social permission – that tolerance or support which others are habituated or intimidated into conceding to you. Usually written down if it is to mean anything.

You then as a modern liberal, consistently and without exception or proviso do assert and affirm that the concept of “rights” really renders down to what are in essence, no more than social permissions; having no other objective grounding or reality.

So now, let’s say that you the modern liberal, and I the not-modern-liberal find ourselves on an island. One with no law books.

I’m stronger that you are and … Yeah, yeah, trust me, I am. And, and anyway as I was about to say, although there is enough for both of us to survive, if I kill you now, I can live more than just comfortably. Besides, I find your weakness and whiny-ness annoying.

If I do kill you, have I done anything objectively wrong? If so what is it, and how do you know? Have I thereby, on this law book free island, deprived you of anything that could be called “rights”? Is my killing of you, “unjust” in any sense, even though no judicial writ runs here? If so, then how so; and, how do you know?

Have you any reason to complain over an injustice in my act? Notice I said “reason”; and notice that your utility to me is not an issue here. How would all this be balanced out under a social permission theory of rights?

Well now, I don’t really expect you as a liberal to answer these questions, or to take them seriously, or even to grant that the framing of the speculations is something you would abide or tolerate.

Because of course, these questions are not really meant to change a liberal mind regarding the nature and status of rights by means of pointing out just how incoherent the liberal use of the term rights is, when the term is used in the sense conceived of, and conceded by, liberals.

I know this because I have wasted many hours attempting to get modern-liberals to explain themselves: and their strategy has been, without exception, to either refuse to do so, or to shelter behind the terminology of a moral worldview which they in fact reject.

You liberals, high-minded or low, already know all this too. You know, explicitly or implicitly that you are are spouting clandestinely self-serving rhetoric not reason, and emoting, not deducing, when you speak of “rights”.

So what’s the point?

The point is that: what this exercise is really meant to do is to remind non-liberals that, in the final analysis, modern liberals are motivated by a simple will to power and/or by urges which they themselves don’t care to justify or explore too deeply.

This is a fact of social life which non-liberals need to face, and of which they need to steadily keep reminding themselves.

Liberals are able not only to readily face this view of themselves, they ultimately embrace it; and when pushed to the wall, they will even proclaim it. They see it – entropy, inherent meaninglessness, and ultimate nothingness – as a state of affairs which grants them freedom from ultimate consequences. Insofar of course, as there is a coherent “they” to them, and insofar as “freedom” has any any meaning, insofar as consequences have any significance, and insofar, insofar, insofar …

So, isn’t it about time that conservatives become brave enough to face what it is that liberals are blithely admitting about themselves as liberals?

Its only prudent, after all.

 

Posted in Conservative, Culture, Liberal, Philosophy, Real Life, society, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Conversations with an ardent Liberal

Posted by DNW on 2014/07/08

Conversations with an ardent Liberal … another failed experiment

 

As was apparent from my earlier “We had a liberal visitor” post, I had recently engaged in the project of continuing an exchange with a self-identified liberal blogger named John, who had visited this site and commented on my post concerning the AOL/Huffington Post news comment policy: Now, it’s “Facebook Conversations

For those who might have missed it,  Huffington Post material, unlike strictly AOL articles, of which there are apparently still some, invites comment only through “Facebook conversations”.  In other words if you comment on a news article you will be doing so through your Facebook identity. Assuming you have one.

John basically agreed with my take on the issue and said so. Since he made sure to leave a link to his own blog in his response, I then reciprocated his visit here with one of my own to his site American Liberal Times.

John the Liberal’s site was and is a curious mix of material and attitudes. And to be fair, John the Liberal makes no bones about the fact that it is: stating outright that it is a blog about his opinions and views and that he doesn’t intend to be forced into the position of justifying or defending the logic and reasonableness of his views.

“TERMS OF SERVICE

Some people who stop here and read stuff might get offended at my rather strong and direct tone.

If you get offended by something you read here then I am sorry and I suggest that if you are going to get offended at the way I write my blog then you have the option to immediately leave this blog – read no further and go somewhere else to read.  It is that simple.  If you don’t like my “Program” then just turn the dial and find something else somewhere else on the Internet that you do like better.  No big deal is it?

The second point I would like to make is that I do not ordinarily allow Radical Right Wingers or those who I have come to think of as “Obama Haters” or haters of Democrats, Liberals and Progressives to leave any comments on this site. (I do make some exceptions at my discretion however.)   There are plenty of Right Wing Radical Hate-Mongering blogs on the Internet and if that is your thing then I suggest you find one of those to visit or to haunt or to hang out at because your propaganda and your attitudes are not always welcome on “AMERICAN LIBERAL TIMES”

AMERICAN LIBERAL TIMES”  is my blog and I post whatever I want to post on it and I allow whoever I want to allow to post comments on it and I prohibit anyone from posting or commenting when I don’t like what they have to say and that is my privilege as a blogger and because of the great number of Rightist Numwads and Mindless Ninkos who try to troll me on this blog I rarely – – if ever – – accept any comment from any right wing source anymore.  Too bad!

To the rest of you – – – to anyone who thinks anywhere near the same way as I do – – WELCOME! … “

 

Nonetheless, on June 18th he certainly appeared to make a stab at embracing reasonableness when he volunteered that he was considering tempering the vehemence and vitriol with which his postings were typically imbued.

Courtesy, Respect And Good Taste Never Go Out Of Style!

… I am fully convinced that it is perfectly reasonable and achievable to arrive at the point where we can inform the world we believe a certain politician might not be acting in the best interests of his constituents without resorting to such crudities as “Chief Fraud” or other such juvenile crud-encrusted delicacies of the vernacular.

One favor I would ask of my readers: If you see me engaging in any conversation that seems to you like it might qualify as “Bad Taste” please leave me a comment and alert me to my digression . . . regression. I definitely want to elevate “American Liberal Times” above the level of decency employed by a great number of what I call “Right Wing Hater Blogs.”

I cannot do it alone and that is why I ask my Readers to participate in the process of adding a little more panache to this blog.”

I even congratulated John on this, and figured that with that as a predicate, I might venture on a short-term experiment in order to see just what potential there might be for an actual dialog with a partisan liberal; notwithstanding John’s forthrightness in stating upfront that he was, in essence, interested in no such thing.

A conclusion which was,  I must admit, inescapably reinforced by posts such as this:

7/1/2014

More Changes To The Blog But I Do Not Know If They Will Last:

First of all let me say that I have no idea of whether or not a blog can be crawled by the “Crawlers” without each post being preceded by a formal “Headline.”  But I would say that I am about to find out.  I have seen other blogs with high readership that do not make use of headlines and so I am trying it myself – – for the time being.

Secondly:  I have spent considerable time today going back through the posts on this blog and deleting forever almost all comments left on here by Right Wingers over the years. …”

Now, a man determined to go back years in order to purge any trace of “right-wing” commentary from his blog is not likely to be a man reasoned with easily.

But, John seemed so inordinately grateful for the comments I left,

“Dear DNW:

First of all let me say that I sincerely appreciate your visit today and I am grateful you took your time to comment.”

Dear DNW:
Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comment.

… that I wondered if he could not somehow, and against his natural inclinations, be finessed into an intelligent conversation. After all, what’s a month more?  I have already spent years trying to do so with other political progressives. That is, to discover if – contrary to all appearances –  there really is not something like a right reasoning mind behind the modern liberal face; a faculty which could be carefully teased out of the appetitive confusion behind the eyes … some residual capacity, some sputtering wisp of a reasoning soul which could be carefully fanned to life.

Now this would necessarily not be easy. Not only because John had stated that he was not particularly interested in reasoning, but in addition because he posted at such a frantic pace. For example, he placed up what I count as eight posts on July 1st, alone. Perhaps then, comments like these, made in response to my own, should have proved enough.

” … My interpreting principles change like the myriad colors of a Texas sunset because all of Creation is always in a state of flux ( evolving . . always evolving . .) and even in our social order that which was acceptable ages and ages ago ( The stoning of disobedience to death in public spectacles of death ) has now moved forward ( Progressed ) to where public stoning has become abhorrent to most people and some less severe measure has been compromised upon.

I do not care to justify moral preferences or claims because my own moral preference and claims don’t amount to anything of much significance in such a vast and diverse society as ours and in times when generational and demographic changes are on the cusp of making cataclysmic changes in many of our generally accepted perceptions of many things at many levels. I simply present what I think ( at the moment I think it ) knowing full well that it might all change dramatically as new impressions are received inside of myself either by inspiration or by being impressed from influences without. Why be a hypocrite about it?”

… and then there were discouraging things like this:

John, in the original posting:

“I have discovered over the years that (A) It is totally impossible to have a reasonable conversation with most radical Righties, …”

Me, in response:

” …What do you mean by “a reasonable” conversation? Are you referring to some lack of ability in the area of logical analysis? A specific lack of historical knowledge? Certainly you cannot be referring to a reluctance to “respond on point”, since you quite clearly stated that you would not be held to any such a standard yourself …”

John, in reply:

” … And what is my notion of a reasonable conversation? I have no concrete notions of a reasonable conversation because for one thing this blog is not intended to be a conversation or a debate . . it is an “Opinion” blog . . my opinions . . . but maybe a more reasonable “Conversation” in this instance might be condensed as “Thank you for your comments. I always appreciate receiving your comments.” (Evasive enough is it?) :)

 

And so it continued to inexorably and predictably play out.  He would not respond on point because it was an opinion blog, and was his, and he would say whatever he wanted. And while he accused conservatives of making a reasonable exchange impossible,  as we see above, he would not, or could not, say what it was he considered as reasonable.

In some ways he was remarkably like our old friend Perry Hood. Grown up poor. Grateful to the government for lifting him out of poverty; now of a certain age – 76 today apparently;  prone to quoting Christian scriptures for rhetorical purposes while making a certain contempt for Christianity itself quite clear; and, oh yes, like Perry, a one time ardent Pentecostal or Evangelical who now finds the appeal of government love and state organized wealth redistribution more emotionally powerful than a love of God and a commitment to personal charity.

In the new Religion of Progressivism, it is the “rightwads” the “teabaggers”  who are conspiring to storm the heaven known as Washington, D.C.,  and tear down our great country and all the wonderful things which divine liberalism has bestowed upon a yearning humanity. Replacing the devil he once believed to be the source of evil in the world, now stand those evil conservatives and their imagined conspiracies. And don’t try to reason him out of that view. It’s his blog and he feels the way he feels and that is all there is to it. Nothing to discuss, period.

Well, the ending was obviously foreordained.

Seeing that a month of reasoning effort was going just as far as years did with Perry Hood, which is to say absolutely nowhere substantively, I figured I might as well speak directly and let the chips fall where they may. The proximate occasion was John’s post entitled :

I Haven’t Got My Obamacare-Mandated RFID Chip Implant Yet!
Posted on July 8, 2014

DAMN! WHAT’S THE BIG HOLD UP?

He continued in the following manner …

“The Right Wing scum were screaming, yammering, bitching, moaning, crying and howling that every American Citizen was going to be forced to have some kind of microchip implanted under their skin by the year 2013. This mandatory microchip called an RFID chip ( Radio Frequency Identification Chip) is something the Right-Tighters were insisting was absolutely required by The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act ( Obamacare ) and that no American Citizen would be immune from having their government force them to have this device implanted in their skin.

Well the bastards must have either been wrong about the requirement for the implant or the government simply has not yet gotten around to implanting me with my Obamacare-Mandated RFID Chip yet and here it is 2014 ….

Could it be that the Rightscum got this one wrong? …

My desire is that when the Rightwads get their mandatory RFID chip compliments of Obamacare ( As they have been claiming ) they get it up the rear end! To know that little tidbit of knowledge would be intensely pleasing to me as a left of center moderate liberal.”

 

This of course from the man who said : “If you see me engaging in any conversation that seems to you like it might qualify as “Bad Taste” please leave me a comment and alert me to my digression . . . regression. I definitely want to elevate “American Liberal Times” above the level of decency employed by a great number of what I call “Right Wing Hater Blogs …”

Yes well, given that, the following exchange ensued.

Me to John:

DNW on July 8, 2014 at 12:29 PM said:

One of you(r) commenters asks,

*groan* Are they back on that old kick again?’

Apparently “they” ["rightwads", or whatever] , are not.The only source you cite, and from which as cited he/she could have draw such a conclusion, is a four year old, 2010 Snopes article wherein the following is stated:

” First off, the referenced information was not part of the “Obamacare” health care legislation actually enacted by Congress. … the cited wording did not appear in the replacement bill (HR 3590) eventually passed as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, … although similar language was included in initial versions of the subsequent reconciliation bill (HR 4872), it too did not appear in the final version of that bill as passed by Congress.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/microchip.asp#5R6LYeXixaxwE03C.99

So, although the alarm was based on proposed, rather than passed legislation, and the case for alarm overdrawn in addition, the issue of implantable RF chips has been in the news consistently, as has been government mandated individual medical reviews and health data collecting.

In fact, as you will recall, John Edwards stated that as part of his universal heath care program he was in favor of a policy of government mandated annual checkups with individual medical records being accessible by the government.

With fascistic and even apocalyptic sounding policies being noised about by mainstream Democrat candidates like Edwards, it is only expected that the casual reader might react with more alarm than justified.

But of course we are left with the question as to how many modern liberals really would object to such a mandate if it were promulgated? Certainly, numbers of “the Democratic Underground” commentators who discussed this issue, saw no problems with it, if those who were mandated, were on the government insurance plan. ….”

So, in other words, I pointed out that the old Snopes article simply addressed the language that did pass, while offering an interpretation (probably correct) of the language that was omitted.  But that that nonetheless left John’s post as little more than a  vitriolic attack on what looked to be a blatantly resurrected strawman from years past .

John, combatitively responded:

“The reason I published the RFID article was so as to keep the insanity of the right wing conspiracy nuts in front of the voting Public. The voters need to be reminded often of the nutwad mindset of the radical righties and …”

To which I replied:

In other words you dredged up a 4 year old article on an anonymous viral e-mail, not because anyone with a public profile was saying such things, nor because anyone at all was now saying such things, but because you wanted to stir the tar pot and apply the brush, just “… in case somebody who should know better is thinking of believing any of their crap.”

Better take another look at what you are really up to, John.

To which John retorted:

” My job is to expose the lies, deceit and treacheries of the radical right wing wherever I can find them and that is the mission of this blog and that is what I do. The radical right is a cancer eating at all that is decent and good about America and it is on a straightline agenda to destroy the country …”

 

This was going nowhere fast, obviously. And shortly before my remark above, and explicitly adverting to the misunderstandings of the naive or ill informed, I had also written
Ridiculing naive or gullible types for reporting liberals as promoting completely crazy and Nazi-like things, doesn’t work that well when the liberals can actually be shown as saying pretty outlandish and unmistakably fascist things, as was the case with John Edwards.
Left-fascism, that is pan-ethnic social solidarity fascism, has become, I think you will grant, pretty much the default position of the modern Democrat Party. Though they prefer to refer to it with terms such as “community values”, “solidarity”, and shared individual responsibility.
Actually the impulse dates right back to the beginnings of the social security, “social insurance” movement. Getting people insured was never the only goal: establishing a sense of collective and mutualist identity was right there from the beginning.
It’s always comforting to have neighbors who cannot say no, because the law won’t allow them to. But it isn’t freedom or dignity.
Which provoked the following retort from John as he slammed the barn door closed after the horse had departed:

John on July 8, 2014 at 6:44 PM said: The comparisons of Liberals to fascists and nazis has invoked my Godwin Law response and you can be sure you will not be commenting on this blog again. …” 

It is of course doubtful that an accurate reading of what I had written about “naive or gullible types” reporting liberals as promoting Nazi-like things, actually functions to compare liberals to Nazis.

However, indignant liberals may rest assured that I while I certainly did not myself compare liberals to Nazis, nor all liberals to fascists, I did in fact plainly state that pan-ethnic social solidarity fascism, ” … has become, I think you will grant, pretty much the default position of the modern Democrat Party.”

And so it indisputably has.

I suppose for those modern liberals of tender feelings, outright saying that left-fascism is pretty much the default position of the modern Democrat Party is almost as bad as “comparing Liberals” to fascists. LOL

As for John, well, he will go about his life just as before, feeding his spite and the appetite of his readers for venom, by posting multiple vitriolic and accusatory entries daily. Then, gushing out gratitude to the chorus of a couple, while vigilantly defending against “rightwads” who either mock him on their blogs or dare to try and reason with him on his own – by taking an eraser to whatever remarks he can.

And after all, why expect otherwise? Hasn’t he told us plainly that he is not interested in reasoning and has no principles worth discussing? He has indeed. I just could not quite believe he meant it and had to test for myself.

As for me, I will go on my way as well. Having tried one more fruitless time to reason with a self-proclaimed liberal by taking him up on the unsolicited invitation to visit his site which he left as a link after first visiting here, I’ll now go about my business.

Yet, I am still hopeful, if not confident, that there is somewhere a liberal who has not nihilistically abandoned reason for appetite, sentiment, and arbitrary will; a liberal somewhere who can be reasoned with on and about principles. It just happens that John the Liberal, like Perry is not and cannot be made into, such a person. They have both said as much themselves.

God help us if modern liberals really are in fact all intellectually and spiritually reduced to such mindless, vitriol spewing, husks.

Happy 76th birthday, John-the-liberal.

Perhaps someone else will be able to give you the appetite for careful and dispassionate reasoning which you so plainly, and admittedly, and tragically, lack.

Posted in ABJECT FAILURE, Liberal, politics, society | 2 Comments »

The real freedom fighters

Posted by DNW on 2014/07/02

 

The Fourth of July is nearing, and perhaps it’s time to again give a little recognition to that quickly passing generation: those who served in WWII

I’ve already placed some images from my family archive on the Veteran’s Day entry, including an image of my Father manning a Bofors training piece, as well as photos both by, and of, my uncle taken in France and Germany. Fortunately, both my father and my uncle are yet with us, with my father being in remarkably good health.

But I thought that here I’d mention another man of that generation. This one, unrelated to me, but a man whom I was privileged to get to know quite well through business.

His long-time nickname, used even in correspondence and on memos, was “Obie”.  And I assure you that despite his white hair it had NOTHING whatsoever to do with Star Wars, but everything to do with his initials.

I won’t give out his last name here. But anyone stumbling across the image further down, and seeming to recognize the older man on the right, while recalling an acquaintance with the Christian name of “Roswell Edison …” would have the identity.

Obie’s been gone over a decade now. And as I think back on it, the image below was probably taken of us not too long before his passing. I think, at his own request.

He was a talented man, who had among his various experiences trained as a fighter pilot during the war [for flying Thunderbolts as I recall], but who was never actually sent into combat due to a declining need for officer pilots overseas.

It was obvious however that his Air Corps pilot qualifying and training experience had had a life-long effect on him. Moreso perhaps than having also gone to college, something that traditionally shapes the young man for the future.

He was disciplined, orderly, assertive and aggressive in a positive sense, and prided himself on his ability to, as they would nowadays say, adapt and overcome. He was also good humored and quick witted, if somewhat wry.

One quirk that he did have was that of good-naturedly “testing” people. That is to say, he presented them with, possibly disquieting, little challenges just in order to judge how they would handle the matter. He attributed the impulse to something originating in his officer candidate training experiences. He said that they would throw little shocks at you so as to determine how well and how maturely you could handle them. I suppose it was to see if you had the right stuff to fly combat.

I, don’t know. Maybe he just liked subtle, slightly provoking jokes.

Eventually, I one day turned to him and said, “Haven’t we known each other for years now?” He acknowledged we had.

“And haven’t you had your “testing” fun repeatedly, and found I’m pretty much unflappable?  After all I know it’s a game.

He acknowledged as much.

“You have yourself referred to me as a good friend, despite our generational differences?”  Yes, that was true too, he admitted.

“So what’s the further point”?

He laughed and acknowledged there was no longer any. And that was that, the end of it.

Some people didn’t take it so well, but hey, that’s life. On the other hand, some did.

One instance of the kind of response I think he was looking for and know he appreciated, occurred during a long drive back to the city wherein we had to pass through some small lakeside resort town about mid-afternoon and late season. Not having had lunch, and with no obvious place to go anywhere in sight, we loosened our ties, left our jackets in the car, and got out at a slightly fru-fru looking deli-and ice cream shop, only to find it manned by a lone high-school aged girl of indomitably cheerful disposition.

Being naturally cheerful himself, Obie wasted no time after placing the carryout order in engaging in what was a transparently fake curmudgeon-like mini-lecture on how he expected the sandwich to be the best he ever had considering the prices and the tony pretensions of the place. She assured him it would be. “Oh yeah, how do you know?”

“Because”, she happily announced while looking right back at him, “I’m making it myself!”

He beamed at her like she was his own granddaughter. “That’s what I’m talking about!” he said, turning to me.

“Yeah, that’s fine but let’s have a little fewer of these demonstrations of how the human spirit can rise to the occasion, eh?”

He was a good citizen. And as well as a long term USAF Reserve or National Guard pilot (I’ve now forgotten which) who enjoyed flying his own private plane, he was a volunteer fireman back when his upscale township was still semi-rural, and a proficient HAM radio operator, who was always ready to assist in emergencies.

He tried to get me interested in “HAM” radio operation.  But even then it was in what I supposed was its waning days; and although a serious involvement probably serves as a practical entre into electronics, I was never able to build up any interest in it.

I always did admire his draughtsmanship though, as he had spent some post-college time on the board before moving on and up. That, skill in technical drawing and lettering, is something CAD and Graphics courses had never given me, much less the subjects of philosophy and the history of law.

Obie was also, and the significance of this trait may at first seem elusive, a good and conscientious record keeper. The point here being the diligence, care, and sense of responsibility he felt for important matters he had been involved in, and toward those who might need to rely on an accurate and truthful record.

This no doubt seems a very small matter and hardly worth mentioning as a character related trait, until one reflects on where we as a nation are when even Federal agencies now “lose” information at their apparent convenience.

It has to do with moral responsibility, you see.

Fighter pilot on the right

The fighter pilot is on the right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That acceptance of responsibility, and courage and grace in the face of it,  came through clearly as he eventually faced death.

He had been for many years, a smoker, and admitted that it was unwise. But, he stated frankly that it was a powerful habit dating back to his military days, and one which afforded him certain benefits in stressful situations. After getting to know him well,  I suggested – over drinks – that he stop smoking; while making it plain that I would only suggest it to him that once. He candidly, and even vulnerably replied that although he was as I certainly knew, proud of his ability to “handle any situation”, this one, had him more or less licked. To closely paraphrase, he told me, “My daughters have come up to me crying, pleading with me to quit, and I have tried … but it creeps back.”

As this was just about the time our national anti-smoking mania was climbing toward its peak, it’s probably not surprising to hear that once he was discovered with “shadows” or spots on his lungs, and the diagnosis became “terminal without treatment, likely terminal with”, one of his attending physicians, a zealous young man, decided to deliver a priggish little anti-smoking homily, along with the dismal verdict.

I guess the fellow felt morally entitled to righteously rub the dose in. To which performance, Obie, as he told it, responded:  “Stop right there. You’ve delivered the prognosis. You’ve done your duty.  You can go, and save the preaching  for someone else.” [I think upon reflection, that what Obie actually told me was that he got peeved enough with the doctor in his own hospital to use the words "you're dismissed" with him . "I told him, 'You're dismissed" ' .]

At which point, he said, the medical commissar rose in a huff and walked out of the room, never to reappear as one of his attending again.

Obie then, after thinking it over for a bit, decided to forgo any surgical or radiation treatment, in favor of a few palliative measures.

He told me that his age peers among the doctors, informed him after the fact, that that is just what they would have done under the same circumstances. This palliative treatment eventually included the regular draining of fluid build-ups around his lungs. It was a procedure wherein he as patient granted supervised medical trainees permission to work on him as a means of assisting them in the development of their medical skills.  No record exists of what if anything the young medical prig made of this gesture.

He had, as I recall, about seven to ten good months during which he still visited the office, several more of moderate well-being wherein several of us were still able to get together for dinner out, and a couple of more or less house-bound ones that occurred during the course of the year end holidays. After which he passed. I hadn’t seen him since sometime before Thanksgiving, I think.

Obie left behind a well provided for wife, three adult and married daughters, two adult and married sons, some grandchildren, and an enviable record as a citizen and a man.

He represents the kind of men of character America used to produce in abundance. It is for the lack of such men in politics, that this nation and culture suffers as it does today.

 

[Update: Since yesterday and since reentering virtually the same offices and environment in which some of these conversations took place, I've been able to recall more exactly the words and phrasings used in some instances, and have redone them to better, though not perfectly, reflect the actual words used in conversation. I may not be a writer, but I can strive for improved accuracy at least. Also, as usual, I have noticed that I put up what was no better than a draft. Made a couple of changes here and there even adding one telling incident, but I think I'll, again, leave it at that.]

 

Posted in Culture, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, Real Life, society | 2 Comments »

America less free? Couldn’t have anything to do with that fascistic Obama Care mandate, could it?

Posted by DNW on 2014/07/02

 

Well, Surprise, surprise!

 

We see the collaborationist media and national socialist Obama supporters struggling to explain why Americans feel less free.

 

Not so free anymore

Not so free any more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” ‘I think this decline is interesting in terms of perception,” says Jon Clifton, managing director of the Gallup World Poll. “Certainly the previous numbers make sense in terms of our classic self-perception. The recent numbers do not.”

One possible explanation for the sharp decline in the US is that Americans have been feeling constrained by the economy since 2006 – and their options have declined in a concrete, material way, Gallup says.

“The decline in perceived freedom among Americans could be attributed to the U.S. economy,” the report says. “Many Americans continue to lack confidence in the country and continue to see it as one of the biggest problems facing the country.”

Still, the report notes, there are some problems with this hypothesis: Self-reported job creation has rebounded, Americans are “feeling better about the economy,” and spending habits in the US are near their pre-recession levels.”

 

“Why?” they ask do Americans feel less free?

It is because those Americans still capable of personal responsibility and the act of self-governance, know that we are.

The individual mandate, aka the “shared individual responsibility provision”, which for the first time in our political history lays an open-ended and uncontingent Federal purchase mandate upon,  and a life energy redistribution claim against the existence of, each and every American, does obviously lessen our historic political and economic right to choose.

It’s the institution of a blatant fascism in America, plain and simple; and the degraded miscreants who support the individual mandate (and its social insurance predicate)  well know it.

So why the pretended mystery? Because to admit the reason would ultimately be to assign moral responsibility – to the very left-fascists of the present Administration and Senate in whose service the collaborationist media have placed themselves.

And if there is one thing moral garbage will not take responsibility for, it is for the consequences of their own life decisions and actions.

And isn’t programmatically avoiding responsibility for self, exactly what constitutes the very essence of modern liberalism?

 

Posted in Character, Culture, media, politically correct, society | Leave a Comment »

Liberalism at its best …

Posted by DNW on 2014/06/30

 

… and most amusing.

I could not believe this when I first saw it in my e-mail, I thought …

Well, wait a second and let me back up.

A few years ago, more than a handful actually, I subscribed to a German news service which was headquartered in D.C.

The reason I did so was because, ironically enough, I wanted to keep abreast of legislation in Europe related to firearms ownership control, and crime trends.

It turned out that although I did receive some useful news links, especially concerning crime and economic trends in Germany, I was able to accomplish much of what I really wanted to do with my own research.

So I cancelled, and after wrangling for some months, eventually managed to put an end to the service.

Imagine my surprise then, when about a year ago I started receiving e-mails from “EIN” ( that was the name of the service) containing links to various news items from around the globe. Well, sort of from around the globe. Many concerned the United States, and I’ll be “doggoned” if the strangest thing hadn’t happened. It seemed almost as if some breathless politically “progressive”  intern from the Huffington (Facebook conversations reflecting community values only please) Post had assumed control over news item selection and captioning.

My routine became, click to open, quick to glance, click to close.

So, anyway today I opened up the latest EIN “World News Monitoring” e-mail , and found that according to EIN News Editors’ Picks for June 27, 2014, Walmart was peddling sniper rifles to all and sundry.

EGAD! SNIPER RIFLES!!!!

EGAD! SNIPER RIFLES!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My goodness! Walmart is selling Barretts? Or at least honest to goodness sniper rifles?

Gee. “How much could I pick one up for?”, I wondered. Or maybe Kathy would get me one and stash it away for Christmas?

No, no. I better get right over there and scoop up mine before the horders arrive!

So I followed the link.

Now, let’s actually  take a look at the “sniper rifle” Walmart is selling,

 

Walmart's .177 pellet gun

Walmart’s .177 pellet gun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pellet gun! A lousy pellet gun!

This “sniper rifle” turns out to be a pellet gun – a crummy pellet gun. You know, of the same caliber as the standard BB gun, but with a higher velocity, and maybe suitable under some circumstances for dealing with smallish rodents where the law allows. Don’t shoot at that red squirrel if there is a window behind it Johnny!

Perhaps the EIN News writer, knows so little about guns that he or she doesn’t even understand the difference between a BB gun or a pellet gun on the one hand, and what they insinuate is a firearm on the other?

Well maybe. Perhaps the person I early on mocked as an apparently histrionic intern, is in fact British. That might explain it, since the alarmed reaction might then make some sense; since even toy BB or air soft guns are disallowed in that so-called “cradle of liberty”.  As is when you come right down to it, so much else illegal in Great Britain nowadays, such as for example, truly free political speech.

But, you would at least think that someone, other than a transparently lying propagandist, or a timid twenty-something ignoramus from Great Britain, or their American equivalents, would exercise a final editorial supervision over the titling of these links: so as to at least minimize, if nothing else, the ridiculousness of the situation when the redounding stupidity of their presentation became, as it inevitably would, comically apparent to all and tarred the writer with the label “IMBECILE”.

What are these idiots thinking? Oh that’s right. Idiots don’t.

That’s why they are idiots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2nd Amendment, Culture, Humor - For Some, Insanity, Liberal, media, politically correct, politics, society | 2 Comments »

We had a liberal visitor …

Posted by DNW on 2014/06/19

 

 

This blog might be said to be  semi-inactive, receiving only modest attention from its authors as we ruminate on subjects of peculiar interest to ourselves, rather than busying ourselves trying to feed the day-to-day social frenzy.

Not infrequently though, an outsider drops by. Surprisingly, a number of them leave off a blogging “like” icon without ever commenting.

The other day, John, of the American Liberal Times, a personal blog of his, and one which is,  shall we say, intensely opinionated, stopped in to read my remarks on the AOL Huffington Post.

That post concerned their Facebook channeling of any commentary on their news articles. This action was supposedly intended to enhance civility, thoughtfulness, and community, by eliminating the option of an even thinly veiled anonymity.

The policy obviously failed in accomplishing the first two supposed aims, but succeeded in ending the use of screen names or e-mail names as commenting identities. Whether it “enhanced community” as a result of eliminating the comments of conservatives who preferred not to take the first step in making their home addresses available to politically correct activists and picketers, is probably a matter of opinion.

The Huffington Post’s action certainly does seem to have cleansed the comment section of much conservative opinion, even if it did nothing to elevate the tone or improve the quality of the comments. Whether that constitutes an improvement in “the community” is as I just stated probably a matter of opinion.

Now, John of the American Liberal Times, remarked that he agreed – sort of – with the thrust of our post. At least he agreed that it was unwise to hand out much personal information on the Internet.  And he also left us a link to his own site.

So I visited him; and just in time to see him posting notice that he was turning over a new leaf himself “tonewise”,  and that he had thought better of his former practice of giving free rein to invective and vitriol.

I commended him for this, and left some other remarks.

John was gracious and profuse in his thanks for my visit, and by way of leaving comments on my comments, precipitated something of an exchange.

Throughout it all John was reserved, moderate, and polite; always thanking me for my visits and contribution.

After concluding our series of exchanges, I then decided to go back and take a look at where it had all led us. And I am afraid that the results have pretty much matched past patterns of such exchanges; especially the pattern that seemed to develop in my exchanges with Perry, a significant difference being that John had not descended to the level of making personal accusations of treason, or hardheartedness, or that of libertarians’ having a genetic tendency toward Neanderthal-like behavior.

But what was virtually identical was the manner in which the exchanges “evolved”. Those who recall my observations regarding the lack of an “on point” quality in my exchanges with Perry or the Iowa Libs, and how the logic of the arguments as developed in the thread were consistently sidestepped will … well you can take a look if you are interested, and judge for yourself.

Unfortunately, it may be that we are ultimately fated to largely talk past one another.

 

http://americanliberaltimes.com/2014/06/18/the-neocons-should-not-be-pontificating-about-iraq/

 

 

Posted in Blogging Matters, Liberal, politics | 1 Comment »

Now, it’s “Facebook Conversations”

Posted by DNW on 2014/06/17

 

As is by now well-known, AOL/Huffington Post has been seeking to, as they say, increase the level of civility and elevate the tenor of the conversations in their news comment sections by eliminating anonymity.

Their first attempts seemed aimed at reducing the number of made up names and identities while still allowing the use of AOL account screen names or identities. Now, at least for the most part it seems, you must register through Facebook.

Not only will you have a properly registered and consistent and therefore potentially held-to-account commenting identity (all well and good), but now it will be your real life name and address, and whatever else in the way of personal information a deranged leftist might be able to ferret out.

So how is this working out for them, “Tone-wise?”

A sample provides some indications …

The “news” …

Huffington's mutual grooming crew

Huffington’s mutual grooming troupe thrown fodder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next comes the progressive Facebook echo chamber.

What passes for elevated discourse among progressives

What passes for elevated discourse among progressives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free speech? Well, The Huffington Post is their playground and they are welcome to it. But don’t let anyone tell you that the marketplace of ideas is anything they have ever had an interest in.

 

Posted in Liberal, media, politics, society | 4 Comments »

Informal fallacies?

Posted by DNW on 2014/06/02

Strange how the obvious and already known sometimes hits you right between the eyes with a clarity and force originally lacking, or at least not remembered as there, much, much after the fact.

Say, oh, about thirty-plus years after the fact.

I was driving in the car a day or so ago, and for some reason the concept of “informal fallacies” popped into my head, along with an annoyed internal dialog relating to how the concept had expanded, seemingly exponentially, since I was back in school studying logic and rhetoric.

It seems there is a fallacy for every occasion nowadays, and that they have multiplied as fast as do the political polemicists who frantically brandish them about as if their mere mention constituted evidence of intellectual credentials.

Courtier’s reply! Au contraire, No true Scotsman! No! Argument from authority! Blah blah blah

Irving Copi, a genuine expert in affairs logical, in his famous and widely used university level “Introduction to Logic”, usefully observes (after paragraphs of provisional comments) that, “We may divide informal fallacies into fallacies of relevance and fallacies of ambiguity”

This scope obviously has something to do, as he states the issue, ” … with errors in reasoning into which we may fall either because of carelessness and inattention to our subject matter or through being misled by some ambiguity in the language used to formulate our argument.”

It seems to me that one of the main problems with those who like to bandy charges of fallacious reasoning about, is that they often seem not to understand the supposed issue involved in the fallacy itself.

For example, what some people imagine they have in mind when they charge others with an “appeal to authority”, mystifies me. There is nothing wrong with citing, or appealing to a legitimate authority regarding his area of expertise.

A classic and extreme illustration of the real “fallacy” was provided by old cigarettes ads featuring Hollywood or sports figures who were pictured extolling the virtues certain brands for their power to relax and energize without impairing endurance or health.

On the other hand it’s no error in argument, as Copi notes, to cite, say, a recognized authority on Medieval history on some point of common law bearing on our own times.

But I digress into the morass of the fallaciously polemical use of fallacies.

The point being here, that informal fallacies however they are to be construed, are just that: “not-formal” in the sense of “not a violation of form”. They don’t even rise to that level of error.

They are informal not because of some casualness – though this is often a condition of their appearance – but because they are not the end-product violation of a valid deductive argument form.

They, informal fallacies, thus constitute errors in reasoning which unlike formal fallacies, are not the result of errors which violate as Copi says, “valid patterns of inference”. (Of course these valid patterns themselves  only guarantee that the conclusion asserted validly follows from the premisses when the rules are followed; but not that the conclusion is sound in and of itself, nor that the argument “true” in the way we usually think of truth as reflecting our experienced reality.)

But with the general move away from deductive reasoning as a means of convincing political opponents to yield ground, it’s not surprising that the list of informal fallacies has mushroomed.

Those persons who would not know a modus ponens from a modus tollens, and would probably have a problem intellectually grasping their significance if confronted with the same, can nonetheless muster the resources to shout “NO TRUE SCOTSMAN FALLACY!” at an opponent on the vaguest suspicions of a “violation”, and most inchoate conception of the idea defining the fallacy itself.

There is something nonetheless kind of interesting about some of the “newer” fallacies. And that is that they don’t fit neatly into errors of relevance or ambiguity or even internal or extrapolative construction as with the fallacy of composition; but rather, seem to be laid against claims of intellectual privilege,  definition, and framing: More as if they are describing rhetorical gambits than strict errors of reasoning or inference.

But then I make no claims of expertise in this area and am just recounting some things that crossed my mind the other day as I was driving.

 

Posted in Philosophy, society, truth | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Emotions as knowledge?

Posted by DNW on 2014/05/29

 

Or is it emotions, i.e., feelings, as “the only certain knowledge”?

This post is not an argument in favor of “emotional knowledge” whatever that might be taken to mean. Nor is it about some theory of psychological health, involving the integration of all aspects of the human personality.

Instead, it is a momentary reflection on the degrading effects of skepticism, both moral and perhaps epistemological as well, on the ability of the convinced skeptic – if such a term is permissible – to actually engage in moral argument.

This was brought forcefully to mind by a YouTube video posted by Yorkshire on First Street Journal.

In this video we see a youthful British woman clad in sandals and a baggy red shift-like garment reaching to well below the knees, bemoaning the manner in which radical Moslems now inhabiting her old Luton neighborhood are protesting the arrest of the wife of Moslem who had set off a bomb in Stockholm.

What seems to really upset the British girl is the Moslem vitriol; their loudly antagonistic, hateful, and contemptuously hostile way of expressing themselves with respect to the institutions of both the culture and the country which has harbored and sheltered, and if news reports are right, often literally housed and fed them.

She seems especially disturbed by the marchers’ chant that the British police should burn in hell.

Attempting to engage one contemptuous burka clad protester in conversation, she’s informed that she looks naked; and is asked if she is trying to seduce.

Put on some clothes

Put on some clothes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She is told to “Go and put on some clothes”.

She becomes indignant, sputtering, “How you chose to dress like that, I chose to dress like this”.

The British woman then protests that her female critic is “judging” her.

The female marcher cheerfully admits that she is indeed judging the indignant and whiny western woman.

The westerner babbles that she should not be judged because she is not judging the Moslem woman; just as if the Moslem woman actually believed that she and the western woman were moral peers inhabiting the same moral plane.

“I don’t judge you, because I’m above that” says the western woman, while flailing her arms about for emphasis.

“Don’t you dare speak to me like that.” she rails.  ‘This is my hometown as well”:  again, implicitly referring to a moral framework based on respect for persons – even the stupid, weak, and misguided – which assumes a vision of living space and power “sharing”,  at which the Moslems marchers obviously sneer.

The now emotionally wounded westerner continues her own feelings-jihad with, “I try my hardest to sympathize with people who may be different to me, and it’s this tiny minority …”

Ah yes, dear, please say again for the cameras how broadminded and accepting you are. I am sure that that will make the desired impression on the marchers. Once they are sure, you know, that you mean no harm and will respect them.

Hoping then to score rhetorical points along this line by appealing to a male marcher with the concept of “fairness”, she is informed in short order that it is indeed OK to shout that British police should burn in hell.  Because you see, Britain has free speech. And further, in response to your question dear lady as to whether Koran-observant Moslems ought to respect the laws of the country that hosts them?

Well, the answer is, “No”.

Eventually, she encounters some scholar type who informs her Koranic-like chapter and verse that Moslems need not observe non-Moslem law in their host countries, and, that she is going to hell to boot.

She responds with, “It hurts me to think that you think that of me because you don’t really know me …” As if that would make a difference.

To which the scholar-type replies that he knows quite enough. He knows she is not a Moslem.

Well, she tried to be understanding and fair and considerate of everyone’s feelings. What else is there to say?

A little, apparently.

She sets the tone of the wrap-up of her video adventure with a voice-over wherein she announces she, “finds it sad that anyone would preach such a damning message”.

Then, tremulously facing the camera: “To sum up in words to tell you how I’m feeling now …  I feel … gutted, completely gutted that this is happening ….”

Words failing her she goes silent; and saying no more, turns her head away from camera and toward the protesters.

A pause …. to let the profundity of the feelings sink in ….

Feelings … hurt … feelings … are her frame of reference. Along with mutual sympathy and respect for all differences; emphasizing the notion of a tolerant and accepting  “fairness” among presumed “equals”.

But she is obviously not their equal. Not in physical fact clearly, and not according to the moral theory they announce.

And what does she have in her ideological armamentarium with which to respond to them?

Feelings. She has feelings. And she wants to tell you about her feelings and how hurtful you are being to them.

I guess she imagines the Moslems must care about her feelings. Or that they should care. It is almost as if she sees her feelings as some great scale by which moral principles ought to be weighed and evaluated.

But the Moslem marchers obviously don’t care. And I don’t see how they could care, given her pathetic intellectual performance. I certainly don’t care, and like her, I am a westerner myself.

Western culture, the postmodernist, modern liberal portion of it, is not only skeptical of religious dogmatism, it is skeptical (and increasingly outright nihilistic) regarding moral knowledge in general, and quite often about the possibility of solid or enduring knowledge concerning reality itself.

Positive, empirical science, the one practice that is still thought by some of this ideological stripe to yield what can be called certain knowledge, is held by these same persons to be value free, and incapable of yielding any “is” information, which leads to “ought” conclusions.

When it comes to moral questions then, all this kind of person can do when confronted by other some person having dogmatic and insistent views is, just as C.S. Lewis and others before him long ago observed,  to remark on the state of their feelings.

Of course “way back when”, when Lewis laid out the implications of such relativism and skepticism, and then described its inevitably hapless and pathetic end-point, his reductio ad absurdum depiction had a certain flavor of the comically ironic about it. Certainly, and whatever their 20th century progressive opinion leader rhetoric, no broad segment of any society would actually embrace skepticism and relativism to a point wherein they would wind up quite so stupid and hapless in the face of a strident and mocking challenge to their assumed “values”, as we saw here?

Well, with enough propagandizing social affirmation and encouragement, they obviously can.

What then, Lewis and others presented as a warning via their careful exercises in hypothetical logic, and the inevitable conclusions of their chains of reasoning, this young woman is now living out in fact.

She embraced the skeptical milquetoast meta-values presented to her. She internalized them. She then lived comfortably among similar enabling others who had no motivation to rock or test their relativist boat,  exposing its virtually non-existent freeboard, and lack of seaworthiness.

Now however, she confronts hostile and vehement others who, in an act of modern values sacrilege, sneer at her feelings and test her values with their life and death commitments.

And all she can do is announce to the world how THAT makes her feel; and theatrically shake her head with sadness as a means of trying to elevate herself  to her lost honor and dignity. After all, she’s “above that” other stuff.

Yes … I guess she is. Just as long as those vestiges of western moral ideals more potent than the relativism and skepticism and values emotivism which she represents and lives out, continue to hold the moral barbarians somewhat at bay.

 

[Update note. I've made some wording changes in the first 2/3rds "narrative portion" of the post. Changing word order, tightening up slightly, checking punctuation and coherence, and doing the things real bloggers do when they write a draft before posting.  The more analytical remarks about postmodern culture are unchanged.]

 

 

Posted in Culture, Islam, Law, Liberal, Philosophy, politically correct, politics, Religion, society, terrorists, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Obama and a Presentment of Englishry?

Posted by DNW on 2014/05/28

This Incredible Slinking Men of the Obama Administration never cease to amaze.

Not just in their leftoid, parasitical on the productive class effrontery, but in their lack of logical acumen; their inability to recognize that in breaking legal bonds in one direction, they are broken in the other.

Or perhaps they don’t believe that there is a reciprocal dynamic between leftist conqueror and the American conquered.

As the Obamanaughts phrased it: “We rule now”.  The operative term here being rule, not govern or administer. And if the legislature, that is the American Congress, will not give the Little Imperator what he wants, why he will do it by Executive Order, he threatens.

So why should we be surprised by this report which states that the Obama Administration is proposing what is basically an ethnic based regime of law in Hawaii?

AOL didn't bury this report

AOL didn’t bury this report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a few years ago no one would have believed that such a report could be credible. But now, with what we have already seen out of this administration, our natural skepticism is reduced.

Law is the embodiment of the moral sense of the people,  Blackstone is alleged to have said.

Now it is proposed we accept the notion within our polity of different laws for different moral moieties; which implies, though the advocates no doubt wish to ignore it, that we have fundamentally different peoples with irreconcilably different moral sensibilities, jostling in the same political space.

This doesn’t seem to line up with leftist moral rhetoric.

But, as we have seen in the past, leftists seem incapable of grasping simple deductive inferences, so caught up are they in their “world-creating” fantasy existence.

 

Yeah, I remember law just like that from my school days.

 

“Such of the crimes as might be prosecuted by an appeal, and for which the criminal’s lands were forfeited to his lord or to the King, and his chattels taken, or for which he lost life or member, or was outlawed, were called felonies. Misdemeanours, such as were subsequently known under a fully developed common law, were practically ignored by the justices of Henry the Third’s reign, and on the eyre rolls of that period may be said not to appear. Homicide and rape are the crimes that here pass before us. The former is the only one that need be considered. In some few cases homicide was held to be justifiable, and when such happened the slayer suffered no punishment.

Neither did he where death was caused by misadventure or in self defence.

Every other case of homicide, that is, that which was neither justifiable nor excusable, was felonious.

The difference between murder and manslaughter was then unknown.

In Glanvill’s day secret homicide, which is murdrum, had to be distinguished from homicidium, but the distinction soon died away.1 The term murdrum however survived as the name of the fine paid by the hundred when a person was slain and the slayer not produced.

The law presumed that everyone killed was a foreigner unless his English birth was proved. Possibly the origin of the doctrine is to be found in the statutes of William the Conqueror, which decreed that all men whom he brought with him or who had followed him should be in his peace.

And if one of them were slain the lord of his murderer was to seize the slayer.

But if he could not do so then the lord was to pay forty-six marks of silver as long as his possessions held out, and on their exhaustion the hundred in which the killing took place was to pay in common the balance owing.

The presentment of Englishry (Englescheria), that is proving the slain to be an Englishman by birth, was at first one of the few formal badges of distinction between the conquering and conquered race. Its practical need could not have lasted long, for at the end of the twelfth century it was impossible, except in the very highest or very lowest ranks, to distinguish Norman from Englishman.” [Pleas of the Crown for the Hundred of Swineshead and the Township of Bristol by Edward James Watson]

Looks like the Obama Administration does in fact believe itself quite capable of distinguishing Saxon from non-Saxon. At least when they see a political gain in it for themselves.

So much for any notion that the left believes or ever really believed in the first place, that mankind constituted one moral species … no matter how rhetorically useful they happen to have found the spouting of Christian and natural law doctrines in order to advance their cause – at least far enough along to subvert and displace the same.

 

 

 

Posted in Constitution Shredded, Culture, Hawai'i, history, Law, Liberal, Philosophy, politics, race, society, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

With Hillary friends like these …

Posted by DNW on 2014/05/22

One has to wonder whether the apparent solicitation for support for a draft Hillary movement, as presented on AOL was really sincere.

Is this a joke?

Is this a joke?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it is really put up by bona fide Clinton supporters, rather than those seeing to mock her as a dour, badly aging, socialist she-troll, then with friends and supporters like that, one would think she hardly needs enemies.

On the other hand, just maybe, and given what we have learned of the peculiar mentality of the left, that image is inspiring to some?

 

Hi. I'm stubby, ugly, and amoral, and I like sunglasses, and hordes of idiots worship me.

Hi. I’m stubby, ugly, and amoral, and I like sunglasses, and hordes of idiots worship me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I held my nose and followed the web address, and it is apparently a sincere, not mocking, celebration of all political things Hillary.  Seems these were put up by her dedicated supporters.

In command

In command

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ready for Hillary Teams Up with Top Obama Campaign Veterans to Build National Grassroots Army

July 10, 2013

MCLEAN, VA – The national grassroots organization Ready for Hillary today announced it is partnering with consulting firm 270 Strategies to harness the energy of the growing number of activists around the country who are inspired and motivated by the idea of a 2016 Clinton candidacy. 270 Strategies, whose partners engineered President Obama’s historic grassroots organizing model, will lead Ready for Hillary’s national organizing strategy and build the group’s field operation. …”

Remember to smile

Remember to smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I never expected to see this many people here to encourage Hillary to run,” he said. “And this goes to show you the kind of depth she has in the LGBT community for this many people to come out on a Wednesday night and basically give her the message that we want you to run. We’re ready for her.”

Added Fowlkes, “We had a black president and now we’re ready for a woman president. I’m ready.”

Gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green, who represents an ANC district in Ward 8, said he too believes Clinton is the best-qualified candidate to succeed Barack Obama as president.

“I prefer Democrats with a backbone,” Green said. “And she has continuously proved that she is not afraid to stand up to these Republicans and let them know that there are people in this country that we really need to look out for and she is the right person to do that.”

 

 

Oh geez …

 

Maybe some of us need to start a new country with people who are interested in something other than living as a pack of nuzzling, snuffling, and mutually grooming polymorphous perverts.

 

 

 

Posted in Elections, Humor - For Some, Liberal, politics, Real Life, Socialists | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are ‘Modern Liberals’ fit to be free?

Posted by DNW on 2014/05/08

We’ve mooted this issue before in the course of some heated exchanges on the old “Commonsense Political Thought” blog.

So, it’s not a new question, but it remains one worth considering on its own: Are political progressives, those human biological expressions we term modern liberals, in some way radically unsuited for life in the system of political liberty once bequeathed to us by our ancestors? Are they, modern liberals, in some ways and on average congenitally defective, or maybe “just fundamentally different” with regard to the possession of the (“lower case”) kind of self-governance and self-reliance capacity which presumptively (according to our Founders’ theories) makes participation in Self Government in a (“Upper Case”) political sense, a workable proposition?

Are modern-liberal hedonic utilitarianism and values nihilism even, say, the mere result of biological dispositions or attributes, rather than intellectually arrived at conclusions?

Perhaps, as Hoagie suggested the other day, while he was exasperatedly engaging in a bit of unapologetic invective, modern liberals really are, in a statistically meaningful sense, a distinct sub-population within this polity: a politically co-existing but distinguishable population of humans who have certain kinds of distinct behavioral or psychological or even morphological traits (or deficits) which make life in a constitutional polity – a limited republic – very unpleasant, un-meaningful, and even frightening for them.

The answer is probably unfolding before our very eyes.

“Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers claim.” Daily Mail | UPDATED: 19:39 EST, 16 May 2013

Given Their Manifest Natures, that is to say the somatic, the morphological and psychological manifestation that constitutes “them”, perhaps a classically liberal constitutional polity suitable for self-directing individuals just doesn’t fit with what they are capable of or able to appreciate in life.

The Depressive and Anxious Liberal

Perhaps the most revealing difference is the enhanced tendency that Liberals have for depressive and anxious disorders. We stumbled onto this phenomenon in our Spring 2005 survey, and filled in some of the details in our Summer 2005 survey.

Liberals report higher rates of major depression, mild depression, bipolar disorder, agoraphobia, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and general anxiety. This is true for both males and females. Liberals also report higher stress levels and lower confidence levels (both soon to be reported).

Liberals are also much more likely to use anxiolytics and antidepressents. Liberals report more difficulty in maintaining attention during conversations. Liberals on average spend more time in “negative” emotional states. By “negative”, we mean mental states that seem to be contrary to their own self-interest. They also report lower rates of involvement in pair-bond relationships. Neuropolitics.org Ezine February 2006

Now we might take this too far, and certainly racists in the past have. They did so by imagining for example, that they could discern an invariable and universal gene link between somatic expressions and character traits which manifest as morally evaluable behavior.

But that seems to me to be a rather different proposition than to notice that, say, feminized males and masculinized females for instance, tend to identify as political progressives; whereas conservatives are more strongly sexually dimorphic.

Multiple research disciplines have found evidence that our male ancestors used physical aggression to compete for status. The evidence shows how this competition led to the evolution of numerous physical and psychological sex differences. Sell and team’s review highlights the sheer number of physical and mental features that show evidence of special design for physical aggression in men, compared to women. These features include abilities to dissipate heat, perceive and respond rapidly to threats, estimate the trajectory of thrown objects, resist blunt-force trauma and accurately intercept objects.
While fighting ability was undoubtedly essential when man was a hunter-gatherer, how important and influential is it today? According to Sell and colleagues’ work, man’s fighting ability is still a major influence on his attitudes and behavioral responses. Springer Select New York / Heidelberg, 10 April 2012 in “Why are action stars more likely to be Republican?”

Just how that actually works itself out in detail, is another matter.

For example, whether people who are marginalized or who feel marginalized for whatever reason tend to be more politically “liberal” on what are pretty obvious socially motivating grounds, or, whether the physical phenomenon or trait itself is what prompts a “liberal” social attitude, is a question I don’t pretend to have an answer to.

Maybe it is a mixture of both … first, congenitally divergent interests among people who find themselves associating in a political arrangement with strongly divergent others, and second, a particular strategy for jockeying for place, and status, and for the distribution of economic spoils, within that polity.

But the difference seems to researchers to be as plain as the nose on your face:

” … when it comes to female politicians, perhaps you can judge a book by its cover, suggest two UCLA researchers who looked at facial features and political stances in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker’s voting record,” said lead author Colleen M. Carpinella, a UCLA graduate student in psychology.

The researchers also found the opposite to be true: Female politicians with less stereotypically feminine facial features were more likely to be Democrats, and the more liberal their voting record, the greater the distance the politician’s appearance strayed from stereotypical gender norms.

In fact, the relationship is so strong that politically uninformed undergraduates were able to determine the political affiliation of the representatives with an overall accuracy rate that exceeded chance, and the accuracy of those predications increased in direct relation to the lawmaker’s proximity to feminine norms. Science Daily
September 27, 2012

Nonetheless, whatever the details, I think we see an interesting phenomenon developing in the United States, as the progressive programmatic invariably passes beyond the achievement of transactional dominance in the public realm, and relentlessly seeks to percolate all the way down to every last private relation and interpersonal transaction.

Who, or whatever these people are, it does not appear they are prepared to recognize any limits.

Now, yes, admittedly, this totalizing impulse on the part of leftism is historically well-known. It even follows from an explicit tenet of Marxist theory: base and superstructure, which rejects the realms of civil society and political society as legitimately distinct from each other – viewing such a distinction as creating a disjunction or a break in the life of the whole man.

It – classical political theory – does this they [Marx] claim[s] by formally granting man the status of a political peer or “citizen” wherein he is entitled to experience the impartial operation of the public law and to participate in public affairs, but nonetheless remains liable to the contempt of and exclusion from others within the private realm. This possibility results from allowing those potentially excluding others [through the concepts of the private family and property, and through other forms of private relations] a socially unregulated access to the material world, and to “selfishly” benefit from their “unearned personal powers”; which, in the end, gives these persons an opportunity to advantage and distance themselves from those whom they may view as unappealing or unworthy of self-sacrificial solidarity, for whatever reason or reasons.

Thus man’s nature, is itself a problem to be socially addressed through social, and other, engineering. Eventually, you may wind up with this:

“So that just as. to assure elimination of economic classes requires the revolt of the underclass (the proletariat) and, in a -temporary dictatorship, their seizure of the means of production, so to assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and the seizure of control of reproduction: not only the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility – the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. And just as the end goal of socialist revolution was not only the elimination of the economic class privilege but of the economic class distinction itself, so the end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ – would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.” Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex, http://www.marxists.org/subject/women/authors/firestone-shulamith/dialectic-sex.htm

With then, the quote above, we have obviously passed beyond the simple question of whether “modern liberals, [are] in some way unsuited for life in the system of political liberty” to one of whether they are inevitably aiming toward another kind existence altogether. At which point the question of a shared polity becomes perhaps, the least of the questions requiring our attention.

But even the original question seems unlikely to survive as a “moral” question, if the research continues toward the conclusions which it at present seems pointing.

Ironically, the issue may have been most recently framed along these lines by political progressives themselves when they announced that “The personal is the political”

Yes, well, ideology and revolutionary rhetoric aside, we may be on the verge of finding out just how personal the political really is.

Posted in Conservative, Culture, Gender Issues, Liberal, politics, Science in the news | 12 Comments »

What Rush Limbaugh doesn’t quite get.

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/30

[This is a draft which I'll put up, subject to later revision and correction. Wanted to get something down before I forgot the point that struck me earlier today]

Contrary to what a great many lefties seem to find comfort in believing, most of us who have developed a strong intellectual contempt for leftism and its modern fascistic manifestation, did not develop this attitude from listening to Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh merely gives voice – on occasion quite effectively – to some important principles and perspectives regarding the traditional American regime of individual liberty currently under sustained assault by the morally self-deconstructed organisms of the fascist left.

While I seldom have the time or the inclination to listen to his riffs on politics, occasionally I will catch a fragment of one of his programs. Today was such an occasion. I caught about five minutes or so of what he was saying.

And what he was saying today seemed to be to the effect that the left in this country was trying to divide rather than unite, and attempting to do so through the politics of victimization rather than the politics of inspiration.

That, if I have Limbaugh pegged correctly, is a relatively common theme with him.

The standard Limbaugh “argument” on this point seems to go something like this:

Why do the Democrats and modern liberals seek to divide us through the politics of victim-hood and class conflict, rather than unite behind American ideals and inspiration?

Because, (he seems to answer,) both the Democrat Party’s raison d’etre, and the liberal grievance mill’s funding, are based on the existence of a client class which must remain a dependent and aggrieved client class in order for the Democrat Party bureaucrats and managers to justify their own parasitic existences.

Today for example, I heard him say some part of the following, (which I later looked up on his web site in order to confirm that I had gotten right what he was trying to say).

Limbaugh says:

Practically every virtue and every tradition that went into building this country is under assault right now. And that’s what we find ourselves in the middle of. You can say it’s always been there, and it’s been effervescing and bubbling up and finally now it’s boiled over. But why has it boiled over it if it’s always been there? Why did nobody tamp it down? In order to keep the peace, why have efforts been made to victimize people and punish — well, no. Why has the Democrat Party willfully, eagerly, happily put people in groups, made them victims, put them on the welfare rolls, made their existence barely a subsistence? Why has there not been any effort to tamp down some of this animosity in the country and try to turn it into love?

Why has there not been an overall effort to inspire people to exercise the opportunity this country provides everybody today to be the best they can be? Where has that gone? Why is that missing? Why is now everybody a victim? Why is everybody owed something? Why is everybody a victim of the immoral, unjust founding of this country? It’s been a movement that’s been around since the beginning of the country. And rather than tamp it down, the Democrat Party has inspired it; the Democrat Party has promoted it.

It is the single source of their power: aggrieved, miserable, angry, unhappy people looking for the people they’re mad at to be gotten even with. Looking for the people they are mad at to be dealt with. Looking for the people that they’re mad at to be punished. And when it happens, they’re all happy, whether it improves their lives or not. And in most cases it doesn’t. But they don’t care because they’ve been conditioned to believe that somebody being punished, either taxes being raised or any other form of punishment, that’s justice. And the Democrat Party is the agent of that justice. The Democrat Party’s facilitating all this. That’s where its home is. None of this would be working if there were not a significant political power base propping it up as a foundation.

Now, there is probably a good deal of truth in that take.

But, in my estimation, there is an explanation for the modern liberal grievance attitude and behavior that goes somewhat deeper than the cynically and destructively manipulative calculus of professional left-wing collectivists seeking to ensure their bureaucratic hold on the future and present political control.

And it stems from the radically different worldviews, and the radically different metaphysics, which condition the conceptions of justice and victim-hood held by the two opposing sides.

Limbaugh asked,

“Why has the Democrat Party willfully, eagerly, happily put people in groups, made them victims … Why is everybody a victim of the immoral, unjust founding …”

And his answer was that “It is the single source of their [Democrat] power: aggrieved, miserable, angry, unhappy people looking for the people they’re mad at to be gotten even with.”

Like I said, so far as it goes, so good.

But what Limbaugh is overlooking in this particular instance, is the utter sincerity of some major part of the intellectual left concerning their views on the nature and origin of victim-hood.

And here we are obviously not just referring to victims of social bigotry or political fraud; but to something much deeper. What I believe Limbaugh is overlooking here is the core idea held by the progressive left which implies, or sometimes states outright, that people are in essence victims of life, or in fact of being, itself.

We’ve encountered the concept in various manifestations and formulations before. The so called “tyranny of biology”, denounced by radical feminists is for instance, an example, if a somewhat frivolous one, of that mindset. The psychological horror of “exclusion” felt by so many leftists is a symptom of the same phenomenon. The supposed “unfairness” of natural inequality, is another. Natural inequality is made all the worse in liberal opinion, because it cannot in principle be made better by bringing people up to standard through education or physical therapy; since, according to the liberal the presumed standard is itself intrinsically unjustifiable.

The world then, the leftist acknowledges, is not just. But he will make it “just”, he insists. And how will he do so? By bringing all persons up to par insofar as possible, and allowing all to then seek their own level and fulfillment under an impartial rule of law? No. He will make mankind’s world just, by remaking the universe of man, and “man” himself.

And how will he accomplish this trick? How will he affirm the unaffirmable, and hold together the incoherent? He will do it he assumes, through the magical social formula of embracing entropy politically while paying off the damages through fascistically enforced social solidarity and cost shifting. Which, considered in one way is something quite close to what Limbaugh is saying, given the proviso that the leftist actually believes he can in fact remake reality in this way through the verbal magic of declaring contradictions to be non-contradictory.

This absurd program of re-conceptualizing reality in the face of all evidence, must take place, because, again, in the liberal view, there is no “natural good” to advert to, and there are no natural kinds which in their healthy state objectively tend toward a naturally good end. An end of which it can objectively be said, should [value statement alert] be pursued by the individual; and regarding which, it is merely the duty of others in society to respect and to not unnecessarily impede.

In the liberal reality however, it makes no sense to talk of natural rights or their fulfillment. In the liberal reality there are only loci of pain and pleasure existing in a field of ultimate chaos; and within this context, the power relations between them.

For while the liberal, to paraphrase Nietzsche, may seem to normal people to be a kind of organism with its gain turned up way too high; there is according to liberal doctrine no such setting as “too high”. On the modern liberal understanding there simply exist no natural and objective standards by which one may assess where the normal pain threshold ends, and where liberal neurosis and neurasthenia begin.

As there are, as a matter of liberal dogma and doctrine, no natural kinds with natural ends, there are therefore no natural goods which can be said to follow from these natural kinds and their ends. For a modern liberal, all being, to restate, is merely the subjective experience of a locus of appetite, of power and satisfaction, or of their lack.

In traditional Scholastic metaphysics the analysis of human existence and of the good reaches a point where it is concluded that the terms “being” and “good” are to be taken and understood as “convertible” on some conceptual level

But no modern or postmodern philosopher or ardent liberal would assert that being alive is somehow a good in itself. The postmodern man, posits himself as the inevitable victim of being, and concomitantly, of life. He is a victim of life by virtue of simply being alive. Those sometimes seen more life-competent or stronger appearing persons, are simply the beneficiaries of a natural injustice which must be socially rectified by the liberal in the name of distributed suffering; i.e. liberal justice.

And of this “rectification” process there can be no end, since:

1. There exist as we noted, no natural standards which would result from the existence of natural kinds.

2. Therefore there cannot be any objective method of evaluating the satisfaction of standards.

3. There is therefore no objective way of evaluating a susceptibility to pain and resentment which could indicate a pathological condition. Since, the very term pathology assumes a teleology of health based on a presumed natural kind with a natural end. Liberal neurosis flows from a well, the bottom of which can in principle never be reached.

The strange result of this categorical anarchy then, is that the modern liberal is in essence always at war with existence itself: his only certain mode of being, being the experience of the pain and the frustration of urges which themselves cannot on, nor by virtue of, the liberal’s own terms and definitions, be presumed to be directed toward any objective good in their realization.

As an effect, the modern liberal loses any coherence as a being in-himself. All that remains ontologically (loosely speaking) of the liberal being, is a collection of urges connected to a will to power. This constitutes, according to the modern liberal’s own schema, a will to power by a thing or a phenomenon which has, amazingly, no center, no nature, and no objectively definable good.

This lack of real being, is at the root, I would argue, of the modern-liberal victim sensibility. They are victims of their own existences by definition; and cannot be anything else in their flight from an oppressive natural existence, ultimately, than totalitarians dedicated to reshaping all of reality. In fact we see this explicitly stated by the so-called transhumanist utilitarians, who will ultimately they admit, be driven by their philosophy to dominate and control and reorder all of nature, in order to ensure justice and bliss even among the fishes.

Are they, these postmodern leftists then, as Limbaugh suggests, rank cynics: nihilistically seeking satisfactions for welling urges which on their (assuming we can say that they have a “they”) own account cannot be seriously called objectively good?

Yes. But that is I think, a symptom of a more fundamental emptiness, and the result of the original and very deliberate descent of the modern-liberal man from the realm of man, into the realm of the submoral.

Posted in Liberal, Philosophy, society | 5 Comments »

Where’s Summertime?

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/29

Our intrepid host recently reported from the wilds of Wyoming (did you look up the old ranch for me while you were there, John?) that there was snow on the ground.

Well, the cold has probably melted away by now, we hope. And with the rivulets flow, will come, we expect, the promise of gentler weather.

Summertime

Where does it come from?

Out of Nowhere …

Posted in Entertainment, music, Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Narrative Problems

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/10

I was thinking the other day – not too deeply – about the entire concept of narrative, and how it has so often come to replace reasoning, and how deceptively difficult trying to construct a really accurate narrative can be. Maybe that is why those who seem to do it most, also seem to be the least concerned with literal accuracy.

It’s one thing to engage in the geometric arrangement of premisses and conclusions employing technical language, once you learn the discipline.

It’s quite another to try and manage a truthful recounting of human events (as historians well know) when so many different aspects to the “story” must be dealt with in a manner consistent with the overall tenor of the presentation.

This was personally highlighted for me just the other evening where in what was an exercise in the main, I attempted a descriptive recounting of a commenting foray I made on The Atlantic.

I found that certain passages, no matter how I reworked them just didn’t come out right. I finally realized the next day that I was trying to conflate, I was inappropriately mixing, my post hoc psychological attitudes of overall amusement into what was, and was meant to be an accurate factual description.

This came to me when I reread a particularly jarring passage wherein I had jestingly (after some initial skepticism about its fit) used the term “gambit” in what was intended to be a light way; but which was totally at odds with the more distanced tone of the overall presentation. The experience of rereading what I wrote was like having cold water dumped down my back. I knew what I meant but it could not be read right. Yet, no matter how I tried to rework the reference, it didn’t lend itself to the intended interpretation. Even rewriting the reference entirely didn’t make it any better.

And the reason I finally discovered, was not only found in the in-congruence of seeing a light-facetious use, blended with a desultory overall mood, but also because I was trying to fit my flippant psychological attitude post-event, to a more straightforward and prosaic truth.

This back projection or retrofitting of intentions (or events) in order to match a planned narrative or current feeling, is perhaps most familiar to us from some infamous politically staked, but clearly anachronistic or impossible claims: Hillary Clinton’s assertion that she was named after Edmund Hillary, for example; or her husband Bill’s “burning church” memories. Or John Kerry’s ‘Christmas in Cambodia’ for that matter.

The obvious trouble involved in these instances of handling timelines, seems to be a particular problem for political liberals. Whether the timeline trouble they experience is a matter of demonstrable facts tripping up deliberate fabrications, or the result of a genuine psychological difficulty progressives have in grasping cause and effect, antecedent and consequent, prior and subsequent, in the face of their driving need for constructing a self-justifying narrative with broad social impact, is a question I cannot personally answer.

What I can say from recent experience is, that constructing a readable narrative, one that is anything more than a chronicle, that is to say anything more than a chronological checklist of noticed events, is a rather tricky proposition; and requires care on a number of levels.

Posted in Blogging Matters | 5 Comments »

 
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