Monday, April 16, 2018
When will this “dark night of fascism” ever end?
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Striving for Greatness / Striving for Shit
I received this little moral lesson in an email. No doubt such lessons are well-meaning. They don’t qualify as “rants” but I felt compelled to respond to it with a rant because this mentality is now pervasive and never questioned. Fundamentalist Religious followers and Marxists alike love “messages” like this, tugging on their frayed heartstrings and leaving their minds in perpetual sleep.
Truth be told, I hate little moral lectures like this. The average uncritical clown sees little videos like this and they think the message is somehow profound and insightful when, in fact, it’s full of shit. “Speaking kindly,” and “Lov[ing] generously” is great but completely unrelated to the lifestyle one strives for. If all a person needs is a house, why get a nice one? If all you want is to create art, why strive to create the very best, especially if no one wants or expects the very best anyway?
There is nothing wrong with wanting a nicer cup for your coffee or,... a better job, or more refined or dignified life. While it does induce stress, the stress is a biologically built in factor that motivates progress and, in some cases, greatness. A race for more garbage is certainly not a worthy standard but striving for the best has some merits.
In this video, it’s kind of ironic that the goal is stress reduction and the demonstration is through downing...caffeine (genius).
If I were to do a video like this I would show everyone scrambling for the shittiest cup, or the leader commanding them to take a shitty cup so as not to be “selfish.” But, ask yourself, what’s so nobel or wise about a collective race to the bottom, or even a race to mediocrity?
The real moral of this story is that some people and some nations and cultures will strive for the best, some others will simply not care, and others, to prove some abstract moral point, will demand that everyone “equally” subsist on scraps. Some will be motivated by refined taste and standards and some will have no taste or standards. Some people’s value of greatness is ...to not be great. Some people’s value of greatness is to seek greatness in all that they do.
I’m now going to have a cup of coffee...not in a convenience store paper cup but in that really nice cup I bought at an arts and crafts show. The one made by a really creative and great craftsman. But that’s just me.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
The Loss of Sanity in Public Life
What the hell is going on?...really.
Donald Trump is the current president. Presidents are temporary. Presidents are usually controversial to some degree. People often disagree with presidents. Some people hate specific presidents.
In the history of choosing sides between allegiance to or disdain for a president, nothing comes close to the nonsense occurring now in America.
The establishment institutions of America, public and private, are horrified daily that the current president wants to enforce the laws passed by congress protecting the country’s borders — seriously (!)
Everyone from late night comedians to college students are up-in-arms over the horror of an American president actually expressing his primary concern for the interests of his country’s citizens over those of foreign countries (that are often directly opposed to American citizens’ interests and well-being).
Major blocks of people and organizations openly recoil in disgust that the American economy has quickly and dramatically rebounded and that unemployment has been dramatically reduced among all demographic groups.
Talking heads...and the talking headless, daily express utter contempt for an American president taking a strong and resolute stand against dictators and countries that have expressed a desire to kill possibly millions of our country’s citizens.
Aside from a few Jacobin bureau-weasels, most leaders who have met the current president get along well-with him and express respect for his strait-forward manner.
The current president has successfully promoted legislation cutting taxes, dramatically reducing superfluous and burdensome regulation, and putting an end to the government/lobbyists revolving door.
Everything this president has done, as with all presidents, is open to reasonable inquiry and debate but mundane accomplishments that any society would usually look favorably upon are now somehow seen as the expression of pure evil.
Really..what the hell is going on?
I’ve stated my theory on this blog many times. The leftwing world view that seeks to eventually put the entire planet under the control of unelected social planning elites has been very successful up to now. They were ready to reach the finish-line and then...
...Fox News, internet bloggers, a new breed of young libertarian hipsters, and...Donald Trump.
The current political turmoil was never about “Russian collusion,” “racism,” or “fascism.” It isn’t even about Donald Trump. It’s about an elite clique of authoritarian control freaks who are mad that they’re finally meeting an effective resistance — real resistance. Supporting them is an army of clueless drones who have been processed through the socialist mills of public schools, academia, and mass entertainment.
Every sane person is well aware of the numerous breaches to constitutional legality on the part of Hillary Clinton, the deep sate intelligence community, and Obama / establishment partisans at the FBI. In a more sane time, all of these players would be looking at jail time, Mueller and his merry band of partisans hacks would be under investigation themselves and...the President? He’d be praised for a revitalized economy and an active program of putting America first.
Not everyone is completely blind to the obvious. There is a pretty even split between those who appraise current affairs sanely and those who merely mimic what they’ve heard from establishment journalism and “entertainment.”
The Jacobins are not going to politely relinquish the goals of their century-long project to subdue the American citizenry and those of us who value freedom, autonomy, and sane thought are not going to simply hand our souls over to a ruthless ruling class of statist philosopher kings.
Someone is going to be sorry...This is not going to end pretty.
Saturday, April 07, 2018
Land of the Free
...home of the contemporary desire to whittle away freedom.
It’s been common for prominent conservative voices over the decades to note that America is “The Land of the Free.” The left seldom notes this because they don’t consider America free, and won’t consider it free until every citizen has had the last drop of autonomy rung from them. I once argued with a leftist who said that, “your need to be free imposes on my freedom.” ...Ahh, okay.
Europeans and others around the world no doubt wonder why an American feels justified uttering praise for freedom in American as a manifestation of ”American exceptionalism.” Certainly Canada is free (so long as you don’t express dislike for Jihad or that you use conventional pronouns when addressing others). Australia is free (so long as you turn in any powerful weapons you may hold to defend your family).
Lots of countries around the globe are “free” — on paper — by a variety of standards. North Korea and China enshrine freedom of religion and freedom of the press in their constitutions. I haven’t read the several hundred pages of the EU constitution but I’m pretty sure it guarantees basic freedoms as long as one adheres to the state specs on vegetables and citizens restrict their criticisms of religion to Christianity only.
To be sure, America’s constitution — on [parchment] — promises a host of conventional freedoms.
When Americans (typically, more conservative Americans) speak of their country as an exceptional “land of the free,” whether they know it or not, they are not talking about the promises on a document. While the codified freedoms in America are written, what makes America free (thus far) is not written. What makes America free is an understanding beyond words and that stems from a long unique — exceptional — cultural tradition.
Of course everyone knows that the United States has often “not lived up to the freedoms” written or understood and expected — slavery probably being the most egregious example (notice that was outlawed after a long and brutal struggle). This is so self-evident that I usually shrug off the observation with a yawn and two eye-rolls when I hear it. What’s your point?
“You only think you’re free” - the classic line uttered by someone who would like it to be less so. The Post-modern / Neo-Marxist ideologue will constantly remind us that our flaws or failure to live up to our written freedoms fully is ample excuse to deprive us of all of them.
An example of where freedom on paper and freedom in life diverge is Japan...and, many other countries. Japan is a free country. You can criticize the government, hold personal religious beliefs of your choice, and seek and express a variety of opinions but...many Japanese citizens must belong to their local community organization and eventually they will be called upon to be treasurer, conveyor of messages, or the leader of this “organization.” The person called upon is called a “volunteer.” A “volunteer” can’t say, “no” thus creating the Orwellian concept of a compulsory volunteer. I once had a student, a single mother who worked full time, who was appointed the role of volunteer in her community organization. In addition to working full time and performing all the households chores of a mother, she had to spend several hours a week in her role as “volunteer.” It was “her turn” and apparently her fellow citizens saw no need to make an exception for her circumstance. Apparently “compassion” doesn’t count when we’re dealing with obligations to the collective. I had another student close to retirement age who quit is job early because he didn’t have time to both work and take on the burdensome role of “volunteer.” Students often seemed shocked when I told them that neighborhoods in America somehow survive and function without allegiance to a compulsory community organization. In fact, Japanese neighborhoods got by okay when these unnecessary organizations were banned under General MacArthur. They were only reinstituted after the American post-war occupation (because some narrow-minded control freaks thought it would be a good idea...in my opinion).
Japanese citizens, for the most part, are wonderful people and basically pretty “free” but there are a million and one expectations in daily behavior that go unquestioned. There is an old Japanese saying that “the nail that sticks out is hammered down.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like being “hammered down” and I wouldn’t feel very free if one was doing so.
In our neighborhood, we have to write our name on our bag of recyclable plastic. This is so the garbage “volunteer” can gauge the quality of disposal - everything must be done a certain way. This occurs daily in many common interactions. The Japanese constitution guarantees freedom of religion but not...freedom to pursue happiness. There are expectations, and in the struggle between the individual and the collective, obedience to the system, “the man,” or whatever you want to call it, trumps all. The classic collectivist appraisal; the pursuit of happiness is “selfish.” Therefore, everyone must become a slave to everyone else — the equal distribution of conformity and unhappiness.
In America, you can pretty much walk down the street with a purple chicken on your head. You may be mocked, laughed at, or just looked at with disdain or puzzlement but, in the end, no one cares. It’s none of their business. There is no clause in America’s constitution regarding the color of chicken permitted on one’s head (maybe the EU constitution has a section on that - ?).
To be sure, there is a wide spectrum among the nation states of the world as to what freedoms are permitted or, more importantly, accepted as natural rights.
From its founding, American society and culture has been one where the renegade or loner has had a wide degree of autonomy. Of course, the autonomous individual can choose to join any number of groups or affiliate with anyone of their choosing. Some brilliant men eloquently codified this autonomy in a very short and simple document, America’s constitution. But, in the end, the document itself is not what affords freedom to America’s citizens, it is the exceptional circumstance of a culture that has evolved over time to the goal of freeing the citizen from the expectations and dictates of their fellow citizens. Given the choice to volunteer, many Americans will (and do). Some will not...because they are free to choose what allegiances they will devote themselves to.
In America’s long history of freedom there have always been those who despised the idea of freedom for fellow citizens. If they had their way, they’d regulate your every breath. The clowns of autocratic control are on the march now more than ever. To implement their planned world, they know that the line of attack is most successful in the nooks and crannies of daily existence, the words we use, the thoughts we have, the food we eat. Their first step is to micro-manage the little things. When they’ve successfully beaten the culture into obedience, the stuff on paper — freedom of religion, speech, etc. — is a minor detail to be dealt with easily.
Being the land of the free means having freedom of speech, religion, and press, etc. It also means not having to “volunteer” if your schedule and free choices are different than what your “community” demands.
Freedom means never having to say your sorry, even if you choose to wear a purple chicken on your head.
As an aside, when America stops being the home of the brave, it will cease to be the land of the free. That time is quickly approaching.
Tuesday, April 03, 2018
The Song Remains the Same
The anti-Trump hysteria that is literally everywhere is like a popular song. It may be a catchy song. Some of the performers may be talented. The lyrics may be moving...but it's just a pop song on the radio, and it's getting boring. Even people who like it should be sick of it by now. (It never was a very good song anyway).