Thursday, May 17, 2007

Go to Sleep America

At the Reform Club -- irony of ironies -- we have a site co-contributor criticizing those who worry over and dislike the closed door Congressional hearings (assuring that we "know nothing" of its subject) and the product of its effluent that is about to be unleashed.

And if amnesty (hush!) is as openly welcome to Americans as Senator Feinstein asserted in a soundbite released today, then why the closed door hearings? Talk about need for reform Mr Zycher: calling Mde. Feinstein less than truthful and less than courageous is in danger of becoming mandatory understatement.

Here is how I responded to The Rantings of the KnowNothings
Pascal Fervor said...

Recommending that your readers give in to any apparent fait accompli of law breaking seems strikingly out of place at a site dedicated to societal reform.

But what weight does my opinion carry here? I'm just a guest; perhaps less so after today.

I can listen to Establishment media and a handful of "rightwing" talkers (such as the Medwitts) if I wish to hear more efforts to anesthetize any groundswell of public outrage on this subject.

5:45 PM

This was followed by a not atypical middling response by the Reform Club's host, my fellow Angelino:

Tom Van Dyke said...

I'd just like someone to explain why this is better than doing nothing. Me, I'm a big fan of doing nothing.

There are many cracks in society's floor that are best left uncaulked, and absent any real reform, this is one of them.

6:21 PM

Crack Tom? This is a veritable breach.

Maybe this explains why my old teacher and Hudson Institute president, Herb London, has absented himself from the Reform Club for so long. Jolting his students awake -- perhaps the most important lesson he drilled into me -- was that man's primary goal.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Breaking Away to Get Along

More and more I believe you will see breaks with one long established tradition: Going along to get along. The rebellion is growing. You don't feel like joining it now, but I suspect you will feel compelled to join it.

The term take this job and shove it carries a resoundingly pleasing echo. That is because we have all flirted with the thought from time, but circumstances generally don't permit it. And another long and well founded phrase also resides in our thoughts don't burn your bridges.

Go along to get along was always looked at askance in traditional schools of ethics, but nevertheless, that devil was always granted his due. You don't make the rules. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Its just a job.

But there is something radically changed from before. There's both a dread and a gallows-like humor in the air. It's joked about. What with all the news of terrorist attacks. The widespread acceptance of permitting street hooligans to walk around masked. And what's up with the topsy-turvy way the likely suspects are treated? Who elected the ACLU to the be the rules-making committee of the Department of Homeland Security anyway?

We witness the community of likely candidates to the terrorist ranks make gains and inroads into our culture while the rest of us have to suffer under Byzantine rules ostensibly aimed at protecting us from their schemes. It didn't save Byzantium from being conquered by them before, what makes you think it will work this time? Shake your head, I think something is stuck.

And the thing that troubles us the most is the utter ineptness of our current leaders to work well together in the face of the threat. It couldn't be worse were the ineptness deliberate.

The people who you work for and the people who you vote for are not leaders in the traditional sense. Every effort has been made to expunge leaders from your ranks. Managers have been sought. Managers have been put in place so that moneyed interests can tell them how to manage. Manage what? Manage you.

Not so bad in the past, because your managers seemed like leaders. The Peter Principle seemed like a joke. The Dilbert Principle was a joke. It is also a glaring reality. And no matter how else we feel about this joke, the leaders it gave us are deadly serious.

The clowns on the Left, the more they rant and rave, and call George W Bush all sorts of names he does not deserve, serve too well to keep us from criticizing him for the things he needs to be criticized for. After all that abuse he receives, which of us decent folks don't feel the need to defend him from the worst even as we are uncomfortable with his performance?

And what of the few leftish clown of the Right, along with Establishment media, who keep the GOP from functioning as the grassroots would like to see it function? They prevent it from giving us a clear view of real men from which to decide to lead us. Real leaders? The management won't allow it.

And what of the President himself? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that all that we may fear about him is groundless. So then, after he has been hearing loud and ugly voices that charge him with Hitlerian crimes and even worse, how keen can his hearing still be? When a good number of us out here in the hinterland say to him, "Mr. President, you're making big mistakes," what snowball chance in hell do you think he can still hear, let alone take our constructive criticism seriously?

But we have to be frank. We have to take our challenge seriously. So we have to look at the way things are, and surmise a good deal else from how they appear, and we have to stop complaining that things are not how we wish them to be. We have to start taking up the challenge ourselves.

We have to demand a NEW leader. He will understand. I think whoever he is he'll be in agreement with my following observation.

George W. Bush imposes on our fighting men rules of engagement that are right out of the ACLU urban police playbook. This is not healthy for America and its fighting men, these rules that Generally Betrayus. I know it sounds like a joke. But it is no laughing matter. Not if your survival means anything to you.

Yes my friends. The reason for the coming rebellion is a term that our homegrown adversaries use in a universal sense: Sustainability.

You are coming to understand, however reluctantly, that it is your survivability that hangs in the balance. That and that of your posterity and of the gift of Liberty that, from this wonderful country, still shines like a beacon the world over.

Thank you for listening.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Need to Place Political Correctness in the Crosshairs - Part 2

Political Correctness poses far more dangers to us than the suppression of our right to speak. Indeed, when the essence of the suppressed speech is warnings to those who will listen, how hard is it then to see that PC is actually quite physically dangerous as well?

I was prompted to add some additional commentary about the need that we eliminate Political Correctness from our institutions when Wretchard published The Belmont Club: Some hates are more equal than others.

It contains a variety of links and short commentary about Tuft's University punishing its students for disseminating facts about the violent record of militant Islam.

Here is the text of my comment there.

It does not take a rocket scientist to notice the conflict between those who govern our institutions using political correctness as their guiding light and that of society's fundamentally predominant concern of protecting human life.

In fact there is assuredly a radical reversal in the way those who've risen to the top of society's institutions have gone about, ostensibly, protecting its members.

Of significant note is that which used to be called constructive criticism wound up in the cross-hairs of the heads of our institutions.

Here we have institutional dunderheads (at best) protecting some groups, and allegedly the wider public, by censoring information about the rotten record of the complainant group's dangerous fellow travelers.

Essentially the institution that is Tufts University cares more about the offended feelings of its current pet group than it does for the safety of the individuals that keep Tufts in business: its students.

It is coincidental that I published only yesterday The Need to Place Political Correctness in the Crosshairs that was prompted by the misguidedness of another institution, MLB, which cares far more about deflecting criticism of the behaviors of its players that it does about its players being saved from the consequences of that same behavior.

The bigger point I made was how really dangerous political correctness is, and that it's best stopped before it goes too far. This story about Tufts appears to be pushing the threat even deeper.

I take it for granted that my readers understand how cuckoos proliferate. What I have observed is we have had laid into our cultural nest the cuckoo we have come to know as Political Correctness.

Since PC first appeared, that cuckoo has been killing off nearly every humane inclination to redirect a fellow human being from off a path leading to disaster. And that goes for our society's path as well.

Nearly every time I see a story about the Left's outrage for some questionable group, and usually at the expense of one or two lone individuals, I can't help but recall this poignant observation, by Wretchard, when he ended his commentary to Easy to Be Hard, Easy to Be Cold
One of the sources of the inhuman "strength" of the Left is its refusal to acknowledge the existence of anything smaller than a mass noun. Rhetorical service to the people, masses, workers, peasants; the poor and the downtrodden are objects worthy of the Left; but love, pity and sorrow for individuals is sentiment beneath contempt.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Need to Place Political Correctness in the Crosshairs

There are many others who comment much more diligently than I upon the many instances how Western culture in general, and American culture in particular, are relentlessly under attack by the Left and its shockingly complicit Establishment media. Particularly I have been impressed with how well S.T. Karnick makes that his regular concern.

A few days ago Mr. Karnick wrote of the criticism misdirected at MLB for the drinking and driving death of Josh Hancock, a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher. In comments to it, I made a quick point about how PC's intrusion into our culture has a bloody hand in making personal disasters of this sort more rather than less common.

Mr. Karnick concurred: "Until a sufficient number of people summon up the courage to speak out against this point of view, its ugly consequences will continue to plague us."

Now I'd like to make what I believe is a unique observation about PC. That is, I've not seen it mentioned even if its been noticed before, and I doubt it. PC's acceptance and certainly its persistence came into the forefront after much of Western thought turned in the 1960s to accept the notions of Thomas Malthus as revitalized by Paul Ehrlich et al. Merely fifteen years time after the unprecedented carnage of the Second World War, our intelligentsia seemed all too swift to accept the pessimistic notion that the number of humans on the planet was still unsustainable. In short, this is what is meant in high-minded parlance as the challenge of sustainability. (Considerable thought before WWII was moving in this direction. Indeed it appears to be a major feature in NAZI thought. In a world with diminishing resources, Hitler was moving to establish his race as the sole survivors. I plan to look into this further at a later date.)

It does not take a rocket scientist to notice the conflict between this concern and that of society's previously stated predominant concern of protecting human life in many different ways. In fact, by gum, there is assuredly a radical reversal in the way those who've risen to the top of society's institutions has gone about, ostensibly, protecting its members.

Of significant note is that which used to be called constructive criticism wound up in the cross-hairs of the heads of our institutions.

Instead of welcoming various sources of wisdom access to those who need the guidance, the PC crowd constantly concerns itself with how the feelings of the foolhardy might be hurt by those who wish to warn them. Rather than permit unrestricted passage of hard-earned lessons-learned, these "watchdogs" prefer that those whose feelings they claim to be protecting are better off with having their thinking (or unthinking) unfettered. "Let them learn the hard way where naive or ignorant or misguided choices will lead them" would seem to be their slogan.

Certainly, I don't think in history there was ever a group, so well entrenched in positions of authority, who -- wittingly or unwittingly -- were ever such an ally to predators as is our PC crowd.

Now surely there are many useful idiots in that crowd. But it is hard to imagine how they got there and how they manage to remain there unless there are significant numbers of the moneyed and influential class who believe that they are doing animal-husbandry-like work in letting the foolish kill themselves off. Kill themselves along with how many other handfuls of innocents who have the misfortune to be in their path on the way to their personal destruction.

So, for those who still retain an optimism for the potential of the human mind to meet any future shortages (be it for belief in The Creator's promise or simply from gaging how high we have risen in the face of all kinds of disasters), I bet you also have entertained the following question about how society is failing at its assigned task even as its leaders clamor for more control over our lives. Is it not a natural inclination, an imperative really, to look askance at how society has altered its approach to law enforcement?

Strict law enforcement being the principle means to protect innocents from predators was long established thinking in the West. Based significantly on the writings of Thomas Hobbes I believe, that was the be all and end all of the modern state: its raison d' ètre.

Heh, Heh. That is, that was before postmodernism turned up.

In response to my commentary about how, given the state of advances by radical Islam in the war on Terror, the currently disfavored view towards capital punishment is in need of review, reader RobC happened to opine with the ages old comment that those who harm innocents deserve only a little more consideration than that they gave their victims.

Within the confines of this essay, here is what I observe in response.

I used to know many like you, RobC. All of you have been marginalized out of hearing because Political Correctness has painted your views as beyond acceptable discussion.

Many blogs, as you suggest, will grant a hearing to your words. But more is needed to make the jump to where you will be heard in live public forums so that you may affect public policy.

My long term plan for this site (and my premier site should I get it working well again) will come up with ideas that will open up minds now trained (at best) to ignore you. I welcome suggestions and criticisms from readers to aid me in my quest. What doesn't ring bells, what has potential, and what will make good soundbites?


Also, I have had some success in the past at conceiving useful variations on how the political spectrum can be redrawn. However, that was during the Cold War so, although it still accurately reflects how power seekers game the system, it has less immediate use today in the War On Terror.

I have been brewing again a new way to redraw the political spectrum with soundbites that essentially say The Right loves life and The Left loves death. A preview can be read at comment #6 here.

More to follow.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Our Next Good American Leader Is Currently Under Attack

The rudderless ship drifts at the mercy of the tides.
In responding to comments to Our Curmdugeon's alert about looming Congressional attacks on free speech, ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ of Fighting in the Shade, woefully prayed: "May God Help us."

I eagerly said amen to that.

Still, every time I hear that prayer I also feel haunted by the old saw: "God helps those who help themselves." The rub is in knowing that this Biblical "sounding" homily was purportedly authored by Ben Franklin, an early collectivist. That suggests that the seeds to allow men ruling the state to supersede God were planted even before we became a nation under God.

So Leonidas's prayer mixes well with concerns this old agnostic has been mulling for quite some time. What it comes down to is this: God -- What is Right -- will stand behind those who are in the right.

Knowing what is right isn't always clear. Many are easily misled, others are willingly misled. And those who have something to gain are eager to mislead. It doesn't take much recounting of history to prove this. In fact, misleaders are never more revealing than when they are attacking the teaching of what happened in the past. Those who wish to gain at the expense of others' folly don't very well want their useful idiots to know or care about consequences that have befallen fools of the past.

For there is hardly anything clearer than this. Those who wish to conquer have an ally in confusion. It takes good men to lead the way through and away from confusion. So it's natural that the conqueror can't abide leaders. New kings, upon ascending the throne, often killed off their potential rivals.

Those who are not necessarily against the right way, but are hell bent to have good things go their way, have been firmly committed to raising a generation of managers, not leaders. The last leaders I worked for in industry were purged in the 1970s.

And every effort is made to prevent new leadership from arising, perhaps in Biblical proportions.

In many ways our statists take their clues from the Bible even as they do their damnedest to convince the rest of us that the Bible contains nothing of value for us whom they aim to rule.

Our statists have even moved beyond Pharoah in seeking to prevent new leadership from arising. Instead of killing the first born, they convince his mother to do it and his father to applaud it. And promote life alternatives that will lead his brothers and sisters not to procreate at all.

Taking more clues form the Bible: Despite much carnage, Pharoah failed. And the liberator arose in his own house.

So I'm reliably convinced that that haunts our statists.

Every effort is made to keep those they do not trust from rising to prominence.

Last night they went so far as to leave the names off the TV screen from under the images of the 10 GOP hopefuls so that the average viewer couldn't easily tie the face and words to a name.

I think our statists have little to worry about from those ten men. For men who live and die by name recognition, is it not odd that not one of them made a peep of complaint about the anonymity assigned them by MSNBC? Our next "leader" is allegedly amongst them? [shudder]

So ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ, I too ask God for help:

Where Is MY Leader?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Where Is MY Leader?

After seeing tonight but a portion of the staged display of Republican hopefuls, I simply had to ask: Where is my leader?

I don't know anyone who has this answer. So for second best, will someone please lie to me persuasively? C'mon try like you really give a shit about Americans and their future.

Speaking of shits; was there not one with enough backbone to say that the also-ran network MSNBC was not the right venue?

Hey! On that score alone, maybe no-show Fred Thompson really is the man?

Then, just to demonstrate he knows what to do about sabotage, how about one of the guys who did show up having the courage to walk up to the producer after the event and punching him in the nose?

For what? For deliberately not including the name of each hopeful under their image. That's standard practice everywhere. All except for this debate? Hence, it was intentional -- well deserving of painful consequences.

The fact that these unknown faces (except to the politically savvy) had to take mostly inane if not embarrassing questions? Aw, that's nothing. It's simply another cracked window through which to view the derelict mind of Chris Matthews.

After witnessing this charade, I must heartily congratulate the Dems for choosing not to appear in front of the far wider audience that belongs to Fox. At least they had the political sense not to have to face legitimate questioning even if it costs them money and viewership.

But what propelled the GOP to accept the Matthews invitation? Short of complete imbecility that is.

God bless it: where is a leader I would be proud to follow?