Monday, February 6, 2017

The Price of Power

When a person has power, there is risk of corruption.  I find a quote I can connect with at the end:

I have a personal prejudice against tyranny.  I used to be in law enforcement.  I have seen what power can do to people with my own eyes.  I have arrested people and ticke[te]d them.  All power, even lawful power, degrades the person who wields it.  It is not just the victim who is abased.  The enforcer is also dishonored.  I simply will not be a party to authoritarianism anymore. 
If you think power is good I advise you to go out and get power as a cop or a jailer.  Find out what it is really like.  Then come back to your senses when you realize that all power is more or less evil.
As I have probably said before, I had a very brief stint in law enforcement.  I would not have made such a universal application, but I fully understood, even back then, the feeling expressed in the quote.  I am afraid I was not all that good at my job.  I let people slide.  I bent the rules.  I was chewed out more than once by my superiors.  

There is a way to avoid the kind of degradation that the writer talks about, and that is humility.  Oddly enough -- and I'm going to get all philosophical here, it can be frightening to be humble.  Humility requires courage.  I am going to suggest that true arrogance, as opposed to virtuous confidence, can be a function or expression of cowardice.

Humility and confidence are compatible.  Pride and humility are, of course, polar opposites.  In the First Epistle of John, we are told that there is no fear in love, that perfect, i.e., fully developed, love casts out all fear.  God's love makes us both confident and humble.   It gives us courage even as it preserves us from the corrupting influences of any power that might come into our hands, because, naturally, we are going to have power in some form over someone now and then.

This probably goes to why I harbor such a deep distrust of politicians and others who seek power.  It may even be why I have come to be fairly supportive of Trump.  He has a rather foolish, from someone seeking political office, courage.  Most seekers of power will never dare to tell the truth about what they want -- possibly even to themselves.

I believe that the real driving force behind the quest for power is often found in fear, and that fear is probably difficult to name -- something of an existential fear, the fear of meaninglessness.  

I think we can apply this to all the crap about triggering and hate speech and the protesting and rioting that is going on.  We just saw a violent and destructive protest at the University of California - Berkeley over a speech that was going to be given by the fabulous Milo Yiannopoulos.  Humble people would have listened to Milo without fear.  A speech, words, especially if they are not true, are not to be feared.

Humans have advanced, at least in part, because we are able to communicate with one another, record our words in some form -- including the earliest oral traditions -- and correct actions and adapt our behaviors based on our continuing interactions with reality.  As our interactions have now been recorded in written form across generations, we have a good basis for assessing the potential outcomes of a course of action.  If we are willing to make use of them.  This is called education.

Essentially this past week we saw a university, obstensibly engaged in education, violently blocking information that could prove vital to a generation's success and prosperity, if not their actual physical survival.  No one was going to be forced to accept Milo's conclusions or modify their behavior based on what he said.  His statements could have been heard, analyzed, debated, and considered.

The rioters, instead, acted as those under direct threat.  They acted in fear, fearing, perhaps, the potential loss of power that a contradiction to their narrative might entail.  What they lack is clearly humility.

Arrogance has become the hallmark of the modern world whether in science, politics, or religion.  A humble person fearlessly hears those who disagree with him.  He doesn't resort to disqualifying an opponent by labeling them as some despised thing in order to dismiss the other's opinion.  He doesn't appeal to his own authority or position, or that of another, in order to suggest that power or popularity defines truth.

Scientists used to be confident enough in themselves and in their methodology to accept challenges and debate on the basis of data and experimentation.  Now a computer model that has failed in predictive ability is upheld and defended by consensus.  Government funding rather than nature declares the winner of the battle for truth.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Maintaining a Grip

Monday, I did something I don't normally do.  I had a very brief exchange with a person in the comments section of a site.  The person, female, I believe, was ranting about Trump's "muslim ban".  She was questioning why he picked those countries.  The question was answered by another commenter.  She responded that he didn't answer her question.  I explained why he had indeed answered and offered a link to some additional information.

Fortunately, I went on about my business for a couple of days and didn't see her response until today.  It was unhinged.

Look, I hate Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.  I'm sorry.  I just can't stand them.  They may be nice people in private.  Al Capone was probably a nice guy to his friends and acquaintances.  Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, everybody, regardless of their crimes and atrocities, has some good points.  Hitler was kind to animals.

Obama is a petty, little affirmative-action tyrant, but he seems to genuinely care about his kids -- or whomever's they are.  As long as he isn't trying to run my life, I don't care.  I don't hate him the way I do the Clintons; Obama is an annoyance.  Like hemorrhoids.

The truth is that we all like to have our biases confirmed.  It's just human nature.  Alex Jones and World Net Daily make good money feeding the self-delusions of people on my side of the fence.  Not everything they say is wrong, but they aren't good sources.

It would be nice if, on the left side, we could point just to sites like the Huffington Post.  Sadly, the unreliable sources of the left include the New York Times, CNN, CBS, etc.  As has been evident throughout the campaign last year and in the two weeks since the inauguration, the media, in general, is aligned with globalism.

We need to stop thinking left and right.  It is nationalism versus a one-world, globalist vision that would eliminate national boundaries and national sovereignty.  The United States has bought into this vision more and more for the last seventy years.  It has not brought us prosperity or peace.

Invasion by "refugees" and illegals results in greater power for and reliance upon government by more and more people.  Crime goes up.  More people are on welfare.  There is a push for more socialism.  Consequently, socialism begins to eat away the country's prosperity.  If it is kept up, the end result is Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Greece, etc.

When a nation loses its culture through invasion, loses its identity, it is on the way to being made into the same kind of third-world hellhole that the invaders supposedly fled in the first place.

There are people who cannot accept this.  They have a worldview that we can all live together in harmony, that all people, regardless of religion, ethnicity, ability, or background are the same.  They believe that "experts" in the government can more effectively distribute wealth than the free market.  And, like the women I mentioned at the beginning, they are going to cling to that worldview no matter what facts or evidence they see to the contrary.  For every crime by an illegal, they will point to one by a native.  For every abject failure of socialism, they will scream "Sweden" at the top of their lungs while ignoring the demographics, resources, and history that enabled Sweden's socialist experiment.

Their grip will not be loosened by logical argument because they did not reach their position by logical argument.  They do not believe in their own depraved nature or their own capacity to be hoodwinked.

I say that not to disparage those who disagree with me, but more as a warning to myself to maintain a grip on self-awareness myself, to remind myself how easily I can be fooled,  deluded and deceived.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It All Started When He Hit Me Back

I keep hearing how Trump needs to "change his tone", stop tweeting, start acting presidential, stop responding to his enemies -- you know, stop all the stuff that got him elected.

I have bad news for the left in America.  The nice conservatives are dead.  We're having the funeral tomorrow.  You might have heard about it.

It's not like there's a new utopia coming or anything like that.  Trump is talking about trimming 10 trillion in the next 10 years from federal expenditures.  Those sound like real cuts rather than cuts in increases, which is the usual political parlor trick.  Trump certainly knows how to negotiate.  Let's hope he puts that skill to good use.

The left and much of the "decent" right are unhappy because the rhetorical advantage has shifted away from them.  I don't claim to be Alt-Right -- I'm not entirely sure what constitutes that group.  There is a certain amount of right-libertarianism, at least a bit of anarcho-capitalism, and a sprinkling of white supremacy, or at least white separatism.  Primarily, though, it appears to be nationalist as opposed globalist, which is where I might come in.

The Alt-Right is about tactics and winning, which is why Trump became the Alt-Right candidate -- though Trump himself is probably more of a centrist on most social issues.  It is the hyperventilating, hysterical left that believes he is going to shut down abortion clinics, repeal the voting rights act, and jail opposition leaders, war against homosexuals and make sexual assault great again.

I do think the path ahead for this country is difficult and fraught with danger, but that's primarily the doing of the Establishment left and right and its media minions.  The Establishment Republicans are accusing Trump of being thin-skinned, while somehow failing to notice the constant petulance, pettiness, and immature responses of the half-Kenyan bastard for the last eight years.  The Ministry of Truth swings away at those of us who oppose the Establishment, calling us racists, xenophobes, islamophobes, misogynists, and anything else that is convenient.  They suggest that men who own firearms are "compensating" for sexual inadequacies.  They project their own evil onto us.  Yet when we dare to strike back, we are being "mean-spirited".  

As a Christian, I'm all for turning the other cheek in my own personal encounters, when there's nothing more at stake than an insult or minor humiliation.  Like acting in love and helping those in need, meekness is a virtue only when we practice it from the heart.  There is no virtue in forced charity or forced meekness.  In fact, one might even that forced meekness is a function of cowardice.  And keep in mind that courage and honesty are virtues, too.

This isn't about me personally.  This is politics.  Politics is war.  The battles are fought in the minds of the masses.  The weapon is rhetoric, because, honestly, most people are not interested -- if they are capable of -- following logical arguments.  The nice conservatives have tried logic, and they have lost.  The nation has moved left, hooked and towed by rhetoric.  Temporary blockades of logic and dialectic may have slowed the journey to the junkyard of history, but conservatism as a philosophy has failed to turn the country toward tradition and truth.

Rhetoric works because it appeals at an emotional level.  Yes, you had millions of Mexicans out in California still voting for socialism.  But to the American Midwest, Trump looked like a winner.  And he won.  He won despite a tape of him saying something shockingly vulgar.  He won despite his combativeness, his pettiness, his vulgarity, and his disdain for the elite.  He won because he fought back.  He called people out.  He won because he wasn't afraid to be called vulgar and petty.

To continue to win, nationalists must stop being afraid of being called names.  The proper response to being called racist is "I don't care."  Call me a redneck.  Say that I am xenophobic.  Call me a white supremacist.  Say that I hate Mexicans, Muslims, women, gays, whatever.  I don't care.

The word "satan", at its root, means an adversary, an accuser.  Satan's primary weapon is accusation with the intention of causing guilt.  Without the ability to invoke guilt and shame, the devil is essentially neutralized.

The Establishment or the "elites", if you prefer, are like Satan in this regard.  Their rhetoric is negative and accusatory.  The intent is to guilt us into acquiescing to denials of reality that would be ludicrous if they weren't so damaging to the social fabric.  If we don't submit and melt into piles of blubbering shame at their salvos, they have nothing.       

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John Lewis Walked Across A Bridge

Segregation was an evil.  People who protested it did the right thing.  Some of them suffered greatly for it.  John Lewis was one of those people.  I respect what he did, just as I respect the service of John McCain as a Navy pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam.

My dad kept hounds all his life.  Sometimes a dog would get too old to run coyotes with the pack.  I've seen those "retired" dogs -- blind, deaf, and stove-up, sleeping in the sun, being fed and cared for just like the young dogs that could still run a coyote down.  Dad would tell anyone who asked that such a hound had long ago earned his keep "for the good he had done".

America owes people like McCain and Lewis for the good that they did in their time.  Their time has past.  We are no longer in a cold war with the evil empire of the Soviets, nor are we living in the post-reconstruction, Jim Crow South.  John Lewis and John McCain are no longer serving America; they are serving themselves.  Both, and many others like them, need to retire and live out their twilight years in peace and quiet.

Like old dogs, they have gone blind and deaf.  They lash out instinctively at anything that comes near them.  They can no longer distinguish friend from foe.  Their instincts are not to be trusted, but they refuse to accept that.

They are not blinded by age but by their sense of entitlement.  Obama has the same problem, as do many of the celebrities and personalities with their exalted, vacuous opinions these days.  Though blind and deaf to the realities of life in post-empire America, of life in a post-global world, their sense of entitlement allows them to dictate to the rest of us -- the Deplorables.  That we gave them exactly the response they deserve seems to have enraged them.

It's unfair to compare someone like John Lewis to Meryl Streep.  Lewis, after all, was a part of the historic march in Selma.  His sense of entitlement was earned.  Being entitled to our respect does not make him right.  It also does not make him immune from criticism.

Selma has been under the political control of black people for decades.  It has declined economically and socially, just as have other cities that are majority black like Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore.  The leaders in those communities have gained and kept power and, in many cases, enriched themselves by stoking the greivances and the sense of entitlement of their constituencies.

Blaming racism for violence, crime, and poverty is a common theme that leads nowhere.  Another equally useless tack is demanding more expensive government programs.  Those programs, like most of the foreign aid given to third world countries, lines the pockets of the few and the connected while only appeasing pennies trickle down the people actually in need of help.  Thus, the money is never enough, and the victims remain continually aggrieved.

John Lewis and his kind are a part of that race and poverty industry.  Trump was right in calling him out about what is going on in the urban cores around this country.  Lewis could use his voice and his influence to call out the failures of city leaders instead of adding to the division and the very real potential for violence and strife.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Continued Push for War with Russia

I know I've talked about this before, but it is truly bizarre.  Never-Trumper John McCain was the one who turned the fake documents generated as a joke on Rick Wilson over to the intelligence community.  The media dutifully rolled it out because Russia is now the biggest threat to America.

I get confused sometimes.  When Reagan was president and called the old Soviet Union "the evil empire", the media lost their minds, screaming that Reagan was trying to start a nuclear war.  Now, Russia, which still has operable nuclear weapons and reliable delivery capabilities, is being vilified and attacked by leftist politicians, neo-cons, establishment Republicans, and their media minions.  The evening news might as well be the globalists' Ministry of Truth.

We know that the globalist financial situation is precarious, to say the least.  The central banks (ECB, BOJ, the Fed, etc.) have been working every angle and probably colluding with one another to keep the debt and equity bubble from bursting.  As a warning of what is to come, the Fed has ever so slightly bumped their rates.  If the rates go back to historic levels, government defaults become almost inevitable.  Even the U.S. government would have to make real budget cuts in order to continue to service its massive debt burden.

We have states there are in trouble due to pension funding.  A few months back, Illinois had a moratorium on paying winners of the state's lottery games.  The big winners are mostly paramutual, so you know the money had to be there at some point for that.  It's insane.  And it's probably going to get worse.

Trump's efforts are noble, perhaps, but a few thousand manufacturing jobs would seem to be a drop in the bucket relative to the global financial tsunami that threatens.    

However, a good war, that would change things.  Assets and resources would be up for grabs.  Defense spending would increase.  The Russians, so the neo-cons believe (I don't) would be brought to heel, and the nationalist Putin could be replaced with a more pliable, globalist puppet.

The population gets reduced.  Economies are boosted.  Central banks gain assets.  The debt defaults that need to happen would get covered up in all the excitement and fear.

War with Russia is immoral, unnecessary, and stupid.  Drowning men clutch at straws.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Best Defense Is A French Accent

By all means, don't call him Shirley.

The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers[, landlords, and all businesses and professionals] to use an [employee’s, tenant’s, customer’s, or client’s] preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.
Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir. [Footnote: Ze and hir are popular gender-free pronouns preferred by some transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals.] …
Examples of Violations
a. Intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses …
Now, our good friend, Allena, is transgender, so we mean no offense, and I would certainly not call Allena "him/he" anymore.  If a person appears to be female, that person should be addressed as she/her and use the women's restroom.

But "ze"? Really? 

Saturday, December 31, 2016