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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Will martial law be The Law?

Since I have an i-Phone, when I heard about Dropoutjeep I was upset about it, to put it mildly:
DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.
I've raged about similar invasions of privacy over the past year as news of them has become available, yet as the list grows ever more incredible and loss of privacy nearly universal, nothing much of anything has been the consequences.

Here's the way it works. An aggressor will provoke his victim for either of two purposes. To achieve a material advantage, and/or to discover what the victim will do in response. First the bully demands the victim's lunch money—material advantage—then he requires ever more humiliating concessions from the victim to the endless delight of the bully's circle of admirers.

The provocations of the Nazi regime prior to WWII are a textbook example of tiny provocations that grow larger as consequences are held in abeyance. Tiny, discreet, minor, these words hardly describe a ravenous pack of wolves at the door, yet at first, ostensibly, Americans are led—by the mainstream media—to believe that what the NSA and the CIA and the IRS have been doing are nearly painless and mostly trivial peccadilloes that for the most part are serving the greater good.

The typical mealy-mouthed justifications presented in response to my outraged objection go like these: "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. It's done in the name of improving national security. If it catches terrorists then it's worth it.

As the bully pushes you and provokes you just a little bit further every day, when—if ever—do you fight back? Unfortunately the usual answer is never. It's a pattern that's been repeated over and over since the dawn of civilization and yet somehow the victim never sees it coming!

Logical people with years of university education under their belts might immediately protest that I'm describing the proverbial slippery slope argument, and that this argument is more often than not fallacious. Maybe, but when a provocateur is actively spraying the precipitous slope your standing on with a garden hose, it's a good bet he's not looking out for your own best interest.

By the time the people who can actually do something about this slow-motion coup d'état, wake up and actually start doing something, well you guessed it. The judicial branch and the legislative branch have a duty which they are failing to fulfill. The Democratic party is indulging in the grossest and most conspicuous abnegation of their own power and prerogative I've ever imagined, and apparently all the Republican Party can do is moan that they've fallen and they can't get up. the takeover is nearing completion. Do you truly expect this tyrant to step-down on January 20, 2017? He's got three more years to spin his webs of deceit, to wield executive orders to remove every restraint on his power, to install complaisant cronies in every vacant judicial seat, to outrage the populace to the breaking point, and beyond...until...martial law becomes "The Law."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Logic vs. Fairy Tale

On this one year anniversary of the Newtown massacre, the police investigating the case have released information that had previously not been made public. There are many people who are drawn to this kind of thing, like some kind of morbid forensic curiosity. Most of us are much less intrigued by this sifting through crime residue. We all understand that people kill other people, sometimes they have a motive and other times it seems completely senseless. It's these apparently senseless murders that trouble us the most. We want closure. We want these atrocities to make sense, and when they don't some people are compelled to create or craft some sort of explanation that makes sense.

In Newtown the senseless nature of the crime along with the incredible efficiency with which the killer dispatched his victims has led to this mass-murder serving as a touchstone for gun-control—or perhaps a shibboleth if you happen to respect the 2nd Amendment.

The arguments for and against stricter gun-control continue to rage. There's a huge segment of the population that simply wishes that there were no such thing as guns. These people believe that if there were no guns the human race could return to a simpler time when there weren't murders, when there weren't rapes, violent assault, robbery, arson, genocide, etc. If these people were given the proverbial three wishes from the genie in Aladdin's lamp, they'd spend the first wish on world peace, the second on wishing every gun in the world to vanish from existence, and the third on a carbon tax.

Well of course most non-delusional people with even a rudimentary understanding of world history are aware of the undeniable fact that in the thousands of years that came before the first trigger was ever pulled, murders were rampant, as was the entire laundry list of atrocities that have plagued humans for their entire history. Logic is apparently so incredibly difficult for the vast gun-control movement to employ. Logic must be an arcane skill unknowable and unworkable for the many in their ivory towers and their carbon-neutral San Jose chateaus.

This is the logic chain that they find so incomprehensible:
  1. People since the dawn of time have harmed other people for some reason. Even an apparently motiveless crime has a motive even if it's as trivial as mere boredom.
  2. People—in contrast to animals—make and use tools to accomplish tasks more quickly and more efficiently. Furthermore, people continue to seek better and better tools in order to accomplish these tasks they want to accomplish even more quickly and more efficiently. If they don't have the best tool for whatever reason, they'll make do with a different one.
  3. People team up and share tools, teach each other tool-making and tool using skills. They do this for their own reasons although these reasons often align loosely with those of the other team members.
  4. Some teams today are known as street-gangs. Other teams are known as police. People who are not members of teams like these find themselves at a serious and often life-threatening disadvantage in this violent world of kill-or-be-killed.
  5. This is a kill-or-be-killed world. Many people on the left and in the rose-tint-bespectacled peace and love crowd want to deny that this is so. They'd immediately start talking about the rule of law. Okay, but who is it that enforces this rule of law? It's the team with the most members, wielding the most efficient killing tools. If you don't understand that this is a kill-or-be-killed world, let me assure you that it's core training if not rule-number-one in every police academy on Earth.
  6. If you aren't a police officer, you are at a serious often life-threatening disadvantage compared to every police officer walking around. You don't have a two-way radio. You don't have a license to kill with the gun so visible on your hip. You don't have a badge, and therefore you aren't protected by this shield of power so compellingly symbolized by this badge. The rule of law cited so often by well-meaning yet deluded gun-control enthusiasts is designed to protect team members, i.e. police. Not civilians.
Imagine a world of sheep and wolves. Sprinkled throughout this vast world are a few shepherds with weapons superior to the teeth of the wolves. If this were a perfect world, the shepherds would never fail to protect the sheep from the wolves. In this perfect world the shepherds would never be careless, never sleep, never lose sight of a single sheep, never fail to get there in time.

If this world sounds familiar ... well it should sound familiar. It's the very world that Piers Morgan waxes so eloquently and pompously upon every time the subject of gun-control is brought up. To hear him tell it, Great Britain is a veritable Garden of Eden where toothless wolves and defenseless sheep and a sprinkling of shepherds ensure that every last dear defenseless little sheep can graze worry free and everyone gets to live happily ever after ... like it might be in all those fairy tales.

UPDATE 12/28/13 3:04PM CST
Item number six above is perfectly illustrated by this story: South on alert as manhunt intensifies for cop killer

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Outrage over nothing, and nothing over an outrage

Life on this planet fights to survive. It's a war that's been going on for three and a half billion years. At this point in the planet's history, humanity has evolved to the pinnacle of efficient fighting. We don't very often actually have to even go to war anymore to achieve our objectives. We don't even have to snarl or growl anymore to signal that there is a point of contention. We humans don't have to say a single solitary word. We leave others to read a thousand bad intentions in our silence.

In the news today I read two things that jumped out at me. The first was a complaint from those who hadn't been wronged, made against one who had never wronged them. China and North Korea are angry because the Prime Minister of Japan visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Japan. That made me snort in puzzled confusion. Next I read about how 72 year old Warren Weinstein released a video wondering how long he'd be held captive. This captive in ill health with heart problems and asthma, how long would he be held like a captured pawn in the long-standing cold-war between the civilized world and the Islamic barbarians who wish only to see that world's destruction?
Within hours of the visit, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency warned that the “provocative move would drag Japan’s already-fragile relations with neighboring countries into an abyss.”

South Korea called it “deplorable and outrageous,” while the U.S. Embassy in Japan, in a statement, said it “is disappointed that Japan‘s leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan’s neighbors.”
Much turmoil and malice can be read into the silence of a certain traveling PM on this most momentous of anniversaries, conveying a fourth dimensional explosion of ill will. Or maybe he was just honoring his ancestors who died long ago. I wonder whether Japan and Germany would be similarly outraged if President Obama traveled to Arlington on September 2nd or May 7th?

I'm sick and tired of it! I'm sick and tired to death of the descendants of one tribe holding a decades—if not centuries—long grudge at some other tribe who never in their entire lives did anything hostile to these aggrieved complaining jackasses who apparently have nothing better to do than complain. If my neighbor got mad at me and called a press conference every time I walked in my own backyard, at some point I'd start finding all kinds of things that needed doing in that old backyard. Why? Why on earth, you ask, would I want to make my neighbors angry? Well, the truth is I don't. But it is my backyard. I feel like that's the very definition of freedom. The freedom to enjoy the use of my own property whenever and however I want to, regardless of the umbrage and resentment that complaining grudge holders might feel about it.

I bet most people feel like the Prime Minister of Japan and I do. When somebody starts tailgating me even though the passing lane is wide open, it kind of get's me a little mad, a little stubborn. I'm not going to go faster; just the opposite in fact. When people start blaming me for things that happened to their ancestors, trying to make me feel guilty about it it get's me a little mad, a little stubborn. I'm not going to feel guilty about it; just the opposite in fact.

In a similar vein and understanding human nature as I do, it's quite obvious that Al-Qaeda will never voluntarily release Weinstein. The more we complain and show our anger about it, the more truculently they will parade him about, like he might be some contentious lolly-pop with which one child teases another who can only scream his envy. Equally obvious is the fact that Pakistan could secure that forced release if they really wanted to. They know where he is. They know the force required to rescue him, and yet they do nothing. We pay them billions of dollars a year in aid and in gratitude for that largesse, we are repaid only with passive-aggressive silence.
"Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here," [Warren Weinstein] said. "And now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten."
A passive response to this provocation would be to simply cut off every penny to truculent uncooperative Pakistan. Let them howl their outrage. Let them scream their vengeance. The almost inconceivable hypocrisy of claiming that America will not negotiate with terrorists, while simultaneously writing billion dollar checks to Pakistan leaves an American who cares about justice and loyalty nearly breathless in stunned outrage.

Sadly for Weinstein and his family and friends it seems that Obama has decided to let time itself remove this particular embattled pawn from the board. To Obama we're all merely pawns. Maybe you said something against him and now you're an IRS or NSA target. Maybe you wanted to start a 501c nonprofit and you had the temerity to put the words "tea" and "party" together in your charter. Too bad for you little pawn. Maybe you live on the southern border and you resent the incursion of illegal immigrants smuggling drugs and weapons into your neighborhood. Lock your doors and pray little pawn. Maybe Ambassador Stevens felt like he was more than another pawn in Obama's game. Maybe he thought he was actually a player in his own right as he headed that embassy in Benghazi. He was wrong.

One thing is absolute and certain. Umbrage, posturing, growling, and snarling doesn't usually accomplish very much. Action is necessary to right injustice. Definite and certain consequences are now required. This administration has grown ever more out of control as consequences have been waived or held in abeyance for year after year after year. When oh God when will the guilty pay for their crimes? The way it has been going so far, we won't see justice in this life.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Bidness

I had fun rewriting a famous Christmas poem called "Twas the night before Christmas". While my own rendition, perhaps lacks the good-natured charm and youthful spirit of the traditional Christmas and Santa Clause story, still in my own humble opinion it nevertheless captures my own conception of the magic and wonder of a modern day 21st century Christmas story. Warning There is a little bit of minor profanity. No F-bombs but a few B-bombs ... if there is such a thing.

Warning mild profanity and mature situations

Yo, check it. Night befo Chrismas and all through the hood,
not a homie was pimpin' 'tween Watkins and south 3rd.
The playahs was making they rounds like a punk,
jus' hopin' to bust one in some phat bitch's trunk.

Baby daddy was passed out in the back of his ride.
when he wake up he be so mad cuz it wrecked on one side.
Baby mama she dishin' that rock in tha kitchen.
It cracklin' and poppin' while all dem kids jus' be bitchin'.

They hungry as hell, so why she only cookin' rock?
They's a bidness to run, and she still on the clock!
"Damn!" mama think when she hear a noise at the front doh,
that thumpin' and a bangin' she know it be five-oh.

Well, that door it crash open, and outside it she can see
a blizzard of blue lights parked all around her tree.
They ain't festive, they ain't happy, not merry, not bright.
They workin' overtime through the whole Christmas night.

Well the sargeant he limps in, jus' a holdin onto his liver.
and he say he got her ass! and she goin up the river.
They search her crib faster than wetbacks snatch a dollah.
When they find that white kilo they really start to hollah!

"Hey, Stevo! Hey Donnie! Jus' lookie what I found!"
They was grinnin' and laughin' at a bust of near two pounds.
Five-oh waste no time takin' mama's sweet ass straight to jail.
They leave her wrackin her brain for who to call to make the bail.

Two hours later the wind blowing leaves all through the yard,
and Mama she watchin' through bars that's cold and hard.
She thinkin' 'bout who it was that must a dropped the dime,
and she plannin' epic payback once she done all her hard time.

And then it happen so fast she don't see it at all,
her baby daddy's hooptie come crashin' thru the wall.
Well mama ducked, and she dodged, as bricks went flying by.
Baby daddy was supah stupid, supah drunk, and supah high.

Baby daddy he representin'. He stylin' all in gold,
but driftin' all around him they's a cloud of shithouse mold.
He caughin' and a retchin' like to puke up his own lung,
snot, spit, and slobber was jus' a drippin' off his tongue.

His eyes—how they rollin' and he grinnin' like a freak!
His grill flashin' and winkin' as he cussin' up a streak!
He screamed at her "Come on bitch! We got to get outa dis place!"
But baby mama she so skeered of dat look that's on his face!

He backed out his hooptie that was smokin' and fetchin',
and steam boilin' out while the engine was catchin'.
With a scream of broke metal, he drive outa dem ruins,
so Mama she jumped in fo she knew what she was doin'.

Soon they's haulin' ass jus' as fast as you 'spect they might,
when 'hind them they can see a burning river of blue-light.
It aint lookin too good for mama and daddy on that day,
but they's still one more trick baby daddy gots left to play.

Daddy cussed not a bit, but went straight to the point,
he pulled out his lighter and he lit up a joint.
he tooked him a hit and he helt it in tight.
'till the panic had left him and he's feeling damn alright.

He swerved down a side rode, and on a wrecker up he went!
Dove out the hooptie and pulled a tarp over it like a tent.
Baby mama heard him whisper: "Bitch don't say a word!
We both still got Christmas bidness 'tween Watkins and south 3rd."

I stumbled across this: Macy's Black Santa, and thought to myself, you know self, there's a certain symmetry in the universe.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Why the GOP establishment hates the Tea Party

"[The Tea Party] is misleading their followers," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at the Capitol. "I just think that they've lost all credibility."

"The establishment has no choice at this point," said former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who has criticized the tea party's growing influence. "So they're taking them on."

"To follow these groups is a downward spiral," Davis said.
It's telling that former Rep. Tom Davis used the word "establishment." That word has become a swear word to Tea Party patriots. What it means is that once a Republican politician has successfully ensconced himself in a position of influence and authority...that's it. He's untouchable. You can't criticize him. You can't run against him. You know...the Mafia has exactly the same system. Once a gangster has become a made man or Cosa Nostra he's untouchable.

The fact that our nation is on the verge of insolvency is apparently completely irrelevant to the establishment in power. To a man—or woman—they are all extremely well off. It seems virtually certain that with the money, privilege, and connections they possess, that once this foundering Titanic we still call the USA starts its final voyage to the murky depths below, these establishment politicians of both the Democratic as well as the Republican party will have nothing at all to worry about. They don't even need a life boat. They've got their own chartered jets, yachts, helicopters, villas in the Bahamas, Swiss bank accounts, and assorted escape hatches that have been in place for years if not for decades. The thing to remember about every one of these politicians and the decisions they make is that these people have no skin in the game whatsoever. They can do what they want. They're untouchable.

I only see them on television. It's hard to read the eyes of someone through a television set. It's hard to get a sense of their honesty, their character, their motivation through a digital representation. I listen to what they say and then watch them do the opposite. I hear them promise the moon and wonder why so many fools wait expectantly. It's not cynicism anymore to expect betrayal from a politician, it's just common sense. You might have heard me rail and rant before about our flawed system. Representative democracy just means that we choose the most convincing con-artists of all and put them in a position where they can take every one of us to the cleaners.

We pick the best talkers. We pick the smoothest, handsomest, hardest working campaigners, who shake the most hands and kiss the most babies. Most people never once question why a person wants to spend millions to get a job paying a tenth of that. Ah, it's like a cake walk. Once they're "made," a loyal member of the establishment, they can expect to not only continue to receive that tenth every year, but they also get the kind of perks enjoyed by only the most fabulously wealthy. They can jet-set around the country if they want to. They can dine at the most exclusive restaurants, and are waived through security checkpoints, lines, and other inconveniences. Yes, these modern-day princes and princesses of the realm are held practically unaccountable. Unless they betray the establishment. For that is the unforgivable sin. For that they get the cement shoes, the horse's head in the bed, the plastic sheet and the single bullet to the back of the head. Metaphorically speaking of course.

So you can see why the establishment hates the Tea Party. These upstarts, these young naïve fools who think they can just waltz in and take over. Why...they haven't done the time. They haven't waited patiently in line doing as they're told for years and years—by the establishment—until the day comes when all that time spent faithfully doing as they're told—by the establishment—pays off and they are permitted to recite the oaths of loyalty and finally receive Boehner's kiss on the lips.

We've finally reached a breaking point. The establishment at first tried to co-opt the Tea Party, bring them in under the big tent. But now that they realize it isn't going to work, now that they've realized that The Tea Party is composed primarily of patriots who don't care about political games and waiting in line for their own turn at the brass ring, now that the GOP realizes we want to tip over their little apple cart and maybe just possibly adjust course away from the looming iceberg of financial ruin dead-ahead, these establishment politicians are all going berserk!

In establishment politics it's all about expediency. You go with the flow. You don't make waves. You wait your turn. Expediency is the downhill road, the easiest path, the avoidance of trouble and strife. You take your time and always choose the most likely way. If a way forward is uncertain you poll test it and focus group it. Never stick your neck out. Never make any absolute commitments. Never directly answer hard questions. Always remember that what you say can—and will—be used against you in the court of public opinion.

With these princes of political expediency leading the way, holding forth their torches of mediocrity. The way forward is ever down and down and down. Hold your breath folks, the path ahead is looking pretty wet.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Who enslaved Sub-Saharan Africans? Who took your own freedom away?

They did to it to themselves, and so did we all. In the same way that Native Americans agreed to trade vast tracts of land for beads and whiskey and guns, slaves consented to their slavery, and likewise we Americans have traded our freedom for the promises of liars and the daydreams of fools.

You can't make anybody do anything they don't agree to do. You can trick them. You can trap them. You can convince, cajole, connive, and conspire, but you can't really compel. At some point a slave agrees to do what somebody else wants him to do. There are forces and circumstances that make that easier. Their fear of pain. Their hunger. Their ignorance. These were just a few of the tricks of the slave trade. But regardless of what horror story you've got saved up—and I bet I've heard the most horrific, far more horrific than your little anecdote, more terrible even than the twisted coprophilia-laden fever-dreams of Martin Bashir—it's impossible to make somebody do anything they don't agree to do.

It's possible to imprison a person. It's possible to injure, torture, and kill a person. It's impossible to make them work. What are you going to do? Grasp their small hand in your large hand and make it close around a tuft of cotton? Grab their arm and shove the hand around and into the sack? Peel their fingers apart to let that tiny bit of cotton fall amongst the other tiny tufts? How many times will you do it? Have you really made them do anything? You say that at some point a person will do anything to escape sufficient pain, hunger, fear? That's true for most people. However, when you surrender to evil, no matter how compelling the circumstances, still—when all is said and done—you did surrender; didn't you? Jesus never surrendered. I bet he's not the only one. If we could go back a few hundred years, I bet their were some African captives who refused to be slaves.

All of us today, we grow up doing the easiest thing. If you want to know what our motto is—mankind's motto—it's probably: "Go with the flow." We take the easiest path. We do as we're told. We rarely question authority, and when we do it's because some other people told us to. We're not supposed to break the rules, but most people don't even know what all the rules are, much less why they are. For the last fifty years Americans have been losing a little bit more of their freedom every day. Every freedom lost is another nail hammered in. The recent vote by the US Senate to overturn 200 years of filibuster tradition regarding presidential appointments is only another nail hammered in. The fifth liberal appointed to the DC court of appeals with 52 votes is only another nail hammered in.

The number one rule in the military is never volunteer. Don't stick your neck out. Be careful. And yet in spite of all that common sense wisdom, our soldiers charge the hill, they throw themselves on the grenade, they fight, they get injured, maimed, killed. The pain they felt, the pain they feel, the fear, the hunger, the desperation and hopelessness is as real, as terrible, as horrific as that experienced by those slaves several hundred years ago. The difference is that one surrendered and the other didn't.

There are a few patriots going against the flow, desperately prying at nails already hammered in, but they are by far the minority. America agreed to lay down in its own coffin, and the politicians that we elected have been at work nailing down the lid for half a century. All that's left now is the crying and the shoveling of dirt. But remember that before you start pointing fingers and accusing everyone else...we did it to ourselves.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Smug educators the cause of modern-day illiteracy, IMO

"Learn or not, it's none of my affair." These words might as well be emblazoned in indelible gold-leaf at the top of every teacher's blackboard across the land. I lived through Dick and Jane, and subsequently survived ever more tedious and difficult to read onslaughts of teacher-promoted drudgery. A veritable blizzard of archaic and obscure terms, expressions, and colloquialisms were to be pounded by blunt force into my brain while I waited, confined interminably in the mind-numbing classrooms of each of a series of these publicly funded phrontisteries.

You'll have to forgive me. I've just trail-blazed my way through several very dense chapters of The Scarlet Letter, an almost impenetrable jungle of verbose logoreah by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I started to wade through the 15,000 word introduction called The Custom House—which as far as I can tell has absolutely nothing to do with the story at all—but ineluctably began skimming through line after line of pointless maundering—hunting for the substance known as plot in vain—as though I might be a Little Rascal named Stymie peeling an artichoke looking for something that vaguely resembles food.

The protagonist of the story is named Hester Prynne. Her husband had sent her to this town to wait while he attended to some business or another, but unfortunately he had been absent—perhaps presumed lost?—for a couple of years when she mysteriously became pregnant. The Puritans evidently had some sort of trial or proceeding in which Hester presumably might have been executed or had her forehead branded with an "A", but they mercifully decided that Mrs Prynne would forever after be forced to wear a prominent scarlet letter 'A' for adultress on her blouse or bodice or whatever they call a woman's garment with sleeves. Meanwhile, her long lost husband returns just in time to see her in all her ignominious glory while she's standing up there on her scaffold of shame.
In fact, this scaffold constituted a portion of a penal machine, which now, for two or three generations past, has been merely historical and traditionary among us, but was held, in the old time, to be as effectual an agent, in the promotion of good citizenship, as ever was the guillotine among the terrorists of France. It was, in short, the platform of the pillory; and above it rose the framework of that instrument of discipline, so fashioned as to confine the human head in its tight grasp, and thus hold it up to the public gaze. The very ideal of ignominy was embodied and made manifest in this contrivance of wood and iron. There can be no outrage, methinks, against our common nature—whatever be the delinquencies of the individual—no outrage more flagrant than to forbid the culprit to hide his face for shame; as it was the essence of this punishment to do. In Hester Prynne's instance, however, as not unfrequently in other cases, her sentence bore that she should stand a certain time upon the platform, but without undergoing that gripe about the neck and confinement of the head, the proneness to which was the most devilish characteristic of this ugly engine. Knowing well her part, she ascended a flight of wooden steps, and was thus displayed to the surrounding multitude, at about the height of a man's shoulders above the street.
I remember the assignment to read this book when I was in high school, but as I recall, I neglected to do so. I was somewhat the rebel and contrarian in those days and stubbornly held to my theory that language should inform and fiction should entertain. Thus books like Moby Dick and The Scarlet Letter, were best left to slowly molder away on some dusty library shelf. And doubly boring as far as I'm concerned—they shall each go down to the vile dust from whence they sprung, unwept, unhonored, and unsung.

I can only imagine what it must be like to the vast majority of young men and women whose only literary experience at all is found by stoically working their way through these archaic turgid tomes, chock-a-block with seldom- and even never-used words. Yes, I contumaciously inhaled the works of Robert Heinlein, R.A. Salvatore, Robert Jordan, Gordon R. Dickson, Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card, to name only a few, while conscientiously dissenting from each teacher-picked obstrocity—(a portmanteau I happen to like which means both an obstruction and an atrocity.)

Why—you might well ask—are impressionable young students whacked over the head with these opposites of entertainment? In my opinion, and having given it much thought, this notion of teaching so-called "great" literature is nothing more than sheerest vanity. A smug and supercilious professor who'd rather use the word explicate than explain or explore, loves nothing more in this world that feeling like he's a member of a class set apart. He's one of the few the proud the educated, a dweller in that educational ivory tower for which very few indeed hold a key. Perhaps—as he lovingly turns the pages of The Scarlet Letter—he imagines the legions of frustrated students screaming in outrage as they are forced again—for the ten-thousandth time—to flip through the pages of some great leviathan of an unabridged dictionary to find out what in the hell the word: "contumacious," means. Perhaps this professor imagines himself as some kind of immaculate grain sorter, separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

I believe that if you give people something that's actually fun to read, then most of them will actually read it. Instead students across the nation are given something tedious, sadly lacking in plot, overly verbose and given to wild flights of fictional histories, fictional biographies, fictional scenery, even—if you can imagine it—fictional daydreams of further fictional nonevents that our fictional protagonist merely wishes he had fictionally performed!

Somewhere along the way between the covers of Dick and Jane and The Scarlet Letter most kids flip on the boob-tube and never look back. Most teachers would just nod their heads patronizingly, explaining that some students just can't cut the mustard. Maybe, but why on earth do these educators keep trying to force-feed students all those jars of inedible 200 year-old petrified mustard?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Aggrievement con-artists and their brainwashed Zombie Horde

It's almost impossible to break through the self-inflicted brain-washing that a liberal wears like a wrap-around lead-lined helmet—with no eye-holes—to hide from reality. You can bang on it and make him angry, but you can't ever get through to him in any rational way.

Who are we? We're individuals and also members of many different groups. I'm a conservative. I'm also a southerner. I'm a computer programmer. A pet owner. A light sleeper. I also like to cook. I could address concerns that would only be of interest to cross-sections of each of those select groups. My blog is oriented mostly towards conservative arguments, but more specifically philosophical arguments of the kind that illustrate why conservatism is moral and true, while liberalism regardless of its historical roots has been hijacked by con-artists and the morons who believe them.

How is it possible that a female high-school drop-out with five children by five different men can call a former President of the United States, a man who graduated from Yale, and Harvard Business School—George W. Bush—an idiot, and as a reward, get warm fuzzy cheering and laughter from an equally moronic audience?

It works like this: a sophisticated interviewer—with a minor in behavioral psychology?—along with her camera crew, finds an imbecilic moron without a clue and then asks leading questions to this "man on the street." When the interviewer agrees with the sentiment expressed by a particularly clueless subject, she gives him nonverbal praise which might be in the form of smiling, laughter, nodding of the head, as well as verbal affirmation that goes like this: "yes, you're right" etc. And, "it's too bad people in Washington don't have common sense like you," etc.

I've made the point before that statistics are on our side—the conservative side—while the left has nothing but anecdotes. When we argue that more people are on food-stamps today than ever before in the entire history of America, what we get as a rebuttal, are talking points taking the form of a false dichotomy immediately followed by anecdotal evidence that seems to support it:
So, what you're saying, is that rather than having our government invest a few dollars in SNAP cards, you selfish Repuglicans would rather let millions upon millions of people just starve to death on the street?

You know, it just so happens that I've got a good friend who when she got out of college, was really poor. Luckily she finally landed a really good job but until then she didn't have enough money to pay her bills, her rent, much less money left over for food. She was a single mom and if it wasn't for SNAP, she probably wouldn't be here today. She'd have had to beg, whore, sell drugs, join a gang, shoot somebody, get shot? Is that what you people want?
So that's our either/or? It's to be SNAP or crazed gang-bangers. SNAP or a veritable Sargasso-sea of emaciated bodies littering the streets like confetti after a ticker tape parade. It's either Heaven on Earth or Hell with nothing in between. And the crowd goes wild! Having barely time to consider how to respond, much less begin to speak, the thunderous acclamation by a convenient mob of clueless bystanders makes any response to this absurd false dichotomy and straw-man argument totally impossible.

Having a conversation with a liberal means listening silently while they lecture you. When you point out why the illogical argument they've made is in fact illogical, instead of listening to your point they instead argue that you are mean, and stupid. Furthermore, because of your lack of membership in some aggrieved group, you lack standing to even make your argument in the first place. A perfect example of this is the endlessly promulgated argument that men are not allowed to have an opinion against abortion because they can't get pregnant.

When you have self-abnegated yourself to the extent that you no longer believe you are even worthy to have an opinion on an issue, congratulations! You have just become another member in the group of mindless intellectual cannon-fodder that the liberal political con-artists of the nation employ against conservatives—in much the same way that hackers around the world employ legions of hacked Window's XP-computers in massive denial of service attacks against whoever they happen to be mad at today.