Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
The biography of our 36th president hasn’t got a lot to do with Christmas, but I suppose the coincidence does. We were just watching the biopic on Sunday night because it had been sitting in our Netflix Instant queue for, oh, the better part of the year maybe. It was enjoyable and we ended up wishing we’d clicked the button a lot earlier. However, it got a little vomit-inducing some two-thirds of the way through when, after having spent all that footage and all that shared audience adrenaline carefully piecing together a character who was a perfect bully, using his 6’4″ height and his posturing and grandstanding to win every argument that came along, screwing around on his wife as if philandering was some kind of a spectator sport, suddenly when the time came to push the Civil Rights Act through this character had a sense of right-and-wrong. Once again, we find ourselves trying to make sense of, not quite so much the primary subject matter which is Lyndon Baines Johnson’s thoughts and conscience, but how liberals think.
This isn’t Han Solo spending most of the movie thinking about his reward, and then suddenly seeing the bigger picture after Luke Skywalker yells at him and, as a result of this high-drama epiphany, looping the Millennium Falcon around and helping to attack the Death Star. It is as if the guy who was producing the 81st minute of the movie simply didn’t talk to the guy who had produced minutes #1 through #80. There is no meaningful event taking place that could have reformed the character. It’s like the movie is about two different people. And so, again, we see it is inference formed by fiat as opposed to rational thinking and common sense: You SHALL not think that LBJ was acting out of self-interest, you SHALL not think that LBJ was acting out of self-interest, you SHALL not think that LBJ was acting out of self-interest…
Anyway. It was made in 1987. Randy Quaid did a terrific job, and it’s a bit unfair that today he’s mostly known for National Lampoon Vacation movies. You should see it.
Christmas Morning, a mere 36 hours later, I’m given cause to think back on this because of Thomas Sowell’s latest Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene.
The first two, specifically…
When I was growing up, an older member of the family used to say, “What you don’t know would make a big book.” Now that I am an older member of the family, I would say to anyone, “What you don’t know would fill more books than the Encyclopedia Britannica.” At least half of our society’s troubles come from know-it-alls, in a world where nobody knows even 10 percent of all.
Some people seem to think that, if life is not fair, then the answer is to turn more of the nation’s resources over to politicians — who will, of course, then spend these resources in ways that increase the politicians’ chances of getting reelected.
The next two are good, as well.
The annual outbursts of intolerance toward any display of traditional Christmas scenes, or even daring to call a Christmas tree by its name, show that today’s liberals are by no means liberal. Behind the mist of their lofty words, the totalitarian mindset shows through.
If you don’t want to have a gun in your home or in your school, that’s your choice. But don’t be such a damn fool as to advertise to the whole world that you are in “a gun-free environment” where you are a helpless target for any homicidal fiend who is armed. Is it worth a human life to be a politically correct moral exhibitionist?
To all the time and effort I’ve spent over the years trying to figure out liberals, I have to add the time and effort and frustration I wasted in the years prior, entirely failing to realize how they were changing the world in which we’ve all been trying to function while, outside of autumns in even-numbered years, they remained essentially unwatched. Someday I should put together at least some master outline of what I’ve managed to learn, even if it is, to recall Prof. Sowell’s first Random Thought, less than ten percent of it all. And my intuition tells me such an outline should be vaporous and pliable enough so that it could serve as the beginning of either a book manuscript or a college class syllabus.
But either way, up near the top of it would be the split. Liberals aren’t liberals. Their class is necessarily divided into two hemispheres, both equally important, one enjoying the much larger share of influence and the other enjoying the much larger share of mass. The elites who possess the influence also possess a far superior understanding of the ultimate disastrous effect of liberal policy. In other words, they know that taking guns off the street does not make innocent people safer, and they know that offering special privileges to minority groups in hiring, contracting and college enrollment does not have a healing effect on racial, gender, and sex-preference divisions. They understand these policies do not do what they are supposed to do, and they even understand the entirely legitimate claims that the policies may in fact be achieving the reverse.
They don’t give a fig. They couldn’t care less.
The commoners, on the other hand, not only think that passage of the latest “landmark legislation” is all that is needed to achieve perfection and finally ascend to that plateau of Nirvana, but that if you argue or question the idea then you must be the stupid one. They are therefore constantly arguing for policies sure to produce disaster, deluding themselves into thinking the opposite, and in doing so making fools of themselves — again deluding themselves into thinking the opposite, that the subtle “nuanced” sense of irony makes them look like little smarty-pants or something. So they’re headed 180 degrees opposite from where they think, twice in a row, and all of the time. It isn’t that they really are that dumb; if they were, they wouldn’t be able to get dressed in the morning and go walking around. The problem is that they just don’t pay attention. They want to go in to the voting booth, poke the right chad, and have everything come out alright. They think the process is just like watching teevee, except the screen is a bit bigger and there are a bunch of other people fighting over the remote. Therefore, if it doesn’t go their way, or if it doesn’t go well, it is of no more consequence than last night’s round of channel-surfing failing to yield the proper satisfaction.
And that doesn’t bother them, they’d admit, if they were honest about it. What does a bad Tuesday night of surfing matter on Wednesday morning? Next to nothing, right? You need to have a few hundred of them, perhaps years’ worth, stacked up on top of each other before you even reconsider your cable subscription.
And so there are the apathetic, who know the policies are bad and don’t care, and the ignorant, who might care that the policies are bad if only they could be bothered to pay attention, but they can’t be, so they don’t know any better.
Perhaps it’s not fair for me to judge LBJ when I was just being born at the time. But I’ve managed to read a fair bit about him, and meet more than my share of people who are woven out of the same cloth. Not a very complicated story here at all, by my reckoning. These are the apathetic types; they end up running everything because the people around them want to give them whatever it is they desire. And they desire the feeling of running everything. They are doing what comes naturally to them — it is really the rest of us who are behaving strangely. The LBJ personality would be just as happy in some virtual reality, greedy fingers dancing over buttons and levers that are actually connected to nothing, slamming that “Aren’t I doing wonderful things” drug into the main vein 24 hours a day. With no actual effect outside of that VR playsuit-and-bubble, none at all. That would suit them just fine, because they live in a world in which “effect” is a non-concept, as relevant as sound in the vacuum of outer space. There is only intent. Effect equals intent. Wouldn’t know an unintended consequence if it bit ’em in the nose. And probably wouldn’t be able to find more than fifteen of the United States on a map, with the labels covered up…but wanting to run everything, anyway, because they like that feeling.
We don’t have too many presidents like this before 1932. Throughout much of the nineteenth century, apart from Lincoln, it’s hard for most people to even remember any of the names let alone dates and/or major accomplishments. There’s a reason for that. Presidents back in those days just didn’t have a lot of power compared to today. Mass communication has brought us to an era in which we just want to channel-surf the one most impressive guy into the one loftiest office, leave it to him to manage all the details, and the rest of us will just go about our lives confident that it’ll all work out right. But of course, in President Obama we see that this Most Impressive Guy doesn’t concern Himself with details any more than any of the silly twits who voted for Him, so it all turns to muck, and then He just uses His impressive talents to blame the opposition…
The way it used to work, had something to do with this little thing called Separation of Powers. It worked reasonably well back in the day. And not because any one guy was managing all of the details. Recall what the Professor said, about knowing less than ten percent. That’s never changed, across the generations. Our misguided faith is what has changed.
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