Archive for March, 2018

Beethoven’s Beatings

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Seems unfair to climb up on a soapbox over one careless paragraph jotted down in an otherwise adequate & informative biography, but I had a thought while reading this

Beethoven had two younger brothers who survived into adulthood, Caspar, born in 1774, and Johann, born in 1776. Beethoven’s mother, Maria Magdalena van Beethoven, was a slender, genteel, and deeply moralistic woman. His father, Johann van Beethoven, was a mediocre court singer better known for his alcoholism than any musical ability. However, Beethoven’s grandfather, godfather and namesake, Kapellmeister Ludwig van Beethoven, was Bonn’s most prosperous and eminent musician, a source of endless pride for young Ludwig.

Sometime between the births of his two younger brothers, Beethoven’s father began teaching him music with an extraordinary rigor and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. Neighbors provided accounts of the small boy weeping while he played the clavier, standing atop a footstool to reach the keys, his father beating him for each hesitation or mistake.

Heartbreaking, right? Can’t you just see his little chin trembling…

But then,

On a near daily basis, Beethoven was flogged, locked in the cellar and deprived of sleep for extra hours of practice. He studied the violin and clavier with his father as well as taking additional lessons from organists around town. Whether in spite of or because of his father’s draconian methods, Beethoven was a prodigiously talented musician from his earliest days and displayed flashes of the creative imagination that would eventually reach farther than any composer’s before or since. [emphasis mine]

I’m actually less interested in the child abuse suffered by young Ludwig 240 years ago, than I am in our current insanity. Can’t help but think “Why in God’s name would you write something like that?” After all, the entry begins not with the observation that Beethoven was merely “prodigiously talented,” but rather…

Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770 to March 26, 1827) was a German pianist and composer widely considered the greatest of all time…

Awkward truth is still truth. Beethoven’s dad was a world-class jerk who beat the shit out of him, and after suffering through that abuse, Beethoven grew up to become the greatest composer of all time. Or, Beethoven, the world’s greatest composer, became that in the aftermath of a miserable childhood filled with beatings whenever he hit the wrong note. Ah, many would look with disdain upon any any written summary that actually records it that way; but that’s the truth, that’s what happened. I guess we don’t just come out and say it because we’re worried about social ramifications, all those dumb dads out there who might say “Hey, if I beat the crap out of my little Johnny or Susie maybe I’ll end up being the father of the world’s greatest whatever.” Can’t have that, of course.

So there is a rationale, and I don’t take issue with it. I do find qualms with the all-or-nothing, positive-or-negative lens through which the matter is so casually viewed. We don’t stop at “no beatings,” do we? We can’t! Our “don’t say that” hot button has to expand, like an inflating circus tent, to cover reprimands, remonstrations, mid-course corrections, time-limit expirations — in short, every single message an instructor, or reality itself, might deliver along the lines of “not quite good enough, try again.”

Also, the thing we’re trying to make true isn’t really true. Let me see if I can bottom-line it: “We put our kids on the path toward excellence, not by rebuking them, but by nurturing them.” Some would actually put it that way, some would word it differently but ultimately produce something similar, to very-close.

It’s just not true. Nor is it harmlessly false. It is a detriment against human potential, just one of many counterproductive things we tend to do to make women nod.

I recently finished a laundry hamper cover my wife wanted, and like many of the carpentry projects that end up being a win, this one had some heartbreak in it followed by a walk-of-shame back to the building supply store. I had to fashion a new lid after I bent the blade in my jigsaw. The first lid I built was hopelessly marred as a result, after having absorbed the efforts involved in a perfect bore-drilling and sanding job. It was a real thing of beauty before the mishap. So I’m relieved to have the project done because it spent way more time in the half-built stage than it should’ve, and in that interim we lost a lot of usable volume out of the garage. On the second go everything went perfectly. And I learned nothing. This is how it works. We try, we screw up, if we’re properly humble then we learn from it, and eventually we learn enough to succeed…during which time, we don’t learn anything. We don’t learn when we win. We learn when we fuck up and admit to ourselves the necessity of starting over again.

My point is not that if you want your child to succeed, or become the best ever, you have to beat him. That would be nuts. But — not as nuts as seeing what happened with Beethoven, and saying to yourself “the lesson is clear but I don’t like it, so let’s pretend it was something different.” That really is nuts, and it’s become a commonplace way of thinking, unfortunately. No, my point is to maintain an awareness of the positive versus the negative. “Our kids become champions because we hug them” is not positive. It shames parents and mentors who would offer constructive criticism, and criticism is how we grow. Once the kids grow and aren’t cute anymore, the “hug the baby or I’ll shame you” crowd will disperse, there will be no sign of them anywhere…but it will be too late because the no-longer-cute was-a-baby will be out of his formative years. And what you have then, is a culture in which there will be no Beethovens, guaranteed. Can you imagine anything more negative short of genocide?

Conversely, “We learn when we fuck up, we don’t learn when we win” is not negative at all. It is positive. It is proximately close to a guarantee that your honest efforts will always be going toward something. Either the goal you had in mind, or the learning you needed to do anyway. What could be more positive than every-effort-counts? It’s liberating, when you think about it.

Nine Toxins That Are Currently Killing Civilization As We Know It

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

1. Rules that put unproductive people in charge of how productive people may do their producing.

2. Shallow egotists seeking broad dictatorial powers grounded on narrow fields of interest & understanding.

3. The right to “free speech” held sacrosanct for the benefit of “protesters” who don’t actually have anything to say.

4. The balkanization that naturally results from people relying on many different spoken & written languages.

5. Youth-worship, Weaponized Arrested Development (WAD) and the abnegation of maturity.

6. The targeting of identifiable classes for special obligations, special protections and/or special privileges.

7. The erasing of history from the public’s consciousness.

8. The notion of conscience without piety.

9. The intent to exist within a community without being a part of it.

Ten Things That Have Zero Effect on What the Truth Is

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

1. Whether people find out about it.

2. Whether people agree with it.

3. Whether a majority are willing to vote for it.

4. How people feel about it.

5. How people behave after someone says it out loud.

6. Whether someone with public visibility is compelled to apologize for saying it.

7. Whether advertisers bail in the wake of a boycott after it gets said.

8. Whether or not it’s polite to say it around children.

9. Whether or not it would make a good movie.

10. How it will or will not play out, with “the [insert name here] community.”

Seven “Alternative Facts” That Have Nothing Alternative About Them

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

1. The feminist movement was designed & is intended to hurt men.

2. Gun control advocates do want to take away our guns.

3. Steve Sailer was right, political correctness is a war on noticing.

4. Income inequality is usually okay.

5. The Establishment Clause does not require Christian symbols to be removed from public view.

6. You’re male if you’re born male, and you’re female if you’re born female.

7. Given that criminals will offend, it’s logical for them to do so where there are no guns.

Let’s Call it “Men Are Not the Enemy” Month

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

We have to talk about the women. Appropriate for now, I suppose, since the National Women’s History Project has successfully lobbied Congress to recognize March as Women’s History Month.

One of the biggest dangers to the continuance of civilization as we know it, right now, is the fusion between militant left-wing political activists, and the casual observers. The “moderates,” the “big middle,” decent, good-hearted people who don’t pay close attention to politics but know when they do & do not agree with something. Our salvation lies in driving a wedge between those two sides. Which sounds sinister, but is actually the correct mission statement. Work at it without apology where you can. The political left shouldn’t even come into contact with decent people, let alone be able to energize them or to recruit from them. They don’t deserve them. They’re not worthy.

Issues having to do with female empowerment, and female safety, have a mesmerizing effect upon these decent and good-hearted people. Which I suppose is only to be expected. It’s part of the definition. Civilization, as I wrote somewhere lately, must have begun with motherhood. At least, one-third of it, the part that has to do with “I’m not going to conk you over the head and take your stuff because I don’t want you or somebody else to do that to me.” It must have begun with this implied contract having a measurable effect on the behavior of the strong man who would otherwise be acting like a brute, and this must have begun with “I can go out from my cave and conk other people over the head, but in order to do that I have to leave someone behind, in the cave.” And that must have been the mom. Of course I wasn’t there to see it happen or anything, but process of elimination tells me it must be so, and I see it hard-wired into the behavior of people. The very idea of a woman, left defenseless and at the mercy of a strong male who wishes her harm, galvanizes people. People who just got done snickering at some poor weak husband who must endure physical beatings from his wife and can’t do anything about it. The same situation, with the roles reversed, horrifies them. Suddenly it isn’t funny, and not only that, they’re energized into a something-must-be-done state. And they don’t show this bias just to earn approval from others, it’s something internal.

Of course, the quickest and most effective way to get something done about that, is to get a gun into that woman’s hands and train her to properly maintain and use it. So perhaps it’s merely an oversight on the part of the NWHP that in the roll of 2018 honorees I’m seeing abortion activists, gay-rights activists, illegal-alien sympathizers, et al…but I’m not finding any gun-rights activists. But the frosting on the cake is that they went with that awful theme. “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” What were the proceedings like, as they pondered this, I wonder. Oh to be a fly on the wall. And what about these bombastic buzzwords making reference to physical confrontations? Fight. Win. Refuse. Power. Action. “…and of believing that meaningful and lasting change is possible in our democratic society.” Might I suggest, if you’re having trouble getting that last point circulated, maybe skip a few of these subliminal implications that interested women must engage in fisticuffs in order not to be interrupted by people who aren’t women?

Hold All These FeelzOur evolving society has become quite interested in hearing what women have to say, quite enamored with finding out what women have to say. It is a society that, as Bill Maher once said during his very rare and brief interludes of saying sensible things that are true, is “based on making women nod.” Women are not getting interrupted, en masse, by ritual. If anything, it’s the men who are being subjected to that. “Nevertheless she persisted” has its own Wikipedia entry, which happens to be accurate, so there’s no excuse for anyone to lumber onward in ignorance of the back-story. The phrase is in “honor” of dishonorable Senator Elizabeth Warren, who broke the rules and wouldn’t shut her dumb mouth when a male Senator would have been obliged to do exactly that or else face even more stringent consequences. It has become a rallying cry for malcontents. It has nothing whatsoever to do with making “meaningful and lasting change…in our democratic society.” Nothing at all. It is the opposite of that. It is the elevation of one’s own feelz, above the rules that are obligatory upon and effectively constraining all others.

Was there no one to make mention of this?

Best case scenario: The Project attracting women and womens’-activists from all sorts of different walks of life, someone was there to point out the dichotomy and the problems that it creates, and a reasoned deliberation followed which was short or long, but in either case the saner voices got outvoted and the Project made this daffy decision. Worst case scenario: The Project does not attract interested persons from any diverse range of backgrounds, it’s just a left-wing echo chamber and no one saw anything wrong with it at all. This would mean, the Project does not have what it takes to distinguish an egalitarian society from the destructive forces that would dismantle it from within, and it’s up to the rest of us to make & act on that distinction on their behalf. You seek to effect change in a “democratic society” by working according to that society’s rules? Then follow the rules! And show that someone on the outside doesn’t have to explain such an obvious thing to you.

I take deep umbrage against, and I recommend zero tolerance for, this continuing repeated-chorus that suffragists “fought for” and “won” the right to vote. The implication, believed by many young women of today and without any reservations at all, is that women had zero influence — “women were property” and “had no power,” you’ll hear and see many of them say. And then there was this battle between the invading but oppressed people, the women, against the defending but bullying men, and with this battle “won” the tables were turned. It’s a fairy tale for mental midgets, pieced together for consumption by those who are lacking in comprehension of the concept of time. Sometime on or about this date, somewhere around the ratification of the nineteenth amendment, the battle was decisively ended and women “won the right to vote.” But with that in our rear view mirror by a margin of just coming up on a hundred years, the thing for us to do today is play this endless-circle game of CALWWNTY (Come A Long Way, We’re Not There Yet). Which means: More fighting.

This is not achieving equality. This is achieving conflict. There’s a difference.

Try this. Listen to all these historical accounts of the decades long “battle” for women to “win” the right to vote, and decide for yourself, rationally, logically, if the metaphor really does belong there. And presume, as a default assumption that holds until it is falsified, that it does not. See how many matches remain. Closest you get is when Susan B. Anthony got herself arrested for trying to vote — when the established rules said she wasn’t eligible to do so, and far from being a tackle followed by a brawl in the streets, was actually weeks afterward with a trial beginning the following January. “Fighting” had very little to do with this, it was a confrontation, of the sort we see across a great many issues, rather constantly, today. You’ll notice the rest of it is also just doing what we do in politics all the time. Organizing. Arguing. Making the pitch. And yeah, some confronting too. But the real problem with this fighting-language is this: You don’t have a pitched battle to get a constitutional amendment passed. Sorry, you just don’t. It’s a fact. Three-quarters of the states have to ratify the amendment, through their respective legislatures, after two-thirds of both houses of Congress approve it. That’s how it’s done. It’s right there in Article V of the Constitution.

This is fact. You don’t get to be a hardy little band of rebels taking on a behemoth, with no one else on your side, and then get your amendment passed. You need senators and you need representatives. You need people in state legislators, seeing things your way, or who can be compelled to see things your way.

That’s a lot of dudes. Agreeing. Saying yes. Not fighting.

Women got the right to vote, after men gave it to them. This is not language that’s quite as romantic as fighting and battling and winning and so forth, but…well, there it is. That’s what happened. Women encountered expectations that they should sit down & shut up, or enjoy representation in government but only through their husbands, and organized, put together an argument, presented it, and after a time the men said “Hmm, yeah that makes sense” and did the right thing. With some disagreements and arguing and dissent and maybe even some withholding-of-sex and some beatings too, but the same is true of everything else we decide.

No matter how you cut it, it isn’t logical to present an argument of “Women had no influence whatsoever, and so they used this influence they did not have to get the influence they did not have yet that no one else wanted them to have.”

Now, you want some really harsh truth? Celebrations of womens’ suffrage, if they’re sincere, should begin with thanks to the men of yesteryear who did the right thing, enfranchising women. It would tick off a lot of people, but it would be honest. And by working so hard to avoid ticking of those people, who I would argue lust after the chance of being perpetually ticked off anyway, the rest of us gain nothing and we come no closer to healing any rifts that remain, we only widen them. And this is wrong.

I Did Not Invent This Word

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

You certainly can learn a lot, looking up words in the dictionary you know already…

Pusillanimous (adj.)

Lacking courage and resolution; marked by contemptible timidity.

But that’s like, five syllables there, much more than the two in “timid.” Should we just go ahead and use that? Doesn’t it cover everything?

It turns out, depending on the context and the intent of the writing, no not quite

You can describe someone who lacks courage as pusillanimous, such as a pusillanimous student who is too afraid to speak out against someone who is bullying others.

Its Latin origin — pusillus and animus — tells us that pusillanimous means “very small spirit.” If you are pusillanimous…you don’t have the spirit — or the confidence or drive — to step up when it matters. The pusillanimous person stays quiet, doesn’t get involved, waits for someone else to take a stand — not out of laziness, but out of fear.

Timidness is merely the behavioral effect. It’s just a symptom.

I find the accompanying intangible noun to be much more applicable to our current situation, however, compared to the adjective:

Pusillanimity (n.)

The quality or state of being pusillanimous; the vice of being timid and cowardly, and thus not living up to one’s full potential. [last emphasis mine]

See the distinction now? You may be muscular and capable of pushing huge boulders around; but, you have this binding on your wrists, a restraint involving a puny spirit, so you don’t get it done. You have the same effect on your environment, as a skinny weakling.

Might I suggest the word is bristling with these half-dozen syllables, because within it is crammed all of the conflict within the times in which we live. It is, literally, the word of the era.

Within the stretch of a week or two, I see this many times with President Trump, who supports many policies that could be legitimately criticized for a number of reasons. But the deliberations about PDJT’s latest antics never seem to get too far, certainly not into the realm of honestly inspecting the implications of what he wants to do. They so often veer off into a bunch of tongue-clucking about some “tweet.” It seems to me like our current culture may be incapable of having a diligent discussion about these things. President Trump is utterly lacking in pusillanimity — as well as, depending on the setting, refinement & manners. But mostly the pusillanimity. Here & there, now & then, he’s shown those other things. But who among us can tell the difference? So many of these arguments about Trump devolve into inspections of mannerisms. It’s irritating to people like me who don’t care one way or another about the mannerisms. Speaking for myself, I’m not holding out Trump to be some kind of role model for adults, or children, or anybody else; it’s not what I’m looking for when I vote for a President, and his name isn’t going to be on a ballot anytime soon anyway. But as people continue to make a big deal about mannerisms, the thought occurs to me that maybe the problem is precedent. We’ve become so accustomed to pusillanimous politicians, that we’re incapable of processing the information when we come across one who isn’t. This guy is far from perfect, anyone who goes looking for flaws can certainly find them. Why obsess on the thing that isn’t one?

Atheism is doing very well these days, and in spite of the protests of atheists, we know it’s doing well not because it makes sense or explains anything, but because it’s being pushed. Not always directly. Spirituality, the nature of the universe, what are we doing inhabiting it and do we have a purpose — so many other things connect to this, answers to the questions can be pushed indirectly by way of all these connections to other things. Ah, so many of them think this is an intellectual issue, having to do with facts and reasoning. That’s cute. You see it’s spiritual just a few moments into a conversation with any one of them. In the blink of an eye, the object of the exercise is no longer any sort of scientific pursuit of the truth, wherever it may lie & whatever it may be. It deteriorates into an exercise. Find the most secular explanation for everything, and deny, deny, deny that which must be denied. They claim there is no God and no need for one, and then lose their way while the rest of us watch, in just a few paces. Of course, no God means no purpose. Another example of “timid” not fitting the situation at hand, not describing it all. These may not be timid people. They may in fact be full of braggadocio. They often are! But their spirit is puny, and they’re pushing on others what they already have — a tell-tale sign that one feels unfulfilled merely maintaining what he already “knows” to be true, and has a hole in himself that can only be filled by seeing it reflected in others. Intellectual? Pfeh. There’s no intellectual reason on the Earth to proselytize a lack of belief.

Feminism has made such a spectator sport of pushing pusillanimity — and not just on men, but on any & all ideological opponents — we’ve gotten used to seeing it, wouldn’t know what to make of it if it ever stopped. We’ve gotten to the point where a man doing work is “oppressive.” Have we not? For it to be flagged as a micro-aggression or whatever, the man does not need to be toiling away with any implication, subtle or otherwise, that the feat is outside the capability of the woman who benefits, or of women in general. We probably have universal agreement, or something close to it, that the average woman is capable of opening a door for herself. And yet feminists get ticked if men go the extra mile, and save the lady the trouble. The explanation of their scolding is that such an act harkens back to a bygone chapter in our history, something thankfully obliterated, irretrievably, with said chapter decisively closed. But waitaminnit…intellectual pursuits, again…why do they get so upset about this, if it recalls an era that is truly gone? Answer: The question is framed with logic and common sense, and works on the intellectual plane. It is inapplicable, because the real hitch in the giddyap is spiritual. These are pusillanimous people pushing their pusillanimity on to others.

The “climate change” scam is about pusillanimity. It has nothing to do with climate, or the weather, or greenhouse gases or anything of the like. It isn’t even about science. It’s about politics and power. Isn’t this just obvious? The “science” is just an excuse. The drive is to relocate money and power, to raise taxes, to increase regulation, to make it harder to do things until the interested enterprises manage to get a “Mother May I?” from — well, that’s the one part that is never quite definitively defined, isn’t it. The globalists know the whole globe is to defer to the decisions in the power-pyramid, they’re just not sure who’s on top of it. They’ve got to squabble among themselves and figure out who that is. But the struggle is real, it isn’t scientific, it’s about deference. We are to defer. Act timid. And labor under a constant fear that more rules are coming, or that we are in danger of transgressing against the rules that have been established already. Like everything else, it’s about pusillanimity.

It makes no sense at all, in the aftermath of a tragic event like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, to call for new rules to be imposed upon the law-abiding gun owners who didn’t do it. Some of the kids who were there, and survived, want that; but that’s deciding based on emotions and not reason. And it has emerged that as people noodle out what they should be doing about this and what initiatives they should be supporting, many among them have imbibed from the intoxicating elixir of recognizing some sort of moral authority senior-ship in these young kids, which is the polar opposite of how morality really works. That is pusillanimity on steroids. We argue about issues like this with such passion, because the issues each have two sides and each side is at least plausible. If we’re looking for someone to whom we should defer, subordinating our own judgment and favoring theirs, which seems to me almost like an abdication of any position of influence in the discussion at all, but let’s grant that for the moment…we should then be deferring to people who “get” both sides. Kids who haven’t been around, but were in the shooting or situated close enough to it they can pass themselves off that way, and are all energized about pushing new gun control laws — are not that.

And I’m seeing all the back-and-forth about “health care is a right” as merely an extension of this. “Don’t need a gun call nine one one” bears a close kinship with single-payer health care, because both of these positions treat the citizen as something less than a full citizen. Like a grape just dangling on the vine waiting to receive its nourishment from the roots, devoid of any purpose by itself, utterly dependent on the central machinery. Centrally administered health care, it has been proven already, and around the world, is a wonderful device for spreading pusillanimity. What could be better? If you’re healthy today, just give it a decade or two and maybe you won’t be. Perhaps in that interim you’ll meet up with a life changing accident, or other catastrophic event, and some stranger you’ll never meet will decide whether or not, and how soon, you can be granted access to something you need. That’s what it is, right? And that’s the whole point. You thought it had to do with making sure you’re healthy? Silly bean. It is, once again, about the Mother-may-I. It’s about pushing pusillanimity.

We argue with such passion, about so many things, because we are divided into those who see pusillanimity as what it is, which is something anathema to our continued existence as responsible and capable citizens; indeed, something that must bring such an existence to an end, since these cannot co-exist. Versus, those who think this is the way things should be. For whatever reason. I’m not sure why exactly. I think the most common explanation would be — if we could study it — they want to push pusillanimity wherever it can be pushed, sell it wherever it can be sold, spread it wherever it can be spread, because pusillanimous people maintain an inward and natural revulsion against people who are not pusillanimous. They’re merely trying to make sense of the world in which they live, and the only way they can do that, short of learning something new, is to spread pusillanimity until it is in everything they see.

And pusillanimity makes it hard to learn anything new.

But that would be the right answer. Learn new things. Watch people who know how to do things you don’t yet know how to do. Figure out, like a growing child, how to do the essential things for yourself tomorrow, that today you’re relying on someone else to do for you.

What They Mean by “We”

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

I’ve been complaining for quite awhile about people who go through the motions of presenting coherent arguments, and then when you think critically about what they’re saying you realize they aren’t saying anything because there’s so much that requires further definition and so little definition being done. Now here in California we’re up to our eyeballs in “little laws” — to which, near as I can figure, very few people actually pay any attention, either in terms of compliance or enforcement — and every now & then a debate will erupt in any one from a variety of different forums, about why we have this dumb law. And it has not escaped my attention that there is a thought process of “Let’s just keep passing dumb laws that have no consequence and eventually life will become perfect,” that overlaps almost perfectly with this other thought process of “I want to win the argument without actually arguing anything or even defining what exactly it is I’m saying.”

I guess it stands to reason. My dumb little law will make life perfect…just accept it, I don’t want to have to explain how it works.

Well, I’ve noticed something else…

One of the fundamental concepts that are being bifurcated by this disagreement, is “we.” I, along with other people who are capable of thinking like responsible adults, do not believe life automatically becomes better when we have more rules. I’m more of a believer in what Tacitus said, “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.” Gun control offends me, partly because it’s right in our Constitution that we aren’t supposed to have gun control of any kind. But it offends me even more when I recognize what it is: Something bad was done by a bad person, and so we come up with some restrictions to be placed on the ones who did not do it.

The great-granddaddy disagreement that appears to inspire all of the other disagreements, is this: I think life gets better when I’m allowed to do more things. For me, immediately, and if I exercise good judgment, for others as well. And I know my judgment is good. If, in some isolated case it isn’t good, I shall strive to improve.


I’m not sure what, exactly. Seems to be something like “The cause of all our miseries is that we can do too much,” or “Happiness in the future begins with us being stopped from doing things,” or “We need to be controlled.”

It is the difference between the positive and the negative. The difference between hope & fear.

When I use the word “we” I’m talking about some class of person, and I am included in that class. Those people on the other side don’t seem to be going along with this. They say “We need to be stopped from doing things” or “We need to be told ‘no’ more often” or “We are a pestilence upon the planet”…near as I can figure, they are not including themselves in the “we.”

There can be some difficulty in noticing this within certain issues. On the gun-control thing for example, people who want more rules about guns usually have no intention of ever owning a gun themselves. Many of them are protected by armed bodyguards, and intend to continue enjoying the benefits of this weaponized perimeter after they’ve won their latest victory and gotten the laws to work the way they want them to work. But on social justice issues and/or environmental issues, the man-is-outside-of-nature types don’t include themselves in the “we” when they speak of how toxic “we” are. Guilty-white-liberals droning on about white privilege, do not include themselves in the complaint even though I notice many among them are, and have been for awhile, quite privileged.

What’s truly fascinating about liberalism is not just that it imposes more and more rules just for the sake of having rules, while claiming to have derived its name from “liberty.” Although that by itself is sufficiently intriguing that a lot of people who claim to be following the politics, but only casually, should be inspired to ask a few more questions. No, what really captivates me about it is that so much of it — but not all of it — can be blamed on the benefits of technology. Labor could think about organizing and having more of a voice, after a man’s worth came more from measures of his time and less from the acres he owned & plowed. We don’t have to spend fifteen hours a day doing that plowing anymore. And so people have time for dumb ideas. You’ll notice a common theme within those ideas is that we have to give more influence to people who cannot claim products or services in the marketplace, and this is usually — not always, but usually — because they don’t do much to help anyone else. Being a political effort, The Left requires electoral support and so they need underclasses of clingy, desperate people.

But then there are aspects of liberalism that have nothing to do with technology, that have taken root in mankind’s inherent flaws, in man’s propensity to sin. I imagine if some strain of liberalism could have gone all the way back to the stone age, with cavemen coming together to share a kill, the liberal caveman would’ve said something like “Og killed the animal, Blorg skinned it, Iggy built the fire, and my contribution to the feast is to come up with some rules about who gets how much.” And if he claimed this “job” just in his capacity as a peer, not as the tribal leader, I suppose he would have worked this little scam — easily, maybe — by way of guilt. “We aren’t worthy of this.” Eh…maybe not. Maybe the cavemen had to spend their fifteen hours a day hunting the wild boar, and so such thoughts wouldn’t take root back then like they do today.

But we do know if it didn’t happen then, it came along a little later, well before Karl Marx was born. “We’re not worthy!” — not in a Wayne’s World, genuflecting kind of way, but rather in more of a “false we” kind of way, in a “we means you it does not mean me” kind of way. “We” are a pox upon the planet, and so me & my friends get your stuff!

The false promise they hold for the rest of us, is the peace that is to come at the end of whatever mini-revolution they’re proposing to have at any given time. The Left cannot deliver us to any kind of Nirvana, and the rocking of the boat they want to do is always going to be the initial salvo in an extended and unnecessary era of turmoil, not the climactic engagement at the end of such an era that will unfold into a lasting calm. The logical reason for this has to do with this exclusion of themselves, from the “we.” They have to have some reason to stand on the pedestal. What is it about that caveman that entitles him to say this other caveman can only have so much meat, and some other caveman can have more? When they get elected to things, they can avoid this because they have a fake answer…but they don’t always win elections, and when they don’t, they want to keep imposing rules on the “we” that doesn’t include them.

And that’s when the real answer to the question rears its ugly head: They expect to have the final word on who gets how much, because…they simply haven’t ever bothered to expect anything else.

They are the inept caveman-hunter, who was never guided by reality to understand he needed to get better at hunting. This makes them think they are entitled to enjoy privileges. In a rougher, less forgiving environment, it is the opposite that is true. They are continually proposing and advocating for strange, new unproductive rules — so that they can avoid learning new things. That’s the point and that is how the rest of us should be treating these proposals. They are cries for help, from people who haven’t often had to significantly change their worldview, and they want to enjoy the luxury of humming along through the daily routine, receiving benefits and protection and privilege, again still without changing that worldview.

Which is exactly the caricature they draw for us of their opposition. The over-privileged aristocracy and middle-class who don’t want to change their worldview even when reality requires it.

Blame Duck

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

Seeing some progressively-inclined people coming up with some proposed moments of torch-passing, before which President Trump should be properly redirecting credit for any positive economic signs to his predecessor, and after which he truly owns the economy. It’s interesting that this is precisely what I saw these noble thinkers avoid doing during President Obama’s two terms in office — the hour grew quite late, and they were still blaming anything that went wrong on George W. Bush. But apart from being inconsistent, I find this to be rather insincere.

Whenever I burn off a few minutes on social media, where the feedback & criticism is instant in both directions, I find I seem to be coming up with a new catchphrase of sorts: “As always, if we’re going to argue about it, then let’s do it honestly.” And let’s. There is no set time period after which some torch is passed. It’s a year, it’s all eight years, or it’s a day, whatever it takes to make liberals look good — and it takes a lot. A good thing that happens in the final moments before two-term Trump is obliged to watch the swearing in of his successor, on January 20, 2025, should be credited to Barack Obama. That weird thing the Dow did last month, is to be blamed on Trump. And the various plunges it did throughout 2016 in Obama’s last year in office, are to be blamed on George W. Bush. Who saw the economy crash during his final year in office, of 2008…but if anything cheerful ever happened during that time, the credit for it would rightfully go to — Bill Clinton.

My point is, if we came up with some reasonable time interval to make the liberals happy, they’d just change it like a too-modern National Anthem singer changing pitch during one of the long notes, to make their side look good. Oh, it’s eight years. Oh no, it’s eight minutes. Because that makes our side look good…and we say so. Since we say so, you know we’ll never let it go, so give us what we want. Why even bother with the exercise?

I see Neo Neocon has put up something lately that addresses this directly, so I’m guessing she’s run into this experience as well.

Simply put, it is the assertion that economic effects are delayed in a very special fashion with Obama. Everything bad that happened to the economy during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency was Bush’s fault and was blamed on Bush, including the slowness of whatever recovery there was.. And everything good that might happen to the economy during Trump’s presidency is to Obama’s credit, not Trump’s.
Obama was the first president in my memory to blame his predecessor—pretty much incessantly—for what went wrong during his own tenure. It was actually one of the first things I ever noticed about Obama, back when he was campaigning in 2008, and it seemed unusual to me at the time, although now (unfortunately) we’ve gotten very used to it. In fact, I even coined a phrase for Obama back then: “the blame duck.”

Of course, anyone looking in from the outside, or grappling with this mindset for any length of time, can see what’s going on here even if the liberal can’t: The liberal doesn’t want to have to re-think anything, doesn’t want to admit he got something wrong. This is a useful metric for assessing maturity, figuring out when it’s missing: The recalcitrance against admitting mistakes, or that a re-think is necessary.

I should add, it’s useful although there are some problems with it. Some people, along the way to acquiring this maturity, use this as a litmus test. “You never admit you’re wrong because I’ve never seen you do it.” Some errant individuals go so far as to make mistakes on purpose…I think…at the very least, apply far less intellectual discipline to one challenge than they would apply to other challenges that have aroused a more sincere concern. So that they can make a big show of admitting they were wrong at a later time, thereby fulfilling the litmus test. Suffice to say that this is not how I think the metric should be applied. Those who apply robust, responsible thinking to whatever comes their way, if they do it right, should be called upon less and less often to admit they’ve made mistakes. People often forget, this is what we should expect to see. In fact, if the challenges aren’t meaningfully changing across time, you’d have to be some kind of idiot to not show some statistical improvement as you continue to deal with the same ones over & over again, right?

But, all that having been said. If you find yourself talking to someone who’s willing to stretch and twist and distort reality, move goalposts around, come up with “constant” time intervals that aren’t really constant in order to methodically sort out credit & blame just to avoid admitting he got it wrong about something or somebody — that’s when you know you’re talking to someone who should not make meaningful decisions that actually affect other people.

It is the Dullard’s Credo:

1. If I don’t see it, I don’t believe in it.
2. If I don’t believe in it, I don’t want to know about it.
3. If I’ve already made up my mind I don’t believe in it and I have to see it, that is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad!
4. If it’s funny but it makes me or my political compatriots look bad, it isn’t funny.
5. If it isn’t legitimately funny but it makes my political opponents look bad, you’d better laugh and laugh HARD or else you and I can’t be friends anymore.

It’s a failing I see more and more often in these times, and it’s not all on the liberal side of the fence I’m afraid. It does appear to have something to do with age. People, unacquainted with a particular issue and not previously exposed to the position statements available on either side of it, initially learn about it through one such position statement. Stating it more concisely: They learn about it for the very first time, through propaganda. If the propaganda stirs up emotions, and if it’s good propaganda it will…there is a bonding, and from that moment forward they won’t even make the slightest motion toward reconsidering. There’s no further indoctrination needed, they’re already in the Confirmation Bias feedback loop.

If I am accurate in my perception that something has changed here, and this emotional-attachment gutter-balling is much quicker and more efficient than it used to be as people willingly abnegate their critical-thinking faculties…this would have to mean propaganda, as a market commodity, is currently skyrocketing in value. Yesteryear it worked a fifth of the time, now it works three quarters of the time, that’s a meaningful increase in value.

I really don’t know where things go from here. But it can’t be good.

Perhaps it would be better for everyone if people went back to occasionally admitting their prior decisions were made without benefit of all the meaningful facts, and now that said meaningful facts have emerged, honestly re-evaluating. You know, learning. That stuff. That’s how people get smart and form opinions that are respectable. After the learning.