Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Plague of Ignorance, Apathy and Ancient Evils.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my 67 years dealing in the private, public and government sector it's that individuals with strong leftwing political opinions tend to be pretty thin skinned when it comes to what is to actually be deemed "left" or "right".  The more thin skinned they are the more profoundly ignorant of the subject they are found to be.

This failure of reason and logical thinking is most easily exposed by daring to posit that fascism is the intellectual child of the left.  Bring this subject up and you will soon see how the "open-minded" and "tolerant" leftist is more close minded and intolerant than any conservative I've ever met.  Such a contention is met with utter contempt at best, accusations of stupidity or attempting to manipulate any discussion at worst.  For the contemporary left this is a closed subject and even the discussion is strictly forbidden.  It's even worse in circumstance than questioning Al Gore and his global warming consensus. (I wonder how those folks in New England and the upper mid-west enjoyed the first day of spring from under that freshly fallen blanket of snow.)

Never mind that the so-called idea that fascism was a rightwing ideology had its origins with Joseph Stalin who regarded anything not in conformance with Soviet style international socialism as extreme rightwing.  These leftists have had this idea pounded into their heads in college by various professors who no doubt came from the same "this is axiomatic, no discussion is necessary" (or allowed) perspective.  The question that many of these same professors were/are dedicated leftists doesn't seem to have entered or affected the thought process of these so-called graduates.  In short they have been taught what to think not how to think, particularly as to the subject of the origins of fascism.

This highly singular and as we shall see dangerously erroneous position places profound limitations on the development of political thought moving forward.  I would compare it to dropping anchor and then putting a ship’s engines in all ahead full, then looking over the stern and confusing the turbulence created by the props for forward motion.  They may look over the bow and fixate on the horizon of some "perfected state" but they never look down to see that there is no bow wave being formed.

And yet it doesn't take a very deep examination or comparison between the propagandist rhetoric of today's leftist and that of 1930's Nazi Germany to find shocking similarities.  The evidence exists but like with so many other things they are convinced that by simply refusing to acknowledge its existence it magically disappears.

How frequently have we heard the argument that the constructions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are "antiquated" or out dated or somehow not consistent with modern society? How different is this really from "the constitutional reality of the Third Reich cannot be mastered  with the aid of juridical thought patterns of  the  past."?1  The left has created a political thought process whose only discernible foundation is that the Constitution must be seen as a "living" document whose interpretations are only defined by the exigencies of the moment or whatever is currently deemed "politically correct." How different is this sophistry from that of the Nazi's'; "nor is it admissible to determine National Socialism's political theory by drawing inferences from its system of thought."2  How different is the left’s desire to use the electoral process to move the United States in the direction what they envision as European socialism from the Nazi's self characterization of the F├╝herstaat as "the most ennobled form of a modern European Democracy."?3

The contemporary leftist will tell us that the concepts of individual liberty (defined as freedom from government interference in daily life), self-initiative and moreover personal responsibility for our actions and circumstances are out dated or incomplete.  It is no longer enough to have a system of government and rights that guarantees what the government can't do to the people and their freedoms we must have a government that guarantees what it will and must do for us.  Never mind that historically under such systems "do for us" soon devolves into "do to us".  "No one among us lives for himself, each of us lives only for the people.  No one lives for his own happiness, each lives only for the happiness of the community. No one among us can say as he may have done before: 'My happiness lies in my home, in my business, in my profession.' No -- we live beyond space and time in the millennial destiny of the people.....we have built our happiness in the fortress of socialist life."4  Sounds like something lifted right out of the pages of Pravda or Izvestia right?  Guess again then see note 4 below.

It would be mistake to think that this is simply a resurgence of the Hegelian concept of primacy of the rights of the state over the rights of the individual. Nothing could be further from the truth. The theme of the 1934 Nazi national party congress was "We Command the State!"  Under this doctrine the party and its functionaries (in spite of claims to the contrary) regularly interfered with the conduct of long existing administrative functions, doing so under the rubric of "the will of the leader".  The Party became the State.  How different then is this from Attorney General Holder saying that it's his job to decide which laws are to be enforced and which ones are not, or telling sovereign states that they have no right to protect themselves from a flood of aliens coming across their own borders with a foreign state, using their own duly passed legislation?  According to the Nazi's themselves it was "not the proper function of the administrative courts to act as arbiters in controversies between local government and supervisory departments."5

What most would be students of government and politics (both left and right) either forget or simply were never taught was that the Nazi's formed their government and continually ruled on a basis of the need of addressing a "national emergency".

At some point in the not to distant future we are all going to have to come to grips with a very significant question.   Do we want to live in a country where the final authority of the Federal government is based in law and the consent of the governed or in one where it is based in the will of those who are in "command of the state"?  Look around you at our increasingly militarized police, aggressive "pat downs" at the airport, unmanned drones in our skis and a DHS that is stockpiling enough hollow point ammunition for a thirty years war and then arrogantly refusing to answer questions about those purchases from members of Congress.  DHS is issuing mine resistant armored vehicles (MRAVs) developed in dealing with the insurgency in Iraq to local police departments.  Just who is it these "Federalized" local police envision themselves going to war with?  Look at these things in joint context and then tell us how we don't have a government operating on the basis of "national emergency".

When Senators like Chuck Shumer or John McCain tell you that none of your rights as defined in the Constitution are absolute you had best take them seriously, because what they have envisioned is an Orwellian nightmare of "All pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others."  He is not unlike the chuckling Dr Goebbels; "we were not legal in order to be legal, but in order to rise to power.  We rose to power legally in order to gain the possibility of acting illegally."6

James Madison in Federalist #51 said that "If men were angels there would be no need for government."7  Men are not angels so Madison and the other founders insured our right to protect ourselves from government, its agents and even the officials we elect.  Therein lay the fundamental difference between the right and the left. We don't believe in Heaven on Earth. The left thinks they can make heaven on earth if only they have the power to do so, and our individual right stand in their way.  

Not to be deliberately repetitive but George Santayana famous quotation is often truncated and its full meaning lost or distorted. Taken in full it is far more profound, especially in regards to to what I have shown above.

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness.  When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence.   This is the condition of children and barbarians in which instinct has learned nothing from experience."

 Fascism in one form or another has been with us for a very long time just as has the idea of government.  Whether it started with the ancient kings of Babylon and Persia that demanded their subjects worship them as gods, or in the divine right of kings, who is to say.  History is full of manifestations of evil From the Aztecs slaughter on the alters of human sacrifice to Pol  Pot's killing fields of Cambodia evil has existed in the hearts of men who have always, who will always claim they are doing what is in "our best interest".

Our contemporary leftists may indeed be far more sophisticated than the fascists of the past, but they are fascists none the less. They may dress themselves up in cloaks of erudition and claims of superior intellect and wanting what (only they are allowed to define) is "best for us".  But beneath those cloaks lay the same same ambition, lust for power and willingness to sacrifice the rights and lives of the people for their own accumulation of power and wealth that were not just the hallmarks of the fascists of the 30's and 40's but have plagued mankind since the dawn of time.

1.   Reuss Juristische Wochenschrift, vol. 64 page 2314, 1935.
2.  Hans Schnidt-Leonhardt, Deutsches Recht, (central organ of the Association of National Socialist Jurists), vol. 5, page 340, 1935
3. Joseph Goebbels, Hamburger Fremdenblatt, no. 78, March 20 1934
4. Reichs Minister Hans Frank (later governor of occupied Poland), Mitteilungblatt des Bundes National-Sozialistischer Deutscher Juristen und des Reichsrechtsamts derNSDAP, no. 1, page 9, 1935 
5.  Theodor Manuz, Deutches Recht, vol.5, page 479, 1935
6.  Deutsche allgemeine Zeitung, nos. 549-550, Nov. 25, 1934
7. Authors note. I had previously missatributed this quote to John Adams and it has been corrected.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Time to Take the Gloves Off

I tried to exercise a bit of diplomacy in the previous post concerning my local newspaper. I didn't name names or even say what city was involved. I had even gone to the trouble of writing to the editor of the editorial pages and asked him if he would look into the situation. Well perhaps I should have know better but at least I tried to appeal to their "better angels" as it were. I was willing to look aside from the fact that I am dealing with hidebound ideological liberals for the moment and see if they retained even a modicum of human decency. Needless to say such exploration proved fruitless.

Having failed to receive any response to my inquiry, not even an acknowledgment or a polite or impolite "buzz off," I simply secured a new on screen identity and proceeded to comment again on the LTTE pages. After only three posts my comments were at first diverted to the "Awaiting moderation" pile where they would of course never see the light of day,. This was quickly followed by another banning.  There were no violations of their sacred rules, it was simply a question of who I was not what I said.

Well then the time has come to address directly on these pages both The Charlotte Observer and one Taylor Batten, the editor of the Editorial Page. Apparently you both as an institution and as an individual have become shining examples of what is both wrong and deeply troubling with the American press. You have abandoned any principles of objectivity and dedication to the truth that you were supposed to have been taught in journalism school and replaced them with a hidebound ideological perspective and a hands off attitude toward financial corruption that bears no tolerance for any conflicting opinion except as a varnish and a badly worn one at that.

The press in this country used to stand for something. Sadly that is no longer true. Winston Churchill once said that "A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny." Voltaire was famous for his quote "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  Somehow I don't think these words can be found inscribed on the walls of The Charlotte Observer or in the hearts of Mr. Bratten and his staff.  By the absence of such a moral and right philosophy as a guide to their works they have become, again both institutionally and personally, the enemies of everything those words and the First Amendment stand for.

This is what happens to people and the institutions they operate when they loose any sense of duty to moral or Constitutional principle or anything above or beyond personal political ideology or perspective They have not simply perverted any history they may have been taught or Christian moral guidance they may have once had, they have completely abandoned it.

While it could be argued that newspapers have always had their prejudices and political perspectives, but these are different times in that where there was a time when if you did not like the position of a particular newspaper you could step to the other side of the news stand and pick up another one.  Only within the confines of major metropolitan centers do we still have that luxury.  In Charlotte we don't.  All the more reason they should remain above the fray, remain impartial and objective "observers."  This does not mean that they are not entitled to opinions of their own or the right to express them but it does mean they have an obligation to provide at least the appearance of presenting balanced perspective.  It does not give them the right to actively suppress contrary opinion, even if they can do so in secret and beyond the eyes of the public.

I'd ask if Mr Bratten has any sense of shame but apparently he does not.  Given how quickly this latest banning incident occurred I suspect he is possessed of more than just a bit of hypocrisy and vindictiveness as well.  After all this is a man who has published editorials endorsing placing restriction on "the peoples right to keep and bear arms" so as to protect themselves in their homes and against crime and the tyranny of government and yet drives home to a gated community with armed guards every evening.  After all why should he dirty his hands with a firearm when he can pay someone else to do it for him.  He doesn't have to worry about home invasions or criminals wandering the streets outside of his house so why would anyone else.

I would guess that Mr Bratten is one of those individuals who feels secure and righteous in his opinion because after all he doesn't know or associate with anyone who disagrees with it.  Like so many of the rest of the would be elite, the likes of Mr. Bratten have placed themselves above the rest of society and by doing so have convinced themselves that like  George Orwell's pigs they are "more equal than others." Not living in the real world and experiencing its day to day struggles have produced an insular and arrogant attitude as regards the rest of us simple folks.  Unless of course we agree with them.  Get a clue Mr. Bratten we don't and there are a lot more of us than you would like.

As the global financial crisis deepens and leads to inevitable breaking point there are a vast number of folks out there who will angrily ask; "Why didn't anyone tell us this was happening?"  And then they are going to start  looking around for those whose responsibility it was to keep them better informed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cyprus, Denial, Entrenched Liberalism and Personal Animosity

This post was going to be a follow up to the previous one concerning the Commerce Department's expressed desire to "help" regulate personal 401K and IRA accounts and how it was but a shadow of what the kleptocrats are proposing to do to Cypriot bank depositors. As often happens we sometimes find ourselves on different if not unexpected tangents.  In this case the raving lunacy and cognitive dissonance of leftists.
One of Our Usual Suspects

Late Friday evening I posted the following in my local newspaper's Letters to the Editor section.

"So dear editors, why no story about the latest bail-out in the Euro zone?  Come on you must have some take/comment on the forced expropriating of nearly 10% of every saving account in Cyprus. 

Are you really comfortable with a bunch of political and banking elites conducting such a blatant daylight bank robbery?  (Please don't tell us this is "just Europe" and it can't happen here.)  Can you possible begin to grasp that this is a test balloon for even more naked thefts anytime Greece or Italy or Spain needs another round of freshly printed cash?  (Well maybe not Greece as they have no money whatsoever  left to expropriate.)

Can you maybe see that this just might even be connected to the announcement a couple of weeks ago that our beloved beneficent Federal government wants to get involved in "managing" our 401K and IRA accounts?
So when is the 4th estate going to return to its traditional role of being the watch dog looking out for government and institutional corruption?  Or are you so imbedded in a political agenda and blind loyalty to the local banking community that you will just sweep this under the rug and hope it goes away?

Don't worry were not going to hold our breath waiting for an honest answer, or any answer for that matter   I'll just be counting the minutes until this post disappears down the memory hole."

Surprisingly  it was nearly 24 hours before the gaping maw of "This Comment was deleted" opened and it disappeared along with several follow ups.  Had there not been numerous replies by that time it would have simply disappeared without even that trace of it existence.

What was not surprising was the viciousness and blatant hypocrisy of much of the resident leftist that regularly appear on that particular board.  I refer to them as "the usual suspects," they don't seem to like it.  But that aside it is the usual position of most of thes individuals to regularly condemn the "evils" of Wall Street and banking institutions.  So here was a conservative making a condemnation of unelected bureaucrats and bankers and they just couldn't help themselves.  Whatever tenuous commonality of interest my position may have represented was of no import to the hidebound ideological leftist mind.  I was to be attacked because I am a know conservative even if that meant coming to the defense of bankers expropriating private property without any legal foundation.

I quickly pointed out that this position was both strangely contrary to their previous positions regarding banks but that it was completely in accordance with their underlying corporatist, liberal fascism.  Rage, cognitive dissonance and hilarity soon ensued. The responses varied from that it didn't matter because Cyprus is a small place and very far away to that of saying that they (the banks) were just doing what needed to be done.  My question to them then became "So you're saying it's ok to expropriate private property without legal authority provided those being stolen from are small in number, inconsequential or unable to effectively fight back, just so long as it needs to be done'."  I then suggested that maybe then the Congress should just expropriate the bank accounts in Rhode Island or Delaware, their small, inconsequential and far away.  Or maybe our city council should solve its budgetary problems by seizing the accounts of all the residents of a particularity wealthy neighborhood, there's not that many of them, and they aren't necessarily equiped to fight back.  These ideas were met with silence.  Knowing deeply in their corrupt little liberal hearts they would love to do exactly that I then further suggested that better yet let's seize the bank accounts of all the Jews.  Again there's not that many of them and they certainly can "afford it."

What ever you do don't point out their continuity of thought with these guys.

Unveiling their inner fascist hearts really unleashed the vitriol and personal attacks, as was to be expected particularly as this conversation was a follow on to my bring to their attention former Supreme Court Justice Souter's comments that the greatest threat to the Republic comes not from foreign invasion or military coup but from widespread and blatant ignorance of civics and how law function and the absence of teaching history as the foundation to current events. and the critical interplay between the two.

Needless to say this was too much for both my 'Usual suspects" and apparently the powers that be at our local newspaper as I soon found myself on the "you do not have permission to post" list......again. 

So then don't ever expect a leftist to be able to grasp the fundamental difference between industrial capitalism and financial manipulation.  Neither expect them to accept the fact that history plays a crucial role in the unfolding of current events  In short they are children who never grew up.

When confronting them with George Santayana famous admonition you can expect their reaction to to be either a blank stare of incomprehension or rage for daring to point out their immaturity such as is demonstrated by they bullying I noted above.  Particularly so if you use the entire quotation; "Progress far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness.  When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence.   This is the condition of children and barbarians in which instinct has learned nothing from experience." 

I've already decided that my next screen name at the paper will be "Itching Powder" it is so much fun getting under their skin.