RANDOM READINGS, OF INTEREST

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It’s funny how you can be reading something not directly related to a current topic, and find something which is absolutely relevant to said topic.

Cases in point:

I’ve pointed out in this space in the past my belief that political identity and tribal politics are curses of our time. Last week I read Thomas E. Ricks’ new book “First Principles: What America’s Founders learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country.” Ricks quotes Lord Bolingbroke: “We must not imagine that the freedom of the Romans was lost, because one party fought for the maintenance of liberty; another for the establishment of tyranny; and that the latter prevailed. No. The spirit of liberty was dead, and the spirit of faction had taken its place on both sides.”

Today, as our newly elected President agrees that the US needs to heal its political divide, we have seen the news media shape elections and public opinion as never before. Think CNN versus Fox News.   Ricks quotes historian Jill Lepore: “The American two-party system, the nation’s enduring source of political stability, was forged in – and, fair to say, created by – the nation’s newspapers. Newspapers had shaped the ratification debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and by 1791 newspapers were already beginning to shape the first party system, a contest between Federalists and those who aligned themselves with a newly emerging opposition.”

A bit of déjà vu, perhaps?

The prohibitionists want to ban us from owning AR15 rifles and eighteen-shot Glock pistols. They tell us we don’t need them for self-defense, and that if there’s trouble, we should just call the police…who will of course arrive with AR15s and Glock pistols or equivalent…and will probably not get there in time.

That very topic is addressed in a good book I’ve been re-reading lately, Chris McNab’s “Deadly Force”: From the Wild West to the Streets of Today.” McNab wrote,  “…what the Second Amendment implied was that the state and federal law enforcement agencies would be committed to police a justifiably armed society, meaning, in practical terms, that there was essentially a federally sanctioned equivalence of firepower between the civilian and the officer. Moreover, this equivalence was, and is, for many a matter of moral equivalence between the civilian and the police, as the twice governor of Virginia and passionate defender of civil rights, Patrick Henry (1736-99) argued vociferously: ‘Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?’”

Not much new under the sun, is there?

18 COMMENTS

  1. No, Mass, there isn’t. However, it is difficult to unify with an administdration who’s “leader”, with the strok of a pin take’s your job away from you,puts your children in mixed showers,opens the boarders of your country to anyone who wants to walk across(be they refuges, drug trafficers,or terrorist), and ensures that your taxes will almost double with a several trillion dollor “stimulas” package. This is all in the first week, only God knows what else is coming.

  2. Politics is downstream from culture. Our politics has become toxic because much of our culture has devolved away from that of our founders. Both John Adams and George Washington said that our Constitution is suitable to the governance of a moral and religious people, and is totally inadequate for the governance of any other kind. If people will not control themselves out of a fear of God, they will need to be made to fear the government or chaos will reign. This divide is largely regional between red and blue states. We have become two separate cultures with a common history, and that trend seems to be accelerating. There may be political solutions, but our primary focus should be on preserving the culture of the red states and keeping them from turning purple.

  3. No, not much new under the sun, that’s for sure. What would be new, and welcome, is a solution. Realistically, what can be done to reverse, or at least slow, the decline? Yes, I know that every system (or organism) degrades over time, but I don’t want to stand by and watch. And although I am prepared to defend as necessary, I would much rather live peaceably.

  4. American civilians should have access to and use any defense tools which law enforcement (also civilians) are allowed to have. Military weapons such as land mines, cruise missiles, torpedoes, and nukes should only be used by the U.S. government.

  5. There is a well known saying that goes as follows: “Power corrupts: absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Most people know this saying and I think most people would accept it as an aphorism. In other words, most people would accept it as being true. By the way, this saying is generally attributed to a British politician, Lord Acton (1834-1902).

    I, also, used to accept the above saying as truth. In thinking about this saying, however, I have gradually come to see it as false. Not just because a politician thought it up (which, indeed, is reason to suspect error 🙂 ) but because it is a prime example of “Left-Wing Thinking”.

    As I have noted before, Left-Wing ideology is based upon the false idea that humanity is inherently good, and the evils of the World are caused by external social forces that twist mankind’s good nature toward evil. Any example of left-wing thinking, therefore, tends toward error. The above saying is a prime example. It postulates that a person is good until placed into a position of power. Once in power, then an external social force (political power) will twist the original good person into doing evil. This is all “wrong thinking”.

    No, the true situation is as follows: Throughout human history, there have always been people who decide that working for a living, by good honest labor, is stupid. This class of people have always believed that the smart person will instead make his living by exploiting his fellow human beings. We generally classify this subset of humanity as “criminals”.

    Now, the lower-class criminal (with low exploitative skills and low intelligence) must be satisfied to commit simple crimes. He or she must generally be satisfied with robbing or otherwise exploiting people on an individual basis. However, your higher-class criminal will think up ways to exploit larger and larger groups of people. Clearly, if you are one of the criminal class, then the more people you can exploit, then the better livelihood you will achieve. Your truly World-Class criminal will exploit people on the National or, even, international level. He or she will exploit millions of people so as to rake in millions, or even billions, of dollars.

    Political power attracts high-class criminals like a flame attracts moths. Political power offers a ready path to exploit your fellow human beings. So, it is not a case (at all) of political power corrupting a good person and turning them bad. Say, rather, that criminals are drawn to political power which then gives them additional scope to perform their acts of evil exploitation.

    Therefore, it follows that any powerful central government will, eventually, be ruled by criminals.

    The Founding Fathers were aware of this tendency of government to attract criminal exploiters. So, they did everything in their power to prevent the Federal Government from being subverted by criminals. They set up a system of divided government with numerous checks and balances. They set up the State Governments to operate independently from the Federal Government. They established a Bill of Rights to help prevent criminal exploitation of the People.

    This system was largely successful for decades. Criminals still managed to penetrate the Government, but they were limited in the harm that they could cause because Government Power, itself, was limited. Unfortunately, for the last Century, a multi-generational group of criminals (using the cloak of left-wing ideology) have penetrated the Federal Government and have gradually corrupted the Federal Government so as to break-down the Constitutional protections installed by the Founding Fathers.

    This has required a mighty effort. The criminals have had to corrupt all three branches of the Federal Government, the Federal Bureaucracy, the news media, and the Education System in all 50 States. However, their reward has been to re-create the Federal Government into a tool specifically designed to exploit the American People. As this transformation took place, the smarter criminals have flocked to secure positions inside the Government so that the whole system is now one, huge criminal enterprise. Indeed, if the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statutes were to be applied fairly, the largest RICO case in the History of the United States would be against the Federal Government of the United States!

    What does this have to do with the current topic of this blog? Just this, the Federal Government has been taken over by criminal exploiters. The protections to prevent this type of failure have been broken and corrupted by the internal criminals. The damage is so extensive that it is hard to see how a reform Administration could ever fix it. President Trump tried but he was not able to institute the broadscale reforms that are needed. It has reached a point where it will take a major effort by the American People to reform the system and to restore the “First Principles” upon which the Founding Fathers built this Republic.

    Unfortunately, the criminals who have twisted our system of Government have also corrupted the media and education systems. This allows them to use propaganda and indoctrination to misinform the American People and to keep them divided. Therefore, even getting the American People to understand the level of corruption in our Government and the urgent need for broadscale reforms is almost impossible. So many of the American People have, themselves, been brainwashed into accepting the criminal exploiters as legitimate.

    The exploitation of these criminals will gradually impoverish this country. Perhaps, when things become bad enough, the American People will wake up and then unite to suppress the criminals who have seized control of our Government. Until then, as I noted in a previous blog comment, the exploitation, the criminal harvest, and robbery of the American People, will continue unabated.

    Lord Acton should have said: “Power attracts criminals: Absolute Power attracts the absolutely worst of criminals.”

    • TN_MAN,

      What you write is true. Give political power to an angel, Job, the Apostle Paul or George Washington and they will not be corrupted by it.

      The foundation of our Republic is WE THE PEOPLE. If the people become dumbed down, and do a bad job of voting, the Republic will suffer.

      Today on the TV news I saw a young father begging his childrens’ teachers’ union to open up the school. In my opinion, he is a fool and a child abuser. Good parents homeschool their children. Sending your children to government schools is child abuse. I’m sorry if I am offending people, and I know it is easy for me to write this platitude. Educating children yourself is difficult and expensive when 66% of your property taxes support the public schools anyway.

      I know homeschooling would be difficult for many. DO IT ANYWAY!!! Americans could be collapsing the government school system at this time, instead they are begging for their children to be propagandized. These losers don’t deserve liberty under law.

  6. Rabid political factionalism reflects a destructively insane conflict mentality. The traditional Judeo-Christian values of forgiveness and honesty are central to our historically prosperous American culture. The Greek and Roman city-states were disposed to pursue prosperity and tranquility at least internally, but their strength was often diminished by vengeful criminal leadership, and wars. Quality of life in our Constitutional republican democracy depends on trustworthy, sane leaders who are competent in economics, and support individual and family self-preservation. Criminal hypocrisy from gangs of plundering “high” officials of doubtful scientific competence is killing us. Let the crooks confess their crimes and resign.

  7. “Today, as our newly elected President agrees that the US needs to heal its political divide,”

    He started his speech that way but couldn’t finish it without saying numerous divisive things. Then he went back to his office and signed 37 divisive Executive Orders.

    It’s more like “I’m here and you’re not, so I’m doing all the stuff that my faction wants”.

  8. I think it’s fair to say most learn from history and history repeats itself. Is it true that 47% like the direction our country is headed and 47% do not like the direction we’re headed and 6% don’t care? Is this really where we’re at? Where honest, hard working Americans start believing their voice/vote is meaningless? That there is nowhere to run? Defund law enforcement? Release violent criminals back into society to make room for hard working citizens that want to go to work at their small businesses? To love a president that apologizes for American arrogance but hate a president for putting America first? Our elected leaders always have a finger to point at who’s to blame. In fact, our leaders spend hundreds of millions of our tax dollars blaming and deflecting blame on each other. We know our history, but we do not learn from it. God help us find our way. But in the meantime…….hope for the best, prepare for the worst. God Bless America!

  9. If Wikipedia correctly portrays Mass’s age, I am his senior by a scant 90 days, which means having lived through the 1968 riots that attended the Democratic National Convention of that year. I happened to grow up in City of Chicago and was a college student, home for the summer, at that time. So, what occurred then was been deeply imbedded in my memory and it didn’t take much prodding to see parallels to recent events.

    In the wake of what transpired, Elmer Keith’s “Gun Notes” from October, 1969, presciently proclaimed the following: “The Communist doctrine is to create dissension in a county, disarm it, create all possible racial trouble, and register all firearms. We have been playing right down their alley for many years. It’s high time Americans did a bit of thinking on their own, if they wish this country to continue as a free nation. The Constitution of the United States gives them this right and they should exercise it to the fullest extent. Any man who advocates the disarmament of the citizenry of this country by registration of arms, or overly restrictive gun laws as a presently before Congress, is either a fool, a communist, or one with a guilty conscience who is afraid of getting his just dessert. Assassination and murder have been with the human are since the beginning of time and will continue to be with us as long as life exists on the planet. It existed long before firearms were invented, and would continue were they totally eliminated. Emphasis should be place on punishment for the crime committed, not on the weapon used.”

    • What, you’re older than Mas? That’s really ancient! How did you get away from those hungry dinosaurs? Sorry, Mas. 🙂

  10. This “Constitutional Republic” has always been corrupt in denying the people their inalienable rights. No piece of paper protects your rights or even stops a bullet.Under the Sedition Act of 1798, you would have been put in prison for two years for opposing the government. Stalin took a page from his playbook by imprisoning publishers.

    𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙐𝙎 𝙞𝙨 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙧𝙚𝙥𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙘 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙮, 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝘾𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙖, 𝘾𝙪𝙗𝙖, 𝙄𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙖, 𝙄𝙧𝙖𝙣, 𝙑𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙯𝙪𝙚𝙡𝙖, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙑𝙞𝙚𝙩𝙣𝙖𝙢. 𝓣Ř𝓤ᗰᑭ is a victim of 𝓥𝓞𝓣𝓔𝓡 𝓕𝓡𝓐𝓤𝓓.

    This, sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility—and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.

    Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty?

    I am no fan of conspiracy theory, BUT: Suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the public good, and as long as it stays within proper bounds. … Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.

    • Friend John Lloyd Scharf, the idea that all humans are inherently “good” can of course be considered a “leftist” principle, as friend TN_MAN has often explained. Moral imperfection at birth via original sin is a contrasting, Judeo-Christian teaching. One has a confirmed Christian friend who once remarked: “Show me one ‘good’ man.” Only one name served, one who did offer himself in sacrifice. He went beyond just “good enough.” Fortunately, such perfection is not always necessary. For example, some say that no perfect circle exists. Yet the imperfection-supportive, transcendental irrationality of “pi” seems far from precluding the use of decision-problematic pi when drawing circles. Possibly the same goes for using “e” in voting system counts. Our Constitution is similarly good enough to help preserve our Liberty, if We the People are “good to go.”

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