Friday, August 26, 2016

The Columbian Orator, audiobook edition

Normally I wait until I am fully complete with an audiobook before announcing it here, but I am handling this one a little differently.

For my next audiobook, I am not doing a solo read. It is a group project on Librivox instead. So if you are interested, feel free to join in and take a section. The book has over 80 sections, so most are not more than 1-3 pages long.

The Columbian Orator, first published in 1797, is a great book for anybody interested in the culture of early America. It contains speeches from Founders such as Franklin, Mason, and Washington; it has several British parliamentary speeches from Pitt, Fox, and others, and even earlier classical works, from well known Roman authors such as Cato and Cicero. Additionally, many sections of the book are deeply religious, in regards to topics like Christ's Crucifixion, David and Goliath, and the existence of God. Finally, there are sections of this book that contain back and forth discussions, which could afford two people the ability to have somewhat of a personal dialog together.(per the book text, of course)

In short, this is truely a great book and it will be a great audiobook when complete. If you have ever thought about considering recording an audiobook or want to give it a try, this is a good place to start.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Progressivism kills dolphins. So stop feeding the dolphins!

You ever see one of these signs? If you live in a warm-climate state near large bodies of water, you most likely have in one form or another. They're quite common. It is also common to see the official signs, which may look like this:

You know this is a discouragement of socialism, right? Now, I don't want to downplay the effect of wild animals who get hungry and lash out, and other maladies, such as getting stuck in a net or the effect of propeller blades.

But lets be serious here. Among other things this is a de-facto campaign against socialism and progressivism. It truely is. On the intro page, states this: "The billboard in the picture says it all. It’s illegal to feed wild dolphins. And it can cause a dolphin’s death." and then the very next line it says is "Dive deeper". OK!!! I will! Diving deeper beyond just simply "food handouts to dolphins", is there a system designed around handouts and dependence? Yes, there is such a system. There's quite a lot of such systems.

According to sarasotadolphin, as well as Don't Feed Wild Dolphins .org, "Dolphins are hunters, not beggars". Hey wait! Humans are hunters, not beggars! The website says: "when people offer them food, dolphins, like most animals, take the easy way out. They learn to beg for a living, lose their fear of humans, and do dangerous things."

Hmmmmmm......... when people offer them food, humans, like most animals, take the easy way out. They learn to beg for a living and do dangerous things.

On the website this phrase is used: "begging for a living". That phrase is the key. The website even states that when you practice dolphin socialism, the mother dolphins don't teach the baby dolphins how to be independent and hunt for their own food. In other words, they become wards of the state; they become permanent dependents on getting handouts. Among researchers, there is even a famous example: a dolphin named Beggar. According to National Geographic, "Beggar mostly stopped foraging on his own". Was Beggar killed by socialism? Slate has an interesting article about this, which states that "He was loved to death." Now isn't that exactly what the progressives claim? That the reason they get people hooked on handouts want to redistribute wealth, is because the progressives are so loving and caring? Are people also loved to death?

As history has proven, socialism kills. It even kills dolphins.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Does Japan have a living and breathing constitution?

Joe Biden made some interesting comments recently regarding the constitution of Japan and nuclear armaments. It's been widely reported, so I don't have much need to re-hash all of that.

Except for one thing: What is it about Japan's constitution that makes progressives believe that the Japanese constitution does not qualify as a living and breathing document?

I would really like to know the answer to that question.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

As police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt laid out his dreams for benevolent dictatorship

If this country could be ruled by a benevolent czar, we would doubtless make a good many changes for the better. - Theodore Roosevelt, 1897

In most of the puff piece biographies written about Theodore Roosevelt, one will read about the valiant days of TR as police chief, cleaning the joint up, and rooting out the bad guys. But is that really all that happened? Nothing more? Why is it that the full story is never told, rather, it has to be pieced together?

During his time as a police commissioner, TR was actually quite unpopular. There were many who dubbed him "King Roosevelt I"(source), with some newspapers even going so far as to coin a jingle based on the notion:

East Side, West Side, all around the town, yesterday went King Roosevelt I, ruler of New York and patron saint of dry Sundays.(source)

Now, it is true, that much of Roosevelt's unpopularity as "King Roosevelt I" was directly connected to his taking away people's drinks(source), but there was more, much more to this.

As an aside, wasn't prohibition one of the crowning achievements of progressivism? And didn't that involve big government taking away people's drinks? Interesting. But I digress.

Roosevelt had a longstanding proclivity toward "strong"(which he used as a euphemistic code word for roughshod, hurtful, bully government) government. In a letter to his sister Anna, TR wrote:

If I were ... a single-headed Commissioner, with absolute power (not to speak of his having an infinitely less difficult problem to solve), I could in a couple of years accomplish almost all I could desire; were I even the member of a three headed commission, like the Boston Police Department, with absolute power, I could have accomplished very much; but, as it is I am one of four commissioners, any of whom possess a veto power in promotions.(source)(source)(source)

Now really.... Who do you know who speaks this way besides 12 year olds and young college grads who are completely out of touch with reality?

It's no wonder then, we have all of these stories of how most of the republicans in New York were just waiting with bated breath to get rid of Roosevelt. The web page for the National Park Service contains a very interesting line in this regard:

In 1895, he resigned to take the post of Police Commissioner of New York City. With this new appointment he hoped to expand his ideas of reform into new areas. Just like the Civil Service Commission, Roosevelt wanted the Police Department appointments and promotions to be based on merit rather than patronage. He tirelessly hounded corrupt and incompetent policemen, often replacing them with men who had no connection to any political machine.

With all of his talk of benevolent czars and absolute power, and the fact that the NY GOP ejected him as fast as they could, I highly doubt that Roosevelt's time as commissioner was truely as clean as the wind driven snow as they make it seem with this line here. Particularly this line of him "tirelessly hounding" "incompetent policemen". As we have seen with Obama, people enthralled with absolute power such as this have bizarre definitions for "incompetence".

This certainly matches with his letter to his sister. His "tireless hounding" had a lot to do with getting rid of people that he, and only he alone, knew to be incompetent. It is likely that there were some true incompetents. Others, however, were probably no more than simply of a different ideological persuasion than he.

Between that, and his anti-saloon campaign, Roosevelt ended up losing his job as commissioner - a job that was revoked by republicans.(source) All the reform work Roosevelt had attempted to do was for naught.

It is interesting to note, that one of Roosevelt's last acts as Governor, was to unify the job of Police Commissioner under a single head starting in 1901. This is very, very indicative of how deep his progressive ideology ran, even at that time. He wouldn't even be the one sitting in the top chair, as he had dreamed of years prior. But that power - it had to be centralized. He couldn't let it go.

Centralization for centralization's purpose. That's progressivism.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Understanding the non-marxist left

In 2008 Daniel J. Flynn published A Conservative History of the American Left, which he ends chapter 8 this way:
Despite his loyal namesake's best efforts, Henry George is not imagined as a Christ-like figure by contemporary leftists. This is because, overwhelmed by Marxism, few contemporary leftists remember their non-marxist forebears. But George's contemporaries certainly did. He flashed, burned white hot, and was gone. In a fit of overly generous praise, which ages poorly, philosopher John Dewey held: "It would require less than the fingers of the two hand to enumerate those who, from Plato down, rank with Henry George among the world's social philosophers." Though very few leftists today concur with Dewey's assessment, its worth noting that quite a few leftists yesterday heartily agreed.

After blogging about the history of progressivism for going on 6 years now, I am starting to believe that this is a huge weakness among conservatives, perhaps the biggest of all. Far too many people believe that all leftism falls within the socialist/marxian sphere, and because people (some of whom, I believe, are in flat-out refusal) don't look beyond that sphere, it leaves us wide open to attacks from people who would be relatively easy to defeat otherwise.

This goes back to what I believe is my mission statement, and has been my mission statement since November 2010:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle - Sun Tzu (Art of War, Chapter 3)

That quote is on the right hand side of my blog, and it will never ever change. It perfectly encompasses the reason for the existence of this.

If you are a conservative and you are in refusal to even consider the non-marxist left, you will succumb in every battle. And you have been. I see it all the time, I hear it all the time - in other blogs, on TV, radio, and elsewhere. There is a definite feeling no matter where you turn that conservatives take two, if not three steps backward for every one step forward. Then people scratch their heads "how did we get here?"

You gotta know your enemy. All of them. Not just the socialists and the communists. And just so it is said, this isn't me practicing a little finger wagging. I put myself into this. I have been reading the works of the non-socialist progressives for years now, and I still, STILL do not believe I know enough about progressives like Wilson or Theodore Roosevelt and all the rest. But at least I am trying to know them and their statist beliefs. All houses worth living in are built on strong, rock solid foundations. Progressivism has a weak foundation(if it were ever attacked; the foundation of progressivism is strong enough to resist basic erosion), but because nobody dares look progressivism in the face and challenge it, that foundation stands the test of time - at least the last 100 years - it's stood so far. It will likely keep standing until we attack it.

We have a long way to go to eliminating progressivism, and in just about every instance, we haven't even begun to fight. That fight begins, and can only begin, with an understanding of the non-marxist left. The old left. A lot of people will talk about the new left, the 60's generation and beyond, but what about the old left? I mean before FDR's time.

Why do so many let them off the hook, when they don't deserve to be let off the hook? They are guilty.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Margaret Sanger's father was an ardent Georgist

Everywhere you look in early progressivism, the influence of Henry George and his ideals as espoused in the book Progress and Poverty can be found.

So when doing some digging around this morning, I was surprised to learn that Sanger's father Michael was ardently in favor of George's ideas. My surprise was only in the individual,(my reaction was more like "Oh wow - now, that figures. It makes perfect sense.") for in the aggregate it is impossible to have progressive ideology without Henry George.

The Higgins family was so impacted by the work of George that one of Margaret's brothers was named Henry George McGlynn Higgins. This is just as significant for what you do see - as what you don't see. Henry George McGlynn Higgins, is named both after Henry George himself, and also a well known(I would say notorious) at the time Georgist priest in New York, Edward McGlynn.

In Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion, the following is written: (page 18)

Similarly intolerable to most of Corning was Michael Higgins's support of Henry George's radical solution to the inequitable distribution of wealth in America. George proposed a single tax for landowners on the unimproved value of land. In a home with few books, George's exposition of this idea in Progress and Poverty - Published in 1879, the year of Maggie Higgins's birth - held an important place in a small family library that included the Bible, Aesop's Fables, Gulliver's Travels, Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh, and Michael's medical books on physiology.

Indeed, here is what Margaret Sanger herself had to say about her brother, who passed away at the young age of four: (Autobiography, page 29)

Henry George McGlynn Higgins had been named for two of the rebel figures father most admired.

Henry George strikes again. Henry George is to progressive ideology what Karl Marx is to communist ideology.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Will Barack Obama be a dangerous post-president?

The closer and closer we get to the election, the more I see people harping on the theme "there's only x many days left until the election", "I can't wait until Obama isn't president anymore", "this error is almost over"........


Do you seriously expect Obama to go away quietly into the night just because his term is over? Because if that's what you think? I honestly wonder if you've not learned anything over the last 8 years.

This guy isn't going anywhere. Yes, he won't be president anymore. But you aren't rid of him. The nightmare isn't over, it's only just begun. Obama is going to be a very active, very oppressive post-president. So you can stop counting the days now. That's a waste of time and a false harbinger of hope.

You think Jimmy Carter has been an active post-president? As they say: "You ain't seen nuthin yet."