Tag Archives: culture

Thanks, Reilly

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In this time of partisan politics and societal narcissism, we, as a people – both individually and as a society – often forget the underlying idea behind e pluribus unum, “out of many, one,” our national motto. It is based in a notion that many individuals can come together to form a society – a free, civilized society, where each individual not only executes self-reliance and individual responsibility, but a level of benevolence and compassion that produces the feeling of a unique identity; of national “family.” But these modern times betray our roots, in action, thought and deed, making us (or many of us anyway) unworthy of the motto itself.

From the Baby Boomer “Me Generation” to the “Gen X-ers,” “Millenials” and “New Silent Generation,” each has been instilled with not only a unearned and falsely elevated sense of self-worth, but an entitled and self-centered sense of being that has led us away from e pluribus unum; away from the benevolence of brotherhood; away from the compassion that creates a truly civilized society. This has come to pass through the manipulation of our people by political opportunists and the elitism of the Progressive Movement.

I could delve into the minutia of the groups that have foisted this malady upon our nation, but that is not the focus of this article. Identifying these culprits as the source of the cancer does not serve to cure the cancer. But it does allow us to see how the cancer spreads. It spreads through the vicious concept of “divide and conquer.” Those who thirst for power instead of righteous service to the nation serve their lust by dividing our people to stand against ourselves. They pit labeled group against labeled group, fomenting resentment, envy, fear and even hated for our fellow man, simply so create a larger sub-group than their competitors, and simply to attain power and the ill-gotten riches that tearing apart a peoples affords.

Truth be told, the overwhelming number of Americans want and strive for the same things: a house (so it can become a home), comfort (so they can achieve safety), a meaningful and un-manipulated education for our children (so they can embrace the opportunities before them) and freedom to associate (family and friends). Yes, there are other aspects of agreement amongst the great majority of Americans, but these serve to make my point. We as Americans have more in common that we do in difference. It is the power seekers and the special interest Progressives who seek to pit us against one another; who quest to divide us to crisis so that they can provide the next “final solution.”

We, as a people, have lost our way. We have forgotten what it is to be truly benevolent, to be truly kind and caring. We have been conditioned to seek victimhood over a call to sacrifice; conditioned to put ourselves and our personal desires ahead of our brothers and sisters’ basic needs; to abdicate loyalty to others should the task of loyalty become burdensome. We have forgotten one of the greatest “rules” of all time, “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you…” I would add to that, to be so bold, that an overwhelming majority of Americans have also become conditioned to believe that government is the only answer; the only solution; the only entity capable of helping the victim, the needy, the destitute, those without hope. Perhaps this last notion – that government is the only answer – is the most evil lie of all, society’s cancer, the destroyer of our Republic.

You may ask what brought me to these thoughts. It wasn’t a political event or discussion. It wasn’t a book or a film. It was, simply, painfully, the passing of my dog; loyal, caring, steadfast, true and loving without condition.

At 3:13am, June 25, 2014, my good friend of 11 years and 11 days, Reilly, slipped the captive bonds of this world to escape the pain that the ravages of age inflict upon all living things.

He was a confidant and a companion; the gentlest being I have ever encountered. Never encumbered by the trappings of humanity’s flaws, the love he exuded was palpable by even the harshest cynic.

Even as I grieve his loss – a sadness more crippling than I ever imagined it would be, I can’t help but feel his loyalty; his gentleness; his unconditional love touching my heart from beyond, as if to feel him lick my face and lay his head on my lap, looking up to me with those compassionate, true and soulful eyes to say, “It’s okay, Daddy. We’ll get through this.”

True, honest, loyal, giving and loving: benevolent. From the moment I held him as a puppy to his last seconds being held in my hands, he executed what we as a nation have taken for granted. He, my wife Nancy and I became a “family,” we became “one,” without condition or caveat. The addition of his sister, Coulter, completed our little family. E pluribus unum, if only for our small part of the world.

Last night, as Nancy and I lay for the first moments of a life without Reilly, I said, “Well, he’s God’s dog now.” To which, Nancy replied, “He was always God’s dog. He just let you play with him awhile.” Truer words, I have come to accept, I don’t think have ever been spoken.

I am thankful for each minute, each second I shared with Reilly, and I will always remember him with the greatest of affection – in unconditional love – and with a heartfelt gratitude for that special relationship; that special time that passed much too quickly. I miss him, and I will miss him – Reilly, my trusted friend – terribly.

In his passing I have found my renewed desire to execute benevolence and to guard against those who would affect division amongst we Americans; affect transgression against e pluribus unum. I hope that whatever your catalyst is for your rededication to this principle does not come complete with the anguish mine did.

To my friend Reilly, God bless you my good boy. Daddy loves you…he always will. Time for sleeping.

Creating Democrats One Squirrel at a Time

A lack of affordable housing forced me to move 24 miles south of the Fort Hunt area in Fairfax County, VA. I couldn’t find an affordable house that had a view of the Potomac River.

We had been renting a home there for five years and each winter, after the leaves fell from the trees in the backyard, we could catch a postage stamp–sized glimpse of the river from the dining room.

My thinking was if a glimpse was good, how much better would a year–around view be?

I wasn’t the only one with this opinion. Evidently politicians, Democrat lobbyists and environmentalists had cornered the market. The demand for river views boosted housing prices far outside my budget.

This brush with the market may have served to accelerate my departure from the Democrat party. More ‘affordable housing’ had been the battle cry and tax–dollar black hole for Northern VA Democrats since we moved here from Texas.

Yet when I needed an affordable house no concerned Democrat was to be found.

So the family moved into a house on the waterfront of Lake Montclair that we could afford. Down among the Republicans and gas–guzzler owners, many but one generation removed from the trailer park. But I’m afraid — like many California refugees that have fled to Arizona — when I left Fairfax I didn’t leave behind all my bad, leftist ideas.

Case in point: Our back deck has an excellent view of the lake. During the spring and summer (and soon maybe year around if the warmist Chicken Little’s are correct!) I sit on the deck and read the newspaper before going to work.

Three years ago I decided to spread the wealth and each morning began leaving two peanuts on the deck rail in front of my chair. Montclair is home to foxes, raccoons, beavers, hawks, many varieties of songbirds and innumerable squirrels. The peanuts were for the squirrels.

A routine was quickly established. Each morning I would replace the two nuts that had disappeared overnight and then begin with my coffee and paper. This went on for a few weeks until one morning there was a new development: A squirrel came to get the nut while I was still outside.

He/she/it watched me from the far edge of the deck and then cautiously came halfway down the rail. After a period of watchfulness, the squirrel would dart in front of me, halt long enough to snatch the peanut and then scamper away.

This was entertaining. So much so that I began exceeding my two–nut limit, replacing each snatched nut with a new one until I went back in the house.

Then the escalation really began. I started to think like a crack dealer. The squirrel is hooked on rail nuts, how about bending him to my will and forcing the squirrel to ask for the nut? So I would put the initial two nuts on the rail and wait.

After those were taken, I didn’t add replacements. Instead I waited until the squirrel returned and then I took a peanut off my table and slooowly leaned out toward the squirrel. I looked like a geriatric at the Early Bird Special reaching for the salt.

At first the squirrel wanted no part of this slow–motion enticement — much like a conservative applying for his first food stamp — but gradually I wore down his resistance. And before cooler temperatures arrived he was taking nuts out of my hand and occasionally resting one paw on my finger to steady himself as he grabs the nut, as you can see here:

http://youtu.be/e2yYF3Z2ld8

I was so proud of myself that frankly I overlooked multiple warning signs. Rocky (what other name could there be for a squirrel?) had been missing for most of a week and when he finally returned there was a bare spot on the back of his neck where the fur had been ripped away and a big gouge in the underlying skin.

I rationalized his wound and chalked it up to a domestic disturbance that got out of hand.

Then the next summer the process was repeated. A formerly sleek squirrel (Rocky II) appeared one day looking like Rodney Dangerfield. And his neck had the same ripped fur and ugly scab.

Since the average life span of a squirrel is one year, I wasn’t dealing with a rodent that had forgotten to wear his toupee. This was a different squirrel with the same wound. It’s obvious that breakfasting at the Shannon Country Buffet wasn’t exactly burning up the calories.

Rocky I & II’s weight gain had caused him to lose a step and the hawk that perches in the mimosa tree had had taken advantage of his gluttony. The only good news was his peanut–centric diet made him so fat the hawk evidently dropped him.

The new Rocky also resumed eating out of my hand. I don’t know if the previous Rocky had passed down knowledge of the peanut program by word–of–mouth, scratched a treasure map on a tree or if it is encoded in their DNA, but the word was out. Other squirrels would line up on the rail like crony capitalists waiting for a tax break. Soon the deck looked like earmark time in Harry Reid’s Senate. In fact, the goobers were so plentiful squirrels didn’t bother to eat many of the nuts and instead buried them in the flower boxes.

This spring marks the third year of my private sector peanut handout program and Rocky III is here with his neck — so far — intact. Unfortunately with his arrival I have to face the realization that I have created a culture of dependency in my own backyard.

Now when Rocky III arrives on the rail he ignores the two traditional nuts laid out for him and instead comes to a dead stop in front of me and stares until I personally give him a handout.

And I do, in spite of the fact these unearned giveaways make me the Barack Obama of Skyline Drive.

I started out with the best of intentions, feeding neighborhood animals, and wound up running a peanut kitchen for able–bodied squirrels that are entirely capable of fending for themselves.

The worst part is that I enjoy the feeling of benevolence and superiority I get from having squirrels dependent upon me. So much so that like Obama and his ever–expanding welfare benefits, I have no intention of ending the program, even though it would be better in the long run for the squirrels.

Trayvon Martin: A Victim of America’s Acceptance of ‘Gangsta’ Culture?

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Trayvon Martin lived a tragic life and died an unfortunate death. Of all the thousands of murders of young black men every year, the media seized on one case of a “white Hispanic” shooting a young black man, even after the former was allegedly assaulted, in order to make the point that America is still racist. Blacks are thus presumably in need of the left’s brand of “social justice” to liberate them.

News media have known from the beginning that the best way to “freeze, personalize and polarize” any case is through the emotionally manipulative use of pictures. The photos of a younger Trayvon Martin were cherry-picked by the mainstream media to show that he was an innocent victim unable to defend himself against an older aggressor.

The picture of Trayvon Martin as a drug-addled ‘gangsta wannabe’ was spread by ‘right-wing media’ to show that he had to be guilty of picking on the upstanding citizen George Zimmerman. It is quite possible that both young men were in the wrong, one way or another. And it is also possible that neither of them was “racist.”

Trayvon Martin can best be seen as a victim of gangsta culture; the same culture that leftist producers promote as “hip hop art.”  Gangsta rap glorifies violence and drug use, denigrates women and puts the “men” who dispose of them on a pedestal. Some gangsta rappers’ lyrics even inflame racial tensions.

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Composite of pictures taken from Martin’s cell-phone.

Despite all of this, one of the originators of ‘gangsta rap’ in America is white producer Rick Rubin, who was called by the Village Voice “Satan’s Record Producer.” Rubin was instrumental in launching gangsta rap at Def Jam records and he also promoted such satanic speed metal groups as Slayer. Rubin has a long and mixed career, having worked with many different artists and producers, including rap mogul Russell Simmons.

The hip-hop producer Simmons recently said that “Whether George Zimmerman is found innocent or guilty by the jury, I am firm believer that all of us live by karmic law, and he will ultimately be punished for the death of Trayvon, no matter what.”

It should not be lost on people that the same liberals who promote “hip hop artists” at awards ceremonies (Obama also has a “Lil Wayne” on his iPod) are also supposed to be ardent feminists. That’s because the agenda is not the agenda: promoting divide-and-conquer politics in order to solidify power is.

And admittedly, the left is wildly successful. Most people are unable to see the contradictions in the left’s agenda, let alone notice that radicals take up victim groups’ causes as a means to their cynical ends. The left’s simultaneous cry of a conservative “war on women” and “tolerance” for jihadists is another case-in-point. And if anyone wants to see the ugly side of a leftist, tell him about a prominent minority who has departed from the radical reservation.

The left’s “tolerance” for misogyny , glorification of drug usage, violent lyrics, and reverse racism in gangsta rap simply gives the game away. And what better victim of this “tolerance” for gangsta rap’s culture perversion than Trayvon Martin? This is not to say that Martin was not culpable for his actions; but as a minor, he was at a particularly vulnerable age for getting one’s life on track.

So let’s look at a few facts, and not necessarily jump to conclusions. Trayvon Martin had drug usage and guns on his cell phone, even though the defense was not allowed to show this evidence in court. He also had a picture of a pinkish-purple liquid on his cell-phone, potentially connected to the gangsta culture drink “purple lean” or “purple drank”;  on the night of his shooting, he was buying the Skittles and Arizona Watermelon fruit juice that can be used to make this drink.

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The toxicology report also showed he had used marijuana the night of the shooting and had prescription Temazepam (a hypnotic that is traced to violence) – a form of Benzodiazepine or “Benzo.” Prescription Adderall, another drug that is liable to abuse, was also found in his system. A follower of his Facebook page alleged Martin admitted codeine abuse. This would jibe with his “purple lean” consumption.

Regardless, it is indisputable that Martin was high on drugs the night he assaulted Zimmerman.  George Zimmerman had made a 9/11 call, and cannot demonstrably be said to have called him a racial slur. He was told to stop following Martin; and since Zimmerman did not, this may show questionable judgment. Zimmerman did not, however, break the law by continuing to follow Martin.

An often-overlooked aspect of the case is Martin’s possible link to burglary. In October 2011, Martin was caught on surveillance tape vandalizing a school — scrawling the acronym”WTF” on a door. A Miami-Dade ‘school police’  investigated Trayvon Martin for the incident and found in his backpack a screwdriver and 12 pieces of women’s jewelry, which Trayvon said was given to him by an unnamed “friend.” The paraphernalia was nonetheless seized and held in storage. A Miami Herald article stated that the seized property was held in storage, and was not reported to the actual local police to pad crime stats.

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None of this means that Trayvon Martin deserved to die that night. But the sum total of evidence adds weight to Zimmerman’s claim that he found Trayvon Martin’s behavior to be suspicious, and he was not necessarily “profiling” him. As many white Americans might testify to in a moment of honesty, blacks don’t really scare anyone, but “gangstas” do.

An FBI investigation produced no evidence that Zimmerman was motivated by racism. In fact, due to the presumptions of society, Zimmerman has had to prove that he is not racist. Since he is an Hispanic (actually, of Peruvian descent) who voted for Obama and mentored black children, the argument that he is racist against blacks doesn’t wash.

Nonetheless, President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder will join forces with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to continue pursuing a civil rights investigation into the Trayvon Martin case. Meanwhile, they will likely do nothing about the New Black Panther Party’s hateful language and veiled death threats against Zimmerman (like “wanted: dead or alive), or the numerous death threats against “Mexicans” [sic] for the supposed injustice.

One question members of society should ask themselves: does the promotion of “gangsta culture” have any bearing on the thousands of blacks killed every year? If so, maybe gangsta rap should stop being billed by leftists as an “art form” and a laudable mode of “self-expression.”

What is the left’s vision of racial “progress” in American society? Is it the perpetual fostering of past resentments and a continual rubbing raw of the wounds of racial wrongs?

It might be submitted that racial “progress” will be achieved in accordance with Martin Luther King’s dream speech:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

America is eagerly awaiting the racial progress promised by the ‘post-racial’ President Barack Obama. In his statement on the verdict delivered to the nation, a glimpse of that leadership became apparent. But much more remains to be done.

Note: Some of this commentary was reproduced from my article “Trayvon Martin: A Life and Tragic Death in Pictures.”

Conservatism and Music

canorus (CC)

canorus (CC)

canorus (CC)


We politicize everything, it seems. Lately, it’s been seeping into the world of entertainment, particularly music. And if there’s one quick and easy way to make me furious, it is by screwing around in that arena. Anyone that pays attention to me on Twitter knows by now that I am a Spotify addict, but what they might not know is that I haven’t come close to adding my personal music collection, let alone the new stuff that keeps crossing my path elsewhere. A running joke around my hometown is that the local fire department doesn’t want to end up putting out a fire at my house, because they might end up swimming in a pond of melted vinyl from all the records that are stowed away throughout the house.

But that’s what you get when you’re raised by parents that collected records and appeared as DJ’s on-air, and off-air in dance halls for the better part of two decades. Thanks to them, my personal record collection has a little bit of everything, from Bruce Springsteen, to The Who, to Jimmy Beaumont, to Tchaichovsky, to Louis Armstrong, to the Cure, to Agnostic Front, etc. (My digital collection is far more diverse.) And they didn’t stop with just encouraging me to listen to music. Not unlike Billy Joel, they forced me to learn to play the organ – that turned into learning piano. Later, I ended up picking up the flute, percussion instruments in general, string bass – jazz-style, and a little acoustic guitar. And that lead to more than a few situations where I ended up “jamming” with friends of my parents that were involved in the Pittsburgh music scene.

The most important thing I learned along the way came from a man named Joe Rock – the man who wrote “Since I Don’t Have You” that was performed by Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners. He was their manager for years, before he moved on to Nashville, and one thing everyone could agree on about him was that he knew music. And one day, he sat me down and asked me about a few songs from some bands that wanted him to represent them, mostly because my father had been bragging about how well he had taught me about “good music.” Rock wanted to see if that was true, so he played the records for me, and asked which bands were worth representing. I was terrified, but answered – and named the ones he was interested in dealing with anyway. He looked me straight in the eye, and told me, “Music is a personal thing. There’s music you really love, and then there’s good music that you know someone else might really love. The good music that others might really like is stuff you might want to own, but the stuff you love owns you.”

He was talking about the industry when he said that, and it took me years to realize what he really meant. It was a statement about having the ability to recognize talent, without being subjective. It was about listening to music without letting one’s personal opinion about it taint that determination. Rock hated each one of the bands he played for me that day, but he helped them make it anyway. He didn’t like their music, but he knew they had talent, and the potential to make it. And that is how I listen to music, to this day. I have hundreds of albums, and only a handful that I can tolerate listening to from beginning to end. There are probably at least a hundred albums that I own simply because I liked one song, and couldn’t find it as a single – even do that today, since iTunes restricts purchasing of some songs to “album only.”

About eight years ago, I was in a local bar listening to a young girl sing. She looked like she was terrified of the crowd. She had zero stage presence, and to call her “less than confident” would have been extremely kind. Her mother was there, biting her fingernails, and I felt sorry for them both, primarily because I couldn’t help thinking that I knew right then and there what Red Foley must have felt when he first heard Brenda Lee sing. I knew one way or another that scared girl was going to end up in the industry, and I was right. Her name was DeAnna Dawn Denning, and now she’s the lead singer of “Difference United”, a Christian rock band out of Nashville. And yes, this atheist that can’t stand that genre of music at all has added that band to Spotify, because I still love her voice.

And what does this have to do with conservatives? Well, there’s been a little war of sorts going on, involving some high profile conservatives and some struggling musicians. No, I won’t mention names because it’s not necessary, and honestly doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. The stupid posturing and bullshit that’s been going on is why conservatives are failing miserably at what Brandon Morse over at Misfit Politics aptly pointed out that we need to succeed at doing. We, as conservatives, are failing at connecting with the public, because we can’t speak on a cultural level. And it’s no wonder that we can’t, when we have people running around picking on stupid things.

I’ve listened to music from more artists than I care to think about, and own music from just about every genre out there, with the notable exception of rap. (Sorry, but I just can’t make myself tolerate rap in general, certainly not enough to shell out cash to own it.) Like I’ve said, I don’t love it all. But I can still spot talent and potential as well as I ever could. And there is quite a bit of it out there in the ranks of conservative artists. Big Dawg Music Mafia has plenty of artists to choose from, in several genres. Do I like them all? No. Do I think they all have potential? I’ll get back to you on that one, once I’ve taken the time to hit at least a few tracks from each of them. But, no matter what, there’s one thing about each and every one of them. They are out there trying to do what we need to be doing as conservatives – they are out there delivering our message in a way that has the potential to reach masses far beyond our ranks.

One thing we have to remember about these people is that there’s a very good reason why many musicians have agents – they need them, to deal with the industry, and the public. I don’t know any performers that are “normal” by any stretch of the imagination. Some of them do manage to put up a very good front, and appear that way. But, for whatever reason, creative people simply don’t fit molds – myself included. So, to run about crucifying them because they have trouble occasionally playing like social butterflies is beyond counter-productive – it’s downright stupid. It only shows that one has no decency or character – you know, the sort of person Sarah Palin would rail for using the “R-word.” Hate someone’s music? Fine. No one’s saying you have to love it simply because the artist is conservative. But don’t run them down to everyone else either! What you think sucks, might be great to someone else. That’s just arrogant, and insulting – to not only the musician, but also everyone else. Sure, I share my playlists with the masses on Twitter, but I don’t sit there and say that if someone doesn’t absolutely love everything I listen to regularly, they’re idiots. Even my playlists are full of songs that I rarely listen to, because I have to be in the “right mood” for certain stuff.

So, the bottom line is, if you’re out there telling people not to pay attention to a conservative artist, shame on you. I’m not saying you need to campaign for them, especially if you honestly don’t like their music. But, if you’re telling everyone that someone’s music isn’t worth listening to in the first place simply because you don’t like it (or worse, because you don’t get along with the musician), you’re part of the problem conservatives are having getting our message out to a wider audience. Just like your mother should have taught you, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”

Cultural Destroyers, Cultural Creators

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The dissolution of our Republic has been a play in many acts, and diverse players have strutted and fretted their hour upon the stage. We sit as an audience witnessing our nation’s destruction, only vaguely aware that the direction of our demise is being orchestrated at a higher level of awareness. The actors seem replaceable, the drama unfolds in the most predictable of ways, and so we feel powerless to stop what is transpiring before us. Our nemesis is invisible, ubiquitous, and relentless. It shapes our actions, reactions, perceptions, and beliefs on what is real, true, and good.

Politics nowadays seem like a bad movie, and here we are gobbling popcorn, only stopping to throw a few unpopped kernels at the screen.

What if we could change the story?

In philosophy lay the script for our nation, the journey from darkness to freedom. It is the weapon to dispose of the superficial manipulators of our conscience, to relegate them to the annals of infamy and then obscurity.

When philosophy ceases to edify human life, and wars against knowledge itself, it is time to take mental and spiritual arms against the usurpers of our civilization. We must return to the roots of what it means to be human, to associate with our fellow man, to know and act in the world around us, and to re-lay the foundations for vibrant society and just government.

Our culture is the means of transmission of our philosophy, knowledge, and values from one generation to the next. Yet now we tend to view culture as something anomalous and free-form, able to be creatively molded like clay into whatever our hearts desire. This is a false notion of culture; rather, culture is the means by which we sustain, preserve, and improve human life. And it not only matters, it is absolutely vital.

In order to pierce the cultural smog that clouds our vision, we must each of us understand that our culture is not merely sick, it has been poisoned. The enemies of free will and forthright association have set their task as no less than societal dissolution, preying on the natural tendencies towards entropy particular to the legacy of The Enlightenment.

Thus unreason has been masked in the trappings of Reason, science is made but the maidservant of power, and open discourse has been perverted into mockery, ridicule, and shameless fallacies.

Such is the state of affairs in our society that men are at a loss at how to spontaneously relate with one another. Social trust is dissolved in an atmosphere of coercive mutual claims upon the life and labor of one citizen upon another. The desire for dignified autonomy and earned respect is replaced by resentment and animus. Injustice begets petty recrimination and at the extreme, vengeance. Civility dissipates and suspicion, corruption, and apathy reign.

It is in such times that men search for the meaning behind their unhappiness and the causes of injustice within their society. It is through disruption and crisis that the reason is activated from the slumber that ensues from the lagging and diminishing gains of cultural success and is put in the service of rational self-defense.

The ultimate source of philosophical tension that is exploited by the enemies of The Enlightenment is inherent in its vision of progress and the retention of the basic principles that animate Western Civilization. To reunite the Enlightenment notion of progress with its concordant views of human nature, reality, civil society, and government is thus a fundamental task to re-establish a political and social order that is harmonious and successful. We must reinvigorate our shared culture.

In order to ascertain the ideas that mitigate against the ideological foundations of our civilization and their originators, we must take in a brief panorama of recent philosophical history. Three separately identifiable but interdependent strains of thought comprise the cultural monster that is sucking Western Civilization down like a giant vortex: the Hegelian-Marxian, the Nietszchean (although the philosopher did not advocate nihilism), and pragmatist.

Both the Hegelian-Marxian and the Nietszchean strains are aspects of neomarxism or “cultural marxism.” To understand cultural marxism, the progenitor of political correctness, we must appreciate the historical context in which it arose. Capitalism animated by the actions of rational individuals trading labor and property to accomplish their own ends is the hated enemy of totalitarians. But as much as Marx despised it, capitalism, in such specific terms, was inexplicably prosperous and more resilient in the face of the predictions of its collapse than its detractors anticipated. Thus the need arose to precipitate the “inevitable” collapse of capitalism, even if that meant destroying every institution, tradition, norm, and indeed, every mind the malcontents could reach.

The great strategist of the cultural marxists was the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, whose contributions to the grand strategy of the cultural destroyers cannot be overemphasized. Suffice it to say that Gramsci’s view of capitalism, and all its “bases,” which is supported in the main by the cultural “superstructure,” is the master key that unlocks one’s understanding of the milieu in which the Westerner is near totally immersed.

In conjunction with Gramsci’s grand strategy is the undermining of the capitalist economic base, which is accomplished primarily by the Cloward-Piven strategy of using welfare to overwhelm the public finances, while fostering economic and political dependency, as well as Lenin’s dictum to sell corporations “the rope to hang them with.” The organizational and propaganda tactician to carry out the left’s necessarily destructive program is Saul Alinsky, whose advice is summed by assassinating the character of anyone that dares stand in the way. Alinsky referred to himself as a “radical pragmatist,” which brings us to the third strain.

Pragmatism in the philosophical sense is derived from the thinking of William James and John Dewey, among others. Pragmatism’s views of reality and change are informed by clumsy adaptations of the findings of particle physics; in particular, quantum theory. In light of the tangential nature of such a deep discussion, we may conclude that pragmatism provides justification to bureaucrats to meddle in society ad hoc without a deeper view of human identity, a proper interpretation of reality, the temporally dependent nature of causality, and the necessity of implementing public policies in the context of ongoing historical processes.

Why is this important? Because the true nature of reality provides the philosophical justification for identity and therefore individualism, and thus why this philosophy is consonant with a harmonious state of human affairs. Men are not ephemeral entities that are reconfigured as the properties of atoms when recombined with other atoms, as the social chemists of our day would like to believe. Properties of people, as atoms, are manifestations of their identities, and change is the result of their actions and reactions. They have identities: A = A.

Men are thus unique individuals, and have an internal drive that motivates them to change their actions in response to specific times and environments. Thus people’s actions are internally-dependent and motivated by their specific natures. They seek autonomy and are self-interested, in accordance with the raison d’etre of their existence: To survive, to thrive, to reproduce, to live in full. For men, life requires action of both the body and the mind.

Undermine the activities of the mind and you remove man’s ability to support his life. He becomes a dependent being, vulnerable to the self-interests of others. Philosophical corruption is a threat to man’s ability to morally sustain his life in a civil society.

The surest way to oppose the statist leviathan that seeks to devour the individuals of our society is to coalesce around the cultural values and the principles that lead to the prosperous and just society. Such ideas have been forth by the philosophers of Western Civilization, and navigated by such adept minds as Edmund Burke and Ayn Rand, as presumably opposed as those thinkers may appear. For it is in Burke that we find an expression of Western values with a mind towards their intergenerational transmission in the long-term; and in Rand the moral justification for Western philosophy, the edification of the individual and the voluntary basis of society and economy.

Little Daniel Sings “God Bless The USA”

daniel_mitchell

You’ve probably heard the story about the New York school principal who decided to scrap the singing of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” because she “didn’t want to offend other cultures”.

Little Daniel Mitchell is in the class that was supposed to sing “God Bless the USA”, but wasn’t allowed to, so Fox and Friends gave him the opportunity this morning. This has got to be one of the most beautiful versions I’ve ever heard…. straight from the heart of a little patriot!

 


 

#JoePa 1926 – 2012 | Uncle Sam 1776 – ?

What in the world could that headline possibly mean?

Some of my best thinking occurs in the shower (no, but we’ll get to that later) and when I saw the text alert that Joe Paterno had passed away from complications of lung cancer I was heading to the shower this morning, and naturally started thinking about the man and his legacy.  I began to search for someone to compare him to and this is what I came up with.

Photo: Wikipedia

Joe Paterno was born in 1926, 3 years before the Great Depression.  He was of my father’s generation.  The Generation Tom Brokaw dubbed ‘The Greatest Generation’.  Men who lived through childhood not really understanding the deprivation of their youth but having a great impression made upon them by it.  Men who came of age when the entire world was engaged in a clearly defined struggle of Good vs. Evil in World War II.  Many if not most men of that age served and many died in the Armed Forces of the United States all over the planet.  The survivors returned from war and set about living their lives, having children… many children, in fact, they spawned the largest generation in human history, The Baby Boom. My generation.

Image: Wikipedia

‘Uncle Sam’ wasn’t really ‘born’. He’s a creation. It is what Uncle Sam represents that I wish to discuss: the United States of America.  The country does have a ‘birthday': July 4, 1776.  On or about that date 56 men, many of them the richest & most politically powerful men from their respective areas of the country signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  With it they started a war with King George III, ruler of England, the most powerful man in the world. They were his subjects and now they had chosen to openly rebel against his rule.  They were massive underdogs.  England had the most powerful armed forces on earth.  These wealthiest, most powerful men in the country knew that they had collectively signed their own death warrants.  The quote  by Ben Franklin  ‘We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately’ says it all.  Their only option was Victory which through long years and much struggle they achieved.  It was never a sure thing.

The last line of the Declaration of Independence is:

‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.’

‘Our Sacred Honor’ those words wouldn’t probably be used today let alone ‘divine Providence’.  They must violate someone, somewhere’s ‘right’ to not have to think of or even hear about God, or the ‘Sacred’ or Honor.  Those are bygone words of bygone eras.  My father’s era and the ones before it.

Under no circumstances am I claiming that my father nor any man of his generation or prior generations was perfect.  But I’ll be happy to debate anyone if the subject is the ‘Honor’ of that generation in general.  I’ll further be happy to juxtapose that generations Honor against the Honor or lack thereof of my generation.  Radio Talk Show Host Dennis Prager says that The Greatest Generation gave birth to The Stupidest Generation.  I’m in it and I strive to not be ‘of’ it, but I agree.

We are the Selfish Generation.  The generation that is very much concerned about Our Rights, with little to no corresponding concern about Our Responsibilities (except, of course, our responsibilities to Mother Earth [please Recycle]).  That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if the rights we were concerned about were the same ones the Founders and the Framers (of the Constitution) outlined, but we’re less concerned with those than the invisible ones that really ‘bright’ lawyers have ‘found’ in the ‘emanations and penumbras’ of the Framers words. Of course those imagined rights spawn other ones as well and what looks like an increase in our rights is actually a diminishment of our liberty.

There is a scene in ‘The Godfather’ where Vito Corleone is negotiating with the ruthless drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo about where Sollozzo will ply his trade and if the Corleone Family will protect his operation. At the close of the negotiation Sonny Corleone, Vito’s Eldest son interrupts, as he declines the deal Vito says, ‘I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them as you can see, they talk when they should listen.’

We want what we want and we want it now!  That is the fault of my father’s generation.  Those men and women who came up in the deprivation of The Depression didn’t want to visit that upon their children.  They built a great nation.  They built a booming economy in large part in response to the fact that they kept having kids.  Hungry children are great motivators to men of character and honor; they do not let them continue to go hungry and they did not run away from their responsibility. They invented Slinkys and Slip ‘n Slides to amuse their children and profit from the needs of other men to amuse theirs.  They built jet airplanes and rockets that landed man on the moon and safely returned him to earth with only slide rulers, paper and pencil and computers on board the spacecraft with less computing power than the iPhone.  These were the men I grew up with and spent my teenage years in particular in close contact with on long road trips.  My father died at the end of my teens, but I knew what men of honor and character looked like and as I looked for other role models for my life I looked for those men: Men like Joe Paterno.

Paterno was head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions (not ‘Nittaly‘…dope) for 46 years, he was a coach at the school for 61 years,  he won more games than any other Division I Football Coach in the history of the NCAA.  He won two national championships. He didn’t demand a multi-million dollar salary like so many other college coaches. He lived in the same home for 50 years.  He imbued his players with morals and ethics, Penn State was a solid program.  ‘Joe Pa’, as he was known, was ‘Old School’.  And it worked.

You can spend generations building your reputation and legacy only to have it come crashing down in a moment like a poorly constructed brick wall in an earthquake.  That too is the story of Joe Paterno.  Allegations surfaced of one of his assistant coaches sexually assaulting young boys as witnessed by another assistant and reported to Paterno himself.  It’s further alleged that all this ‘honorable man’ apparently did was tell his bosses at Penn State.  Nothing more…

This is where I’m virtually certain Joe Pa and the men who were friends with my father and my father himself differ.  There would have been blood had this happened to one of their children or to anyone’s child at the hands of any man that they knew or could even get their hands on.  Did this kind of thing happen involving men of that generation, obviously, yes; but not to my knowledge with anyone I knew or even heard of, and nothing has ‘surfaced’ like a deep dark secret from ‘The Black Lagoon’ since.

How does something like this happen?  How does a man whose public persona was so deeply identified with morals, ethics and character have such a massive blind spot and deep dark secret?  How could he not have known that this would eventually come to light?  And finally why didn’t he drag Jerry Sandusky by his hair to the police?

We’ll never know.

The cracks in the will started to appear almost immediately at the foundation of the country.  You may have heard of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay and published in New York newspapers to explain the reasoning behind and promote the Ratification of The Constitution; There are also The Anti-Federalist Papers, a collection of writings and speeches by other Framers who were afraid of the Consolidation of Power in a Central Gov’t and argued Against Ratification of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights for the People and their States.

That battle has never ended.  There has never been a cease fire.  No treaty has been signed.  There is an on-going struggle for the control and the very soul of this nation.

One side is constantly chipping away at the foundations seeking to ‘Bring it all Down, Man‘ so that they can build something new.

Oh, I know the country was founded with the ‘Original Sin’ of Slavery… (Interesting how people who are anti-religion will attempt to use religious language to bolster their point of view), and how Slaves were only counted as 3/5 of a human being in the Census (revealing their lack of knowledge of how crucial this was to the North to bring about the end of slavery [It was about Seats in the House of Representatives, not their Humanity or Lack Thereof]) and this means that it must be torn down and ‘We’ will build something new, and ‘better’. ‘We’ will build something ‘Fairer’ and more ‘Humane’.  Only we don’t ever really know who this ‘we‘ is or what exactly they would build.

The other side is the stupid and lazy side.  It’s my father and his generation’s side and in large part my generation’s as well.

This is the side that indulges its children’s childish impulses to throw temper tantrums in the street, impinge on other citizen’s rights, destroy their property and call them ‘protests’.  It’s the side that believes voting is enough while the other side is organizing, consolidating power, fund raising and campaigning.

We are on the side that allowed the takeover of most powerful machine for the dissemination of information, ideas, morals, culture and dreams in the history of mankind to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of our enemy without them firing a shot. Do you think Bob Hope could get a show on tv today?  To go that one better we feed the machine with our dollar at a declining but still astounding rate as they fill our minds and especially our childrens minds with morals and beliefs that are entirely counter to our own.   We can hardly wait to come home and plop down in front of the box to get indoctrinated every night because we’re just so worn our from working all day to earn money that ‘they’ take about 50% of.  Which means they’re taking 50% of your life since you’re expending the precious finite resource of your time on earth to earn that money.

We’re the ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ who only care about the finances of the country, as if you deigning to tell the representatives in government how to spend the money and what to spend it on isn’t a Moral discussion.

We’re the ‘Moral Majority’, the ‘Silent Majority’, the ‘Tea Party’ who, filled with Moral Indignation, jump up on our hind legs once every generation or so whether we need to or not and think we can win one election and everything is supposed to be right with the world again.

We’re the side that has allowed the Left to gain influence and power in every crack and crevice of our society rather than driving them from the public arena with the derision and howling laughter accompanying their shameful exit that their foolish, dangerous and unworkable ideas deserve.

Approximately 2% of the population of the colonies actively fought the British and won the right to establish the greatest civilization in the history of mankind.  While our culture as America is relatively young at 236 years our form of government is one of the longest surviving ever, but nothing lasts forever.  2%.

Maybe it’s too late.

Maybe we’ve passed the point of no return and there’s no way to reverse the course our nation is on.

Maybe I do know what Joe Paterno would have said, ‘I don’t why I didn’t do anything, I just didn’t.’

Cain: Perhaps Able, but Doomed From the Start

courtesy Wikipedia Commons

This will be my obligatory Herman Cain post, and I’ll bid some of you farewell at the outset because you won’t like what I have to say. That’s fine, there’s a comment box down below or you can post it to Facebook or Twitter and slag me there.

Herman Cain was a relative unknown on the national scene until bursting to the front of the Race for the Republican Nomination to run for the Presidency in 2012. I had heard of him as a radio talk show host and had heard him fill in for Sean Hannity, I believe, once or twice. Even then I noticed that while he has a great speaking voice and a very down home folksy way about him he has a tendency to misspeak or misuse words, mind you I’m sure he knows how to pronounce ‘Corpsman‘ and what it means, but for any candidate or anyone speaking publicly it’s one of my pet peeves. I think it betrays an underlying lack of preparation. No one is perfect and I’m not wooed by verbal fluff (I was dismayed in the ’08 election cycle listening to people talk about this ‘Amazing Speaker‘ from Illinois and remain so) I just want someone who is trying to convince me to elect them to the most powerful office in the land to be able to do it without making me cringe as they butcher the language. That was the first thing I noticed.

THE Herman Cain’s tendency to speak about Herman Cain in the third person was and is also a bit off-putting.

As he began his campaign I noticed that he was sketchy on specifics both of history and current events but much more telling to me was that he was weak in explaining his own positions. I’m sorry but if you have come up with what you’re promoting as your signature program, let’s take his most famous ‘9-9-9 Plan’ and note that at one point he said perhaps it would be 9-0-9, and you introduce it before you have the details worked out I refer you to my previous point about not being prepared. Hey, I was a good student, but my ‘dog ate my homework’ a time or two however, again, this is the Presidency we’re talking about and the whole ‘I’ll consult my assembled panel of experts’ answer doesn’t cut it for me. For one thing we’ve seen what some of the so-called experts have wrought on our country for the past century and I’ve had enough of it, and for another… Who are these experts going to be? Cain had not surrounded himself with an all-star cast of campaign insiders.

I don’t think a candidate should try to be ‘Mr. Know-it-All’ (see Newt) however I prefer a candidate with a firm grasp on the facts and on history to one who is unsure of some rather basic terms from recent world history and especially when said candidate tries to explain away his getting caught out with a series of weak excuses.

Then the multiple ‘Bimbo Eruptions’ began. First the Politico story then Gloria Allred and Sharon Bialek all culminating in the Ginger White allegation of a long-term extra-marital relationship that was apparently the straw that broke the camels back. I do not know nor do I care if a single one of the allegations were true. I do not know nor do I care where they all came from. What did concern me was that Herman Cain carried on a 13 year extra-marital relationship of some kind with a woman who he acknowledged giving money to without his wife knowing about it.

Deal Breaker, Minister Cain. Sorry sir but you and your supporters were the ones who brought up your faith. Scripture says ‘the two become one flesh’, so at the very least Mrs. Cain should have known what Mr. Cain was doing with her money.

But let’s get to the part of this that will do the most to alienate you.

Herman Cain is Black, or an African-American if you’re into hyphenating people. For some who want to see Barack Obama defeated in 2012 this was apparently some sort of secret weapon. If only the Republican Party could field a viable candidate with a high enough melanin content in his or her skin Obama’s defeat was certain. Apparently this must be because… well, I actually can’t think of a coherent explanation for this vapid reasoning.

Anyone who voted FOR Obama in all or in any part because of his ‘race’ is a Racist.

Anyone who voted AGAINST Obama in all or in any part because of his ‘race’ is a Racist.

Anyone who supported Herman Cain in all or in any part because of his ‘race’ is a Racist.

Too harsh? I think not.

The Democrat party has done a masterful job of painting themselves as the party of ‘the little guy'; the party that looks out for Minorities and the Underprivileged, the poor and oppressed. At the same time they have done a masterful job of painting the Republican party as the party of the Rich, Fat Cat Capitalists; the party that wants to reverse all the ‘progress’ the party of the little guy has managed to ‘eek out’ over the past hundred years and return us to polluted streams and land, acid rain, polluted air, unsafe food, oil spills… basically killers of kittens & puppies.

The Democrat party owns the Racist vote. Well, they own the overwhelming majority of it.

I have seen some folks on Twitter and elsewhere attempting to sell Herman Cain on the basis of ‘If we nominate him the Democrats can’t use Race against us…’.

Thinking that shows a naivete that borders on pathological. The Democrats will never stop using race as a wedge in this country. It also belies a misunderstanding of just how much damage Leftists within the Democrat party have done to the thought processes of the ‘Black Community’ over generations by destroying the family unit and fracturing the most basic societal building block. The ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ is very real. Misinformation, disinformation and blatant lies have taken root and metastasized within the black culture and it will take several generations to undue the damage. Many blacks who think for themselves did not vote for Barack Obama, and many more will not vote for him again. It had and has absolutely nothing to do with his race. They didn’t or won’t vote for him based on the fact that they saw through his rhetoric or simply disagreed with his politics. Remember, in California, 70% of African-Americans and 53% of Latinos supported Prop. 8. defining Marriage as between one man and one woman and For Obama on the same day. They were then called Religious Bigots or worse by the Homosexual Lobby.

Our country is at a precipice. In the next election we will decide to attempt to begin to reverse course from the accelerated leftward rush that finally woke many of our fellow citizens up to the 100 year assault that the country has been undergoing, or not. We may decide to continue or even accelerate the headlong rush for the rocks where great empires go to dash themselves into little pieces that are chronicled in tomes with titles that start ‘The Rise and Fall of….’. This is going to be an extremely long and hard fight. It has taken a century for the Left and So-called Progressives to drive us to this point and it will take a similar amount of time, energy and much more courage than the Right has ever shown to undo what has been done.

Making decisions about a candidate based on melanin content or TelePrompTer reading ability or the crispness of the crease in their pants or their Religion (see Romney and some folks Mormon Bigotry) or any other superficial reason has us at the precipice.

Adherence to First Principles, a return to and reverence for Constitutional Governance and the candidates ability to express those ideas and their demonstrated personal character and experience which would lead us to believe they will govern as they campaign is all we have to go on or hope for in choosing a nominee.

50 Person 'Flash Mob' Shoplifts at 7-11

A Silver Spring, MD 7-11 was hit by coordinated shoplifting by a flash mob of as many as 50 teenagers and young adults last Saturday night.

Behold what our dumbed-down school system and anything-goes pop culture hath wrought;, 50 kids whose idea of Saturday night fun is using technology they have no idea how to create or improve upon to coordinate a crime against an innocent business to steal snacks.

We have quite a future ahead of us.

 

 

The Rainbow Formula: Hollywood’s False Diversity

A couple of weeks ago as my husband and I were leaving church we were stopped by our pastor, who asked us if we had seen the guest pastor from the previous week.  We hadn’t. “Oh, that’s a shame” he said, “He was Black and I wanted to know what you guys thought”. While the population of Orange County includes quite a large number of minorities, the one group that is woefully underrepresented is Blacks.  Being among the few Black congregants in our large church, we took it as a natural curiosity that he would ask our opinion of the guest pastor.  We took no offense, but did have a giggle as we told him perhaps our names had been left off the minority alerts email blast.  He rolled his eyes apologetically. “I know.  We aren’t the most diverse church.  We need to do more to address that”.

On the drive home I started thinking about that. Why do we need to make a concerted effort to diversify?  When it comes to church, Black people are different from White people in many ways.  They are more interactive, they worship differently, and they hear messages differently.  That is not a bad thing. It’s a cultural thing.  Attracting more Black people would mean having to change the whole approach to services, and if you do that, then aren’t you letting the quest for diversity trump genuine message?  Church is not for meeting your weekly diversity quotient. It’s for fellowshipping with other believers and spreading the Word. For those who aren’t drawn to a particular service, there are other churches with different ways of worshipping that may work better for them and that is why God made diversity, so there could be a myriad of choices for folks of different stripes.

My thoughts turned to Hollywood and their seemingly never-ending modern quest for diversity. What I find most frustrating about this is how it is so deliberate and methodical.  It’s as if there is a formula that must be adhered to in order to receive the diversity stamp of approval.  I’ll call it the Rainbow Formula.  1 Black + 1 Asian (any type) + 1 Hispanic (any type) + multiple White people = officially diverse.  Sorry, Native Americans.  You don’t make the cut unless the script calls for something to happen on an Indian reservation.

I suppose I appreciate the effort, but the result is a “false diversity” that ends up bleeding cultural appeal and uniqueness. The Rainbow Formula creates a “vanilla” diversity that adheres to a color quota, but denies any other relevant differences between the cultures other than the superficial aspects.  Cue sassy Black friend, cue nerdy, overachieving Asian friend, cue clueless, rhythmless White friend.

This false diversity is not only offensive, it’s bad for business.  I believe Hollywood could be creating a lot more revenue if it strove for a genuine assortment of offerings.  In other words, the diversity doesn’t come in the casting, it comes in the programming.  Recognizing that different cultures perceive, laugh, love, work and interact differently could be the key to creating a diverse arrangement of shows that appeal to Americans in many different, but lucrative ways.  Take BET, for example.  Two of their most popular offerings in the history of their channel cater specifically to the sensibilities of Black people.  The Game and Girlfriends.

Of course, it’s not only Black people who watch those shows, but they are marketed to Black people in the respect that they approach issues from a specific cultural perspective.  The fact that they do that unapologetically and organically ends up making the shows palatable to all races, while recognizing their cultural market.  Black people flock to those shows and they’re happy to do it because it’s a show for them and about them.  It’s just too bad that those millions and millions of Black viewers have to navigate their dollars to the nether regions of cable when they could and would be just as happy to turn their televisions to any of the major networks if only their programming was more… diverse.

We’ve seen hints of this diversity model in the past.  Both Fox and the CW built their fan base on Black shows (Living Single, In Living Color, Moesha, etc.) before abandoning that audience.  They ignored programming diversity in favor of the Rainbow Formula, forgetting that those shows were popular precisely because they celebrated cultural identity instead of sanitizing it.

Modern liberal Hollywood’s sad obsession with false diversity effectively reduces every person to nothing more than the color of his or her skin.  It erases individuality and very real cultural differences.  The Rainbow Formula becomes more important than solid entertainment.  Its born of a twisted need to prove that they are not racist like the great unwashed masses of middle America, a guilt that transcends time and reason.  It ends up whitewashing (if you’ll forgive the term) the unique cultural flavors that have gathered to make up America. Ultimately, and by Hollywood terms almost unforgivably, it throws away the significant entertainment dollars of minority communities (see Tyler Perry’s Tyler Perry for more information about harnessing that particular revenue stream).  It sends the message that those communities have no important stories to tell that don’t include Jim Crow or “white knights” riding to rescue the natives.

Perhaps the real problem is the almost religious connotation liberal Hollywood has given the word ‘diversity’.  There is no inherent virtue in diversity.  Diversity, as we use the term today, is a joke and applied almost exclusively to color while ignoring culture.  Hollywood needs to give up this stifling quest and start working on creating real programming choices.  That is where the money is, and ultimately, the viewer’s heart.