Building a Foundation For Resurrecting America Part III

Philosophy CursiveBack to it this evening folks. I think that the day off was a good thing. It allowed everyone to discuss the topics some more and re-read the articles and hopefully get a better grasp on the subject matter. I will be able to participate in the conversations a bit more on this article. Yesterday was golf with some friends I don’t see enough of and it was also my wedding anniversary. Another year of my wonderful wife putting up with me. It should be a national holiday. With my Celtics and Bruins both successfully eliminated from the playoffs, I am down to just baseball, although everyone who knows me knows that I am consumed by the sport. 

This will be the last article from this series that will be presented for this week. It has been a hectic start, no? So much to learn and read. I hope that everyone is beginning to see the benefit of this exercise. I do have one request as we move forward. I have noticed that there are a few folks who are not particularly fond of Ms. Rand. That is OK, everyone is entitled to an opinion. The important part is not whether you like or dislike her, whether you consider her a philosopher or a fiction writer. The important part is whether what she presents is a valid statement or not a valid statement. 

Discounting the ability to learn from what she wrote simply because she was a writer of fictional novels rather than someone with a philosophy pedigree is a flawed position and one that shows an unwillingness to analyze based on the facts. It is akin to discounting a news story simply because it comes from Fox News or MSNBC. Just because the source is not all that you would like it to be does not mean that the material is wrong. It may cause you to look deeper at a subject to eliminate the bias or fallacies, but who said it or where it came from does not make it wrong.

Penguins LogicI liken it to the groups presenting global warming data. I argued with someone a bit ago on this subject (I hope he doesn’t mind me using this example). I presented data from a report done by a group involved with oil companies and also information from an author, Christopher Horner, who had ties to oil as well. My opponent called the data’s sources into question. And rightly so. However, what he didn’t do was attack the data and prove that it was wrong. The fallacy is to think that discrediting the author discredits the author’s information.

Likewise it would be a fallacy for me to discredit information presented by Al Gore, who has an obvious agenda. Regardless of his agenda, his data should be attacked on its merits. We know he is full of crap, but that doesn’t necessarily mean his data is wrong. The source of data does nothing more than indicate how skeptical you should be. It is the facts and their validity that matter. This is not an invitation to debate the Global Warming myth again, just an example of the fallacy of rejecting information based on its source. 

Attacking Ayn Rand’s philosophical teachings is fine. But attack what she is saying, not her pedigree. If you don’t find what is being presented as accurate, explain why it is wrong. Constantly telling us to disregard what can be learned because the source material is the wrong choice is a flawed position. Case in point, I hold no degree in philosophy, political science, divinity, or constitutional law. That doesn’t however, mean that I am wrong when I discuss any of those subjects. We should not reject what we can learn simply because we don’t think the source is qualified enough to suit us. If we apply that stringent demand on every subject, we will find there is no one to talk to about many things. I will only be able to talk about religion with a priest, architecture with an architect, politics with a politician, etc… I think you get the point. Valid information and learning can come from anyone and any source. If Rand is a flawed source, show where her ideas or concepts are flawed. THAT I am willing to listen to.  

PHILOSOPHICAL DETECTION (Part 2): Just A Citizen

Moral MathCongratulations, you have completed basic Detective Training and now it is time to move up to the next class. In the last article I introduced you to a method of detecting principles or concepts behind the statements or position of others and, of course, yourself. Hopefully you now understand and accept the need to think in terms of essentials. Fancy philosophers speak for finding core principles. Because as we learned, if the foundation is rotten the whole building will fail.

The next step in philosophical detection is to identify and evaluate how various concepts or principles affect our emotions. As you know, we humans are a touchy feely bunch of primates. We carry and exhibit strong feelings about ourselves, others and the world around us. In fact we place such high regard on our feelings that we have developed many catch phrases regarding their importance. “I have a gut feeling something is wrong here”; or “If you don’t understand it just follow your gut”; or “You should listen to your heart”.

As a graduate of Detective Training 101 you should now be able to realize that these phrases are a direct attack on the epistemology of reason in favor of whim. They tell us it is OK to react instinctually, like any other animal, instead of using our cognitive abilities. Thus it is also an attack on the metaphysics of man and man’s natural state. I personally would rather follow my head. But there is also something more going on here that needs to be explored.

DETECTIVE TRAINING 201

The next part of our journey takes us inward, to the world we construct within our mind. The world represented by our feelings. It is time for some serious introspection.

Our feelings are a reflection of our subconscious awareness and synthesis of philosophical principles we have been exposed to throughout our lives. Parents, family, teachers, church clergy, co-workers, friends, politicians and the media are all external contributors. In my opinion, the more conflict or contradictions there are between these principles the more devastating the impact to our emotional well being. Thus our “gut feeling of something wrong” is also our subconscious awareness that the principles we hold are not consistent with the reality we face at the moment. It is an alarm bell sounding loud and declaring “something does not compute”.

I once again lean heavily on Ms. Rand for a more professional explanation, as well as some examples of detection.

Ayn Rand Stamp Picture“A major source of men’s earned guilt in regard to philosophy – as well as in regard to their own minds and lives – is failure of introspection. Specifically, it is the failure to identify the nature of and causes of their emotions.”

An emotion as such tells you nothing about reality, beyond the fact that something makes you feeling something. Without ruthlessly honest commitment to introspection – to the conceptual identification of your inner states – you will not discover what you feel, what arouses the feeling, and whether your feeling is an appropriate response to the facts of reality, or a mistaken response, or a vicious illusion produced by years of self-deception.

The men who scorn or dread introspection take their inner states for granted, as an irreducible and irresistible primary, and let their emotions determine their actions. This means that they choose to act without knowing the context (reality), the causes (motives), and the consequences (goals) of their actions.

The field of extrospection is based on two cardinal questions: “What do I know?” and “How do I know it?”

In the field of introspection, the two guiding questions are: “What do I feel?” and “Why do I feel it?”

Most men can give themselves only some primitively superficial answers – and they spend their lives struggling with incomprehensible inner conflicts, alternately repressing their emotions and indulging in emotional fits, regretting it, losing control again, rebelling against the mystery of their inner chaos, trying to unravel it, giving up, deciding to feel nothing – and feeling the growing pressure of fear, guilt, self-doubt, which makes the answers progressively harder to find.”

Ah, the proverbial vicious cycle. We see the evidence of this around us all the time. Not just by others but by our own actions or reactions. Just look at the American public’s initial reaction to invading Iraq and Afghanistan and then look at how they feel today. How about the rabid support for Mr. Obama, only to be followed by buyer’s remorse. Then rather than recognize our mistake and take corrective action, we stoop to the next little emotional trick. The one most often used by those with corrupt beliefs or those who do not know better. Ms. Rand referred to it as “one of the ugliest of psychological phenomena”. It is the art of rationalization.

“Rationalization is a cover-up, a process of providing one’s emotions with a false identify, of giving them spurious explanations and justifications – in order to hide one’s motive, not just from others, but primarily from oneself.

The price of rationalizing is the hampering, the distortion and, ultimately, the destruction of one’s cognitive faculty. Rationalization is a process not of perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotions.”

Let’s look once again at same of those catch-phrases we looked at in our last article. Only this time we will focus on the rationalization represented by each. Catch phrases are a good means of perpetuation rationalizations. They are quoted by scholars, family, friends, and the media but their purpose is always the same. We use them in order to justify feelings which we are not willing to admit.

First on the list is; “Nobody can be certain of anything”. When we last looked at this phrase we discovered that this was an attack on reality itself. If no one can be certain of anything then no one can be certain of reality. Now let’s look at this from the field of introspection, or feelings. Per Ms. Rand, this phrase “is a rationalization for a feeling of envy and hatred toward those who are certain.” Now let’s follow her thinking on some other phrases.

Rove and Plato“It may be true for you, but it’s not true for me” is a rationalization for one’s inability and unwillingness to prove the validity of one’s contentions.

“Nobody is perfect in this world” is a rationalization for the desire to continue indulging in one’s imperfections, i.e., the desire to escape morality.

“Nobody can help anything he does” is a rationalization for the escape from moral responsibility.

“It may have been true yesterday, but it’s not true today” is a rationalization for the desire to get away with contradictions.

“Logic has nothing to do with reality” is a crude rationalization for a desire to subordinate reality to one’s whims.

“I can’t prove it, but I feel that it’s true” is more than a rationalization: it is a description of the process of rationalizing. Men do not accept a catch phrase by a process of thought, they seize upon a catch phrase – any catch phrase – because it fits their emotions. Such men do not judge the truth of a statement by its correspondence to reality – they judge reality by its correspondence to their feelings.

At this point the lights are starting to flash for many of you. “I knew it, the left operates from feelings but we use reason.” This is far too easy and it is the wrong conclusion. First of all it isn’t true because we all operate from emotions and we even rationalize things from time to time. Second, and most importantly, the conclusion doesn’t look deep enough. Again in Ms. Rand’s words:

“If in the course of philosophical detection, you find yourself at times stopped by the bewildered question: “How could anyone arrive at such nonsense?” – you will begin to understand it when you discover that evil philosophies are systems of rationalization.”

The problem most of us have when discussing issues with our liberal, leftist, or far right friends is that they themselves don’t know what they feel and why they feel it. The rationalizations are not accidental. “The elaborate structures in which it is presented are never purposeless.” The problem is the person we are arguing with is just as unaware of the purpose as we are. Most of them have just come to accept it all as reality. Hence one of the most difficult tasks is to move someone off of a position that they are emotional about. The emotion clouds the ability to even understand where the emotions stem from. You are at this point attempting to deal not with a strongly held belief, but instead a rationalization, which is much more difficult because it was rationalized with much more effort than a belief would have been. 

That is why we all must look both outward and inward to discover the great tricks that have been played upon our minds.

“You may find a grim proof of reality’s power in the fact that the most virulently rabid irrationalist senses the derivative nature of emotions and will not proclaim their primacy, their sovereign causelessness, but will seek to justify them as responses to reality – and if reality contradicts them, he will invent another reality of which they are the humble reflectors, not the rulers.”

Does this behavior sound familiar to anyone?

“Observe that the history of philosophy reproduces – in slow motion, on a macrocosmic screen – the workings of ideas in an individual man’s mind. A man who has accepted false premises is free to reject them, but until and unless he does, they do not lie still in his mind, they grow without his conscious participation and reach their ultimate logical conclusions. A similar process takes place in a culture: if the false premises of an influential philosopher are not challenged, generations of his followers – acting as the culture’s subconscious – milk them down to their ultimate consequences.”

As many of you may be able to tell by now, Ms. Rand was no fan of Immanuel Kant, and essentially lays the blame for the war on reason at his feet. So her following brief on the history of bankrupt philosophies, which begins with Kant, should be of no surprise:

“Since Kant substituted the collective for the objective (in the form of “categories” collectively creating a “phenomenal” world), the next step was the philosophy of Hegel – which is a rationalization for subjectivism, for the power-lust of an ambitious elite who would create a “noumenal,” non-material world (by means of establishing the brute force of an absolute state in the “phenomenal,” material one). Since those outside the elite could not be counted upon to obey or accept such a future, the next side step was Pragmatism – which is a rationalization for the concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment, anti-conceptual mentalities that long for liberation from principles and future.”

Now here is the real challenge for most of us in the world today. Ms. Rand’s next point usually grates on our very souls. As the discomfort builds I ask that you carefully begin to explore the questions, what do I feel and why do I feel it?

Calvin and Hobbs Ethics“Observe that, in spite of their differences, altruism is the untouched, unchallenged common denominator in the ethics of all these philosophies. It is the single richest source of rationalizations. A mortality that cannot be practiced is an unlimited cover for any practice. Altruism is the rationalization for the mass slaughter in Soviet Russia – for envy, hatred, malice, brutality – for the arson, robbery, high jacking, kidnapping, murder perpetuated by the selfless advocates of sundry collectivist causes – for sacrifice and more sacrifice and an infinity of sacrificial victims. When a theory achieves nothing but the opposite of its alleged goals, yet its advocates remain undeterred, you may be certain that it is not a conviction or an “ideal,” but a rationalization.”

“A thinker like Kant does not want you to agree with him: all he wants is that you give him the benefit of the doubt. He knows that your own subconscious does the rest.”

Remember, as you move forward with your new quest, that some philosophical rationalizations are very complex and hard to detect. They are constructed in ways “that an innocent man may be taken in and paralyzed by intellectual confusion”. Don’t be afraid and declare that you know it’s false but you can’t prove it. In Rand’s own words, here is the danger of such an approach:

“.. you might forget all about Kant’s “categories” and his “noumenal” world, but some day, under the pressure of facing some painfully difficult choice, when you feel tempted to evade the responsibility or to make a dishonest decision, when you need all of your inner strength, confidence and courage, you will find yourself thinking: “How do I know what’s true? Nobody knows it. Nobody can be certain of anything.” This is all Kant wanted of you.”

In the conclusion of her Feb 1974 letter regarding philosophical detection, Ms. Rand offers you this encouragement:

“If you keep an active mind, you will discover (assuming that you started with common-sense rationality) that every challenge you examine will strengthen your convictions, that the conscious, reasoned rejection of false theories will help you to clarify and amplify the true ones, that your ideological enemies will make you invulnerable by providing countless demonstrations of their own impotence.

You will not have to keep your mind eternally open to the task of examining every new variant of the same old falsehoods. You will discover that they are variants of attacks on certain philosophical essentials – and that the entire, gigantic battle of philosophy (and of human history) revolves around the upholding or the destruction of these essentials. You will learn to recognize at a glance a given theory’s stand on these essentials, and to reject the attacks without lengthy consideration – because you will know (and will be able to prove) in what way any given attack, old or new, is made of contradictions and ‘stolen concepts’. (This is important…USW)

I will list these essentials for your future reference. But do not attempt the shortcut of accepting them on faith (or as semi-grasped approximations of floating abstractions). That would be a fundamental contradiction and it would not work.

The essentials are: in metaphysics, the Law of Identity; in epistemology, the supremacy of reason; in ethics, rational egoism; in politics, individual rights (i.e., capitalism); and in esthetics, metaphysical values.”

By including this last paragraph of Ms. Rand’s letter I have given you the essentials of her philosophical system (Objectivism). But note that she doesn’t ask you to accept them at face value, but to explore, investigate and accept them only when you know them to be true.

I submit to you that then, and only then, will you be standing upon a foundation from which we can begin to resurrect America. We will explore this claim in our following articles.

 

 

So with all of that said

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Comments

  1. GOOD MORNING TO EVERYONE

    I would like to add a point or two right off the bat. The last three articles were my idea and my creation. USW and BF helped me with the sequencing and some editing. We three collaborated on the need for the series and a general idea of how to unveil it. We are working on some joint writings for the remainder of the series.

    The choice to use Ayn Rand for the introduction was mine but it was not done for some clandestine reason. Having studied this stuff on my own, without the benefit of some academic expert to interpret for me, I had found her writings to be much easier to understand. I figured if I could understand it then you could to. I wanted to use someone who had at least some authority on the subject and not just put it our their as “my” opinion. At the same time I didn’t want to dump her thinkings on you as the gospel.

    My primary goal with the first three was to

    1) Provide an argument that using the concepts and investigative techniques philosophy is important, even if we only explore them at a very simple level.
    2) Provide some idea of how to use the investigative or detection methods to explored external concepts and internal feelings. To see what it looks and feels like to search for the fundamental principles of our views.

    Now why Rand? I remembered her letters on the topics I wanted to cover. So I re-read and decided to use them. I took out some stuff that was more about her philosophy in an attempt to keep it more objective and introductory. Obviously you can’t separate the author’s beliefs from their work completely.

    It also happens that many folks on this site and around the country are reading her books and starting to talk about her philosophy. Since many here had expressed their desire to just get to the politics I figured it would be good to use a contempory philosopher to introduce the topic. One that many people had at least heard of, or had read at some time in their life.

    I believe she is a philosopher as are many of us. But you can see how some others feel about that. Whether she is or not didn’t matter to me because it was her presentation of the topic I wanted to use. Because it covered the general topics I chose, it was articulate and relatively easy to understand. I provided the actual quotes because I didn’t want someone coming along and recognizing the ideas and then accusing me of trying to put Rand into your minds without your knowledge.

    Rand obviously has strong opinions about certain philosophies and what they have done to our minds and this country. I think most of you here can recognize when she is “Ranting” and when she is being instructive. Take her opinions as that and explore more if you are interested.

    Now, about todays post. You will notice the end of todays article suddently changes from instructional basics to an introduction of Rand’s ideas on certain principles or concepts. I did this on purpose as well. It was to create a transition from Detective 101 and 201 to the harder thinking we will be doing next week. It is food to chew on until then. Re-reading this morning I kind of wish I had held off on this. It doesn’t flow as well today as it did when I wrote it.

    Now for my truth in advertising disclaimer: I have admitted on this site that I hold to a modified Objectivist philosophy. I have not hidden that and tried to explain it a couple of times. Especially when we tackled the abortion issue. I will be putting my belief system out there for you to see. Not to win you over but to show how to build a philosophical system that has the fewest contradictions possible. A system that will hopefully show you why we need to eliminate “I want to restore our individual liberty, except for when ……………….”.

    I don’t know why but I just felt a little explanation was at hand this morning, so there you go. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

    Keep and Active Mind
    JAC

    • JAC, Very good article! As i’m trying to get all this to sink in, I’m also trying to apply it as I understand it. In a meeting with our V.P., I questioned their practice and methods of replacing lost employees (it was taking months, and should only take a few weeks at most). To make this short, I proved that their methods were contradicting their goals and priorities. The look on his face was priceless. Guess I’ll be gettin drug tested soon! LOL!

      G!

      • Congratulations

        I was wondering how that meeting went yesterday.
        Now if they will only act on their new knowledge.
        Bureuacracies don’t just exist in govt do they?

        JAC

        • Where I work, management tends to overthink (which equates to me as “don’t think at all”). I will enjoy challenging their flawed policies and decisions, the knowledge that I’m gaining is priceless. Thanks JAC! Your hard work is very much appreciated>

          G!

    • esomhillgazette says:

      I would like to add my thanks also JAC. To you, BF, and USW, for this series. Even though I am having trouble following some of it so far. I am picking up enough to help greatly.

      It’s also giving me some new ways of looking at the World in general.

      EHG

  2. Birdman says:

    In the back of the book, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn outlined objectivism very well. I returned the book to the library. Would it be possible for you to list her theory, as she explained it, for readers on this site?

    On another note, I scanned a book on Bullshit a few years ago. Yes, there is a book on Bullshit. It wasn’t a very long book and my friend carried the book with him in his briefcase. During slow periods of contract negotiations, I read portions of the book. As I recall, the premise of the book was that a liar was easier to expose and dislodge from their position than a Bullshitter. A Bullshitter believes what they are saying is true and it is difficult, if not impossible, to dislodge them from their position. When I read this post, I see comparisons to what I remember in the book on Bullshit.

    I liked Part III. Good job on all!

    • Birdman

      I can present her theory but had planned to wait. Do you want it now or could it wait until next week?

      If others want to see it out in the open now I can do that. I just don’t want to get off the Detective idea to quickly.

      Perhaps we could build a kit to sell in novelty shops. The book on Bullshit and the Bulldookey Detector. Oh…the marketing possibilities.

      JAC

      • esomhillgazette says:

        The bulldookey detector can make the sound of a toilet flushing when it detects the bulldookey.

        Or a fart.

        Good Morning all

      • Birdman says:

        It can wait until next week. You are doing a superb job on covering a very difficult subject and can roll out her theory when you are ready.

  3. Lemminkaenen says:

    Another well-written piece. I really enjoyed the observation that it is important to come to a better understanding of one’s own thought processes in order to be able to synthesize coherent arguements. I also agree with the idea of being able to recognize patterns in arguements and being able to quickly come to the heart of the matter. If anyone has read the book “Blink,” I would liken this process to that that of thin-slicing. People become so familiar with a certain skill set that they can filter out all non-vital information and come to accurate judgments in a matter of seconds.

    Besides, self-knowledge is critical in being able to make pure reasoned thought possible. It allows the individual to correct for personal bias and to be able to quickly recognize what part of an opponent’s argument set off a certain emotion. Then the individual can quickly hone in on a specific part of the arguement and expose it for what it’s worth.

    I find that I disagree with Rand’s views as they relate to the “ills of altruism.” Altruism, at least in it’s purest form, is not what leads individuals into the atrocities of the world. By considering the views of others, the individual is able to in fact prevent such activities from occurring. Altruism causes a person to stand against injustice, to live in a manner that promotes goodwill among humankind. It may be twisted by nationalism, causing individuals to believe that the greatest good is found in carrying out such atrocities. It may be twisted by a skewed sense of humanity, where the individual acts in self interest with the belief that he is acting for others. But altruism can not be twisted if the individual engages in the rest of the “detective” part of Rand’s philosophy. If a person thinks rationally and can weigh the information received through experience and other sentient beings, they can discover what actions are truly altruistic and which ones are rationalized through rhetoric to play off of man’s natural inclination towards altruism.

    • Lem:
      I was going to respond, then thought it could wait, then thought at least I would ask you a question. Then I will know if I need to add some things to next weeks discussion.

      Have you read much on Rand’s view of Altruism? Especially her explanation of why she views it as a problematic ethic.

      Best Wishes
      JAC

      • Lemminkaenen says:

        JAC

        I have not read exceedingly on the subject of her view of altruism, but I am aware of some of her basic arguements against it. From what I have gotten, I do not agree with her assumption that altruism is primarily self-motivated (at least to the extent of importance at which she seems to place it). I would not place myself anywhere being masterful or extremely competent in Rand’s full views, as I have until this point only surveyed broad reaches of philosophy. As we go I am being educated on deeper aspects of Rand’s objectivist beliefs and discussing based on general philosophical knowledge/principles and critical thinking. Feel free to push me, my fellow citizen.

        • Black Flag says:

          Rand’s argument about altruism was not against altruism,

          …but against the application of guilt as the motivation to altruism.

          If you want to give your money away, do it!

          Her argument was not to do it – it was do not do it because you feel guilty if you don’t.

          • Lemminkaenen says:

            Yes, thank you for that. I went to brush up on Rand and realized that I combined several philosophies to misrepresent her position. I was unable to determine if she addressed, however, the interaction of objectivist persons. How does she reconcile a society in which it is possible for those people seeking “selfish” self-realization against the need for others to coexist. Put differently, how can the interests of one person be fulfilled if they are mutually exclusive to the interests of others? The Constitution upholds certain rights at the expense of others. Does Rand’s allow for that and/or do so?

            • Black Flag says:

              how can the interests of one person be fulfilled if they are mutually exclusive to the interests of others?

              By the application of Human Rights.

              The Constitution upholds certain rights at the expense of others.

              Such as?

              • Black Flag says:

                interests of one person be fulfilled

                More specifically, you can buy them.

              • Lemminkaenen says:

                Does not compute

              • Lemminkaenen says:

                In response to the second question, freedoms are interposed on multiple levels. There is the obvious tension between national and state level governments, but that does not really concern this discussion. There is also the tension between a government and its people. By definition and principle, government must be superior to those people who enter into that society in order to be of any reasonable use. I believe it was Locke who said that man must shed some of his natural freedoms in order to exist in a regulated society. The Constitution provides for a system that allows the government to determine which activities are in violation of “national interest,” and therefore allows a simple majority of the legislative body to invalidate a movement by a body of people. It seems almost inherent in our extended “democratic” republic that some interests must be subjugated by the interests of a significant set of others. (I am likely preaching to the choir, but I cannot speak to examples through the Constitution because it dictates more the structure and the organization of government as an institution, and does not provide specific policy descriptions except for some arguable claims emanating from the first three amendments.)

                As to your first statement, I would argue that simply saying human rights does not cut it. What are human rights? Is it the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? But some of that is cultural. Take marriage, for instance. Article 16 deals with marriage, and says the spouses must go into marriage with full agreement. But what about cultures that utilize arranged marriages? This is not the case of an oppressive political system, but of a culture based in a certain tradition. We like to think of ourselves as more progressive, but against what standard can we place our values on what is right for humanity and what is wrong? I admit that there must be some framework, and that we can’t simply throw up our hands and give up, but I do not believe that human rights are necessarily the best way. Instead, there need to be instances in which an individual subjects his will to the general good. This doesn’t mean that the individual has to live a mean life devoid of fulfillment. Individuals simply must learn of which situations it is important to fight for individuality and when to move out of the way and sacrifice a small part of one’s freedom for some recognizable benefit.

        • Lem

          Rand did demonize Altruism in her writings because she identifies it as the root ethic that supports the concept that the rights of the individual are subserveant to the group. It is the ethic that allows collectivism, socialism, communism and fascism.

          Her conclusion is based on her almost anal practice of using definitions of words to build her case, especially historical definitions. She believed that there has been a deliberate attempt to change the accepted meaning of words, such as altruism, in order to lull us to sleep, our minds that is. She believes in the rights of the individual and calls her ethic egoism or selfish. She has a book titled The Virtue of Selfishness. This she defines as those who are responsible for their own survival. The opposite is altruism or selflessness. Without self, and some are responsible for supporting others.

          In previous posts I explained how I have seen these word games at full play in the environmental battles. Then I found they had been going on for along time, since the progressive movement took hold. This caused me to essentially accept Rand’s view on the “true” meaning of altruism. That is why I said the other day that we should think in terms of sympathy, empathy, and charity.

          I know this is the longer answer and may muddy it up a little from what BF posted. Which is an accurate regarding her view of charity. I just want to make sure you know that this was a key Ethical Issue for her and I will develope it further for you next week.

          Hope this helps some
          JAC

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    Taking things again a step further – and I do thing it is relevant to decompose Rand AND her POVs as surely they were partially shaped by her times (I believe JAC at least partially offered this in the first posting)…..

    What is the objectivist view of skepticism? Good? Bad? I’m not really certain now that I’ve read a couple of sources that offer competing viewpoints

    The relative pluralism aspect of Jainism – possible or palatable under Objectivism?

    Agnosticism? I cannot figure this one out – although the bend seems towards atheism?

    Thanks (nothing like some cotton candy reading early in the morning) 🙂

    • Ray

      Her views, as with all of us, are shaped by her experiences, but don’t ever underestimate her understanding of historical philosophers. It is my opinion that if she were alive today she would not change much in the way of her conclusions. Although it would be interesting to see how she dealt with modern discoveries of the brains function, and the discoveries of psychology relative to her epistemology.

      Regarding skepticism let me first ask you to clarify what you mean by this. I’m not concerned with “jackpoting” as you say. I just want to make sure we are on the same subject.

      Regarding “the relative pluralism aspect of Jainism” I can’t answer that right now. Will have to investigate. I have a vague recollection of reading about this but obviously didn’t retain anything up front.

      Regarding agnosticism vs. atheism, that is easy. She was a total and complete atheist. She was convinced that logic and reason and the law of identity precluded mysticism. Thus it precluded God. She had a running war going with the Catholic Church at the time. In my opinion she failed to separate God from Religion and thus missed a chance to explore other possibilities. Thats the thinking answer. Now for the concrete.

      Remember how she urged to take words at their meaning and to apply to how we think. If you start with Faith or the Belief in God then anything else is Not Belief and therefore by definition Atheist. An Agnostic would be someone who is trying to rationalize their lack of faith. Interestingly enough, this argument was given to me by a preacher long ago and then I found Rand making arguments that supported it but did not come right out and say it. So in the end, she had one thing in common with those she disagreed with.

      Hows that for early morning coffee talk?
      Best O The Day to You Ray
      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I was thinking of skepticism as a a school of thought a la Descartes.

        • She would have rejected the “sceptic” practice of not asserting any judgment as this is the conclusion we get from experience and reason.

          She would be probably more aligned with the Stoics of old Greece. Reason and logic applied will result in knowledge of reality and truth. Contradictions are primarily the result of incomplete knowledge, or faulty concepts, which are essentially the same thing.

          So now I have covered all your questions so what are you thinking about Rand and her Objectivism?

          JAC

    • Ray

      I went back to the old Wiki to check on Jainism. I was right, I had actually read about this many years ago. You sly dog you……Dancing patterns of organic energy.

      I’m not following your thought that there is a “relative pluralism aspect of Jainism”. Could you explain what your thinking is here?

      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        This is what I across – and maybe it is not specific to Jainism:

        Relative Pluralism: the truth or the reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.

        Let me know what you think – thanks!

        • Black Flag says:

          I believe can only exist if the perception is emotional.

          How I may FEEL about reality will be different than how you FEEL about reality.

          If we allow that feeling to change our truth, then we are not reasonable.

          Without reason, we move further away from the reality and closer to doom.

        • Ray

          I think you will find this concept from Kant forward.

          Rand would probably answer that reality is what it is and perception doesn’t affect reality.

          Different perceptions of reality can be caused by incomplete information, different information or a mind that is not working correctly, due to illness or the effect of muddled thinking.

          The key is that she believed that everything that exists does so independent of us. We give it description, names and categories. If our perceptions of something are wrong it is because we don’t have full knowledge yet. This is Aristotle and the prevailing thouht of the Enlightenment thinking regarding identity and reason.

          Does that clear up this one?
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I guess first I don’t like mixing truth with reality because I am not certain they are the same, and this is where the role of skepticism comes into play as does the definition of knowledge (knowledge is true, justified belief). What gets messy in using a previous example is this:

            1. I know that snow is white – this I would think passes the knowledge test and would not be seen as something as something that could be, as knowledge, perceived differently by someone else;

            2. I know that all men are created are equal – this is slightly more problematic because (a) it is not true therefore (b) I cannot hold it as a belief and (c) therefore there is not justification of the knowledge. Now – would a relative pluralist see this differently? I present that they would, no?

            The reason I bring this up is because I am assuming we are to discourse further into politics which is chock full of contradiction.

            Thanks,

            Ray

            • Ray:

              I am happy to see you doing some hard thinking here. So lets explore your comments.

              “I guess first I don’t like mixing truth with reality because I am not certain they are the same” this is a great question because it is a root type question. So let me answer with, how could they be different? If truth is that which does not contradict reality then how could reality be separated. They are not exactly the same. But, truth is a representation or reflection of reality. We know something is true because we have tested it and found it consistent with what we know of the universe, reality.

              The hard part is that what we view as Truth today could change as our knowledge of reality changes. But not because reality itself changed. Reality is the universe as it exists. And for some, as God created it. I see no role for skepticism at this point, in the philosophical classification sense. I do see application in the literal sense. It is our skepticism that causes us to constantly test and retest our conepts or assumptions. That is part of logic and reason and discovery of the truth, aka reality.

              I would say that knowledge is much more than you propose but not as restrictive either. It must include understanding of what is true as well as what is not true. It is simply the accumulation of concepts we have formed from perception and reason. Unless you are a Kantian then you have at least some knowledge without perception or reason.

              The snow is white because we see it and it has the same color as other things we call white. It is a white thing. I know this because we humans have somehow agreed that this color we preceive is called white. So now your truth is dependent upon human classification and communication. A metaphysical chararcteristic of man. The skeptics and others would say well it may not be white to me. This is where I split with the big brained philosophers who criticize us “arm chair” types. You see, it is white and I don’t need somebody telling me that it’s only white in my mind and everyone sees it differently. That kind of stuff justs muddles the mind. Pretty soon we are frozen like deer in the headlights because how do we know what is real and not real. That allows other men to then start telling us what we see or to not believe something is really happening because it is just our perception. You see where this can lead?

              Your second statement is a false premise from the start. You state you know but then explain it is not true. I submit that what you actually know is that it is not true. And you can explain why.

              Boil it down and maintain clarity. There are some you know that think philosophy’s concern with how we think (epistemology) has ruined philosophy itself. For one it has created a field of endless arguments and phrases with complicated meanings that chase away most men and women.

              This might have gotten off track because I was interupted about an hour ago. So if it is lacking just ask me more questions.

              Best Wishes
              JAC

  5. esomhillgazette says:

    I wonder about the Objectiveness of some subjects, particularly mine. When you are Passionate about something it’s very hard to change to an Objectivist view.

    For instance Patriotism. I feel that I am very Patriotic. Others may doubt this, but for me My Country is something I can get pissed off at someone over in an Esom Hill second.

    That is my problem with our current Administration and even our current Congressional members. It looks to me like our Government is out to deliberately destroy our Economy and thus our Nation. We are also not standing for our Principles, although this latter has not been done for some time.

    Blame Bush if you want, I’ll even agree with you that the current crisis began on his watch. What I get angry about is the fact that this current Administration is not only continuing the policies of Tax and Spend, but greatly expanding on it. And then you can add the Policies of Socialism Obama is trying to put into Law and, at least in my eyes, any idiot can see that our destruction as a Republic is at hand. At least if he gets his way.

    Let’s face facts. The Tax and Spend policies for both Democrat AND Republican has been going on for the last 25 or 30 years, and really longer than that. The Parties have ALL forgotten just who they are supposed to represent and what their “alledged” Platforms are supposed to say. They are all “out of touch” with reality. And they are to busy pointing fingers at each other to see that they are all doing the same thing.

    If you look back in History, how long has it been since a Politician has truly put his Country and the people first; as they are supposed to do? And do you see it changing? Do you see it getting worse?

    Here is how I feel:
    Although some call me a Right Wing Extremist, I think that I am just concerned for my Country, my Political Reps damn sure ain’t!
    My Objectivity on this matter is shot to hell.
    My Reality is that my Nation is on the verge of disaster.
    My Rationality for this position? Just watch the news.
    Their view of looking us in the face and telling bald faced lies is going to swiftly catch up to them, but at what cost to America?

    Ok, my rant is going to have to stop now as I have to go work. I’ll come back as I can because I want to keep up with todays discussion.

    Good morning to all.
    EHG

    • Esom, Check out a video called “The Obama deception”. Nubian posted a link yesterday. I watched it last night (it’s two hours long) and found it intriguing. Those who put this video together did alot of work, yet it doesn’t seem they are selling it, just getting it out to be seen. I find that somewhat intriguing as well.

      Hope your day goes well!

      G!

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I tried to go to the video she had posted yesterday but my computer wouldn’t go to it. Since my School System blocks some sites, that may have been the reason.

        I don’t have to see a Polecat though to know one’s around. 😉

    • Esom:

      Your rant this morning, as you call it, is an emotional reflection of your Bulldookey Detector going off. Something is not computing.

      The problem is that your reaction then becomes instinctive, or reactionary, causing you to focus on things like Bush, Obama, patriotism, etc etc. You are not alone in this. That is why I felt this series so necessary. That is why BF is always drilling us with those annoying questions. What is the real contradiction causing all this turmoil in your gut, aka subconscious?

      Now think back to US’s series on socialism. Now think about what we are doing here. This has been building for a very long time. It is not Bush or Obama. You are seeing the logical conclusion to a long series of events driven by a political philosophy of statism which is supported by an ethic of Collectivism in favor of Individualism, one that allows govt to initiate force against its innocent citizens.

      As we will discuss next week, the founders unkowingly built contradictions into the system, thus allowing the enemies of their dream to flourish. Of course that is my opinion.

      By the way, Rand calles her philosophy Objectivism because her metaphysics is based on “objective reality” and her epistemology on logic or “objective reasoning”. A conversation between her and the Vulcan Spock would have been most interesting.

      Let the steam out as needed. Don’t want to blow any gaskets. You got ball games to watch.
      And I’m jealous by the way. Mine are all done and I’m way TFO to play anymore.
      Good Day to You
      JAC

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I too am way TFO to play. I guess buddy we’ll just have to watch and dream of the good ol’ days.

        Sittin’ Back and Chillin’
        EHG

    • Birdman says:

      Esomhillgazette:

      I feel your pain and anger. I believe that what is happening or going to happen in California may be the beginning of the end of our nation as we know it. Politicians don’t listen to the people. We have lost our way and I’m fearful that there is no way to stop the collapse of our economy and nation. I know USW believes that violence will be crushed by our military and he’s probably correct but I am pissed off at what I see and hear every day with Obama and both parties. I hope that some State has the nerve to start a secessionist movement becuase that’s the state that I will move to. One hundred years of progressive tyranny, a corrupt progressive education/indoctrination system, a media that reports propaganda and it out to influence public opinion rather than report the news, and so on and so forth.

      I’m starting to think like a survivalist and wondering whether I should start stockpiling essentials. A year ago I would have looked at those type of people as crazy but now I’m not so sure. I don’t know if anyone can stop the current course of the liberals running our Congress and Administrative branch before they do unrepairable damage.

      • Bama dad says:

        Birdman:

        Prepare now. A good Boy Scout is always prepared.

      • I’m way ahead of you Birdman. We started preparing a month or so ago. Its better to be prepared than wait for the worse to happen and be caught with your pants down.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Thanks, You know I’m really frustrated that the politicians in Washington and even some in this state are not listening to us. Hell, they’re not even paying attention!

        I really, and I mean really don’t want things to get violent because I’m afraid USW is right. As a matter of fact I damn well know he is.

        So. Having said that, what can we do to get their attention? If we do get it, then what? Do any of us think that Obama, much less Pelosi and her homeys, are going to say, OK! We hear you and you’re the boss. So we’re going to do a 180 and turn this around.

        Haayull NO! Those arrogant bulldookey artists are going to ride this circus till the wheels fall off and then find someone else to blame.

        Seriously though, I don’t see this turning around so I’m just going to get my ass ready for the apocalypse and hope for the best.

        So let’s all stay low and keep our butts down and we may come out alright to pick up the pieces that are left.

        JAC. Thank you and BF and USW for this series and for all ya’ll are teaching the slower of us here, namely me. And USW, thank you in particular for providing this site for us to have our daily chats. I really enjoy them. I have to say this is becoming a habit doing this. I have learned how to think again just by being here.

        EHG

      • Black Flag says:

        Gold cracked $950

        • esomhillgazette says:

          BF, how high do you predict it to go, and how fast?

          • Black Flag says:

            $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the threat to the bullion banks and the extent the central banks want to maintain their support of them.

            I believe if it crosses $1,000 we will see a fairly constant 1% per day until one of the peaks above…

  6. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Good Morning all,

    Still trying to absorb here! Every so often have to go wring out the sponge though and do something mundane like laundry or dishes!

    JAC…Just read the first book in Princess of the Wands! It was great…! I really do need to pick-up some Karate!

    Picked up The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged last night at Books A Million…Started reading The Fountainhead at my 9-Ball game last night…I think my team members just don’t know what to think of me! I tried explaining a bit about Ayn Rand and they just looked at me as if I caught them in my headlights.

    We are headed to Nags Head tomorrow for a long weekend…I sure do have some heavy reading ahead of me.

    US Weapon, JAC & Blackflag…Keep up the great work that you are doing here…A lightbulb is on in my head, but it’s running at about 1 Watt right now…Every day I learn something new here!

    Thank you and kind regards to all,

    RS

    • That reminds me, I need to go put out the trash.

      My dear Spitfire, I hope you enjoy the books but most of all enjoy the extra days off with your family.

      JAC

      • esomhillgazette says:

        JAC,
        Have you read all the John Ringo books? I have read all of them BUT the Princess series. I am a BIG fan of his. But then I like that Sci-Fi stuff anyway. Also a big fan of David Weber. And Travis Taylor.

        • Haven’t ready any of these.

          I think RS got me confused with someone else this AM or was just making a suggestion.

          I used to consume all Sci Fi I could get my hands on. I read the whole Dune series right after Atlas Shrugged. Good thing I was livin way out in the high desert at the time.

          JAC

  7. You know, I’m really starting to enjoy this series. I’ve read and read again and then once again, and can’t say it all makes perfect sense, but I’m starting to get it.

    I also have a feeling I’m going to have to confront some of my long-held beliefs and I might not like it, but I’m ready and willing to do it to move forward. I had to do this once before with the whole smoking ban thing so I guess I can do it again!

    Thank you all, especially JAC, for these articles so far. It takes me a long time to read and decipher and I appreciate the time you’ve put into this.

    • Black Flag says:

      In my journey, I exposed my contradiction in my long-held belief (I wasn’t born a Black Flag, ya know 😉 )

      I could ignore the reasoning and hold on to my contradiction – or as a mathematician, I submit to reason and logic and I change.

      I changed.

      My whole life.

      I moved, changed careers, my demands, my wants, my entire lifestyle. I mean everything. It also meant that some things that held dear to me had to be left behind, too.

      Everyday, I continue to work closer to my REAL truth based on my immutable core principle.

      • Birdman says:

        Black Flag:

        After we get through this series, I’m looking forward to your summary of past articles that you wrote. I think that would be valuable for many of us.

      • Wow, should I warn my husband now?

        • Black Flag says:

          It’s ok – it didn’t happen over night either.

          But it happened. Every decision I tested it against what I believed.

          If it failed, I left it. Even if it appeared against my interests.

          For example, I stopped working on contracts for governments – they were my cash-cow. But how could I work for an entity that I rage against?

          And what happened — far more profitable opportunities replace them.

          I had ignored these other opportunities because the government work was easy and ‘comfortable’. But, now naked in the consulting world – away from my ‘safe port’ – I found a rich world!

          Yes, there is a lot of hard choices – especially giving up things that, for so long, were very dear.

          However, what is your goal? How do you measure that goals worth? Is it worth it?

          You have a God-given life – as far as we know, one shot at it. There is no rehearsal.

          “The world knows nothing of its greatest men” — Henry Taylor

          • Barberian says:

            Hello BF, I have admired your reasoning skills for sometime though some of your conclusions I have not agreed with.

            That being said, I too had the same transformation in life. I studied Logic and Ethics in college not as requirements but strickly interest. It had a profound influence on me in my early professional years but I became caught up in the “race” for “securing” comfortable future. Like many others in this country, being so focused on those goals I could not see the degradation of my liberties until about 5 years ago.

            I reverted back to my post-college origins and criticed my current life and drastically revised. I too gave up many lucrative endevours that were contrary to my core principles which at first nearly broke me. However, I soon found that as I became more content with myself as a person, my effectiveness in what I do increased almost logrithmically.

            Thanks to all here for provoking reason.

  8. I too would like to thank all of you for this series, it has been an eye opening experience for me and has changed my thought process when listening to the news or idle chat at the store.

    I fear the biggest problem that I have with debating the issues with some of the far left liberals here is that after awhile I get realllly frustrated with them and their talking in circles, saying the same thing in different ways. Drives me batty. After awhile I just want to shake them and scream in their face “Are you truely THAT stupid?!?! Grow a brain will ya!!!”

    • Black Flag says:

      What JAC, USWep and I hope is the result of the Series of posts is that instead of going batty, that you provide them with reasoned argument and probing questions so to discover why they believe what they do.

      I’ll bet you’ll expose them to a contradiction in their belief.

      They will be rather ‘put off’ by that exposure.

      But if they are honest – and most of them are – you will cause them to re-evaluate their position.

      And that, good friend, is the goal.

      • I hope your right hun. From the looks they give me I’m pretty sure they are questioning my parentage. lol

        • Black Flag says:

          It is always easier to believe a 5 word jingo than reason and truth.

          “Support our Troops” for example – is an emotional plea, and also tries to establish an unstated reverse-“corollary” – “If you don’t support them, you hate your freedom and your country”

          Simple! Easy! No thinking required!

          I have found that people hate to think – they like things given to them wrapped in nice ribbons.

          When you start pushing reason, they are blocked by the ‘reverse corollary’ – any questioning the jingo means you are against (pick something valuable, like freedom, country, children, family, women, minorities, etc.) and no one wants those labels.

          So the easy path – stick with the irrational – less work, and less risk.

          That is why I do not depend on the majority – this is the standard that most people work on.

          Thus, democracy or republics cannot work ….ooopss…getting ahead of myself …. 😉

    • Kym, I’ve come to the conclusion that in most cases it’s not worth the effort to talk to most people about the issues at all. My brother-n-law thinks everything is hunkydory and I’m probably nuts. Well, I’m nuts then, but this nut is prepared for anything. Other than people on this site, I don’t discuss much with others about these issues. When you get frustrated think of this, “You can medicate the mentally ill, but you can’t fix stupid”.

      Have a nice day!

      G!

      • LOL

        I have a shirt my daughter bought me

        “People like you are the reason people like me need medication”

        I’m still not sure if she meant it FOR me or AT me

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Have you come to the realization yet that you are not “cool” any longer, and instead you have become like YOUR parents?

          • I’m remotely like my parents with my kids (my youngest is 23). My parents were in their mid 40’s when I was born and my oldest sibling is 17 years older than I am. By the time I came along they were in “retirement mode” which is why my dad bought the ranch when I was 9. He got tired of the steel business and wanted to “relax”. By that I mean find things for me to do like irrigate, train horses, feed all the assorted creatures we had and take care of the vegetable garden. I was the only one at home so it fell on me to do pretty much everything. If nothing else I am very capable at doing alot of things. I never did think I was cool, just tired all the time LOL

    • Remember this one key point. When arguing with some one you must determine if you are operating from completely different understandings of reality. If so, there is no reason to debate because you are arguing in different worlds. Don’t waste your time, except to explain that they are in different world that you.

      Stay Happy
      JAC

      • Yeah, I’ve come to the conclusion that most the people here think a totally different way than I do. Their mind is made up but I will still try to educate them or at least get them to think outside their worlds. Its about all I can do in the bay area. Thanks JAC

  9. Black Flag, When it comes to political labels, what would you define a “Radical Right Wing Liberal”? I was referred as that awhile back, and would like to know if it might be true!

    G!

    • Black Flag says:

      Radical = outside of the norm.

      Right = rather contemplate and consider before acting vs. act immediately on emotion.

      Wing = group

      Liberal = emphasizes individual rights

    • GMan: Here is the definition I posted back at start of April.

      RADICAL = “Fundamental, Extreme, Thoroughgoing; a person who favors rapid and sweeping changes in laws and methods of government” of course it
      is also “the indicated root of a mathematical expression”. I am not as set on “rapid” as I am on the rest. I like the implication
      that the mathematical term indicates the “root” of the expression, as in we RADICALS are the root of the solution.

      RIGHT WING = This has two parts so lets tackle first the word RIGHT. “Just, Proper; conforming to truth or fact: Correct; something that is
      correct, just, proper, or honorable; just action or decision; the casuse of justice; and (one of my faves) to relieve from wrong”.
      WING, obviously means one of two positions or sides (WINGS). So, I sit on the opposite side or the “right as in correct and just” side of the political scale, opposite the left. Which being the opposite is therefore by use of logic, not correct and not just.

      LIBERAL = From Latin liberalis or “suitable for a freeman, generous”, from the root liber or “free”; “not narrow in opinion or judgment: tolerant
      also not orthodox”. The “not orthodox” is certainly me, according to my spousal unit leader.

      Now I must reveal, per the fair advertising rules of the land, that most dictionaris and political pundits use “conservative” as a synonym or at least a word associated with “right” and thus “right wing”. But then they define “liberal” as simply “not conservative”. This of course creates a contradiction for those of us who wish to be correct, just, proper and conforming to truth while at the same time supporting the concept of “freeman” and being “free”. So the whole conundrum is resolved by the first term. After all, everyone knows that we “Radicals” are not good at conforming to illogical arguments.

      Like it still?
      JAC

  10. Kristian says:

    Ok, this is going to sound silly but, I read that entire article and it made me think of the tv series Star Trek The Next Generation. I’ve watched that series for a while now and they talk of earth as being under one government, no one works for money they all search to better themselves through art and such. I used to think that would be an ideal place but then it occured to me as I was reading this article that individual freedoms are never spoken of in that show. It seems to me that maybe Mr. Obama has watched that show and taken it just a bit too much to heart.

    • Black Flag says:

      From another poster:

      Aristotle discovered, formulated, and analyzed the problem of commensurability (how to compensate another and therefore make a fair transaction). He wondered how ratios for a fair exchange of heterogeneous things could be set. He searched for a principle that makes it possible to equate what is apparently unequal and non-comparable. E.g., how does one compare apples to oranges? Or decide whether the go to school or to work? Well, it’s all but impossible (or I should say quite inefficient and uncertain) without money.

      Aristotle claimed that money, as a common measure of everything, makes things commensurable and makes it possible to equalize (or relatively value) them. He states that it is in the form of money, a substance that has a telos (purpose), that individuals have devised a unit that supplies a measure on the basis of which just exchange can take place. Aristotle thus maintained that everything can be expressed in the universal equivalent of money. He explained that money was introduced to satisfy the requirement that all items exchanged must be comparable in some way.

      …..

      I had to laugh that the crew of Star Trek played poker.

      You can’t play poker unless there is something of value that is being played for – go play at the ‘free’ online tables and see how badly poker is played – no one cares if they lose.

      The power of poker is the care (or threat) of loss – it makes you measure and evaluate your bet and your hand and your risk vs reward.

      • I love how you use poker as an example of alot of things. The strategy behind poker does well indeed equate into alot of choices life tends to throw in your path.

  11. Black Flag says:

    I haven’t laughed about a car so much as in this article.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/jeremy_clarkson/article6294116.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1

    Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid

    It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.

    …engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer.

    So you’re sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you’re doing only 23mph because that’s about the top speed, and you’re thinking things can’t get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit. … the engineers have plainly peeled the suspension components to the bone. The result is a ride that beggars belief.

    …feels as if it’s been made from steel so thin, you could read through it. And the seats, finished in pleblon, are designed specifically, it seems, to ruin your skeleton. This is hairy-shirted eco-ism at its very worst.

    The future of Obamamobiles….

    • Black Flag says:

      And a side note on Global Warming.

      The Antarctic study that was showing a ‘warming’ trend there now has a study done on its study ….

      …which shows (get this) that the weather stations monitoring the temp. were buried in snowfall – and would report a warmer temperature than those not buried…

      …meaning the data from these stations is worthless…

    • amazed1 says:

      How funny BF….I laughed so hard on the insight article and you made my day with the weather station!
      Ahhh the joys of the new world. I laugh but reality of this is not really funny.

  12. Black Flag says:

    Lemminkaenen

    Whew! When you have a question, it’s on the spicy side!

    In response to the second question, freedoms are interposed on multiple levels.

    Freedom is a ‘reverse’ action. That is, cannot be fully described by ‘what can you do’ but it is described by the not what you are forced to do.

    I am free when no one impose upon me.

    You are free when no one imposes upon you.

    When we do not impose upon one another, we are both free.

    By definition and principle, government must be superior to those people who enter into that society in order to be of any reasonable use.

    Whose definition and what principle?

    I do not hold any definition that you claim here, nor do I see any principle inside any government action other than evil.

    The onus, sir, is upon you to offer your premise of such claims.

    I believe it was Locke who said that man must shed some of his natural freedoms in order to exist in a regulated society.

    If one submits to be a slave, he must surrender his freedom.

    But if one refuses slavery, what then?

    The Constitution provides for a system that allows the government to determine which activities are in violation of “national interest,” and therefore allows a simple majority of the legislative body to invalidate a movement by a body of people.

    I am no supporter of the Constitution.

    However, the intent of the Constitution was to limit government – it was not intended to be the decider of which activities merited government. It was intended to prevent government from making those choices – and was to constrain government within a limited role in the lives of citizens.

    As JAC inferred, there was many contradictions in the theory of America of which inevitably would result in the government we suffer today.

    It seems almost inherent in our extended “democratic” republic that some interests must be subjugated by the interests of a significant set of others.

    By what right?

    If the government derives its power by a grant of the people, it cannot achieve any more right then that which is a right of an individual.

    Therefore, a rightful government cannot act in a manner exceeding the right of an individual.

    Yet, you suggest that it can.

    Therefore, by what right do you place on government that is greater than the grant to it?

    What are human rights? Is it the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

    No.

    All rights derive from the Natural Law of Mutuality.

    “What you do to me grants me (and everyone else) the right to do to you.”

    Test what you believe is a ‘right’ against that measure, and see if it survives.

  13. Sfc Dick says:

    I am under investigation AGAIN for fighting a war.

    I have no word 2007 so bear with my spelling

    I hijack this thread because it relates to a society and whether I feel that society is worth saving, our US society that has, through the past 27 years ( my time in service, I can’t speak about it before that ) “Molded” the military into what it is today, I don’t much feel like that society is worth saving.

    I shot a bad guy today.

    The situation itself was a jump ball.

    I’m the better warrior, he’s shot.

    oh, wait, I forgot to add, I shot him while he had his back to me, Oh, yeh, he was running away at the time.

    and, oh yeh, he’s a badged individual of the Afghan Forces.

    Those are FACTS.

    here are some more facts.

    We know many of the Afghan Forces are bad guys ( I’m not going to get into what is Taliban, Al quaida, HIG, AL Hinaqi or how ever it’s spelled, or the othe hundreds of groups over here that try to kill US soldiers, bad guy=some one who engages the US soldier on the field of battle and tries to kill him).

    I’ve had it, I’ve had it with this duplicitous command and now I’m spilling the beans.

    We hav a shoot on site list, wanna know who is top on that list here in RC East……wanna? huh…i’ll tell ya

    The Minister Of Customs, Islamic Government Of Afghanistan……

    I’ll let that sink in a bit.

    Yep, the guy we have on the top of our list here, not made by me ofcourse, is a cabinet level official.

    I snatched up his boy a whileback ( bad career move, that, kinda’ the old bell wether event ) for driving around in a stolen Afghan National Army ford ranger. It had a new paint job ofcourse, and illegal weapons in it.

    He got kicked loose in under an hour.

    His dad don’t come round here much, but at the time he was, and probably still is, up in Kabul as one of Karzis top advisors. And there’s that whole cabinent level position he holds thing too.

    So the argument “He’s a good guy, you should have checked that first” thing is kinda mute

    Plus the fact that , “ah, yeh, which good guy is he exactly, he’s got 2 different IDs on him now, and in 3 hours you are going to tell me he’s another dude altogether’

    then there’s the WTF moment. I loaded the dude in the back of a fod ranger and had the ANP haul him to our FOB FST. He beat me to the FST by about 45 minutes. I walked in..”hey, you guys got the dude I shot?” we kinda lost track of him for a bit.

    The head PA came out “We got a guy, he’s in surgery ( which, by the by, his surgery was less major, less time consuming and less evasive then the surgery I underwent after returning from my first tour here to have 4 titanium turn buckles, 2 titaninium rods, and 2 vertabrae fused with bone in my lower back from a lil’ vehicle ambush the bad guys tried on me)

    …..”you shot him? He said he got into a gun fight with a known taliban fighter’

    yeh yeh…so there’s that.

    and lets talk about the escalation of force thingy.

    ” Did SFC use the proper escalation of force, he did follow all the procedures”…..in that 3-5 seconds.

    Not one politician or military commander will ever say “we are tying our fighters hands with a bunch of bullshit when time id of the esence. When our unlucky warrior finds himself in that time span before a gun fight we require him to use 4 distinct ,and time consuming actions before he can shoot, even then if he shoots first we are going to investigate him. This investigation is a vile process conducted by officers who spend no time in the combat arena and they will be his judge jurry and executioner”

    No, they say “We do not want to burden these brave men and women with BS in those 1-3 seconds when their life hangs in the balance”

    yeh, right.

    the levels. Show, Shout, Shove, Shoot to wound/warn ( this btw they will say “we absolutely do not require our soldiers to shoot to wound, when a soldier feels his life or the lives of others is in danger he is well within his rights to shoot to kill. BTW, here is your pen flare kit, it is required that you have this pen flare kit before you are allowed outside the wire and this is now required as level4)

    and the mother of all escalation “shoot in hopes of a quick kill with a hyper velocity .22 caliber rifle that will go right through a man and allow him to continue to kill you, you might want to repeat level five at least 8 times)

    My buddy trying to stop a suicide bomber at inside 40M hit the guy 8 times in the chest, all 8 went zipping right through, making a pretty pink mist, but number 8 was the one that droped the dude, well dropped him to his knees where upon said bomber was still able to toss his bomb at my buddy some 20 feet away now. My buddy is still a bit dinged on that one, he got pretty scuffed up.

    so we have the 4 S’s

    SHOW! Show your weapon, do not display in a manner that indicates that you are going to shoot them in the face though, that jumps the levels.

    Christ sakes…SHOW? really? Us being here, full combat gear, vests, grenades, helmets, big armored trucks, helicopters flying over head, but ya think the dude might have missed all that? Ok, cool, I’ll bring my weapon to the low ready and rock it back and forth and make a menacing face.

    SHOUT! shout a warning to warn the individual that you are about to use deadly force.

    sigh…Ok, but here’s the thing. I can’t hear a Godamned thing on top of this truck, I can’t hear the guy next to me, but I’ll shout. I get it, I’m on the ground, in a busy place, lets say the Bazaar in downtown Orgun, I can’t hear the guy behind me if he aint yelling over this din, but I get it,

    “I am A US fighting man, I fight for the rights of the people of the United States and to protect their way of life. I am expected to be able to shout above the din of combat”.

    here’s another thing though, what exactly do I shout, because all those phrase you spent much time and money training me on, using a forieng national whose mother tongue this is; well, the local dudes tell me those phrases are wrong. God bless the illiterate society.

    here, you can try this at home. I want you to refer to those men, in english, at a shout. ok, go

    “Hey YUUWALL’ ” Hey’yha ” “Yo Uuzse GYZE” “Hey all of you men” and that is in a litterate society.

    and then which terms that don’t work in this region am i supposed to use in which language, Dari or Pash?

    SHOVE! “the term shove can be ltteral or figurative, you might raise your weapon chest level and shove the individual back”

    Oh,…Oh, ha…haha….haahaahaaahaaa…ha

    I’m going to be involved in some “skirmish’ that is going to escalate from me rocking my weapon and making faces , through shoving, because this dude is so close to me, to somewhere down the line shooting him in the head?” Oh, ha ha haaahahhhaahhaa…ok.

    shove does not mean ramming, pushing, bumping or any other type of contact while on the road. We share the road with our host nation, any shoving, bumping, ramming, pushing, or throwing of water bottles will result in imediate prosecution”

    We just got that memo from command last month , water bottles being used is criminal, shooting 12mm flaming balls of white phosphorus at them is the only acceptable method.

    SHOOT..to? here’s where the big lie begins to break down, warning shots are now out. Shoot to wound is now out, shoot to disable a vehicle is now out.

    The new only accepted and required method is the use of the flare gun. Blasting something that give the report and kick of a .38 special, blasting a flaming ball of white phosphorous apoxx 12mm in size, traveling many hundreds of feet per second with about a 4 second burn time, that is the new way.

    SHOOT TO KILL. for God sakes, I won’t even go into that. There are plenty of first hand accounts about the 5.56mm, it’s not a BB gun, but it shure as hell aint a .308 either.

    so know you know the rules. For all you readers out there, go ahead and look up, in that geneva convention we hear about so much of lately, where it says you are not allowed, forbidden, to engage an enemy while in retreat. Get back to me on that.

    here are some more FACTS

    We have 3 training camps/bases within a 10K radius of this camp. We have grids on 2, the 3d is an area.

    the bad guys at each, as reported continually, ranges from 150-300 at the one 8K north east of here, 150-200 7K northwest of here ( give them a break, they’re just getting that one up and running, and 450-600 in the valley 5K east of here. They own that valley. They own a valley 5K from a US FOB. I guess everybody but me and my team is cool with that.

    we have, at last count, over 100 bad guys in Orgun, 500M from the front gate of this camp. We pride ourselves on the diversity of Orgun and try not to do anything that might disrupt that, well, I don’t and today did my damndest to change that.

    we have the locations of 3 High value targets , grids, all within walking distance, sometimes we have locations on up to 5-7.

    We just tend to let bygones be bygones, kinda that french lazy and fair thing.

    we have the description and partial plate of the VBIED that was sent here to blow us up, like the white whale, we catch glimpses of it. It was in the area today. I saw it once, at a distance. Some poor US bastard is going to be sent to his maker with a real clear, lasting vission of the 4 door white corolla.

    We have a suicide vest bomber living in orgun, mid 20s, dark hair, beard, medium height, slight build. He’s been here for 9 weeks now. I think he lives at the hotel/tea room. Me and Benji did our own thing one day, waaaay off the reservation, and shook that tree a bit, we found a room with 9 dudes that had badly forged Paki passports, we got called off that quickly when other, more pressing things happened like, “get the hell out of there”. I believe I met the bomber, I smile at him when he stands on the balcony and watches us walk by.

    today the Chief came to our base. Today is a particular paperwork thing day. We always go to the District Centert (DC) to do this, rarely does the chief come to our house. Today he came and dropped off paperwork that he has never done before. He said there is no need for us at the DC today.

    We went to the DC.

    we got to the DC and told the chief we wanted to go out on a patrol

    Chief said “no, not a good idea”

    We told him we wanted to go to the Tea house/hotel and photo and print the residence (known local bad guy hang out, the place where a ghost appeared 5 feet infront of me, total of 2 seconds, on the otherside of the full length glass wall of the tea room and dissapered as quickly, back lit and and carrying an AK74. yes, you were paying attention, AK74, gently swinging across his chest, to and fro, before he stepped back into the shadows and dissapered for good).

    Chief said “no good, there are 3 taliban down there, I have already sent my men to get them’

    remember those numbers, the number of bad guys on these reports, there will be a test.

    ok, he’s got the 3 taliban taken care of, we each then go about doing our own thing, mine own thing on the team is B. I’m a BRAVO, I’m the trigger puller and all things fighting which includes security, I head out front of the DC to “hang out”. Or, as I like to think about it, give the snipers, suicide bombers and RPG gunners a fair shot at me. The DC is the publics place of governance and bussiness, there is no controlled area, there is no stand off area, people of all ages can walk within 2 feet of me. Such is the nature of this bussiness. I’m on a public street, with the public.

    I’m outside for a about 30 seconds and get the call over the radio that command has just sent out a net call that there are 2 suicide bombers in the Orgun Bazaar now. Description…dark sungalsses. The bazaar is one block away, up the very road I’m on. Nice heads up.

    There came a time today when things began to develope. Any one thing by itself, seemed insignificant, I notice all the little things. That is why I have survived 2 tours and why I am so damn annoying. When all thing are laidout in sequence they almost point to something, or at least some annoying bastard might try to make the case.

    I noticed the ANP at edge of the DC my right had dissapeared, we are all on the road, one point at the main gate, one at each edge of the DC compound, about 100M in length, my right flank was gone. I make mention to the ANP, they shrug, they’ll get somebody.

    the point off o me left, the edge of the Bazaar, the ANP is not checking people as they walk past, he’s almost ignoring them. He’s sitting in a kind of knees to chest fetal position against a stone wall.

    well that’s no good. Today i had 2 US shooters with me.

    I said “I’m heading down to stand at the bazaar check point’

    I didn’t ask the other two to come with me, I won’t ask a man to expose himself needlessly to a bomber who we won’t be able to spot out of the 100s of people and probably only see for a total of 2 seconds before he closes and detonates. I’ll do it because I think I have some special thing and I’m over twice the age of these two other dudes. I’ve lived more than 2 lifetimes to theirs.

    The come with out being asked. I make them stand off to my left about 20 feet behind a hesco barrier.

    “SGT, stand over there, a lil bit more. There, 30 feet, survivability zone’ and I winked at him. He didn’t smile. The other SGT, the young “Bravo” was already there, he’s a quick learner and makes me proud everytime I see his courage under fire, a man at 20yrs. He understands why I stand in the kill zone but won’t allow him. Some day, in some shit hole, 20 years from now he will be telling a 20yr old SGT to stand over there, out of the kill zone, while he himself stands alone in it.

    several minutes passed and I checked my 6, the guards at the gate were now gone. I look over at the SGT, he sees the same thing I do, we give a bit of a look to each other then resume our survielance. Sometimes there’s no use trying to stop the rain, or the wind, it is what it is. Acceptance is sometimes best, recognition of it is critical.

    about 2 minutes later the ANP sitting next to the stone wall gets up, walks over to me and comunicates it’s time for him to go. He leaves. SGT and I share another look as an Apache flys low, coming up behind us down the street, low and slow over the Bazaar and hooks around at the end of the bazaar, flys back , does it one more time then leaves.

    This oddity called for more than a look on my part.

    “wow….that was…..weird”

    The Apaches fading and i get a call from our LT, manning the crew served and scanning with binos our “far” security.

    “I’ve got 2 armed men moving around back of the school. They are in black man jammies, bothe have chest rigs (vests carrying ammo pouches, grenades etc) both have AKs one brown pash hat one lighter tan, heading north”

    “roger that’

    I’ve got 2 bad guys moving on my rear right flank, 5 oclock, about 100M, coming up to get ahead of me.

    “SGT, we got 2 dudes,AKs, chest rigs, black man jammies, coming up on our 5, I’m moving forward to that corner’ and I moved forward about 30 meters so I could look down the east west street and hopefully , at least spot the dudes, and then?. I was playing by ear, but I’d rather play by ear than allow them to move up to my 1 oclock, concealled and abot 30 meters out. I wasn’t going to run and hide inside the DC. PERIOD.

    I wasn’t going to ask or tell the other 2 SGTs that I needed them to move into the very bazaar that we just got word that 2 bombers were in.

    I moved at a run.

    They moved with me and set up on my rear flank. Covering the alley and side street. we waited.

    We 3.

    A period of time passed when i knew they had made it past the street i was watching. they had squirted out a side street, or they had blended in with the other hundreds of people.

    here is where every thing is very, and I MEAN very touchy. Touchy all the way up to the house. This is an point that will be hammered and hammered durring my investigation.

    it is what it is, and i will leave it at that.

    4 ANP came up and joined us at this point. We imediately briefed them on the situation. I explained my thoughts that these bad guys were probably trying to make it north to the tea house, they agreed. I explained that I thought the bad guys has slipped by, or gone around. They agreed. They and I developed a plan where we would move around and possibly flank the bad guys. Upon hashing out some details we agreed that we should move.I called my higher and told him of the plan, we got the go ahead after my commander briefed the Afghan commander and the Afghan commander agreed. I was given the go ahead to move as part of a combined forces team, that would be lead by the Afghan Sergeant and my roll was to be advisory. The Afghan soldier took the lead and we, US, followed. The Afghan Sergeant was in control of the entire movement and made all descisions one where we went.

    We ended up on a roof top 1/2 a block from the tea house. We had missed the 2 bad guys.

    The Afghan Sergeant thought it best that we stay on the roof top and observe the area, he thought that if we survieled the tea house and surrounding area from the roof top we might gain some intell. The Afghan Sergeant told me this was a good, defensible position, and that even though it appeared we had issolated ourselves and had our egress route possibly comprimised that it would be best that we held this position. He felt that we could defend this position and that , even though we might have missed the 2 man team that if we stayed in place long enough next to the “rabbit hole” something might pop up. I agreed. The Afghan Sergeant went about setting in our small team in the defense. I made radio contact with my higher. We waited. It was now 1107L, and i had a 10 digit grid.

    we waited.

    many weird things were happening all around me. The young “Bravo” later told me he saw some of the same weird things and he even noticed some of his own.

    We were right smak dabb in the middle of “IT”.not untill later that we started to see what all of “it” was, we still don’t know the extent or the time line, of “IT” that we popped into.

    I suspect that we popped into , well into a level, or phase, or time line of 3, with “it” consiting of 4 phases.
    Like chicken little I say we are going to get our own Tet’ here, some agree some don’t. phase, level, timeline, 4 ; well, no one has to wake you up in the middle of Katrina to tell you a hurricane has come. I think 4 will be self evident.

    I recieved a call from my LT who was on the crew servred, he saw 3 more men moving the same route.

    “7 this is 4, I’ve got 3 more armed men, all chest rigs and armed with AK47s, all in black man jammies, 2 with pash hats, brown, moving around the back of the school and heading north”

    first it was 2 men, now 3, where had I heard those numbers before?

    I informed the Afghan Sergeant about the 3 armed men. We agreed these were most likely AAF (anti afghan forces) He thought we could move back through the back alleys and catch these 3 men before they got away. I agreed. He thought that by moving in the route they had used to elude us the first time that contact would be emminent. I agreed. He was concerned with the amount of people on the street and possible civilian casualties, we discussed the 4levels of escalation of force. He thought that if it at all possible, he and his fellow Afghan forces should be the ones who inderdict and dirrectly confront these AAF, I agreed. He readied the team for our move and gave a brief on his intentions.I called higher and Informed them of the Afghan Sergeants plan. The Afghan Sergeant lead out, and we followed.

    We moved at a quick jog but not a ful tilt run. It was hot. We dodged in and up back alleis and through back gateways and open court yards. We were now the hunters. I knew one thing as hard fact. In 60-90 seconds we are going to come face to face with the bad guys. I didn’t know where. I didn’t know when and I didn’t know how many we would meet or how they were arrayed when we would meet them. I knew in 60-90 seconds we are going to be in a gun fight.

    I knew this, they didn’t, this gave us the edge.

    We rounded the corner on the north south street that these guys were going to be heading north on. We went to a fast, deliberate walk, at the high ready. The street was packed. Even as we moved at the high ready, moved HARD, people seemed to ignore us, we moved in and around people, pressing forward.

    We were closing in.

    I scanned faces, heads, back off heads, front off faces. This street was more congested than something like china town, I was in a river of people, swiming against the current, head up.The din of the crowd swept over me. I never looked behind me, I knew, I could feel my young Bravo right on me, moving as a team. We were pressing hard into an upcoming gungfight.

    It was hot. It was noon. Time began to stand still.

    I could almost feel myself elevated slighly from the mass of moving bodies, I could almost see over all the heads.

    I saw him.

    I saw him first and he had not yet seen me.

    A split second I saw hime before he was lost in the sea of people.

    He was moving dirrectly towards me, fast. He too was moving hard, but he thinking he was moving from something, I knew I was moving into something.

    His head was up and he had his AK47 out infront of him, moving a the low ready.

    I saw , he didn’t, the mass closed around him, I had an opening of about 10 feet infront of me to the wave of people as the moved. I closed this distance and went into a standing firing position.

    My feet were set, I pressed my thumb against the safety and rested my forefinger in its home, across the triger. I could move my thumb, pressing the safety to fire and begin squeezing the triger in a smooth instant. I had my face up, but my head was along my weapon..

    2 seconds had passed since I lost sight of him, but I knew where he would apear when the human tided ebbed.

    I was right.

    The crowd open a lane between us just as quickly as it had closed.

    I was at my standing high ready when we apeared to each other, he was mid stride, low ready. Frozen

    Our eyes locked.

    I instructed him in Pashtune to stop and drop his weapon. I yelled this command loud enough that he and the trail element in my team heard me. I repeated this command again in Dari, just as loudly.

    He spun on his heels to run. The crowd closed in around him just as quickly. He was running, I lost sight of him for an instant but knew where he was.

    As I lowered to the kneeling firing position I switch my safety to fire and rotated my face the 2 inches to gain a sight picture through my combat optics.

    I’m looking through 4X magnification with a red irudated arrow head, an upside down V.

    This field of view is my world no.Nothing exists outside the 10 deg of vision I have now. Nothing lives, breaths or exists outside the tip or my red V….except him.

    The crowd opens again, like waves is a storm, rising and falling. The masses of bodies blend into a darkness that is out of focus.

    The waves open and there he is, again. My distance is such and with the magnification I have nothing in my world now except him, from the waist up to just over his head, and my radiant red V.

    I yell again. I yelled stop or i will shoot, in Pashtun and I yelled it again in Dari. I know he heard me because when I yelled he looked over his should and began to turn.

    I saw his eyes and the look on his face wa not of fear, it was more, reality. I saw his right elbow befin to rise and his body begin to turn. My mind fixed on that elbow, moving up and out, my red V fixed on his arm jus above the elbow. The movement triggered something in my brain, the stories of suicide bombers blowing themselves up when being corned by US forces. I saw his elbow moving up and out as he moved but begining to turn.

    I squezzed the trigger, the supressed snap from my sound tech supressor was ecplipsed by the sound of my bolt slamming another round into the chamber. I mantaned focus on my target as the dark mass of people closed in again.

    I raised up and forward, at the high ready. I feared I’d missed.

    I moved not 2 steps when the crowd finally subsided for good, flowing like water from a raised rock in the center.

    We came face to face again, but now he in the kneeling position. I had moved to damn quick, I had moved from my position of advantage right into his. I knew instantly I had fucked up, I was fully erect before him and he was now the hunter.

    he was less than 20 feet infront of me looking up, on one knee raising…

    I brought my face to my weapon but noticed he’s stop rising.

    He had his hand on his AK, on the ground, brining it up as he wathed me into his

    but his hand never brought the AK, I could see him in the moment bringing everything into bear but stuck in that moment, that spot.

    I’d hit him.

    I saw the blood.

    The world was black and white in that moment , the only color those 3 pools of blood.

    I closed and kicked his ak away and stepped back, yelling to take off the vest.

    The ANP moved forward and removed it.

    An ANP ranger appeared from?

    The ANP quickly frisked him. I told them to through him in the bed of the ranger and move him to the FOB and the US FST.

    I’d hit him, but now he was out of the fight.

    Everthing now changed, The overriding thing, the thing that drove me now was saving this mans life. I was not going to wait for a medic. I was not going to follow procedure and call a medivac. I was not going to follow procedure and have him sent to the local clinic only to be admitted to our FST after being evallutaed by an Afghan Dr.

    I droppem my weapon and picked this guy up and put him in the bed of the truck and told them to get him to our US FOB now. They sped off and I called ahead to get our gate guards ready.

    like I said, he made it back well before I. He’s fine.

    We sent up the report. The cal came immediately from command. The good shoot, the way it was described back to me by the commander on the gound here at the fob, was now being called a bad shoot, reckless at best criminal at worst. The same facts presented to the fighting commander here, it was noted that all I needed was a Serious Incident report because i had shown such restraint in my used of force. I didn’t start shooting untill after I gave two commands. I didn’t initial shoot when I had the drop on him, which is completely legal and reasonable and…AND I had to spend time explaining to the on the ground commander, the fighting commander, why I didn’t drop this dude first soonest and in the head. After all, this fighting commander has gone out on more than one occasion with his men, on missions, in fights, LOSING US SOLDIERS because of 1 or 2 seconds. The desk commander up the chain is appalled and spent 45 minutes on the phone with my team chief reaming him, using phrases like “so your backing this guy” ” how do you know, how do YOU know he used the proper escalation of force and follwed the procedure” ” He shot this man when he was running away!” “why didn’t he stop, get a policeman ad send the police after him’.

    so there it is. I hijacked this thread but I needed to vent.

    • SFC Dick says:

      Alrighty then, round one is finished, now I wait for their next move

      BTW, I hope it is understood when I drilled down on the society not worth saving that it is the same society that we, for the most part on this blog, and that includes those that some lable left, want to address and change. Those on this board do not sit idly by, those on this board are the involved, the “do’ers”. I’m all for saving the doers. Even with the cross spectrum here, I find I identify this spectrum as my “America”, Black Flag through USWeapon to Ray , the one’s willing to discuss and involve themselves, using reasoned debate and logic, regardless of the formulations in which way we go, that is my America and it is worth saving

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