Building a Foundation For Resurrecting America Part IV

Philosophy CursiveAnd back to the philosophy we go. This series is going to jump around a bit. We took a couple of days off and dealt with some other topics. But now we are back to it. We have now begun to understand why philosophy is important and gotten a grasp on some of the terminology and thought processes as they apply. Now we will get a chance to see some of that philosophy applied to the founders. We often are taught to believe that the founders were infallible geniuses who we just had the good fortune to have around when we needed to form a country. Not so. They were merely men who did the best they could with what they had…

So for the next part of our philosophy series we are going to look at where the founders went wrong. It is obvious that the vision for America was a fairly solid one, based on good intentions. With that being the case, we have to question how it is that we could have possibly gotten to the point we are at now. Returning to us is Just A Citizen with another article discussing the thought. I know that the philosophy stuff is still a difficult read for some, and it tends to make some of us feel as though we are lost. But continue to follow along. It might help to take 20 minutes and go back to read last week’s stuff again. I know this road we are taking you on is winding, and sometimes confusing. But if you follow along, it will all make sense in the end. So without further delay, Just A Citizen brings us another installment:

WHERE THE FOUNDERS WENT WRONG Just a Citizen 

Leonard Peikoff

Leonard Peikoff

We have discussed why philosophy is important to our task of resurrecting our nation as well as reviewed the various branches and some investigative methods. My constant harping on the need for a philosophical foundation should raise several questions with regard to our nation’s current situation.

  1. What was the philosophical foundation on which America was built?
  2. Is our current situation due to problems with the original philosophy or just mechanical flaws in the Constitution?

These were the questions I had a couple of years ago when I came across an essay by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, a colleague of Ayn Rand, that provided what I consider a well thought out explanation. In December 1973 Ms. Rand included Dr. Peikoff’s essay as a two part series in The Ayn Rand Letter. The essay included excerpts from Dr. Peikoff’s soon to be released book, The Ominous Parallels. The following is a reproduction of much of his two part essay, with a few comments added by me for emphasis. Please enjoy!

“Since the golden age of Greece, there has been only one era of reason in twenty-three centuries of Western philosophy. It was during this era’s final decades that the United States of America was created as an independent nation. This is the key to the country – to its nature, its development, and its uniqueness: the United States is the nation of the Enlightenment.”

The Age of Enlightenment was the culmination of over 400 years of philosophical progression that resulted in secularizing the Western mind. The Enlightenment brought with it a genuine respect for reason for the first time in modern history.

“The trend that had been implicit in the centuries-long crusade of a handful of innovators, now swept the West explicitly, reaching and inspiring educated men in every field. Reason, for so long the wave of the future, had become the animating force of the present. For the first time since the high point of classical civilization, thinkers regarded the acceptance of reason as uncontroversial. They regarded the exercise of man’s intellect not as a sin to be proscribed, or as a handmaiden to be tolerated, or even as a breath-taking discovery to be treated gingerly – but as virtue, as the norm, the to-be-expected.

Thinker EnlightenmentThe European Enlightenment came to America in the early eighteenth century, eventually becoming the dominant philosophical power. This “American Enlightenment” represented a complete reversal of the Puritan’s philosophy, which had dominated until then. “Confidence in the power of man, replaced dependence on the grace of God – and that rare intellectual orientation emerged, the key to the Enlightenment approach in every branch of philosophy: secularism without skepticism.”

Prior to the Enlightenment nature had been viewed as a realm of miracle manipulated by God, “a realm whose significance lay in the clues it offered to the purpose and plan of its author.” Now nature became a realm of reality, a realm governed by “scientific laws”. Miracles were no longer allowed as a reasonable explanation and the unanswered became the focus of further study not mystic explanations. Supernatural explanations were no longer required. The unexplained was simply explained as a lack of knowledge, and nothing more. There are no contradictions in nature, only that which we do not know. Cause and effect are observable and measurable. All objects of the universe are identifiable and can be described and most importantly they do not change to fit the whim of God or some mystic.

The fundamental epistemological principle became “the sovereignty of human reason”. Ethan Allen titled his book Reason the Only Oracle of Man. Thomas Jefferson writes to a nephew expressing his viewpoint that he should: “Fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there is on, he must more approve of the homage of reason, that that of blindfolded fear.”

“Reason, according to the characteristic Enlightenment conception, is a faculty which acquires knowledge by derivation from the evidence of the senses; there are no divinely inspired, innate ideas. It is a faculty which, properly employed, can discover explanatory principles in every field, and achieve certainty in regard to them. Since these principles, it was held, are absolute truths stating facts of reality, they are binding on every man, whatever his feelings or nationality. In other words, knowledge is objective. It was not heavenly illumination or skeptical doubt or subjective emotion that the Enlightenment mind extolled (“enthusiasm,” i.e., irrational passion, was regarded as the cardinal epistemological sin), it was the exercise of the fact-seeking intellect – logical, deliberate, dispassionate, potent.”

Calvin Academia“The consequence of this view of reason was the legendary epistemological self-confidence of the period – the conviction that there are no limits to the triumphant advance of science, of human knowledge, of human progress. “The strength of the human understanding is incalculable, its keenness of discernment would ultimately penetrate into every par of nature, were it permitted to operate with uncontrouled and unqualified freedom,” writes Elihu Palmer, a militant American spokesman of the period. “…it has hitherto been deemed a crime to think,” he states; but at last, men have escaped from the “long and doleful night” of Christian rule, with its “frenzy,” its “religious fanaticism,” its “mad enthusiasm”’ at last, men have grasped “the unlimited power of human reason” – “Reason, which every kind of supernatural Theology abhors – Reason, which is the glory of our nature…” Now, “a full scope must be given to the operation of intellectual powers, and man must feel an unqualified confidence in his own energies.””

“After centuries of medieval wallowing in Original Sin and the ethics of unquestioning submissiveness, a widespread wave of moral self-confidence now swept the West, reflecting and complementing man’s new epistemological self-confidence. Just as there are no limits to man’s knowledge, many thinkers held, so there are no limits to man’s moral improvement. If man is not yet perfect, they held, he is a least perfectible: just as there are objective, natural laws in science, so there are objective, natural laws in ethics – and man is capable of discovering such laws, and of acting in accordance with them; he is capable not only of using his intellect, but also of living by its guidance (this, at least, was the Enlightenment’s ethical program and promise).”

And here is a critical point. The Enlightenment resulted in a changed view of man as a being. We were no longer just pawns in some mystic world of divine manipulation. Man was now a self-confident rational being. Man was no longer unworthy but a basically good, potentially noble being. Man was now seen as a creature of value, in and of himself. Why is this so important you ask? Well let’s look at the logical philosophical conclusions that evolve from such a view.

“Metaphysically – thinkers held – since reality is the world of particulars, the individual is fully real. Epistemologically and ethically, since reason is an attribute of the individual, the potency and value of man the rational being, means the potency and value of the individual who exercises his reason. Thus when the Enlightenment upheld the pursuit of happiness, the meaning (Christian contradictions aside for the moment) was: the pursuit by each man of his own happiness, to be gained by his own independent efforts – by self-reliance and self-development, leading to self-respect and self-made worldly success.”

“The leaders of the American Enlightenment did not reject the idea of the supernatural completely; characteristically, they were deists, who believed that God exists as nature’s remote, impersonal creator and as the original source of natural law; but, they held, having performed these functions, God thereafter retires into the role of a passive, disinterested spectator. This view (along with the continuing belief in an afterlife) is a remnant of medievalism, but, in terms of its operative influence on the period, it is in the nature of a vestigial afterthought, which diminishes the role and power of religion in men’s lives. The threat to “Divine religion,” observed one concerned preacher at the time, was “the indifference which prevails” and the “ridicule”; mankind, he noted, are in “great danger of being laughed out of religion…”.”

“Throughout history, the state had been regarded, implicitly or explicitly, as the ruler of the individual – as a sovereign authority (with or without supernatural mandate), an authority logically antecedent to the citizen, and to which he must submit. The Founding Fathers challenged this primordial notion. They started with the premise of the primacy and sovereignty of the individual. The individual, they held, logically precedes the group or the institution of government. Whether or not any social organization exists, each man possesses certain individual rights. And “among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – or, in the words of a New Hampshire state document, “among which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and in a word, of seeking an obtaining happiness.”

 

 “These rights were regarded not as a disparate collection, but as a unity, expressing a single fundamental right. Man’s rights, declares Samuel Adams, “are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.” Man’s rights are natural, i.e., their warrant is the laws of reality, not any arbitrary human decision; and they are inalienable, i.e., absolutes not subject to renunciation, revocation or infringement by any person or group. Rights, affirms John Dickinson, “are not annexed to us by parchments and seals….They are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power without taking our lives. In short, they are founded on the immutable maxims of reason and justice.””

John Dickinson-President of Delaware and Pennsylvania

John Dickinson-President of Delaware and Pennsylvania

 

“And “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” The powers of government are, therefore, limited, not merely de facto or by default, but on principle: government is forbidden to infringe man’s rights. It is forbidden because, in Adams’ words, “the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defense of those very rights…”

In plain language, “the state is the servant of the individual; it is not a sovereign possessing primary authority, but an agent possessing only delegated authority pursuant to the voluntary decision of the citizens, charged by them with a specific practical function – and subject to dissolution and reconstruction if it trespasses outside its assigned purview.”

According to the new American model the state was no longer the ruler of man but exists to prevent the division of men into rulers and ruled. Government’s role is to enable the individual, in Adams’ words, “to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule”.

Jefferson expressed the general sentiment of the times with “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Note that Jefferson does not declare his hostility towards tyranny over man in general but over the mind of man. Without man’s ability to freely use his mind according to his own nature, it is impossible for man to survive, without submitting to the yoke of slavery.

The Founders did not limit their battle to opposing theocracy and monarchy. They included democracy among those forms of government antithetical to man’s liberty. The system of unlimited majority rule was recognized as simply “substituting the tyranny of a mob for that of a handful of autocrats”.

Jefferson Change We Can Believe InAccording to Jefferson, we need to recognize that the will of the majority “to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression.” In a pure democracy Madison noted “there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

“When the framers of the American republic spoke of “the people,” they did not mean a collectivist entity one part of which was authorized to consume the rest. They meant a sum of individuals, each of whom – whether strong or weak, rich or poor – retains his inviolate guarantee of individual rights.”

And, as John Adams said, “It is agreed that the end of all government is the good and ease of the people, in a secure enjoyment of their rights, without oppression; but it must be remembered, that the rich are people as well as the poor; that they have rights as well as others; that they have as clear and as sacred a right to their large property as others have to theirs which is smaller; that oppression to them is as possible and as wicked as to others.”

“The heroism of the Founding Fathers was that thy recognized an unprecedented opportunity, the chance to create a country of individual liberty for the first time in history – and staked everything on their judgment: the new nation, and their own lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.” “The genius of the Founding Fathers was their ability not only to grasp the revolutionary political ideas of the period, but to devise a means of implementing those ideas in practice, i.e., of translating them from the realm of philosophic abstraction into that of socio-political reality.”

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, THE PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATION FOR OUR NATION. But, how could something that seems so solid have gone astray? Have you used your new investigative skills to find the cracks yet? No, you say. Well then let’s continue.

“The American approach to politics, however, rested on the basic philosophy of the Enlightenment – above all, on its view of reason and its view of values, i.e., its epistemology and its ethics. And in regard to basic philosophy, the Americans of the revolutionary era were counting on Europe”.

“There was no American attempt to give systematic, comprehensive statement to the ideas of the Enlightenment mind, and little concern with the technical issues involved in their defense. The American thinkers functioned within an intellectual atmosphere largely taken for granted as incontestable, made of generalized emphases and tendencies absorbed from Europe – an atmosphere whose elements were invoked as and when necessary, in no particular order, in the course of countless letters, pamphlets, essays, etc. It was an era dominated by men of action, philosophically minded but eager to apply in political practice the abstract principles they had learned; men who assumed – insofar as they raised the question at all – that the ultimate validation and philosophic base of their principles had already been established beyond challenge by the thinkers of Europe.”

“The Americans were counting on what did not exist. There was not such base in Europe. In every fundamental area, the thought of the European Enlightenment was filled with unanswered questions, torn by contradictions – and eminently vulnerable to challenge.”

John Locke

John Locke

 

“John Locke, widely regarded during the Enlightenment as Europe’s leading philosopher, taken as the definitive spokesman for reason and the new science – is a representative case in point. The philosophy of this spokesman is a contradictory mixture, part Aristotelian, part Christian, part Cartesian, part skeptic – in short, an eclectic shambles all but openly inviting any Berkeley or Hume in the vicinity to rip it into shreds.”

“When the men of the Enlightenment counted on Locke (and his equivalents) as their intellectual defender, they were counting on a philosophy of reason so profoundly undercut as to be in process of self-destructing. The same destruction was occurring in Europe in the field of ethics. Although Locke and many others had held out the promise of a rational, demonstrative science of ethics, none of them delivered on this promise; none could produce or define such an ethics. Meanwhile, European voices, rising and growing louder, were declaring that the principles of ethics are ultimately based not on reason, but on feeling.”

Per James Wilson, American legal philosopher and signatory of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (reflecting Hume and others): “The ultimate ends of human actions, can never, in any case, be accounted for by reason. They recommend themselves entirely to the sentiments and affections of men, without dependence on the intellectual faculties.” Morality, he states, derives from man’s “moral sense” or “instincts” or “conscience.” And furthermore, “I can only say, I feel that such is my duty. Here investigation must stop…”

You see our Founders did not identify the basis of a rational, scientific ethics. “Whether they admitted it or not, they were basing their ethical guidance on what they felt to be moral.” And now for the grand finale, drum role please………..

“The Americans were political revolutionaries, but not ethical revolutionaries. Whatever their partial (and largely implicit) acceptance of the principle of ethical egoism, they remained explicitly within the standard European tradition, avowing their primary allegiance to a moral code stressing utilitarian service and social duty. Such was the American conflict; an impassioned politics presupposing one kind of ethics, within a cultural atmosphere professing the sublimity of an opposite kind of ethics.”

Founding Fathers“The signs of the conflict, and of the toll it exacted from the distinctively American political approach, were evident at the beginning – in Jefferson’s proposal for free public education; in Paine’s advocacy of a variety of governmental welfare functions; in Franklin’s view that an individual has not right to his “superfluous” property, which the public may dispose of as it chooses, “whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition”; etc.”

“Philosophically, America was born a profound anomaly: a solid political structure, erected on a tottering base.”

“The Founding Fathers did not know that the era in which they lived and fought and planned, was on the threshold of yielding to its antipode. They did not know that they had snatched a country from the jaws of history at the last possible moment. They did not know that, even as they struggled to bring the new nation into existence, its philosophical grave diggers were already at work, cashing in on the period’s contradictions: in the very decade in which the Founding Fathers were publishing their momentous documents, Kant was publishing his.”

“Symbolically, this is America’s philosophical conflict, running through all the years of its subsequent history: the Declaration of Independence, with everything it presupposes, against the Critique of Pure Reason, with everything to which it leads.”

Ayn Rand offers the following Postscript at the conclusion of Dr. Peikoff’s essay.

“I would like to call Dr. Peikoff’s essay to the particular attention of two groups, both of whom believe that the solution of this country’s problems requires no new philosophical thinking, but merely an uncritical return to the unsolved contradictions of the past. These groups are: 1. The conservatives, who believe that capitalism can stand on a base of mysticism and altruism. 2. The businessmen, who believe that philosophy has no practical influence – as taught by their philosophy, Pragmatism.”

And now for my closing thoughts. If we are to succeed we must resolve the contradictions left unanswered by our Founders. In the next article we will review one persons proposed solution. As I promised last week, we will review the philosophical system of Ayn Rand.

And there we go. Some thoughts on where the founding fathers may have missed their mark. I have often cringed a bit when folks tell me that “the founding fathers gave us this perfect country and this perfect document and we the people allowed it to be screwed up.” Because to me the bottom line is that if the document was perfect, the people wouldn’t have been able to screw it up. There is no doubt that the founding documents have been bastardized by all levels of government and every party to have held office in this country, but that was made possible by the flaws in the creation of the documents. If we are going to fix things, it starts with eliminating those flaws and contradictions.

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Comments

  1. Watch the following videos and you will see and begin to understand who and what caused the crisis we are in now.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Obama+deception&emb=0&aq=f#

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1070329053600562261&ei=LqEeStyeGof8rgL28_i8CQ&q=endgame+alex+jones

    • Nubian, I, and a few others have been getting this around to everyone we know (The Obama Deception). It is a very intriguing video, to say the least. I received an e-mail this morning about the Global warming scam. It’s by John Coleman and really slam Al Gore. If you get time google him, I think there’s a video available.

      G!

      • esomhillgazette says:

        G and Nubian: I could not log onto the site you put on here so I found another. Here it is. Very interesting video. I wonder how much proof they have? And if they have it, why we’re not hearing more about it? Coverup? :suprise: They wouldn’t do that!! 🙂

    • Sorry Nubian but you are wrong. This is only the latest manifestation of a problem that started a long time ago. If you keep focused on the flames in front of you, you will not know where to build your fireline to control the entire fire. You will just be throwing dirt on your spot while the main fire surrounds you.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Nubian – should I really watch this piece of shit? What can I hope to learn? Honestly – before I spend the next 1.5 hours and then wish I had that time back. Please hit the pause at one minute thirteen seconds – what pisses me off is when slick producers create video like this that manipulates people like you. They are showing a spec of a session in Congress, and here – look at the date on the placard – September 23, 2008. Oh – and look at the picture below that frame – Nancy and Rahm and Barney. WTF? Should I hit the play and keep watching or am I going to be fed more lies and b.s.?

      • USWeapon says:

        No Ray. It is not worth watching. It makes for some fun fodder, but is so full of holes and connections that are not really there that you will wish you had that hour and a half back. I liken it to Faren. 9/11 by Michael Moore. Complete propaganda.

        • Alan F. says:

          Hey you have to give credit to Michael Moore for one thing though, getting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to change the definition of “documentary” when Webster’s Dictionary refused to do such was no small feat.

    • USWeapon says:

      Nubian,

      I have watched this entire video in the past. About 3-4 months ago. It is interesting and useful if you want to allow propaganda to make you not sleep at night, but not much more than that. As someone who is not a fan of the new President or the old one, I would love for all this to be true, and for every American to watch it and join the cause. But unfortunately I have to use reason and logic here. And this doesn’t pass muster. I ranks right up there with the Michael Moore hit piece about 9/11. It has some interesting facts and there are truths mixed in, but the fallacies that exist in the connections that they make can be pointed out by my teenage son.

  2. Sure, I get that. Our Founders basically got lucky. They managed over all odds to put together a completely unique brand of Democracy into a Constitutional Republic. Something that had never been done before (or since).

    Since it was such a unique Country, with a governing system that had never been seen before, even by them, they were bound to make some mistakes. They would have made mistakes if they had contemplated it for 1000 years.

    Even now we cannot totally understand how to constitute a Governmental system pleasing to everyones eye. We never will. The only thing that we as a nation can do is to try to get us back as close as possible to the ideals and philosophy of the Founders. As many mistakes as they made, Our Country was a lot closer to perfection then than it is now.

    Our Government has strayed from our Founding principles so far as to be almost recognizable. I really believe JAC, that we as a people began to stray from the path almost from the day we became the United States.

    One example was the “Whiskey Tax” and the resulting rebellion it caused. What did the Government expect? We had just come from a war fought partially over taxation and BAMMM! The new Government institutes a tax. ON ALCOHOL of all things! The Scots and Irish, who were most of the Whiskey makers, and were all anti-governmment interference individualists to begin with, screamed bloody murder at the very idea that our Government had the right to put any Tax at all on them, and they IMO, were right. The Govt did not have that right. This instituted “Moonshining” into society. If you can’t make it in your barn without getting taxed on it, then hide it in the woods.

    Transfer this to today. We still have folks in the woods making ‘shine and growing pot. But we also have thousands of people finding more and more imaginative ways of hiding their money from the Government. And not just money. All kinds of things are being hidden so that the Government doesn’t know about them. This is somewhat because our Federal Government has grown too big and has decided that there is nothing too small to shove their nose into. “Sin” Taxes are just one small thing. They are finding ways to tax the very air you breathe (Cap and Trade).

    Did anyone see the new survey that will go out to 3 million of us in the next week? It is supposed to be a pre-census survey for the Government. They have some of the most ridiculous questions I have ever heard of on it. Most of the questions read were none of the Govt’s business. They are MAKING it their business. Why?

    When we decide that our Supreme Court Judges should be appointed because they have “Empathy”, and that we have businesses that are too big to fail, we need to rethink our National Mindset. When our Congress decides to “Rubberstamp” all the decisions of the President because their Party has the power, even when it is NOT in the people’s interests, we need another mindset. When our Government decides they need more money to spend, so they’ll just PRINT IT, We for damn sure need another mindset.

    I’ll stop now because I am ranting. But I believe our Founders “imperfections” were worlds above what we have since turned into. The Philosophy and Ideals that made this Country great are being thrown into the crapper for Political and Power gain. And they have been for Decades. This did not START with Obama. It started almost from the Revolution itself. When man decided that Power was more important than Liberty.

    • Bama dad says:
    • Naten53 says:

      The Whiskey Rebellion wasn’t as much of a revolt against the tax as a revolt against an unfair tax. Enacted in 1791, large distillers paid a tax of 6 cents per the gallon and everyone else paid 9 cents per gallon. The other thing that made it unfair was the fact that in the mountains currency was not used much at all, it was mostly a barter system.

      Also, President George Washington was one of the large distillers that got the lower tax rate. Sounds fair?

      • USWeapon says:

        Naten,

        Careful with the reference to Washington. One of the tricks in debate is to point out that something is unfair simply because someone in power benefits from it.

        For example many have problems with Halibutron getting a no-bid contract and their reasoning seems to be that it is because Dick Cheney is involved. They miss that there are a ton of no bid contracts these days. Who benefits MIGHT have something to do with it. But it also might not. Does that make sense?

        As we move through this philosophy series, it is important that we apply critical thinking and logic to each position so that we can learn from each other how to best move forward. I hope you don’t feel it was an attack on you.

        BTW… which Obama picture were you looking for again? I will try to find it for you.

        • Naten53 says:

          The picture that says “big brother is watching you” and looks like his campaign posters. It is a big hit at my office.

          • Naten53 says:

            To clarify I can find the picture, just not in high resolution. If you do not know of a high resolution one, no big deal.

            Also I am not saying that it is not a dirty trick, but in my experience few people know much about washington other then revolutionary war and president.

            • USWeapon says:

              Thanks for the clarification on Washington. I just want to make sure that we are using solid logical foundations. The one I pointed out is a big one that people make all the time. Cheney/Haliburton is a good example of this same tactic being used on the other side.

          • USWeapon says:

            I will try to find a high resolution version for you.

    • Esom,

      A very good post. Not much time today or I’d say more.

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      So do we still have these “rights”? I will state that when imprisoned, you have been deprived of your “Liberty”, if not your “life”. i posted months ago about a man being imprisoned for failing to properly label a package he sent by mail. A 2-3 year felony conviction. How many “laws” are out there like that?
      And I think I heard on TV, that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”, nor defense.

      • I have heard that “ignorance of the Law is no excuse”. How exactly do you avoid violating a Law that you do not know exists? Especially for something as simple as improper labeling of a package? 😯 2 to 3 year FELONY? That just makes it even more ridiculous. The more I hear lately, the less happy I am with our Government and Laws.

        We seem to be passing into the realm of pure stupidity. Justice has become a joke when they are more concerned with prosecuting poor mail packaging than prosecuting voter fraud. 😎

  3. Black Flag says:

    It’s more than a mistake, Esom. And it is more than a missed attempt at pleasing ‘everyone’.

    By leaving the underlying contradictions in the system, it was doomed – it would be exploited by those whose designs are to enslave.

    The purpose of this particular post is to demonstrate that, as you said, the only thing that we as a nation can do is to try to get us back as close as possible to the ideals and philosophy of the Founders will not solve any problem.

    What we have is directly due to the implications of the unfinished job of those ideals and philosophies.

    Simply duplicating the past will only recreate what we have.

    As you know, I counter every post here that claims going to the Constitution will ‘solve’ the current crisis. I antagonize entities such as GA Rowe, who is a resilient proponent of such belief, by demonstrating a mere sampling of the contradictions of such a position.

    If you and he (and others) were successful – the outcome of your venture would end up, more or less, right where the Nation is right now – or perhaps even worse.

    We cannot solve the problem by using the same thinking that created the problem.

    • Is the problem even solvable? I have a feeling that the contradictions that will be spelled out have been comprimised to the point of no return.

      • The contradiction has been spelled out G-man. It is the conflict between a political system based on Objective Reality and Reason implemented by men operatiing on an ethic that supports statism.

        And of course, you can’t compromise a contradiction. It is that latter that creates the former.

        Is it solvable? YES!!

        The problem is the time needed to solve the problems versus the speed with which the whole thing is sinking. Will the pumps keep us afloat until we can fix the leak?

        But first I would like to focus on “what are we trying to keep afloat”? I have no desire to plug holes in a garbage scow when I can simply move to another garbage scow that has no holes.

    • Black Flag says:

      Yes, it is very solvable.

      Take these two critical points:
      1) Contradictions do not exist in the Universe (ie: in reality).

      2) There are an infinite number of solutions to every problem.

      Therefore, we know there exists a solution that does not have a contradiction embedded within it.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        It is solvable. But is the Government willing to solve it? Are the people?

        • Black Flag says:

          What problem do you think the Government has with being the Government?

          We are the People – are you willing to take a “Walk” – submit to reason – and accept the outcome of reason, even if it confounds your currently held belief?

        • USWeapon says:

          I am with BF on this one. Government does not see the problem the way we do. The only problem that they see is that they have not yet found a way to take the rest of our money and liberty away yet.

          And as for the people. That is us. It is a difficult task ahead, and many won’t be willing to accept the reality that presents itself. We each have to ask ourselves if we are up to the task of challenging our firmly held positions and determining if they are valid.

          • Well as far as taking away the rest of our money, that is being worked on. Now they are proposing a 25% VAT Tax to help pay for the Universal Health Care we don’t want and to pay back the outrageous Deficit that “We The People” did not make.

            I don’t know about ya’ll, but to me the Government IS most of the Problem. I don’t know why it should suprise me that they don’t see it that way. After all Government is just Politicians being Politicians. Or in more rude terms, Liars and Thieves.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      BF.

      I state that “we as a nation can do is to try to get us back as close as possible to the ideals and philosophy of the Founders” because I believe that is all we can possibly accomplish. Get ClosER. We will NEVER get to the ideal.

      For you that would be none. For us, Very Damn Little. This is not and will not EVER be possible because big daddy Government is nevergoing to let us go.

      The ONLY way I see it would be possible is for the US govt to totally collapse. Then where would that leave us? Slaves to the Chinese? The world will not just sit by with this great big Country there for the taking.

      I just would like to get back closer to the smaller, less intrusive government that we should have. The tiny, nonintrusive government IMO is a pipe-dream.

      • Black Flag says:

        I disagree.

        We can achieve completely unity with a consistent and reasoned idea and philosophy.

        Implementation – as it is done by the mortal hands of men – may be flawed.

        But if we hold a moral philosophy, we will be able to recognize these flaws and work to resolve them, instead as we do now – rationalize them and make them permanent.

        The only thing government has taken from you is your mind. When you take it back, the government has no power.

        For example, a solider. When confronted with a immoral act – he has a choice: to follow what is moral or to do his duty. But who defines the meaning of ‘duty’? Duty to who?

        He is the one pulling (or not) the trigger – not his commander. When he chooses his action – the action is done, and not one second before.

        Not to trigger a hijack, but awhile back with Chris, were I stated that Socrates held a fallacy which took his life. It was Socrates’ failure to recognize his real moral duty to himself – and subjugated himself to the State – which held no morals nor duty to anything other than itself.

        When the People say “No” and stay their hands – the State has no power.

        • USWeapon says:

          The only thing government has taken from you is your mind. When you take it back, the government has no power.

          Great comment.

      • The million dollar question Esom is whether “we” can handle the “truth” once it is revealed.

        “A consistent and reasoned philosophy” will not look anything like what most of us think.

        Will we have the courage to accept it?

        Will we then have the perseverance to implement it?

        Keep the faith my friend.
        JAC

        • Right at this moment I think that BF has the right idea. The NDGP, or No Damn Government Party. Due to factors that have been unveiled by our glorious leaders lately, I do not believe we have time to make the necessary changes to our system before the wheels come off.

          I can handle the truth, but do not have faith that “We The People” can stand up and demand the truth that we need. And furthermore, The ObamaNation just keeps on keepin’ on like there’s nothing wrong and denying that they are leading us to destruction.

          The blindness of the people is what will lead to our downfall. 👿

          (Sorry, had to do it!)

          • Esom:

            Whether we can save it now or should let it go is a TACTICAL question, not a STRATEGIC goal.

            We need to continue with forming the foundation and then our Political philosophy and then our platform.

            When we implement may be driven by factors beyond our control, such as the wheels coming off suddenly. If that happens we had better be ready or someone offering the same old “garbage scow” will step in.

            JAC

            • Birdman says:

              I’m ready, willing and able to assist in forming the foundation, then our political philosophy, and then our platform. If the foundation for the Constitution is flawed, and I believe that it is or we would not be in this mess, then we need to be ready to fill in any vacuum should everthing come tumbling down.

          • USWeapon says:

            Esom,

            I think it is pertinent to remember that the glorious leaders you refer to have been with us for many many administrations. We cannot lay all this trouble at the feet of a man in office only a few months. He is doing what he was put there to do. The problem runs much deeper than that.

            I only caution you here because I know the new administration looks scary and there is no doubt that they are moving at warp speed. But Bush took away as much liberty as Obama. Clinton as much as Bush, etc… One of the first realities that we all must face is that none of the federal government people in a very long time have worked FOr us, only against us.

            • Yes I know. That is precisely why I have begun lately to just say “The Government” instead of “Obama”. I still slip and say it, but I have already come to the conclusion that no one in Government has looked out for OUR interests in Decades. This realization is one reason for all my depressing posts lately.

              I watched the News when I got home like I always do. It looks as if our Nation is right on the brink of total disaster. Along with this is the fact of our Political figures still rockin’ along braying like jackasses at each other and pointing fingers over subjects that are totally unimportant.

              At this time in our History you would think that the economic situation would be an overriding concern. Instead, they are contemplating such vastly important matters such as whether or not they will spend 90 million dollars to close down a prison with 250 inmates in it.

              This may seem important to some folks. Not to me. I can think of literally THOUSANDS of things more important to spend money on than 250 Terrorists caged up in Gitmo. We don’t have the money to spend 90 DOLLARS. Much less 90 million.

              But BF IS right. The Government has NO problem being the Government. They don’t have my mind. But damn it they DO have my attention. Maybe they’ll give me one of those Government Motors Co cars if I’m good. 😉

        • Just curious, when will the “truth” be revealed? The suspense is killin me!!

          • Black Flag says:

            There is a typical cyclical series of cause and effects that all great ides or philosophies suffer through.

            First there is the guru who achieves some sort of enlightenment.

            He gathers disciplines and tries to teach them this enlightenment. They mostly get it.

            These guys, then, go and teach others – who mostly get it.

            Who then teach others, who mostly get it.

            …until what is being taught is nothing at all of the enlightenment started this whole process.

            The only way out of the negative spiral of enlightenment is for everyone to achieve on their own – be their own guru – figure it out for themselves.

            That’s the walk I talk about.

          • It already has.

            Take a shot at describing it.

            • I’ll have to come back later, time to get out of work and head home, but I’ll be thinking, HARD!

              G!

            • USWeapon says:

              Good answer JAC. I also think that the truth has been somewhat revealed already. I think it is slowly starting to sink in with some of us.

    • USWeapon says:

      I see your point BF. As the saying goes… the definition of insanity is…

      I think that one of the big underlying things that is going to get in the way of this country moving forward is the fact that the underlying philosophy of our nation is screwed up. Think about those reading this site. I started to compile an email list for if we can get the email alert concept working, and I have gone through about a tenth of the commenters to the tune of about 200 addresses so far. Most of us have some flaws in terms of the consistency of our core. And we have been at this for months. Imagine the inconsistencies that lie out there in a population that doesn’t think about anything harder than posting to facebook that their 2 year old finally used the potty like a big boy.

      If the readers on this site are to become philosophical warriors, the task before them will loom quite large when they start applying a more reasoned approach to topics.

  4. Black Flag says:

    Aside:

    A snippet from a Gold Site post: (Gold has been climbing steadily daily – popping up $15, down $5, up $15, down $5….)

    Background inventory strain has come from unexpected sources.

    The Germans have demanded that gold bullion held in US custodial accounts be returned to their owners, with physical gold shipped back to Germany.

    The Dubai bankers have demanded that gold bullion held in London custodial accounts be returned to their owners, with physical gold shipped back to the United Arab Emirates.

    They are following the hired German counsel.

    In all likelihood, neither US nor London sources are in possession of all the gold held in those custodial accounts, since at least some of it probably was improperly leased. By that is meant without owner permission or knowledge.

    So an uproar could come soon with charges of gold bullion theft, or at least failure of fiduciary responsibility. Theft is a simpler description.

  5. esomhillgazette says:

    😯 What will come of that??

    • Black Flag says:

      Gold @ $5,000 /oz.

      • Won’t we begin to see Hyperinflation soon then? A guy with the last name of Faber said he 100% guaranteed that we were going to experience that on Glenn Back just tonight. I would think gold at $5000/oz would contribute to that, but I am far from an Economic expert.

        • Black Flag says:

          He is gutsy.

          I do not (pray, pray) think he is right.

          Hyperinflation would destroy Western Civilization as we know it.

          I believe the Fed Reserve knows this – they would abandon the Government before they let that happen.

          I believe that high inflation (20 – 30%) will happen. Then the Fed will stop inflation.

          Let’s put it this way – I pray they will be that smart

          • My son, a newly minted economist, and I had this discussion last night. His point was that the Fed has learned how to tame inflation, because of experience. They may be looking at higher rates than we have seen but they know how to get it reversed. They will raise interest rates as high as they have to.

            What they don’t know is how to address the current situation. Thus their actions could make their known less knowable if they do the wrong thing. Which of course they have little experience doing.

            He certainly left me feeling full of confidence.

            I saw another note yesterday somewhere else discussing the Fed’s purchase of treasuries. Per this comment the Fed Reserve will soon be the biggest Creditor to the United States. Replacing China.

            So let me ask the obvious followup. What do we do when our own Federal Reserve Bank demands payment of the debt we owe them?

            Time to skin em and hang em on the fence.
            JAC

            • It doesn’t matter how down about our current predicament I get JAC, YOU can ALWAYS make me bust out laughing! 😀

            • Black Flag says:

              JAC,

              As usual, you boil the point down to bone.

              The Fed will not demand payment from the government. The concurrent effect will be is to enforce payment from the citizens. This will be reflected in the CPI or economically-speak, inflation.

              The Fed will simply print *shift a decimal point to the right a couple or more places* money. They will inflate themselves out of the problem.

              I am betting, though, the Fed will NOT toss Western Civilization into the dust bin. There is a limit that they’ve drawn in the sand.

              Or, I hope so.

              If not…. all of us will live or die on luck.

          • 20 to 30% is NOT hyperinflation?

            And I pray he is wrong too!!

            China has warned the US about printing money. They are concerned that the US will try to print and inflate our debt away. Now I wonder why that would concern them?? 😈

            • Black Flag says:

              No, 20-30% is extreme inflation.

              Hyperinflation is 100%-1,000,000%…. PER MONTH.

              Zimbabwe inflation rate of two months ago was….

              … ONE MILLION PERCENT … PER MONTH.

              Yes, that is not a mis-type. That is hyperinflation.

              They will be devastated. However, moving from economic measure of +2 to -10 is a move of 12 base points.

              Moving from +250 to -10 is a move of 260 base points.

              The former – Zimbabwe
              The latter – USA

              That would destroy every institution in the Western World.

              Even I, an anarchist by definition, holds no promise or joy of that occurring.

      • Birdman says:

        Black Flag:

        Should we be buying gold? Are you?

        • Black Flag says:

          Last question first, YES!

          But to answer question #1 – what is your strategy and reason to buy gold?

          If it is to earn a profit – gold is not for you.

          If it is to protect against inflation or government mismanagement – gold is for you.

          What are you trying to achieve?

          (PS: That was not rhetorical – I do wish an answer)

          • BF, You’ve shared info previously on gold and I’ve read more into it but don’t feel confident enough to buy. In your postings on “being ready” you mentioned doing those things that fit our situations – not just taking the list and trying to do them all.

            Buying gold might fit into this category for me; what else would you recommend to guard against inflation?

            • Black Flag says:

              Great question.

              It is vital that everyone understands their own position and abilities.

              Though I am a buyer of gold in hand, it may not fit with another’s own goals.

              So really understanding the future from your own point of view is vital.

              I am, by no means, Casandra – able to predict the future flawlessly. I could be completely out to lunch.

              So everyone needs to measure their own understanding – plus whatever advice I and others offer – and make your own intelligent decisions.

              If you feel uncomfortable, that is a sign you need more information – which is an incredibly good sign. GO SEEK INFORMATION.

              So, Kathy to directly answer your question.

              First, you need to survive until tomorrow.

              Then, the day after that.

              Then, the day after that….

              You get the picture.

              Planning for a year from now is of no use if you starve to death in a couple of months from now.

              So, make your plans from that center – today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…etc.

              If I had limited cash, I would spend it on food/water/needs storage. This will carry over most systemic disruptions – whether climate/global/economic/political.

              After you have about 6-8 months of food/etc. supply – that is, you can live without having to pressure the outside world for survival – then you’re ready to explore thriving.

              This is when gold store comes to play.

              Gold allows you to transitions paradigm shifts.

              Obviously, you have to be alive to do this (thus, the first step is vital).

              Here, gold well transition between the “now” and the “future” – to carry your wealth between the paradigms.

              But, remember, gold in hand is merely an insurance policy. It will not make you rich.

              It will help not be poor.

          • Birdman says:

            I’m concerned about inflation. I’m not buying gold as an investment. Is Goldline a good company to buy gold from? Any recommendations of where to buy gold would be appreciated.

            • esomhillgazette says:

              I do NOT have the money to buy any gold. What I do have is the skills necessary to survive on Country Field Rations. There are many foods out there growing naturally and also running around on 4 legs that can be used to survive. Just a few examples.

              Deer
              Rabbits
              Sqirrel

              • esomhillgazette says:

                Sorry, wrong button.

                Squirrel
                Possum
                Wild Hogs
                Turkey
                Highland Cress
                Water Cress
                Poke Salad
                Partridge Peas
                Wild Onions
                and fresh grown garden Veggies.

                Some will look at that list and say YUCK! But when you’re hungry, it won’t look so yucky then. I personally won’t eat Possum; YET.

                I sincerely hope it never comes down to this. I hope for Sunshine and Roses. I prepare for Clouds and Doo-Doo. Without the ability to buy any gold and with the increasing burdens potentially being placed upon us by our Govt. And in view of saber rattling and other stupid acts from Nations like NK. Better to be prepared.

              • “and Doo-Doo”

                Then you’ll need rubber boots also!!

  6. Black Flag says:

    I came across this article by Richard Feynman. It is adjecent to our talk here.


    Do Not Debase Science: Don’t Call On It To Settle Your Ancient, Provincial, Medieval Disputes

    While I was at the [Ethics of Equality in Education] conference, I stayed at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where young rabbis- I think they were Orthodox- were studying. Since I have a Jewish background, I knew some of the things they told me about the Talmud, but I had never seen the Talmud.

    It was very interesting. It’s got big pages, and in a little square in the corner of the page is the original Talmud, and in a sort of L-shaped margin, all around this square, are commentaries written by different people. The Talmud has evolved, and everything has been discussed again and again, all very carefully, in a medieval kind of reasoning.

    I think the commentaries were shut down around the thirteen- or fourteen- or fifteen-hundreds- there hasn’t been any modern commentary. The Talmud is a wonderful book, a great, big potpourri of things: trivial questions, and difficult questions- for example, problems of teachers, and how to teach- and then some trivia again, and so on. The students told me that the Talmud was never translated, something I thought was curious, since the book is so valuable.

    One day, two or three of the young rabbis came to me and said, “We realize that we can’t study to be rabbis in the modern world without knowing something about science, so we’d like to ask you some questions.”

    Of course there are thousands of places to find out about science, and Columbia University was right near there, but I wanted to know what kinds of questions they were interested in.

    They said, “Well, for instance, is electricity fire?”
    “No,” I said, “but… what is the problem?”
    They said, “In the Talmud it says you’re not supposed to make fire on a Saturday, so our question is, can we use electrical things on Saturdays?”

    I was shocked. They weren’t interested in science at all! The only way science was influencing their lives was so they might be able to interpret better the Talmud! They weren’t interested in the world outside, in natural phenomena; they were only interested in resolving some question brought up in the Talmud.

    And then one day- I guess it was a Saturday- I want to go up in the elevator, and there’s a guy standing near the elevator. The elevator comes, I go in, and he goes in with me. I say, “Which floor?” and my hand’s ready to push one of the buttons.

    “No, no!” he says, “I’m supposed to push the buttons for you.”
    “What?”
    “Yes! The boys here can’t push the buttons on Saturday, so I have to do it for them. You see, I’m not Jewish, so it’s all right for me to push the buttons. I stand near the elevator, and they tell me what floor, and I push the button for them.”
    Well, this really bothered me, so I decided to trap the students in a logical discussion. I had been brought up in a Jewish home, so I knew the kind of nitpicking logic to use, and I thought, “Here’s fun!”
    My plan went like this: I’d start off by asking, “Is the Jewish viewpoint a viewpoint that any man can have? Because if it is not, then it’s certainly not something that is truly valuable for humanity… yak, yak, yak.” And then they would have to say, “Yes, the Jewish viewpoint is good for any man.”
    Then I would steer them around a little more by asking, “Is it ethical for a man to hire another man to do something which is unethical for him to do? Would you hire a man to rob for you, for instance?” And I keep working them into the channel, very slowly, and very carefully, until I’ve got them- trapped!
    And do you know what happened? They’re rabbinical students, right? They were ten times better than I was! As soon as they saw I could put them in a hole, they went twist, turn, twist- I can’t remember how- and they were free! I thought I had come up with an original idea- phooey! It had been discussed in the Talmud for ages! So they cleaned me up just as easy as pie- they got right out.
    Finally I tried to assure the rabbinical students that the electrical spark that was bothering them when they pushed the elevator buttons was not fire. I said, “Electricity is not fire. It’s not a chemical process, as fire is.”
    “Oh?” they said.
    “Of course, there’s electricity in amongst the atoms in a fire.”
    “Aha!” they said.
    “And in every other phenomenon that occurs in the world.”
    I even proposed a practical solution for eliminating the spark.
    “If that’s what’s bothering you, you can put a condensor across the switch, so the electricity will go on and off without any spark whatsoever- anywhere.” But for some reason, they didn’t like that idea either.
    It really was a disappointment. Here they are, slowly coming to life, only to better interpret the Talmud. Imagine! In modern times like this, guys are studying to go into society and do something- to be a rabbi- and the only way they think that science might be interesting is because their ancient, provincial, medieval problems are being confounded slightly by some new phenomena…
    They didn’t understand technology; they didn’t understand their time.
    – Richard Feynman

  7. Black Flag says:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6376817.ece

    This could be a very messy deal.

    There are political forces in action in North Korea over Kim’s health. This may trigger a showdown with S. Korea.

    It seems all sides are entrenching into immovable positions of rhetoric.

    This war would take about 48 hours and it will be over – at the cost of probably 20,000 US losses and 50,000 S.Korean losses and an ungodly number of N. Korean losses. …. and the world’s economy would tank.

    • JayDickB says:

      BF – You sound like you think North Korea is serious this time, not just the usual bluster. Is that the case? If so, why is this time different? Kim’s approaching death? No clear successor?

      • Black Flag says:

        They could be very serious this time.

        Kim’s health may have started a power struggle – even perhaps Kim himself trying to demonstrate his control.

        There are few intelligence resources in N. Korea – I’m sure any one knows more than we do.

        The key will be China – China is quite annoyed with that nuke test – China is the only one who has a hope to control Korea – and if they’ve been snubbed ….. 😥

        The Western side: The US has made a big stink about nukes.

        They can’t been seen to so duplicitous as to invade one country on the illusion of nukes, threaten another country with the illusion of nukes, and then ignore a country with ‘black market’ nukes, especially when it directly threatens Japan.

        Koreans have a real hatred of Japan – and the N. Korea would purposely try to damage Japan if it could, IMO.

        So, the US will interdict N. Korean ships; N. Korea will attack US ships; US will sink them all; N. Korea will shell Seoul; ….:?:

        • Black Flag says:

          Arrg!

          I’m sure NO one knows more than we do.

        • I watched coverage tonight of the stiuation with N. Korea. It certainly seems serious to me. NK is issuing threats. The UN is issuing stern letters of protest and resolutions. Hilary and Obama are flapping their lips. And China ain’t sayin’ nuthin’.

          • Black Flag says:

            Yes, Esom, all of that portends to a disaster – I’m honestly concerned.

            • amazed1 says:

              I agree….something has to happen the are fixing to be a a power vaccum.

            • esomhillgazette says:

              Well, SSDD. They fired another missile this morning. And the World responded to it with harsh language. NK responded to their harsh words with harsher words. Here’s to harsh words. May that remain ALL that is done. Remember North Korea, Sticks and Stones! 😀

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I’ll stand by what I offered several posts ago – China can and should have a huge role here – just not the same one 50 or so years ago.

          • And so will I. I hope you are right. 59 and one half years ago they crossed into North Korea and fought us back down below the 38th parallel. Hopefully, they will stay where they are and finally realize that their little puppet has to be sat on hard.

            Read Fernbach’s “This Kind of War”, best 1,000 page history of the Korean War out there and it was prescient. Published in 1960 or thereabouts, it predicted Vietnam.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Thanks SK – I am choking on David Halberstam’s “The Coldest Winter” right now – a tough read but quite eye-opening as my K-12 gave maybe 10 minutes to the Korean War.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Just ordered it….

  8. As long as everyone seems off track I might as well contribute. Although it is at least related. I suggest you read the following post by a Constitutional Scholar on another Blog, regarding the Supreme Court and the latest nomination.

    http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=3868#more-3868

    Happy Reading
    JAC

    • Eh, they have already said that she will be passed anyway, so I don’t see the reason to bring any of that crap up about her. I would of course feel diferently if I thought for even a minute that it would make a difference.

      Don’t misunderstand my pessimism. It just pisses me off when I hear a lot of negatives about someones candidacy for such an important position followed by “they’ll get a pass anyway” for political convenience or expediency.

      m m m. What a crock!

      • Esom:

        The purpose of my connecting the site was the history lesson provided regarding when and how legal decisions changed.

        So I guess you were raised with the same theory about varmits huh?

        If you hang their hide on the fence the others will see it and stay away (for those not familiar with the old country practice)

        • esomhillgazette says:

          I know Jac, before this crap is over, there’s gonna be a whole lot of hides on that fence!

        • The “they” I am talking about is the folks in Government dredging up crap about her when they don’t intend to do anything about it. They could AT LEAST not vote for her, even if it was just a token show of resistance. But they won’t because they are afraid them mean old Democrats might take offense or Obama might get upset.

          And they are probably right. They WOULD be made to pay later. So my question is, why bother bringing it up?

          I hop you didn’t think I was talking about YOU JAC. If you did, I apologize. I’m starting to get as sore as a grizzly with a sore tooth at all the political infighting in DC. 😦

          • I like all the infighting. Kind of like the devil spawn eating thier own.

            Although it does leave less for us to skin.

            Have a good weekend my friend.
            JAC

  9. A long time ago someone told me that “they” would take it away from us in little bits and pieces until one day we would wake up and it would be “gone, baby, gone!”

    He was talking about our country.

    He was not talking about the Communist led Soviet Union.

    The conversation was about a new world government.

    The man was a fellow Marine enlisted man.

    We were both Privates.

    He was a Polish refugee who had escaped the Soviet tanks in Budapest.

    We had both just finished boot camp and were awaiting deployment overseas.

    That was April of 1961.

    Will anyone listen now?

    • Little did he know Rowe that it would be our own Government that would be taking it from us. We are hearing from more and more of “The New World Order”. I remember when that was just a name for a Pro Wrestling gimmick.

      • Bama dad says:

        Esom 😥

        I think he knew that it would be “our government” that was doing the taking. They are the only ones stealing from me now.

  10. amazed1 says:

    I received this in an email…found it very funny and oh so true.
    T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N
    They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq …. Why don’t we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we’re not using it anymore.

  11. Well it looks like this ended up being open mic!

    Gold, N Korea, smiley faces, et al.

    JAC, thank you for the time you’ve again put into this article. I was unable to spend much time here today and found I was too tired to understand it all tonight. I’m hoping this is a 2-dayer so I can read through it all again in the morning and hope it will sink in.

    Also, I’m waiting for the truth to be revealed…..maybe in the morning I’ll see it better?????

    • Black Flag says:

      If it was like for me – the truth will suddenly hit you in the middle of the night in a lucid dream.

      Don’t force it – you’re own soul knows the truth – it will reveal itself exactly when you’re ready.

    • Thank you Kathy and your welcome.

      AS BF said. Don’t force it. Just re-read over morning coffee. Then think about the two or three key points.

      If you have questions leave them tomorrow. I’ll be checking.

      JAC

  12. Danak13 says:

    Interesting posts…for a first timer and 40 year veteran to consider on bloggin….have had the benefit of many a conversation with my father and grandfather, who both grew up in the depression era, and seeing and participating in our gov’t evolution since being involved starting in the 60’s…however, I am learning and watching. Do not have much to say on this subject but it is entertaining and informative. Think I will bookmark here.

  13. Birdman says:

    JAC or Black Flag:

    Is the main contradiction utlitarian service AND social duty? Utilitarian service emphasizing reason and pragmatism while social duty is the opposite and based on feeling or the well being of your fellow man?

    • Birdman: Sorry for delay, I was out cruising the news.

      Short answer: NO! At least not in the way you have posed the question.

      Long answer: The main contradiction, in terms of where we are today, is an ethics that contains values that are inconsistent with Reality. By Reality I mean the nature of “man” as we exist in the universe.

      The concepts of “utilitarian service” and “social duty” are both contradictions to reality, in their entirety. This is my view with respect to the reality of the universe, including the nature of man.

      The contradiction in terms of our Founder’s efforts was that they adopted the general ethic or morality of the time, Altruism, which was based primarily on a “mystic” or “religious” view of reality, or God centered (metaphysics). While at the same time they were adopting a “reality” of “man” and his capacity and need for “reason”, Man centered. This was their metaphysics and epistemology. They then constructed a political system based on their metaphysics, not on their ethics.

      In this way one of the key blocks of the foundation did not fit and could not support the structure, the political system.

      This did not cause the holes in the constitution. That is a different matter. What it casued was a lack of philosophical understanding and value shared by society. It left a void in our “cultural” defense of the political structure against those who operate from a differenct perspective. It provided no coherent argument against the statists, like Hamilton, who immediately emerged.

      Lets look at it this way: We, as a culture, bought hook line and sinker the concept of “individual liberty” and “freedom” and “justice for all”, then went about building a government that was based on an ethic whose primary principle is that the individual may be sacrificed for the good of the whole.

      Now I would like you to restate your conclusion to see if you have reached the same point. Or you could just ask another question if you have one.

      Best Wishes and Thanks for Tackling This
      JAC

      • Birdman says:

        I just read your reply. I think I understand what you are saying. I’m going to have to read everything again and try to let in sink in. This is difficult to understand but your explanation was helpful.

        Where did the ethic whose primary principle is that the individual may be sacrificed for the good of the whole come from? Was that explained in the above article or did I just miss it?

        • THE EARLIEST WRITTEN VERSION I HAVE SEEN IS PLATO.

          THERE MAY BE EARLIER BUT THAT IS THE ONLY ONE I ACTUALLY READ.

          IT IS OF COURSE INHERENT IN OUR ANCIENT HISTORY, SUCH AS OLD TRIBAL EMPIRES OF ASIA AND EUROPE.

          IT ARRIVES IN FULL FORCE IN THE CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. BUT THE CHURCH IS NOT THE ORIGIN. AS WE WILL SEE LATER, THE CHURCH IS THE FOCUS OF ANY RANDS ACCUSATIONS REGARDING ALTRUISM. BUT IT IS NOT THE FIRST TO PUT FORTH THE CONCEPT.

      • Birdman says:

        I’m going to try and put together a cheat/cheat sheet containing definitions and other things. I think that will help me when I read through articles and responses. I don’t have some of the basic definitions clear in my head and have to go back to earlier articles.

  14. JAC:

    Our Governmental System is not perfect. Our Constitution as well, is not perfect. But then, neither is anything else. No One person, or even group, can EVER come up with the perfect Government or the perfect Constitution.

    But that does not mean that we should not at least try.

    As you can see by my last few posts, my view of the Government is becoming more and more skeptical and pessimistic. And that is putting it mildly. I have lost faith entirely in our Government.

    I had lost faith in our Government officials even before the last election. I was sickened by the fact that the best the Republican Party could come up with was McCain. When he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, the first thing I thought was, “who the hell is SHE???”. As I got to know her better, the more I liked her. She was refreshing. She told it like it was and didn’t pull any punches.

    Then that turned out to be her undoing. She wasn’t “political enough”. The press turned on her like raving lunatics, or rather like the liberal Obama lapdogs they are and tried to destroy her. That’s OK. We’ll see her again unless she gains enough sense to not want any part of it. But enough of what might have been.

    I don’t blame our current predicament on Obama alone. As I told USW last night and I have said in many posts lately, This bulldookey has been going on for Years, if not Decades. Our Government does not care about us. Rich or Poor. It has become all about Power and the means to keep that power. That means Lie, Cheat, and Steal to stay in office, whatever it takes.

    So what do we, as ordinary citizens, without any power alone do? Well here are some things.
    1. Unite/ we cannot accomplish anything alone, but as a group, if we become big enough, and loud enough, they will begin to hear us.
    2. Don’t give up/ We didn’t get in this mess fast and we won’t get out fast. The night is darkest before the dawn.
    3. Hope for the Best, but be prepared for the worst/ There are all kinds of things that could happen right now. Obama could be right 😆 in this case, the blue bird of happiness will fly up our asses, and we will all hold hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya as we dance into Socialism. Or NK could fire a missile and anything Obama and Congress did would then be moot. Obama can be, and probably is, wrong, and the economy will collapse. Or China can buy us up and we will all have to learn Mandarin. Even the Hispanics!

    OK some of that last was just trying to be funny, but you get my drift. We need to change our mindset. The Constitution and the Congress is not perfect. But we can make changes to make it better.

    I, in some ways, would like to see BF’s plan come to fruition. But I cannot believe that we will EVER see the Point where we can do away completely with Government and all people live together for the good of all. There will ALWAYS be folks out there who yearn for power and priviledge.

    So we need to change OUR mindset on how best to change our philosophy of Governance. Small, Effective Government, with little interference in the peoples lives. Efficience in Operation of that Government. Power in the Peoples hands, with the authority to oust ANY official found not dedicated to the principles laid down by the people. Responsibility for your actions. Liberty and Justice for ALL. I could think of more, but i have to go to my son’s award ceremony for school. Later, Tater.

    • No matter how hard we try to change the Constitution it will not work until we eliminate the contradictions in the philosophies that support it.

      And even after we fix it, it will need to be changed from time to time. But we will no longer see that done by Court dictate or Bureaucratic fiat. The people will know what is in it, and why it is in it. And they will defend it, vehemently.

      Regarding the amount of Govt. We need some govt in my opinion. But I propose that you and others here, including BF, need to think differently about what the word “govt” means. That was just a little teaser.

      And Good Morning my Sceptical Friend
      I slept well.
      Visions of hanging hides dancing in my head.

      JAC

      • JAC my man, My definition of Government is full of too many dirty words to put on a site where women and children (and Sailors) might read it. So I know I need to change my thinking of Government. 😕

        As my definition is based on what Governments I have seen and read about. What definition should, or could I use?

        • OK one last hint. Then we have to wait until the Walk and platform.

          Courts = government

          Farmers Coop = government

          both = VDLG

          • I will ponder on this JAC. 😎

            • A TRIBAL COUNCIL IS A FORM OF GOVERNMENT. REACHING JOINT DECISIONS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GROUP. WITH EACH MEMBER ALLOWED TO AGREE OR DISAGREE AND GO THEIR OWN WAY.

              WE TEND TO THINK OF GOVT IN TERMS OF THE COMPONENTS AND STRUCTURE WE GREW UP WITH. WE NEED TO DUMP THESE NOTIONS AND DESIGN NEW OR REVISE VERY OLD, CONCEPTS. I THINK….

              TIME FOR BBQ AND BEER
              JAC

  15. First of all I have to be honest, I had to take eight semesters of philosophy in college. Our class was experimental, sort of “the Great Books” on steroids. Freshman year, ancient philosophy, history, art, theology. Sophomore year: medieval philosophy, history, art, theology. Junior year, the Enlightenment, Senior year, Modern. In between, you had to do the language, science, math and major thing. I guess that’s why I never had less than 19 credits a semester and ultimately graduated with a September 1st degree. The only book I ever burned (deliberately and with pure glee) was Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” and, I was one of only 50% of that class who passed the course.

    The above is to explain why, despite “B”‘s, I absolutely hate philosophy.I’m sure that it is all lurking back there, about 2/3rds back and 1/4 down from the top of my head but I couldn’t attribute something if my life depended on it. Some might call this laziness or sloppiness and I will plead guilty.

    Anyways, I have been exposed. The problem I have with today’s thread is this reason thing. I love reason, I believe in reason, I reason all the time. The past portends the future, connect the dots, If A then B. However, unfettered reason led us to eugenics, Nazism, Lysenkoism, and now junk science. All those who believed in the above,used reason as their guide. Were they flawed? No and yes. No, because they used a methodology to arrive at their destinations, part was science, part was reason. Yes because, they used a flawed methodology and flawed or incomplete science. The problem is if you try to run the world on reason alone, you are going to wind up with a lot of dead people.( see the 20th Century). Now, some would say that is because we had not yet reached the degree of sophistication in our reasoning that would allow us to live in peace, harmony and brotherhood through the development of pure reason. I would disagree, first of all, it’s not fair to condemn the untold millions to death through the trial and error process and second because of Communism. Yep, that’s right, good old Soviet style Communism. It does not and will not work. We all know that. We have seen it fall based on it’s failure to understand human nature.

    As humans, we are driven by many things. With the exception of most in the Scientific community (not looking for grant money), philosophers and theologians, people are driven, first and foremost by self interest. Without performing a pre-frontal lobotomy on 6 or so billion humans, this is probably the way things will continue. Therefore, there is always a reason to pervert methodology and science to “prove” that Slavs are inferior to Aryans, Jews are inferior to Slavs, Blacks are inferior to everybody and Tutsi’s are inferior to Hutu’s.

    Now I (finally) arrive at my point. The founders believed in morality and ethics which had been derived through religion. Yes, you could claim that reason led to morality and ethics but you could not prove it unless you had a parallel (control) society that had no exposure to religion or to religion based philosophy. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. The only culture that could maybe match that would be the Klingons and we haven’t met them (yet).

    Take reason to its logical extremes and it requires you to eliminate the damaged or unfit (women and children last). It requires you to strip mine Yosemite. It is the things beyond reason that tell us not to. Wilson, the philosopher and signer of the Declaration discounts reason in favor of moral sense, instincts or conscience. From whence did these come?

    • Don’t you mean Vulcans??

      • Actually no, I think the Vulcans who operate on pure logic seem to have some type of religion. The Klingons, well, they may have some Norse type warrior thing but seems to me they are fairly areligious.

    • S.K.: “However, unfettered reason led us to eugenics, Nazism, Lysenkoism, and now junk science.”

      ABSOLUTELY NOT….REASON HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS

      Rationalizations for an ethic that was based on mysticism and whim, YES.

      But not reason used by man in a manner consistent with his need and ability to survive.

      Not an ethic created by “objective” thought and evaluation, also called reasoning.

      Pure logic can not stand on its own, it supports “reason”. That is if you want answers that do not contradict the reality of the universe in which we live.

      “As humans, we are driven by many things. With the exception of most in the Scientific community (not looking for grant money), philosophers and theologians, people are driven, first and foremost by self interest.”

      I only wish this were true, in the truest sense of the word. Becaues if it were true then your conclusionary examples would not exist: “Therefore, there is always a reason to pervert methodology and science to “prove” that Slavs are inferior to Aryans, Jews are inferior to Slavs, Blacks are inferior to everybody and Tutsi’s are inferior to Hutu’s.” You see this is the result of an “altruistic” or “society” based view, not one of “selfishness” or “self interest”.

      Now I (finally) arrive at my point. The founders believed in morality and ethics which had been derived through religion. Yes, you could claim that reason led to morality and ethics but you could not prove it unless you had a parallel (control) society that had no exposure to religion or to religion based philosophy. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. The only culture that could maybe match that would be the Klingons and we haven’t met them (yet).”

      OK you’ve mixed a couple of things here so let me sort it out. Yes the founders believed in a morality or ethic based primarily on religion, but not entirely. But that is the point. The standard ethical view of man was not consistent with the basis for the political system they were building. A built in contradiction. Buried in your response is what I thing you assume is an attack on all morality proposed by religion. That is not the case. In fact many religions carry ethic or moral principles that are consistent with what I would call an “objective ethics”. But they also contain other values that are in conflict, both with themselves and the nature of man.

      As for your hypothesis regarding cultures without religion. You do not have to travel to Klingon. The North American Indian Tribes lived right here. Their religion, however, did not contain heavy doses of morality relative to humans it was more centered around their relationship with the universe. There are numerous other examples of religions on this planet that did not necessarily support the ethics or morality to which you are referring. So, what you really mean is the “Christian Religion” don’t you?

      You conclusion that taken to its “logical” conclusion “reason” would lead to eliminating defective humans and strip mining Yosemite is well, “illogical”. Please show me how you get from A to Z with that conclusion.

      Your philospher friend Wilson; is that not the same Wilson who wanted a “Religious Test” included in the constitution? Now how did that square with the concept of “individual liberty”? He was strongly rebuked by his fellow Virginians on this matter, esp. Mssrs. Jefferson and Madison. That is if I have the right Wilson.

      SK I urge you to back up in the sequence of philosophical categories to Metaphysics and then go forward. Is man a living creature that requires the use of his mind to survive? What is it that allows him to use his mind in a way that assures his survival. What behavior or moral standard would allow him the capacity to use his mind as needed and to execute as he saw fit to assure his survival?

      I look forward to your continued thoughts on this.
      JAC

      • Wow!

        This is why I hate philosophy. With all the other thinking I have to do to save the Town, State and Nation, getting caught up in this stuff is too time consuming.

        By your definitions, you are correct. My problem is that human (imperfect) nature leads people to follow trains of logic and reason (their definition)that disagree. They do not however think they are being unreasonable, illogical or immoral quite the opposite. Margaret Sanger comes to mind. The patron Saint of those logical “choice” folks, she was an unmitigated racist full of “evidence” to prove her point. She led the way for Nazi’s and gave them cover.

        When I speak of self interest I think that if I find a supply of jelly beans with two other people, and if I kill them off, I have more jelly beans for myself. I submit that this is eminently reasonable (and the basis for thousands of books, plays and movies). Why don’t I kill them?

        I would have to say Western Religions rather than specifically Christian although Christianity seems to be the one that made the King and his lowest subject equal, at least in the eyes of God. For the development of society, this I think was a good thing. I suspect a careful study would show a very long and very torturous path to the end of slavery by using this “equality”. It is something other large, vibrant societies never found and only took as long as it did to happen because of the constant friction between custom in culture (slavery) and the new idea of individual worth. With the eventual dissolution of Christianity or its outright prohibition (seems more likely) I suspect slavery, which I consider to be the normal human condition throughout history will return. I think religions “evolve” with time. As Esom and I previously discovered, he, a Baptist and I a Roman Catholic have more or less identical views on evolution which do not include saying that God created the world at 9:30 AM EDST on August 3rd 4,678 BC. There was a time I guess when either of us could have wound up burnt on a stake for saying this.

        Back in my school days, it was more or less explained to us that the reason the Church came down so hard on dissenters in the middle ages was because the church had seen the dissolution of western society and was the guardian and keeper of knowledge. As with anything else, as centuries passed, the leadership ossified. rather than building on what the preserved and seeing that as the reason they preserved it to begin with, they attacked new ideas and adjustments in thinking. That too is human nature, fear of the new, fear of the unknown.

        Defective Humans, defined for the sake of argument as those unable to care for themselves and contribute to society because of a physical or mental imperfection. Outside of giving jobs to the permanent underclass as caregivers, what other function do they serve? Would they not be better off released from their torment and imprisonment? Is this not reasonable? I’m going to assume for a moment that buried under Yosemite is a new mineral able to provide us with unlimited wealth solving health problems as well as energy needs. Does not reason tell us to strip mine the sucker? There is something else telling us not to do these things. I threw in Wilson because, on that quote, mentioned in the article’s posting, he seemed to make sense to me. I know little else about him. If he proposed a religious test, then I guess he was a man of his times. Even that is subject to debate today. As you know, Boy Scouting, a private organization, is being discriminated against because of it’s no atheists and no homosexuals rules. So government would have us believe that scouting should not be allowed to use any public facilities even though the scouts are citizens and like everyone else contribute to the financial pot that keeps the parks and public campgrounds running. That too is the result of “reason” run amok.

        Maybe there is a definition of reasoning that does not concern itself with coming up with “sound” conclusions after debate. Politics has shown me that there are many schools of “reason” . Mind you, I disagree with most of them because what comes out should be sustainable, replicable and beneficial to all.

        Man uses his mind, which some say was given to him by God not to just survive, but to thrive. Apes survive, we could too in the right environment using just our animal instinct but our mind allows us to adapt, improvise and overcome. When the planet got too warm we survived, when it got too cold, we survived because we took it beyond instinct.

        Why do we exist? Why do we prosper? Why do we create civilizations? If our place was only to occupy space we certainly would not be communicating the way we are. We wouldn’t have to.
        So that leads us to the old Catechism standard, “Why did God make me”? and that is an assignment for another day.

        See, there goes another couple hours. This thinking stuff hurts and can get me killed when the wife figures out I still haven’t set up the patio furniture yet.

        • SK, I am going to go back, read JAC AND YOU both, and see which one I more agree with. You both make compelling arguments to me. My head should be KILLING me by the time I get done.

        • SK:

          I know it can hurt, especially if the furniture isn’t set up right. But this is GOOD.

          First: “When I speak of self interest I think that if I find a supply of jelly beans with two other people, and if I kill them off, I have more jelly beans for myself. I submit that this is eminently reasonable (and the basis for thousands of books, plays and movies). Why don’t I kill them?” IF I KILL THEM THEN I GIVE THEM THE MORAL RIGHT TO KILL ME. THAT IS HOW ILLOGICAL OR FAULTY REASONING RESULTS IN EVIL ETHICS.

          ALSO BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORD CHOICE. YOU HAVE SWITCHED FROM “REASON” WHICH IS A MENTAL FUNCTION TO “REASONABLE” WHICH IS A SUBJECTIVE VALUE JUDGMENT. I AM ASSUMING YOU MEAN “REASON” SO AM RESPONDING IN THAT WAY.

          MOST OF YOUR COMMENT CENTERS AROUND THE USE OF REASON THAT RESULTS IN VERY BAD THINGS, SUCH AS GENOCIDE. IN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE YOU WILL FIND THE REFERENCE TO “OBJECTIVE ETHICS”. THIS MEANS THE USE OF LOGIC IN OUR REASONING PROCESS TO ESTABLISH KNOWLEDGE. REMEMBER, LOGIC IS THE IDENTIFICATION OF NON CONTRADICTIONS.

          THEREFORE ANY SUPPOSED USE OF “REASON” THAT LEADS TO AN “ETHIC” WHICH RATIONALIZES THE MURDER OF INNOCENT HUMANS IS BASED ON FAULTY, ILLOGICAL REASONING. IT IS IN FACT THE VERY TYPE OF REASONING THAT HAS LED US TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY. A REASONING FULL OF OBFUSCATION, CLOUDY CONCEPTS, AND LEADING TO IMMORAL ETHICS AND THUS POLITICAL SYSTEMS.

          SO WITH THAT LETS TACKLE THIS: “Defective Humans, defined for the sake of argument as those unable to care for themselves and contribute to society because of a physical or mental imperfection. Outside of giving jobs to the permanent underclass as caregivers, what other function do they serve? Would they not be better off released from their torment and imprisonment? Is this not reasonable?” ANSWER TO #1; THEIR FUNCTION IS TO LIVE, AS BEST THEY CAN. ANSWERR TO #2; THAT WOULD BE UP TO THEM AND IS OF NO CONCERN TO ME. ANSWER #3; TO EXTERMINATE AN INNOCENT EXISTING LIFE? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

          NOW FOR THE REAL QUESTIONS, THE ONES I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO POSE: “Why do we exist? Why do we prosper? Why do we create civilizations? If our place was only to occupy space we certainly would not be communicating the way we are. We wouldn’t have to.
          So that leads us to the old Catechism standard, “Why did God make me”? and that is an assignment for another day.”

          WE EXIST TO LIVE AND TO MAKE SURE HUMANS KEEP ON LIVING.

          WE PROSPER BECAUSE OF OUR NATURE, WHICH INCLUDES THE USE OF LOGIC IN EXERCISING REASON, THE CAPACITY TO FORM CONCEPTS AND TO SHARE WITH OTHER ACROSS SPACE AND TIME.

          WE CREATE CIVILIZATIONS BY ACCIDENT, IN MY OPINION. TO SOME EXTENT WE CREATE THEM TO CONTROL AND COERSE OTHERS. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS FORMING COMMUNITIES, STATES OR NATIONS.

          IT IS NOT OUR JOB OR ROLE TO SIMPLY OCCUPY SPACE. THAT WOULD DEFY REALITY (OUR SURVIVAL) AND OUR NATURE (THE DESIRE AND CAPACITY TO SURVIVE).

          GOD DID NOT MAKE YOU OR ME. GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE, WHO EVER OR WHAT EVER THEY MAY BE. YOU AND I ARE THE OFFSPRING, BORN BECAUSE OUR ANCESTORS ACTED ACCORDING TO THE NATURE OF MAN, AS BEST THEY COULD. SO FAR MAN HAS SUCCEEDED IN ACHIEVING HIS PURPOSE, SURVIVAL.

          I AM GUESSING THERE IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BEER SIPPED IN THE NEW FURNITURE TOMORROW.

          HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND
          JAC

          • JayDickB says:

            “GOD DID NOT MAKE YOU OR ME. GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE, WHO EVER OR WHAT EVER THEY MAY BE. YOU AND I ARE THE OFFSPRING, BORN BECAUSE OUR ANCESTORS ACTED ACCORDING TO THE NATURE OF MAN, AS BEST THEY COULD. SO FAR MAN HAS SUCCEEDED IN ACHIEVING HIS PURPOSE, SURVIVAL.”

            But, why is the nature of man what it is? I believe it is because something made it that way. God? Most likely.

            • YES! IF YOU BELIEVE IN GOD. NATURE IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD.

              GOD (NATURE) CREATED THE UNIVERSE AND THE NATURE OF EVERYTHING IN IT, INCLUDING MAN.

              IT ALL OPERATES ACCORDING TO ITS DESIGN, WITHOUT CONTRADICIONS.

              AND THOSE CONTRADICTIONS CREATED BY MAN CAN NOT SURVIVE, IN THE LONG TERM.

              REGARDLESS OF YOUR PERSONAL BELIEFS IN GOD OR NO GOD, THE REALITY IS THAT MAN EXISTS AND HIS EXISTENCE INCLUDES THE NATURE/CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENTITY WE CALL MAN.

              NOT OFTEN YOU CAN FIND AN ANSWER THAT DOESN’T CHANGE BECAUSE GOD WALKS INTO THE ROOM.

              HOW YOU BEEN JAY D?
              HOPE ALL IS WELL.
              JAC

          • See, I never wanted to be Socrates, I wanted to be one of the guys asking him the questions, trying, if you will, to trip the old guy up. By the way, BF, thanks for the take on Socrates that you gave. I have never seen that before. It’s been a given that Socrates went along with the program, sipped the Kool-aid and kept Athens pure and law abiding. Guy should have said, “Make me”.

            JAC, I agree with you completely. Don’t remember who said it but have always lived with the theory you can get more accomplished with cooperation rather than confrontation.

            However, maybe this is not the time to pose it, there is the whole Good vs Evil thing out there. And it is bad logic to commit murder or genocide. Many many years ago, in a similar debate over a number of beers, I blurted out, Hitler was an idiot! Not because he was a bad guy but because the very assimilated, very loyal German Jewish population could have been the difference between winning and losing that war. We know he came close, so close that another couple of divisions in the right place on any of several occasions could have changed history for thousands of years. We actually owe the Jews a great debt. They didn’t volunteer for the role but they gave us an edge. Secondly, I wonder, and always have, if the cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s or any other number of things died in Auschwitz or some other camp. Odds are it did. What an idiot.

            Again, you are right on objective ethics. Bad things should not be done but they are done, every day and they are methodically thought out and justified through the use of that defective “logic” and “reason”. All we can do is keep pointing it out. The thanks we get involve being labeled judgmental, homophobic, racist, sexist or some other ist.

            So, life is always a fight, between those who believe in the human spirit, the nature and potential of man and those who would bend and control it to serve their needs.

            Personally, my view of God (Non Baltimore Catechism version)is that we imperfect beings were placed here by Him to see if we could grow in His image. He gave us all the necessary tools and most importantly free will. I would have to say that slowly but surely we have progressed. Unfortunately, in the last half of the 20th century, we started thinking we were little Gods and Goddesses and could do whatever the hell we wanted. If we don’t destroy ourselves, we will again start on the upswing but the intervening pain and suffering are too much to contemplate.

            Enjoy your weekend too.

        • P.S. SK: I DID WANT TO ADDRESS THE BOY SCOUTS.

          THE GOVT IS OUT TO LUNCH ON THIS. BUT THAT IS THE RESULT OF IRATIONAL THINKING COMING FROM A SUBJECTIVE IMMORAL ENTITY. NOT THE USE OF REASON BY AN OBJECTIVE AND MORAL ENTITY.

          OF COURSE THE ANSWER TO THIS DILEMNA IS FOR GOVT TO STOP GIVING MONEY AND STOP OWNING THE ONLY PLACES WHERE THE PUBLIC CAN GET TOGETHER.

          CAN YOU IMAGINE THE APPOPLECTIC REACTION OF TODAY’S GOVT OR ACLU IF THE LOCAL GOVT OFFICIALS WERE MEETING WITH THE LOCAL FOLKS IN THE CHURCH TO DISCUSS HOW TO GET THE BAD GUYS OUT OF TOWN? OR THE FACT THAT THE LOCAL SCHOOL HOUSE WAS USUALLY LOCATED IN THE CHURCH BECAUSE IT WAS THE ONLY BUILDING SUITABLE?

          COMMON SENSE IS CERTAINLY NOT SO COMMON ANYMORE.

          A GOOD DAY TO YOU AND YOURS
          JAC

          • Ah, but they think it is reasonable and they think the modern view has been arrived at through Reason ethics and logic.. I have fought that battle in person, have used all the arguments and not only lost but had the crowd against me from the beginning. After all, how could the Scouts be so judgmental, how could a group that “claims” to stand up for what’s right deny a boy participation because he doesn’t believe in some fable? (I kid you not on that one).

            And Homosexual Scoutmasters, why, they are just like us, they had no choice, How could you be so cruel as to not allow them to be role models for young boys?

            Sometimes it is awfully hard not to punch someone in the mouth.

            • I agree. Even with my no force ethic I find I must constantly struggle with my primordial desire to smash something or someone.

              Then skin em and hang their hide on the fence.

              Now SK., that should make you feel much betta..

              LOL
              JAC

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Are you confusing deism and theism?

  16. esomhillgazette says:

  17. Chris Devine says:

    Are you still relying on Ayn Rand to explain everything? How about giving somebody else a chance? Perhaps a real philosopher and not a free-market propagandist.

    • USWeapon says:

      Chris,

      What is your issue with Rand? Do you simply believe there is nothing to be learned from what she wrote or said because she did not waste her time and money on a philosophy degree? It makes you sound like you are an intellectual snob. She has no degree in philosophy so she must be wrong. If I tell you 2+2=4, am I wrong because I am not a mathematician? This is a great example of what I said about the attacks from opposition that are completely baseless. This is the 4th article in the series, and now the 4th time that you have used a generic “Rand is not a philosopher” tag line. If you have an issue with what is being said or used, why not dispute the facts of the content instead of random attacks on the source. This is no different than the mistake of dismissing a piece of news simply because it came from Fox or CNN. You must evaluate the information presented on its own merits. What you are doing is akin to reading a November 5th article proclaiming that Obama won the Presidency and deeming it a lie or wrong simply because it was Fox that reported it.

      Are you interested in debating ideas or are you going to illogically remain focused on where the idea originated? Do you understand why this kind of rebuttal against the article is senseless? It makes your entire stance weak and ill-received. Perhaps you are right and Rand is an idiot that should not be listened to. At what point are you going to point out where she is wrong instead of chastising her lack of credentials? To me, continuing down this path is pointless and indicates that perhaps you lack any information that refutes the content, so you resort to trying to discredit the source. You would do well in the future to show where the content is incorrect rather than resorting to this particular false argument.

      • Chris Devine says:

        To put it simply, there are much better philosophers out there. If you’ll look at my other posts on this topic you’ll see that I don’t suggest she has nothing to add to this debate. However, using solely her views to explain philosophy means giving prominence to someone who doesn’t care to do anything except advance her own views regarding altruism and capitalism. I have suggested other philosophers on these topics and I’d be happy to argue against Rand’s if you’d like.

        Philosophy is not simple arithmetic. It’s not a matter of memorizing a few simple rules and tables of sums and products. It is also very helpful to use primary sources rather than relying on the interpretations of someone with a very specific agenda like that of Ayn Rand.

        Honestly I don’t think there is enough space, time or interest here for me to really go into why I think Ayn Rand is a bad choice. I think it would much better if you would offer somebody else’s views in philosophy (in addition to hers). If you want me to give a shot at refuting some of Rand’s ideas I’d be happy to. Where would you like me to start?

        One more thing, if you decided to take a college course in biology how would you feel if the professor decided to use a text book written by someone who firmly believed that the Genesis account of creation was the only one worth studying (and then gave straw-man caricatures of the views of most of the respected biologists throughout history)?

      • Thank you US, you make me feel better about myself. I decided, forty years ago not to pursue the advanced degree and still have mixed emotions about that (it did not help my job search when I got laid off at 59).
        However, I have spent the last forty years reading and thinking on those long commutes into NYC. So, most of the time, I think my solutions are pretty good and grounded in logic.

    • Chris:

      With regard to this article, it was written by Dr. Peikoff with comments by me. Yes he was a colleague of Rand’s but the thoughts are his, not hers.

      The purpose of this article is not teaching nor studying philosophy. It is to explore Dr. Peikoff’s view that the Founders were dealing with a contradiction in their philosophical system. One that allowed those who accept other statist philosophies to attack without a defense from the Founders point of view. After first reading his hypothesis I read the entire collection of federalist and anti-federalist papers to see if it showed up. It does. The struggles between their Enlightenment views and their Religious based altruistic ethics is everywhere. So is the conflict between liberty and statism. We are born of the minds of men who were part American and part European.

      The comments by me are based on MY view of the world and MY philosophy after having read many and spent so many years living. I try to state that these ideas “are in my opion” enough to make sure our audience isn’t thinking I am cramming some wizards answer at them. I am not going to repeat the caveat eveytime I comment. I give our audience considerable credit in the brainiack department. Even those who keep saying they aren’t smart are smarter than most folks I run into on a daily basis. I believe they realize there are other ideas out there.

      You say there are “better” philosophers. That would be YOUR OPINION. Once again a subjective value judgment not an objective one based on actual results or evidence. And by todays standards some of the great philosophers, doctors and archeologists wouldn’t be considered as such.

      Once again, the purpose of this series is NOT TO TEACH PHILOSOPHY. It is to begin the process of building a philosophical system or foundation from which to resurrect the concepts of individual liberty, on which this nation was founded. And of course to fix the holes in our Constitution. Since I am writing these articles, up to now, I will put forth the conepts I feel will reach that goal, based on my breadth of knowledge,in other words experience. I fully expect others to challenge when it does not fit their views, just as has happened already.

      If you have suggestions then why don’t you simply put them out there. But I am guessing the real issue here is that you don’t share MY goal or that of many who comment on this site. Am I wrong in that assumption?

      I will be posting one article that summarizes Ayn Rands philosophy, as explained by her. Some here asked me to do that, so I will. That should give you the chance to jump in and criticize her all you want. I think Sunday night is the schedule for that post.

      I look forward to your critique when the Rand piece comes out.
      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC – as I stated before I do not have a deep/formal background in philosophy. I appreciate the articles thus far, as true to form, have to read and re-read a couple of times to make sure I get what you are trying to convey. The skeptic in me then has to cross that against ‘what else is out there’ – meaning – with the odd dig here and there on Kant I then feel compelled to go try and understand Kant – what is it JAC has agains the guy? Is it merited? Is some but not all of it merited? This leads me into the empiricism v. rationalist quandary which means I got read more and more and more……

        • Thank you Ray. I think I have only picked in Kant once, myself. Most of the attacks are by Rand herself of Peikoff, or others. Remember back at the start I pointed out that Rand puts alot of blame on Kant. Thats a heads up from me,which it looks like you took to heart.

          I am not as emotional about Kant or those that followed except that when taken as a whole they add up to a broad attack on the objective rational man that developed during the Enlightenment. This was the basis for my comment some time back about a “condemnation of Kant, Plato and all their spawn”, as in those that evolved from their philosophies.

          And Ray, I do not have a deep/formal background in philosophy either. I just happen to have led a life that gave me time to think and was lucky enough to be born with a mind capable of thinking. My reading and study started many years ago but was sporadic. It has accelerated in recent years as I now have more free time and made a decision to search for answers in two general areas; philosophy and politics. Which it turned out are all part of philosophy. By the way there are many more branches of philosophy than the ones I provided in the first two articles. So don’t feel I tried to trick you when you start coming across them.

          Good Hunting
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Nah – no perception of trickery here – just trying to wrap my head around it all.

  18. I am just an America, a husband of two decades, a father of four. But in 2008 after listening to those on the left and the right, those of a Political affliation and those who proclaimed they were Independent, I began my research on which I based my essay series, Resurrecting Common Sense in America. Those essays appear on the website at the following url: http://www.resurrectingcommonsense.com. They are my views which I hope some might find worthy of consideration today and in the future. Respectfully yours, Richard A. Mathews

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