Decadence, Part 3: Democracy

Decadence_Title_(Screenshot)And so we return to the series. On this one, we’re going to have to turn some filters on since we’re mostly Americans.

He focuses here rather strongly on Australia, which is fine, but Australia is not America, and most of us are Americans. Our problems are not dissimilar, but in ways Australia is the most nanny state of us all, and the amount of government meddling in lives would likely shock us. I also sense a  lessening of the old fear in the English-speaking world (by those opposed to the government, at any given time) of the old fear of “Mobocracy”.

I also notice a decided lack of respect for the base reason we formed states in the first place, to protect ourselves and our property from others, whether gangs, other states, or a flood of refugees who want us to take care of them, and turn themselves into illegal immigrants to be such.

But even if we don’t agree with all he says here, he does an excellent job of limning the issues.

Enjoy, and think.

Decadence: or Modern Life

Aston Martin 2-Litre 2/4-Seater Sports 1937

Aston Martin 2-Litre 2/4-Seater Sports 1937 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was young, all around me I could hear adults saying, “You can’t buy happiness.” often with a humorous dependent clause, to elicit a rueful chuckle. But in the main, we knew and believed it.

But it seems to me, many do believe it now. I knew when I was 5 and drooling over the Sears Christmas catalog, that nothing in there, on its own, was going to keep me happy long. The same is true now, as I drool over the Snap-on catalog or the Aston-Martin brochure. Some things would, did, and do fire my imagination, for me it was electric trains, and Tonka trucks, they let me imitate the world of men (sorry ladies, you didn’t have much role in my 5-year-old imagination). But, perhaps strangely, I never liked equipment with figures on it: the operators seat was where my imagination sat. That may be unique to me, but I doubt it.

But I grew up in a pretty traditional family, and in a rural area to boot. It was entirely conceivable to tell me, after breakfast, to go play, I’ll call you for lunch, and it was done, often. That left me open to learning things, by experiment, by reasoning through things, to use my imagination, unfettered. I have no clue how many times I single-handedly won World War II in Indiana, but it was certainly in triple digits. The same with roads and power lines built, and crops brought in.

So we are going to have a series, I don’t know how long, or whether it will be continuous, or not. We’ll see how it goes. We’re going to investigate how we came to believe that so very novel idea, that we can buy happiness. In many ways, the last two posts here have been a sort of prologue, documenting how our (mostly) young people have gotten themselves into trouble, today we’ll start looking at the causes. I don’t agree with all the specifics here, but he touches on many truths that we need to heed. So listen up, and we’ll start on our mission because we can’t fix it till we define the problem.

Kipling reminds us:

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Education, Students Loans, and John Adams

quote-education-makes-a-greater-difference-between-man-and-man-than-nature-has-made-between-man-and-brute-john-adams-314611John Adams once wrote this to Abigail:

“The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”

Personally, I think higher education in this country has lost its way. Easy money has converted it from what Adams thought his grandsons should study to what he had studied. It has become little more than a trade school, a factory for diplomas, and often a very expensive one.

Now mind, there is nothing at all wrong with trade schools, we must, if we are to live even moderately well, know how to govern ourselves, and defend ourselves, not to mention fix the roads and plumbing. That is all very honorable, but it does not require, although it often benefits from, an education in the classic liberal arts, and the practitioners always do. But it does not require it.

To me, Adam’s second tier, that his sons should study, is represented these days mostly by the so-called STEM courses: science, technology, engineering, math. They are the middle way, more abstract thinking, and vision but rooted in the practical, adding to that an ability to communicate clearly and effectively, and you create the world of tomorrow. This is the realm of the inventor/entrepreneur: the Edisons, the Bells, but also the Thomas Crappers, the Commodore Vanderbilts, the Carnegies, and also Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, not to mention Dr. Jonas Salk,  those who take ideas, and make them practical, and bring them to market.

But that third tier, has little direct connection with the practical. this is where we learn about ourselves, and learn to make men better. It is the highest expression of civilization, if it is not, something has gone wrong. There is an upper limit, and it is quite low, on the number of people who can be supported adequately to study this. In large measure, the prosperity of Britain and America in the last four hundred, or so, years, has allowed us to lead civilization, because we could afford to think, to question, and to discuss, these matters.

And so, if you are a high school senior, you likely want to go to college. Why? To be a better barista? Well, no doubt you will be, but enough better to justify the cost? Or to be an engineer? That will justify much more education than being a barista will, but not an infinite cost. Always, always, as you enter the job market, your value is based on what you know that is relative to the job on offer. If I’m hiring an apprentice, I don’t expect you to know much about electricity (and most of that will be wrong) as I expect you to have a strong back, and a willingness to learn. Frankly a know-it-all with a degree is less attractive than a high school drop-out who desperately wants to earn a living. And that is the trap, my young friend, when you come out of college, with that expensive degree, in whatever irrelevant (to me) subject, bought with borrowed money, you are worth no more in the market that drop-out working for his next meal, and that’s what I’ll pay you. Will you advance further and/or faster? Perhaps, that’s up to you, your application of your knowledge (and ability to learn) and your attitude in a number of ways.

Hard words? Perhaps, but they’re also true ones won in the school of hard knocks provided by experience. Here are some more

And always remember that you do not go to college to learns stuff. You go to college to learn how to think, and learn.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
John Adams, The Portable John Adams

Arrant Knavery and Absolute Despotism

A short history of British rights

Article 39 of Magna Charta, dictated to King John 800 years ago says this:

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned, or dispossessed or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

A few weeks ago, David Cameron said this.

For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’

Which is, of course, the very sort of knavery that led to the Barons standing under arms, under the leadership of Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the field at Runnymede, in the first place.

It is a feature of Administrative Law, or ‘The Prerogative’ gone awry. There are other instances, one of them was 239 years ago. it led a famous Briton to write this:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

And in making it so, Thomas Jefferson and others ceased to be Britons and became Americans.

This is our common heritage, and the reason underlying the modern world. For more than 800 years, because it was the law of the land long before the Barons wrote it, indeed before ‘1066 and all that’ as well. It is the one cause our people have always felt worth dying, and therefore, worth living, for.

anglosphere1

 

Duty Calls

In England and in America

Of Dark Webs and Surveillance Societies.

140820-internet-trolls-2346_00499daa06aa00b7d583df7a4fbe2fb7-412x430Sorry about the last couple of days, I’ve been feeling rather suboptimal.

In any case, a close friend sent me these, and he informed me that the first one, a new BBC documentary kept his ten-year-olds interest right through. It did mine as well.

Now, Ed Snowden, I’m not going to tell you how to feel about him, partially because I can’t decide either. This doesn’t cut down on any of the old separations, liberal-conservation, young old or anything else does it. Except maybe, we have a right to live our lives without the government knowing everything about us.

One thing these talk about a lot is the sheer power of traffic analysis, what they’d like us to call metadata.

And always remember what Theodore Roosevelt said

patriotism_-_roosevelt

 

Planned Parenthood Video #4 and #5, and relevant stuff

plannedParenthoodLogo-2I’m not going to embed the videos today. I’ve seen them and they continue to be horrific, nauseating stomach-turning stuff, the links are in here, and you should watch them, as I have.

John Hinderaker picks this as the money quote, and I agree

Sometimes if we get, if someone delivers before we are able to see them for a procedure, then we are intact. But that’s not what we go for, we try for that not to happen.

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Planned Parenthood Video #4 Is a Shocker | Power Line.

One of the things that CMP is doing is interviewing PP people around the country, this emphasizes that this is national policy, not a few rogue people.

There was another injunction last week, as usual claiming that an undercover video was, I don’t know, undercover, maybe. Not that any of it is untrue, just that their now unmentioned publicity flacks at SKDKnickerbocker, didn’t have the chance to suppress the video. In addition the injunction, as per usual, these days appears to be political, since the issuing judge’s wife, well here’s Mollie Hemingway to tell you:

The federal judge who late Friday granted a temporary restraining orderagainst the release of recordings made at an annual meeting of abortion providers wasn’t just appointed by President Barack Obama, the most extreme proponent of abortion ever to hold the White House. He was also one of President Obama’s top fundraisers, a bundler who raised at least $200,000 for Obama and donated $30,800 to committees supporting him, according to Public Citizen.

Judge William H. Orrick, III, granted the injunction just hours after the order was requested by the National Abortion Federation.

Orrick’s wife, Caroline “Linie” Farrow Orrick, is a clown and artist with an interest in outdoor athletic endeavors. She’s also a public supporter of extreme abortion policies.

Her YouTube user page shows that the first video she ever “liked” was from an extreme pro-abortion group called the Center for Reproductive Justice. The slick, celebrity-laden video called for people to sign a “bill of rights” that asserts a right to abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, a position shared by very few Americans. It further calls for taxpayer funding of contraception, abortifacients and abortion.

More at Wife Of Judge Who Blocked Pro-Life Videos Is A Pro-Abortion Activist

And here is Bre Payton also of The Federalist with the fifth video

The Center for Medical Progress released a fifth video today exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ trafficking scheme. In the video, lab technicians are seen sifting through second trimester baby organs, and pulling a 20-week-old twin baby out of the freezer, among other revelations.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Research Director Melissa Farrell explains to investigators posing as organ buyers that she has 6 abortion clinics that perform abortions on babies after 16 weeks.

Stem cell harvesting companies like Stem Express aren’t the only ones collecting aborted babies for research. In the video, Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast says that many abortionists frequently keep the bodies for their own research.

More and the video (subject to the usual caveats, because it is graphic) here

Several thing have bothered besides the graphical nature of much of the videos. One is the coldness, of the PP officials, that’s more me than anything, and slightly strange, because in my field we tend to be fairly much the same way, it has, I suspect more to do with being around it everyday than anything else, it just bothers me more when we’re talking about a baby, instead of a grown man.

But the thing that really bothers me is how little attention these are getting, other than sites like this, Powerline, The Federalist, some on Fox News. Killing that bloody lion was a bigger story, a lot bigger than this, and here we are witnessing murder on an industrial scale, with medical experimentation mixed in, just as Josef Mengele did it.

But the thing PP doesn’t do, although they claim to is provide much women’s health care. Charles Camosy, an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University wrote recently:

The first thing to get clear is that Planned Parenthood actually doesn’t provide all that much for poor, vulnerable women — particularly if they don’t live in cities. Indeed, you may remember that, in wake of the Susan J. Komen defunding ridiculousness from a few years ago, lots of charges were thrown around about women losing out on mammograms. But it turns out that Planned Parenthood doesn’t even provide them. As Democrats for Life has pointed out numerous times in recent days, the number of local community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics ten to one. Rather than the one-size-fits-all franchise approach of Planned Parenthood, these community health centers nicely embody the principle of subsidiarity in responding to the diverse local needs of women — whether in the Bronx, rural Kansas, or southern California.

And the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says this:

It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year. This concern has rightly grown in recent years. The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans. The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Our hospitals and other health facilities are second to none in providing quality health care for women. We support the legislative proposal to reallocate federal funding, so that women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to help advance this goal by supporting S. 1881.

Both via Mollie Hemingway.

There was a vote this week in the US Senate to defund Planned Parenthood. It failed. Democrats Manchin of West Virginia and Donnelly of Indiana voting to defund, while Republicans Kirk, of Illinois, and McConnel of Kentucky voted to keep funding the murder of babies, and medical experimentation o them as well, in violation of US law.

Life, or rather Death, marches on.

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