The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

 

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

Chirps (Some Would Say Rants)

Short, succinct, and pithy comments on a subject that have piqued my interest or curiosity,
or my ire or indignation, as well as announcements of new or updated Articles that I have written.

Click to proceed to my latest Chirp.

Over the last several years I have decided to write about what I have learned and loved throughout my life. They have become such a collection that I have decided to loosen them on an unsuspecting world. These Chirps are not an Academic Thesis, or a Legal Treatise, and they are not written so. They are intended to inform and enlighten the general public on the topic, and hopefully motivate the general public to further investigate the topic. As such, I have tried to minimize the length of the Chirps to be between the size of a Tweet and the other slightly lengthier Articles on my website. I hope that you will read and enjoy them, and perhaps it will give you something to think about. The various topics are as follows:

It’s Complicated

How often have we heard someone state “It’s Complicated” when responding in a political debate? Yes, it can be complicated when dealing with the cause and effect of an issue. But, often, the core issue of the debate is not complicated. It is the core issues that I try to address in these Chirps. When you strip away the Deflections, the “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors” and the “Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning” it is often not that complicated. I point out that many who argue a political issue resort to Deflections, Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors as a tactic to obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered and susceptible to accepting their conclusions. It is most often done by inserting oblique facts, nonsequiturs, exceptions to the rule, and the perfect vs. the practical. You should always go to the core issue of the argument and examine its meaning. When engaging in a debate blow away the Deflections, Obfuscations, Smoke, and Mirrors and get to the core issue. Determine the core issue, the facts and truths of the issue, then debate the cause and effect and the actions to be taken.

Stating The Obvious and Common Sense

Many would say that these Chirps are “stating the obvious” or just “common sense”. Unfortunately, in today's society, the obvious has become obscured and common sense is not so common. When I speak of common sense I do so as stated in my "Common Sense" article, which I would encourage you to read. The obvious is often (deliberately) obscured in order to achieve a political goal through the means of “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors” as I stated in my "Dialog & Debate" article, which I would also encourage you to read. Therefore, I think that I need to Chirp by “stating the obvious” and utilizing “common sense”.

Arguing from Ignorance

When I speak of ignorance it is not in a pejorative sense. I mean a lack of knowledge, or incomplete knowledge, or just plain incorrect knowledge. When I speak of argumentation, I mean the logical structure of an argument: a statement or observation, the premises, and the conclusion. This includes the deductive or inductive reasoning of the argument. I also include the identification of logical fallacies and cognitive biases incorporated into the argument as outlined in my “Reasoning” and “Dialog and Debate” Articles. There are many different ways that an argument can be improper. Statements or observations can be incorrect or misleading, premises can be incorrect or missing, and consequently, the conclusion would be wrong. These and many other things may make the conclusion of an argument wrong. Sometimes, even in the statements, observations, or premises are incorrect the conclusion may be right. This is usually due to blind luck and falls under the category that “a stuck clock is right twice a day”. You should keep this in mind when reviewing an argument, or when you are stating an argument. The Chirps on this web page are too short for a substantive argument. When I think it necessary to elaborate, I will direct you to an article that has a better argument.

Criticism vs. Critique

The only acceptable method of public discourse is disagreement - to be of different opinions. If you are in disagreement with someone you should be cognizant that people of good character can and often disagree with each other. The method of their disagreement is very important to achieve civil discourse. There are two ways you can disagree with someone; by criticizing their opinions or beliefs or critiquing their opinions or beliefs.

    • Criticism - Disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings.
    • Critique - A serious examination and judgment of something.

Most people, and most commentators have forgotten the difference between Criticism and Critique. This has led to the hyper-partisanship in today's society. In a civil society critiquing a viewpoint or policy position should be encouraged. This will often allow for a fuller consideration of the issues, and perhaps a better viewpoint or policy position without invoking hyper-partisanship. We can expect that partisanship will often occur, as people of good character can and often disagree with each other. Criticizing a viewpoint or policy position will often lead to hostility, rancor, and enmity, which results in the breakdown of civil discourse and hyper-partisanship. It is fine to criticize someone for their bad or destructive behavior, but it is best to critique them for their opinions or words. We would all do better if we remember to critique someone, rather than criticize someone.

My Beliefs

Throughout my Chirps and Articles, I have held fast to my core beliefs. These core beliefs are in our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" and our Founding Fathers' "American Ideals and Ideas", as expressed in The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. I also believe in "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" and the importance of "A Civil Society". I also believe in  "Rationality" through "A Philosophical Approach" to "Reasoning", utilizing proper "Dialog & Debate" methods. I also believe that many of the problems that America faces are "The Problem is Systemic Liberalisms & Progressivisms". Anything that may contradict these core beliefs, I cannot hold to. Thus, in writing my Chirps and Articles, I always keep in mind my core beliefs, and I will not write anything that violates these core beliefs. As such, I concur with what Martin Luther said in defending his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", which came to be known as The Ninety-Five Theses in opposition to the Catholic Church position:

“I cannot and will not recant anything,
for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”
 - Martin Luther

My Approach

I have often said that English is my second language, while thinking is my first language. Those that know me, and my writing, know that my second language (English) can be very poor in spelling, grammar, malapropisms, and phraseology (thank God for computer spell checkers, thesaurus, and grammar checks), and I struggle to write anything. I am a very organized and logical person, and I attempt to keep my writing organized and logical. I attempt to write clearly, concisely, completely, confidently, and understandably. As such, I hope that these articles are readable to all with a high school education.

In writing my Articles and Chirps I have attempted to assure that the information I present is factual and accurate. I, therefore, expend time and effort in researching to obtain the facts and achieve accuracy. The process of writing for me is an intellectual, emotional, and physical strain. I have, therefore, written a short Article “The Intellectual and Emotional Strains of Writing” that explains my research efforts, and the intellectual, emotional, and physical strains of writing these Articles and Chirps.

I often write about the general principles of the topic of the Chirp, and do not expend much effort on the specifics, as the specifics require more detail and length than these Chirps are intended. When I believe that more specifics are required I will often write a hyperlinked Article that contain these specifics, which I would encourage you to read.

I am willing to change my opinions based on new or better information or reasoned counterpoint, or as a wise sage has stated;

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others."
  - Benjamin Franklin

and

"Doubt a little of your own infallibility."
  - Benjamin Franklin

However, until such time as I have new or better information, or reasoned critique, I will remain firm in my opinions, as I am firm in what I see as the right. For those who think I may recant some or all of what I have written for any other reasons I would remind them of the previous quote of Martin Luther said in defending his Ninety-Five Theses.

As regards to my debating these issues, I would direct you to my Chirp on “09/07/19 Form Over Substance” as to my reluctance to engage in debate on these subjects. Essentially, I believe that I am a poor debater. It is for this reason that I often do not engage in debates. I do, however, engage in discussions in which both sides have ample time to challenge the facts, statistics, and reasoning of their arguments to effectually explain their arguments.

To Tweet, to Chirp, or to Sing

The vocalizations of birds have been characterized as tweeting, chirping, or songs, depending on the duration of the vocalizations. In human social media communications, we have used the term tweet to signify a short expression of one’s thoughts. I do not believe that a tweet is appropriate for expressing thoughts on an important topic, but a chirp may properly encapsulate one’s thoughts. Therefore, this webpage has been titled “Chirps”. Where longer thoughts are required to understand my thoughts, I sing a song in the articles I have written. The only nebulosity is in determining what is a chirp and what is a song. Occasionally, my chirps can be rather longish, but when this happens, I chirp as I do not believe that the topic is worthy of a song.

I do not have a Twitter account for this reason, and I have not utilized my Facebook account for two decades, as I believe that Twitter and Facebook have a perverse impact on society, especially young people. I will also never become involved in any social media, as I am not interested in having my thoughts labeled or censured by anyone. Consequently, all my thoughts on any topic are only posted on my website.

Burden of Proof

In all of science, engineering, law, philosophy, theology, economics, statistics, and many other areas of human interactions the “Burden of Proof” is upon the person or persons who makes the assertion, or as Christopher Hitchens once said, "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."

The “Burden of Proof” must be based upon “Reasoning” rather than emotions, for emotions will almost always lead to a false conclusion. If you do otherwise you may fall into the trap of ‘if you cannot show their assertion is wrong then their assertion must be right’, which is obviously an untrue statement. You may also fall in the trap of 'trying to prove a negative', which is almost impossible to do. You should also remember that ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.

With this in mind, all my Articles and Chips attempt to meet this Burden of Proof. If you think I have erred please Contact Me and provide the details of of what you believe are my errors. I will review these comments, and if I think that they are appropriate and correct I will make corrections and even, perhaps, change my opinion.

Terminology and Hyperlinks

Throughout these Chirps and my Articles I often utilize terms and phrases that I believe that should be defined and elucidated. I have, therefore, created a webpage on the "Terminology" that I often utilize in my Chirps and Articles. When appropriate, I will hyperlink to these terms, and I will also hyperlink to other of my Chirps and Articles for further elaboration when necessary.

Comments, Concerns, Critiques, or Suggestions

If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at mwd@profitpages.com. I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence (Critiques not Criticisms), and it is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the contents of these Chirps. This is why these articles are dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be re-dated. So check back and see if any have been updated.

03/04/24 Threats to Democracy - III

In my previous Chirps on "11/08/23 Threats to Democracy" and “03/03/24 Threats to Democracy – II”, I discussed the current and historical threats to democracy in America. The first Chirp is my opinion about the threats to democracy in modern America, while the second Chirp is about the book Four Threats by Suzanne Mettler and Robert Liberman, in which the authors examine the history of America regarding the threats to democracy. This Chirp is about some critiques I have about the book and a current threat to democracy that the authors of this book have not considered.

In this book, they give no credence to the accusations that the modern  "Mainstream Media" and the  "Mainstream Cultural Media" have political predilections and biases that make it difficult, if not almost impossible, to have Conservatives and Republicans fairly represented in the mainstream media. This contributes to political polarization, as when Conservatives and Republicans believe that their voice is not being heard, they become frustrated and then angry. In addition, "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" are often utilized against Conservatives and Republicans, which belittles them. This is the main reason for the rise of alternative conservative media, rather than the threat of legitimacy of the opposition that the authors attribute to the rise of alternative conservative media. Recently, we have seen that the Conservative and Republican voices in the mainstream media are being censored or repressed, which further increases political polarization and the rise of alternative conservative media.

This mainstream media predilections and biases also gives rise to the differences in the electioneering between the Democrats and Republicans. Republicans and Conservatives must be more aggressive to get their message across in the mainstream media, which is demonstrated in the differences between Obama, Trump, and Biden electioneering. Obama utilizes a backhanded slap against his opponents, while Trump utilizes a forehand slap against his opponents. Obama has an elegant and debonair style of political fighting, while Trump has a crude and in-your-face style of political fighting, and Biden has adopted both types of slaps and styles. However, both types of slaps and styles from these presidents are politically polarizing.

The authors also attribute the rise of big money contributions of the rich and big business to Republicans as another threat to democracy in modern America. However, no mention is made of big money contributions of the rich and big business to Democrats, which has become greater than the contribution to Republicans per Open Secrets analysis of the 2022 election cycle, which is based on Federal Election Commission data.

I would also take issue with their utilization of economic inequality, as their analysis of economic inequalities is sophomoric, in some cases untrue, and betrays their lack of knowledge of basic economics. This analysis utilizes the perceived inequality in modern America without examining the underlying truths of the economic situation. Economic inequality can be a threat to democracy if the inequality is of the rich growing richer at the expense of the poor, as was true at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. However, in the middle of the 20th century, the abuses of the wealthy against the lower classes were abated by the enactment of laws to prevent these abuses. Economic inequality in the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century was a result of entrepreneurs providing goods and services at an affordable price to the middle and lower classes that generated wealth for those who succeeded in doing so, but it also elevated the living circumstances of the middle and lower classes. Technological creativity and innovation also contributed to this economic inequality, which led to explosive wealth generation for the creators and inventors of this technology, while at the same time, it bettered the lot of people in American society. The authors also do not account for the mobility of persons between economic classes that is prevalent in today’s America, which blunts the threat of economic inequality being a threat to democracy. These and other issues of economic inequality are best illuminated in an article by Thomas Sowell, “Using Statistics To Lie About Inequality”, which is based on his book “Wealth, Poverty and Politics”.

In modern America, this feeling of economic inequality is due to the loss of employment of previous lower-class labor-intensive jobs and the reduction of our middle-class industrial base employment due to foreign competition. However, perceptions often become a reality in the minds of people, and it is the perception of economic inequality that often drives this threat to democracy.

I believe that one of the modern threats to democracy is our poor and improper public education, as I have written in my articles on "Indoctrination versus Education", "Public Education", and “College and University Education”. We also have the problems of "Systemic Family, Education, and Faith Problems" that plague America. Much of these problems are a result of Progressivism, as I have written in my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives". These problems engender an electorate that can be easily swayed by undemocratic forces, especially unscrupulous politicians that are more concerned about power than democracy while professing their commitment to “Our Democracy”, as I have examined in my Chirps on “02/18/24 The Greatest Danger to Democracy” and "11/08/23 Threats to Democracy".

This lack of proper public education is the greatest threat to democracy in modern America. It is a threat in that modern education is producing a one-eyed man, blind in his right eye, which does not allow for the full consideration of the issues and concerns of the threats to democracy.

Consequently, the author's analysis of the causes of the modern American threats to democracy is deeply flawed and biased. It is a flaw and bias that is all too common in the intelligentsia in modern America, and it is a flaw and bias that is contributing to the threats to democracy in modern America. It is a flaw and bias based upon a lack of proportionality between Democrats and Republicans in modern America, where the Republican threats weigh heavily, and the Democrat threats are minimized or ignored. Based on my knowledge of history, chapters two through seven are a good analysis of the historical threats to democracy in America. While chapter one exhibits some flaws and biases, chapters eight and nine are not a worthy effort by the authors. As such, the author’s analysis in Chapters 8 and much of Chapter 9 is not helpful but hurtful to the cause of democracy in America.

03/03/24 Threats to Democracy - II

In my Chirp on "11/08/23 Threats to Democracy", I discussed the biggest threat to democracy in modern America is the people who utilize the phrase “A threat to our Democracy”. Democracy is all about a cacophony of opinions freely expressed and freely debated. The phrase “A threat to our Democracy” is often used by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders as an attempt to intimidate into silence those that disagree with them. In some cases, it is an excuse to persecute and sometimes prosecute those who disagree with them.

In the book Four Threats by Suzanne Mettler and Robert Liberman, the authors examine the history of America regarding the threats to democracy. In Chapter 1 of the book, ‘Threats to Democracy’, they examine the meaning of democracy and the threats to democracy. The authors state that functioning democratic systems tend to share four key attributes: free and fair elections, the rule of law, legitimacy of the opposition, and integrity of rights. They then go on to explain the presence of four specific threats to democracy: political polarization, conflict over who belongs in the political community, high and growing economic inequality, and excessive executive power that leads to the destabilization of democracy. While Chapter 1 exhibits some of the authors' political biases, these biases are not detrimental to the topic of this chapter.

In Chapters 2 through 6, they examine these threats in American history: ‘Chapter 2—Polarization Wreaks Havoc in the 1790s’, ‘Chapter 3—Democratic Disintegration in the 1850s’, ‘Chapter 4—Backsliding in the 1890s’, ‘Chapter 5—Executive Aggrandizement in the 1930s’, and ‘Chapter 6—The Weaponized Presidency in the 1970s’. These chapters provide an excellent overview of the events in American history that posed threats to democracy.

In Chapter 7— ‘At All Costs, How the Four Threats Endanger Democracy’, they examine the extent and impacts of these four threats and four key attributes to American democracy.

Chapter 8— ‘Dangerous Convergence’, is the most disappointing chapter in this book. It is nothing more than a diatribe against Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders, placing the blame on them for the modern-day threats to democracy. It is based upon the premise that Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders represent moderation and restraint in their approaches to the issues and concerns of modern America. The authors express a viewpoint that Democrats and Progressives have not stoked any political polarization, but they have only reacted to Republican and Conservatives stoking of political polarization. Very little is said of the Threats to Democracy by the Obama Administration (partly because the chicanery of the Obama Administration has only come to light about and after this book was written), and as this book was published in 2020, there is no examination of the threats that the Biden Administration to democracy.

In Chapter 9— ‘Putting Democracy First’, the authors continue this diatribe against Trump but then rise above it in the section on ‘Learning from the Past’. However, in the next section ‘Putting Democracy First’ they espouse that “equal representation of the states in the Senate” and the “Electoral College” are undemocratic without noting that both ideas contribute to democracy for all across America, as without them, politics would gravitate to densely populated areas leaving behind other areas of the country. Such gravitation was ultimately responsible for the Ancient Greek Athenian democratic state to collapse, as our Founding Fathers were aware of and tried to prevent this collapse by including these two ideas in the Constitution.

Therefore, I would suggest that the authors issue a new edition of this book that rewrites Chapters 8 and 9 with a more evenhanded approach through an examination of the threats to America by the Obama and Biden administrations. To do so, however, would require them to cast aside their political predilections and biases, which, given their tone in Chapters 8 and the beginning of Chapter 9, I do not expect will happen.

The authors note that these four threats have been present in America’s past, but not all four threats simultaneously, while in modern America, these four threats have arisen simultaneously and are threatening our democracy. They caution that the simultaneity of these threats is the basis for Civil Deconstruction that may lead to a Civil War.

The main issue I have with this book is when the authors look at modern America through the right lens of their eyeglasses, they see much of these threats in Conservatives and Republicans. However, when the authors look at modern America through the left lens of their eyeglasses, they seem a little short-sighted to these threats in Progressives and Democrats.

If you believe, as I do, that the Federalist policies of Alexander Hamilton are more like the policies of the Democrats of today, while the Republican policies of Thomas Jefferson are more like the policies of the Republicans of today, then their historical analysis shows that the Democratic party politics was responsible for most of the initiation of the threats to democracy, while the Republican party politics were often apathetic or supine in the face of these threats. This does not let the Republicans off the hook, as apathetic or supine in the face of wrongs is no excuse, and standing up for what is right and not allowing the wrong is the only proper course of action.

In my next Chirp on “03/04/24 Threats to Democracy – III”, I will examine some more of the critiques that I have of this book.

03/02/24 Mega-Fines

In an article by Alan Dershowitz, “Is Trump's Mega-Fine Unconstitutional?”, he examines the constitutionality of the fines imposed upon Donald Trump in the New York state court case against him:

“Arthur Engoron, the New York Supreme Court judge in the real estate case brought against Donald Trump by the state attorney general, has fined Trump and members of his family $464 million. This raises the question of whether the fine – which does not reflect damages actually done – is "excessive" under the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, which reads as follows: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."”

I would also note that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution in Section 1 states that:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Consequently, this trial may have also been unconstitutional as it violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, as it deprived Donald Trump of property, without due process of law, nor with the equal protection of the laws.

This article is a perfect complement to his book, “Get Trump: The Threat to Civil Liberties, Due Process, and Our Constitutional Rule of Law”. The actions of the state are also an example of "Lawfare", as I have examined in my collected Chirps on "The Weaponization of Government". Thus, this trial and the fines imposed by Judge Engoron are an assault on the Constitution. As such, any person concerned about our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" and "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" should stand in opposition to this trial and the fines imposed. Thus, I hope that the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes this and will declare the entire trial and fines as Unconstitutional under both the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

03/01/24 Supreme Civil War Scholarship

James Munro McPherson is a preeminent American Civil War historian. He, along with Allen C. Guelzo, are my favorite historians of the Civil War Era. While I have reviewed several of Professor Guelzo’s books in my Book It of “09/01/20 The Meaning of History”, I have yet to review books of Professor McPherson. This month’s Book It selections are of my favorite books by Professor McPherson.

02/29/24 Thoughts on a Life Worth Living and Death

As I am now firmly ensconced in my senior years, I have the luxury of reminiscing on my life and taking stock of it. The question that I have often asked myself is what makes a life worth living, and how do you determine if your life is or was worth living? For me, the ultimate answer is if you have lived a moral and ethical life and have acted with virtue and character in your life, as I have as I have written in my new article “A Life Worth Living”, you have lived a worthy life. If you can answer in the affirmative to these four attributes, then when your life comes to an end, you can pass away in peace, knowing that you have experienced a life worth living.

One of the certainties of life is that we will all die. The only question is when, where, and how we will die. Therefore, to be afraid of death is an emotional waste of time and energy. Rather than be afraid of death, we should be careful not to court death by taking actions (or inactions) that may court death. Live your life carefully to the fullest without being afraid of your inevitable death, and use your concern about death to guide you into minimizing your actions that may lead to your death.

The concept of hell is mostly a Christian concept, in which the souls of the dead who led an immoral life will suffer in the afterlife. Many historical concepts of hell involve fire and brimstone that inflict physical pain upon those consigned to hell. However, I believe that this concept is incorrect. A more painful hell would be for those consigned to hell to experience the pain and suffering they inflicted upon others during their lives. Thus, the suffering of those consigned to hell would be an emotional pain that is a far more appropriate punishment.

Of course, the truly evil persons of history deserve any and all punishments for all time that can be inflicted upon them in the afterlife. I also believe that a person can redeem themselves from this hell after they are fully cognizant of their misdeeds and repent to God. But only God can determine if they are fully cognizant and repentant, as only God can determine the truth of their repentance and bestow forgiveness.

For those who believe that there is no repentance from hell, I would remind them of the words in the Bible, “The judgments of the Lord are True and Just.”, and trust that God will make the proper decision on their repentance and forgiveness.

02/28/24 Relying On Others’ Opinions

In the research for my writings, I attempt to read and listen to the thoughts and opinions of other people with whom I agree or disagree. It is not possible to fully read or completely listen to the opinions of others, as it can be time-consuming to do so. This is especially difficult to accomplish when I may disagree with another, as it takes self-control and discipline to pay attention to those with whom I disagree. But it is important that you do so when forming an opinion or criticizing or critiquing another person. Too often in America today, we are quick to criticize or critique another person based on what someone else has said about the other person. In doing so, it is easy to mischaracterize what a person has written or said. In addition, what is said by someone else is often an Ad hominem-based argument rather than a reason-based argument, which is not illuminative of the topic that is being discussed. Consequently, if you wish to disagree with someone, you have the responsibility to read and/or listen to what they have written or spoken and not rely on what someone else has said about them.

In this, I am reminded of the words of wisdom by the great English philosopher, political economist, politician, and civil servant John Stuart Mill:

“He who only knows his own side of the case, knows little of that. . . Nor is it enough that he should hear the arguments of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. That is not the way to do justice to the arguments, or bring them into real contact with his own mind. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them; who defend them in earnest, and do there very utmost for them. He must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form. . .”
 - John Stuart Mill

02/27/24 Superlatives

It is all too common in today’s America to praise a person with superlatives such as great, wonderful, brilliant, marvelous, fantastic, first-rate, superb, marvelous, etc... Much too often, these superlatives are undeserved and are nothing but flattery. I find this inappropriate use of superlatives to be demeaning and repugnant, as it cheapens a person who is deserving of the superlative. It also has the pernicious effect of those so praised in believing that they are better than what they truly are and perhaps ameliorating their efforts to improve themselves. There is also the problem that those listening to the superlatives may not have the knowledge, intelligence, or experience to properly appraise whether the superlative is appropriate or inappropriate. All of this is to say that everyone, the speaker, the object of the praise, and the listener, needs to be more judgmental of the worthiness or unworthiness of the superlative.

Whenever I evaluate a person, I try to categorize their qualifications as follows:

    1. Excellent or Great
    2. Good
    3. Average
    4. Mediocre
    5. Poor

Within these categories, I also sub-categorize them into three levels:

    1. Upper
    2. Middle
    3. Lower

This is an imperfect and subjective scale, and a person may have a different categorization based on the topic that they are elucidating. This categorization and sub-categorization allow me to make a judgment on a topic by the quality of the person providing me with the information that I need to make a judgment. A person's higher categorization and sub-categorization also motivates me to think about and research a topic that they are elucidating that has piqued my interest, which sometimes results in my changing my opinion on a topic.

We would all do well to judge a person and what they are elucidating by their qualifications and to ignore the superlatives of others in making this judgment.

02/26/24 Principles, Truisms, Locutions, and Rules

I have extracted and edited my Principles, Truisms, Locutions, and Rules from my life observations web page that I have tried to apply to my life, and while I have not always succeeded, I have tried. While many of these items are wise, quite a few are also humorous. I hope that these items are helpful in your life, or at least put a smile on your face.

02/25/24 Depoliticize Our Lives

In the book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray, he concludes the book with a section on “DEPOLITICIZE OUR LIVES”:

“The aim of identity politics would appear to be to politicize absolutely everything. To turn every aspect of human interaction into a matter of politics. To interpret every action and relationship in our lives along lines which are alleged to have been carved out by political actions. The calls to spend our time working out our own place and the places of others in the oppression hierarchy are invitations not just to an era of navel-gazing, but to turn every human relationship into a political power calibration. The new metaphysics includes a call to find meaning in this game: to struggle, and fight and campaign and ‘ally’ ourselves with people in order to reach the promised land. In an era without purpose, and in a universe without clear meaning, this call to politicize everything and then fight for it has an undoubted attraction. It fills life with meaning, of a kind.

But of all the ways in which people can find meaning in their lives, politics–let alone politics on such a scale–is one of the unhappiest. Politics may be an important aspect of our lives, but as a source of personal meaning it is disastrous. Not just because the ambitions it strives after nearly always go unachieved, but because finding purpose in politics laces politics with a passion–including a rage–that perverts the whole enterprise. If two people are in disagreement about something important, they may disagree as amicably as they like if it is just a matter of getting to the truth or the most amenable option. But if one party finds their whole purpose in life to reside in some aspect of that disagreement, then the chances of amicability fade fast and the likelihood of reaching any truth recedes.

One of the ways to distance ourselves from the madnesses of our times is to retain an interest in politics but not to rely on it as a source of meaning. The call should be for people to simplify their lives and not to mislead themselves by devoting their lives to a theory that answers no questions, makes no predictions and is easily falsifiable. Meaning can be found in all sorts of places. For most individuals it is found in the love of the people and places around them: in friends, family and loved ones, in culture, place and wonder. A sense of purpose is found in working out what is meaningful in our lives and then orienting ourselves over time as closely as possible to those centres of meaning. Using ourselves up on identity politics, social justice (in this manifestation) and intersectionality is a waste of a life.

We may certainly aim to live in a society in which nobody should be held back from what they can do because of some personal characteristic allotted to them by chance. If somebody has the competency to do something, and the desire to do something, then nothing about their race, sex or sexual orientation should hold them back. But minimizing difference is not the same as pretending difference does not exist. To assume that sex, sexuality and skin colour mean nothing would be ridiculous. But to assume that they mean everything will be fatal.”

Perhaps it would be best if all Americans make a resolution to depoliticize our lives. It would certainly lower the volume and heat of the political rhetoric in today’s America. I would also suspect that it would be a calming influence in everyone’s lives. Unfortunately, Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders have made this nearly impossible, as they have politicized almost all aspects of American life with a constant barrage of negativity about American society and Western Culture, as I have Chirped on "01/04/24 Western Culture".

02/24/24 To Be Fearful of a Civil War or Civil Deconstruction

As I have written in my recent Chirps on "02/22/24 The Administrative State" and "02/23/24 Unbalanced and Unlimited Powers", America is undergoing a “fundamental transformation” that negatively affects our "American Ideals and Ideas", "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights", and "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". This fundamental transformation is a result of sliding into a more Progressive and secular society that is hostile to our American values, and especially to our Judeo-Christian mores. This fundamental transformation is being led by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders through a process of Civil Deconstruction of American society.

In their attempts to fundamentally transform America, they often engage in "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" against anyone who disagrees with them, which has resulted in the pitting of Americans against Americans and a rise in hostility between different groups of Americans. Recently, we have seen a pushback against their ideology and ideas and their tactics to obtain their political goals and policy agendas. A pushback that has elicited even more hostility from them towards their opponents.

In the past, there have been many physical confrontations from the fundamental transformers against their opponents, and some of this hostility has resulted in physical violence. The mob violence of the 2020s, which resulted in deaths, injuries, arson, property destruction, and looting, perpetuated by Progressives/Leftists, was defended by the Democrats, assisted by the actions of Law Enforcement by Democrat Mayors and Governors, and not prosecuted by Democrat local District Attorneys or State Attorney Generals. However, the mob violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by far-right individuals that resulted in trespass, theft, and destruction of property was vigorously confronted by Democrat Congressional Laws Enforcement and is being fully prosecuted, and in some cases, being maliciously prosecuted. There have been many other instances of violence by Progressives/Leftists against their opponents on a smaller scale. Thus, it can be said that violence is but one of the tactics that Progressives/Leftists utilize to achieve their goal of fundamentally transforming America.

Another recent tactic being utilized by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders is the weaponization of government via "Lawfare", as I have written in my collected Chirps on "The Weaponization of Government".

However, such hostility begets hostility to the point where physical altercations between the sides are a distinct possibility. Also, the weaponization of government may be turned against them if their opposition obtains control of the levers of government. Thus, the question is, are we headed for a Civil War between the two sides or a continuation of the Civil Deconstruction that Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders are engaged in?

In the book Four Threats by Suzanne Mettler and Robert Liberman, they discuss the presence of four specific threats to democracy: political polarization, conflict over who belongs in the political community, high and growing economic inequality, and excessive executive power that lead to the destabilization of democracy. These four threats have arisen in modern America and are threatening our democracy, and they are the basis for Civil Deconstruction that may lead to a Civil War.

No sane person wants a civil war, as civil wars wreak havoc on society. Death, Disease, Destruction, serious injuries, and economic disruptions are the consequences of a civil war. But Civil Deconstruction also wreaks havoc on society. Civil Deconstruction leads to a collapse of the functioning of a society and destroys the civil bonds that bind a people together. With this civil deconstruction comes a devaluation or destruction of our American ideals and ideas, natural, human, and civil rights, and freedoms, liberties, equality, and equal justice for all. It then becomes a question of what is worse—a Civil War or a Civil Deconstruction?

In examining this question, it is necessary to analyze both the pros and cons of a Civil War or a Civil Deconstruction, as I have Chirped on “02/17/24 Both Sides Now”. As history has taught us, Civil War or Civil Deconstruction often leads to a collapse of society and just as often leads to new Forms of Governance that are antithetical to democracy. It is hoped that we can avoid both a Civil War and a Civil Deconstruction, but that hope is fading as each side digs in and hardens its stance against the other side. Thus, we should be fearful of both a Civil War and Civil Deconstruction, but we must also be aware that each is possible in today’s America.

As for me, I am unwilling to sacrifice our American ideals and ideas, natural, human, and civil rights, and freedoms, liberties, equality, and equal justice for all to civil deconstruction. Therefore, if it becomes a choice between either a Civil War or a Civil Deconstruction, I will opt for a Civil War to retain our American values and mores.

Let us hope that it never becomes necessary to make this choice; however, let us also remember that our American way is the last best hope for humankind to retain what is best for humankind. Let us then do what is right, what is just, and what is true, as if we do not, then we shall die as one of the great civil libertarians of our time has said:

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right.
A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice.
A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”
 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

02/23/24 Unbalanced and Unlimited Powers

The United States Constitution was designed to have three co-equal branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. It was also formulated to have a balance of power between the branches of government in which each branch has limited and enumerated powers. A balance of power that is needed to prevent the abuses of power, and limited and enumerated powers that are needed to prevent the proliferation of powers.

Unfortunately, with the rise of Progressivism and the Administrative state, this no longer seems to be the case in America. Our Founding Fathers envisioned the Legislative Branch as establishing the laws that the Executive Branch would faithfully execute, and the Judicial Branch would determine the Constitutionality of the laws and adjudicate any disputes of the laws. However, the rise of an “Administrative state”, along with an underlying "Bureaucratic Swamp", has shifted the balance of powers in America to an undeclared fourth branch of government—Independent Agencies and Government Bureaucracies.

We have also seen an unbalance between the branches of government with the ascendency of a powerful President, Congress ceding power to bureaucracies to formulate rules and regulations covering almost all aspects of American life, and a Judiciary that feels it can intervene in any aspect of government and society and make rulings that fall outside of their purview.

All these forces in modern America are like a spreading cancer. Elected or appointed officials within government seem to pay little heed to the Constitution or to our "American Ideals and Ideas". It seems that our elected or appointed officials often attempt to circumvent the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions to achieve their political goals and policy agendas. Much of this is driven by the hubris of elected or appointed officials who believe that they can control the American people regardless of human nature or economic realities. In this, I would remind them that:

"To deny human nature or economics, or to not acknowledge human nature or economics, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

This is also a fatal conceit that is devaluing our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" and ruining America. It is also fueling the demise of "A Civil Society" as the hyper-partisanship of to whom and how much control will be exerted by the government is bitterly fought about between the partisans.  

Much of this is a result of the Supreme Court's reluctance to declare laws, rules, and regulations to be unconstitutional and to seek a compromise between the partisan parties, some of which I have examined in my Articles onThe Failures of the Supreme Court” and “Supreme, But Not Always Right”.

Alas, I am doubtful that the Supreme Court will change its approach or that it will be enough to change the course of America that we have embarked on in the last half-century. We, the people, need to be proactive in removing this cancer within our society. A removal of this cancer which will require an excising of our political leadership that has engaged in these unconstitutional actions, as I have discussed in my article “The Removal of Elected or Appointed Officials Who Violate their Oath of Office”.

Until we right the course of America, I can foresee more deconstruction of our American Ideals and Ideas or the possibility of a civil war to reestablish our American Ideals and Ideas.

02/22/24 The Administrative State

The "Administrative state" is a term used to describe the power that some government agencies have to write, judge, and enforce their own laws and regulations. Since it pertains to the structure and function of government, it is a frequent topic in political science, constitutional law, and public administration. The phenomenon was relatively unknown in representative democracies until the beginning of the 20th century. Its sudden rise has corresponded to the rise of Progressivism, and many claim that the two are interrelated. The impact of the Administrative State on Liberties and Freedoms and representative democracy is much debated.

In America, the administrative state is mostly found in the independent agencies of the federal government (although some states have independent agencies). The Constitution neither makes nor infers anything that resembles an Administrative state, and thus, many believe that Independent agencies are Unconstitutional.

In addition, in America, the way that some Independent agencies operate would seem to be in violation of justice and the rule of law as incorporated into the Constitution, as I have examined in my Article "Justice and The Rule of Law in America". The violation of these Constitutional protections would also make Independent agencies Unconstitutional. In America, the officials of Independent agencies are appointed (often without Senatorial approval) and usually with a fixed term of office, which makes it exceedingly difficult to remove them from office. Thus, they are not responsive to the will of the people as expressed by elections but can operate in opposition to our elected officials' will, which is an assault on democracy.

Consequently, these Independent agencies can operate on a capricious and arbitrary basis, and this must end. As I believe that independent agencies are Unconstitutional and are being done wrongly, perhaps the better solution would be to fold these independent agencies into the Executive Departments or the Executive Office of the President, which would then make them Constitutional and subject them to Constitutional constraints. Many supporters of Independent agencies would respond that they need independence to operate impartially and that all that is required to correct these problems is a reform of how an Independent agency operates. However, it is impossible to be impartial in today’s hyper-partisan atmosphere, and we should never compromise our Constitutional rights for the nebulous purposes of “impartially”. In this, I would paraphrase the words of Thomas Sowell, "The most basic question is not what is impartial, but who shall decide what is impartial?" and paraphrase Benjamin Frankin, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase Impartially, deserve neither Liberty nor Impartially."

In our attempts to grapple with the issues and concerns about Independent agencies, we should also remember my allocution:

“It is not possible to do the wrong thing rightly, as no wrong thing can be done rightly.”
 - Mark Dawson

02/21/24 Human Nature or Free Will

Human nature is the shared psychological attributes of humankind that are assumed to be shared by all human beings. Human Nature comprises the fundamental dispositions and characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—that humans are said to have naturally. The term is often used to denote the essence of humankind or what it 'means' to be human. Human Nature has been molded by the physiological construction of the human brain and millions of years of human evolution.

Progressives/Leftists have an Unconstrained vision of human nature that believes that human nature is malleable and can be improved by governmental actions and societal pressures. Conservatives have a Constrained vision of human nature that believes that human nature is not malleable and that people will act in their own best interests and of their own Free Will, while Moderates have a vision of human nature that believes that human nature is somewhat malleable and can be improved by limited governmental actions and societal pressures.

Free Will is the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies. Free Will is closely linked to the concepts of moral responsibility, praise, culpability, and other judgments that apply only to actions that are freely chosen. It is also connected with the concepts of advice, persuasion, deliberation, and prohibition. Traditionally, only actions that are freely willed are seen as deserving credit or blame. Whether free will exists, what it is, and the implications of whether it exists or not constitute some of the longest-running debates of philosophy. Some conceive of free will as the ability to act beyond the limits of external influences or wishes.

Human Nature and Free Will would seem to conflict with each other. However, I believe that human nature is an unconscious guide, while free will is a conscious choice, and free will can and will override human nature as the individual so chooses.

Therefore, because of free will, each person is responsible for their own words and deeds. While there may be societal pressures and impediments that influence your decisions, it is possible to overcome these factors and achieve your goals. Your achievements are based on your physical and mental capacities, skills and abilities, intellect, knowledge, and hard work to achieve your individual goals and to rise above the circumstances of your birth.

However, it is only in a free society that respects "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" that each individual can rise above their circumstances and achieve their goals. Any other type of society artificially constrains an individual and defies human nature and free will.

02/20/24 Keeping Silent About Islamic Pathologies

In a recent forward to the book “Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam” by Raymond Ibrahim, the eminent scholar and commentator Victor Davis Hanson made the following cogent statement:

“And in the current mood, whether in academic circles or popular culture, Western browbeating manifests itself in virtue-signaling damnation of Western civilization—while quite timidly practicing self-censorship, or keeping silent, about Islamic pathologies, including those, ironically, most illiberal to race and gender, diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
 - Victor Davis Hanson

This statement encapsulates what I have Chirped on “01/05/24 The War on the West”, as well as my Article “The Problems with Islam”. For those Western browbeaters and apologists of Islam, my reply to them is that which I have written in my aforementioned Chirp and Article.

02/19/24 The Removal of Elected or Appointed Officials

In modern America, the Oaths of Office of Public Officials have become just a formality to start their term of office. Little thought and fidelity are given to their oaths once they begin their term of office. These Oaths of Office are a vow to uphold, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution as their primary responsibility and the Constitutional constraints to their duties and responsibilities as defined by the Constitution. In the past, we have relied on the virtue and character of elected or appointed officials to keep their oath of office, along with the shame they engendered if they did not do so. However, virtue, character, and shame in modern politics seem to have been relegated to "the ash heap of history". Thus, little heed is given to their Oath of Office when they are executing the powers of their office. As such, they do not consider the Constitutional restraints on their powers, as they are more concerned about their political goals and policy agendas and the resulting political popularity gains and/or their reelection prospects to their current elected office or future elective or appointive office.

The question is, then, what can be done about reigning in these violations of their oath of office? The most common answer is their removal from office by impeachment. However, impeachment is not often available, is rarely utilized, and even more rarely results in their removal from office. This is because the Constitution is quite explicit and thus narrowly defines impeachment as “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Consequently, a violation of an Oath of Office is not considered sufficient grounds for impeachment, as rarely do the violations of their Oath of Office concern Treason, Bribery, or high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

My new Article, “The Removal of Elected or Appointed Officials”, examines this question and provides some possible answers. This article supersedes my previous articles on “Removal of Executive Officers” and “Removal of Justices and Judges”, and, as such, I have withdrawn these articles.

02/18/24 The Greatest Danger to Democracy

As I have written about in my Chirp on “02/16/24 A Slight of Hand”, the Biden Administration poses a threat to democracy in how they operate authoritatively and in secrecy:

The greatest danger to democracy is not from outside sources but from insiders who operate authoritatively and secretly. Such has been the modus operandi throughout the Biden Administration, which makes them a great danger to our democracy, as I have Chirp on "11/08/23 Threats to Democracy".”.

But in a larger sense, the greatest danger to our democracy is an apathetic electorate not interested in our "American Ideals and Ideas", "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All", and "Justice and The Rule of Law in America", but only concerned with getting their piece of the pie. We also have the problem of "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" utilized to engender fear of the opponent, and "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to justify political agendas and policy goals that are threats to democracy. Adding into the mix of "The Biggest Falsehoods in America" only makes for more confusion in the minds of the electorate.

Much of this is made possible by improper or incomplete civics instructions in modern public education, as well as the "Mainstream Media", "Mainstream Cultural Media", "Social Media", "Big Tech", "Modern Big Business", and "Modern Education" support for policy positions that are counter to our "American Ideals and Ideas". There is also a dearth of knowledge amongst the American public on "Capitalism and Free Markets", as well as much mistaken knowledge on "Socialism". This leads to confusion and improper economic understanding as to the repercussions on governance based on this lack of or incorrect knowledge. Much of this misunderstanding has been brought forth by Progressivism, as I have explained in my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives", and is being led by Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists in modern America. Despite their cries of saving “Our Democracy”, they operate in a manner that is antithetical to democracy, as I have Chirp on "01/11/22 Our Democracy" and as Rob Natelson has written in his article “‘Our Democracy’ = Their Oligarchy”.

Consequently, the greatest danger to democracy is an electorate that is unaware or unconcerned about how the government operates or the means that they utilize to obtain their political agendas and policy goals. Alas, there seems little hope that the American electorate can be awakened to this danger, considering the political and social forces that would prefer to keep them in darkness of this greatest danger to democracy.

02/17/24 Both Sides Now

When discussing significant changes or new proposals to how our government functions, it is common and correct to be concerned about potential negative repercussions to any proposed change and/or new. What is less common and incorrect is to balance the fear of a change and/or new with the negative repercussions of the current functioning of government.

Politicians are loath to see any change in the functioning of government, as this could disrupt their control and power over the levers of government. They are often supportive of the new—when the new increases their control and power over the levers of government. Change and/or new can also impact their reelection prospects, as any change and/or new to government functioning will have impacts (both positive and negative) upon their constituents.

Many people are also fearful of any change to government functioning, as it could disrupt their lives and understanding of how to utilize the government to achieve their ends. However, the old saying “Better The Devil You Know Than The Devil You Don't” is not a good basis for resisting change and/or new, as the devil you know could be more harmful than the devil you don't.

Hence, change is often necessary when the government is not operating in the best interest of the people but in the best interests of the government. Often, the change is a choice of the lesser of two evils. However, it is necessary to examine the current evils and possible changes and/or new evils to determine the best future course to undertake. When examining these evils, it is best to remember my concerns on "Change and/or New" before undertaking any change or new proposal.

As such, we should examine both sides of the change and/or new government functioning before we undertake a change and/or new. We should also always remember that it is more important that change and/or new should be in the best interest of the people and not the best interests of the government or the politicians.

02/16/24 A Slight of Hand

As Jonathan Turley has written in his article “The Rasputin Effect: Biden Moves To Make Podesta the Climate Czar With A Crown… or a Confirmation”:

“With the departure of John Kerry as “climate czar,” President Biden has announced that he will be replaced by John Podesta, a Democratic powerbroker and Washington insider.

Podesta, however, will take the power and not the title. He will be appointed as “coordinator,” thus sidestepping and confirmation by the Senate, which could have been brutal.

Such action will shield Podesta from questions about Kerry’s work and expenses as climate czar. Before leaving office, Kerry refused to turn over information on his staff to Congress and the public. The Biden Administration is now being sued over the secrecy.”

This is but another example of the government operating in secrecy from the public when secrecy from the public is not necessary. It is especially pernicious as the Biden Administration is attempting to operate in secrecy from Congressional oversight. The issues of government climate change policy are of such magnitude that secrecy is anathema to democracy. Thus, the Biden Administration is operating undemocratically and, ergo, poses a danger to democracy.

As usual, the words and deeds of the Biden Administration are in contraction to each other. They talk one game but walk another game. Such slights of hand are typical in the Biden Administration, as they do not want the American public to be aware of what they are actually doing. This is because they realize that much of the American public would not be supportive of what they are doing, so they must do it secretly to obtain their political agendas and policy goals.

The greatest danger to democracy is not from outside sources but from insiders who operate authoritatively and secretly. Such has been the modus operandi throughout the Biden Administration, which makes them a great danger to our democracy, as I have Chirp on "11/08/23 Threats to Democracy".

02/15/24 An Intriguing Legal Question

In an article by Hans A. von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation, “Was It Legal To Appoint Jack Smith in the First Place?”, he points out a question of the legality of the appointment:

“Was Special Counsel Jack Smith illegally appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland and is his prosecution of former Pres. Donald Trump unlawful? That is the intriguing issue raised in an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court by Schaerr Jaffe, LLP, on behalf of former Attorney General Ed Meese and two law professors, Steven Calabresi and Gary Lawson, in the case of U.S. v. Trump.”

Mr. Smith was appointed by Attorney General Garland to be the chief prosecutor for all of the January 6, 2021, “Insurrectionist” litigation, as well as President Trump’s role in the “Insurrection”. This amicus brief raises serious and fundamental issues as to whether Attorney General Garland had the constitutional and statutory authority to appoint Mr. Smith as special counsel. If he was not legally appointed, then all actions taken by Mr. Smith are null and void, including the overturning of the convictions of the January 6th defendants and his prosecution of President Trump. It would also be necessary for the court to seal all evidence that Mr. Smith has obtained, as it would be the fruits of the poisonous tree.

This issue needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. Otherwise, it will be possible for an Attorney General to appoint persons who would be the hounds of "Lawfare" against their political opponents.

02/14/24 The Persecutor in Atlanta

The political persecutor in Atlanta has found herself in troubled waters. Normally, I am not much concerned about the personal indiscretions of public officials, as we are all human and subject to human fallacies. However, when a public official’s personal indiscretions impact their official duties, we all should be concerned.

When Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County GA, who is responsible for the election case prosecution of former President Trump, hired attorney Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor to lead the Trump prosecution, she went over the line from personal indiscretion to official duties. It is now apparent that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade were engaged in an extramarital relationship. A relationship that is inappropriate in a professional setting and creates concerns about a conflict of interest.

In hiring Mr. Wade at a large expense and for a prosecution in which he has no legal experience, Ms. Willis has enriched her lover. In addition, Mr. Wade has utilized his enrichment to pay for several expensive vacations with Ms. Willis and himself. In my opinion, this is corruption and a misallocation of government funding. In addition, she may also have perjured herself in the affidavits she filed with the court to explain her relationship with Mr. Wade. All of this points to a prosecutor who is derelict in her duty to engage in an above-board prosecution.

Consequently, I believe that a mistrial without prejudice should be declared and that a change of venue outside of Fulton County, GA, with another district attorney, should be instituted to determine if President Trump has run afoul of election laws.

02/13/24 What is Impeachable?

With the failure of the Impeachment vote against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, the question of what impeachable offenses are has again arisen. The Constitution is quite explicit on impeachment in Article II, Section. 4. in that:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Many legal and Constitutional scholars have narrowly construed this clause to mean Treason, Bribery, or illegal actions. As I have written in my article, Impeachable Offenses, there are  good reasons to narrowly construe this clause, as Stanford law school professor Pamela Karlan has written about the impeachment clauses:

“The Framers meant for the phrase ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ to signify only conduct that seriously harms the public and seriously compromises the officer’s ability to continue. If the phrase is given a less rigorous interpretation, it could allow Congress to influence and control the President and the courts.”

As Secretary Mayorkas was not charged with Treason, Bribery, or illegal actions, but only the failure to faithfully execute the laws on immigration, his was not an impeachable offense under a narrowly construed interpretation of this clause.

The President of the United States has a duty, under Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution that “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and the Oath of Office of Executive Officers requires them to discharge the duties of the office for which they enter, which includes faithfully executing the laws:

“I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

However, Secretary Mayorkas has violated his Oath of Office by not enforcing immigration laws, and thus, he has not faithfully discharged the duties of his office. Many claim that he has the power to do so, usually under the guise of Prosecutorial Discretion or establishing regulations that make a mockery of Illegal Immigration laws. In doing so, he has challenged the authority of Congress to establish the laws of the United States by evading the immigration laws established by Congress. His utilization of Prosecutorial Discretion to not enforce the law has been beyond the pale, as I have written in my Chirp on "01/17/23 Prosecutorial Discretion".

This utilization of regulations to evade the law and Prosecutorial Discretion to not enforce the law has been on the rise in America in the 21st century, especially in the administrations of President Obama and President Biden. Thus, the question of how to bring the Executive branch into compliance with the laws passed by Congress is of paramount concern for the balance of powers between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government. In the case of illegal immigration it has also pitted State and Local governments against the Federal government, as the economic and criminal impacts of illegal immigration have placed a burden on them and the people within their jurisdiction.

In a larger sense, however, it is a question of what type of governance the American people will tolerate. Will we have a powerful Executive branch that can override the will of Congress or an Executive Branch that will faithfully execute the laws that Congress has passed? Consequently, it is a question of whether we will be true to our "American Ideals and Ideas" or whether we will reshape America into a more authoritative form of governance directed by the Presidency.

The answer to this question is how we respond to Executive Officers who do not faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress. If they are allowed to continually flaunt the laws passed by Congress without consequences, then we will continue and expand an authoritative form of governance directed by the Presidency. Congress and the judiciary must find a way to impose consequences for those executive officers who flout the law. If we wait until the next Presidential election to correct this situation than much harm can be done to America (as can be seen from the negative impacts of this flaunting on America by the Biden Administration), and it will encourage future Executive Officers to flaunt the law as they see fit.

It should be remembered by all that if you don’t like a law, you should change the law, not evade nor enforce the law. To do otherwise is to make the law capricious and arbitrary, as well as to increase lawlessness and chaos in America to the detriment of all Americans.

Update – The House of Representatives passed the Impeachment Articles against Secretary Mayorkas this afternoon. However, indications are that the Senate may not even bring the Impeachment to a trial or vote, as most Senators do not believe Secretary Mayorkas has committed an impeachable offense. Therefore, the questions raised in this Chirp are still applicable, and the answers are unresolved.

02/12/24 The Supreme Law of the Land

In an extraordinary ruling, the unanimous Supreme Court of Hawaii rejected the holdings of the United States Supreme Court on the Second Amendment as inapplicable to the 50th state. Hawaii apparently is controlled not by the precedent of the Supreme Court but by the “spirit of Aloha.”  While Queen Liliʻuokalani would be pleased, the justices of the United States Supreme Court may view such claims as more secessional than spiritual.

When the people of Hawaii agreed to join the United States, they agreed with Article. VI. Paragraph 2 of the Constitution:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Consequently, anything in Hawaii’s history, traditions, or laws that conflicted with the Constitution was null and void when they joined the United States. Thus, the ruling of the Supreme Court of Hawaii is null and void as it conflicts with the Constitution of the United States as determined by previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

This is but another example of State courts trying to circumvent the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions on constitutionality when they disapprove of the Constitution or Supreme Court rulings. This must stop, and any Legislative, Executive, or Judicial official who attempts this is not upholding their oath of office. Flagrant disregard of the Constitution should be met with removal from office by any Legislative, Executive, or Judicial official who engages in flaunting the Constitution or Supreme Court rulings. To not do so is to allow for chaos to reign supreme and for the eventual dissolution of the rule of law in America.

02/11/24 Social Justice Fallacies

In an instant New York Times bestseller, the new book Social Justice Fallacies by renowned economist Thomas Sowell demolishes the myths that underpin the social justice movement. In the first four chapters, he examines the common fallacies, in both their history and economics, that social "Activists and Activism" labor under. He then concludes the book by examining the words and deeds of social justice and the dangers of implementing their policies based on their fallacies.

In reading this book and then thinking about this Chirp, I realized that a brief synopsis of these chapters would be inappropriate, as each chapter is a brief synopsis of the fallacy it describes. Indeed, the book is only 130 pages of narrative, with another 71 pages of notes and a comprehensive index. Instead, I will simply provide the chapter titles and subtitles in this book:

  1. “Equal Chances” Fallacies
    • Reciprocal Inequalities
    • Origins of Inequalities
      • Inequalities Among Individuals
      • Inequalities Among Groups
      • Environment and Human Capital
      • Episodic Factors
  1. Racial Fallacies
    • Assertions Versus Evidence
    • Genetic Determinism
      • Early Progressivism
      • Later Progressivism
  1. Chess Pieces Fallacies
    • Redistribution of Wealth
      • History
      • Tax Rates versus Tax Revenues
      • The Inflation “Tax”
    • Chess Pees and Price Controls
      • Reaction to Price Controls
      • Minimum Wage Laws
    • Chess Pieces and Income Statistics
      • Trends Over Time
      • Different Numbers of People
      • “Stagnating” Income Growth
      • Turnover in Income Brackets
      • The “Rich” and The “Poor”
      • Implications for “Social Justice”
  1. Knowledge Fallacies
    • Conflicting Visions of Knowledge
      • Consequential Knowledge
      • Opposite Visions
    • Facts and Myths
      • Employment Issues
      • Payday Loans
      • Housing Decisions
      • Children
    • Patterns and Consequences
    • Implications
  2. Words, Deeds, and Dangers
    • Visions and Vocabularies
      • Merit
      • Racism
      • Affirmative Action
    • Implications

I would encourage all to read this book, as it provides illumination on the Social Justice Fallacies predominant in today’s America. For those who would disagree with his analysis, I would remind them of the importance of reading the words of those with whom you disagree, as expressed by the great English philosopher, political economist, politician, and civil servant John Stuart Mill:

“He who only knows his own side of the case, knows little of that. . . Nor is it enough that he should hear the arguments of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. That is not the way to do justice to the arguments, or bring them into real contact with his own mind. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them; who defend them in earnest, and do there very utmost for them. He must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form. . .”
 - John Stuart Mill

02/10/24 What Do You Expect of a Politician?

Most people have unreasonable expectations of politicians. They either expect that they will deliver the goods or that they provide leadership based on knowledge and wisdom of the issues and concerns. However, it is not possible for them to deliver the goods as they are constrained by what is allowable by the United States Constitution and their State Constitutions. They are also not very knowledgeable or wise on most of the issues and concerns, as no one person can be very knowledgeable or wise on all the issues and concerns.

Their motivations for entering into politics are also varied. Some see it as a career path to effect change for the betterment of society; some see it as a service to their country after they have achieved some success outside of government. All politicians are concerned about their reelection and often temper their decisions based on reelection criteria. Some politicians will tell you what you want to hear, while occasionally, some politicians will tell you what you need to hear. In this, they are like all persons who wish to obtain, retain, and advance in their employment, trade, or profession.

So, what should we expect of a politician? My personal opinion is that the most important expectation we should have of a politician is that they have virtue and character, as I have examined in my Chirps on "11/22/23 Virtue and Character" and "10/09/22 Financial Virtue in Public Office". When judging the virtue and character of a politician, it is important to remember that:

"It is much more difficult to be virtuous than it is to virtue signal."
 - Unknown

And:

"The words of a person are important to adjudge their virtue. However, the deeds of a person are important to judge their character. And deeds have much more of an impact than words. Or, as Benjamin Franklin has said 'Well done is better than well said.'".
  - Mark Dawson

I also expect that a politician should be willing to change their opinion based on new or additional information that they may encounter and to explain to their constituents their reasoning for their change of opinion. For, as one of our Founding Fathers has said:

"Doubt a little of your own infallibility."
  - Benjamin Franklin

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others."
  - Benjamin Franklin

These are high expectations that are difficult for a politician to achieve, but I expect politicians to strive for this achievement. Those politicians who do not strive for this are unworthy to be leaders of a Liberty and Freedom-loving people. Indeed, it seems that politicians who do not have virtue or character wish to be rulers rather than leaders, as I have examined in my Article "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders".

I, therefore, expect that politicians should be virtuous and act with character, work within the bounds of the Federal and State Constitutions, and be leaders rather than rulers, as I have examined in my article on “Religion, Morality, Character, and Virtue Within Government and Society”.

02/09/24 A State of Chaos

Any society in chaos is a society on the decline, and it will eventually slide into a form of a repressive government. When people feel that they are in danger from enemies both foreign and domestic, when crime has risen and remains unchecked, when the economy is deteriorating and not beneficial to the common person, when governmental intervention into the lives of the populace restricts their Liberties and Freedoms, the flowering of chaos leads to an overthrow of the government, often to be replaced by a repressive government.

This is because people will not live long in a state of fear, danger, and uncertainty that chaos engenders. They will demand that order and stability be restored, whatever the costs and the cost is often a repressive government. Many times throughout history, this chaos has led to rulership by a strong man and a repression of the populace of the society. This repression has often had a right-wing flavor, but the 20th century has proven that this repression can have a left-wing flavor.

When we observe the modern state of America, we can see the seeds of chaos. A chaos that seems to be deliberate with the intention of replacing our "American Ideals and Ideas" with those of "Socialism" ideals and ideas, as they believe that "Socialism is Acceptable". Alas, these seeds of chaos are being planted by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders in America.

The nonsense of "Activists and Activism", "Adjective Justice", "Big Bad Science", "Bureaucratic Swamp", "Cancel Culture", "Conspiracy Theory", "Critical Race Theory (CRT)", "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)", "Doxing", "Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG)", "Equity and Equality", "Greater Good versus the Common Good", "Hate Speech", "Herd Mentality", "Hyper-Partisanship", "Identity Politics", "Intersectionality", "Lawfare", "LGBTQIA+", "Modern Feminism", "Political Correctness (PC)", "Racist", "Social Engineering", "Social Media", "Virtue Signaling", "White Privilege", "Wokeness", being spouted and implemented in America are the seeds of chaos.

Through the utilization of "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language”, the American people are being bamboozled into believing that these seeds of chaos are in their best interest and the best interest of America. Do not be fooled—as the flowering of chaos always results in a repressive government.

The chaos that is being sown is an attempt to fundamentally transform America into a society that is under the control of a Progressive/Leftist ideology. A control that is based on rulership rather than leadership, as I have examined in my article "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders". Such control and rulership can only be implemented by despotism, which will soon morph into Forms of Governance that are not respectful to the "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" of the American people.

02/08/24 It’s All About Control and Power

In my Chirp on "01/14/24 Constrained or Unconstrained Human Nature", I discuss how Progressives/Leftists have an Unconstrained vision about humanity that believes that human nature is malleable and can be improved by governmental actions and societal pressures. I also discuss how Conservatives have a Constrained vision of humanity that believes that human nature is determined by human evolution and that people will act in their own best interests, while Moderates have a vision of humanity that believes that human nature can be somewhat improved by limited governmental actions and societal pressures.

With the Unconstrained vision comes a belief that it is possible to control what a person thinks and believes, as well as their speech and actions, for the purposes of improving society, while Moderates believe that some control is necessary to improve society. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that controlling people is specious and doomed to failure. It is also a fact that to control a person requires power over a person to exercise this control. This power over people is often in the form of despotism that just as often morphs into other "Forms of Governance" that suppresses the "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" of the individuals in a society. For my own part, I have learned from my life experiences that:

"Control over others is illusionary, as the only control that you have is over yourself."
 - Mark Dawson

As such, I have learned that it is important to Be in Control of Yourself, as I have written on my Pearls of Wisdom webpage.

Thus, we have seen in America that Progressives and Leftists are attempting to gain power to institute control over others for the purpose of trying to improve humanity. This has been true for most of the 20th century and has accelerated in the 21st century, as I have written in my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives". In doing so, they have staged an assault on our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" by attempting to control our thoughts and speech, as I have discussed in my collected Chirps on "The Decline of Free Speech in America". Or, as I have said:

"The law is meant to control a person's actions, not their thoughts or speech. The thoughts and speech of each person are controlled by their own morality, ethics, and religious beliefs."
  - Mark Dawson

In this, they are restricting our Liberties and Freedoms for:

"Liberty is to choose the what and how in exercising your Natural Rights, while Freedom is the absence of repression before, during, or after exercising your Natural Rights."
  - Mark Dawson

Thus, Liberty and Freedom are the antithesis of Control and Power. We should also remember my other quote:

"The hubris of a government that believes they can direct or control a free people is astounding. Only a subjugated or subservient people can be directed or controlled."
- Mark Dawson

Finally, it should be remembered that human nature has been molded by six million years of evolution that cannot be changed over decades, as the efforts of Marxism, Communism, and Socialism in the 20th century have demonstrated, for:

"To deny human nature, or to not acknowledge human nature, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

02/07/24 The State is the Problem!

Argentina's new President, Javier Milei, surprised diplomats at the World Economic Forum last month by saying, "The state is the problem!"

He spoke up for capitalism, "Do not be intimidated by the political caste or by parasites who live off the state ... If you make money, it's because you offer a better product at a better price, thereby contributing to general well-being. Do not surrender to the advance of the state. The state is not the solution."

He also said, "If measures are adopted that hinder the free functioning of markets, competition, price systems, trade and ownership of private property, the only possible fate is poverty."

Perhaps he should be invited to address a joint session of Congress to impart his wisdom upon Congress’s members. I doubt, however, that this will happen, as Democrat members of Congress have no interest in hearing anything except their own predilections. They also seem incapable of understanding basic economics and the role of government in a free society.

02/06/24 A Democracy or a Republic

The question of whether the United States was to be a Democracy or a Republic was debated by the members of the Constitutional Convention. Many of the wisest members of the convention were rightly concerned about the stability of a Democracy, as well as the encroachments on the Liberties and Freedoms of the minority in a Democracy. This can be seen in some quotes from the members of the convention:

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
 - John Adams

“Democracies have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”
 - James Madison

“It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”
 - Alexander Hamilton

“Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
 - John Marshall

In addition, many others have had concerns about Democracy, as a few quotes illustrate:

“The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
 - John Quincy Adams

“Democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”
 - Ambrose Bierce

“Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.”
 - Oscar Wilde

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
 - Winston Churchill

It is for these reasons that the Constitutional Convention instituted a Republic rather than a Democracy. In our Constitution, the only body that is democratically elected is the House of Representatives, while Senators were appointed by the State legislators until the 17th Amendment and the Presidency was elected by the Electoral College, whose members were democratically elected. Thus, we have a hybrid government that is best described as a Democratic-Republic form of governance, as I have Chirped on "01/12/24 Our Republic".

Therefore, when you hear the cries of “Our Democracy”, you should be wary of what the speaker has to say, as they are ignorant or duplicitous of the nature of democracies and our Founding Fathers' wisdom. To be guided by the cries of the ignorant or duplicitous is foolish and often leads down the slippery slope to despotism or other forms of governance that do not respect the rights of the individual.

02/05/24 The Firm®

U.S. Senator for Utah, Mike Lee (R), fired off a lengthy X (formerly Twitter) post on Thursday, Feb1, 2024, in which he thoroughly blistered both the bill—and Senators Schumer and McConnell. He began by recounting a short conversation with a reporter:

“Earlier today, a reporter standing outside the Senate chamber told me that, after four months of secrecy, The Firm® plans to release the text of the $106 billion supplemental aid / border-security package—possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Wasting no time, she then asked, “if you get the bill by tomorrow, will you be ready to vote on it by Tuesday?”

The words “hell no” escaped my mouth before I could stop them. Those are strong words where I come from. (Sorry, Mom).

The reporter immediately understood that my frustration was not directed at her.

Rather, it was directed at the Law Firm of Schumer & McConnell (“The Firm®”), which is perpetually trying to normalize a corrupt approach to legislating—in which The Firm®:

(1) spends months drafting legislation in complete secrecy,

(2) aggressively markets that legislation based not on its details and practical implications (good and bad), but only on its broadest, least-controversial objectives,

(3) lets members see bill text for the first time only a few days (sometimes a few hours) before an arbitrary deadline imposed by The Firm® itself, always with a contrived sense of urgency, and then

(4) forces a vote on the legislation on or before that deadline, denying senators any real opportunity to read, digest, and debate the measure on its merits, much less introduce, consider, and vote on amendments to fix any perceived problems with the bill or otherwise improve it.

Whenever The Firm® engages in this practice, it largely excludes nearly every senator from the constitutionally prescribed process in which all senators are supposed to participate.

By so doing, The Firm® effectively disenfranchises hundreds of millions of Americans—at least for purposes relevant to the legislation at hand—and that’s tragic.

It’s also unAmerican, uncivil, uncollegial, and really uncool.

So why does The Firm® do it?

Every time The Firm® utilizes this approach and the bill passes—and it nearly always does—The Firm® becomes more powerful.

The high success rate is largely attributable to the fact that The Firm® has become very adept at  (a) enlisting the help of the (freakishly cooperative) news media, (b) exerting peer pressure in a way that makes what you experienced in middle school look mild by comparison, and (c) rewarding those who consistently vote with The Firm® with various privileges that The Firm® is uniquely capable of offering (committee assignments, help with campaign fundraising, and a whole host of other widely coveted things that The Firm® is free to distribute in any manner it pleases).

It’s through this process that The Firm® passes most major spending legislation.

It’s through this process that The Firm® likely intends to pass the still-secret, $106 billion supplemental aid / border-security package, which The Firm® has spent four months negotiating, with the luxury of obsessing over every sentence, word, period, and comma.

I still don’t know exactly what’s in this bill, although I have serious concerns with it based on the few details The Firm® has been willing to share.

But under no circumstances should this bill — which would fund military operations in three distant parts of the world and make massive, permanent changes to immigration law — be passed next week.

Nor should it be passed until we have had adequate time to read the bill, discuss it with constituents, debate it, offer amendments, and vote on those amendments.

There’s no universe in which those things will happen by next week.

Depending on how long it is and the complexity of its provisions, the minimum period of time we should devote to this bill after it’s released should be measured in weeks or months, not days or hours.

Please share this if you agree.”

As I could not agree more with this statement, I am sharing it with my readers.

02/04/24 This Too Shall Pass

In the history of governments, scholars throughout the ages have debated the rightness and efficacy of the various Forms of Governance. Most of these arguments have proven to be faulty or fallacious. This is not to say that the originators of these arguments were unknowledgeable or unintelligent, but that the experience of history has demonstrated the defects in their arguments. Thus, these theories of government have been consigned to the ash heap of history. So it should be, as experience and better information should be the determinate of the validity of an argument about governance.

Much of this change in the scholarship of governance has arisen because of a better understanding of the "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" of individuals has expanded, as well as the negative economic impacts of bad governance upon the society and the groups and individual members of the society. When history has shown the failure of the different types of governance, then the scholarship on the failed governance should be put aside and relegated to historical analysis.

The history of the 20th century has shown that Marxism, Communism, and Socialism in their various forms (including Nazism and Fascism) have been abject failures in both the Natural, Human, and Civil Rights of the members of society and the negative economic repercussions to their society.

Consequently, we should relegate Marxism, Communism, and Socialism to the ash heap of history and only support historical scholarship of their failures. To do otherwise is to mislead people into believing that these forms of governance can be improved and made workable. A misleading which can have terrible consequences if some form of these governances is instituted in the future. We would all do well to remember that any government that does not recognize the Natural, Human, and Civil Rights of its populace is doomed to failure, with terrible consequences for the people and their society.

02/03/24 The Lost Cause

In the aftermath of the defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War, there arose a mythology of “States Rights” and the “Lost Cause” and of the nobility, honor, dignity, bravery, and selflessness of the Confederate leaders, both military and civilian. The Lost Cause of the Confederacy (or simply the Lost Cause) is an American pseudohistorical negationist myth that claims the cause of the Confederate States during the American Civil War was just, heroic, and not centered on slavery. This mythology grew to such proportions that even reputable historians affirmed and propagated the mythology. At the same time these Southern sympathies were being disseminated, they were also disparaging, denigrating, and demonizing the Union Leaders. Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and others were derided, and the cause of Union and Emancipation was taken to task by falsehoods and deceptions. This tide crested in the middle of the 20th century, but vestiges still remain, especially in public perceptions.

First enunciated in 1866, The Lost Cause has continued to influence racism, gender roles, and religious attitudes in the Southern United States to the present day. The Lost Cause's false historiography – much of it based on rhetoric mythologizing Robert E. Lee's heroic status – has been scrutinized by contemporary historians, who have made considerable progress in dismantling many parts of the Lost Cause mythos.

In the twenty-first century, many of the supporters of Communism and Socialism have claimed that their failures were because they were not implemented properly. There is no acknowledgment that Communism and Socialism may be contrary to human nature, governmentally unworkable, and not economically feasible. Thus, they are simply wrong, and as I have often said, “It is not possible to do the wrong thing rightly, as no wrong thing can be done rightly.”

However, Communism and Socialism supporters continue to make excuses, much like the supporters of the Lost Cause continue to make excuses. It is well past time that Communism and Socialism be historically dismantled and consigned to the dustbin of history. Such consignment would relegate them to the historical departments of academia, and be taught as contrary to Natural Rights, uneconomical, unworkable, and failed systems in the political, economic, and sociological departments of Colleges and Universities. To do otherwise is to ignore the facts and deprivations of Communism and Socialism, which is unworthy of any scholarship.

02/02/24 What Was the Civil War About?

Many modern historians in the last half century or so frame the Civil War in terms of race and racism, as well as the preservation of white privilege and white superiority. Despite a lack of documentary evidence for this framing, and because of the insertion of personal opinion by these historians, many Americans do not have a grasp of the true meaning and significance of the Civil War.

Most people would say that it was about slavery. However, the more complicated truth is that the Civil War was, at its root, a dispute about whether states could secede from the Union. The proximal issue was, of course, slavery, but in the 70 years prior to the firing on Fort Sumter, other issues had driven citizens to talk of secession or rebellion, including taxation during the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791; the War of 1812, during which the Hartford Convention of New England states made it plain that they believed secession was legitimate, and trade and tariffs during the nullification crisis in 1832. In 1860, the riveting issue was slavery, but the underlying conflict was about secession.

At the beginning of the Civil War, President Lincoln and others sought to downplay the issue of slavery, as they knew it would fracture the Union cause and potentially lead to defeat. It was only in the middle of the Civil War after most in the Union fold realized that it was not possible to have a Union half free and half slave, that the issue of the abolition of slavery rose in prominence. By the end of the Civil War, the issues of the Union and the abolition of slavery were on equal footing (especially after the Union soldiers observed firsthand the deprivations of slavery and the humanity of the slaves).

Consequently, the result of the Civil War was that succession was not Constitutional, and the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. Thus, it is proper to say the Civil War was about the unconstitutionality of succession and the elimination of slavery.

02/01/24 Understanding Civil War Motivations

As I have mentioned in several of my Chirps and Articles, when you make judgments on historical events, you must understand the times in which they occurred. An understanding of what the people were thinking helps you understand their words and deeds. However, understanding their thinking is difficult to accomplish even for historians. Prior to the 19th century, historians had little documentary evidence of what the common people thought of the war.

With the rise of a free press that could praise or criticize the events of the war, and the extensive letter writing between those that fought the war and the those that remained on the home front, The American Civil War was a sea change in the volume of the historical information about what the people thought about the war. This month’s Book It selections examine the Civil War from the perspective of the people who fought the war and those that stayed behind at home. These books provide a good understanding of what the people of the Civil War thought they were fighting for.

01/31/24 Rabble-Rousers

Today's rabble-rousers demonstrate and demand (usually at the top of their voices and often with mob actions) for "Change and/or New" laws and/or policies in government actions. They have no interest in a proper "Dialog and Debate" to determine the impacts of the change/new, and they especially do not want the opposition to have any voice in the change and/or new.

In this, they remind me of those people who rabble roused for the sparing of the life of Barabbas rather than the life of Jesus. Barabbas was a criminal who may have been a rebel against Rome, a robber, or a murderer who was set free by the rabble-rousing mob. Jesus was a preacher of love, kindness, forgiveness, and charity for all, whose followers were not rabble-rousers but devotees of living the life that Jesus preached.

It is an unfortunate fact that the rabble-rousers are those who get almost all the attention. At the same time, those who live a life of peace, as defined by the Philosopher Baruch Spinoza as, “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”, receive little attention. The rabble-rousers are attempting to stampede society into the actions they desire rather than convince the American people of the desirability and effectiveness of their demands. In this, they are not trusting the good sense of the American people to choose the proper course for America. As such, they believe in a command-control form of government, where they command and control the people.

Their argument that they only want a democracy of the people to institute change and/or new is specious, as it is a democracy of mob rule that does not recognize the Natural Rights of the minority. Often, their demands are not approved of by most of the American people. In addition, a two-tiered justice system has been implemented in America in which the Barabbas of our society face little justice for their destructive actions. At the same time, the peace lovers are threatened by legal actions for exercising their First and Second Amendments Rights, as I have Chirp on "07/31/21 A Two-Tiered Justice and Governmental System".

Consequently, we are setting free the Barabbas of our society to wreak their havoc while the peace-loving people are being condemned to suffer the consequences of their havoc.

01/30/24 Standing Up to Bullies

Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders, College and Universities students, professors, and administrators, LGBTQIA+, Antifa, BLM, and a host of other Activists and Activism all operate with the strategy of intimidation and bullying. Using the tactics of "Adjective Justice", "Cancel Culture", "Conspiracy Theory", "Critical Race Theory (CRT)", "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)", "Doxing", "Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG)", "Equity and Equality", "Greater Good versus the Common Good", "Hate Speech", "Herd Mentality", "Hyper-Partisanship", "Identity Politics", "Intersectionality", "Lawfare", "LGBTQIA+", "Political Correctness (PC)", "Racist", "Virtue Signaling", "White Privilege", and "Wokeness", they attempt to bully their opponents into silence. There is a constant barrage of "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" in their encounters with their opponents.

They have also utilized "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to justify their policies. Thus, they have become the thought and speech police with the support of the "Mainstream Media", "Mainstream Cultural Media", "Social Media", "Big Tech", "Modern Big Business", "Modern Education", and "The Mainstream Information Conglomerate". In this, they are attempting to silence any opposition to their policies and political goals. They are also attempting to inflict reputational and financial harm, as well as the possibility of civil torts or criminal prosecutions, for any that would speak out against them.

In this, they are violating the Constitutional rights of their opponents, most especially their First and Second Amendment rights. They will ignore or discard the "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" and "Justice and The Rule of Law in America" to achieve their goals.

As with all bullies, it is necessary to stand up and confront the bullies to stop the bullying. This is most difficult in today’s society, as the forces of bullying seem overwhelming. But as it was prior to and during the American Revolutionary War, overwhelming bullies can be successfully opposed. The preservation of our "American Ideals and Ideas" is worth the efforts and costs of standing up to bullies; otherwise, as Abraham Lincoln has said, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth” and succumb to despotism.

01/29/24 Swatting

In our Age of Rage against political opponents, a new tactic to express a person’s rage is “Swatting”. Swatting is the act of making a false report to emergency services to prompt a response at a particular address. The goal is to get authorities, particularly a SWAT team, to show up at a person’s home with whom they disagree and disrupt their lives.

Initially, this occurred against Conservatives and Republicans, but it is starting to occur against Progressives and Democrats. No matter who it occurs against, it is wrong and needs to stop. It is an attempt to intimidate the opposition into constricting their freedom of speech in that if they speak up, they run the risk of having their homes swatted, which endangers not only them but their families and their properties. As such, it is a form of terrorism and should be dealt with as if it were a terroristic act. Therefore, it should be made illegal and prosecuted as a terrorist act. Those who are convicted of swatting should receive long prison sentences and large fines because of these terrorist swatting acts.

If this continues, we will eventually see harm to personal property, injuries to the unsuspecting victims of swatting, the possible deaths of swatting victims, and perhaps harm to the response team members. It is also a violation of the Constitutional rights of those swatted, most especially their First Amendment rights.

01/28/24 Go Woke, Go Broke

Adam Smith, born 300 years ago on 16 June 1723, was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Seen by some as "The Father of Economics" or "The Father of Capitalism", he wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work that treats economics as a comprehensive system and as an academic discipline. In The Wealth of Nations, he offers one of the world's first connected accounts of what builds nations' wealth and has become a fundamental work in classical economics. Reflecting upon economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Smith addresses topics such as the division of labor, productivity, and free markets. Smith refuses to explain the distribution of wealth and power in terms of God's will and instead appeals to natural, political, social, economic, legal, environmental, and technological factors and the interactions between them.

While the academics of economics have significantly advanced in the intervening centuries, many of the core principles that Adam Smith elucidated still hold true. One of these principles is how the “invisible hand” of the market worked as people exercised their choices between certain products. This principle can shape economies and challenge whole governments. It is this principle that determines the success or failure of a business, as a business must produce something that a consumer wants or needs at a price that the consumer can afford, or it will go out of business. Thus, it is in their own interest to tailor their business to the consumer to ensure that sufficient profits are created for their own needs to be met. As Smith wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the Butcher, the Brewer or the Baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

In an article by Jonathan Turley, “Happy Birthday, Adam: The Invisible Hand Just Slapped Disney”, he points out that alienating your consumers is not in your own interest. To do so will have negative repercussions on your business—even to the point of the failure of your business. To foist something upon your customers that they do not want or to demean or insult your customers is to risk the failure of your business. Yet, many businesses in today’s America seem intent on doing so in their attempts to institute Political Correctness, Virtue Signaling, and Wokeness within their business. In doing so, they are alienating their consumers who do not believe in these principles, and these consumers make up a significant percentage (if not the majority) of Americans. Some of their words and deeds have become so offensive that those Americans who are so offended are taking their business elsewhere and significantly impacting the profitability of the businesses that engage in these words and deeds.

We also have the example of Sports Illustrated, in which they went woke in their annual swimsuit issue by featuring plus-sized models and a transgendered (male to female) model. Their sports coverage had also been veering from sports coverage to sports social activism coverage. As a result, they lost their subscribers and newsstand sales in the process and have laid off all their employees. Other companies (Bud Light, Target, Gillette, etc.) have also become woke in their marketing and social activism and have seen a decline in their sales.

Thus, the phrase “Go Woke, Go Broke” has arisen in America. This phrase, however, is just a restatement of Adam Smith’s principle of the “invisible hand” in the marketplace. Consequently, it would behoove business leaders to reacquaint themselves with Adam Smith’s principles and operate their businesses with these principles in mind.

01/27/24 Oligopoly

An Oligopoly is an economic system in which the control over the supply of a commodity in the marketplace is in the hands of a small number of producers, and each one can influence prices and affect competitors. In the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st century, we have seen the rise of Oligopolies in America, as companies merge or are purchased by other companies. In financial institutions, pharmaceuticals, Mainstream Media, Social Media, Internet Access providers, Cell Phone service providers, transportation services, consumer electronics, and consumer goods purchases, a few companies dominate their marketplace. While they have competitors, their competition outside of the oligopolistic marketplace is not significant. It is also very difficult for an outside company to break into this Oligopoly.

While an Oligopoly may provide visible benefits to consumers (in terms of lowering prices and wider availability of products and services), the negative repercussions are not as visible. Often, these Oligopolies can freeze out smaller competitors and set prices unresponsive to the Free Market, where prices are determined by competition between businesses. In the past, America has been concerned about monopolistic companies, and as these Oligopolies are not monopolies, they are not subject to monopolistic regulation. Consequently, it may be necessary to create laws to regulate Oligopolies to ensure that they do not abuse their oligopolistic powers. The difficulty is in determining what constitutes an oligopoly, what is an abuse of power within an oligopoly, and what the proper laws and regulations are for an oligopoly.

The most pernicious abuse of an Oligopoly is their involvement in politics and social policy. All large businesses become involved in politics regarding the laws and regulations that impact their business operations. However, many of these Oligopolies have become heavily involved in areas outside of the laws and regulations of their business operations, in that they are supporting social activism and politicians that have their social activism propensities. Many of these Oligopolies have Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders propensities, and many times, they shut out voices that are in opposition to their social activism propensities. Thus, they are violating the spirit of our First Amendment rights of free speech, peaceful assembly, free press, religious freedom, and, occasionally, our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Alas, the almost universal establishment of "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)" departments in these Oligopolies is also a violation of our rights, as I have Chirped on "04/05/22 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)".

Therefore, we have the additional problem of determining what constraints should apply to Oligopolies in their social activism and political support. My personal opinion is that no company should be involved in politics and social policy, as I have written in my Article, “Other People’s Money (OPM)”. As for Oligopolies' involvement in government regulations, I also believe that this is pernicious, as I have examined in my Chirp on "05/05/22 A Symbiotic Relationship".

Thus, it is time for the American people and Congress to examine Oligopolies and their powers to determine the limits to their powers for the protection of the American people’s rights within an Oligopoly. Otherwise, we will be subsumed by Oligopolies and subject to their propensities.

01/26/24 Intersectionality

Intersectionality in mathematics is the intersection of two or more objects consisting of everything that is contained in all of the objects simultaneously. For example, in Euclidean geometry, when two lines in a plane are not parallel, their intersection is the point at which they meet. More generally, in set theory, the intersection of sets is defined to be the set of elements that belong to all of them. Unlike the Euclidean definition, this does not presume that the objects under consideration lie in a common space (a set with some added structure).

The Set Theory of Intersectionality can be illustrated by the following Venn Diagram:

Venn four ellipse construction of Intersectionality

Complications arise when you apply the Set Theory of Intersectionality to groups of people, especially when it is done for social or political purposes. The following are the various definitions of Intersectionality based on a Progressive and Conservative viewpoint of Intersectionality when applied for social or political purposes:

Intersectionality (Wikipedia) is an analytical framework for understanding how individuals' various social and political identities result in unique combinations of discrimination and privilege. Intersectionality identifies multiple factors of advantages and disadvantages. Examples of these factors include gender, caste, sex, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, religion, disability, weight, species, and physical appearance. These intersecting and overlapping social identities may be both empowering and oppressing. However, little good-quality quantitative research has been done to support or undermine the theory of Intersectionality.

Intersectionality (Conservapedia) is a form of left-wing identity politics and cultural Marxism. Intersectionality, so named because it relies on the intersection between race, class, sex, sexual preference, religion, gender identity, and a myriad of other irrelevant characteristics, is a bigoted ideology used by leftists to make policy. It is constantly pushed by university professors, journalists, and politicians, along with the rest of the establishment. One's level of oppression is determined by the number of oppressed groups they fall into, and/or where that group falls on the oppression hierarchy. Islam is at the top, followed by the LGBT community, then "people of color," then women, Jews, and WASPs.

At the highest level of all people-oriented Intersectionality is the set of “All Human Beings”, while the core of every people-oriented intersectionality diagram is an “Individual Human Being”. This core can only be subdivided by sex—Male and Female (XY DNA or XX DNA Chromosomes), but not gender identity, as that is a higher-level element in the intersection. Thus, a more accurate diagram of people-oriented Intersectionality is as follows:

Therefore, the core of all people Intersectionality is an individual human being, and this individual human being must be considered in dealing with all social or political purposes of Intersectionality. Those who do not acknowledge this highest level or core are not properly intersecting, or they are being duplicitous for social or political purposes. We all should be wary of those who are improperly intersecting or being duplicitous, as they are not trying to ascertain the truths of Intersectionality but are trying to push an agenda upon an unknowledgeable or unsuspicious public.

You must also be concerned about the percentage of Intersectionality within the set of All Human Beings and the percentage of each element in the Intersectionality to ascertain the scale of the Intersectionality. It is also true that each person has a weighted scale of the element's importance in their person, and weighted scales are challenging to incorporate into a Venn diagram. There is also the issue of multiple intersectionality sets within the set of all human beings. The question then becomes how each Intersectionality set intersects with the other Intersectionality sets in the human beings set, and what is the weighted importance of each Intersectionality set in the set of all human beings?

The pernicious impact of Intersectionality is in categorizing a person based on their intersections. An example of this is the Intersectionality of my nationality origins. I am one-quarter English, one-quarter Scottish, one-quarter German, and one-quarter other Eastern European nationality. This has little weight on my person (other than some minor pride or embarrassment of the contributions to humanity from these nationalities), but I am one hundred percent American, in which I take great pride. But above all, I am a human being who has Natural Rights that cannot be circumscribed by any intersectionality preferential treatment or discrimination. That is what we must remember when discussing Intersectionality—that every person is a human being entitled to their Natural Rights before all else and that:

“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.”
 - The Declaration of Independence

01/25/24 How States May Respond to Illegal Immigration

In a series of articles by Rob Natelson, he examines the Constitutional questions and summarizes state powers over immigration and military force—particularly the power to respond to illegal border crossings. For those interested in the Constitutional questions and state powers in resolving the open borders problem we currently face, I would recommend these articles:

Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas sent a letter to President Biden after a Supreme Court decision that gave Border Patrol agents permission to slash state-installed razor wire at the border. Governor Abbott argued in this letter that Texas has a "Constitutional right to self-defense", explaining that the White House had failed to hold up its end of the Constitutional compact that guarantees the federal government will protect its 50 states and territories from external invasions. He noted that by not taking action to quell the influx of illegal immigrants over the past three years, President Biden has failed to meet his constitutional duty and, as such, Texas has the constitutional right to protect itself against invasion. This letter and his actions are certain to generate constitutional issues that will reverberate throughout America. This letter can be viewed here.

01/24/24 Social Media Censorship

With the rise of Social Media as the primary flow of information and opinion in America, there have been numerous concerns about censorship in social media, as I have examined in my Article "Who Needs Government Suppression When You Have Big Tech Suppression".

Many people argue that a private company is free to permit, censor, or label whatever content it likes on its platform, but I would disagree. Most of these social media companies are not private companies but publicly traded companies. If they wanted to become a private company, they could take out a big loan to buy up their shares and make it a private company (such as Elon Musk did with X—formally known as Twitter). But as they are publicly traded companies, shareholders own it, which means that shareholders get the final say on what is allowed or disallowed on their platform.

But there is even a larger question as to whether there should be any censorship, as they have become the largest disseminators of opinion and information to Americans. When censorship constricts the information and opinion flow, it makes for an ill-informed public that can be manipulated into ill-informed decisions.

The "Mainstream Media" and "Social Media" are different as to their legal responsibilities for what they publish. The Mainstream Media is subject to civil torts of slander and libel, while Social Media is exempt from civil torts for what their members post. The Mainstream Media must be circumspect in what they publish, while Social Media has no such circumspection. Thus, social media has free reign over their content, while mainstream media must be careful about what they permit in their content. A free reign that they utilize to censure posts with which they disagree, as well as label posts as disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation at their discretion. Some Social Media companies contract with an outside company to scan and provide this censuring or labeling, but these outside companies have their own predilections, and the nefarious results are the same.

Consequently, it is time that we reexamine the legal protections of Social Media. As these legal protections for Social Media were passed in 1996 when Social Media was in its infancy, and it is now a fully mature technology, we need Congress to reexamine this issue of the First Amendment rights of the posters to Social Media. This is a very thorny problem to address, which has many considerations of individual First Amendment rights versus private and public Social Media ownership rights.

Regrettably, as Congress is loath to get involved in these thorny considerations, I do not expect much action from them. Consequently, this issue will probably be resolved (sporadically) through Judicial rulings, which will provide indefinite guidance to both the Social Media companies and their posters as to what are acceptable posts. It will also tie up the Social Media companies and their posters in litigation, which will be time-consuming and expensive for all parties in the litigation.

However, this issue must be resolved, as the consequence of not resolving the issue is that the American people will continue to be ill-informed and make decisions based on incomplete or improper information posted on Social Media.

01/23/24 The Blade of Perseus - II

Victor Davis Hanson was a website, “The Blade of Perseus”, which I wrote about in my Chirp on "11/09/23 The Blade of Perseus". While this website is a paid subscription of $50 per year to have full access, it is worth every penny to be able to read, listen, and view his insights and wisdom on modern American society.

Some recent articles that he has written have especially intrigued me and are evidence of his knowledge, intelligence, experience, and wisdom. The first article is:

The 10 radical new rules that are changing America:

    • Money is a construct.
    • Laws are not necessarily binding anymore.
    • Racialism is now acceptable.
    • The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen.
    • Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children.
    • Hypocrisy is passe.
    • Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it.
    • McCarthyism is good.
    • Ignorance is preferable to knowledge.
    • Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than Christianity.

He also has a series of articles on his thoughts about the current state of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in America:

I would also recommend his thoughts about The Hysterical Style in American Politics and how Biden ‘Saves’ Democracy by Destroying it, as in the 21st century, we have seen Progressives and Democrat Party leaders engage in a left-wing, hysterical style of inventing scandals and manipulating perceived tensions, as well as engaging in "Lawfare", for the purposes of political advantage.

I would highly recommend that my readers review these articles, regularly read his other thoughts on America, and support Professor Hanson by subscribing to his website.

01/22/24 Does Political Moderation Work?

Many who are not politically attuned or unaware of the repercussions of government policies on "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" often claim to be "Moderates or Centrists". This can be an emotionally satisfying response, but it often has negative repercussions that impact our "American Ideals and Ideas". In addition, Moderation or Centrism rarely solves the problems in America and often introduces additional problems. Moderation or Centrism has also been a driving force for the growth of government and increased government spending and taxes, as a little bit here and there without corresponding cutbacks equates to growth in government, spending, and taxes. Moderation or Centrism also elects politicians who do not wish to make difficult choices for fear of losing electoral support in making a difficult decision, as these politicians often wish to be all things to most voters.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to list the great moderates of history, as Moderation or Centrism tends not to promote greatness but graduations of improvements in the lot of humankind. However, Moderation or Centrism can also result in a decline in the lot of humankind when it detracts from their Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All. In addition, Moderates or Centrists often believe that the changes they support will have minimal impacts on themselves or society. This belief betrays a lack of knowledge of basic economics and "The Law of Unintended Consequences", as a change in government will have both positive and negative impacts.

Consequently, Moderation or Centrism is not a long-term solution to the problems that beset America. Difficult decisions need to be made as to the future direction of America in the role of government and the scope of spending and taxes. Postponing these difficult decisions by engaging in Moderation or Centrism only postpones the inevitable reckoning of not making difficult decisions. It also shifts the burden of not making these difficult decisions to our children and grandchildren, which is a moral failing on our part.

01/21/24 Socialism and Capitalism Disputations

In a series of short eBooks from the Hoover Institute, they examine the disputations between Socialism and Capitalism. Each one of these eBooks is less than a dozen pages long (except for the first one, which is twice as long as the others), and each page is well worth the read. These eBooks are:

My new article, “Socialism and Capitalism Disputations”, is a short synopsis of the main differences between Socialism and Capitalism that these eBooks discuss. I also have a new article, “Economists You Should Know—Foundations for the Conversation On Socialism And Capitalism”.

I conclude my article on Socialism and Capitalism Disputations by warning that in utilizing democratic means to reform our American society, we must always be careful to ensure the importance of individual rights and protect the life, liberty, and property of each person. We must always carefully evaluate any socialistic proposal as to its impacts on our Liberties and Freedoms, as well as its impacts on our economy. Otherwise, we run the risk of severely impacting our society to the detriment of all Americans.

Therefore, I would highly recommend that you read these four eBooks from the Hoover Institution to properly understand the meaning of Socialism and Capitalism and to discuss the implications of Socialism intelligently.

01/20/24 Tear Down This Wall!

The  Berlin Wall Speech, which was delivered by United States President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987, is commonly known by a key line from the middle part: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The full paragraph from this speech was:

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
 - Ronald Reagan

The speech drew controversy within the Reagan administration, with several senior staffers and aides advising against the phrase, saying anything that might cause further East-West tensions or potential embarrassment to Gorbachev, with whom President Reagan had built a good relationship, should be omitted. American officials in West Germany and presidential speechwriters, including Peter Robinson, thought otherwise. According to an account by Robinson, he traveled to West Germany to inspect potential speech venues and gained an overall sense that the majority of West Berliners opposed the wall. Despite getting little support for suggesting Reagan demand the removal of the wall, Robinson kept the phrase in the speech text. On Monday, May 18, 1987, President Reagan met with his speechwriters and responded to the speech by saying, "I thought it was a good, solid draft." White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker objected, saying it sounded "extreme" and "unpresidential", and Deputy U.S. National Security Advisor Colin Powell agreed. Nevertheless, Reagan liked the passage, saying, "I think we'll leave it in."

And leave it in, he did, to the great effect of the people of Berlin and East and West Germany. An effect that spread across the world, as it signified the final collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and eventually the Soviet Union.

Ronald Reagan was a great communicator in that he said what he thought and believed, rather unlike other politicians who say what they think you want to hear and couch their statements in vapid language to disguise their true intentions. On many other issues that faced America during his Presidency, Ronald Reagan often utilized the same approach of saying what he thought and believed.

Today, we face a slate of politicians who will not say what they mean and often lie about their intentions. They often use polls and focus groups, as well as political consultants, to determine what they will say. As such, there is “no truth to power” in what they express, and, indeed, their statements are often “go along to get along”. Alas, they also often engage in "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" against those with whom they disagree, in which they pit one group of Americans against another group of Americans. Consequently, the bitter hyper-partisanship we have in America continues and deepens.

Today, most politicians wish to be rulers rather than leaders, as I have written in my article "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders". However, there is one politician who is not engaged in these political rhetorical games but is instead saying what he thinks and believes. This politician is Vivek Ramaswamy, who was an entrepreneur before he began his 2024 Presidential Campaign. You may not agree with what he says, but you can clearly understand what he means. While I do not believe that Vivek Ramaswamy is yet qualified to be President of the United States, I do believe that he shows promise to eventually rise to the top in political leadership. He may also be the best person to be Vice-President, as a person who would clearly articulate the core issues in America and illuminate the choices of the future path of America, as Ronald Reagan did when he counseled General Secretary Gorbachev to tear down this wall.

01/19/24 Show-and-Tell

Show-and-Tell is a game that children engage in, but it is also an electioneering game that Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders engage in. It is a Democrat Party game of style in their electioneering rather than of substance of their policies. The problems that beset America are problems of substance, but the Democrats do not address the substance but instead concentrate on a façade of lofty words to disguise the harmful deeds of their policies. This, along with their tactics of fearmongering and demonization, as I have written in my Chirp on "08/23/23 Progressives and Fearmongering and Demonization", is the basis of their electioneering.

Thus, the Democrat candidates are often nominated based on their style rather than their substance on the issues. This gives them an appearance of concern for the issues and problems in America, but it does not provide any concrete solutions to these issues and problems. It is as if they are trying to disguise their solutions from a fear that the American electorate may reject their solutions (which is probably a rational fear). After winning an election, the Democrat Party candidate will then attempt to implement policies that do not comport with their lofty rhetoric and are often detrimental to America. Therefore, the Democrat Party candidates are engaged in lofty words while they perpetuate disreputable deeds.

America has seen many botches in the last few years under Democrat Party leadership. On the International stage, the Afghanistan withdrawal, the Ukrainian War, the threatening actions of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, and the reaction to Hamas Terrorism in Israel, and on the National stage, the negative impacts of their economic policies on the economy, to the increase in crime in our streets, to illegal immigration on our southern border, to the loss of energy independence, to the supply chain problems, to gas price increases, to the Fentanyl drug addiction scourge, to the Suppressions of Free Speech and the Weaponization of Government, and to a host of other issues we have seen many botches. All these botches are the result of the policies of Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists, and at the same time, they try to disguise these problems with a façade of words. In this, they are contemptible for not addressing and correcting these problems.

Consequently, they engage in a show-and-tell without substance when electioneering, but their substance when governing has been harmful to America.

01/18/24 Depressive Personality Disorder

Aaron Beck of the Beck Institute is the creator of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and he believes that a depressed person has three basic storylines: 1.) I’m a terrible person, 2.) the world is a terrible place, and 3.) the future is bleak. Having had bouts of depression in my past, I can attest to the truth of these storylines for depressed persons.

Michael Shellenberger is an Environmental activist who writes about politics, the environment, climate change, and nuclear power. He has commented that the advocates of Global Climate Change believe that humankind is destroying the planet, the future is bleak, and the world is failing. Hence, they share the common storyline of a depressed person in that it is a collective rather than an individual depression.

My own perception of Progressives/Leftists activists is that they share this storyline, in that they are always claiming that their opponents are terrible people, that the world is a terrible place to live in and needs to be put right, and that the future will be bleak if their policy prescriptions are not implemented.

Thus, using the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy criteria of a depressed person, we can conclude that Progressives/Leftists suffer from a form of depression. Being a depressed person leads you to make decisions that are not reality-based, and often, these decisions are not to your benefit. As such, we need to be wary of their policy prescriptions as they will often not be to our benefit, and they are not reality-based. Consequently, do not be taken in by their pronouncements and be leery of all their policy prescriptions, as they come from a depressed person’s perspective.

01/17/24 Totalitarian Evil: Crimes, Terror, Repression

In the 1997 book, “The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression” by Stéphane Courtois, Andrzej Paczkowski, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Margolin, and several other European academics, the authors document a history of political repression by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, and deaths in labor camps and artificially created famines.

My new article, “Totalitarian Evil: Crimes, Terror, Repression”, is a brief examination of the scope and impacts of these totalitarian evils that have a proven record of failure and that in these failures, they have committed crimes against humanity.

01/16/24 Who Are the “Privileged”

As an addendum to my Chirp on “01/15/24 CRT, DEI, and ESG as Destructive Forces”, I have discovered that John Hopkins recently sent out a list of people automatically guilty of "privilege", whether they know it or not. This message was emailed directly to employees from the DEI Office. Those so labeled as “Privileged” are:

    • Males
    • Whites
    • Christians
    • Mid-aged people
    • Able-bodied people
    • Middle & owning class people
    • English-speaking people

When this email became publicly known, they were forced to withdraw this email after a public outcry. However, in sending this email, they disclosed the criteria that they were utilizing for DEI implementation at Johns Hopkins, which I suspect is the criteria for all DEI implementations in America. In doing so, they revealed a discriminatory criterion not based on a person’s knowledge, intelligence, experience, skills, abilities, and talents. Thus, they are not meritocracy-based criteria, which is contrary to our "American Ideals and Ideas". Indeed, they are a form of "Socialism" that has always proved to be unworkable and is harmful to all the persons who have to live within these criteria.

01/15/24 CRT, DEI, and ESG as Destructive Forces

In the last several years, we have seen three forces arise that are destructive to our Western traditions, as I have written in my Chips of “01/04/24 Western Culture” and “01/05/24 The War on the West”. The three largest forces are "Critical Race Theory (CRT)", "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)", and "Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG)".

CRT, DEI, and ESG are forces that involve the deconstruction of Western traditions that threaten the cohesion of society and civilization. CRT, DEI, and ESG are forces of racism, discrimination, and opposition to "Capitalism and Free Markets". CRT views all of society under the prism of race and categorizes a person based on their race, ordering them from the most oppressive to the most oppressed. DEI, while sounding lofty in its goals, requires that you discriminate against some people to favor other people rather than utilize meritocracy to evaluate a person. Much of this DEI discrimination is based on the "Intersectionality" of a person, with little regard to the knowledge, intelligence, experience, skills, and abilities of a person. ESG does not reward the success of businesses in providing goods and services at an affordable cost, nor effective and efficient governmental policies, but uses "Progressives/Leftists" social criteria to determine the successes of a business/government.

In this, CRT, DEI, and ESG deconstruct society on an incomplete and artificial criterion. It is also a deconstruction without constructivism, which leads to nothing but the destruction of our society. When they try to reconstruct, their reconstructions are often "Socialism" or utopian based and do not account for human nature or economics. As such:

"To deny human nature or economics, or to not acknowledge human nature or economics, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

When their failures become evident, they often claim that the failure was based on Racism or they were victims of an "Oppressive Patriarchal Hierarchical Society" or "White Privilege". This was most recently seen in the backlash to recent Congressional testimony by the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT on anti-Semitism on their campuses. After the resignation of the presidents of Harvard and Penn, they trotted out the usual excuses for their failure. However, as Konstantin Kisin has said in his article about Claudine Gay, who resigned as the President of Harvard:

“So here is the truth: we must return to pursuing the goal of a colour-blind society immediately. There is no such thing as positive discrimination. All discrimination is wrong. And because it is wrong, it will create precisely the kind of resentment that Claudine Gay is now facing. She is seen as the standard-bearer of the DEI industry and is being treated as such by people who have had enough.

All of us must be treated on the content of our character. When we refuse to follow this principle, we hurt everyone: White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish. A healthy society relies on the equal treatment of all individuals. The fact that we have to say this out loud in 2024 is a sign of how far we’ve fallen.”

And fallen we have. CRT, DEI, and ESG are antithetical to our Western traditions and must be actively opposed and ended. Otherwise, Western society will collapse, and all the human progress that Western tradition has achieved will be negated.

01/14/24 Constrained or Unconstrained Human Nature

It has been suggested that partisanship in today’s America is a result of a Constrained and Unconstrained vision of human nature, as examined by Thomas Sowell in his book “A Conflict of Visions”.

Progressives/Leftists is an Unconstrained vision that believes that human nature is malleable and can be improved by governmental actions and societal pressures, and that appealing to the better nature of a person will accomplish this improvement. They also believe that social problems and issues can be resolved through governmental actions and the world can be made a better place by governmental actions. Thus, they believe in a big government that acts for the greater good, as I have defined as the "Greater Good versus the Common Good", and that the Natural Rights of the individual should be circumscribed to the needs of society.

Conservatives is a Constrained vision that believes that human nature is determined by human evolution and that people will act in their own best interests. They also believe that governmental and societal pressures on human actions have limited effects and that these societal and government pressures should only be utilized to constrain a person to lawful actions that do not impinge on the Natural Rights of a person. They also believe that social problems are inherent in human nature and are uncorrectable through governmental actions. Thus, they believe in a limited government that only acts on the common good, as I have defined as the "Greater Good versus the Common Good," which preserves the natural rights of the individual.

Moderates have a vision of human nature that believes that human nature can be somewhat improved by limited governmental actions and societal pressures and that society can be improved by limited governmental actions. As such, they believe that it is possible to pick and choose from policy positions of both Progressives and Conservatives to achieve a better society. Therefore, Moderates want a government that addresses the common good and the major issues and concerns that will improve society and for the government to be as large as necessary to achieve the common good and to address important social policies. The difficulty of moderation is the determination of what the major societal issues and concerns are and how much governmental actions are required to address these problems without significantly impacting the natural rights of a person.

It is this dichotomy of beliefs that has pitted one group of Americans against another group. Thus, we have a conflict of visions that leads to the bitter partisanship that we see today. Progressives want big government to solve the issues and concerns facing Americans, while Conservates want limited government that allows individuals to resolve these issues and concerns, and Moderates want some of both for the benefit of society. Neither of these sides wishes to concede to the other side as they believe that their vision is correct, and to concede to the other side is to abandon their vision of human nature and governance.

01/13/24 Constitutional Supremacy

Today, we have seen many challenges to the supremacy of the Constitution from many politicians of the local, State, and Federal governments. While many such challenges may be justified, some are in direct opposition to Constitutional Supremacy as defined in the Constitution:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
 - U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2

Legal challenges, adjudicated by the Judiciary, are proper and necessary when the Federal government oversteps its bounds. However, many of these challenges are in direct contradiction to the supremacy of the Constitution as the Constitution defines the powers of the federal government, which also restricts the Federal Government to these powers. The Founding Fathers clearly articulated the limits of the federal government by the passage of the 10th amendment in the Bill of Rights, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Therefore, no local or state government, nor the three branches of the Federal government (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) may violate the Constitution of the United States. Yet, in today’s government, violations of the Constitution abound. Much sophistry is utilized to justify these actions, but sophistry in governance often leads to anarchy. Politicians engaged in these challenges and sophistry are also in violation of their Oath of Office to “Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution of the United States”. As such, they are deserving of impeachment and removal from office and barred from serving in any office of trust at all levels of government.

Much of this has occurred because politicians have corrupted the Judiciary by appointing judges who will make decisions based on politics rather than the law, who then engage in sophistry to justify their political decisions under the law. Such judges that engage in political decisions and sophistry are also in violation of their Oath of Office to “I, (NAME) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (TITLE) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.” As such, they are also deserving of impeachment and removal from office and barred from serving in any office of trust at all levels of government.

However, I do not expect that this impeachment will happen as politicians are very good at protecting their power and privileges. Also, if impeachment is done injudiciously, it could lead to chaos in government. What needs to be done is for the electorate to turn out of office those politicians that violate the Oath of Office and for judges to face more strict scrutiny, before confirmation, on their philosophy in making judicial decisions (and not just on what they say but what they have said and done in the past). Again, I do not expect that this will happen, as the American electorate is not engaged in its electoral decisions by Constitutional concerns, and politicians want judges who will rule based on their predilections.

Consequently, we can expect that this situation will continue to occur, and our Constitution will continue to lose its supremacy.

01/12/24 Our Republic

As the Founding Fathers were departing the Pennsylvania State House at the close of the Constitutional Convention, one of the bystanders shouted a question to Benjamin Franklin:

Bystander - 'Well, Doctor, what have we got - a Republic or a Monarchy?'
Franklin - 'A Republic, if you can keep it.'

Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the dangers of a Democracy and the inherent instability of democracies. They knew that there were significant differences between a Republic and a Democracy in the governance of the people. They knew that democracies, through mob passions, would often trample upon minority rights, which often led to civil strife and civil wars that ended the democracy. They knew that democracies would tax and spend (or not spend) on the basis of popularity rather than necessity, which often led to economic hardships and an economic collapse of the democracy. They knew this from their studies on the histories of Democracies and Republics. They, therefore, were careful to institute a Republic rather than a Democracy for America.

Therefore, when you hear the cries of “Our Democracy”, you should be wary of what the speaker has to say, as they are ignorant or duplicitous of the nature of democracies and our Founding Fathers' wisdom. To be guided by the cries of the ignorant or duplicitous is foolish and often leads down the slippery slope to despotism or other forms of governance that do not respect the rights of the individual.

01/11/24 Equal Justice for All - II

Once again, the Justice Department announced that they would pursue prosecutions against those that were involved in the January 6, 2021 “Insurrection”, as I have written about my collection of "Insurrection Chirps". This time, the Justice Department will be charging people who were present at the Capitol building but did not engage in any lawlessness except for simply walking onto restricted areas of the Capitol grounds.

This is in contrast with the lack of prosecutions for the people who engaged in the Summer of Riots in 2020, in which the rioting and looting cost many more lives and much more property destruction and damage, as well as extensive looting then that which occurred at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. This summer of riots mob actions of murders, assaults, arsons, and lootings in many cities was well past the limits of a peaceable assembly to protest injustices in America. They were an insurrection against the legal and lawful authority of the State and local governments and, indeed, were directed at the legal and lawful authority of the Federal government. These rioters no longer wish to correct injustices but to overturn our republican government through mob rule.

It has become apparent that in the Biden Administration if you commit “Insurrections” in support of Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders predilections, you will face little consequences, but if you commit “Insurrections” in support of Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders predilections, you will face the full weight of the law. This is not limited to “Insurrections” but can also be seen in the threats of prosecutions of anyone who would oppose Democrat policy positions, from School Board meetings to other public policy gatherings in that if you would vigorously protest their predilections you are often threatened with prosecutions. This is in addition to the "Lawfare" that they are engaged in, as I have Chirped on "09/19/23 Lawfare".

Consequently, these actions by the Biden Administration are a direct threat to our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" and "Justice and The Rule of Law in America". Such actions by the Biden Administration demonstrate that they wish to be rulers rather than leaders, as I have written in my Article "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders". Thus, it is the Biden Administration that is in Insurrection against the Constitution of the United States.

01/10/24 Equal Justice for All - I

Hunter Biden defied a Congressional subpoena to testify about his and his family’s financial involvement with foreign nationals, which is relevant to the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry as well as other Congressional Committees’ oversight investigations. As a result, the House of Representatives is considering a resolution to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress:

“Resolved, That Robert Hunter Biden shall be found to be in contempt of Congress for failure to comply with a congressional subpoena.

Resolved, That pursuant to 2 U.S.C. §§ 192 and 194, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall certify the report of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, detailing the refusal of Robert Hunter Biden to appear for a deposition before the Committee on Oversight and Accountability as directed by subpoena, to an appropriate United States attorney, to the end that Mr. Biden be proceeded against in the manner and form provided by law.

Resolved, That the Speaker of the House shall otherwise take all appropriate action to enforce the subpoena.”

The particulars of his lack of compliance are:

“On December 13, 2023, Robert Hunter Biden failed to comply with deposition subpoenas issued by the Committees on Oversight and Accountability and the Judiciary for testimony relevant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry and the Committees’ oversight investigations. Instead, Mr. Biden opted to read a short, prepared statement in front of the Capitol. Accordingly, Mr. Biden has violated federal law, and must be held in contempt of Congress. Mr. Biden’s testimony is a critical component of the impeachment inquiry into, among other things, whether Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as Vice President and/or President: (1) took any official action or effected any change in government policy because of money or other things of value provided to himself or his family; (2) abused his office of public trust by providing foreign interests with access to him and his office in exchange for payments to his family or him; or (3) abused his office of public trust by knowingly participating in a scheme to enrich himself or his family by giving foreign interests the impression that they would receive access to him and his office in exchange for payments to his family or him.

[...]

The Oversight and Accountability Committee, with the other investigating committees, has accumulated significant evidence suggesting that President Biden knew of, participated in, and profited from foreign business interests engaged in by his son, about which the Committees intended to question Mr. Biden during his deposition. Mr. Biden’s decision to defy the Committees’ subpoenas and deliver prepared remarks prevents the Committee from carrying out its Constitutional oversight function and its impeachment inquiry. Mr. Biden’s refusal to comply with the Committees’ subpoenas is a criminal act. It constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution as prescribed by law.”

Whether the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution will carry out their duties and responsibilities and pursue prosecution is another matter. If not, then there will be no equal justice in America, as the Rule of Law will not apply to the Biden family.

01/09/24 Virtual Signaling without Virtue

With the cries throughout the world for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict and a pause for humanitarian aid for the Palestine people, we have another example of virtual signaling without virtue. While calls for a cease-fire and peace sound virtuous, it should always be remembered that:

"Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."
  - Baruch Spinoza

As there is no disposition for benevolence, confidence, and justice with Israel amongst Hamas and the Palestine people, there is no virtue in calling for peace between the two sides. It is equivalent to calling for peace with Germany and Japan before World War II, in which peace would allow the German Nazis and Japanese Imperialists to continue their aggressions and murderous ways.

There have also been many calls for a two-state solution to the current crisis in Israel. However, this is nothing but a fable and virtual signaling. A fable in that you cannot have a two-state solution in which one state is dedicated to the eradication of the other state. It is not only the Hamas and the Palestine leadership that is dedicated to the eradication of Israel, but also a vast majority of the Palestine people also wish to eradicate Israel. Thus, those that call for a two-state solution are only virtue signaling, as the virtue of a two-state solution where one state is dedicated to the eradication of another state is not a virtue, but instead, it is a path to more violence against Israel.

The phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is nothing but a phrase for the elimination of Israel, for Israel is totally between the river and the sea. As it is used in the slogan, the word “free” is either an adjective or an adverb. It modifies either a condition or an action. Dictionaries offer us several definitions of “free” when used. If it is used as an adjective, it can refer to a right to self-governance, suggesting an absence of constraints, restrictions, or controls. When used as an adverb, it can mean the removal of an obstruction or of an unwanted feature. As Hamas and the Palestine people have never (along with other mid-East Arab states) been dedicated to self-government and the individual rights of its populace, we can only conclude that the word “free” in this phrase means the removal of Israel.

The call for humanitarian aid to the Palestine people is also virtual signaling, as much of this humanitarian aid is directed into Hamas coffers, which is then utilized for terrorism purposes. Thus, humanitarian aid to the Palestine people is allowing them to continue their attempts to eradicate Israel. The Palestine people must bear the burden of the Hamas terrorists they supported and allowed to operate in their midst, and until Hamas is eliminated and the Palestine people adopt the meaning of free as self-government and the individual rights of its populace, and peaceful coexistence with Israel, humanitarian aid is counterproductive to peace.

For those who claim the situation in the Hamas-Israel conflict is complex, I am reminded of the thoughts of the famed Rabbi Jonathan Saks

“The Israeli Hamas conflict is not complex.
It's very simple: One side wants the other side dead.”
 - Rabbi Saks

When one side wants the other side dead, it is not virtuous to support the side that wants the other side dead. Thus, calling for a cease-fire, a two-state solution, and humanitarian aid for the Palestine people is not virtuous and, indeed, it is immoral.

01/08/24 Laws of War

As I have written in my Chirp on "09/01/19 War is Hell!", war is hell but often an unavoidable hell. In the course of the history of warfare, we have developed some rules of war to constrain the war to the combatants of the war. Colleterial damage and innocent casualties will be incurred in a war, but as a result of the concept of Just war theory as a doctrine of war, the colleterial damage and innocent casualties are to be minimized.

The Law of War is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (jus ad bellum) and the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello). Laws of war define sovereignty and nationhood, states and territories, occupation, and other critical terms of law. Among other issues, modern laws of war address the declarations of war, acceptance of surrender and the treatment of prisoners of war, military necessity, along with distinction and proportionality, and the prohibition of certain weapons that may cause unnecessary suffering. The law of war is considered distinct from other bodies of law—such as the domestic law of a particular belligerent to a conflict—which may provide additional legal limits to the conduct or justification of war.

These Laws of War are violated by Hamas daily. Such protocols as requiring combatants to wear uniforms, not to blend in with civilians, not to use them as shields, not to murder noncombatants, not to rape them, not to mutilate them, and not to execute civilians without trial have all been violated by Hamas. Consequently, Hamas is waging an unjust and immoral war, and anyone who supports them in any manner is supporting unjust war and immorality. As I have written in several of my Chirps, many of the supporters of Hamas are also exhibiting Anti-Semitism, which is in itself immoral. Thus, the supporters of Hamas are supporting unjust wars and immorality.

It is well past time that a people dedicated to justice and morality stand up to the supporters of Hamas and ostracize them from society. In no case should the supporters of Hamas be allowed in a position of authority or governance, as this institutes injustice and immorality. This ostracization is especially important for those who are involved in government, education, entertainment, sports, and business leaders, as they are influencers of our youth and society. Without ostracization, our society will no longer be a "A Civil Society" dedicated to our "American Ideals and Ideas", and, indeed, we will become corrupt of our values, which will result in our being relegated to the dustbin of history.

01/07/24 Why They Hate Us (in Their Own Words)

During 2014-2016, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) published a monthly magazine called Dabiq. The glossy publication was high in quality and was used to communicate with the world. In issue 15, Dabiq explained, in a short article, why they fight us. While there is no doubt that this is an extremist viewpoint in the Islamic world, it is, unfortunately, a viewpoint shared by millions of Muslims. Until this viewpoint is fully contained or eradicated, we will continue to see Islamic Terrorism throughout the world. While it is probably not possible to contain or eradicate Islamic extremism, a good start would be the removal of radical Imans who preach hate and extremism against non-Muslims. Thus, we must wage war on radical Islam and the Imans who preach for it. Otherwise, Islamic Terrorism shall plague us throughout the 21st century. This article can be read on my website at Why They Hate Us (In Their Own Words).

01/06/24 Higher Education Reforms

In my articles on "Indoctrination versus Education" and “College and University Education”, I lament the current state of higher education in the world. This was fully on display in the recent Congressional testimony by the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT on anti-Semitism on their campuses. Their answers (or lack thereof) displayed the hypocrisy of the leaders of these institutions with checkered records on free expression, suddenly claiming their institutional commitments to free speech prevented them from cracking down on anti-Semitic speech.

Their adherence to "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)", "Critical Race Theory (CRT)", and "Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG)", also shows a lack of commitment to the ideals and ideas of University and College education that Western culture spawned. Indeed, they seem to be antithetical to anything that is rooted in Western culture and, indeed, seem to be engaged in a war on the West as I have written in my Chirp on “01/05/24 The War on the West”.

Three recent articles about their testimony highlight the problems in modern University and College education:

I would suggest that we take to heart the comments in these articles and begin the process of reforming our Universities and Colleges to our Western cultural ideals and ideas on a University and College education. Until this reform is accomplished, our universities and colleges will not achieve their purposes, and they will be unworthy of the esteem that they have or desire.

Note – This attitude and approach to educating our youth is also seeping down to K-12 education and needs to stop forthwith.

01/05/24 The War on the West

In the last several decades, we have seen a war on Western ideals and ideas. Do not be confused by the lofty words and political rhetoric of those engaged in this war, as it is a war to fundamentally transform Western civilization. Those who would wage war on the West have many criticisms of the West (some justifiable), but they are woefully short on practical solutions to these problems. Their solutions are often socialistic or utopian ideal-based and do not account for the dark side of human nature but instead depend on the goodwill of human nature. Such an ideal and dependence is doomed to failure as:

"To deny human nature or economics, or to not acknowledge human nature or economics, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

This War on the West is a war against Republicanism, Judeo-Christian Religion, Capitalism and Free Markets, and the Culture of the West. In the introduction to the book by Douglas Murray, The War on the West, his first paragraph states:

“In recent years it has become clear that there is a war going on: a war on the west. This is not like earlier wars, where armies clash and victors are declared. It is a cultural war, and it is being raged remorselessly against all the roots of Western tradition and against everything good that the Western tradition has produced.”

And the Western tradition has produced much good, such as:

  • The right to life, and the individual worth and dignity of all people.
  • The preservation of the Natural Rights, Freedoms, and Liberties of all persons.
  • The right to property and the pursuit of happiness.
  • The right to equality of opportunity in the utilization of your intellect, talents, skills, and abilities.
  • The right to be treated equally under the law.
  • The right to think, speak, and publish whatever you wish.
  • The right to peaceably associate with whomever you wish.
  • The right to criticize and critique any person, organization, or government without fear of repression or despotism.
  • The right to practice your religion or non-religion without fear or intimidation.
  • The right to defend yourself, your family, and your community by any means necessary against anyone, organization, or government who would deprive you of your natural rights, freedoms, and liberties.

It can be reasonably said that whoever would violate any one of these rights violates all these rights, as these individual rights cannot exist without all of them existing. It is also true that:

“Liberty is to choose the what and how in exercising your Natural Rights, and Freedom is the absence of repression before, during, or after exercising your Natural Rights.”
 - Mark Dawson

Thus, anyone who would curtail or abrogate any of these Western traditions is engaged in a War on the West. Much of this War on the West is a war on the white race, as they assert that white people are inherently racist and oppressive to non-whites. While some of this is historically true, the twentieth century saw much of this crumble. It is also historically true that other races were also racist and oppressive to those not of their race. Thus, this historical guilt of racism and oppression is a shared guilt of all humans and all cultures and societies. Consequently, historical guilt is not that important, except for the purposes of learning from and not repeating the ill lessons of history. What is important is how we conduct ourselves in the present and future.

Much of this War on the West is being conducted by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders as a means to obtain and retain power to implement their political goals and policy agendas. It is also being conducted by many white people to assuage their white guilt from the sins of their forefathers. But such assuaging is also a rejection of the Western tradition, in that in the Western tradition, the sins of the father are not to be invested upon the son. Each person should be judged by their own words and deeds and not be burdened by the guilt of their family members or by their association with others.

It is a War upon the West that must be lost by those who would wage it, and the defeated must be vanquished to ensure that it shall not fester and thrive again. Without doing so, we shall see the crumbling of Western civilization into despotism and anarchy and the repression and oppression of the individual rights of all persons throughout the world.

Note – for more on these Western traditions, I would direct you to my articles on "A Civil Society", "American Ideals and Ideas", "Aspects of Freedom", "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All", "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" and “How Christianity Transformed the World”.

01/04/24 Western Culture

All cultures are not equal, and all cultures have contributed to the advancement of humankind. However, one culture has contributed more, indeed much more, than other cultures to the advancement of humankind. This is the Western culture, and primarily, it has been accomplished by dead white men.

From the ancient Greeks to modern Americans, the Western culture has been primarily responsible for the advances of humankind in all spheres of Human interactions. From politics, economics, science and technology, medicine, the fine arts and music, literature, and many other spheres, Western culture has contributed much more than other cultures to the advancement of humankind. This is not said to denigrate any other culture, as other cultures have contributed to the advancement of humankind, but to explain that Western culture has done far more than any other culture to improve the lot of humans.

In weighing the benefits and harms of Western culture, it can be determined that Western culture has contributed much more positivity than negativity to the advancement of humankind. Those who try to denigrate Western culture because of the negativities often do not recognize the great positivity of Western culture. When evaluating any culture, it is necessary to look at both the good and the bad and to weigh the good and bad to determine the impact of a culture on humankind. We should also learn from the mistakes of every culture and try not to repeat the errors of the past, but we should also try to build upon the good of every culture for the advancement of humankind.

Much of Western culture has been the result of the adoption of the Christian religion by Western culture, as I have examined in my article “How Christianity Transformed the World”. Western culture has also incorporated the best of other cultures to try to improve itself. Thus, Western culture has not been exclusive of other cultures but indeed has built itself upon other cultures. Therefore, cultural appropriation of the good of other cultures has been to the benefit of Western culture, while the rejection of the bad of other cultures is also good for Western culture.

Those who would wage war on the West have many criticisms of the West. Some are justifiable, but they are woefully short on practical solutions to these problems. Their solutions are often "Socialism" or utopian based, and a rejection of "Capitalism and Free Markets", which do not account for human nature. Consequently, as I have often said:

"To deny human nature or economics, or to not acknowledge human nature or economics, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

Many of socialism's advocates claim that socialism has never been implemented in the right manner, to which I have responded that “It is not possible to do the wrong thing rightly, as no wrong thing can be done rightly.” Thus, their solutions to the problems of Western culture will not improve Western culture and may lead to the destruction of Western culture. Such destruction will lead to the decay or reversal of the advancement of humankind, for which Western culture has been largely responsible.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill’s quote on democracy being the worst form of government, except for all the others, I would say that Western culture was the worst culture in history, except for all the others. As such, to those that denigrate Western culture, I would respond, “What a load of crap!

01/03/24 Knowledge of History

"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."
  - Edmund Burke

Those who do not know history are prone to making judgments about current events that have little basis in the facts and truths of history. Yet knowledge of history is necessary to make informed judgments about current events to determine the proper course for today and the future.

As Douglas Murray has written in his book, The War on the West:

“First, it runs on the presumption that knowledge of Western history inside the West is uniquely lacking; Westerners have become increasingly unaware of what is true and what is not about their own past. Second, it runs on the presumption—again also true—that almost nobody in the West has any knowledge of what countries such as China have done throughout history or are doing today.”

As well as:

“The only thing that modern Western populations are more ignorant about than their own history is the history of other peoples outside the West. Yet such knowledge is surely a prerequisite to be able to arrive at any moral judgments.”

In getting to know history, it is important to separate the myths from the facts. Myths of history abound today, as they are useful to sway public opinion to achieve a political goal. Facts and truths about history often contradict the myths and lead you to a different conclusion about historical events. Therefore, the problem is not only a lack of knowledge about history but also an abundance of incorrect knowledge of history. Or, as Mark Twain has said:

“The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it's that they know so many things that just aren't so.”
 - Mark Twain

Some of these myths and facts of history I have examined in my section on “History” within this website.

Some have claimed that the advances of modern science and technology have changed the application of historical lessons to our modern society. But as the esteemed Professor J. Rufus Fears has stated in The Great Courses on “The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History”:

“There are those who believe that Science and Technology have negated the importance of history, that through Science and Technology, humans had moved to a new dimension where the lessons have of history have no meaning. This course shows how false that view is. human nature does not change. Men and women still have the same intellect and the same passions they did in the Babylonia of Hammurabi and the Florence of Dante. As long as human nature remains the same, history will be our best guide to life. The aim of this course is to make us think historically: to use the lessons of the pass to make decisions in the present and to plan for the future.”

For as long as human nature remains the same, the lessons from history are still applicable. To those who wish to transform human nature for the better, I would say that millions of years of human evolution cannot be redone in a few decades, and whenever it has been tried (i.e., Communism and Socialism), it has failed and brought much suffering and misery on the people who it was imposed upon.

Thus, it is important to know and understand history to ferret out the myths from the truths of history, to make better decisions in the present, and to plan properly for the future.

01/02/24 A Core Issue Person

This month’s Book It selections are three thought-provoking books by Douglas Murray, a British author and political commentator. French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy has said of Murray, "Whether one agrees with him or not," he is "one of the most important public intellectuals today." While often controversial in his writings, he is always intellectual and thought-provoking. He often goes beyond the talking points of his critics and examines the core issues of what is bedeviling our society. As I am myself a core issue person, I have commented in my Chirps and Articles on the core issues he illuminates. Therefore, having recently read three of his books and found them to be enjoyable and thought-provoking read, I have decided to make them this month’s Book It selections.

01/01/24 How Christianity Transformed the World

As we have finished celebrating Christmas is important to reflect on how Christianity impacted the world. Wars, Oppressions, Slavery, Injustice, Degradation, Thefts, Murders, Rapes, Disease, Poverty, Destruction, and other harsh living conditions were the lot of the common man throughout history. With the advent and establishment of Christianity, this all began to change. In no other part of the world, except Christendom, was there any hope of change for the betterment of the common man. Christianity changed all that by its theology of the individual worth and dignity of all people. Christianity established that Human rights were a gift from God and could not be abrogated by any government, organization, or person, or as the Declaration of Independence stated:

“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.”

In no other part of the world was this recognized as integral to the individual human being. Christianity was responsible for bringing these truths to light and establishing them as a basic tenet for all persons. This tenet changes the world for the better. The journey took two millennia to get us to where we are today, with several false starts, wrong turns, dead ends, and occasion retreats before much progress was made. My new article, “How Christianity Transformed the World” examines the impacts of Christianity upon the world.

12/04/23 A Respite

I am due to have my left knee replaced tomorrow due to my osteoarthritis, and my surgeon has informed me that during the first two weeks, I will be on strong pain relief medicine, and in the next few weeks, I will be in much discomfort. As such, I have decided to take a few weeks off from my Chirps and Article writings.

I, therefore, would wish everyone a happy holiday season. I also promise that ‘I Shall Return’ to my writing after I recover from my surgery.

12/03/23 How Dare You!

The war on the West is very real and very dangerous. Western values, especially Christian values, are under constant attack from both within and outside the Western world. As I have written in my Chirps of “12/01/23 How Christianity Transformed the World”, the Western World has been primarily responsible for the advancement of the individual worth and dignity of all persons and for the betterment of the common man. Although this advancement was not without its faults and setbacks, it did advance humankind as no other religion or civilization did, as I have written in my article How Christianity Transformed the World.

Thus, it can be said to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Western values are the worst in the world, except for all the other world’s values.” In the last few decades, we have seen a significant increase in attacks on the Western world’s values for its actual and perceived faults without an acknowledgment of its benefits to humankind. However, no current or historical civilization has been without its faults, but Western civilization has been by far the greatest positive influence in the advancement of humankind.

Much of these attacks have been upon Christianity, as a strong Christian faith precludes tearing down Christian values and Western civilization. These attacks have resulted in a decline in Christian faith in the Western world, as I have chirped on “12/02/23 The Decline of Christian Faith and Values”. Such a decline bodes ill for the advancement of humankind and perhaps a retreat into barbarism. This has been pointed out by Bill Maher in his monolog on The War on the West and in a book by Douglas Murray, The War on the West.

Konstantin Kisin is a Russian-British satirist, author, political commentator, and co-host (with Francis Foster) of the Triggernometry podcast. Kisin has written for a number of publications, including Quillette, The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph, and Standpoint, on issues relating to tech censorship, woke culture, comedy, and culture war topics in the past but currently publishes articles on these subjects on his website. With intelligence and humor, he comments on current events, and in a recent video, Konstantin Kisin’s full speech to world leaders at Alliance for Responsible Citizenship Conference 2023, he stated:

“There are some people whose brains have been broken. To them our past is abominable and our future is one of managed decline. My message is simple. How Dare You!? You will not steal my son’s future with empty words”.
 - Konstantin Kisin

The Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) is a global community with a vision of a world where every citizen can prosper, contribute, and flourish. This thirteen-minute video is a good encapsulation of the attacks on Western values, and it is well worth the time to view as well as your time to think about what he said.

To those who constantly criticize, denigrate, or want to fundamentally change the West, I would respond, “How Dare You!” and I will continue to oppose your efforts to ensure the continued advancement of humankind.

12/02/23 The Decline of Christian Faith and Values

Today, in America and in other parts of Christendom, we are seeing a decline in Christian faith and ideals in the world. This bodes ill for the future advancement of humankind, and it bespeaks the possible increase of oppressive governments in the world. Indeed, we have seen an increase of oppression in the government actions within Christendom, with the most common being in the attempts to restrict the Liberties and Freedoms of thought, speech, association, press, and the practice of religious faiths, as well as constrict the concepts of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”. We have also seen an increase in the weaponization of government against those who would disagree with government actions, as I have written in my collected Chirps on “The Weaponization of Government”. All such restrictions and constrictions fly in the face of our Christian values, as I have written in my article “How Christianity Transformed the World”.

In many of my Chirps and Articles, I have pointed out that the concepts and practices of Political Correctness, Activists and Activism, Adjective Justice, Cancel Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Doxing, Identity Politics, Wokeness, Equity and Equality, Social Engineering, and the Greater Good versus the Common Good are antithetical to the  Christian theology of the individual worth and dignity of all people, as I have Chirped on “11/07/23 The Divine Sovereign Individual”. These concepts and practices are most often the words and deeds utilized by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders to obtain their political goals and policy agendas. Thus, they are engaging in unchristian-like behaviors and sowing disharmony and chaos in our society and governance.

Alas, until we return to our beliefs in Christian values and uphold them in our society and governance, we shall see more disharmony, oppression, and chaos in America and the world, to the detriment of all Americans and the freedom-loving peoples of the world. This decline of Christian faith and values will also result in the atrophy of the advancement of humankind and an increase of barbarianism in the world.

12/01/23 How Christianity Transformed the World

Wars, Oppressions, Slavery, Injustice, Degradation, Theft, Murder, Rape, Disease, Poverty, Destruction, and other harsh living conditions were the lot of the common man throughout history. With the advent and establishment of Christianity, this all began to change. In no other part of the world, except Christendom, was there any hope of change for the betterment of the common man. Christianity changed all that by its theology of the individual worth and dignity of all persons. Christianity established that Human rights were a gift from God and could not be abrogated by any government, organization, or person, or as the Declaration of Independence stated:

“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”

In no other part of the world were these truths recognized as integral to the individual human being and incorporated into governing laws. Christianity was responsible for bringing these truths to light and establishing them as a basic tenet for all persons. This tenet changed the world for the better, as I have examined in my article How Christianity Transformed the World.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this month, the December Book It selection recommends three books that examine the importance of Christendom to the world, how it has positively impacted civilization, and how the abandonment of Christian ideals has been detrimental to our modern world.

11/30/23 Christian Wars

Widespread war is not peculiar to Christianity, as it has always been practiced by all religions in human history. What is peculiar about Christian wars is that the teachings of Christ would seem to preclude engaging in wars or violence, as he commanded:

    • “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
    • You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
    • Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
    • You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

So why is it that Christendom has engaged in so many wars?

The simple answer is that humans are fallible and that they are often motivated by other concerns rather than Christian morality. Many Christian leaders looked to the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles to justify what they wished to do rather than for guidance on what they should do. Thus, we have Christian wars.

It is also because we have the concept of Just war theory as a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics that aims to ensure that a war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. It has been studied by military leaders, theologians, ethicists, and policymakers. The criteria are split into two groups: jus ad bellum ("right to go to war") and jus in bello ("right conduct in war"). The first group of criteria concerns the morality of going to war, and the second group of criteria concerns the moral conduct within war. There have been calls for the inclusion of a third category of just war theory (jus post bellum) dealing with the morality of post-war settlement and reconstruction. The just war theory postulates the belief that war, while it is terrible but less so with the right conduct, is not always the worst option. Important responsibilities, undesirable outcomes, or preventable atrocities may justify war.

Many wars have been fought within Christendom from its ascent to the present. Among those major wars were the Crusades (1095–1291), the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), the American Revolution (1775–1783), the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), the American Civil War (1861–1865), World War I (1914–1918), and World War II (1939–1945), along with the European wars of religion of the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries. Emperors, Kings, Princes, Popes, and other leaders and religious extremists have often claimed that their wars were just wars, but the real question is, to paraphrase Thomas Sowell, "The most basic question is not what is a just war, but who shall decide what is a just war?".

We can certainly say that the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and World War II were just wars, as they were fought to reestablish the Natural Rights of individuals against oppression. The other Christian Wars have more ambiguity in their justification. Thus, we can condemn these wars as not being just, but we cannot condemn Christianity if it is an unjust war. However, we should condemn those who led Christians into an unjust war. The question is, should we condemn Christianity for engaging in any war? Unfortunately, evil, greed, and lust exist in the minds of men, and sometimes, it is not possible to confront and eliminate such evil without a war. To not engage in a war against evil portends the destruction of the good of Christianity without such confrontation. The first duty of a Christian is to attempt to change the minds of such evil men without a war, but when push comes to shove, evil should not be allowed to triumph. Thus, war is sometimes necessary to ensure that Christian values will triumph and humankind will not descend into barbarity once again.

11/29/23 An Intelligent Designer?

It is an unfortunate fact that many scientists are atheistic or agnostic. While many other scientists are believers in God, they often remain silent for fear of being deprecated or ostracized. Atheistic scientists often use their scientific knowledge to try to disprove God or disavow the need for God, while agnostic scientists often remain silent as they are unsure or unassertive in expressing their opinions.

This was not always so. At the beginning of the Scientific Revolution in the sixteenth century, a series of events marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period of history. When developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology (including human anatomy), and chemistry transformed the views of society about nature, most Natural Philosophers had a firm belief in God. They saw Natural Philosophy as a means of explaining the mind of God. With further advances in what is now termed Modern Science, Natural Philosophers became Scientists who believed that science could answer all the questions about the workings of the Universe. Thus, they lost their Theistic Science viewpoint and became believers in a Scientific Materialism viewpoint.

However, advances in modern Physics (1905-today) and Astronomy and Cosmology have raised questions as to whether scientific materialism can answer all the questions about the workings of the Universe. The discovery that the Universe must have been created in the Big Bang Theory and that the physical constants and properties of the Universe are extremely fine-tuned for the emergence of life. These discoveries have raised the scientific question of an Intelligent Designer that created the Universe.

We have also seen advances in Molecular Biology that show the incredible complexity of the internal workings of the cell and the enigma of the complex information coding of the DNA in the cell that is required for even the simplest forms of life to exist. This has raised the question of how life could have arisen that requires such complexity to exist, as we know that complex systems require an Intelligent Designer to create the system.

Materialist scientists have speculated and postulated some answers to these questions, but these explanations lack any scientific basis as they are not based on observations or experiments, nor do they determine the realities of the universe. They also make extensive use of mathematics to justify their claims. However, mathematics is needed to affirm a scientific theory, but you should not utilize mathematics to confirm a scientific theory. Only observation and/or experimentation can confirm a scientific theory; otherwise, you have a belief and not a science. These speculations and postulations also have several philosophical issues and conundrums that do not fully satisfy as an explanation.

A good book that examines the scientific basis for an Intelligent Designer is “Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe” by Stephen C. Meyer. While I still believe that most Intelligent Design proponents approach this topic from a theistic argument with insufficient or incorrect science and mathematics, which I find unconvincing, there are Intelligent Design proponents that approach this topic from a scientific argument, which I find is much more intriguing and convincing. It is within these scientific arguments that the topic of an Intelligent Designer should be considered.

As the late great Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow commented when confronted by the evidence of the reality of the Big Bang Theory in the creation of the Universe:

“it is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the bible. In the beginning God created the heaven and earth . . . . The development is unexpected because science has had such extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the highest rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Given the above, I have done additional research and reading on the question of a Naturalistic/Materialistic or an Intelligent Design Evolution. This has resulted in my writing a new science article that can be read here, which scientifically examines this issue. I have also revised another article, “Science versus Religion” that reflects my new understanding of this issue. I have also withdrawn my article of “PragerU and 'Evolution: Bacteria to Beethoven”, as it does not comport with my new understanding of this issue.

11/28/23 Hardware versus Software

In the book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray, he points out that in many of the contentious social issues of today, a core difference between the opposite sides is that one side believes that a person’s gender, race, and identity are inherent in their physiology (Hardware), while the other side believes that they are a result of the person’s psychology (Software). Thus, the disagreement is one of Nature vs. Nurture. There is also an undercurrent that your Hardware is a basis for your political and social beliefs. Thus, we hear the phrases not truly (insert race), not truly (insert gender), and not truly (insert identity).

This resort to claiming that Hardware is a basis for the correctness of their beliefs is one that also attempts to shut down opposition discussions on these issues, as these bases are innate and immutable and therefore indisputable. In On Liberty, first published in 1859, John Stuart Mill famously laid out four reasons for why speech is a necessity in a free society: the first and second being that a contrary opinion may be true, or true in part, and therefore may require to be heard in order to correct you own erroneous views; the third and fourth being that even if the contrary opinion is in error, the airing of it may help to remind people of a truth and prevent its slippage into an ignorant dogma which may in time—if unchallenged—itself become lost.

In the sciences, free speech is essential for the advancement of science. Almost as important is that a scientist needs to communicate exceptionally complex truths in as simple and clear a language as possible so that they can be evaluated and confirmed by other scientists and, hopefully, can be made understandable to the lay public. This clarity and this honesty, may still exist in the sciences, but it is dead—if it ever existed—in the social sciences. The practitioners and commentators of the social sciences often speak and write in unreadable prose that even its supporters do not fully understand, and its critics cannot dispute that which is not understandable.

Consequently, we have often seen that those who would dispute the claims of Hardware are often shouted down or prevented from espousing their viewpoints in violation of their Free Speech rights. As has often been said, the answer to free speech for that you disagree is free speech to disagree with what has been said by others. However, the free speech of all parties should strive for clarity and honesty so as to be understandable and subject to critique, as I have written in my article "Dialog and Debate".

Alas, this is infrequently occurring in America and seems to be absent in Colleges and Universities where it is most important for the enlightenment and the discovery of truths. This suppression of free speech in Colleges and Universities has also occurred against Professors who would dare to speak truth to power in challenging the orthodoxy of Progressives/Leftists. Two of many illuminating examples are:

As a self-identifying progressive, left-winger, and Bernie Sanders supporter, Professor Bret Weinstein attempted to defend himself against charges of racism by pointing out that “there is a difference between debate and dialectic”. As he also said, “Debate means you are trying to win. Dialectic means you are using disagreement to discover what is true. I am not interested in debate. I am interested in only dialectic, which does mean I listen to you, and you listen to me.” Professor Weinstein persevered: “I am talking about terms that serve the truth.” As it happened, Professor Weinstein never taught at his college again.

Professor Nicholas Christakis, as Master of the residential college at Yale, became involved in a ruckus with students when he tried to explain his view that even if two people do not share exactly the same life experiences, exactly the same skin color or gender, they can still understand each other. I did not work. Later, he tried to explain what a university should be and that it is the duty of a university to “cut at the root of a set of ideas that are wholly illiberal.” These include that “Disagreement is not oppression. Argument is not assault. Words—even provocative or repugnant ones—are not violence. The answer to speech we do not like is more speech.” Nevertheless, Professor Christakis was forced to resign his position as the Master of the residential college.

What is more alarming is that the Colleges and Universities leadership and other Professors, who should know better, are kowtowing to these suppressions of Free Speech. Whether through fear or intimidation or in agreement with the suppressors, they are permitting or sanctioning the suppression of Free Speech on their campuses. It seems that mob passions and mob rule are now the basis for instruction and education at Colleges and Universities, and indoctrination in the orthodoxy of Progressives/Leftists is de rigueur on campuses, as I have written in my article "Indoctrination versus Education". Thus, we need to cleanse the College and University leadership and Professors that do not support and uphold Free Speech and institute and enforce protections for the Free Speech Rights of all viewpoints on campus.

Alas, this Hardware versus Software (i.e., Nature vs. Nurture) reasoning has spread throughout other areas of our society, which is having the same effect of the suppression of Free Speech and the cutting off of dialectic in the debates on the contentious social issues in today’s America. This suppression and cutting off of Free Speech is dangerous to the fabric of our society, as people who are muted will often rise in revolt against their mutters. In today’s America, the numbers of the muted far outnumber the mutters, and tragic consequences for the mutters may occur in a violent revolt against the mutters. What is needed is a peaceful revolt that turns out of power and responsibility to those who would mute others.

We should allow the Hardware believers to espouse their viewpoints, as it is their Free Speech Right to do so, but we should not allow them to be able to be in positions of power and responsibility if they are muting the Free Speech Rights of those with whom they disagree. An insistence on dialectic, which means I listen to you, and you listen to me, without resorting to pejoratives and intimidations, as I have written in my article "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" would be a good start in restoring "A Civil Society" in America.

11/27/23 Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant

In my new article, Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant, I have republished an article by Paul E. Marek, which explains that throughout history, wars have been initiated in which most of the populace desired peace. This article explains why this can happen, as the majority often sit back and let it all happen as the fanatics gain control of a government. He subtitles this article: ‘History lessons are often incredibly simple’, and this simple history lesson is that we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life. This article is a good companion piece to my Article on “The Problems with Islam”, and both articles should be considered when determining the best approach to dealing with Islam and Islamic nations.

But fanaticism is not constrained by religious fanatism. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we have seen the rise of fanaticism toward political ideology. In the twentieth century Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Imperialism in Japan, Islamism, and all their variants became fanatical, and in the twenty-first century, we have seen Progressives/Leftists become fanatical in their ideology.

This fanaticism is in their policies and political goals regarding Abortion, Modern Feminism, Racism, Transgenderism, Illegal Immigration, Law and Order, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Modern Education, Global Warming, etc., and can be seen in their tactics of Political Correctness, Activists and Activism, Adjective Justice, Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Conspiracy TheoryDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Doxing, Hate Speech, LGBTQIA+, Modern Feminism, Racist, Wokeness, Identity Politics, and Hyper-Partisanship.

This fanaticism is made possible by the American people believing in the good intentions of their lofty rhetoric while discounting the dastardly deeds of their actions, as I have written in my article “Grandiloquent Statements” and  Chirped on "01/10/22 Lofty Words and Dastardly Deeds". In this, the American people have forgotten the words of wisdom of one of our Founding Fathers:

"Well done is better than well said."
  - Benjamin Franklin

Fanatics also invent boogeymen for the populace to fear and to unite against as threats to their safety, security, and well-being, not to mention their being a threat to democracy, as I have Chirped on “11/08/23 Threats to Democracy”. This can be seen in the Democrat Party Leaders demonizing, denigrating, and disparaging their opponents as Right-Wingers, Far-right, Extreme-right, Fascists, Nazis, Racists, and other pejoratives, as I have written in my articles on "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" and "Divisiveness in America".

Fanaticism rarely regards any boundaries of civility, and it is destructive to any society that condones it. Unfortunately, the fanatics in America hold the reins of power and are exercising their fanaticism. In pursuit of their fanatical goals, they are endangering our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights", placing in jeopardy our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All", and putting an end to "A Civil Society" in America.

We must learn the lesson of history that fanatics are dangerous to civil society and to anyone that they oppose. Consequently, we must put an end to and eradicate fanatism. Otherwise, we can expect that our "American Ideals and Ideas" will be confined to the dustbin of history.

11/26/23 Forgiveness

In the book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray, he has an interlude between chapters titled “On Forgiveness”. This interlude highlights one of the more pernicious problems of the Internet age of Social Media. Social Media gives everyone a voice in expressing their thoughts, but it also records for posterity their thoughts. Thoughts that are often ill-informed, capricious, impulsive, hotheaded, and sometimes offensive. Thoughts that, upon reflection, the person often regrets or has a change of mind, which cannot be forgotten, withdrawn, or sufficiently nor suitably apologized for.

Many of these thoughts are posted by young people who are incapable of curbing their thoughts due to the fact that the human brain does not fully develop until about 22 to 24 years of age, and the last part of the brain to develop is the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is responsible for most "higher-order" or intellectual brain functions such as thinking, reasoning, judging, planning, voluntary movement, and overall behavior. Thus, until the cerebral cortex is fully mature, impulsive behavior and thoughts are the norm of youth, as I have Chirped on "07/20/20 Ah, Youth”. Even after our cerebral cortex is fully developed, the habits of our youth often impulsively supersede our discretion, and we say or do things that we quickly regret. But the Internet does not forget what we have posted on social media in our youthful exuberance or thoughtlessness.

The Internet and Social Media forever remembering is also a problem in our adult life. After our brains mature and we accumulate more knowledge, life experiences, and perhaps wisdom, we come to realize that what we believe to be certainly true becomes less certain as we mature. Indeed, many times, we reach a different conclusion as we age. This often forces us to reevaluate what we may have said or written in our past, and many times makes us regretful of our words and deeds of the past. Or, as one of our Founding Fathers has so eloquently stated:

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others."
  - Benjamin Franklin

Thus, for the mistakes of youth and for changes of mind based on fuller consideration, it is best to forgive our and others’ past words and deeds. Ergo, I have elucidated upon this in “To Err is Human, To Forgive is Divine” in my Pearls of Wisdom, which is based upon a great English Poet who wrote in his An Essay on Criticism:

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
 - Alexander Pope

For those who believe that they have nothing to be forgiven, they are delusional, as all humans err in their words and deeds. Unfortunately, in today’s society, many apologies are not sincere apologies but an attempt to paper over objectionable words and deeds. An insincere apology that attempts to dodge, duck, or shift responsibility to others is no apology at all. And anyone who attempts to cover up their past words and deeds is not worthy of forgiveness. Only a sincere apology should be reciprocated with forgiveness.

In forgiving, it is important to Forgive Ourselves, Forgive Others, and Forgive Past history. We must Forgive Ourselves for the mistakes of our youth and our regrets over the words and deeds that we now conclude were in error. For if we cannot forgive ourselves, then we will find it almost impossible to forgive others. We must Forgive Others for their youthful mistakes and their past regrets, for without forgiving them, we cannot ask for forgiveness for ourselves. We must also Forgive, but not forget, the Past History of a nation or society, as all nations and societies have regrettable pasts. The past should be utilized to learn from mistakes and to not repeat them, and all other words and deeds about the past are nothing but flagellations that do not lead to improvements in a nation or society.

If we cannot forgive ourselves, others, and the historical past, then we shall always be at each other’s throats, and our past words and deeds will hang like an albatross around our neck for the rest of our lives. An albatross that impedes a person or society from becoming a better person or society and which damages all in society. In November 1964, Hannah Arendt, a German-born American historian and political philosopher, delivered a lecture at the University of Chicago in which she stated:

“Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to one single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victim of its consequences, forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice who lacked the magic formula to break the spell.”

In all forgiveness, we should remember that only those who are without sin should cast the first stone. This does not, however, constrict us from critiquing another’s words and deeds, but we should remember the difference between "Criticism vs. Critique" and confine ourselves to critiquing rather than criticizing others, except in the case of immoral or criminal actions of others. In our forgiveness, we should also remember the words from the Lord’s Prayer:

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

11/25/23 Domains and Virtue, Character, and Ethics

We all have only one life to live, but in living our lives, we exist in several domains—the domains of a personal life, a family life, a friends’ life, a public life, and an employment life. These domains are shaped by our knowledge, understanding, and experiences in the domains of humanity—a Political Domain, the Religious and/or Philosophical Domains, the Economic Domain, the Scientific Domain, the Sports and Entertainment Domain, and the Artistic Domains (Literary, Fine Arts, Musical).

It is how we live in these domains that is a test of our Virtue, Character, and Ethics. There is no doubt that our words and deeds vary between these domains, but our virtue, character, and ethics should remain the same between and within these domains. To do otherwise is a betrayal of our Virtue, Character, and Ethics, which is demeaning to ourselves.

As the Bard has written:

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
 – William Shakespeare in Hamlet

Most modern people interpret this saying as to mean to pursue that for which you are desirous and beneficial to yourself. But it means much more than this. It also has three other meanings; the first meaning is that someone can better judge themselves if they have done what they should or could have done. The second meaning is that one must be honest in their ways and relations. The third meaning is that one must always do the right thing.

As I have written in my Chirp on "05/17/20 Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage Within Ourselves", Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage are essential to becoming fully human. Without these items, you cannot be fully functional within yourselves and within society. You also cannot be truly Virtuous, Character-laden, and Ethical without remaining true to your Virtue, Character, and Ethics across the domains that you inhabit. Consequently, you should always be true to your own self in all its meanings.

11/24/23 You Cannot Legislate Virtue, Character, or Ethics

In my previous Chirps on “11/22/23 Virtue and Character” and “11/23/23 Ethical Conduct”, I discussed the importance of Virtue, Character, and Ethics in our lives and society. While we have laws against conduct that harm others, it is not possible to legislate Virtue, Character, or Ethics, for "The Law is Not All". Virtue, Character, and Ethics exist above the law and are necessary for a just society, as I have discussed in my article "A Just Government and a Just Society". We should also remember what one of our Founding Fathers has said about this:

“If Men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and the next place, oblige it to control itself.”
 - James Madison

Thus, Virtue, Character, and Ethics are necessary and above the law and as a foundation for the law. For those that would respond to their non-virtuous, lack of character, or ethical violations that they have done nothing illegal, I would respond that justice requires more than obedience to the law. While you may not face prosecutions for your transgressions of Virtue, Character, or Ethics, you deserve disdain from all who value justice.

There is also the question of the violation of the Natural Rights of others from non-Virtuous, Lack of Character, or Ethical violations, as I have discussed in my article "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights". To violate the Natural Rights of others while remaining within the law raises the question of a person’s Virtue, Character, or Ethics. These questions should make all wary of dealing with such a person. Thus, not only should a person remain within the confines of the law, but they should also constrict themselves to conduct which is of Virtue, Character, and Ethical.

As I cannot claim that I have lived a life of virtue, character, and ethics, especially in my youth, I can claim that since I have examined this issue in my early adulthood, I have tried to live a life of virtue, character, and ethics. As such, I can be at peace with myself for my past words and deeds, and I can recommend to all that they lead a Virtuous, Character-laden, and Ethical life as it will be rewarding.

11/23/23 Ethical Conduct

In my previous Chirp on “11/22/23 Virtue and Character”, I proselytize on the importance of virtue and character within a person. However, virtue and character are not only important within a person but are extremely important within many professions. Doctors, lawyers, judges, accountants, financial advisors, and other professionals must have virtue and character in their professions, as they have a direct impact on the well-being of their clients. This is why most professions have a code of ethics for their practitioners. It is also why we have laws to prosecute professionals who transgress their professional duties and responsibilities.

There is another group of people who profess to a code of ethics — politicians, but these ethics are often not followed in their spirit and almost as often not prosecuted. Too often, we have seen what a common person would regard as unethical conduct of a politician that does not result in a serious consequence for their breach, or at most; they suffer an official rebuke with only minor penalties from their colleagues. These politicians often run for reelection and are often reelected despite their unethical conduct.

Thus, we have lower standards for politicians than for other professionals. This is pernicious as politicians have a direct impact on all Americans, and most especially on the Liberties, Freedoms, and governance of Americans. However, much of the blame for this situation is shared by the American electorate for electing and reelecting those politicians who do not engage in ethical conduct. This is also a sad commentary on the American electorate, as had been said as a warning by one of our Founding Fathers:

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom."
  - Benjamin Franklin

We have also seen a rise in unethical conduct by our government bureaucrats. This is in the dual problems of fidelity to our Constitutional Ideals and Regulatory Capture, as I have written in my article on "American Ideals and Ideas" and my Chirp on "08/20/23 The Administrative State and Practical Difficulties". Many bureaucrats wish to rule by regulation rather than serve with fidelity to our principles. Thus, they are behaving in an unethical manner.

It is also true that, too often, the American electorate becomes caught up in the words rather than the deeds of politicians. When the words are virtuous, we often overlook the deeds that reveal the character of the politician. Thus, whenever we cast our votes, we should always remember in our evaluation of a candidate that:

"The words of a person are important to adjudge their virtue. However, the deeds of a person are important to judge their character. And deeds have much more of an impact than words. Or, as Benjamin Franklin has said, 'Well done is better than well said.'".
  - Mark Dawson

Consequently, America is becoming a society in which materialism is predominant while Virtue, Character, and Ethics are receding in importance.

11/22/23 Virtue and Character

Virtue is the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. It is also a test of one’s character, which is the inherent complex of attributes that determines a person's moral and ethical actions and reactions. To be virtuous also requires that you do what you think is proper, notwithstanding all the pressures for you to do otherwise. As been said by one of our Founding Fathers (who practiced what he preached):

"Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone."
  - John Adams

As to character, we should remember what an American author who was best known for his inspirational book, ‘Life's Little Instruction Book’ has said:

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”
  -  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

But both virtue and character require that you confront and admit the truths about yourself so that you can make a virtuous decision and act with character. However, if you should do this, then be forewarned:

"Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them."
  - Albert Camus

When adjudging a person’s virtue or character, we should always bear in mind:

"The words of a person are important to adjudge their virtue. However, the deeds of a person are important to judge their character. And deeds have much more of an impact than words. Or, as Benjamin Franklin has said, 'Well done is better than well said.'".
  - Mark Dawson

The strongest test of Virtue and Character is when it becomes necessary to confront wickedness or evil. Any person unwilling to confront wickedness or evil or to temporize or excuse wickedness or evil is a person without virtue or character. Such people who do so are complicit in the wickedness or evil of others. As two of the great Philosophers of the Enlightenment have stated:

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
 - attributed to Edmund Burke

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
 - John Stuart Mill

11/21/23 Proportional War

War is not waged proportionally. You are either in a war to win the war, or you will lose the war. Response to terrorism also cannot be proportional, as you either eliminate the terrorists, or you will be subject to more terrorism. And by their very nature, both modern war and terrorism will result in civilian casualties on both sides. Some of these civilian casualties are the result of inadvertent casualties during the course of military operations (i.e., collateral damage), some are a result of their being targeted for their active involvement in the war or terrorism efforts, and some are targeted for psychological warfare or terrorism purposes. Regrettably, in modern terrorism, some of these causalities are a result of the terrorist using them as human shields as protection to thwart retribution for their terrorism.

In war or terrorism, the moral side is the side that seeks to minimize civilian casualties, while the immoral side seeks to maximize civilian casualties. So, it is, for what is occurring in present-day Israel. Those who are confused about which side is moral and which side is immoral are confused because they have no true understanding of morality. To deliberately target civilians as a goal is the moral equivalent of murder. Consequently, Hamas terrorists are murderers and immoral, and their supporters are either directly or indirectly aiding and abetting this murder.

In an article by Victor Davis Hanson, “When Has War Ever Been 'Proportional?” he outlines the moral and immoral actions of both Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Upon reading this article, it becomes very clear which side is moral and which side is immoral in the present conflict in Israel.

11/20/23 Humanitarianism and Terrorism

With the rise in rhetoric for a humanitarian response to Hamas's Terrorism in Israel, those who engage in or are supportive of this humanitarian response have forgotten or did not know that Terrorism does not recognize Humanitarianism and that Terrorism is the antithesis of Humanitarianism.

To respond with Humanitarianism to Terrorism is to allow for the continuation of Terrorism, as it protects the terrorist from the consequences of their actions. It allows the terrorists to slip away to continue their Terrorism, and it shields them from being exposed by the non-terrorists whom they hide amongst. Until the terrorists are rooted out and eliminated, humanitarian responses aid and abet the terrorists. Once the terrorists are rooted out and eliminated, then Humanitarianism for those remaining is warranted and should be given. Until then, however, Humanitarianism in response to Terrorism plays into the hand of Terrorism, and to play into the hand of Terrorism is immoral and counterproductive to Humanitarianism. Thus, those who demand humanitarian responses before Terrorism is eliminated are reacting in an immoral manner, for to aid and abet Terrorism is immoral, and those who engage in these humanitarian words and deeds are bereft of morality.

Many would respond that these words and deeds of Humanitarianism are a response based upon our Christian heritage values. As Jesus spoke in the Gospels of the Bible:

“You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

But Terrorism is not a slap on the cheek that hurts a person but a stab to the body that maims or kills a person. We all have the Natural Right to protect ourselves from harm by another, to the point of justifiably taking the life of another to protect our lives, our family's lives, and the lives of others from the violent deeds of others. And Terrorism is one of the most violent deeds that can be inflicted upon ourselves and others.

This protection for our lives, our family's lives, and the lives of others is thus a moral act, and it is immoral to deny someone this moral right. As it is in all modern warfare, when engaged in a just conflict with an immoral enemy, there will be civilian casualties. The minimization of these civilian casualties should be a goal in this warfare, but not a reason not to engage in a just war. The war on Terrorism is a just war, as it is a war against the evil acts of the terrorists. Regrettably, there will be civilian casualties in this war on Terrorism, but it is something that must be endured for the greater good of eliminating the evil of Terrorism.

Consequently, Israel’s response to the Terrorism of Hamas is moral, and the efforts to thwart this response based on Humanitarianism are immoral.

11/19/23 Reaping What You Sow

The phrase “whatever one sows, that will he also reap” is third within a series of three statements by Paul in Galatians 6:7. The first statement is, “Do not be deceived” and the second is, “God is not mocked.” Although this is a New Testament saying, it is applicable to all human activities and not restricted to any religious faith. Our words and deeds have consequences, and not all consequences are favorable. In today’s America, we are experiencing the unfavorable consequences of what has been sowed in the last half of the 20th century by events in the first half of the 20th century.

In the first half of the 20th century, America was a nation dominated by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs), and there was much bigotry and prejudice against non-WASPs. This was reflected in our electoral politics, in which Republicans were often WASPs and Conservative in their outlook, while Democrats were often non-WASPs and Liberal in their outlook. In the second half of the 20th century America, this gradually changed in that the Civil Rights movement awoken Americans to unjustness and, indeed, the immorality of the bigotry and prejudice against non-WASPs (especially Black and Jewish Americans). This reaped great benefits for all races and religions in America, and we seemed to be on a path of tolerance and acceptance for all races and creeds in America.

However, the fidelities of non-WASPs to the Democrat party in the first half of the 20th century often remained and became ingrained in our politics in the second half of the 20th century. This was most predominant among Black and Jewish Americans. They overwhelmingly supported the Democrat Party and their candidates in elections, and it was a given that upwards of 90% of this populace would vote for Democrat candidates. In addition, in the last few decades, the Democrats and Liberals morphed into Progressivism and an intolerance for religion in America. Many people lost or were not raised in their faith, and atheism and agnosticism began to rise in America.

Yet, despite this rise in Anti-Semitism, we continue to see continued overwhelming support for Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders within the Jewish community. The same can be said for the deterioration of race relations in America. Despite the overwhelming support of the Black community for Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders, race relations have declined in America in the last several decades. Much of this decline in Black America can be attributed to Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders politics, as I have noted in my Chirp on “11/04/23 It’s Working Just Fine”. This overwhelming support of Blacks and Jews for the Democrat Party must end, for it is sowing and reaping Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christianism in America, and stymieing Black progress in America.

Despite the protestations by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders that they are the party of inclusiveness and tolerance, “Do not be deceived”, for their actions speak louder than their words, and their words often contrary to “God is not mocked.” If Americans can retain their Judeo-Christian values, then we can overcome these problems in America. If not, then these problems will continue to bedevil America, and we will continue to be a nation in decline.

In the last decades in America, we have seen a rise in Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christianism in America within the Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders in America. With the recent Hamas terror attacks in Israel, this Anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head within these ranks. With this rise of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christianism in America, I have decided to change my logo. A Mezuzah and a Cross have been added to remind all Americans that our values are based upon our Judeo-Christian Heritage. A heritage to all humankind that has resulted in the greatest advancement of humankind in our Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All, as well as the Advancements in the Sciences and the Arts, as I have written in my Articles “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All” and “How Christianity Transformed the World”. Thus, my new logo is a reminder that our Judeo-Christian values are essential to all aspects of our society, and all aspects of our society must be evaluated within these Judeo-Christian values:

11/18/23 Senseless Criminal Acts

The unalienable right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is not possible without a lawful, just, and peaceable society. Any society that cannot guarantee these unalienable rights is doomed to anarchy and destruction or to tyranny. Unfortunately, in modern America, we are degenerating into anarchy as the increase of senseless criminal acts is on the rise. Individual criminal acts, along with gang and mob criminal acts, have surged in America. Nobody and no place is safe from these criminal acts, and fear of these criminal acts has permeated our society. Not only are these acts committed in public places, but they have occurred in personal and business abodes.

In my Chirp on “11/17/23 The Dark Triad and Psychopathy”, I raise the question about the psychology of the perpetrators of these criminal acts, as well as the possible reasons for the increase of senseless criminal acts. There is, however, a more direct reason for an increase in these criminal acts. The perpetrators have little fear of being arrested, detained, prosecuted, or imprisoned for these criminal acts. They, therefore, feel unconstrained in their actions, and without self-constraint, they act impulsively and without forethought of the possible consequences of their actions.

This little fear has been brought forth by Progressive District Attorneys, Progressive Police Commissioners, and Progressive Politicians, who seem to be more concerned about the perpetrators rather than the victims. In their quest for a more perfect society (as they view a perfect society), they have failed to faithfully execute the laws as their Oath of Office requires them to do so. They ignore or neglect to enforce the laws that they disagree with or use prosecutorial discretion to circumvent the laws, as I have Chirped on "01/17/23 Prosecutorial Discretion". They often use lofty or supercilious language to justify their actions, but the results are that senseless criminal acts are on the rise. In this lack of performing their duties and responsibilities, they have become autocratic rather than public servants responsible for ensuring a lawful, just, and peaceable society.

People who believe, speak, or act upon compassion and understanding for the perpetrators without justice for the victims are either inane or nefarious. If compassion and understanding of the criminal behavior of a person is to be considered, it should be done after a conviction and during the sentencing, and it should be tempered with justice for the victim. No allowance for criminal acts should be tolerated before a conviction, as only empathy for the victims and their families is acceptable.

11/17/23 The Dark Triad and Psychopathy

The Dark Triad is a psychological theory of personality, first published by Delroy L. Paulhus and Kevin M. Williams in 2002, that describes three notably offensive but non-pathological personality types: Machiavellianism, sub-clinical narcissism, and sub-clinical psychopathy. Each of these personality types is called dark because each is considered to contain malevolent qualities.

All three dark triad traits are conceptually distinct, although empirical evidence shows them to be overlapping. They are associated with a callous–manipulative interpersonal style.

    • Narcissism is characterized by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
    • Machiavellianism is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others, indifference to morality, lack of empathy, and a strategic focus on self-interest.
    • Psychopathy is characterized by continuous antisocial behavior, impulsivity, selfishness, callous and unemotional traits (CU), and remorselessness.

High scores in these traits have been found to statistically increase a person's likelihood to commit crimes, cause social distress, and create severe problems for organizations, especially if they are in leadership positions. They also tend to be less compassionate, agreeable, empathetic, and satisfied with their lives and less likely to believe they and others are good.

A factor analysis found that among the big five personality traits, low agreeableness is the strongest correlate of the dark triad, while neuroticism and a lack of conscientiousness were associated with some of the dark triad members. Research indicates that there is a consistent association between changes in agreeableness and the dark triad traits over the course of an individual's life.

Robert D. Hare, a Canadian forensic psychologist known for his research in the field of criminal psychology, developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-Revised), used to assess cases of psychopathy. This tool is commonly used to assess the presence and extent of the personality trait psychopathy in individuals—most often those institutionalized in the criminal justice system—and to differentiate those high in this trait from those with Antisocial Personality Disorder, a related diagnosable disorder. He has identified the psychopathy as consisting of:

    • Item 1: Glibness/superficial charm
    • Item 2: Grandiose sense of self-worth
    • Item 3: Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
    • Item 4: Pathological lying
    • Item 5: Conning/manipulative
    • Item 6: Lack of remorse or guilt
    • Item 7: Shallow affect
    • Item 8: Callous/lack of empathy
    • Item 9: Parasitic lifestyle
    • Item 10: Poor behavioral controls
    • Item 11: Promiscuous sexual behavior
    • Item 12: Early behavior problems
    • Item 13: Lack of realistic long-term goals
    • Item 14: Impulsivity
    • Item 15: Irresponsibility
    • Item 16: Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    • Item 17: Many short-term marital relationships
    • Item 18: Juvenile delinquency
    • Item 19: Revocation of conditional release
    • Item 20: Criminal versatility
It has been affirmed that about 3% of the American population suffers from this mental health issue. It has also been stated that it can sink to 1% in peaceful times but rise to 5% in troubled times. The question, therefore, is what the causes of this decrease or increase are. It is Nature or Nurture, Sociological or Economic, lack of deterrence by the failure of law enforcement to aggressively arrest and prosecute such persons, or perhaps other unknown reasons, and what can be done to keep this at a minimum? One can also wonder if the Dark Triad and personality trait psychopathy in individuals are responsible for the increase of criminality in America. In either case, this must be examined to determine the causes and hopefully cures for this mental health issue.

11/16/23 Gay or Queer Rights

In a book by self-professed homosexual Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity, he has pointed out that the LGBTQIA+ community (an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more) is not a united community as it is perceived. Within this community, there are sharp differences in the goals, strategy, and tactics to obtain their goals, and there are factions within the community that dislike each other.

One of these fractures is in the differences between “Gay” and “Queer”. The Gay faction believes that gays are—and should be—just like everyone else. As he has stated about the Gay faction:

That they will win any and all remaining rights battles by demonstrating that nothing makes them different from their heterosexual friends and neighbors. Just like straight people, gays can live in houses with nice picket fences, can marry, have monogamous relationships and eventually produce and raise children like everybody else. In essence they can be respectable.

The “Queer” faction was—and is—the homosexuals that believe that being attracted to the same sex means more than being attracted to the same sex. As he has stated:

“It is a group of people who believe that being attracted to the same sex should merely be the first stage in a wilder journey. The first step not just to getting on with life but to transgressing the normal modes of life. Whereas gays may want to be just accepted like everyone else, queers want to be recognized as fundamentally different to everyone else and to use that difference to tear down the kind of order that gays are working to get into.”

This has resulted in the Queers believing that they have the right to public exhibitionism, most prominently in ‘Gay Pride’ marches in their dressing in puppy gear and to be led on all fours by a ‘master’ down a public street, along with their antics of simulated homosexual sexual acts. As Mr. Murray has said:

There is nothing wrong with people enjoying whatever kinks they like in the privacy of their own homes. But you don’t have to be prudish to feel that the phalanxes of people at such protests dressed in fetish gear, in chaps and more, is off putting to whatever cause they are hoping to advance. If the black civil rights movement had included a fetish section it would have been considerably easier to ignore its moral force.”

Just as I am opposed to overt sexual actions in public by heterosexuals, so I am opposed to overt sexual actions in public by Queers. I also believe that it is acceptable if the acts are mutually agreed upon by all parties, for people to enjoy whatever sexual kinks they like in the privacy of their own homes. The government has no business in intruding into the privacy of a person’s home unless they are engaged in criminal activities. And sexual acts between mutually agreeable persons is not a criminal act.

While I am in favor of Gay Rights, I do not believe in Queer Rights. Thus, I have no problem with banning such overt public exhibitionism by all sexual orientations. The right to free assembly gives homosexuals the right to demonstrate, but the right to free assembly does not give anyone license to do whatever they want in the assembly. After all, as we ban any criminal actions or exhortations to violence in any assembly, so should we ban displays of simulated sexual acts and sexual fetishes in a public assembly. Common decency should also preclude any overt sexual licentious in public by anyone or any group.

I have also written about homosexuality in my articles on Homosexuality Nature and Homosexual Marriage and The Rights of Abortion, Homosexual Marriage, Transgendered  and Assisted Suicide, which explains my stances on Homosexual Rights.

11/15/23 Deepfake

A deepfake is a computer-generated image or video of someone based on manipulating existing images using Artificial Intelligence (AI), esp. to make them appear to do or say something that they did not do. With the advent of more AI tools available to the public, it has become easier to create a deepfake that is convincing and harder to detect. This can lead to serious repercussions for those who have been a target of deepfake.

Images, videos, and words have been attributed to people that are not about or from them. In one case, an adolescent boy superimposed images of some girls in his school on pornographic images that were not discernable to the viewer. The girls and their parents were aghast when he started to electronically distribute these deepfake images to other boys in his school. There have been numerous other cases where deepfake words have been attributed to someone, and deepfake photos and videos have been distributed to tarnish a person’s reputation. For as Shakespeare has said in Othello:

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”
 - William Shakespeare

It is not only our reputations that need to be protected, but deepfake makes it easier to sow disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation to mislead the American people into making poor decisions, as well as sowing more divisiveness in America.

Indeed, Mounir Ibrahim, executive president of Truepic, a technology company focused on transparency and authenticity in digital content, has stated about Deepfake technology, “In my opinion, this is one of the greatest challenges we face today" he said. "Some estimates are that in one to two years, 90 percent of new digital content created online will be wholly or partially synthetic. Without wide adoption of interoperable standards to clearly differentiate authentic content, AI-assisted, and fully generated content, our entire informational ecosystem will be at risk.

In an article by Leah Barkoukis, “Deepfake Technology Is Now 'One of the Greatest Challenges We Face,' Expert Tells Lawmakers”, she stated that “Artificial intelligence is developing faster than any rules or regulations can keep up.” She has also stated that:

A legislative fix is one tool but Ibrahim said it won't be enough. Work on content provenance is already being advanced, while other stakeholders are exploring different remedies.”

We would all be advised to read her article and begin to think about and implement the processes necessary to deal with deepfakes. For without doing so, we risk more reputational harm, more bad decisions, and more divisiveness, and we and America will all be poorer.

11/14/23 What is Wrong with Our Universities?

In a column by Alan Joseph Bauer, “The Left Has Shown Its Moral Bankruptcy”, he begins the column by stating, “The response to the barbaric attack in Israel has exposed the liberal and intellectual left as being bereft of knowledge, insights, judgment, and compassion. The left has become a pathetic collection of ideological zealots.” The then proceeds to excoriate the left for their lack of moral clarity and states that “. . . our modern liberal left which has great technical knowledge but no moral depth. All of our leaders are university-trained, without exception. Some have bachelor's degrees while others have advanced diplomas. Yet, they have shown themselves to be morally bereft of compassion and understanding of the severity of the events in southern Israel two weeks ago.

In a series of articles by Rob Natelson, he examines what is wrong with the Universities. He begins by stating his credentials for analyzing the problems of universities:

“I have studied and worked in a wide range of campus settings. I earned my bachelor’s degree at a private college. I attended law school at a large university, half private and half state, after turning down offers from more prestigious institutions. (I’ll explain the practical implications of that decision later.) I also studied Greco-Roman classics in a large state university.

While practicing law, I was an adjunct (part-time) professor at a community college and later at both a large state university and a large private university.

After taking a basic course in teaching techniques, I served briefly as the manager of a community college program and eventually returned to academia on a full-time basis. I became a tenure-track and later a tenured professor and remained one for the next 25 years. I initially taught at a small private university and then at a medium-sized state university. I also served as a visiting professor at a large state university and as a researcher at a large foreign one.

I can compare academia to other institutions in a way most professors can't, because I’ve also worked extensively in private business, mostly small business, and currently operate a consulting practice.”

With such credentials and experience, he is eminently qualified to dissect the problems of universities, and he has done so in the following articles:

Alas, our current College and University are not producing graduates who can think dispassionately and analytically, using proper reasoning grounded in facts and truths. Instead, they are being indoctrinated into the ideology of their professors that is skewed to Progressive/Leftists viewpoints devoid of intellectual rigor. They are also emotionally coddling their students against the harsh tumults of the real world into which they will enter upon graduation. As such, they are failing their students, parents, and society. That they are doing this to young minds that have not fully developed physiologically, intellectually, and emotionally is unethical and an act of turpitude on their part. This must stop! Otherwise, our society will further collapse into a state of chaos ruled by mob passions rather than rationality.

11/13/23 Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks

Res ipsa loquitur is the website blog of Jonathan Turley, one of America’s foremost Constitutional scholars. Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other schools.

Professor Turley received his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his J.D. at Northwestern. In 2008, he was given an honorary Doctorate of Law from John Marshall Law School for his contributions to civil liberties and the public interest. After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history. In addition to his extensive publications, Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades including the representation of whistleblowers, military personnel, judges, members of Congress, and a wide range of other clients. Professor Turley is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues as well as tort reform legislation.

His award-winning blog is routinely ranked as one of the most popular legal blogs by AVVO.com, an online marketplace for legal services. His blog was selected as the top News/Analysis site in 2013, the top Legal Opinion Blog in 2011 as well as prior selections as the top Law Professor Blog and Legal Theory Blog. It was also ranked in the top 20 constitutional law blog in 2018.  It has been regularly ranked by the ABA Journal in the top 100 blogs in the world. In 2012, Turley was selected as one of the top 20 legal experts on Twitter by Business Insider. In 2013, the ABA Journal inducted the Turley Blog into its Hall of Fame.

Professor Turley’s political inclinations are left of center, but he is a passionate defender of Freedom of Speech and Constitutional adherence to laws, rules, and regulations of government. As such, I often quote Professor Turley in my Chirps and Articles on these topics, and I visit his website blog almost daily to see and read his thoughts. I would suggest that my readers make it a point to frequently visit his website blog to partake in his wisdom.

11/12/23 Americans Estimate

Apparently, when it comes to estimating the size of demographic groups, Americans rarely get it right. In two recent YouGov polls, they asked respondents to guess the percentage (ranging from 0% to 100%) of American adults who are members of 43 different groups, including racial and religious groups, as well as other less frequently studied groups, such as pet owners and those who are left-handed. The results of this polling can be reviewed in their article “From millionaires to Muslims, small subgroups of the population seem much larger to many Americans”, while the main graphic from this poll is as follows:

The other results from this poll provide some interesting food for thought, and I would recommend that you read this article and ponder the impacts on our social polices of these misestimations.

11/11/23 The Failure of Consensus and Compromise

Consensus and Compromise leave no one satisfied and resolve no important issue. Consensus and compromise are important for smaller issues or the details for the resolution of larger issues, but larger issues need to be resolved by a commitment to scrupulousness and righteousness of the core of a major issue. Even then, people of goodwill can disagree about the core of a major issue.

This is best exemplified in the Constitutional Convention when much dissension was overcome by consensus and compromise. However, the consensus and compromise left many unresolved major issues that bedeviled America in the next several decades. This bedevilment rose to a peak in the antebellum and Civil War era of American history. The importance of the Union and the end to Slavery were the core issues for one side, while the other side’s importance was for self-determination and for the preservation of property in the form of slavery. Each side thought that they had a moral and justifiable stance on the core issues. Compromises had been tried prior to the Civil War, and compromise had failed, resulting in a Civil War to resolve the major core issues.

Thus, it has been throughout history. When consensus and compromise fail on a major issue, it often results in a rebellion or war to resolve the core issues. Even then, the victor may not partially or fully resolve the core issue, which leads to further conflicts. Such was the Case of the American Civil War, as the core issues were resolved, but the ancillary issues of civil rights, bigotry, and discrimination remained unresolved until over a hundred years after the Civil War ended.

In America today, we are facing several core issues that cannot be resolved by Consensus and Compromise, as they each have core issues that must be decided in favor of one side or the other. These issues are:

    • What are the proper powers, limits, and size of the Federal Government?
    • What are the Human Rights of an unborn child?
    • What is the extent of the Civil Rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals?
    • How we eradicate the Weaponization of Government against political opponents?
    • What are the permissible limits on First and Second Amendment Rights by non-governmental entities?
    • What are the limitations on government regarding the Parental Rights of underage children?

These core issues define the character and substance of a society, which require the thoughtful consideration of all parties to resolve the core issues. Sometimes, however, the parties are so far apart in their beliefs that it cannot be resolved peacefully. At such times, one party must impose its beliefs upon the other party. It is not always the majority that gets to impose its beliefs, as a moral and just minority should prevail as it was during the American Revolution and Civil War.

Alas, we are at this point on the core issues facing America today. The only question is by which means, peaceable or belligerent, will be used to resolve the core issues, as Consensus and Compromise have failed us on these core issues.

11/10/23 An Unjust Law

Much has been said and written about the recent elections in which several States have incorporated the “Right to Abortion” in their Constitutions or laws. The political ramifications of the majority of voters accepting this right and swaying elections in favor of the Democrats that support abortion have led many commentators to suggest the Republicans drop their anti-abortion stances in order to win elections.

However, the core concern should not be about winning elections but about the morality of the “Right to Abortion”. As Martin Luther King Jr. has stated in his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ of April 16, 1963:

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I–it” relationship for an “I–thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.”

If abortion is the unjust taking of human life, as I have written in my article on "The Abortion Question", then the incorporation of the “Right to Abortion” in their Constitutions or laws is immoral and unjust, and that “an unjust law is no law at all.” In America’s past, we have had many unjust laws that have been overturned upon further consideration, and we have had slavery, which is among the most morally unjust laws possible. As abortion is also morally unjust and morally equivalent to slavery, as I have written in my article "The Analogy of Abortion and Slavery", it should not be incorporated into our Constitutions and Laws.

In the movie “Inherit the Wind”, which is about the Scopes Monkey Trial on the law against the teaching of evolution in the classroom, there is a courtroom scene in which the Defense Attorney Drummond turns to the Prosecuting Attorney Brady and says in righteous anger:

“I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy. You can only punish! And I warn you (Points first at Brady, then to various members of the audience and the Judge) that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys everyone it touches! Its upholders as well as its defilers!”

The “Right to Abortion” is a wicked law that will destroy America. In the Gospels of the Bible, Jesus says to his followers, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” What have we given of our soul in the incorporation of the “Right to Abortion” in our Constitutions or laws? Will the righting of the wrong of abortion tear us apart as the slavery laws did?

The wicked often find justification for their actions in the use of "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to vindicate their actions. But there is no justification for enacting unjust laws, and it is but a hollow victory when we do so.

Abortion Rights are not the only laws that pose the question of just and unjust laws. As I have written in my article, “The Rights of Abortion, Homosexual Marriage, Transgendered, and Assisted Suicide”, the issue of morality and just and unjust law is the core concern that must be addressed in these issues. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” As much as these laws are being formulated that uplift the rights of Abortion, Homosexual Marriage, Transgendered, and Assisted Suicide, they often do so at the expense of degrading the rights of others not covered within the scope of these laws.

Thus, we should not be addressing the political ramifications of the laws, for to do so is to put politics above morality and the institution of just laws. As such, we must act with virtue in doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong in the creation of our laws.

11/09/23 The Blade of Perseus

Victor Davis Hanson is a conservative commentator, classicist, and military historian. He is a professor emeritus of classics at California State University, a senior fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University, a fellow of Hillsdale College, and a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Hanson has written over a dozen books, which can be reviewed here, hundreds of columns in various media outlets, and he maintains a website, “The Blade of Perseus”, that has his many columns and videos. A search of YouTube also reveals hundreds of clips and interviews with him.

However, his website requires a subscription of $50 per year to have full access, but it is worth every penny to have access to his insight and wisdom on modern American society. Three recent series of short articles from his website have especially intrigued me, and I have extracted the first few paragraphs from each part of the three series. Hopefully, they will intrigue my readers to support Professor Hanson by subscribing to his website.

Woke Hits the Wall

Part One - The hard-left revolution is running out of gas. We can tell that because the inherent anti-civilizational nature of wokism is beginning to devour the very architects of its creation.

Part Two - Wokeism also sought to defund the police, end cash bail, and empty the jails. George Soros and others poured millions into electing nihilist city and state prosecutors who simply did not enforce the law and let criminals out, often just hours after committing heinous crimes.

Part Three - The entire BLM movement is now in shambles, due not just to its racist tropes, but the sheer corruption and grift of the entire enterprise of mostly middle-class black activists using the threat of riot and violence of the poor underclass as leverage to enrich themselves.

Part Four - Another tenet of woke was a veritable war on gas and oil. Note the same serial ironic theme: if Biden inherited a calm border, he had the luxury or rather the margin of error to demagogue it, destroy it, and not be swamped by illegals—for a while.

American Pravda

Part One - In communist countries, there were two levels of consciousness, two mindsets in other words. What all people mouthed publicly became the opposite of what most thought in private. When the private mind finally became all dominant, the entire system of the Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe abruptly collapsed under the weight of its own lies.

Part Two - Most believe saying the truth is not worth the cultural opprobrium that honesty earns. So, they keep quiet and, in matters of trans topics, watch female sports wrecked by the participation of biological males, females with male genitalia in their daughters’ school locker rooms, and often obscene drag shows conducted at libraries and army bases.

Part Three - There is a host of other lies that utopian progressives have constructed as orthodox “truths” in order to sabotage reality and ensure a particular code of behavior and thought.

Part Four - Call all this mere “political correctness” or “woke” nonsense. But these disconnects are in essence Maoism. They are dangerous lies that are promulgated by elites to further their own selfish agendas at the expense of the general public, who is to be shamed and ostracized as counterrevolutionaries.

The U.S. Is In Real Decline—No Kidding!

Part One: Energy - There is proverbially a lot of rot in any great nation, which accordingly can endure a lot of self-induced damage.

But has the U.S. exhausted its reserves? Britain after World War I denied that its empire was doomed and its standard of living unsustainable. The Soviet Union was in decline gradually, then abruptly by 1989 became doomed. In the fourth century AD, Rome had established a modus vivendi of incorporating non-Romans into the empire, defending its borders, and tamping down on corruption. A century later, the Western empire collapsed from internal decay and tribal invasions across the Danube and Rhine.

Part Two: Racial Relations - I say America is in serious trouble because the Left has attacked systematically all of the U.S.’s great strengths and advantages on the world stage. It apparently thinks it must dismantle the old America before it can create a “new” America, something like a European Union state, only far more radical and volatile.

Part Three: Insecurity - There are unfortunately other barometers of U.S. ossification.

America’s great strength was also its security. We were protected by two oceans and a similar English-majority speaking and constitutional state on our northern border. In the modern age, we used to insist on only legal immigration from an often corrupt and impoverished Mexico. No longer.

Corruption and lawlessness destroy civilizations. The 20th-century American ability to curb both, at least on the everyday level, explains in part the American success story. But now?

Part Four: Lawlessness and Corruption - Corruption and lawlessness destroy civilizations. The 20th-century American ability to curb both, at least on the everyday level, explains in part the American success story. But now?

Part Five. News Corruption - There is no news media as we once knew it. And without an independent media reporting the news, democracy “dies in darkness.” That Washington Post motto applies best to itself. If every story is milked for political purposes, if any unhelpful news account is censored, if the purpose of reporting is to magnify a leftist and diminish a rightist, then how do the people navigate around our Pravda conglomerate to find the truth?

11/08/23 Threats to Democracy

The biggest threat to our democracy is the people who utilize the phrase “A threat to our Democracy”. Democracy is all about a cacophony of opinions freely expressed and freely debated. The phrase “A threat to our Democracy” is often used by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders as an attempt to intimidate into silence those that disagree with them. In some cases, it is an excuse to persecute and sometimes prosecute those who disagree with them.

The true threat to democracy is the issues I have discussed in my collected Chirps on "The Decline of Free Speech in America", "Despotism in America", "The Weaponization of Government", and my Chirps on "07/28/19 Executive Orders",  and "03/08/21 Rule by Regulation and Executive Orders". Lying to Congress and the American people with no consequences when discovered is another true threat to democracy, as I have Chirped on "06/04/21 Why They Lie and Why They Get Away with Lying". Stonewalling Congressional Investigations for the purposes of political cover-ups also plays a role in the true threats to democracy. When the people in power, whether elected, appointed, or bureaucratic, have no accountability for their words or deeds, then democracy is threatened. The big lies and deplorable actions of these people in power over the last few years about the Steele Dossier, Russian Collusion, Wuhan Lab COVID-19 origination and the virus lockdowns, and the Hunter Biden Laptop directly impacted democratic elections and are a threat to democracy.

Another big lie being perpetuated that threatens democracy is Climate Change, as I have written in my collected Chirps on "Climate Change" and my science article on “Climate Change”. Prior to the Climate Change lies, we have seen other big lies, as I have written in my article "The Biggest Falsehoods in America".

In almost all cases, these big lies have come from Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists, with assistance from Big Tech, Mainstream Media, Mainstream Cultural Media, Modern Big Business, Modern Education, and Social Media. The tactics of Political Correctness, Activists and Activism, Adjective Justice, Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Conspiracy TheoryDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Doxing, Hate Speech, Identity Politics, LGBTQIA+, Modern Feminism, Racist, and Wokeness also constitute a threat to democracy.

Consequently, the true threats to our Democracy are from the false words and nefarious deeds of Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists, as I have examined in my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives". For more on the threats to our democracy, I would recommend that you watch the video “Victor Davis Hanson: Threats to Our Democracy w/ Dr. Scott Atlas”. His words of wisdom on this topic are a warning to Americans that we can ill afford to ignore.

11/07/23 The Divine Sovereign Individual

“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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --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. “
 - The Declaration of Independence

With these words, our Founding Fathers expressed an eternal truth about the Natural Rights of an individual. It is an eternal truth that the Sovereignty and the Dignity of the Individual are supreme over any other considerations and that it is divinely bestowed. Any government, organization, or person who does not recognize the divine sovereign individual is corrupt and devoid of virtue, ethics, and morality.

An individual bestows some of their divine sovereign individual rights unto a government for the purposes of a peaceful, orderly, just, and safe society and the protection of their other rights. Governments do not decide what the rights of their citizens are, nor does any organization or person have the right to violate an individual’s rights. The Constitution of the United States was formulated in an effort to establish a government that protects the rights of the divine sovereign individual while maintaining a government and society that is peaceful, orderly, just, and safe.

A prosperous society is no excuse for the abjuration of divine sovereign individual rights, as it effectively results in the subjugation or slavery of the individual. Or as it has been said in the Bible in Deuteronomy 8:3, “that man does not live on bread alone”. Nor is the redistribution of wealth or the favorable treatment of one person or a group of people over another justification for infringing upon divine sovereign individual rights. Any governmental law, rule, regulation, or social policy that infringes upon divine sovereign individual rights is, therefore, contrary to Natural Rights and consequently unjust.

Today, in America, we are seeing an assault on the divine sovereign individual rights. Thru the use of  "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language”, the American people are being bamboozled by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders into believing that they are enhancing and extending the Natural Rights of its populace. But anything that infringes upon divine sovereign individual rights is not an enhancement or extension of Natural Rights but an attempt to disaffirm the Divine Sovereign Individual.

11/06/23 The Pro-Islamic Gamesmanship - Part II

With the Islamic terrorist attacks in Israel, we have seen a rise in Anti-Semitism and Anti-Islamism in much of the world, particularly in America. This rise has also seen an increase in violence against persons and organizations of the Jewish and Islamic faiths. Such violence is never acceptable, as it never resolves the problem and often begets more violence. But as I have pointed out in my Chirp on “11/05/23 The Pro-Islamic Game - Part I”, Anti-Semitism is immoral, while Anti-Islamism is moral if it is based on critiques of Islam tenants or criticisms of immoral words and deeds of Islamists.

Alas, another game has arisen in America, where many Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders offer perfunctory criticisms and little actions against Anti-Semitism, while at the same time, they are offering vigorous words and enacting deeds against those that engage in Anti-Islamism actions. In doing so, they are demonstrating a lack of morality. A lack of morality by equating Anti-Semitism and Anti-Islamism, and a lack of morality by not vigorously condemning Anti-Semitism while at the same time they are defending immoral Islamic actions by such an equation.

Their silence in condemning the support in America of Hamas terrorism in Israel, under the guise of pro-Palestinian sentiments, is deafening. It is only understandable by political gamesmanship in not alienating a voting block within the Democrat Party. As such, they are once again demonstrating they are more concerned with votes rather than doing the right thing.

The cowardness of College and University administrators in condemning the words and deeds of their professors and students in support of Hamas is astounding and very troubling. It is troubling as Colleges and Universities are not only responsible for providing an education, but they are also responsible for molding the character and virtue of their students. In not doing so, they are creating a generation of ill-educated students who cannot discern right from wrong. A generation that will enter and lead our society without a moral code to guide them in their decision-making.

Thus, in America, we have one party, the Democrat Party, that has little concern for morality or virtue and that is driven by a lust for votes and, therefore, power. Such a party is not fit to lead a people dedicated to "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". If we continue down this road, we will lose our "American Ideals and Ideas", and descend into the chaos of mobocracy and lose the last best hope for humankind.

11/05/23 The Pro-Islamic Gamesmanship - Part I

There has been a tendency in modern America to equate Anti-Semitism with Anti-Islamism and to label Islam as a religion of peace. But this equation is improper and immoral. Anti-Semitism is based upon falsehoods about the Jewish religion, people, history, and their traditions and customs. Anti-Islamism, however, is based on truths about the practices of Islam, as I have written in my Article “The Problems with Islam”. Some of these truths are:

    • A religion in which the majority believes that criticism of the Prophet Muhammed is punishable by death.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that apostates should be put to death.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that non-believers should be eradicated or subjugated.
    • A religion of which the majority believes that non-heterosexuals should be executed.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that education should be restricted to males.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that women should be subservient to and dominated by males.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that female genital mutilation and honor killings are acceptable.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that the rule of law is subservient to religious doctrine and tenets and that fatwas supersede the due process of law.
    • A religion in which the majority believes in a theocracy with no participation by individuals.
    • A religion in which the majority believes that lying about their beliefs to non-believers is acceptable if done to advance Islamism.

While this list of the practices of Islamism is hardly inclusive, it demonstrates that Islam is a far cry from a religion of peace as well as a violator of the Natural Rights of people. While I recognize that many Muslims are attempting to reform these practices, while these practices remain, it is not possible to include Islam as a religion of peace. As a great philosopher of Jewish origins has said:

"Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."
  - Baruch Spinoza

As a majority of Islamic believers do not have a disposition for benevolence, confidence, or justice, it is immoral to equate Anti-Semitism with Anti-Islamism and, indeed, to have an Anti-Islamism bias is a moral stance. It is especially not moral to excuse or accept the violence of much of the Islamic world, and until Islam becomes understanding and tolerant of others and discards its Anti-Semitism, they should not be allowed to join the ranks of the civilized world, as they are a danger to civilization and non-Islamic peoples.

11/04/23 It’s Working Just Fine

The state of America’s urban areas has reached the level of pathetic. Education, housing, employment, crime, infrastructure, and governmental services are uneffective, decrepit, or dilapidated. Many reforms have been suggested, and a few of them have been implemented with negligible or marginal results and sometimes the reforms have produced unintended negative consequences. Reformers and Republicans criticize this state of affairs, and many are baffled as to the fruitlessness of reforms. All decry this situation and wonder why the reforms are not working.

My contention is that the urban areas are working just fine. As much of these urban areas have been under Democrat Party control for decades, I believe that if you define working just fine as the successful election and reelection of Democrats in these urban areas, then these urban areas are working just fine. It is the achievement of this goal that leads the Democrat leadership to believe that everything is working just fine in urban areas.

If your primary goal is to be elected and reelected, and you have been successful in this goal, then you have little inclination to change and much fear that a change will impact your success in this election and reelection goal. Thus, the status quo is preferable to change. This is the main reason that reforms in urban areas are marginal or ineffective. For a party to declare itself the party of change, as the Democrats often do, there is very little "Change and/or New" that they are interested in if it could disrupt their election or reelection chances. This situation is also exacerbated by the implementation of Liberal/Progressive policies, and now some Leftist policies in these Urban areas, as I have examined in my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives".

The example of New York City is illuminating. In the modern history of New York City (1974-2023), in the first twenty years, they had liberal Democrats in control (Abraham Beame, Ed Koch, and David Dinkins). This was followed by eight years of moderate/conservative Republican control (Rudy Giuliani) and twelve years of liberal Republican control (Michael Bloomberg). In the last nine years, New York City has been under Progressive Democrat control (Bill de Blasio and Eric Adams). In the first twenty years under Democrat control, the quality of life in New York City declined to the point that the people of New York City elected a Republican to reform the city. For the first eight years of Republican control, the quality of life in New York City significantly improved, while in the next twelve years of Republican control, the quality of life in New York City began to fall. In the last nine years under Democrat control, the quality of life in New York City precipitously fell to the point that New York City is almost unlivable. This is also indicative that Liberal and Progressive policies are prone to failure, while moderate to conservative policies tend to stabilize or improve the quality of life in New York City. This is true for other urban areas, as Republican control has been nonexistent or very brief, and these urban areas have been in steady decline under Democrat control and Liberal/Progressive policies.

Consequently, it can be said that Democrat control and Liberal/Progressive/Leftists policies result in the decline of the quality of life in urban areas. It can also be said that urban areas work just fine in electing and reelecting Democrats and that the only means to reform urban areas is in the election of Moderate/Conservative Republicans. Until this happens, you can expect that urban areas will continue to decline in the quality of life, and no effective reforms will be possible as urban areas are working just fine in electing and reelecting Democrats.

11/03/23 The Behavior of Bullies

With the recent election of the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson, the bullying tactics by the Democrat Party Leaders, Progressives/Leftists, and the Mainstream Media started immediately, as I have Chirped on, "09/21/21 Bullies and Brownshirts". They immediately engaged in an effort to discredit him, as I examined in my article on "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate". Is it any wonder that America is so divided when they engage in "Hyper-Partisanship" at a moment’s notice?

The Republican National Committee just put out seven principles for new House Speaker Johnson. The principles include freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and human dignity. It is a set of principles that is contrary to the principles of the Democrat Party's political goals and policy agendas. Thus, I would expect them to oppose House Speaker Johnson, but I also hope that they will do so in a civilized manner.

Alas, it is an unrealized hope, as this is not how Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists oppose those who disagree with them. They utilize the tactics of a bully attempting to impose his or her will upon another. For bullies, they have become, and bullies they will remain, until the American people turn them out of office and force them to change their tactics.

Thus, it is the American electorate that bears the ultimate responsibility for the hyper-partisanship in modern America. By electing and reelecting the Democrats that engage in these tactics, the American people are giving tacit approval for these tactics. Regrettably, I expect this bullying and hyper-partisanship to continue, as I have not seen any attempts by Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists to temper their bullying behavior. Alas, this bullying behavior further increases hyper-partisanship and also stokes fear between groups of Americans, all of which is much to the detriment of American society.

11/02/23 Two Sides of the Same Coin

The ability of the Democrat Party leaders to see Russian Collusion with President Trump where none existed is one side of the coin. The ability of the Democrat Party leaders to not see the influence peddling of President Biden and his family, as it has been revealed, is the other side of the coin. It is the coin of hyper-partisanship in that Republicans are always in the wrong, while Democrats can do no wrong. It is a coin flip of heads and the Democrats win, while on tails the Republicans lose. As such, it is a coin flip in which the American people always lose.

To not recognize wrong when it occurs on your side and to presume wrong on the other side bespeaks to a moral failure. The moral failure of not recognizing what is rightful and what is wrongful, no matter which side is rightful or wrongful. Such people who do so do not deserve to be in a position of leadership or authority, for such people cannot make a decision based on moral grounds, no matter where the chips may fall. It is, therefore, the coin of immorality.

Such moral failure is predominant amongst Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists, as they believe that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior, they are, of course, always correct and good. As such, they view Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders as not just being wrong and stupid but that they are bad or evil persons. It is also a sign of their lust for power and lack of virtue, as they will think and speak immorally if they believe it will further the election and reelection of Democrats. This lust for power and lack of virtue also leads them to select and retain appointed or bureaucratic officials that will support them regardless of the person’s wrongful conduct.

This lust for power and lack of virtue is also seen in their political goals and policy agendas, as they will make decisions based on electoral advantage rather than morality and virtue. When doing so, they will often utilize the tactics of "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to justify their positions. However, immoral policies and agendas have no moral justification, and the utilization of these tactics is also a sign of immorality.  

The "Mainstream Media", "Mainstream Cultural Media", "Social Media", "Big Tech",  "Modern Big Business", and "Modern Education" also bear a large responsibility for this state of affairs, as their predilection is to support Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists regardless of their immoral conduct, decisions, and tactics.

Thus, when Democrats are in a position of authority, we see immorality in their conduct and decisions, as they have little fear of losing their reelection or appointments from their immoral conduct.

11/01/23 Abortion, Transgenderism, Same-Sex Marriage, and Assisted Suicide

In my article, “The Rights of Abortion, Homosexual Marriage, Transgendered, and Assisted Suicide”, I examine these rights and their dichotomy between individual and societal rights. As these topics are deep and nuanced, they deserve to be considered in depth. This month’s Book It selections are about these four topics that provide the depth and nuance to fully understand these topics. While I have mentioned these books in my article, I believe that they are deserving of a Book It recommendation as these books are an intellectual, philosophical, and reasoned discourse on these topics. For those who are interested in a dispassionate analysis of these topics, I would highly recommend these books. These books will inform you on what you need to know, not what you want to hear, a practice that I have endeavored to keep all my adult life.

10/31/23 Are the Intelligentsia Intelligent?

The Intelligentsia (the educated and intellectual elite) have forgotten the intelligence aspect of the meaning of Intelligentsia and have instead focused on the education aspect of the meaning. In doing so, they have focused on information and understanding while not fully applying intelligence and not recognizing the importance of experience and wisdom, as I have written in my article "Knowledgeable – From Information to Wisdom". As illustrated in the following diagram from my article, the Intelligentsia gathers a large amount of knowledge and understanding on topics but only organizes it intelligently to fit their biases and without recognizing the gaps in their information and understanding. It is also rare that an Intelligentsia person has real-world experience that allows them to derive wisdom.

This is often the result of the failures of modern "Public Education" and “College and University Education”. It is further exacerbated by a sense of self-importance and infallibility that permeates most of the Intelligentsia. Coupled with a sense of self-righteousness, the Intelligentsia believe that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior, they are, of course, always correct and good. Anyone who disagrees with them is viewed as not just being wrong and stupid but that they are bad or evil people.

Thus, anything that an Intelligentsia person has to say should be viewed with skepticism, as an Intelligentsia person has often become an ignoramus person.

10/30/23 A Life of Illusions

The great playwright Eugene O'Neill once said, “A life without Illusions is unpardonable and a life with Illusions is unbearable.” It is most common for a person to begin their adult life with illusions, but as they experience life, they often shed many illusions. Or, as King Oscar II of Sweden has said, "A man who has not been a socialist before 25 has no heart. If he remains one after 25 he has no head." I disagree with O'Neill that their lives are unbearable or unpardonable. Life is a burden, but it is a burden that most people learn to deal with, while others wallow in victimhood and shift blame to anyone other than themselves. As for being unpardonable, many people can forgive themselves if they believe that their intentions were not malicious. I agree with King Oscar II that youth is intoxicating with optimism while getting older sobers us into reality.

In my life, I have observed that most conservative people tend to live life without illusions, and I believe that most Progressive/Leftists tend to live a life of illusion, while moderate persons live a life of both. I have also observed that a person with illusions often has difficulty understanding those people who do not conform to their illusions about life, while a person without illusions cannot understand why others are not realistic. Thus, the divisiveness in America often is between those who live a life of illusionistic optimism and those who live a life of non-illusion realism.

Many of the Progressive/Leftists illusions are of human nature and the economic forces that drive human nature, while the realism of Conservatism often mitigates optimism and can often lead to cynicism. It is also an unfortunate fact that in today’s world, attending a college or university delays experiencing reality and reinforces illusions. A reinforcement that can linger for several years after graduation and sometimes for their entire life. It is most often the bitter experience of the real world that morphs someone from a life of optimistic illusions to a life of realism. But it is also true that this bitter experience of life can lead you on a path of wisdom. As I have often said, "True Wisdom Most Often Comes from Bitter Experience... Considered!" but you must consider the bitter experience realistically and without excuses for your own culpability in the bitter experience. Otherwise, you will reach the wrong conclusion as to the reasons for the bitter experience, and you will not be able to make better choices in the future to avoid bitter experiences. You should also remember that:

"Shit happens. Sometimes you shit on yourself, sometimes others shit on you,
and other times shit just happens.
It doesn't matter how shit happens, it only matters how you deal with the shit.
You can either clean yourself up and smell the roses,
Or you can wallow in the shit and everything stinks.
And remember; It's just as important to learn from the shit,
as it is to clean yourself up from the shit!"
  - Mark Dawson 

As I have examined my life, I have determined that I began my life with illusions but have learned to live a life without illusions. I, therefore, have experienced both the unbearable and unpardonable in my life. I also have had many bitter experiences, and all the types of shit have happened to me. But I have learned from the bitter experiences and the shit, and I have had a better life from living a life of consideration and realism.

10/29/23 Living a Life of Lies

It is an unfortunate fact that in the 20th and 21st centuries, a large percentage of many counties’ populace were and are living a life of lies. From Communism, Socialism, Nazism, Fascism, Dictatorships, and a whole host of oppressive governments, their populace has been told lies, and they must repeat these lies or face frightful repercussions from their governments. Nowadays, the rise and dominance of Progressivism is repeating this scenario in countries that are supposedly free.

In America, this life of lies is being fostered by Democrat Party Leaders, Progressives/Leftists, Big Tech, Mainstream Media, Mainstream Cultural Media, Modern Big Business, Modern Education, and Social Media. Our "American Ideals and Ideas" of "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" are under attack by the tactics of Political Correctness, Activists and Activism, Adjective Justice, Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Doxing, Hate Speech, Identity Politics, LGBTQIA+, Modern Feminism, Racist, Wokeness, Hyper-Partisanship, Equity and Equality, the Greater Good versus the Common Good, Social Engineering, and a Herd Mentality common in today's American society. These tactics are to reinforce the lies being told and to instill fear into anyone who would challenge these lies. These lies started with "The Biggest Falsehoods in America" but have expanded to include, but are not limited to, the following lies:

As Victor Davis Hanson has said, despite the claims of government officials to the contrary that “. . . most Americans saw January 6 for what it was—a buffoonish protest that for some devolved into a spontaneous riot and felonious behavior that desecrated chambers in the Capitol. But the public did not see evidence of a planned armed “insurrection” or “rebellion” or “conspiracy” to “overthrow the government”.

Most Americans had concluded that the Wuhan virology lab was the source of the COVID-19 virus and that the quarantines and lockdowns ruined the economy and had negative social repercussions. Most Americans became suspicious that the COVID-19 vaccines were not nearly as effective as touted by the government and that there were negative reactions to these vaccines for many persons. All this despite the contrary claims by government officials and the Mainstream Media.

Most Americans are furious that the border has ceased to exist while the government claims that the border is secure and that these illegal immigrants pose no danger to Americans despite government assurances to the contrary.

Most Americans believe that crime in the street is being fostered by Progressive law enforcement that is more concerned about the criminal rather than the victim and that it is not racist to believe otherwise.

Most Americans know that Transgenderism is not a major concern and that transgender counseling, hormone therapy, and surgery for minors is wrong without parental permission. They also know that thrusting transgenderism into public arenas such as schools, libraries, and the restrooms and locker rooms of children is harmful to the non-transgendered child and should not be allowed. They also know that transgender males competing in female sports events give the transgendered male an unfair advantage, and that is unfair to the female athletes competing for prizes and scholarships.

Most Americans, upon a cursory examination of the facts, knew that Hunter Biden’s laptop was his and not Russian disinformation and that it revealed the corruption of the Biden family, despite the claims that it revealed no criminality or unethical conduct by Joe Biden and his family.

Most Americans believe that the FBI, DOJ, DHS, IRS, and intelligence agencies have been corrupted and that the DOD is following in their path.

And now, most Americans believe that the "The Weaponization of Government" is occurring and that "Lawfare" is being practiced against those that opposed the Progressive political agenda and policy goals.

Alas, most Americans are afraid to publicly speak up about their beliefs for fear of negative repercussions to themselves, their families, or their career and/or their employment. This fear is thus leading most Americans to live a life of lies. But as Victor Davis Hanson has also pointed out, those governments that practice and allow for lies eventually collapse upon themselves, as the people often rebel against these lies. Let us hope that America can dig itself out of these lies before it collapses or rebels against a government of lies.

10/28/23 Speaking Truth to Power

Speaking Truth to Power used to be a badge of courage when confronting the orthodoxy of the political, economic, and social forces in America. Nowadays, it has become a mark of shame to do so. This major change was wrought by those who have become the powerful. In the past, it was the Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders powers that were being challenged. Today, it is the Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders powers that are being challenged.

And woe be to those who have a change of heart and head to speak the truth to the powers of the Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders. Those who have changed their opinions to the center or to the right of the Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders are instantly subject to vitriol, and the tactics of Cancel Culture, Doxing, Wokeness, and possible Lawfare, as well as the allegations of Conspiracy Theory, Hate Speech, Racist, LGBTQIA+ phobia, and Hyper-Partisanship fury.

One of those who has had a change of heart and head is Michael Shellenberger. He has written two books that speak truth to power that the Progressives/Leftists have employed vitriolic comments, and he has been subject to the tactics stated above. These books, “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All” and “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities”, have engendered the wrath of Progressives/Leftists as they have spoken truth to power.

Michael Shellenberger is the founder and president of Environmental Progress (EP), which was founded in 2016 with the mission of achieving nature, peace, and prosperity for all. They believe everyone has a right to affordable energy, a healthy planet, and urban environments that enable citizens to thrive. Their strategy has been to organize grassroots movements to defend these rights and to fund research into why they are threatened.

He also has many videos posted on YouTube, with “Michael Shellenberger's Guide to Escaping the Woke Matrix” being particularly apropos of speaking truth to power. I would recommend his website and the two books previously mentioned as a starting point for understanding the truths as opposed to the orthodoxies of the current powers.

10/27/23 How Pathetic

The satirical site Babylon Bee has an excellent record of capturing the inanity of Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders. Some of their recent headlines about the Hamas attack in Israel are pathetic in their pointiness:

    • Emperor Hirohito Calls For Ceasefire After Bombing Of Pearl Harbor
    • Harvard Student Leaves Lecture On Microaggressions To Attend ‘Kill The Jews’ Rally
    • Islam Downgraded To Religion Of Mostly Peace
    • State Department Issues Stern Warning To Hamas Not To Misgender American Hostages
    • White House Claims $6 Billion To Iran Absolutely Not Related To The Exactly $6 Billion Worth Of Rockets Being Fired Into Israel
    • White House Issues Condemnation Of Attack Biden Funded
    • Biden Offers The Palestinians $100 Million In Exchange For None Of The Hostages

In fact, much of what the Babylon Bee has satirized has turned out to be prophetic, so much so that they have a webpage, Book of Prophecy, that catalogs their prophecies. I often visit the Babylon Bee website to get a good laugh at the inanities of Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders and to maintain my sanity, as I have written in my Chirp on “10/25/23 That of Laughter”. I would suggest to all my readers that they make this website a frequent source of information along with the other websites I have mentioned in my Chirp on “10/26/23 Where Do I Get My News From?”.

10/26/23 Where Do I Get My News and Opinions From?

It is an unfortunate fact that Modern Journalism has descended into Progressive predilections and Democrat Party bias, as I have written in my article on Modern Journalism. While my own predilections are of Constitutional Conservatism with a hint of Libertarianism, I do attempt to read contrary viewpoints if they are knowledgeable and intelligent and presented with "Rationality" and "Reasoning" that utilizes a "A Philosophical Approach". However, I do have regular sources of news and opinions that I check on a daily basis. These news sources are:

National Review

The Epoch Times

The New York Sun

The Washington Times

Townhall.com

As for opinion pieces, I believe that the following columnists have intelligent, reasonable, and cogent opinions, and I read their articles whenever a new column appears from them:

Allan Dershowitz

Andrew C. McCarthy

Dennis Prager

Jonathan Turley

Rob Natelson

Victor Davis Hanson

Finally, when it comes to wisdom about human nature, I regularly view the YouTube videos of Jordon B. Peterson.

While I do not always agree with this news reporting or the viewpoints of these columnists, I do find that they are thought-provoking and deserving of consideration.

10/25/23 That of Laughter

As I have often mentioned Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders are wont to utilize "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to bolster their arguments for their political goals and policy agendas. A careful analysis of their arguments reveals a lack of proper facts and proper truths along with incorrect "Reasoning" and "Rationality". Some of their arguments are so outlandish that it is exceedingly difficult to respond to their assertions in an intellectual manner. When reviewing their arguments, I often find myself responding in the manner of the following quote:

" I think we ought to exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers- that of laughter."
  - Charles L. Black (American Scholar)

But it is laughter to relieve the anguish of remorse that these arguments hold any weight with the American people. I also do so by remembering the aphorism that “Tis better to laugh than to cry.”, for if I didn’t laugh, I would find myself constantly crying for America. I also remember that in responding to these arguments, it is best to apply Hitchens's philosophical razor: "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." and that their assertions should be challenged by insisting that they prove their assertions, for:

"The Burden of Proof always rests with the person who makes an assertion. To not do so is to ask the other person to prove a negative - which is impossible."
  - Mark Dawson

Otherwise, their incoherent arguments will continue to plague America to the detriment of the American people.

10/24/23 It’s a Conspiracy Theory

A new term has arisen amongst Democrat Party Leaders, Progressives/Leftists, and the Mainstream Media—“Conspiracy Theory”. It has no formal definition, but it is being applied to anybody who disputes the Progressive political narrative, Mainstream Media accounts, or government assertions. Therefore, it is just a dismissive means of labeling dissenters and questioners as kooky. The word conspiracy also has a dark undertone connotating some nefarious, harmful, or illegal purpose to their words or deeds. It is also being used to ignore the allegations of those labeled as Conspiracy Theorists. However, it should be remembered that allegations with veracity are not a “Conspiracy Theory” but are simply unproven allegations. And allegations with veracity need to be investigated to determine the facts and truths.

In the past, the term bogeyman was used as an imaginary monster used to frighten children. Today, we are using the term Conspiracy Theorists to frighten adults for the purpose of psychologically intimidating them into not examining the allegations and evidence. In doing so, the labelers are also attempting to suppress the free speech of dissenters and questioners by relegating their free speech to a black hole where it will not be examined. As such, we should all remember the words of wisdom of our first President:

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
 - George Washington

This dumbing and silencing of dissenters and questioners is the goal of those who label them Conspiracy Theorists.

It was not too long ago when persons who raised the allegation that the Wuhan virology lab was the source of the COVID-19 virus were labeled as Conspiracy Theorists. The same is true for those who raised concerns that the COVID-19 virus vaccines may not be as effective as promoted or possibly harmful to many people.

We also had allegations of irregularities in the 2020 Presidential election that raised concerns as to the fairness and outcome of the election. Without any proper investigation of these irregularities, the people concerned about possible voter fraud were labeled as Conspiracy Theorists.

Since the beginning of the Biden Administration, we have seen a sharp rise in the usage of the term Conspiracy Theorists. Almost anyone who questions the motives or goals of the Biden Administration has been labeled as a Conspiracy Theorist.

This time-worn tactic of labeling those in opposition to government words and deeds for the purpose of marginalizing then ostracizing them from society has often been the first step into despotism, then dictatorialness. A step that, if successful, often leads to terrible consequences, as we have seen in the 20th and 21st centuries pogroms, concentration and work camps, gulags, and massacres of those that oppose a government.

10/23/23 Avarice Not Empathy

In an article by Jonathan Turley, “The Biden Family Tree: How Investigations are Exposing the Bidens’ Influence-Peddling Dynasty”, he examines “. . . the exposure of the Biden family and its long-standing business of influence peddling. Newly released evidence from the House Committee on Ways and Means reveals over $20 million coming from 23 separate countries on four continents to at least nine Biden family members. Not only are the Biden transfers becoming clear, so is the Biden family tree in this lucrative form of corruption.

Professor Turley points out that “There is a sharp disconnect between the public persona long maintained by the press and what is becoming more apparent to the public now.” Joe Biden has long portrayed himself as a common person and a man of the people who is empathetic to the concerns of the people. As Professor Turley also points out, “That is not the image that emerges from the growing evidence about Biden and his family. The Bidens are suffering from legal exposure in actions concerning everything from withholding child support to peddling influence to federal felonies.” and that “. . . it is not empathy but avarice that defines the Bidens.”

It has thus been revealed that Joe Biden and his family are bad actors on the American stage of politics. They are what most Americans despise about politicians—self-centeredness composed of deceptions, corruption, and power hunger. It is time for Joe Biden and his family to exit stage-left from the American stage and face the legal repercussions of their avarice.

10/22/23 Learning History

It is an unfortunate fact that much of people’s knowledge of history comes from movies and television. While movies and television about history are often entertaining, they are just as often not historically accurate nor comprehensive. Even television documentaries about history contain inaccuracies, and they are definitely not comprehensive. There is also the question of the comprehensiveness of the historical knowledge of the people involved in the production. This is because the producers, writers, directors, and even the actors need to be entertaining and often have a viewpoint that they wish to express, and they are willing to fit the facts into the story. Even the historians that they utilize in the production of their movies, television, and documentaries have viewpoints, and sometimes biases, that they incorporate into the production. However, we should all remember:

“You should not learn your history from movies and television, but you should be inspired to learn history from movies and television.”
 - Mark Dawson

Many times, I have viewed historical movies, television, and documentaries and have become inspired to learn more about the history that they depicted. I will often do an Amazon search for books on the topic and carefully review the Publisher's Synopsis and Editorial Reviews of the books that have piqued my interest. I also scan the user reviews of the book but do not place much credence on these reviews, as I have no way of discerning if the review is by a village-wise or a village idiot person or someone who has an axe to grind. If I am interested in a book, I will do a library search to see if I can borrow the book from my local library. If it is not available from my library, and I desire to read the book, I will purchase a copy for my personal library. In some cases, if the author or reviewer is someone with whom I am familiar and whom I think highly of, I may purchase the book. After I have read a library book and have determined that it is of high quality that I may want to refer to in the future, I will purchase a copy of the book for inclusion in my personal library.

This has led me to have hundreds of books in my personal library that I often refer to when writing my Chirps and Articles. These books are not only about historical topics but span science and engineering, computer technology, mathematics, economics, politics, music, fine arts (while my wife has many books of English literature and fine arts), and a sundry of other topics.

I must confess, however, that I have not read all the books that I have purchased. I would guesstimate that I have read about 75% of the books in my personal library, while 20% are books that I have purchased for reference purposes, and the remaining 5% are books that I will hopefully read before I pass away. I have also discarded dozens of books that I have purchased and read as unworthy of being retained in my personal library.

Thus, I believe that I have a broad spectrum of knowledge, but while my depth of knowledge is limited to computer technology, I believe that I have a sufficient depth of knowledge to comment on the topics that I have written about in my Chirps and Articles. For more of the books that I deem worthy of your own reading, I would direct you to my Book It webpage.

10/21/23 Historical Knowledge and Historical Mythology

Most people’s historical knowledge is limited to events that occurred during their lifetime and occasionally a few decades before their birth. This knowledge is often incomplete or erroneous, as they do not have sufficient knowledge or proper facts and proper reasoning to understand historical events. What they have is beliefs based upon what they have seen or heard from others, and often, they only pay attention to others who confirm their beliefs. Many times, their historical understanding is of memories that are prone to inaccuracies or contorted to fit their beliefs. This unconscious process is what I describe as Historical Mythology rather than Historical Knowledge.

This unconscious process has been illuminated for me by my interest and extensive readings on American history and by what others have written or said about American history, as well as my conversations on history with others. This dearth of accurate historical knowledge is self-obvious to those who have extensive historical knowledge. The other issue is that even those who have some historical knowledge often do not examine historical knowledge contrary to their beliefs. Thus, their historical knowledge is incomplete or inaccurate.

This lack of historical knowledge allows unknowledgeable or unscrupulous politicians to manipulate the public for political purposes. Examples of this include a lack of knowledge of the history and meaning of the three-fifths clause of the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation. If the public had the proper historical knowledge of these events, they might have a different attitude about American history and a different outlook on the racial divisiveness in America than what is propagated by unknowledgeable or unscrupulous politicians. This is usually true for many great historical events in American history, and this lack of historical knowledge leads to the repetition of mistakes, as I have written in my Chirp on “Condemned to Repeat It”. This is also a condemnation of the public education system failures in modern America, as I have written in my article “Indoctrination versus Education”.

Alas, in modern America, we live in a society of historical mythology rather than historical knowledge. This historical mythology allows for social policy to be determined not by historical knowledge but by the passions of historical mythology that are without foundation. This also is a factor in the breakdown of "A Civil Society" in America, as civility requires "Rationality" and "Reasoning" based on knowledge founded on proper facts and proper truths, as I have Chirped on "08/11/23 Proper Reasoning".

10/20/23 A More Dangerous World

In foreign affairs, the modern Democrat Party has been all about giving peace a chance and depending upon the goodwill of those intent upon harming America and others that they oppose, most especially in the Middle Eastern countries of the world. Jimmy Carter’s debacle in Iran started a downward slide by the Democrats regarding dealing with terrorism. Terrorism increased during the Clinton Administration, and while the 9/11 attacks occurred nine months after Bush took office, they were planned and practiced during the Clinton Administration. During the Obama Administration, America has endured seven major Islamic terrorist attacks on its soil on Obama's watch, as well as the Arab Spring uprisings, a political crisis in Egypt, the collapse of Libya into a Civil War, and Syria’s bloody civil war. The Biden Administration has seen more aggression from Russia and China, while Iran and North Korea have become more threatening. The haphazardness of the Afghanistan withdrawal by the Biden Administration once again turned Afghanistan into a hostile country engaged in terrorism.

During Republican Administrations in this same time period, the incidents of world instability and terrorism subsided to manageable levels that did not threaten world peace. Thus, it can be said that Democrat administrations engender more instability in world affairs, while Republican administrations bring more stability to the world.

The main reason for this difference is that the Democrat leadership often sees the world for what they want it to be, while the Republican leadership sees the world as it is. The propensity of Democrat leaders to believe that goodwill will be matched by goodwill demonstrates their unwillingness to believe that self-interest, economics, passions, and a lust for power and influence of human nature is often the prime consideration motivating the decisions of other parties. Thus, they miscalculate the intentions of others by assuming the best in others.

Consequently, whenever Democrats assume control over foreign affairs, the world becomes a more dangerous place. This, alone, is a sufficient reason for the American electorate to be wary of voting for a Democrat presidential candidate. Until the Democrat Party leadership wakes up and smells the coffee, the world will be a more dangerous place with them in control.

10/19/23 Moral Equivalence

In an article by Dennis Prager, “Moral Equivalence Means Either Moral Confusion or Hatred of Israel”, he examines the use of moral equivalence by the defenders of the Hamas evildoers. The opening sentence of this article has pertinence to all users of moral equivalency:

"Moral equivalence has two purposes. One is to enable the morally confused to hide their confusion. The other is to enable the immoral to hide their immorality."
 - Dennis Prager

Thus, it is so for almost all users of moral equivalency when contrasting the wrongdoing of both sides of any issue. To properly utilize the moral equivalency argument requires that you have a weighted scale of moral wrongdoing and apply this balance in your arguments. Without this weighted scale, moral equivalency equates the morally insignificant with the morally grave. This leads to an overreaction to the morally insignificant and underreaction to the morally grave.

Alas, this moral equivalency in modern America is predominant and often paralyzes the proper response to morally grave events, and thus, we do not take the proper and effective response to morally grave events. Calls for reasonable and proportionate reactions to morally grave events are not effective in stopping these morally grave events and, indeed, encourage future morally grave events. The reasonable response to morally grave events is that which is necessary to punish these morally grave actions, and the proportionate response to morally grave events is that which is necessary to deter any future morally grave actions. Consequently, for morally grave events, we need to take the necessary actions, and not a reasonable and proportionate response, to punish and deter morally grave events.

10/18/23 Unadulterated Evil

As President Biden has stated, the Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel are “unadulterated evil”. My righteous anger at the events of Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel has delayed my response to this event. This anger leads me to believe that the people who planned and carried out these evil attacks need to be eliminated as both retribution and deterrence from future evil acts. This anger is also directed at the people who supported these evil attacks, either by their silence or vocal support, and they need to be driven from our midst and consigned to wander a desolate wilderness (literally for those in the Middle East and figuratively for their supporters around the world). However, the return of my rational and reasonable thought has given me pause to determine the best course of action to undertake in a manner that confronts evil without trampling on the Natural Rights of others.

However, these attacks were an act of war, and in war, it is often not possible to preserve the Natural Rights of all in confronting evil. The only question is what the response to such unadulterated evil should be. The Biden response is pathetic, as it does not actively confront the evildoers nor their supporters. Consequently, all humanitarian peoples and governments must proceed as if we are at war with these evildoers and temper our concerns for Natural Rights to eliminate these evildoers.

As these attacks were planned and funded by Iran, the rulership in Iran must be destroyed and replaced by a humanitarian government. All members of Hamas (and Hezbollah) need to be executed for their crimes against humanity. As some of the people of Palestine had to know something was about to occur, and they did not even clandestinely inform Israeli authorities of such, they should be relocated away from Israel for the security of Israel and its people. In doing so, we should remember the words of the Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's Letter to Atlanta in our reasoning for doing so, as well as some other of his wisdom on war:

"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster."
 - William Tecumseh Sherman

"We can make war so terrible and make them so sick of war that generations pass away before they again appeal to it."
 - William Tecumseh Sherman

"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."
 - William Tecumseh Sherman

As for the vocal supporters of these evil acts, they should be branded as enablers and be shunned by all decent law-abiding and peaceful persons. They have the freedom of speech to articulate their opinions, but decent people have the freedom of speech to condemn these enablers and the freedom to not associate with these enablers. Any group or organization that enables these evildoers should in no way receive any government funding, nor should any elected or appointed official that enables these evildoers be permitted to retain their office.

“Never Again” should mean never again, and we should wage war against these evildoers and censure their enables to ensure that it will never happen again. For those who are fearful of the possible terrible consequences that may be incurred from taking these actions, or those who believe that this evil has no direct consequences on America, I would remind them of the following words of warning:

"First, they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me."
- Martin Niemöller

10/17/23 Out of Their Senses

In their infinite wisdom, the Continental Congress sent John Adams over to France to assist Benjamin Franklin with his diplomacy in obtaining French assistance and an alliance with France for them to engage in a war with Britain. They did this because they had heard of the unorthodox diplomacy of Franklin, and they were impatient with the pace of diplomacy. This did not turn out well, as the King of France, the French Aristocracy, and French society did not care for Adam’s or his style of diplomacy. After a short time in France, Adam’s was reassigned to Holland to obtain their assistance (which also did not work out well for other reasons).

Upon reflection, Franklin wrote:

“I am persuaded however that he [John Adams] means well for his Country, is always an honest Man, often a Wise One, but sometimes and in some things, absolutely out of his Senses.”
  - Benjamin Franklin

I feel the same as Franklin on Adams when I consider the words and deeds of Global Climate Change activists. I believe that they are honest and sincere in their beliefs and mean well, but in most things, they are out of their senses. Out of their senses as they often do not utilize proper facts and proper reasoning, do not account for the economics of their solutions, and often depend on a change in human nature to obtain their goals. They operate in a blind faith mode in their dedication to their objectives, and they brook no dissent in their ranks or contrary viewpoints outside their ranks. This is also occurring within the ranks of Climate Change scientists, as:

“To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change. However understandable this instinct may be, it distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public, and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”
 - Patrick T. Brown, Climate Change Scientist

Consequently, it is dogma that drives Climate Change activists rather than provable facts. As such, they are not rational, and they behave vindictively to those that disagree with them. Thus, they are out of their senses, and rational and reasonable people should pay no heed to senseless people.

10/16/23 We Are Past That Point

There has never been any large-scale technological development that has been without risks. Economic, Political, Social, and Engineering risks are inherent in major technological developments, especially in their gestation and early life. So, it has been for Nuclear Power Generation. As Nuclear Power Generation was born out of the development of the atomic bomb, there were fears among the general public that a Nuclear Power plant could blow up (impossible for the reactor but possible for the surrounding container and building) or the nuclear reactor could melt down (which is possible but unlikely with proper safety engineering). There were also concerns about the safety of spent nuclear fuel disposal. People were also concerned about the possible increased exposure to radioactivity from the use of Nuclear Power Generation. Consequently, Nuclear Power Generation became untenable to the American public.

Just as Hydroelectric and Fossil Fuel electrical generation plants have had accidents and disasters, there have been accidents, but only one disaster, with Nuclear Power Generation. The Three Mile Island Accident was an engineering flaw that began with failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, followed by a flaw in the primary system that allowed large amounts of water to escape from the pressurized isolated coolant loop. The mechanical failures were compounded by the initial failure of plant operators to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA). The Fukushima nuclear accident was because of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which resulted in electrical grid failure and damaged nearly all of the power plant's backup energy sources. The subsequent inability to sufficiently cool reactors after shutdown compromised containment and resulted in the release of radioactive contaminants into the surrounding environment. The Chernobyl disaster was caused by a mediocre nuclear reactor design, defective safety engineering, and poor emergency responses as a result of the Soviet Union’s haste to achieve Nuclear Power Generation at a low cost. We are also beginning to see the ecological impacts of Wind and Solar electrical power in their mining, manufacturing, and end-of-life disposal, as well as the harm to wildlife in their operation.

However, most of the design and safety engineering, as well as the emergency responses, have been improved to the point that these fears are unjustifiable and, thus, we are past that point where we should reflexively reject Nuclear Power Generation. It is time to rethink using Nuclear Power Generation properly, assess the risks, and determine the cost/benefits of utilizing Nuclear Power Generation.

For those who are willing to consider using Nuclear Power Generation, I would direct you to a TEDxBerlin video by Michael Shellenberger, “Why I changed my mind about nuclear power”, that examines this issue. For those who continue to reject Nuclear Power Generation, I would ask you to think about the negative risks and consequences of using other electrical generation technologies (which are many), and I would suggest that you view the same video to obtain the facts and truths about Nuclear Power Generation before making up your mind. I would also ask you to remember some prescient words of wisdom:

“If we’re going to tackle Global Warming, Nuclear is the only way you can create massive amounts of power.”
 - Sting, Dec 2016

I would also ask all to remember that:

"The best way to overcome irrational fear is with proper facts and proper reasoning."
 - Mark Dawson

10/15/23 Rational and Reasonable Contrariness on Climate Change

Most Global Climate Change activists like to claim that there is a scientific consensus on climate change and that the science is settled. As I have written in my article on Scientific Consensus and Settled Science, no science is settled, as new scientific thought often replaces old scientific thought. Also, scientific consensus is often wrong as new observations and experiments contradict the consensus. Thus, “consensus science” is an oxymoron, as the following quote succinctly points out:

“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
 - Michael Crichton

Those that disagree with the consensus or settledness of Global Climate Change science are often labeled as “Science Deniers”. As I have written in my Chirp on "08/03/23 Climate Science Denial", Climate Science Denial is not a denial of science if the denials are based on scientific reasoning. Climate Science Deniers do not deny science, but the scientific consensus and settledness of Climate Change advocates and the scientists that support these activists. Three leading scientists and two knowledgeable and intelligent person on climate science have spoken of their doubts about the consensus and settledness of Climate Change science in the following videos:

Dr. Steven Koonin Questions Conventional Climate Science and Methodology

Dr. Richard Lindzen on Climate Alarmism

Dr. Judith Curry: "Relax, there is no climate emergency!"

Bjorn Lomborg - Is there a Climate Crisis?

Michael Shellenberger: Climate Change Is Real, But It's Not the End of the World

It would behoove all to view these videos before they reach a conclusion on the consensus or settledness of Global Climate Change science. To not do so is to have forgotten the adage:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
- Alexander Pope - An Essay on Criticism 

10/14/23 The Economics of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels

In a NY Post article by Jonathan Lesser, “Why wind and solar power are running out of juice”, he points out that:

Wind turbine manufacturers like Siemens and General Electric have reported huge losses for the first half of this year, almost $5 billion for the former and $1 billion for the latter.
Among other problems, turbine quality control has suffered, forcing manufacturers such as Siemens and Vestas to incur costly warranty repairs.
In Europe, offshore wind output has been less than promised, while operating costs have been much higher than advertised.
Offshore wind developers in Europe and the US are canceling projects because of higher materials and construction costs.

Other reports have pointed out the economic and ecological impacts of Wind turbine failures that sow debris under the fields on which they stand and decimate birds of prey and the hefty costs of disposal and recycling when a wind turbine reaches its end of life. These economic and ecological impacts also hold true for Solar panels, but as they are a newer technology, the economic and ecological impacts are not yet fully known.

It is also true that Wind turbines and Solar panels are heavily dependent on government subsidies and tax credits, which camouflage the economics of these technologies. These government subsidies and tax credits are also a cost-shifting from the companies to the taxpayers that shift the economic risks of these technologies onto the public. Alas, this may make for good politics, but it is not good economics. It is not the function of government to provide subsidies and tax credits to companies or individuals, as it puts them in the position of choosing winners and losers, which a government is ill-suited to accomplish. It also allows politicians to reward and enrich political friends while encumbering political opponents, all at taxpayers’ expense.

Thus, in all economic forecasts and projections of Wind turbines and Solar panels, the costs/benefits are skewered and should not be accepted as reality.

10/13/23 Climate Regulations Based on a ‘Hoax’

Two prominent climate scientists, physicist Dr. William Happer, professor emeritus in physics at Princeton University, and meteorologist Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus of atmospheric science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), submitted a response for comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new rules to cut CO2 emissions in electricity generation. In this response, they argue that the regulations will have “disastrous consequences for the poor, people worldwide, future generations, and the United States if fossil fuels and CO2 emissions are reduced to ‘Net Zero’”.

As Dr. Happer and Dr. Lindzen have also stated, “The unscientific method of analysis, relying on consensus, peer review, government opinion, models that do not work, cherry-picking data and omitting voluminous contradictory data, is commonly employed in these studies and by the EPA in the Proposed Rule.” and “None of the studies provides scientific knowledge, and thus none provides any scientific support for the Proposed Rule.

They also noted that Professor Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate in Physics, incisively explained the scientific method:

“[W]e compare the result of [a theory’s] computation to nature, ... compare it directly with observations, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.”

Thus, the scientific method is very simple and very profound: Does theory work with observations? If not, it is rejected and not used. Since theories are tested with observations, fabricating data, falsifying data, and omitting contradictory facts to make a theory work is an egregious violation of the scientific method.

Richard Feynman stated this fundamental principle of the scientific method:

“If you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid – not only what you think is right about it.... Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.”

In Albert Einstein’s words: “The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.

Dr. Happer and Dr. Lindzen commented that the EPA has grossly overstated the harm from CO2 emissions while ignoring the benefits of CO2 to life on Earth, as well as commenting on the Unscientific Method Commonly Used by the EPA and Studies. The entire response of Dr. Happer and Dr. Lindzen can be downloaded here, and I would encourage all to read this response.

Additionally, Dr. John F. Clauser, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum mechanics, has decided to sign the World Climate Declaration of Clintel with its central message, “there is no climate emergency”. Dr. Clauser is the second Nobel Laureate to sign the declaration, with the first being Dr. Ivar Giaever, winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on Solid-state physics. The number of scientists and experts signing the World Climate Declaration is growing rapidly and is now over 1600 people.

Their response, and the Clintel World Climate Declaration, only reinforces what I have written in my articles on The Problems with Modern Science, Orthodoxy in Science, Scientific Consensus and Settled Science, Beware of Computer Modeling and Statistical Processing, and Climate Change. For those that would claim that Drs. Happer and Lindzen are climate science deniers, I would recommend that you read my Chirp on “08/03/23 Climate Science Denial” to this assertion.

10/12/23 Net Zero CO2

The Roman Warm Period (250 BC to AD 400) was a period of unusually warm weather in Europe and the North Atlantic that ran from approximately 250 BC to AD 400. Theophrastus (371 – c. 287 BC) wrote that date trees could grow in Greece if they were planted but that they could not set fruit there. The Winter of 536 AD was the most severe and protracted episode of climatic cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2,000 years and initiated the Late Antique Little Ice Age, which lasted from 536 to 560 AD. The medieval scholar Michael McCormick wrote that 536 was the worst year in history to be alive: "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year.” In addition, a thousand years ago, during the Medieval Warm Period (about 850–1250 A.D.), Greenland supported Norse farmers who grew crops such as barley, which cannot be grown there now because of the cold. There followed the Little Ice Age that lasted from about 1250–1850 A.D., and glaciers have been retreating ever since then.

None of these fluctuations, far more dramatic than anything predicted by Global Climate Change studies, were caused by or had any correlation with, changing CO2 levels. All these severe weather changes were regional, not global, and were abated by natural forces unrelated to CO2 levels. Hence, there is reason to doubt that CO2 levels are directly related to weather changes and that other factors are more impactful to the weather on a regional basis.

In addition, Global Climate Change studies grossly overstated the harm from CO2 emissions while ignoring the benefits of CO2 to life on Earth. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that CO2 and fossils fuels provide enormous social benefits for the poor, the United States, people worldwide, and future generations; that reduction of CO2 to Net Zero would be a worldwide disaster; and that there is no significant risk that CO2 and fossils fuels will cause catastrophic warming and extreme weather events.

CO2 is the basis for nearly all life on Earth. We owe our very existence to green plants that, through photosynthesis, convert CO2 and water to carbohydrates and oxygen with sunlight. Land plants get the carbon they need from the CO2 in the air. Other essential nutrients—water, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.—come from the soil. In turn, livestock depends on the availability of green plants to consume so that humans can consume the livestock. Without CO2, there would be no photosynthesis, no food, and no human or other life.

Therefore, we should all be wary of claims that Global Climate Change is responsible for weather events, as well as consider the benefits to humanity of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

10/11/23 It’s All About Power and Money

My previous Chirp on “09/05/23 Quotes on Good Science” is especially applicable to Global Climate Change. As I mention in the conclusion of these quotes, “Reality is the real business of science, and any science that does not comport to reality is not science.”. As Global Climate Change predictions do not comport to reality, then I can categorically state that Global Climate Change is not science. Although some parts of the science of Global Climate Change are scientific, when aggregated into the whole of Global Climate Change science, they are dubious science.

Additionally, Climate Change activists enrich themselves through the public fear of Global Climate Change, while politicians electioneer on the fear of Global Climate Change, and scientists obtain funding and grants to investigate Global Climate Change based on the public fear of Global Climate Change. Hence, Global Climate Change is more about money and power than science.

Fear, however, is not a good basis for power and money, as when the fear abates, the former fearful often turns to those that engendered fear. It also pits those that are fearful against those that are not fearful, and using fear as a basis for scientific research corrupts science and scientists. Fear also almost always makes for irrational and unreasonable decisions, decisions that can have detrimental repercussions on people, society, and the economy, especially when a government makes these fearful decisions.

Often these government decisions are also made based on the desire for governmental control of society and/or the economy. Thus, these decisions often increase governmental power to the detriment of the Liberties and Freedoms of the people. In the case of international Global Climate Change accords, we see governments not only trying to control their people but also trying to control the people of other nations.

Much of this fear and control is instituted by the attempts to restrict or suppress the freedom of speech of those that would disagree with the Global Climate Change science. In these restrictions, the Mainstream Media, Mainstream Cultural Media, Modern Big Business, Modern Education, and Social Media are complicit. By labeling all dissent of Global Climate Change science as disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation, as well as disparaging and denigrating dissenters as Climate Change Deniers, as in my Chirp on “08/03/23 Climate Science Denial”, they are implicated in the suppression of Freedom of Speech. In this, we should remember the words of wisdom of George Washington:

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
 - George Washington

In restricting or suppressing those that would disagree with the Global Climate Change science, they are echoing and repeating only one side of the Global Climate Change issue, which results in:

"When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly."
 - George Washington

An insensibly that leads people to unquestionably accept Global Climate Change as factual when there are many legitimate questions and doubts about the science of Global Climate Change science.

10/10/23 A Scientist’s Duty

As I have written in my Science Article, “Orthodoxy in Science”, dissent (a difference of opinion) and Disputation (the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it or a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement) are common in science, especially in the soft sciences. Today, however, I have discerned a significant change in this attitude of tolerance for dissent and disputation that is especially prevalent in the science of Climate Change, COVID-19, and now Transgenderism. Most disconcerting is that the Scientific Journals and Science magazines are suppressing this dissent and disputations between their covers. In doing so, they have forgotten the admonishment of one of the greatest scientists of all time:

“The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
 - Albert Einstein

But conceal is what they do, mostly by not publishing dissent and disputations or constricting what can be said in these articles. This has been pointed out in an article by Patrick T Brown on September 5, 2023, “I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published”, he relates that “I just got published in Nature because I stuck to a narrative I knew the editors would like. That’s not the way science should work.” As he stated in his article:

“This matters because it is critically important for scientists to be published in high-profile journals; in many ways, they are the gatekeepers for career success in academia. And the editors of these journals have made it abundantly clear, both by what they publish and what they reject, that they want climate papers that support certain preapproved narratives—even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society.

To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change. However understandable this instinct may be, it distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public, and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”

He then goes on to explain why this is happening and how it works, ending the article by stating, “What really should matter isn’t citations for the journals, clicks for the media, or career status for the academics—but research that actually helps society.

When Scientific Journals and Science magazines are not doing this on their own, they often bow to pressure from the government to censor their articles. In an article by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on September 11, 2023, The Government Censored Me and Other Scientists. We Fought Back—and Won, he relates that “Last week, a federal appeals court confirmed that science cannot function without free speech. Dr. Jay Bhattacharya reflects on a victory for himself—and every American.” Dr. Bhattacharya then goes on to explain his background, his experience in challenging the official government position on the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the censorship he encountered when he tried to publish his findings. Using proper facts and proper reasoning to reach his conclusions was no defense against the suppression he encountered in trying to publish his findings. The government put pressure on Scientific Journals and Social Media companies to suppress or defame his conclusions, thus violating his Free Speech Rights and his scientific duty not to conceal any part of what he recognized to be true.

In their doing so, the Scientific Journals and Science magazines, along with the government and Social Media companies, are also forgetful of another of Alber Einstein’s words of wisdom:

"A man should look for what is, and not what he thinks should be."
 - Albert Einstein

10/09/23 Quotes on Good Science

The world is awash in scientific studies. Many of these studies are hogwash, as they employ unscientific methods to reach a conclusion that the scientists desire. All scientists, and the public, should remember the following quotes when evaluating scientific studies:

    • "A man should look for what is, and not what he thinks should be."
       - Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, and widely held to be one of the greatest and most influential scientists of all time.

    • “The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
       - Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics

    • "Reality is the real business of physics."
       - Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics
    • “[W]e compare the result of [a theory’s] computation to nature, ... compare it directly with observations, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.”
      - Richard Feynman, 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics

    • “If you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid – not only what you think is right about it.... Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.”
      - Richard Feynman, 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics

    • "Good science is always based on good experiments. Good observations always overrule purely speculative theory. Sloppy experiments, on the other hand, are frequently counterproductive and provide scientific disinformation. That is why good scientists repeat each other’s experiments carefully."
       - Dr. John F. Clauser, 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics

    • "The current world I observe is literally awash, saturated, with pseudoscience, with bad science, with scientific misinformation and disinformation, and what I will call “techno-cons.” Techno-cons are the application of scientific disinformation for opportunistic purposes."
      - Dr. John F. Clauser, 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics

    • "Non-science business managers, politicians, politically appointed lab directors and the like are very easily snowed by scientific disinformation. Sometimes they participate in its origination."
      - Dr. John F. Clauser, 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics

    • “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
      Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
      There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.”
       - Michael Crichton, American writer, and filmmaker educated as a Medical Doctor at Harvard University (BA, MD)

As for Albert Einstein's quote on reality I would amend it to say, “Reality is the real business of science, and any science that does not comport to reality is not science.”

10/08/23 Historical Events Judgements are Complicated

As I have mentioned in several of my Chirps and Articles, when you make judgments on historical events, you must understand the times in which they occurred. An understanding of what the people were thinking helps you understand their words and deeds. However, understanding their thinking is difficult to accomplish even for historians. Up until the 20th century, historians had only documentary evidence such as letters, pamphlets and books, newspapers, transcriptions of speeches, legal records, proclamations, and other written evidence. With the inventions of sound recordings, movies, radio, television, and videos, the documentary evidence expanded and became more comprehensive. Still, it is but an incomplete and imperfect understanding of their thinking that can be achieved.

In addition, historians often bring their modern sensibilities of morals and ethics to bear on their thinking. A good historian will attempt to constrain the influence of their modern sensibilities in their research and writing to be within the bounds of delineated judgment. However, not all historians are so principled, and quite a few of them write their histories with an agenda in mind. Such historians should be challenged and reputed by principled historians, and they often are, but it is difficult for the public to determine and discriminate against unprincipled historians. In addition, some historical writings are not done by historians but by persons who have an axe to grind for or against a historical event or personage. Therefore, we must all be wary of any historical accounting before accepting it as factual or truthful.

This was again accentuated for me in my reading of the book The Union War by Gary W. Gallagher. In his book, he attempts to eliminate his modern sensibilities to determine what the people who supported the Union cause in the Civil War thought that they were fighting for. However, he does point out the contradictions and hypocrisy of their thinking, as the following passage demonstrates:

“American democracy as practiced in 1860 exhibited glaring weaknesses. Woman, free and enslaved black people, did not partake fully of what most northerners would have defined as liberties and freedoms at the center of their popular republic. But it is important to remember, the global context within which the Civil War generation lived and fought—within which, over the proceeding decades, political and economic opportunity had been on the rise in the United States while privilege, with the failures of the European revolutions of the late 1840’s, had seemed to gain a greater stranglehold on other nations in the western world. Falling far short of perfection (as all other governments and political systems everywhere and always do) the American republic nonetheless followed a trajectory toward expansion of opportunity of its citizenry and functioned as a great magnet for immigrants seeking to improve their economical and political circumstances. Across the Atlantic, the United States stood for possibilities and change. The International Workingmen’s Association congratulated Abraham Lincoln on his reelection of 1864, presenting him with an address drafted in late November. Europe’s laboring men “felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class” and believed “their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in the tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic.”

He also discusses the efforts of many modern historians in the last half century or so to frame the Civil War in terms of race and racism, as well as the preservation of white privilege and white superiority. Despite a lack of documentary evidence and the insertion of personal opinion by these historians, the documentary evidence of the Union supporters’ motivations was for the preservation of the Union. As he states in his book:

“Much recent Civil War scholarship obscures the importance of Union for the wartime generation. Two interpretative threads run through such literature. The first and most prominent suggests that the Union of 1860—1861 scarcely deserved to be defended at the cost of any bloodshed. The second argues that a major shift in war aims occurred when northerners realized that only emancipation made their level of sacrifice worthwhile. In both instances, modern sensibilities distort our view of how participants of a distant era understood the war.”

He also has a companion book, The Confederate War, which examines what people who supported the Confederate cause in the Civil War thought that they were fighting for. Both books are well worth the read to understand the thinking of the American people of the time and to better adjudge the historical events of the Civil War and its impacts on American history.

10/07/23 Historical Personages Judgements are Complicated

In an article by Alan Dershowitz, “History is a lot more complicated than City Council’s statue-haters can admit”, he commented on the campaign to get rid of monuments honoring anyone who owned enslaved people or profited from slavery and anyone who “participated in systematic crimes against indigenous people or other crimes against humanity.” In doing so, however, you need to be aware of the full history of a person and the political and cultural environment in which they lived to make a proper judgment on a historical person, as well as the other aspects of their history. As an example, as Professor Dershowitz stated in this article:

“Consider, for example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who has an island named after him.

He did a great many good things, but his failures were monumental and costly.

They include maintaining racial segregation in our armed forces while thousands of young African Americans were sent into battle defending democracy.

He closed the doors to Jewish immigration before and during the Holocaust, deliberately making it difficult for Jewish refugees even to fill the unused “quotas” authorized by law.

He is personally responsible for the deaths of many Jews who could have been saved had Roosevelt simply followed the law rather than pandered to the antisemites in Congress and the State Department.

History is filled with these complexities.

Thomas Jefferson’s views on slavery were complex. Abraham Lincoln’s views on the rights of African Americans were likewise complicated.

Woodrow Wilson was a man of peace but a virulent racist.”

Therefore, making judgments on a historical person based on our current morality and ethics is fraught with difficulties. You should not use our current morality and ethics as a basis of the judgment of what happened in a historical period or location but only use it as a guidepost. You should, therefore, be aware of the morals and ethics of a historical person’s time or location so that you can judge the words and deeds of the people of that time or location. You can then utilize our current morals and ethics for comparison to their morals and ethics to reach a fuller understanding of the people or events that historically occurred, as I have written in my article “Condemned to Repeat It”.

To do otherwise is nothing but "Virtue Signaling" without being virtuous, and as it has been said:

"It is much more difficult to be virtuous than it is to virtue signal."
 - Unknown

10/06/23 Another Obama for President

With the decline of President Biden in public opinion polls and with questions about his age, honesty, and integrity, the Democrat Party Leaders are searching for an alternative candidate for the 2024 Presidential elections. As they search for a viable candidate that is acceptable to the American public, one name continues to pop up—Michelle Obama. The possibility of her becoming a presidential candidate demonstrates how bereft the Democrat Party is of viable candidates and how the Democratic Party will resort to appearance over substance to obtain and retain power.

Michelle Obama may be an attractive candidate to those on the left, but she is objectionable to those on the right. Her stances on the issues have reflected her extreme progressiveness, and her comments have further provoked "Divisiveness in America", as the following quote illustrates:

“We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”
 — Michelle Obama, May 14, 2008

I can also hear the wailing of racism and sexism against anyone who would disagree with her or critique or criticize her, which would further divide America. Given that she has no political or governmental experience, nor any business acumen or leadership, her credentials to lead or manage the Federal government are thin too nonexistent.

Thus, if the Democrat Party nominates her as their 2024 Presidential candidate, they are pinning their hopes for winning the election on appearances rather than substance on the issues. They are also demonstrating that they are more interested in rulership rather than leadership, as an unqualified President cannot lead but only rule.

10/05/23 Biden Impeachment Inquiry Simplified

South Carolina’s Representative William Timmons has made the most concise and trenchant statements about the purpose of the current inquiry on the possibility of the Impeachment of President Biden. The big three comments he made are:

“Let me simplify our impeachment inquiry for the American people. We have enormous amounts of evidence of Hunter Biden's nefarious and illegal activity. But the question is... was Joe Biden complicit and did he receive a financial benefit? With a few more subpoenas, we will do the job the DOJ, FBI, and IRS actively avoided.”

“This Congress has a duty to further investigate whether Vice President Joe Biden was an affable, loving father simply taken advantage of by his delinquent son, or a knowing participant who was complicit in the scheme and financially compensated for his role. That is why we are here today, to answer that simple question, to determine if our current president is compromised.”

“Look, this scheme is complicated. You’ve got all these countries and all these different roles different people played. But the plan is simple and repeated often. A foreign client has a problem. The foreign client pays a Biden. The vice president leverages influence to force a favorable outcome for the client. The Biden family earns its fee. That’s the scheme.”

As to whether there is sufficient evidence, at this time, to impeach President Biden, I would agree with the statement before the committee of constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, who said that he doesn’t believe the evidence as it currently exists supports impeaching Joe Biden. What he also said, however, was that he also believed the evidence uncovered so far merited the impeachment inquiry, which is precisely as far as the House GOP has gone. Professor Turley added:

“The only way you’ll be able to get that information is to follow this evidence. What I suggest is you do so without any prejudice, you do so without any assumptions. In fact, I hope that the president will be able to show that there is no such nexus. But you won’t get those answers until you ask these questions.”

Consequently, it is important for the committee to uncover all the evidence, connect the dots, and reveal the facts and truths of Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s schemes. Only then can the American people determine whether an Impeachment of Joe Biden is warranted.

10/04/23 I Am Not in Favor of Democracy

If democracy means the violation of the Natural Rights of a person, then I am not in favor of democracy. If democracy means ignoring or circumventing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, then I am not in favor of democracy. If democracy means the imposition of Progressive Ideology and Ideas on America, then I am not in favor of democracy.

Unfortunately, Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders believe that the meaning of democracy is that they can implement their policy goals and political agendas without remaining within the boundaries of Natural, Human, and Civil Rights. Through "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language”, they have bamboozled the American people into believing that they are within these boundaries. To my fellow Americans, I would say do not be hoodwinked by them, as they are not within these boundaries!

Even if they obtain a broad majority of support for their policy goals and political agendas, it is not democracy if it violates the boundaries of Natural, Human, and Civil Rights, for the majority may never violate the rights of the minority in a democracy. It is not democracy but majoritarianism if they violate these boundaries and majoritarianism, which can only be enforced by despotism.

Therefore, when Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders speak of “our democracy”, as I have examined in Chirp on "01/11/22 Our Democracy", they are not speaking of a real democracy. They are speaking of their majoritarian oligarchy, as Rob Natelson has explained in his article “‘Our Democracy’ = Their Oligarchy”. Do not let them gaslight you into believing their pronouncements, but do resist their efforts as I have Chirped on “09/30/23 Resistance Movements in Modern America”.

10/03/23 Who’s to Blame?

America has seen many botches during the Biden Administration. On the International stage, the Afghanistan withdrawal, the Ukrainian War, and the threatening actions of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, and on the National stage, the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Americans and our economy, to the increase in crime in our streets, to illegal immigration on our southern border, to the loss of energy independence, to the supply chain problem, to gas price increases, to inflation, to a recession, to the Fentanyl drug addiction scourge, and to a host of other issues we have seen many botches of the Biden Administration. We have also seen how the Biden Family was involved in corrupt dealings despite their and their supporters’ denials.

The question is who is responsible for these blunders? Many have pointed to specific individuals in the Biden Administration and to President Biden himself as responsible for these blunders. In this, there is much truth, but we should also consider the larger picture which allowed for these blunders.

One of the contributing factors is a belief in Progressivism as a governing philosophy, an unfounded belief, as I have written in my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives". Another contributing factor is the decline of "Modern Journalism" to become advocacy journalism rather than uncovering the facts and truths. An advocacy journalism of Progressive ideology and ideas, and a support of Democrat candidates and politicians in their journalism. Finally, the American people shoulder some of this blame by electing and supporting Progressives and Democrats despite their many blunders.

It is understandable that the American people shoulder some of this blame, for after decades of progressive propaganda and advocacy journalism, they are unknowledgeable of the failures of progressivism and the facts and truths not reported or covered up by modern journalism. The biggest failure of modern journalism was in the 2020 presidential campaign. A failure of modern journalism to draw out candidate Joe Biden from his basement for the American people to make a judgment on his policies and character, the covering up of the Hunter Biden laptop, which revealed his corruption, and the lack of investigative reporting on the irregularities of the 2020 election process. Thus, the American people did not have the information they needed to make a proper judgment in electing Joe Biden.

It should also be noted that the failures of "Public Education" have produced a body politic unfamiliar with our "American Ideals and Ideas" and has degenerated into indoctrination rather than education, as I have written in my article "Indoctrination versus Education".

These larger picture factors, along with the "Systemic Family, Education, and Faith Problems" in America, have produced a society that blunders its way from one botch to another. A blundering which, if not corrected, bodes ill for the future of America.

10/02/23 Going Too Far

The book and movie “A Bridge Too Far” was the story of Operation Market Garden, the World War II Allies' attempt, in September 1944, to hasten the end of World War II by driving through Belgium and Holland into Germany to capture several bridges. Faulty intelligence, Allied high command hubris, and stubborn German resistance would ensure that the Arnhem Bridge was a bridge too far, which resulted in the failure of Operation Market Garden to achieve its goals.

In a Podcast, Jordan Peterson at Club Random with Bill Maher, Jordon Peterson related that he has posed an interesting question for Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders; “When do you think the left go too far?” He also related that he has never gotten a clear answer to this question to those he posited the question.

So, what is the answer to this question? The answer is that you go too far when you violate the Natural Rights of a person. This includes the words and deeds that you engage in to achieve your goals. The strategy of "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate", "The Weaponization of Government", the violations of the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution, and the tactics of Cancel Culture, Doxing, Hate Speech, Herd Mentality, Hyper-Partisanship, Identity Politics, Political Correctness, Virtue Signaling, and Wokeness are all a bridge too far.

Too often, the policies of Activists and Activism, Adjective Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), LGBTQIA+, Equity and Equality, Modern Feminism, Social Engineering, and allegations of Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, or Bigoted are a bridge too far and result in "Divisiveness in America".

In their self-righteousness, Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders believe that they have the morality to engage in these strategies and tactics for the greater good, as I have written in my article on the Greater Good versus the Common Good. But no greater good can be achieved by violating the Natural Rights of a person. What they will achieve is despotism against those who disagree with them.

Let us hope that by going a bridge too far, the American people will awaken to the harm that they are doing. And, as I have written in my collected Chirps on "Resistance Movements", that a resistance will arise in America against these bridges too far.

10/01/23 The Mythologies of Progressivism

As I have noted in my Chirp on "08/25/23 The Progressive Myths of Science and History", Progressives rely on the “facts” and “truths” of science and history to buttress their ideology. However, they pick and choose tidbits of facts and truths and surround them with their ideology rather than elucidating all the facts and truths. In doing so, they are corrupting science and history and creating myths of science and history, which they propagate to an unknowing public. This month’s Book It selections examine some of these Progressive myths and repudiate them with facts and truths.

09/30/23 Resistance Movements in Modern America

When Donald Trump won the Presidential election in 2016, the cries of “Resistance” rang through Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders. But this resistance was not based upon self-rule and self-determination, nor the preservation of Liberties and Freedoms, but of resistance to preserve their Progressive ideology and ideas. As such, it was not a legitimate and praiseworthy resistance. In this resistance, no strategy or tactic was to be excluded, and nothing was off-limits to their resistance. False accusations, Congressional Hearings with no veracity, corruption of the FBI and the Intelligence community, IRS shenanigans, indictments and lawsuits of his supporters, physical and psychological intimidation, violence on the streets, and a steady drumbeat in the Mainstream Media against Trump and his supporters were all in play. The 2020 Presidential elections were all about covering up the infirmities, lies, and corruption of Joe Biden and his family, while the negative drumbeat against President Trump in the "Mainstream Media", "Mainstream Cultural Media", "Social Media", "Big Tech",  "Modern Big Business", "Modern Education" was incessant. They even resorted to the suppression of Free Speech, Free Assembly, and the Freedom of the Press to further this resistance. Thus, this was not resistance but repression.

In an article by Victor Davis Hanson, “What the Left Did to Our Country”, he lays out a litany of actions that the Left has taken in the last two decades to “fundamentally transform” America. A transformation not based on our "American Ideals and Ideas" but on the imposition of Progressive ideology and ideas upon America. As such, it is time for resistance to arise in America to reclaim our American Ideals and Ideas. A resistance to reaffirming the ideals of The Declaration of Independence and the ideas of the Constitution of the United States. In such resistance, it should be remembered by the resistors that:

"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
  - Abraham Lincoln

Without this active resistance and the success thereof, it is quite possible that America will slide into despotism. Let us hope that we can counter this slide with the soap box, the ballot box, and the jury box rather than having to resort to the ammo box, as I have written in my Article, “The Four Boxes of Liberty”. But if we cannot successfully resist through the soap box, the ballot box, and the jury box, the ammo box may be necessary to preserve the last best hope of Liberty and Freedom from perishing from the Earth.

09/29/23 Resistance Movements in Modern World History

Post World War II, there were many resistance movements to oppose established authorities in the hopes of establishing Natural Rights amongst all the people of the world. These resistance movements were primarily against Communism and British and French Colonialism. In the case of British and French Colonialism, the resistance movements were successful in ending colonialism, sometimes peaceably and sometimes not. These colonialist resistance movements were for the purposes of self-rule and self-determination of the people of a country. Thus, they were legitimate and praiseworthy resistance movements. Unfortunately, violence often erupted during this resistance, and Natural Rights were often violated during the resistance. In some cases, the end of colonialism did not bring about self-rule and self-determination but tyranny that violated the Natural Rights of the people.

The yearning for Liberty and Freedom in post-World War II Communist countries led to many resistance movements in these countries. Some resistance movements were organized, and some were spontaneous. All were in an effort to establish self-rule, self-determination, and Natural Rights in these countries, and all were opposed by the communist governments. The Gulag in the Soviet Union, the State Police in Eastern Block European Iron Curtain countries, the Cultural Revolution in Red China, and other Crimes against Humanity under Communist Regimes occurred as a result of resistance to Communist authorities. Eventually, Communism collapsed due to economic forces and the mass support for the resistance movements. The few remaining Communist countries adopted economic reforms to forestall economic ruination, but they continued to impose political oppressions and violations of the Natural Rights of their people.

In Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, resistance movements were often targeted against tyrannies and dictatorships. They were often violent and not often successful, and where they were successful, they often replaced one form of tyranny and dictatorship with another form of tyranny and dictatorship. Thus, the peoples of those countries did not achieve self-rule and self-determination, the Natural Rights of their peoples were ignored or suppressed, and the economic condition of the people was not improved and sometimes deteriorated.

Consequently, when evaluating resistance movements, it is necessary to determine if the resistors are attempting to institute self-rule and self-determination and establish the Natural Rights of their people. Too often, a resistance movement has espoused laudatory purposes, but the ends are not commendable, or they become corrupted. Thus, it is even more important to determine if their intended goals are just words rather than deeds. A determination that is often difficult to ascertain and requires constant surveillance of the words and deeds of a resistance movement. For, as one of our Founding Fathers has said:

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
  - Thomas Jefferson

Any resistance movement that is for the purposes of self-rule and self-determination and the Liberties and Freedoms of its people is legitimate and should be supported by all liberty and freedom-loving persons of the world. Conversely, any resistance movements that are not for these purposes should be opposed by all liberty and freedom-loving persons of the world.

09/28/23 Resistance Movements in World War II

In the warmongering, before and during World War II, it was often downplayed or forgotten that many of the peoples of NAZI Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan resisted against their governments. The British and American authorities did not provide any support for these resisters and often engaged in words and deeds that were counterproductive to their efforts. The book The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II by Thomas Fleming details many of the words and deeds that were counterproductive to the resistance and how the Allies could have provided assistance to the resisters.

The German resistance to Nazism was composed of many individuals and groups in Germany that were opposed to the Nazi regime and engaged in resistance, including assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler or by overthrowing his regime. It has been estimated that during the course of World War II 800,000 Germans were arrested by the Gestapo for resistance activities. It has also been estimated that between 15,000 and 77,000 of the Germans were executed by the Nazis. Resistance members were usually tried, mostly in show trials, by Sondergerichte (Special Courts), courts-martial, People's Courts, and the civil justice system. Many of the German resistance had served in government in military or civil positions, which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy.

The Italian resistance movement, Resistenza, is an umbrella term for the Italian resistance groups who fought the occupying forces of Nazi Germany and the fascist collaborationists of the Italian Social Republic during the Second World War in Italy from 1943 to 1945. As a diverse anti-fascist movement and organization, the Resistenza opposed Nazi Germany, as well as Nazi Germany's Italian puppet state regime, the Italian Social Republic, which the Germans created following the Nazi German invasion and military occupation of Italy by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS from 8 September 1943 until 25 April 1945.

Political dissidence in the Empire of Japan consisted of individual Japanese dissidents against the policies of the Empire of Japan, but there were no formal resistance groups or movements.

What is important for the purposes of this Chirp is that it is crucial to support any resistance group that opposes evil and the violations of Natural Rights. If we had done so in NAZI Germany and Fascist Italy before and during World War II, the history of this war may have been quite different. Therefore, it is important that we remember these resistance movements and learn the lessons of history if we do not support them. Thus, this Chirp is a remembrance of those people and groups in NAZI Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan that opposed the forces of evil in their countries. It is also a plea for support for resistance movements of those people who are standing up for self-rule and self-determination and the Liberties and Freedoms of the people of their country in our modern world.

09/27/23 Resistance Movements in American History

Resistance to authority in the form of despotism, totalitarianism, tyranny, monarchy, dictatorship, and other oppressions of self-rule and self-determination have been common throughout human history. The yearning for and understanding of Natural Rights has grown throughout human history, and with it, the desire for Liberty and Freedom has increased.

America itself was born out of resistance to the authoritarianism of the British government that attempted to suppress self-rule and self-determination and the Natural Rights of the colonists as expressed in the particulars of the Declaration of Independence. In doing so, they formulated a new expression of the purpose of government and basic Natural Rights in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --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.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

In this paragraph, they also established the legitimacy of resistance if it were for the purposes of self-rule and self-determination and the desire for governmental protection of Liberties and Freedoms that flow from the Natural Rights of the people.

After winning its freedom from England, Americans attempted to enshrine the principles of this new formulation of government in the Constitution of the United States, as expressed in the preamble to the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Yet, they were not perfect in these principles, as they violated them by allowing the stain and evil of slavery to exist in America. This led to the second great resistance in America and eventually to the Civil War that ended this stain and evil.

Prior to America’s entrance into World Wars I and II, there was significant resistance in America to our entrance into these wars. Only when these wars were framed in the context of Liberty and Freedom did the resistance to these wars dissipate.

The next great resistance movement in American history was in the form of the Civil Rights movement. This (mostly) non-violent movement, placed in the context of Liberty and Freedom, gained the support of the American people and ended systemic bigotry and discrimination in America.

The next resistance occurred in the protests against the Vietnam War. While initially, many of the resistors were non-violent, as the war dragged on, much resistance turned violent. This violence divided Americans, and these divisions lingered on for many decades.

Thus, American resistance movements were for the purposes of self-rule and self-determination, the reaffirmation of Natural Rights, and the expansion of Liberty and Freedoms for the people. As such, they were legitimate and praiseworthy resistance movements.

09/26/23 You Have to Wonder

When thinking about the career of Senator, Vice President, and now President Joe Biden, you must wonder whether he does or says something because he’s a liar or because he’s genuinely stupid. Now you need to add a third and fourth option: corruption and senility. His entire political career has been about him: his egotism, his nihilism, his self-importance, his expedience in saying anything to advance his career, and his avarice to enrich himself and his family. This bespeaks his being a person without character and principles. His motivations appear to be to obtain and retain power and to enrich himself and his family from that power.

Also, as Robert Gates, former defense secretary in the Obama administration, once put it, Biden has “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” and as President Obama has stated, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up.” This also bespeaks his being limited in knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

And wrong and f**k things up has been the story of Joe Biden’s Presidency. America is far the worse by the presence of Joe Biden on our political scene. A nation divided and floundering characterizes his Presidency. The American people have been hoodwinked by his stay-at-home presidential campaign of 2020 and the many cover-ups of his lies, incompetencies, and corruption by the "Mainstream Media", "Mainstream Cultural Media", and "Social Media".

Given Joe Biden’s history, you need not wonder anymore—he is a liar, stupid, corrupt, and now senile. For those who do not believe this, I would remind them of the words of the American Scholar Charles L. Black, " I think we ought to exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers- that of laughter."

09/25/23 Influence Peddling and Lobbying

Influence peddling is the practice of using one's influence in government or connections with authorities to obtain favors or preferential treatment for another, usually in return for payment. It is also called traffic of influence or trading in influence. Influence peddling per se is not necessarily illegal, as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has often used the modified term "undue influence peddling" to refer to illegal acts of lobbying. However, influence peddling is typically associated with corruption and may, therefore, delegitimize democratic politics with the general public.

Lobbying or advocacy in politics is the act of lawfully attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies, but also judges of the judiciary. Lobbying, which usually involves direct, face-to-face contact in cooperation with support staff that may not meet directly face-to-face, is done by many types of people, associations, and organized groups, including individuals on a personal level in their capacity as voters, constituents, or private citizens; it is also practiced by corporations in the private sector serving their own business interests; by non-profits and non-governmental organizations in the voluntary sector through advocacy groups (interest groups) to fulfill their mission such as requesting humanitarian aid or grantmaking; and by fellow legislators or government officials influencing each other through legislative affairs (legislative assistance) in the public sector. Lobbying or certain practices that share commonalities with lobbying are sometimes referred to as government relations or government affairs, and sometimes legislative relations or legislative affairs.

Influence peddling and lobbying have been part and parcel of governance throughout history and are a result of powerful governments that can enrich or immiserate persons or organizations outside of government. A main difference between influence peddling and lobbying is that influence peddling enriches those in power while lobbying influences those in power to obtain favorable treatment that would enrich those not in power. Consequently, influence peddling satisfies the avariciousness of the politician or bureaucrat, while lobbying satisfies the greed and desires of the non-politician.

The perils of influence peddling and lobbying are that the decisions reached under their influence may have serious (negative) repercussions on the public welfare. The policies of international relationships may be detrimental, the health and safety of the public may be impacted, and the economic impacts may redound negatively to the general good. It is also an unfortunate fact that influence peddling has enriched many a politician, their spouses, families, and friends, as well as their campaign coffers. There is no practical way to eliminate influence peddling and lobbying in government, but when these activities rise to the level of consequential impacts, those involved must be punished either judicially, politically, or economically for their avarice or greed that has brought harm to the general public.

Such is the case of the alleged Biden Family corruption. Not only have they enriched themselves by their influence peddling, but they have corrupted the justice system to deny their wrongdoing. Both actions have wrought great harm to America. While there may be judicial actions that can be utilized to prosecute Joe Biden’s family and friends, the only action that can be taken against Joe Biden while he is the sitting president is Impeachment.

While I am generally against Impeachment, for the reasons that I have written in several articles on The Impeachment of President Trump, the influence peddling of Joe Biden and his family may rise to the level of impeachment. In my article on The Case for the Impeachment of President Biden, I have stated that in evaluating the wisdom of impeachment, you must balance the harm to the functioning of the government and the balance of powers between Congress and the Presidency as a result of an impeachment process, as well as the harm done to the Constitution and America as a result of the Unconstitutional governance by a President. In doing so, you must also keep in mind that “The Constitution is not a suicide pact” when you make a judgment to proceed or not to proceed with an impeachment process. Often, you must make a Sophie’s Choice of the lesser of two evils when faced with this dilemma.

I, therefore, believe that President Biden is deserving of impeachment, conviction, and removal from office. However, as Rob Natelson has explained in his article, “Constitution’s Impeachment Rules Require Biden Inquiry to Be Narrowly Focused”, the impeachment inquiry and possible articles of impeachment must be limited to Joe Biden’s role in the Biden Family corruption. I also believe that on balance, and in both the short and long term, the harm he has done by his influence peddling and to the corruption of the judicial system is far greater than the harm that may result from his impeachment.

09/24/23 Plausible Deniability

Plausible deniability is the ability of people, typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command, to deny knowledge of or responsibility for actions committed by or on behalf of members of their organizational hierarchy. They may do so because of a lack or absence of evidence that can confirm their participation, even if they were personally involved in or at least willfully ignorant of the actions. If illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such acts to insulate themselves and shift the blame onto the agents who carried out the acts, as they are confident that their doubters will be unable to prove otherwise. The lack of evidence to the contrary ostensibly makes the denial plausible (credible), but sometimes, it makes any accusations only unactionable.

Plausible deniability has often been deliberately utilized by politicians to obtain the goals they desire while shirking the responsibility if the goal is unpopular and, if uncovered, could result in electoral harm. In the case of the Biden family corruption, the entire scheme was designed for plausible deniability. Shell companies, secretive bank accounts, overseas bank transfers, pseudonyms and codewords, duplicitous email addresses, and non-reporting of income to the IRS do not speak of above-board actions by those involved. And besides the goal of enriching themselves without honest efforts, it appears that they were trying to isolate Joe Biden from the appearance of direct involvement in their schemes. To believe otherwise calls for, as Hillary Clinton once stated, “…  a willing suspension of disbelief.

The one thing that they have forgotten is that for plausible deniability to succeed, it is necessary that the deniability be plausible. As such, as nobody of intelligence and integrity believes their explanations, rather than plausible deniability, they have resorted to the corruption of the justice system to deny wrongdoing.

A corruption of the justice system by slow-walking investigation until the statute of limitations expires, a corruption of the justice system by not utilizing proper investigative techniques, a corruption of the justice system by attempts to plea deal with future immunities and a corruption of the justice system by covering up the other corruptions. They have also corrupted our governance by refusing to release information, redacting information, withholding witnesses, and sometimes deceit or dissembling testimony to Congressional oversight committees.

In this corruption, they have been assisted by Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists commentators, as well as by the Mainstream Media’s lack of accurate and truthful reporting. A corruption of the justice system that is an assault on our "American Ideals and Ideas" and antithetical to "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". A corruption of the justice system that, if successful, leads to further corruption in the future by other parties.

09/23/23 Economical or Not

To be economical or not to be economical, that is the question. It is an unfortunate fact that "Progressives/Leftists" and "Activists and Activism" have given little or no consideration of the economic impacts of their words and deeds. Without understanding the economics of their words and deeds, it is not possible to create a policy to deal with their concerns. Indeed, any policy that does not account for economics (or human nature) is doomed to failure. And you cannot counter or ignore the economics of any policy decision, or, to paraphrase one of my quotes:

"To deny economics, or to not acknowledge economics, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

The problem with economics is that it is inexact. The very complexity of economics and the interrelationships between the different complexities make it an inexact science. Economics is also bound up in human nature, and the reactions of humans to changes in their economic circumstances make it impossible to predict the economic impacts of a policy. Different economists have different opinions, often contrary to each other, that are often incompatible and unresolvable. This is why predictions in economics are more often wrong than right.

When Activists, Progressives/Leftists, and Democrat Party Leaders make economic statements, they are often based upon rosy assumptions of what they desire it to be, and when the government makes economic statements, they are most often wrong. Alas, this is most especially true of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as their economic models are constrained by limitations, assumptions, and presumptions imposed by Congressional politicians. Thus, Congress operates on false economic models of their own making that are constrained to provide rosy economic projections of their policies. Anytime you have a model with constraints that contain assumptions and presumptions, it will most likely produce incorrect results (one only has to look at Climate Change models that are consistently incorrect for proof of the assertion). Indeed, it can be said that the greater the complexity and interrelationships of a model and the further it projects into the future, the more likely it is to be wrong.

Consequently, all economic models and projections should be taken with a grain of salt, as they often are wrong and tinged by the desires of those who do the modeling. And always remember:

"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything."
  - from Darrell Huff's book "How to Lie With Statistics" (1954)

And:

"All models are wrong, some are useful."
  - George E. P. Box, one of the great statistical minds of the 20th century

09/22/23 Truth, Justice, and the American Way

The articulation “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” was a catchphrase of the comic-book character Superman until they went woke in 2021 and changed it to "Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow." Of course, “a Better Tomorrow” is highly subjective and open to interpretation as to what constitutes a better tomorrow. To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, "The most basic question is not what is a Better Tomorrow, but who shall decide what is a Better Tomorrow?” I do not believe it is wise to allow comic book authors to determine a Better Tomorrow, nor wise to allow any group of people to determine what is a better tomorrow. Each person must have the Liberty and Freedom to determine what is a better tomorrow for them and society through the democratic process to determine what is a better tomorrow for society.

The original phrase is much less subjective, as it is based upon our "American Ideals and Ideas" and our commitment to  "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". Thus, once again, we see Progressives/Leftists sowing doubt and confusion to achieve their political goals. Therefore, have no doubts and do not be confused, as “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” is the proper articulation of Americans and America.

09/21/23 Be Careful What You Ask For

In an article by Charles C. W. Cooke, “Why Not Arrest Governor Lujan Grisham?” and an additional commentary article by Andrew C. McCarthy, “Why Not Arrest Governor Lujan Grisham . . . Pursuant to the Civil Rights Law the Biden Justice Department Is Using to Prosecute Donald Trump?”, they both make some interesting points.

As Mr. Cooke points out that:

More than anything else, the Framers of America’s constitutional order feared executive tyranny. They built a nation of laws not men, of constitutions not caprice, of legislatures not kings.

As such, no Executive or Executive Officer can act without Legislative approval. When an Executive or Executive Officer arbitrarily acts without Legislative approval, then they are violating the foundations of our governance and leading us into tyranny. As Mr. Cooke has also said in his article:

A stable and intelligible set of written laws is what separates free nations such as the United States and the tyrannies it was designed to avoid. That law must be seamless in its scope and application. It cannot be applied to some but not others; it cannot be suspended at will; it cannot be subordinated to the subjective judgment of those who swore an oath to uphold it. It exists, or it does not. It remains intact, or it is torn apart. It is universal, or it is obviated.”

Mr. McCarthy points out that the statute being used to prosecute former President Trump by the Biden Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith in the federal election interference case has broader implications if applied to other government officials. Section 241 of the federal penal code is the civil-rights conspiracy statute states:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same[,] … [t]hey shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both[.]

He also states that:

Obviously, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D., N.M.) and her subordinates have conspired to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate Americans in New Mexico in the free exercise and enjoyment of their Second Amendment rights. Indeed, her acknowledgment that she expects to be challenged in court underscores both her criminal intent and the fact that the rights she has decided to “suspend” are well established in constitutional law.”

When an Executive Officer does not faithfully execute the laws as passed by the Legislature, they are violating the rights of the people within their jurisdiction. This is also a violation of our republican form of government, where the elected people’s representatives in the Legislature make the laws, while the Executive officers (both elected and appointed) must faithfully execute the laws as passed by the Legislature. It is also a violation of their Oath of Office to uphold the United States Constitution and their State Constitution and to faithfully execute the laws thereof. When the Executive officers disagree with a law, they have the right to request the legislature modify, eliminate, or create laws, but they have no right to ignore or skirt the law. The use of “Prosecutorial Discretion” to justify not faithfully executing the laws does not hold water, as I have discussed in my Chirp on "01/17/23 Prosecutorial Discretion".

When any elected or appointed official in any of the three branches of government—Executive, Legislative, or Judicial, does not uphold the law or advocates for the ignoring or skirting of the law, they are engaging in an insurrection against the proper authority of our government, and they should be removed from office either by impeachment or prosecution for violating Section 241 of the federal penal code.

This course of action against these transgressors would require that our leaders have the fortitude to stand up for the principle of the Constitution rather than the expediency of “doing something” and/or pandering for votes. Alas, such fortitude seems to be in short supply in modern America. If our leaders cannot do so, then those of us who believe in our "American Ideals and Ideas" need the fortitude to dispose our leaders who cannot or will not stand up for the principles of our Constitution. In this, we should remember the words of wisdom of the 16th President of the United States:

"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
  - Abraham Lincoln

09/20/23 Enmities in America

In the book, “A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War” by Thomas Fleming, he illuminates the emotional enmity that arose between the North and the South prior to the start of the Civil War:

By the time John Brown hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper's Ferry, Northern abolitionists had made him a holy martyr” in their campaign against Southern slave owners. This Northern hatred for Southerners long predated their objections to slavery. They were convinced that New England, whose spokesmen had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern slavocrats like Thomas Jefferson. This malevolent envy exacerbated the South's greatest fear: a race war. Jefferson's cry, “We are truly to be pitied,” summed up their dread. For decades, extremists in both regions flung insults and threats, creating intractable enmities. By 1861, only a civil war that would kill a million men could save the Union.

Such emotional enmities are not uncommon in American history and are with us today. Today, in America, these enmities are often based on falsehoods, as I have written in my article "The Biggest Falsehoods in America". This divide is mainly between the Progressives and the Conservatives in America, and they are exacerbated by the Progressive belief that the ills of America are systemic, while the Conservatives believe the ills are of individuals or small groups of Americans. Much of this belief is rooted in the definition of ‘Systemic’ and the differences between Equity and Equality.

Systemic— affecting an entire system is when a society structures itself in its social, economic, or political practice to achieve a purpose, for either good or ill. In the past, America has had systemic problems, the worst being Slavery, Bigotry, and Discriminations. One of the greatness of America is being able to recognize these problems and correct them. Consequently, these are no longer systemic problems but problems that occur by the words and deeds of individuals or groups or some underlying issues that need correction (e.g., quality public education and economic opportunity).

Too often, Progressives only focus on the outcomes in America and decry the inequities while not examining the causes to determine if there are inequalities. Looking only at the outcomes of these supposed falsehoods can lead you to believe it is a systemic problem, but looking into the causes of these falsehoods can lead you to a different conclusion. Examining the entire process of equalities and equities can assist in correcting the problems of inequalities and inequities. To focus on one or the other to almost the exclusion of the other is a recipe for tragedy, as it will not solve the problems but often create additional problems.

Criticizing society based on inequities presupposed that a utopian society of equalities and equities is possible. While this may be a laudatory goal, it is but a delusion, as it does not account for human nature or economics. While all humans are born with equal Natural Rights, not all humans are born with equal talents or abilities. This is the main cause of inequities, as people of more talent or abilities often rise in American society, while those of lesser talents and abilities remain static, regress, or moderately advance in society. Thus, there will always be inequities in society based on talents and abilities.

Economics also plays a large part in equalities and equities. Some people have better access to capital in the form of cash and loans. Those who can take advantage of this access to economically advance themselves. The question then becomes whether this access is based on systemic or extrinsic forces. America has many laws and regulations to ensure that there are no systemic biases in access to capital. However, laws are imperfect, and when possible systemic inequalities are discovered, the laws and regulations are modified to address these inequalities. To utilize inequities as a basis to adjudge if a problem is systemic does not do justice to economic forces. Thus, all should remember when examining inequalities and inequities that:

"To deny human nature or economics, or to not acknowledge human nature or economics, is foolish. To do so will result in much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed to failure."
  - Mark Dawson

This focus on Inequalities, along with The Biggest Falsehoods in America, has much to do with the enmities in America. A focus on inequalities and the correction of such would reduce the inequities that occur and ensure the fair treatment of all persons in America. Focusing on inequities leads to "Divisiveness in America" and a lessening of "A Civil Society" in America. This focus also pits groups of Americans against each other and creates a sense of victimhood in America. This protracted enmity can only lead to civil disunion that bodes ill for America, for such a protracted enmity once led to the American Civil War to resolve this enmity.

09/19/23 Lawfare

In an article by Jeff Davidson, “The DOJ's Insidious Practice of Lawfare, Intimidation, and Coercion”, he defines “Lawfare” as:

“Lawfare is impacting society in horrendous ways, many of which ultimately impact your life and your experiences. What is lawfare? Derived from combining the words "law" and "warfare," it is the employment of legal approaches to delegitimize, damage, or destroy an opposing party or to hinder their ability to employ their own legal rights.”

He also goes on to state that:

“Lawfare was employed against individuals whom the DOJ had targeted, to damage or disparage their character, waste their money and time, or triumph over them for public relations purposes. Today the DOJ persecutes, coerces, badgers, and prosecutes Americans, mainly conservatives, time after time.”

Lawfare is the primary means of the weaponization of government, as I have written in my collected Chirps on "The Weaponization of Government". The employment of lawfare is an assault on the Liberties and Freedoms of Americans, as it deters Americans from exercising their liberties and freedom for fear of becoming involved in lawfare actions by the government.

The purpose of lawfare is not so much in the conviction of a criminal act in a court of law, and, indeed, many of the convictions are for Process Crimes rather than actual criminal acts. In many cases, lawfare is utilized to coerce a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser crime rather than face the time, legal expense, and possible greater sentence in the event of a conviction of the alleged larger crime. Lawfare is also utilized to threaten the spouse, children, and other family members of a defendant with possible lawfare actions if the accused does not plead guilty to some crimes.

As such, lawfare is an aspect of despotism by the government. A despotism that is an assault on our "American Ideals and Ideas" and antithetical to "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All".

09/18/23 What the Left Did

In a new article by Victor Davis Hanson, “What the Left Did to Our Country”, he lays out a litany of actions that the Left did to “fundamentally transform” America, a transformation for the worse. As he has written:

“In the last 20 years, the Left has boasted that it has gained control of most of America institutions of power and influence—the corporate boardroom, media, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, the administrative state, academia, foundations, social media, entertainment, professional sports, and Hollywood.

With such support, between 2009-17, Barack Obama was empowered to transform the Democratic Party from its middle-class roots and class concerns into the party of the bicoastal rich and subsidized poor—obsessions with big money, race, a new intolerant green religion, and dividing the country into a binary of oppressors and oppressed.”

He then goes on to list the ways that the Left has “fundamentally transformed” America for the worse and how the Biden administration has accelerated this transformation.

The Left, in doing so, is fulfilling Abraham Lincoln’s prophecy about the destruction of America from within. In Lincoln's The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions speech of January 27, 1838, he spoke of how America could be destroyed:

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

The Left’s actions are an attempt to coax America into committing suicide. In this, they are being assisted by well-meaning but credulous Progressives and duplicitous Democrat Party leaders. Professor Hanson closes this article by stating:

“We could variously characterize their efforts as destroying the nation to save it, or burning it down to start over, or fundamentally transforming America into something never envisioned by the Founders.

Will their upheaval succeed? All the levers of the power and money are on the side of the revolutionaries. The people are not. And they are starting to wake to the notion if they do not stop the madness in their midst they very soon won’t have a country.”

09/17/23 The Ever-present Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a knowledgeable, intelligent, and wise person well beyond his humble beginnings, education, and years. In three of his speeches, before he became President, he demonstrated all these attributes. These speeches are Lincoln's The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions speech of January 27, 1838, Lincoln's A House Divided speech of June 16, 1858, and Lincoln's Cooper Union Address of February 27, 1860. In these speeches, he demonstrated his command of the troubles of his time and their causes. But these causes go beyond his time to the very nature of the problems of a Republican form of governance. Thus, they ring as true today as they did in Lincoln’s time.

My new Article, “The Ever-present Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln”, reviews these speeches in the context of their applicability to today’s events in America.

09/16/23 Presidential Liars of the 21st Century

In the 21st century, America has suffered a succession of Presidential liars. These are:

Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African-American president. Obama previously served as a U.S. senator representing Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004 and worked as a civil rights lawyer and university lecturer.

Donald Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021.

Joseph Biden (born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under President Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009.

Many people would include President George W. Bush as one of the biggest Presidential liars in the 21st century for the statements he made against Saddam Hussein of Iraq. However, President Bush was not lying but mistaken, as he was informed by the intelligence community, the military, and the State Department that his statement was factual. It wasn’t until after the Iraq War that they learned that Saddam Hussein had engaged in a massive deception to mislead America as to its capabilities and intentions. Thus, President Bush was mistaken and not a liar, as I have written in my chirps on “09/11/23 Truth as a Defense”.

While there is not yet a scholarly examination of these lies, there has been much political commentary on the lies. Any objective observer of the American political scene knows of these lies and, untainted from political considerations, knows that these lies have had an impact (sometimes positive and sometimes negative) on American governance, politics, and society.

All these Presidential lies of the 20th century and 21st century have seeped into the American psyche, and lying is now expected of Presidents and politicians. Thus, the character of the American people has been corrupted, and we have become more cynical and accepting of lies by Presidents and politicians. As such, we have become infected in our souls, as explained by Plato:

"False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil."
 – Plato

09/15/23 Presidential Liars of the 20th Century

"False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil."
 – Plato

Lying seems to be a political trait, and the history of America is littered with lies by Presidents and politicians. These lies are of two varieties: personal lies and policy lies. Personal lies are often done to enhance their biographies and make them more appealing to the electorate, while policy lies are to advance a political agenda that they believe is best for America. Personal lies reflect upon their insecurities about themselves or the concealment of unpleasant truths of their lives. Policy lies are a deception to institute an agenda that the American people may not be supportive of or to cloak aspects of a policy that may be disagreeable to the American people. In either case, this lying is often injurious to society and the American people.

In the 20th century, this lying was elevated to a new level to institute fundamental changes to our governance and our domestic and foreign policies. In many cases, the Civil Rights of their opponents were violated to suppress the opposition to these changes and to cover up these lies. The three biggest Presidential liars of the 20th century are:

Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, Wilson changed the nation's economic policies and led the United States into World War I in 1917. He was the leading architect of the League of Nations, and his progressive stance on foreign policy came to be known as Wilsonianism.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing the New Deal in response to the worst economic crisis in American history. He also built the New Deal coalition, realigning American politics into the Fifth Party System and defining American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. He became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, under whom he had served as vice president from 1961 to 1963. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson also served as a U.S. representative and senator.

The books The Illusion of Victory: America In World War I by Thomas Fleming and The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II again by Thomas Fleming document these lies by Wilson and Roosevelt, while the Pentagon Papers document the lies of Johnson.

While Wilson has been criticized for his lies, and LBJ has been disparaged for his lies, FDR is still held in esteem by many, as the full extent of his lies is not well known. This is regrettable, as the extent of FDR's lies has been detrimental to America. The repercussions of all the Presidential lies on the international stage embroiled America in wars with dreadful consequences, and the repercussions of their lies on the domestic stage changed the character and economics of America. Repercussions that are still being negatively felt in today’s America and the world.

09/14/23 Media Lies and Cover-ups

From the Presidential campaign through the administration of President Trump in 2015 to 2019, we were inundated 24/7 with media lies like "Russian Collusion," "Putin's Puppet," "Election Rigging," and the "Steele Dossier." When all such "evidence" was proven to be a complete fraud fabricated through Hillary Clinton's surreptitious hiring of and collusion with a discredited ex-British spy, Christopher Steele, and a Russian fabulist at the Brookings Institution, Igor "Iggy" Danchenko, and a Clinton toady in Moscow, Olga Galkina, as examined in the NY Post article “Inside the Clinton dossier and the con behind the Russiagate scandal”. Their reporting on the two Impeachments of President Trump and the “Insurrection” of 2021 was so one-sided that a majority of the American people reacted with antipathy to their reporting. They also responded to allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election by denials or cover-ups without any investigative reporting. In any of this, did the media apologize for the disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation that they spread? Were any of the Pulitzer Prizes or other news media awards rescinded for these lies and cover-ups?

In the Presidential campaign of 2020 and throughout his administration, Joe Biden repeatedly lied when he claimed he knew nothing of his son Hunter's influence-peddling businesses. The president further prevaricated that he was not involved in Hunter's various shake-down schemes. Had journalists just been honest and independent and reported the facts, then-candidate Joe Biden might have lost a presidential debate and even the 2020 election. The public would have learned from Hunter's business associates and his laptop contents, which the media claimed was Russian disinformation but was proved to be true, that Joe was deeply involved in his son's illicit businesses. As the NY Post article “Media’s long con to bury Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal”, the media has been an active supporter of the Hunter Biden laptop lies and cover-ups. As Victor Davis Hanson has written in his article “From One Unapologetic Media Hoax to the Next”, they continue to lie or cover up the truth of the Biden family corruption to this day.

For the last eight years, the discredited media has never expressed remorse for any of the damage they did to the country. And they will not apologize again when the latest indictments against former President Trump are eventually exposed as duplicity. No one has ever been fired or apologized for perpetuating journalistic fraud on the masses of fake news stories that are believed by the core of liberal America. But given liberals’ penchant for self-righteousness and insufferable condescension, it’s not shocking that we’ll never get an apology. They can’t admit that they’re wrong because they’re too arrogant and dismiss those who were correct about this story because they view them as inferior. And that is why the media is distrusted and will never learn from their mistakes.

Alas, "Modern Journalism" ethics have sunk so low that they have become the propaganda arm of Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists, and they are now a Fifth Column rather than the Fourth Estate in America. This bodes ill for America, as without proper facts and proper reasoning, the American people cannot make proper decisions about the future course of America. And proper facts and proper reasoning to arrive at truths is what proper journalism should be about, for:

"There can be no truths without proper facts and proper reasoning."
  - Mark Dawson

09/13/23 Mistakes, Lies, or Truths?

In the recent indictments of former President Trump, the question of whether he was mistaken or lying, or perhaps telling the truth, has been raised. As I have pointed out in my chirp on “09/11/23 Truth as a Defense”, if President Trump was mistaken or was telling the truth, then the indictments are without merit on these points and need to be dismissed in a court of law. If he was lying, then the burden of proof falls upon the prosecution that these were knowing lies with the intent to commit criminal acts.

In all of science, engineering, law, philosophy, theology, economics, statistics, and many other areas of human interactions, the Burden of Proof" is upon the person or persons who make the assertion, or as Christopher Hitchens once said, "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." The burden of proof must be based upon "Reasoning" rather than emotions, for emotions will almost always lead to a false conclusion. If you do otherwise, you may fall into the trap of "if you cannot show their assertion is wrong, then their assertion must be right", which is obviously an untrue statement. You may also fall into the trap of trying to prove a negative, which is almost impossible to do. You should also remember that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

In American jurisprudence, the prosecution always bears the burden of proof (i.e., Innocent until proven guilty). Consequently, the prosecution must prove that President Trump knowingly lied for criminal intent purposes. If the prosecution cannot meet this burden of proof, then these trials are nothing but Show Trials to tarnish President Trump and to sway the electorate against President Trump. If it is the latter, then the prosecution is engaging in election interference, and if it is the former, the prosecution is engaging in smear tactics. In either the former or latter, the prosecution is perverting justice by not engaging in "Justice and The Rule of Law in America". There is also more than a hint of “Show me the man and I will find the crime” that Lavrentiy Beria, the most ruthless and longest-serving secret police chief in Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror in Russia and Eastern Europe, bragged that he could prove criminal conduct on anyone, even the innocent. By stretching the bounds of the law, the Trump prosecutors are attempting to find the crime. By prosecuting Trump’s advisors, both legal and others, they are also attempting to breach lawyer-client privilege and Presidential advisors’ communications confidentiality. They are also not considering the repercussions of their actions on the future of American society. If we allow this type of prosecution against one side, then when the other side controls the levers of power, then these prosecutions may become commonplace in American governance. We should also keep in mind the following dialog:

William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”
Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”
William Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!”
Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!”
― 
Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons

 Thus, the prosecutors in the Trump indictments are not giving “the Devil benefit of law” and are imperiling the safety of the law for all. They are, therefore, violating our "American Ideals and Ideas" and our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". They are also leading America down the path to a Banana Republic and instituting "Despotism in America".

09/12/23 Doubt and Confusion

Through the utilization of "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language”, progressives seem intent on sowing doubt and confusion in the minds of the American people. Doubt and confusion that is used as a paralysis for the words and deeds of those Americans who may not agree with them, thus allowing them to institute their political goals and policy agendas while uncertainty reigns in the minds of the American public.

They often use inane platitudes and assertions without evidence that, with further examination, turn out to be falsehoods. Many of these platitudes have a feel-good aspect that, upon examination, has no foundation and many times does not lead to doing good, and many of their assertions are based on "The Biggest Falsehoods in America". They often present these platitudes and assertions as statements of facts that are unchallengeable, as they have been successful at ingraining these falsehoods into the American public’s perceptions. However, perceptions often are not reality, and perceptions without reality often lead to bad decisions with negative repercussions.

They, themselves, often believe that these falsehoods are truths, as they rarely encounter challenges to these falsehoods. When they are challenged, they often require their opponent to prove the correctness of their challenge, while at the same time, they offer no proof of the correctness of their platitudes and assertions. This portrays an attitude of "if you cannot show their assertion is wrong, then their assertion must be right”, which is a logical fallacy and which is obviously an untrue statement. In doing so, they are not following the philosophical Burden of proof of the Holder of the Burden, Shifting the Burden of proof, and Proving a negative, as well as utilizing Evidence of absence to prove their assertions. They are also violating the philosophical standards of Hitchens's Razor and the Sagan Standard, as well as making empirical claims not subject to Falsifiability, often through the utilization of Russell's Teapot claims. The most insidious aspect of their platitudes and assertions is that they are often making an Argument from ignorance, as they have not made an effort to verify their facts and not constructing "A Philosophical Approach" to their "Reasoning". Many Progressives will claim that they are interpreting the facts as they see proper, but interpreting the facts by not applying proper facts and proper reasoning leads to falsehood as "There can be no truths without proper facts and proper reasoning" as I have examined in my Chirp on “08/11/23 Proper Reasoning”.

While they may not be technically lying to the American public, as I have examined in my Chirp on “09/11/23 Truth as a Defense”, their platitudes and assertions are the equivalent of lies, as they have not properly ascertained the truths of their statements. Perpetuating a lie through repeating a lie does not absolve them from the moral and ethical responsibility of lying, as they are maintaining the lies. As an old Proverb states, "A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on" it is consequently difficult to counter lies and their impacts. A lie is easy to construct, but the truth is more difficult to ascertain and requires thoughtful consideration to discover the truth. Thus, the Doubt and Confusion they are sowing is based upon lies, and we should pay no heed to liars.

09/11/23 Truth as a Defense

John Peter Zenger (October 26, 1697 – July 28, 1746) was a German printer and journalist in New York City. Zenger printed The New York Weekly Journal, and he was accused of libel in 1734 by William Cosby, the royal governor of New York. However, the jury acquitted Zenger, who became a symbol of freedom of the press.

In 1733, Zenger began printing The New York Weekly Journal, which voiced opinions critical of the colonial governor, William Cosby. On November 17, 1734, on Cosby's orders, the sheriff arrested Zenger. After a grand jury refused to indict him, the Attorney General Richard Bradley charged him with libel in August 1735. Zenger's lawyers, Andrew Hamilton and William Smith, Sr., successfully argued that truth is a defense against charges of libel.

But truth is a defense against more than libel. When someone speaks the truth, they are immune from all legal proceedings. The only question is if they have spoken the truth. Truth, however, is often difficult to prove, while lies are easier to prove. Truth is based on facts and proper reasoning of the facts, but facts and reasoning may not lead to the truth.

As I have explained in my Chirp on “08/11/23 Proper Reasoning” and my article on "Reasoning", reasoning is fraught with difficulties and complications. Incorrect, incomplete, or omitted facts, even with proper reasoning, will not lead to the truth. In reasoning, "Formal and Informal Logic" may be faulty, Cognitive Biases" and "Logical Fallacies" may occur, and the Burden of Proof may not be present, which leads to an improper conclusion. Thus, truth can be elusive and difficult to ascertain.

When someone speaks to what they believe to be the truth but is in error, they are not lying but mistaken. It is only when someone speaks to what they know are not the facts or truths that they are lying. When someone is mistaken, and the errors are illuminated, then they need to apologize and correct their statement. When someone is lying, they bear the moral responsibility and perhaps the legal ramifications of their lying.

If we prosecute those who speak what they believe to be the truth when they are mistaken, then we have the suppression of the Freedom of Speech and the Press. The proper response to mistakes is the correction of the mistakes by the Freedom of Speech and the Press, and not by prosecution. If individual harm is done by mistakes, then individual legal recourse should be available to those so harmed. Lies, however, should be prosecuted as they are often negligent and malicious in purpose and meant to inflict damage.

When prosecuting these lies, we should always seek justice and ensure that the two kinds of justice, substantive and procedural, are instituted. As Alan Dershowitz has written in his article, “Justice Requires Fair Procedures”, without substantive and procedural justice, there is no justice. No matter what your opinion is of the person who is mistaken or lying, we all need to insist that substantive and procedural justice be accorded to those accused of mistakes or lies. To do otherwise is to institute Kangaroo courts and pervert justice.

09/10/23 A Contributor, a Differentiator, or a Despoiler

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
 - Henry David Thoreau

“This sentence, which appears in the first chapter, “Economy,” is perhaps the most famous quotation from Walden. It sums up the prophetic side of Thoreau that many people forget about; he was not just an experimenter living in isolation on Walden Pond, but also a deeply social and morally inspired writer with an ardent message for the masses. His use of the word “desperation” instead of a milder reference to discontentment or unhappiness shows the grimness of his vision of the mainstream American lifestyle. He believes that the monomaniacal pursuit of success and wealth has paradoxically cheapened the lives of those engaged in it, making them unable to appreciate the simpler pleasures enumerated in Walden. But the unpleasantness of American life, according to Thoreau, is more than simply financial or economic, despite the title of his first chapter. “Desperation” is also a word with deep religious connotations, the “lack of hope” that, according to Dante (one of Thoreau’s favorite writers), was inscribed on the gates at hell’s entrance. The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’s Protestant spiritual classic and a bestseller in the New England of Thoreau’s day, features a hero who passes through a bleak lowland called the Slough of Despair on his way to meet God. By asserting that most humans have gotten stuck in despair, Thoreau is implying that they are unable to continue farther on their pilgrimage toward true redemption.”
- from Sparknotes.com

While I do not agree with Thoreau on desperation, I would agree with him if he had used discontentment. Their discontentment is in the longing for something better than their present situation and unhappiness that they have not achieved all that they had hoped to achieve. Such is the lot of most people while some other people are happy and satisfied with what they have achieved, and other people are disappointed, dissatisfied, or despondent with their lives.

I would personally label these groups of people as Contributors, Differentiators, or Despoilers. A Contributor is a person who has a positive influence on their family and friends, their community, and their coworkers and employer, while a Differentiator is one who changes things for the better in these arenas of life. If you are not a Contributor or a Differentiator, then you are a Despoiler of others.

It is unfortunate that in modern America, the ranks of the Differentiators have decreased while the ranks of the Despoilers have increased. Whether it be social, economic, religious, or governance that has driven this change, it is a change for the worse in America. A change that I believe is being driven by "The Problem is Systemic Liberalisms & Progressivisms" in America. The Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders in modern America seem to be unhappy people who believe they are victims of an oppressive patriarchal society over which they have no control. But control over others is illusionary, as the only control that you have is over yourself.

As I have entered the end stages of my life, I can look back on my life and say that I was a Differentiator in my career, a Contributor in my personal life, and I could have easily become a Despoiler in my career or personal life if I had not taken control of my life, and proactively made decisions or changes to my life.

To all the Contributors in our society, I would say thank you for your contributions, as the world cannot function without contributors. You should also be comforted that if you could not be a Differentiator, you were at least not a Despoiler. For the Despoilers, I would say that it is not too late to become a Contributor, but you must not view yourself as a victim but take control of your life to become a Contributor.

09/09/23 We Are All Different

One of my pet peeves is when people say things such as “If I can do it, so can you” or “It’s easy or it’s hard”, they are not taking into account that all people are different. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, skills and abilities, and physical and mental capacities. We are all born equal in our Natural Rights, but we are all born unequal in our capabilities and capacities. Much of the drama and comedy of life is about these inequalities, and the paths our lives take are often driven by these inequalities. Our life experiences also add to our uniqueness. We should all consider these inequalities and uniqueness in our dealings with others, and we should all not deign nor exalt another person based on these inequalities and uniqueness. Nevertheless, we should recognize these inequalities and uniqueness and adjust our expectations of another person based on their uniqueness. We should also take into account our own uniqueness whenever we undertake any task and not expect that we are capable of doing anything that we desire.

We should all recognize that some of these differences are sexually based, as men and women are different mentally and physiologically. These male/female differences are often subtle but sometimes significant, and the accumulation of these differences in a man or woman makes for unique differences between a male and female. As in all generalities, specific instances of individual men or women may not reveal a significant difference between the two, but as a whole, men and women are, to a degree or extent, somewhat different. Often, these differences are the basis of marital discord and/or the war between the sexes.

With this in mind, it is helpful to examine these differences to understand the basis for the differences. In the article Scientific Facts About Differences Between Men and Women on Factinate.com (created by trivia nerds who have a passion for learning and sharing information), they point out that there are some genuine differences in the biology, chemistry, and mental make-up of men in comparison to women, and vice-versa. They list off 45 of them in the hopes that the next time you're tempted to make an assumption about the opposite sex, you stop and take some time to consider the facts. Do not be misled by the titles of these differences, as the content may not be what you expect. I, therefore, recommend that you read this article as a basis for understanding some of the differences between men and women.

    1. Equal Intelligence
    2. Goodnight, baby
    3. Unfriendly Faces
    4. Tunnel Vision
    5. Longer Lifespan
    6. Thin Skinned
    7. Loose Ligaments
    8. Bigger Hearts
    9. The Big Sniffer
    10. Sniffing Out Adultery
    11. Both Sides vs. One Side
    12. The Incredible Shrinking Brain
    13. A Neater Hand
    14. Linguistically Inclined
    15. Multitaskers
    16. Not as Sad as You Think
    17. Water in the Blood
    18. Cold Feet
    19. Physical vs. Verbal
    20. No Sleep? No Problem.
    21. 1000 Gene Difference
    22. Consonants and Vowels
    23. Neurological Disorders
    24. Processing Emotion
    25. Colour Detection
    26. Conflict and Competition
    27. Finger Length
    28. Better Spatial Sense
    29. He’s Not Just Ignoring You
    30. Chronic Worrywarts
    31. Feel More Pain
    32. Store Fat Differently
    33. Brow Bossing
    34. Hears Like a Bat
    35. Honey, Have You Seen My Keys?
    36. Popped Up Veins
    37. A Spare Chromosome
    38. Mathematical Mind
    39. Faces & Moving Objects
    40. 3-Dimensional Thinking
    41. Cool as a Cucumber
    42. Formed Before Birth
    43. Right Minded
    44. Seeing Things Differently
    45. Acoustic Size Judgement

09/08/23 The Big Three

Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders seem to have an attitude toward black conservatives that they should be consigned to purgatory for eternity. They will not listen to or consider what they have to say and, indeed, use the tactics of "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" when confronted by their thoughts, ideas, and arguments. They also have this attitude when confronted with female or Latino conservatives’ comments or arguments. This goes along with their belief that anyone that opposes their ideology must be unintelligent, bigoted, or wicked.

This is most troubling for America, as all erudite and sagacious thoughts and opinions should be considered when considering societal issues and concerns. It is also counterfactual, as exhibited in the thoughts and opinions of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. In my opinion, the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of these big three should always be seriously considered by all people of all political persuasions whenever consideration is given to the topics of which they have written or spoken.

Clarence Thomas is an American lawyer and jurist who is as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since his confirmation in 1991. During his years on the Court, Thomas has pursued an original general meaning approach to constitutional interpretation; he has been unswayed by claims of precedent—by the gradual build-up of interpretations that, to his mind, come to distort the original meaning of the constitutional provision in question, leading to muddled decisions and contradictory conclusions. A close reading of Thomas's hundreds of well-crafted and passionately argued majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions illuminates how Justice Thomas applies this original meaning approach to questions of constitutional structure as they relate to federalism; substantive rights found in the First Amendment's religion and free speech and press clauses, the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms, the Fifth Amendment's restrictions on the taking of private property, and the Fourteenth Amendment regarding abortion rights; and various criminal procedural provisions found in the Ex Post Facto Clauses and the Bill of Rights.

He has written an autobiography, “My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir”, revealing his poor southern upbringing and the pieces of his life he holds dear and detailing the suffering and injustices he has overcome.  A few books have also been written about him and his Constitutional opinions.

Dr. Thomas Sowell is an American economist and social theorist who spent the last several decades as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Dr. Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1958 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Thomas Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a libertarian conservative perspective, and he has written more than thirty books (a number of which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient for innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics, and political science.

Walter Edward Williams, who passed away on December 2, 2020, was an American economist, commentator, and academic. As a black man raised in the ghetto of Philadelphia, PA, he provided keen insights into the political and economic issues confronting minorities in America. He was the author of over 150 publications which have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review, Georgia Law Review, Journal of Labor Economics, Social Science Quarterly, and Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and popular publications such as Newsweek, Ideas on Liberty, National Review, Reader’s Digest, Cato Journal, and Policy Review. He authored eleven books: America: A Minority Viewpoint, The State Against Blacks, which was later made into the PBS documentary “Good Intentions,” All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa’s War Against Capitalism, which was later revised for South African publication, Do the Right Thing: The People’s Economist Speaks,  More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty vs. the Tyranny of Socialism, Up From The Projects: An Autobiography, Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed On Discrimination? and American Contempt for Liberty, and A Cure Worse Than The Disease: Fighting Discrimination Through Government Control.

In my opinion, these are the big three black persons in conservative thought in America, but there are many others, such as Allen West, Ben Carson, Candace Owens, Charles Payne, Condoleeza Rice, Deroy Murdock, Harris Faulkner, Larry Elder, Lawrence Jones, Shelby Steele, and Tim Scott. All of these people have achieved wisdom, as I have written in my article "Knowledgeable – From Information to Wisdom". These wise persons, and all other wise conservatives, deserve thoughtful consideration of their opinions and not the disparaging or disdain that Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders seem to direct to anyone who would disagree with them.

09/07/23 Why I Do Not Go into Politics

Given my great concern about the future of America, many would ask why I do not go into politics to effect a change to what I believe are the issues and concerns impacting the future of America. My response is that I do not believe that I would be an effective politician. Some of the reasons that I do not believe that I would be an effective politician are:

    • I have the unfortunate habit of telling people what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear.
    • I do not suffer fools gladly.
    • I am also one who does not play well with others.

These are not the traits of a politician but of a philosopher. Also, I believe I am a poor debater, as I lack the ability to quickly recall facts and figures and what I have previously written or said on a topic. As my pronunciation of words is often humorous, it would detract from what I have to say. I also have an aversion to modern political debates, as I have Chirped on “09/07/19 Form Over Substance”. Consequently, I do not believe that I would be an effective politician.

Thus, I have constricted myself to writing my Chirps and Articles in the hopes that I can effect a change in America through my writings.

09/06/23 Keep In Mind

Presented, without comment, are some of my own quotes that I try to keep in mind whenever I write or speak:

Knowledge and Understanding

"I refuse to talk before I have thought."
 - Mark Dawson

"Know whereof you speak or write before you speak or write."
 - Mark Dawson

"Knowing why is often more important than knowing how."
 - Mark Dawson

“Nobody really knows politics, economics, and sociology, as those topics are often tied to human nature and the unpredictable reactions of people to circumstances.”
 - Mark Dawson

"Those that do not know history should not speak of history."
 - Mark Dawson

"Those that do not know science should not speak of science."
 - Mark Dawson

"To understand well you must read; and read well, often, and on subjects on which you are unfamiliar."
 - Mark Dawson

"Without knowing the details, it is impossible to know the devils."
 - Mark Dawson

Facts and Truths

"Assertions are not facts, as they often contain Presumptions and Assumptions; Improper Facts; Faulty Reasoning; Logical Fallacies; Cognitive Biases; and the problems of Unintended Consequences that may be inherent in any assertion."
 - Mark Dawson

"Educated Guesses always have the inherent questions as to the quality of the education and the accuracy of the guess."
 - Mark Dawson

"I would rather be factually correct than politically correct."
 - Mark Dawson

“If an argument is not intellectually rational and reasonable then it cannot reach a sound conclusion, except by accident.”
 - Mark Dawson

"Just because you 'believe' something to be true does not mean that you 'know' something is true, and just because someone says it is true doesn't make it true."
 - Mark Dawson

"Reasons are often not Reasoning, as reasons are generally emotionally based while reasoning is intellectually based"
 - Mark Dawson

"The Burden of Proof always rests with the person who makes an assertion. To not do so is to ask the other person to prove a negative - which is impossible."
 - Mark Dawson

"The Burden of Proof must be based upon reasoning rather than emotions, for emotions will almost always lead to a false conclusion."
 - Mark Dawson

"There can be no truths without proper facts and proper reasoning."
 - Mark Dawson

"There is no such thing as 'my truth' or 'their truth', as there is only 'the truth'."
 - Mark Dawson

Finally, I always try to keep in mind:

"You may be the smartest person in the room, but you're not the only person in the room, and most times, you are not the smartest person in the room."
 - Mark Dawson

09/05/23 Rating Presidents

Many historians and other organizations like to rank the presidents, but rarely are these rankings based upon the Constitutional duties and responsibilities of the President, as I have Chirped on, "04/11/22 A Successful President". This chirp outlines the thoughts of Rob Natelson in his article Using the Constitution to Re-Rank the Presidents. He has written a follow-on article, Is Biden the Worst President Ever? A Historical Assessment, in which he has ranked President Biden using constitutional criteria, in which he states, “Admittedly, it is risky to compare the performance of modern presidents against their predecessors. Because it is hard to place current events in historical context, snap judgments can prove embarrassing later.” He also capsulizes the reasons why these surveys are deeply flawed for two reasons: the questions and the answers:

“First, the questions are largely disconnected from the president’s job description as it appears in the Constitution. Most questions do not address constitutional duties such as general law enforcement and serving as military commander-in-chief. Instead, they reflect liberal obsession with factors like “vision” and “economic management.” And while the framers designed the presidency as a check on Congress, the surveys give presidents better scores if they go along with Congress.

Second, the answers are skewed by liberal bias. For instance, in the 2021 C-SPAN survey, academic historians listed Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) third among presidents for “economic management,” while ranking Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) 15th. But history shows that FDR’s conflicting economic policies failed to pull the economy out of the doldrums after years of trying, while Reagan’s policies quickly converted a recession into an economic boom.”

In this article, he rates President Biden on the following factors.

    • Scandal
    • Enforcing the Law
    • “Equal Justice”
    • Foreign Policy
    • Economic Management
    • Abuse of Power
    • Moral Leadership v. Demagogy
    • Cognitive Impairment
    • Military Policy

In his conclusion, he states, “Of course, a full historical assessment of the Biden presidency will have to await completion of his term. At this point, however, he seems headed for a ranking among the very worst of American presidents.

I would encourage all to read this article, as it puts President Biden and his administration into the perspective of his performance of his Constitutional duties and responsibilities.

09/01/23 American Progressivism Reader

American Progressivism started in the late 19th century and flowered at the beginning of the 20th century. The Presidential Administration of Woodrow Wilson was when it began to be incorporated into American governance. After a brief pause in the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression in the United States brought forth even greater Progressivism under the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). It was under the FDR Administration that Progressivism became entrenched in the American government. After a World War II pause Progressivism came back to the forefront in The Great Society of President Lyndon Johnson. To this day, we have Progressivism baked into American governance.

Yet, the administrations of President Wilson, Roosevelt, and Johnson had a dismal record on the Civil Rights of dissidents. They also operated on a reinterpretation or ignoring of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, and they attempted to indoctrinate Americans into a Progressive ideology of governance and societal culture. This month’s Book It selections are the books that examine the history of the Wilson and Roosevelt Administration regarding Progressivism and the Civil Rights of Americans during their administrations.

08/31/23 The Twists and Turns of Theodore Roosevelt

The history of Theodore Roosevelt, who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, had many twists and turns as to his political thoughts and principles. At the beginning of his political career, he was somewhat Progressive in his attempts to weed out the graft and corruption of the political bosses and party machines of his day. During his Presidency, he was mildly progressive in extending government involvement in domestic affairs while trying to remain within, but often stretching Constitutional bounds. However, unlike the Progressives of his day, he was internationally imperialistic in his desire to make America a world power. After he left the Presidency, he became very Progressive on domestic affairs while remaining committed to making America into a world power, often at odds with progressives that wanted America to concentrate on domestic affairs.

Consequently, it is difficult to characterize the political thoughts and principles of Theodore Roosevelt. Much of the popular view on Theodore Roosevelt is formed by his words after leaving the Presidency, but this cannot be a full measure of a historical person as they should be adjudged of their entire life. Therefore, when we think of Theodore Roosevelt, we should remember the entirety of his life and not focus on one period of his life.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Please note that the below series of Chips on Progressivism and Progressives
have been combined into my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives",
that are in the proper order in which they should be read.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

08/30/23 Progressivism and A Tale of Two Cities

Along with these collected Chirps on Progressivism and Progressives, I would refer you to my collected Chirps on the "A Tale of Two Cities", as Progressivism has divided America into two cities—Progressives and non-Progressives. Two cities that are in opposition to each other in their basic governing philosophy, as I have examined in my article “A Republic versus a Democracy”. Two cities that have a different interpretations of the Constitution, as I have examined in my article "A Republican Constitution or a Democratic Constitution". As a result, the two cities have disagreed on our "American Ideals and Ideas" and what constitutes "A Just Government and a Just Society". One city, the Progressive city, has engaged in acrimonious and venomous disputations against the other city that has undermined "A Civil Society" in America.

Until one city prevails in America, this acrimony will continue. The resolution of this conflict will have profound repercussions on "Justice and The Rule of Law in America", as well as our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". Thus, it is important that this conflict be resolved, and during this resolution, we should remember the advice of Abraham Lincoln:

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
  - Abraham Lincoln

08/29/23 The Failures of Progressivism

While some Progressive ideals and ideas have been beneficial to America and Americans, their record of failure far exceeds their successes. The problem with Progressivism is its ideology. It is an ideology that is based on their belief that they can mold human nature to fit Progressivism, on a lack of understanding of economics, and their presumption of the deference of the individual to society's goals.

In the past, there have been many despots, dictators, monarchs, totalitarians, and tyrants that believed that they could mold human nature. None of these attempts have ever succeeded, and none can ever succeed. As human nature has been molded by over six million years of evolution, a few years or decades of molding cannot undo these millions of years of evolution. Any attempts to do so have resulted in human misery and suffering, as well as the suppression of Natural Rights. Thus, all attempts to mold human nature are doomed to failure.

Progressives also believe that they can direct an economy to progressive ends. Once again, history has shown that any attempts to direct an economy are fruitless and often end with the collapse of an economy. Something as large and interrelated as an economy is impossible to direct, as it requires a knowledge of economics that is unknown and may even be unknowable.

They also have a zeal in their pursuit of Progressive goals to ignore the individual. They believe that the individual needs to be subservient to society, that rights are bestowed by society onto an individual, and that government is for the purpose of the betterment of society. As such, they have little or no respect for Natural Rights, and that “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”, and especially of property, is constricted to what they believe are acceptable parameters. In this, they do not recognize that history has demonstrated that people all over the world have chaffed at these restrictions and often rebelled against their rulers when so constricted.

Modern Progressivism has metamorphosized and become intoxicated with Political Correctness, Activists and Activism, Adjective Justice, Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Doxing, Hate Speech, Identity Politics, Racist, Wokeness, Hyper-Partisanship, Herd Mentality, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and "Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG)", in the belief that these goals are Progressive goals. In doing so, they have forgotten the purpose of Progressivism was to improve the social and economic status of ordinary Americans.

In their past and current attempts to implement Progressivism, they often resorted to Despotism against those that would disagree with them. This can be demonstrated in my collected Chirps on "Despotism in America" and "The Weaponization of Government". Thus, they corrupt the meaning of "A Just Government and a Just Society" and infringe upon the "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" in pursuit of their Progressive goals. This is why modern America is in such dire straits. After more than a century of Progressivism, it has resulted in more divisiveness, more disruptions to our society, and more and bigger government unresponsive to the issues and concerns of ordinary Americans and, indeed, seems contrary to the exigencies of ordinary Americans.

These, then, are the biggest failures of Progressivism and why Progressivism needs to be defeated in America, for to do so or not do so:

"We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth."
  - Abraham Lincoln

08/28/23 Progressive Celebrations of America

When we celebrate national holidays and important persons in our American history, we would all do well to remember the ideals and ideas of America and the personal thoughts and viewpoints of these historical persons. However, in today’s America, we can see a pattern that Progressives employ when celebrating the key events and figures of America’s political tradition: their celebrations are almost exclusively historical and biographical and carefully avoid any reference to—or commemoration of—their ideas or principles. We also see a pattern of dismissal or disparaging of The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution as not important nor relevant to modern America, and a focus on the wrongs that have occurred in American history, without a corresponding noticing on the good within American history.

There is no discussion of the "American Ideals and Ideas" of these documents or key figures in these celebrations, as these ideals and ideas often contradict Progressive ideals and ideas. They also try to pervert The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to comport to Progressive ideals and ideas, as I have written in my Chirp on "07/22/21 The Party Hostile to The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution". We should also remember that for the vast majority of his life President Wilson, one of the originators of American Progressivism, had grounded his thinking about government in open hostility to the Declaration of Independence. We need only recall his 1911 address, where Wilson proclaimed: “If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.” Do not repeat, in other words, the very part of the Declaration with all the universalistic language about self-government.

However, we should all remember the ideals of The Declaration of Independence:

“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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --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.”

We should also remember the ideas of the Constitution as expressed in the Preamble of the Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The ideals of the Declaration of Independence, and the ideas of the Constitution on the best ways to institute our ideals, are the bedrock of American governance and the foundation of our society. It is important not only to understand the words of the Declaration and the Constitution but to understand the ideals and ideas that went into their creation. And the best way to accomplish this is to understand the thoughts and words of our Founding Fathers, as well as other great Americans and other great thinkers’ thoughts and words on these documents. It is just as important to not be led astray of their true meaning as Progressives are in the habit of doing.

Unfortunately, many Americans have forgotten or do not agree with our American ideals and ideas. The American ideals and ideas of "A Just Government and a Just Society" and "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" are, therefore, in danger of being forgotten or discarded. It is important that we remember our past and the events surrounding our past, as well as the ideals and ideas that shaped our history, for as Edmund Burke has stated, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

08/27/23 Narcissistic Personality Disorder of Progressives

The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also have grandiose fantasies and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.

People with NPD often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way, which can enhance their own self-esteem. They tend to seek excessive admiration and attention and have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat. Individuals with NPD can be easily stung by criticism or defeat and may react with disdain or anger. Humble, self-deprecating humor is often lacking in a person with NPD, as they believe that they must always be taken seriously. Politicians and activists often reflexively react to criticism by employing "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" against those that would criticize them.

This definition sounds applicable to many politicians and "Activists and Activism", and it is often characteristic of Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders. As I have often said, Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders believe that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior, they are, of course, always correct and good. As such, they view Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders as not just being wrong and stupid but that they are bad or evil persons, as demonstrated by their usage of pejoratives, as I have written about in my Article "Divisiveness in America". As such, this attitude can be considered a trait of a person with NPD.

From Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barach Obama, to now Joe Biden, to a host of other politicians and activists with a Progressive disposition, NPD seems to run rampant amongst them. They brook no criticisms of themselves and their policies, and they are often averse to compromise with their opponents.

Most NPD persons are often difficult to work with or for, as they tend to be authoritarian in their approach to interacting with other persons. In politicians, NPD persons are often predisposed to be rulers rather than leaders, as I have written in my article "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders".

Thus, we should all recognize the signs of an NPD person and be very wary of them. Their NPD impulses are not in the best interest of others, but they are only interested in themselves despite their pretenses otherwise.

08/26/23 The Manifest Destiny of Progressivism

Manifest Destiny was a cultural belief in the 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. There were three basic tenets to the concept:

  • The special virtues of the American people and their institutions.
  • The mission of the United States is to redeem and remake the West in the image of the agrarian East.
  • An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty.

This Manifest Destiny was accomplished by the end of the 19th century by the hard work and efforts of Americans, but it was not foreordained. After this was achieved, America and Americans began to search for another Manifest Destiny. Americans are often idealistic and need a greater purpose for their lives and destinies. Given the social-economic problems of the late 19th and early 20th century, they began an idealistic search for solutions to these problems. From religion to politics to economics, they began an examination of possible solutions to these problems. One of these proposed solutions was Progressivism.

The originators and supporters of Progressivism attempted to take on the mantel of Manifest Destiny for their ideals and ideas. In doing so, they adopted many attitudes that their ideals and ideas were the only future course of history and that they were on the ‘Right Side of History’. But the Right side of history is an oxymoron; as there is no right or wrong side of history, history is just what has occurred in the past. Progressives believe in historical trends while ignoring that history has often diverged from a trend by circumstances and/or the actions of powerful or influential people or scientific or technological discoveries and innovations. After all, except by hindsight, who could have foreseen a historical trend that led to the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age, or the fall of civilizations that changed history, or leaders that changed history?

The fall of the Roman Empire led to the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages, which reversed the historical trends of Europe and the Middle East. The same could be said for the fall of other civilizations that have occurred throughout history. Leaders such as Alexander the Great, Constantine, Muhammad, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, and many others have changed history. If Muhammad or Napoleon had never been born, or if Hitler had died in the gas attack he suffered in World War I, then the history of Europe and the Middle East and humanity would have been significantly different.

There is also no historical accounting for great scientists and artists such as Newton and Einstein, Beethoven and Da Vinci, and many others that changed history within their domains. Individual business leaders arose, such as Andrew Carnegie (steel), Andrew Mellon (finance, oil), Cornelius Vanderbilt (water transport, railroads), J. P. Morgan (finance, industrial consolidation), John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil), Henry Ford (automobiles), and Howard Hughes (multiple industries) that changed American society in the past, and modern Americans such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffett that changed how society operates today.

Progressives might respond that if these persons had not come about, then other persons would have done so. However, there is no way to ascertain this as a fact, and there is no way to determine when and what the impacts of these other persons would have been. Our history would have been quite different without these persons, which shatters the claims of historical trends. This claim of historical trends also assumes that history is linear with an upward slope of human progress. But history is not linear nor upward in human progress. It ebbs and flows, with ups and downs in human progress, and all that can be said of historical trends is that they are malleable, changeable, and unpredictable.

Therefore, historical trends are more in the backward eye of the beholder than they are foreordained. Consequently, it is safe to ignore and challenge these claims of historical trends and the Manifest Destiny of Progressivism, for if history has taught us anything, it is that history is not foreordained.

08/25/23 The Progressive Myths of Science and History

In my Chirp on “08/16/23 American Progressivism”, I note that Progressivism relies on the “facts” and “truths” of science and history to buttress their ideology. However, they pick and choose tidbits of facts and truths and surround them with their ideology rather than elucidating all the facts and truths. In doing so, they are corrupting science and history and creating myths of science and history, which they propagate to an unknowing public.

These scientific mythologies abound in "Activists and Activism", and almost all activism that relies on scientific truths is mostly scientific mythology. Many of these same activists also use their scientific mythology in a grandiloquent manner:

 “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit.”
 - W.C. Fields

They also propose government actions with far-reaching consequences and have forgotten the aphorism:

 “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”
 - Alexander Pope

Thus, their scientific mythology is fraught with danger if it is believed to be scientific truths.

This is most especially true in Environmentalism and Climate Freezing, then Climate Warming to Climate Change activists. These activists have not only selectively used science, but in some cases, they have fabricated science based on their interpretation of the science, not to mention that their predictions have always been wrong. They have also confused Scientific Consensus and Settled Science with scientific truths, which all good scientists know is no substitute for scientific proof. They have also tried to institute an Orthodoxy in Science, which is anathema to the progress of science. They are also basing their scientific myths on computer modeling and/or statistics, without consideration of the problems of computer modeling or statistics, as I have written about in my Article Beware of Computer Modeling and Statistical Processing. In doing so, they are creating scientific myths that they use as a foundation for their activism.

The Progressive's history of America is also mythology, with the facts, truths, and meaning of American history being selective, reinterpreted, and convoluted to fit their ideology. They have created entire historical bailiwicks dedicated to their mythology. Bailiwicks such as Critical Race Theory, Equity Theory, Intersectionality, and The 1619 Project which are not only factually and historically incorrect, but the holders of these beliefs attempt to justify these beliefs to institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) (a Progressive ideal) rather than Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All (an American ideal), the comparisons of the two ideologies that I have Chirped on "04/05/22 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)". Many Academics and Scholars in America (and in the world) have been gripped by the lofty ideals of Progressivism. Thus, the entire history of Progressivism in the 20th century has been rewritten or ignored by Progressives and many Historians to paper over Progressivism failures and the negative repercussions of their agenda. In doing so, they are creating historical myths that they use to advance their Progressive agendas.

Alas, Progressive Myths of Science and History are doing great harm to American society and governance. If you believe these myths, then you are making ill-informed decisions that can only negatively impact American society and governance. Decisions as to which politician to vote for, which policy issues to support, and which advocacy organizations to financial support are poor decisions if you base them on mythology. Consequently, you must sort out the facts and truths of science and history, ignore the mythology, and use your head rather than your heart when making these decisions. Otherwise, the future of America bodes ill, as a belief in mythology only leads to poor or calamitous decisions.

08/24/23 Progressives and Education

The American people have always believed in the importance of education, and schooling for children is part and parcel of our society. Indeed, America was one of the most literate countries in the world throughout most of its history. Education, until the Progressive era, was often provided privately by communities or by religious groups, which often discriminated against its student body by race and/or religion. Gradually, public education became a Local and State government prerogative as nowhere in the Constitution is education mentioned. This is because our Founders believed that this was a State, local government, or community issue that was delegated to them by the Tenth Amendment. This is the way it was until the latter part of the 20th century when the Federal government became alarmed about the quality of education across States and local jurisdictions, as well as the inequity of racial discrimination in public schooling resources.

Progressives were concerned about education from their beginnings and supported public education and public funding for all children. John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer. He was one of the most prominent American Progressives in the first half of the twentieth century and a leader for progressive public education. Indeed, much of modern public education was founded upon his ideas about public education.

As much as the progressives were concerned about the quality and universality of public education, they also foresaw that public education was a means to propagate their Progressive ideology and ideas on children and, thus, future voters. In all of this, they began to reform the ways and means of public education and the principles and methods of instruction (pedagogy) of teaching. College curriculums for prospective teachers were instituted, and State licensing of teachers became a legal requirement to teach. Much of these college curriculums incorporated Progressive ideology and ideas in the education of prospective teachers, with the repercussions of many teachers including progressive pedagogies in their teaching of students.

Because of Constitutional issues, these reforms occurred at a State and local government level and remained so until the latter part of the 20th century. In the latter part of the 20th century, the Federal government became concerned about the Civil Rights of public education for black and poor students in America, then began to become more involved in public education to redress the Civil Rights inequalities of public education in America. Thus, the era of Modern Education began in America.

Despite increased federal involvement in the funding and statutes for public education since then, the quality of Public Education has not improved much, and in many cases, it has become worse. My article on "Public Education" discusses many of the issues and concerns regarding public education in today’s America, while my other article, "Indoctrination versus Education", addresses the issues of the manipulation of public education for Progressivism goals.

Many of the problems in modern public education can be traced back to the implementation of progressive ideas in education. As more Federal government involvement in modern education occurred, the focus of Modern Education became more on the indoctrination of Progressive ideas and ideology and less on the dissemination of knowledge, truths, and rational thinking, along with the skills and abilities to function in modern society. Thus, modern public education has deteriorated the quality of the education that a student receives to the detriment of the students.

Thus, modern education fails to provide a good education for its students, it fails to provide a good environment for its students, it fails to prepare its students to become productive and contributing adults, they fail the parents of the students, and they fail the taxpayers who fund these schools. And these failures are the consequences of implementing Progressive ideologies and ideas in public education.

08/23/23 Progressives and Fearmongering and Demonization

Since the time of the founding of the modern Democrat Party in Andrew Jackson’s time, they have engaged in "Identity Politics" and disdainful rhetoric in order to win elections to obtain and retain power. Disdainful rhetoric is nothing new in politics and has occurred throughout American history. Identity Politics has also occurred throughout American history, but it was usually based on nationality, religion, or race. Most of the time, the disdainful rhetoric occurred during the election cycle and cooled off (but never went away) between elections. However, with the rise of Progressivism, this changed.

Progressive started to differentiate on the basis of political ideology (with an attitude of Us vs. Them, Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong, etc.) and turned to fearmongering and demonization rather than disdainful rhetoric. They also extended their attacks into the personal realm; in that they not only attacked the politics of their opponents, but they also attacked the personhood of their opponents. Reputational, financial, and judicial harm to their opponents was not only a goal to drive them from politics but as a warning to others that opposed them that they would personally harm them if they exercised their Freedom of Speech and Assembly in opposing progressives.

In doing so, they often utilized the tentacles of government in these attacks that violated the Civil Rights of their opponents. Indeed, many historians and lawyers have commented that the administration of President Woodrow Wilson was the greatest assault on Civil Rights since the post-Civil War. The administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt also engaged in Civil Rights violations but in a more clandestine manner. President Lyndon Banes Johnson’s administration also engaged in Civil Rights abuses, but often in a ham-handed way that the American people looked down on.

As fearmongering and demonization became effective in advancing Progressivism, they became part and parcel of Progressive tactics. And, as Progressives obtained dominance in the Democrat Party, it became part and parcel of Democrat Party electioneering and governance, as I have examined in my Chirps on "03/27/21 Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself" and "02/06/21 How Does Temporary Becomes Permanent?". We have also seen a dramatic increase in the weaponization of government (a form of Civil Rights abuse) by the Democratic Party to obtain and retain power for the furtherance of Progressivism, as I have examined in my collected Chirps on "The Weaponization of Government". Thus, we have entered into an era of "Divisiveness in America" and a loss of "A Civil Society" in America through the utilization of fearmongering and demonization by Progressives.

Many Progressives proclaim that both sides do it. Of course, both sides do it, as in the human experience, both sides do everything. That is the nature of humankind. Whenever there is an issue confronting our society, the extremes of both sides of the issue will often use the same methodologies and techniques to attack the other side. So therefore, the statement that both sides do it is irrelevant. The question is whether the mainstream and/or leadership of each side of the issue both do it and how much attention they pay to the extremes. In my experience, this is most obvious when dealing with Conservatism versus Progressivism or Leftism, Republican versus Democrat, Left versus Right, etc. What we should be asking is, 'Are the mainstream and/or the leadership of each side doing it?’. When you see one side or the other paying more heed to the extreme of their side or engaging in extreme deeds or words of their own, you need to weigh the balance. In weighing this balance, you need to not only make a determination of the number of words and misdeed incidents but also the tone of the deeds or words. If the balance is heavily tilted to one side, then the phrase 'Both Sides Do It' is not an equalizer but an excuse to continue the extreme deeds or words by the one side engaged in these extreme words or deeds.

Rather than convincing the American public as to the rightness of their ideas, Progressives have used fearmongering and demonization of their opponents to stampede the American public into accepting their Progressivism. A stampede that is driven by the forces of Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Doxing, Hate Speech, Identity Politics, LGBTQIA+, Modern Feminism, Wokeness, and Hyper-Partisanship, in an attempt to institute a Herd Mentality in support of Progressivism. Such a stampede impacts our "American Ideals and Ideas" and has negative repercussions on our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All".

08/22/23 Progressives and Systematic Lies

The three great progressive Presidents of the 20th century, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, systematically lied to the American public, especially when it came to war. The extent of their lying is revealed in two books and an official government report. These are:

The Illusion of Victory: America In World War I by Thomas Fleming
The political history of the American experience in World War I is a story of conflict and bungled intentions that begins in an era dedicated to progressive social reform and ends in the Red Scare and Prohibition. Thomas Fleming tells this story through the complex figure of Woodrow Wilson, the contradictory president who wept after declaring war, devastated because he knew it would destroy the tolerance of the American people, but who then suppressed freedom of speech and used propaganda to excite America into a Hun-hating mob.

The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II by Thomas Fleming
Acclaimed historian Thomas Fleming brings to life the flawed and troubled FDR, who struggled to manage WWII. Starting with the leak to the press of Roosevelt's famous Rainbow Plan, then spiraling back to FDR's inept prewar diplomacy with Japan and his various attempts to lure Japan into an attack on the U.S. Fleet in the Pacific, Fleming takes the reader inside the incredibly fractious struggles and debates that went on in Washington, the nation, and the world as the New Dealers, led by FDR, strove to impose their will on the conduct of the War.

The Pentagon Papers, officially titled Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Released by Daniel Ellsberg, who had worked on the study, they were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of The New York Times in 1971. A 1996 article in The New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers had demonstrated, among other things, that Lyndon B. Johnson's administration had "systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress."

These systematic lies were done to maneuver the American public into accepting a war in which there was much public sentiment against these wars. During the course of these lies and the cover-ups of these lies, they often violated the Civil Rights of the Americans who opposed the wars. They also engaged in vituperative rhetoric against their opponents, and many times persecutions and prosecutions against their opponents. In doing so, they whipped up mob passion against their opponents and warmongering against the nations that they wanted to wage war against.

These systematic lies betray an attitude amongst progressives in which they do not trust the American public to make a wise decision. They believe it is acceptable to engage in these systematic lies if it is for the good of America and Americans. As Progressives believe that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior, they are, of course, always correct. Therefore, they believe that their policies are what is best for all Americans. Consequently, it is acceptable to them to engage in systematic lies to implement what they believe is best for America and Americans. In this, they have forgotten or did not know:

"The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best?"
- Thomas Sowell

In the Progressive mindset, they believe that only they know what is best, and they should be the only persons to decide what is best. As such, systematic lies are acceptable if it is for the best for Americans and America.

Alas, these systematic lies of Progressives are not limited to war, for once you adopt this mindset, it is acceptable to engage in systematic lies in all agendas and policies that you believe are best for Americans and America. Thus, their mindset also applies to domestic and international affairs, and so it is acceptable for them to engage in systematic lies in all arenas to implement their Progressive ideology and ideas upon America.

08/21/23 The Administrative State and Constitutional Issues

The Administrative State is built on three main pillars, each of which clashes with core constitutional principles. As Ronald J. Pestritto has stated in his book America Transformed: The Rise and Legacy of American Progressivism, these are:

“The first pillar was the congressional delegation of discretionary and regulatory power to the executive—especially to an enlarged national administrative apparatus which, it was contended, would operate under the advantages inherent in expertise and specialization. The second pillar was the combination of powers—legislative, executive, and judicial—into single entities within the administrative apparatus, thus benefitting from the efficiency of centralizing all core agency functions in the same set of hands. The third pillar was the insulation of administration from political control.”

Previous too, and during the first term of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Supreme Court resisted such pillars and often declared them, or parts of them, unconstitutional. However, by the appointment of new Supreme Court Justices and intense political pressure on the Supreme Court, President Roosevelt, in his second term, was able to sway the Supreme Court to his view of a Progressive government. Since that time, the Supreme Court has often ruled in favor of the Administrative State and its authorities, duties, and responsibilities. However, in recent times we have seen some pushback by the Supreme Court on the pillars and excesses of the Administrative State.

This pushback is why in today’s America, the appointment of Justices and Judges have become such a contentious affair. The Progressives realize that if the pillars of the Administrative State are constricted or dismantled by Supreme Court decisions, then the governmental concepts of Progressivism will come tumbling down.

But it is not only the Supreme Court decisions that have enabled the rise of the Administrative State but also Congress’s supine acceptance of the Administrative State. In an effort for expediency and to avoid controversial decisions that could impact elections, Congress has often delegated powers to the Administrative State that are Constitutionally delegated to the Legislative Branch of government. Thus, we have seen a breakdown of the separation of powers and the checks and balances that were built into the Constitution to ensure the proper roles of the branches of government. This breakdown has also had a nefarious impact on Americans' "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All".

There is no doubt that the Constitutional principles of government, as espoused by our Founding Fathers, conflict with the governing principles of Progressivism, especially in the concept of an Administrative State.

The issues and concerns of an Administrative State on the limitations of knowledge, the principles of government, practical difficulties, and constitutional issues are why an Administrative State is not possible nor desirable. Consequently, a means must be found to reign in the Administrative State and have it operate within our Constitutional principles.

08/20/23 The Administrative State and Practical Difficulties

The previous chip on “08/19/23 The Administrative State of Experts – Part I” dealt with issues of the principles of government in an administrative state, but there are also practical difficulties that occur in an administrative state. The practical difficulties in an administrative state are the conduct of the people within the administration. The largest difficulties are Regulatory Capture, Consent Decrees, and Bureaucratic Inertia and Arrogance.

Regulatory Capture explains how governmental regulatory agencies actually operate in the real world, rather than how they were supposed to operate when they were authorized:

“Regulatory Capture is an economic theory that says regulatory agencies may come to be dominated by the industries or interests they are charged with regulating. The result is that an agency, charged with acting in the public interest, instead acts in ways that benefit incumbent firms in the industry it is supposed to be regulating.”

“Regulated industries devote large budgets to influencing regulators at federal, state, and local levels. By contrast, individual citizens spend only limited resources to advocate for their own rights. This is an extension of the concept of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs of regulation, public policy, and collective action in general, described by economist Mancur Olsen.”

“In many cases, the regulators themselves come from the pool of industry experts and employees, in part due to the complex and specialized knowledge needed to regulate an industry, and may also then return to work in the industry after their government service. This is known as the revolving door between government and special interests. In some cases, industry leaders trade the promise of future jobs for regulatory consideration, making revolving doors criminally corrupt.”

“Regulatory agencies that come to be controlled by the industries they are charged with regulating are known as captured agencies, and agency capture occurs when that governmental body operates essentially as an advocate for the industries it regulates. Such cases may not be directly corrupt, as there is no quid pro quo; rather, the regulators simply begin thinking like the industries they regulate, due to heavy lobbying.”

 - From the article Regulatory Capture at Investopedia.com

Consent Decrees are an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties without admission of guilt (in a criminal case) or liability (in a civil case), and most often refer to such a type of settlement in the United States. The plaintiff and the defendant ask the court to enter into their agreement, and the court maintains supervision over the implementation of the decree in monetary exchanges or restructured interactions between parties. It is similar to and sometimes referred to as an antitrust decree, stipulated judgment, or consent judgment. Consent decrees are frequently used by federal courts to ensure that businesses and industries adhere to regulatory laws in areas such as antitrust law, employment discrimination, and environmental regulation. There are many advantages and disadvantages to using the consent decree, as outlined in the Wikipedia section on ‘Effects’ of a Consent Decree.

The core issue is the scope of the consent decree. Does a consent decree require Congressional approval if its scope falls outside of the delegated powers of the Executive or Judicial branches of government? Many consent decrees require actions by the government and the other parties to the consent decree that seem to be the prerogatives of Congress to be legitimate under the Constitution.

As important and as useful as the tool as consent decrees are, they can also be abused in the hands of governmental bureaucrats. They are often utilized to advance a government policy not instituted by Congress, most often when an activist group sues the Federal government. Many times, governmental regulatory agencies utilize a consent decree to advance their own agenda outside the bounds assigned to them by Congress. And many times, Congress takes no action, and the Executive Officers approve of these consent decrees, as they can hide behind the contentious policies of consent decrees rather than directly vote upon or implement these policies. And when this occurs, the result is often more Federal powers over the people of America without their consent. Sometimes these consent decrees fund activists’ groups as part of the financial settlement of the consent decree, which often begets more lawsuits and consent decrees.

Bureaucratic Inertia and Arrogance are a problem in all governments, but in an administrative state, it is a larger problem. A larger problem because in an administrative state, the management and personnel of government agencies are immune to corrective actions, or removal, by forces outside of the agency. When you are an authority unto yourself, you create and enforce your own procedures and conduct yourself as you see fit and at a pace that is of your own choosing. Those outside of your agency that you become involved with must be submissive to your conduct if they require your services. As a result, this is not, as President Lincoln so eloquently put it, “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”, but “government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, and for the bureaucrats”.

08/19/23 The Administrative State and Principles of Governance

The previous chip on “08/18/23 The Administrative State of Experts – Part I” dealt with issues of a general nature about the administrative state. However, there are issues with the principles of government in an administrative state.

The key principle at work in the development of the administrative state is the destruction of the separation-of-powers constitutionalism and its replacement by the separation of politics and administration. Additionally, Progressives believe that the administrative state should operate quasi-independently, with only nominal oversight by Congress and the Judiciary. Presidential authority should only be for the nominations of the management of the agency, but there is no authority for the President or Congress to remove the management or personnel within an agency.

Progressives also believe that for an agency to operate with maximum efficiency in its regulation of an industry for the purpose of the well-being and general welfare of America, it is necessary for rulemaking, investigatory, prosecutorial, and adjudicatory powers to be combined and at its disposal. Thus, the entire enterprise of the modern administrative state owes its existence to the abandonment of the separation of powers as an operative constitutional principle and its replacement by a system separating politics and administration.

This destruction of the tenant of the separation of powers—the prohibition of combining the functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government—has resulted in the modern administrative state. Administrative agencies routinely combine all three governmental functions in the same body and even in the same people within that body. Thus, we have a government within the government. Professor of Law Gary Lawson at Boston University School of Law has given an example of this in the functioning of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

“The Commission promulgates substantive rules of conduct. The Commission then considers whether to authorize investigations into whether the Commission’s rules have been violated. If the Commission authorizes an investigation, the investigation is conducted by the Commission, which reports its findings to the Commission. If the Commission thinks that the Commission’s findings warrant an enforcement action, the Commission issues a complaint. The Commission’s complaint that a Commission rule has been violated is then prosecuted by the Commission and adjudicated by the Commission. The Commission adjudication can either take place before the full Commission or before a semi-autonomous administrative law judge. If the Commission chooses to adjudicate before an administrative law judge rather than before the Commission, and the decision is adverse to the Commission, the Commission can appeal to the Commission.”

This, of course, makes the Commission an independent authority unto itself, with no appeal outside of the Commission as to its actions. Consequently, they are a government within a government unresponsive to any outside authority.

08/18/23 The Administrative State and Limitations of Knowledge

Many Progressive politicians (since the start of American Progressivism) have called for an administrative state to be administered by experts free from politics. Such an administrative state is an impossibility, as for an administrative state to function properly, it requires that the administrators (i.e., “Experts”) have a thorough and complete understanding of diverse subjects.

The first is that they need to understand the limits of knowledge (i.e., a). That we know what we know, b). That we know what we don't know, and c). That we don't know that we don't know). It is not possible for anyone, or any group of people, to fully know a) as what they know may be incorrect, or b) as what we think we don’t know may be incomplete, and c) is an impossibility because we don’t know of what is not known.

The next is to understand economics, as money makes the world go round. However, nobody thoroughly understands economics, including economists, as economics is not a precise nor fully developed science. Without an understanding of economics, it is impossible to predict the economic impacts of a governmental decision, which leads to the final point.

Finally, how can anyone account for the "The Law of Unintended Consequences", as they are unintended and therefore unknowable beforehand? Unintended consequences always occur from any administrative action, and these consequences can be neutral, positive, or negative and may have serious repercussions of an unexpected benefit, an unexpected drawback, or a perverse result on society.

The lack of understanding of these subjects will always lead to improper decisions by the administrators. Their decisions, at best, are a guestimate of the impacts of their decisions and rarely does the best occur.

As for politics, it cannot be separated from administration, as politics is bound to human nature, and there is no accounting for human nature. They also cannot predict the response of the populace to their administrative actions, which reinforces The Law of Unintended Consequences. These administrators often have an ideology or the ideas of Progressivism, which is political by the very nature of Progressivism. Thus, administrators are always political and make decisions based on their political viewpoints.

The claim that these administrators will act in the best interests of the people begs the question:

"The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best?"
- Thomas Sowell

Even the most noble or virtuous administrator does not have the knowledge or wisdom to make such decisions on what is best, and people often disagree on what is best. Also, having someone decide what is best often requires despotism to enforce what they believe is best, or at the very minimum, requires silencing those that would disagree with their decisions. Thus, an administrative state violates the Natural Rights of the people.

This is why an administrative state of experts determining public policy is not possible or desirable.

08/17/23 Grandiloquent Statements of Progressives

Grandiloquent statements, lofty in style and puffed up with vanity, are a staple of politicians, commentators, and activists. The Grandiloquent statements by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders are often appeals to fundamentally transform America to what they perceive for the better, while the grandiloquent statements by Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders are often appeals to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and the preservation of their "American Ideals and Ideas". Thus, there is a dichotomy between these grandiloquent statements.

However, Progressive grandiloquent statements are often an attempt to propagandize and spur their supporters into action, and these statements are often bereft of practical goals or ends that are achievable, as often they require a change of human nature or based on an ignorance of economics. In addition, these grandiloquent statements by Progressives often provoke bitter disputations that divide Americans, and they often have an attitude of intellectual and moral superiority that postures their opponents as intellectually deficient or morally injudicious.

My new Article, “Grandiloquent Statements”, examines grandiloquent statements and their impacts and repercussions on society and government. In the past and present, we have seen Progressive grandiloquent statements in abundance to fundamentally transform American society and governance. Regrettably, what we can all learn from history is that Progressive grandiloquent statements rarely achieve their intent, and often they often wreak havoc on America and the world. Thus, we all should beware of Progressive grandiloquent statements and look for The Devil is in the Details of all grandiloquent statements.

08/16/23 American Progressivism

As I mentioned in my Chirp on “08/14/23 The Ideology is the Same”, Progressivism is an ideology that runs counter to our Founding Father's American Ideals and Ideas, and that is an infringement on our Natural, Human, and Civil Rights. An ideology that, as President-elect Barack Obama once stated, desires to “fundamentally transform” America. However, Progressives are often opaque in defining the ideology of Progressivism, and they often cloak their ideology in expressions of high-sounding morals or pithy statements that lack little substance of what their ideology entails. There is also little taking into account the consequences or repercussions to society of instituting their ideology, as they believe that the lofty goal of Progressivism is a sufficient reason to institute their ideology. Consequently, it is difficult to determine what are the basic tenets of Progressivism.

A book by Ronald J. Pestritto, America Transformed: The Rise and Legacy of American Progressivism, examines the tenets and history of Progressivism and its impacts on American governance and society. As the publisher states about this book:

The America of the modern administrative state is not the America of the original Constitution. This transformation comes not only from the ordinary course of historical change and development, but also from a radical, new philosophy of government that was imported into the American political tradition by the Progressives of the late nineteenth century. The new thinking about the principles of government-and open hostility to the American Constitution-led to a host of concrete changes in American political institutions. Our government today reflects these original Progressive innovations, even if they are often unrecognized as such because they have become ingrained in American political culture. This book shows the nature of these changes, both in principles and in the nuts and bolts of governing. It also shows how progressivism was often at the root of critical developments subsequent to the Progressive Era in more recent American political history - how it was different than the New Deal, the liberalism of the 1960s, and today’s liberalism, but also how these subsequent developments could not have transpired without the ground laid by the original Progressives.

Once you have read this book, you will understand the core ideology of Progressivism and the reasons for their support of various political agendas and policy goals.

Progressivism also relies on the facts and truths of science and history to buttress its arguments. Rather than state all the facts and truths, they pick and choose tidbits of “facts” and “truths”, then surround them with their ideology. In doing so, they are corrupting science and history to buttress their ideology and creating Myths of Science and History, which they propagate. It is many of these Myths of Science and History that I have written about in my Chirps and Articles, and is the subject of my Chirp on “08/19/23 The Progressive Myths of Science and History”.

08/15/23 The Ideology is the Same

The 20th century in America saw the rise of Progressivism that morphed into modern Liberalism and then once again became Progressivism. However, the core ideology of Progressivism and Liberalism is the same ideology. This ideology was based upon the ideas of President Woodrow Wilson in the early 20th century regarding his concept of government. A concept that was antithetical to the Founding Fathers' concept of government (which President Wilson admitted in his many speeches and writings). Unfortunately, much of this ideology is baked into modern governance in America. This has been poignantly pointed out in an article by Ronald Pestritto, “Woodrow Wilson: Godfather of Liberalism”, which illuminates the Progressive/Liberal ideology of governance.  

This tactic of renaming an ideology when it has become unpopular, without changing the ideology, is often utilized by Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders. In doing so, they often utilize "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to achieve this renaming. A renaming in which they try to cloak the shortcomings or failures of their ideology and also hope to dupe the American public into believing they have changed for the better.

It is not for the better that they do this renaming but for the continuation and furtherance of their ideology. An ideology that runs counter to our Founding Father's American Ideals and Ideas. An ideology that is an infringement on our Natural, Human, and Civil Rights. An ideology that would transform our Constitution from a republic to a democratic political theory of governance, as I have written in my Article, A Republican Constitution or a Democratic Constitution. An ideology that often relies on bribery, intimidation, or despotism upon the American people to achieve its goals. Therefore, it is an ideology that needs to be opposed and overturned in our governance to ensure our American Liberties and Freedoms.

08/14/23 What is Progressivism?

In a book by Ronald J. Pestritto, America Transformed: The Rise and Legacy of American Progressivism, he examines this question at the beginning of Chapter One, ‘A Primer on Progressivism and the Progressive Era’:

“What is progressivism? The chapters in this book will lay out its characteristics in detail, but to begin we can think of it as an argument to move beyond the political principles of the American founding. It is an argument to enlarge vastly the scope of the national government for the purpose of responding to a set of economic and social conditions which, progressives contend, could not have been envisioned at the founding and for which the founder’s limited, constitutional government is inadequate. Whereas the founders posited what they held to be a permanent understanding of just government, based upon a permanent account of human nature, progressives have countered that then ends and scope of government are to be defined anew in each historic epoch. They have coupled this belief in historical contingency with a deep faith in historical progress, suggesting that, due to historical evolution, government was becoming less a danger to the governed and more capable of solving the great array of problems besetting the human race. Historically, these ideas formed a common thread among the most important American thinkers from the 1880s into the 1920s and beyond, manifesting themselves in the writings and speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Croly, John Dewey, Robert La Follette, and several others.”

He further states in Chapter One:

“Wilson, in reflecting what it meant to be a progressive, wrote of government as a “living thing” which was to be understood according to” the theory of organic life”. This “living” notion of a constitution, Wilson contended, was far superior to the founders’ model, which had considered government a kind of “machine” which could be constantly limited through checks and balances. As a living entity, the progressives reasoned, government had to evolve and adapt in response to changing circumstances. While early conceptions of national government had carefully circumscribed its power to the perceived threat to individual liberties, progressives argued that history had brought an improvement in the human condition, such that the will of the people was no longer in danger of becoming factious. Citing a whole new host of social and economic ills that called out for a government remedy, progressives took this doctrine of progress and translated it into a call for a sharp increase in the scope of government power.”

Thus, Progressives believe that the powers of the national government, and especially those of the president, are plenary (full in all respects), not enumerated (specify individually)—as defined by the Constitution.

Dr. Pestritto also points out that a plenary power requires an administrative state “whereby a large, unelected bureaucracy is empowered with significant governing authority.” Such an administrative state would be run by administrative experts who are appointed and which are drawn from the educated classes. To be effective, such administrative experts would need to share a common ideology and ideas of the Progressive goals of the government. These administrative experts would combine aspects of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial functions of government in the creation and administration of regulations to govern almost all the functioning of society.

This, then, is the core ideology and ideas of Progressivism, which is antithetical to our Founding Fathers' ideology of the Declaration of Independence and the ideas of the Constitution of the United States, which the Founding Fathers regarded as necessary to preserve our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights". In our Founding Fathers' ideology and ideas, our rights supersede government, while in the Progressives' ideology and ideas, our rights derive from the government, and these rights can evolve and adapt and be created or discarded as necessary in solving what they believe is the great array of problems besetting the human race.

08/13/23 Repeating History

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
  - George Santayana

American Progressivism started in the late 19th century and flowered at the beginning of the 20th century. The Presidential Administration of Woodrow Wilson was when it began to be incorporated into American governance. After a brief pause in the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression in the United States brought forth even greater Progressivism under the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). It was under the FDR Administration that Progressivism became entrenched in the American government. To this day, we have Progressivism baked into American governance.

Yet, the administrations of President Wilson and Roosevelt had a dismal record on Civil Rights. Using a Democratic interpretation of the Constitution (as I have written in my article "A Republican Constitution or a Democratic Constitution"), and sometimes just ignoring or dismissing our American ideals and ideas as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, Progressives began a campaign to indoctrinate Americans into a Progressive ideology of governance and societal culture. A history of their efforts during the Wilson Administration is examined in the books:

Using grandiloquent statements and the Progressive Myths of History while at the same time using economic fears and World War I war-mongering, President Wilson and his Administration trampled upon Americans' Civil Rights to achieve their political goals and policy agendas. Thus, a campaign of fear and intimidation ensued, in which they violated the right to Freedom of Speech and the Press, along with the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Many people were imprisoned for dissenting from the administration's opinions, and many more were intimidated into silence for fear of imprisonment. Those that they could not imprison were smeared and demonized with innuendo and rumors of being unpatriotic and even un-American. They whipped up the American public to support and even assist them with their efforts. Thus, a dark period of Civil Rights abuses descended upon America. It was only after World War I when the American people were war-weary and no longer in economic fear, did the American public repudiate these efforts and elected a series of Republican presidents to bring back “normalcy”.

Alas, we have forgotten this history, and a little over 100 years later, we are repeating it in the fears of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the warmongering of the Ukrainian-Russian war. Much of what President Wilson’s Administration's Civil Rights abuses entailed are being attempted by President Biden’s Administration. It is chilling to read this history of the Wilson Administration and realize that the same tactics they utilized are being utilized by the Biden Administration. It is, therefore, imperative the American public repudiate these Civil Rights abuses of the Biden Administration and return to “normalcy”. A “normalcy” that should also repudiate the Progressive ideology of governance, as the Progressive ideology is antithetical to our "American Ideals and Ideas" and our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All".

Thus, my next several Chirps will be about Progressivism and Progressives. Hopefully, my readers will have a better understanding of this political movement and can make better judgments about this ideology and its political agendas and policy goals.

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Please note that the above series of Chips on Progressivism and Progressives
have been combined into my collected Chirps on "Progressivism and Progressives",
that are in the proper order in which they should be read.
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08/12/23 Modern Governance

The history of the modern forms of government has revealed several types of governance based on structure and political principles. The structure of a government can be divided into Unitary States or Federal States, while the political principles of states are of several different types. My new article, “Modern Governance”, examines the structure and political principles of modern forms of government.

08/11/23 Proper Reasoning

People have many reasons for what they think or believe, but they often do not have proper reasoning to arrive at the conclusions of their thinking and beliefs. In many of my Chirps and Articles, I mention proper reasoning as important to reach a proper conclusion. To reason properly requires that you take a "A Philosophical Approach" to your "Reasoning" and apply the Rules of Reasoning as I have Chirped on "06/07/23 Rules of Reason".

Reasoning philosophically is the most effective way of thinking and is the best method to reach a sound conclusion. Thinking philosophically focuses and organizes your thoughts in a manner that helps you properly reason. In using Reasoning, you need to understand the Structure of Reasoning, Formal and Informal Logic, Logical Fallacies, Cognitive Biases, and Common Sense. These must always be ascertained and incorporated for proper reasoning. You must also be aware of how to utilize "Common Sense" appropriately. In applying the Rules of Reason, you will be better able to adjudge the veracity of your own and others' claims and make a judgment on the truthfulness of a claim. The more you apply these rules of reason to a claim, the more you will realize the nonsense of much reasoning, and the better you will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff of the myriad of claims that surrounds us.

In evaluating your or another person’s reasoning, it is often not possible to determine if you or they have properly reasoned. However, whenever you or someone else uses "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” in reasoning, you can be fairly certain that they have not utilized proper reasoning.

Being able to express your proper reasoning clearly, concisely, completely, confidently, and understandably helps others to understand your proper reasoning and convince them of the soundness of your conclusions. In my Chirps and Articles, I consciously try to be clear, concise, complete, confident, and understandable. Also, in my Chirps, I have often expressed my conclusions without fully explaining my proper reasoning, which is why I have written Articles that do explain my proper reasoning. Consequently, whenever I hyperlink to an Article in my Chirp, it is for the purpose of fully explaining my proper reasoning. Thus, I would recommend reading my previously mentioned Articles to understand proper reasoning.

08/10/23 Inanity and Mockery

Vice President Kamala Harris is notorious for her inane word salad statements that talk down to the American public. She recently suffered another inane word salad, this time on banks while speaking to reporters at the Sycamore & Oak retail village in D.C.:

"And so for years, we have worked to expand investment in community banks because, you see, community banks specialize in providing loans and financial assistance to small business owners, in particular those in overlooked and underserved communities, and as the name suggests, community banks are in the community."

To which a Twitter user so aptly rephrased as:

Water is wet … because it's water! Mkay? When we think about water's wetness, we must think in terms of how that wetness affects us all. Only then can we appreciate just how wet water truly is …

I am old enough to remember Vice President Dan Quayle being mocked by the mainstream media for some of the things he said. Compared to Vice President Kamala Harris, Vice President Dan Quayle would seem to be an intellectual.

But there will be no mockery from the Mainstream Media of today, as they only mock Conservatives and Republicans and cover up or make excuses for Progressives and Democrats. Alas, this is but another example of the bias in the Mainstream Media that permeates Modern Journalism.

08/09/23 Perception Is Not Reality

Facts and figures don’t lie, except they do if they are misused, as I have written in my article on "Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave". However, the biggest factual lies are factual misperceptions. We may think that we know the facts, but often we do not really know the facts. My newest article, “Perception Is Not Reality”, examines some of these misperceptions and their repercussions.

These misperceptions are bad for the body politic, as making a decision based on perceptions always leads to a bad decision. Misperceptions that lead to divisiveness in America and bad decisions that have negative repercussions for our society. Consequently, before making any decision, it is important that you determine the facts and disregard the misperceptions.

08/07/23 Notable American Historians

Having read quite a bit of American history, I have been able to develop an informed opinion as to whom I regard as excellent American historians. While many other historians have written quality works, I have found the following historians to be consistently excellent:

More information and hyperlinks to these historians and their books can be reviewed in my new article “Notable American Historians”. The books by these historians are well worth a read. But as always, the reader should beware, for while they may be excellent books, that does not imply that they provide a complete or unbiased view of history. That is why I often read at least three books on a historical topic to ensure that I have multiple views on a historical topic.

08/05/23 Cat’s Cradle

Cat's Cradle: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut was, according to its publisher, “a satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet’s ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist, a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer, and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat’s Cradle is one of the twentieth century’s most important works—and Vonnegut at his very best.” The Wikipedia article on this novel describes Cat's Cradle as “a satirical postmodern novel, with science fiction elements, by American writer Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut's fourth novel, it was first published in 1963, exploring and satirizing issues of science, technology, the purpose of religion, and the arms race, often through the use of morbid humor.” While the article is an interesting synopsis of this novel, it is no substitute for reading the novel.

Upon reading this novel, I discovered that little did Vonnegut know that Cat’s Cradle was more than satire but it was a prediction on modern American society. Told with deadpan humor and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it ... In Kurt Vonnegut’s time, the fear of global destruction was of atomic war; today, the fear of global destruction is of Global Climate Change.

The semi-humorous religion of Bokononism in the novel is analogous to today’s Wokeism, except Wokeism is not semi-humorous—it is inanity. The absurdities of Bokononism match the absurdities of Wokeism, and the vacuousness of Bokononism locutions are equivalent to the vacuousness of Wokeism locutions. The characters in Cat’s Cradle are as daft as today’s Progressives and are cut from the same cloth.

In Chapter 28 of Cat’s Cradle, ‘Tyranny with a Difference’, he recites a “Calypsos” of the Bokonon religion:

“I wanted all things,
To seem to make some sense,
So we could all be happy, yes,
Instead of tense.
And I made up lies
So that they all fit nice,
And I made this sad world
A par-a-dise.”

And so, it is with Wokeism. They make up lies that all fit nicely so we all can be happy. I also suspect that they would not be unhappy with a tyranny if it were the tyranny of the woke. As, after all, if we were all woke, then the world would be a par-a-dise.

Alas, if we proceed down the path of Wokeness, it will not be Global Climate Change that will end civilization, but it will be Wokeism that leads to the end of our civilization.

08/03/23 Climate Science Denial

Climate Science Denial is not a denial of science if the denials are based on scientific reasoning. Climate Science Deniers do not deny science, but the scientific consensus of Climate Change advocates and the scientists that support these activists. As I have written in my articles Climate Change, Scientific Consensus and Settled Science, Orthodoxy in Science, and Beware of Computer Modeling and Statistical Processing, there is much science that is disputable about Climate Change. In discussing Climate Change, it is important to remember the words of wisdom of Rabbi Elijah Schochet "We can disagree without being disagreeable." However, the advocates of Climate Change have become disagreeable in that anyone who would disagree with their scientific “facts” or “reasoning” is tarnished with the labels of Climate Change Denial or Science Deniers. They have also engaged in "Cancel Culture" for any scientist who would dispute their claims. This is dangerous for the advancement of science, as most advancement of science springs from disputes about scientific facts and reasoning.

Many of the advocates for Climate Change have little scientific background or scientific knowledge, and their scientific knowledge of Climate Change is obtained by examining only the science with which they agree. In this, they have forgotten the adage:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
- Alexander Pope - An Essay on Criticism 

To drink deep in science requires that you examine the scientific reasoning of those scientists that disagree with the scientific “facts” or “reasoning” behind Climate Change advocates. To this end, I would suggest the following websites that challenge the scientific “facts” or “reasoning” behind Climate Change advocates with other scientific “facts” or “reasoning”:

Along with these websites, I would recommend the following books that examine the facts, impacts, and repercussions of implementing the policies of Climate Change advocates:

In reviewing these websites and books, you should remember the following words of wisdom:

"Doubt a little of your own infallibility."
  - Benjamin Franklin

And:

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others."
  - Benjamin Franklin

Therefore, consider that you may have been wrong, and do not be afraid to change your opinion in consideration of any new information that you have encountered in reviewing these websites and books. You should also never use the terms Climate Change Denial or Science Deniers for those persons who base their denials on sound science and scientific reasoning. To do otherwise is to make you a denier of science and an impediment to the advancement of science.

08/01/23 Good Science

Dr. John F. Clauser, born 1942, is an American theoretical and experimental physicist known for contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics. Clauser was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.”

Dr. Clauser spoke in July at the event Quantum Korea 2023. What follows is a transcript of his remarks that prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cancel his appearance this week, and began a predictable trajectory of broader cancellation. In this speech he made some astute observations of today’s science, which is probably why he is being canceled:

“Good science is always based on good experiments. Good observations always overrule purely speculative theory. Sloppy experiments, on the other hand, are frequently counterproductive and provide scientific disinformation. That is why good scientists repeat each other’s experiments carefully.

For inspiration to young scientists, I would suggest that today is an opportune moment for careful observations of nature. Why? The current world I observe is literally awash, saturated, with pseudoscience, with bad science, with scientific misinformation and disinformation, and what I will call “techno-cons.” Techno-cons are the application of scientific disinformation for opportunistic purposes.

Non-science business managers, politicians, politically appointed lab directors and the like are very easily snowed by scientific disinformation. Sometimes they participate in its origination. The purpose is to try to inspire you as young scientists to observe nature directly so that you too can determine real truth. Use the information gained from carefully performed experiments and research to stop the spread of scientific misinformation, disinformation, and techno-cons.

Well-educated scientists can help solve the world’s problems by acting as scientific fact-checkers. A fact-checker’s most common problem, unfortunately, is determining what is true and what is not. The world is awash with someone else’s perception of truth as an alternative to real truth.

Perception of truth frequently differs significantly from real truth. Moreover, given sufficient promotion and advertising, perception of truth becomes truth. Its promotion by commercial enterprise Is called marketing, commonly used in the furtherance of political, commercial, or various opportunistic ends by its promoters. When promotion is done by government or political groups, it’s called spin or propaganda.

To such a promoter, perception of truth is truth. If you can sell it, it must be true. If you can’t sell it, it must be false. Perception of truth is also malleable. If you can sell it, if you want to sell it, and you can’t sell it, that’s easy. You change it. You can change truth. You can claim false observations if necessary.”

Some other astute observations from this speech are:

“Real truth is not malleable. It can only be found by making careful observations. Well-tested laws of physics and observational data are important guides to allow you to distinguish truth from perception of truth.”

“Real truth could be found if and only if you learn to recognize and use good science. It’s especially true when real truth is politically incorrect and does not reflect political, business aims, or desires of leaders. Even the scientific community can sometimes become diluted by pseudoscience.”

The entire speech can be reviewed at “The Crisis of Pseudoscience, by John F. Clauser”. These comments are closely aligned with my Chirp on, "08/02/22 The Corruption of Modern Science", and further my belief that modern science has been corrupted by politics.

07/30/23 Honor Thy Father and Mother

The Fifth Commandment that God gave to humankind states:

“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

Many people misconstrue the meaning of this commandment to mean you should obey your parents and adopt their viewpoints on life and living life. However, God gave every person a mind and the intelligence to utilize their mind and the free will to make their own decisions on life and living life. Therefore, the true meaning of this commandment is to be polite and respect your parents and consider their opinions when you make your own decisions. God only expects that you will obey the Ten Commandments; otherwise, you are free to use your own mind and intelligence to make your own decisions.

This includes voting for a candidate and support for or against a governmental policy decision. Too often, a decision on support for a political party candidate or a governmental policy issue is reflexive to the political party affiliation of your parents. Rather than deciding based on their own thoughts and beliefs, many people reflexively support the policies and candidates of their parents.

It should be remembered that political parties often change their character and policies. If your character and policies are not in accordance with the current political party candidate or a governmental policy issue, then you should consider changing your vote or support for a political party. This is often difficult to do, especially if you should discuss your change with your parents or children (and your other family and friends). Such discussions often result in bitter disputes and a parting of ways. During such discussions, we should remember the words of advice of Rabbi Elijah Schochet “We can disagree without being disagreeable.”, and that you should Always Be Polite and Respectful is such discussions. Under no circumstances should this disagreement lead to the fracturing of the love between parents and their children, nor the honoring of a child for a parent. Simply agree to disagree and retain your love and continue to honor your parents.

Alas, in today’s polarized and politically charged hyperpartisan environment, this is often not the case. Parents and their children have often separated and not spoken to each other for years and even decades. Grandchildren are not permitted to have any interaction with their grandparents, and families have split into camps where each camp has little or no interactions with the other camp. This is deleterious to society, as strong family bonding is essential to a strong society. When this occurs between a parent and child, it is also a violation of the Fifth Commandment of God.

07/29/23 I Declare

In today’s political rhetoric, there are too many opinions masquerading as declaratives. A declarative is a grammatically unmarked statement that represents an act or state as an objective fact, while an opinion is a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty. Thus, there is confusion among the reader or viewer of what are facts versus opinions, a confusion that also often exists in the speaker or writer’s mind. Thus, it is important for all parties to be aware of the difference between opinions and declarations and to distinguish between them when communicating. Otherwise, a false declaration will be assumed to be factual and lead to a false conclusion.

Most politicians and political commentators make declarations without supporting facts, which is, therefore, an opinion, and they do so without stating their declarations as opinions. They consciously, but mostly unconsciously, do this as a means of justifying their opinions as factually based. When this is done consciously, it is an attempt to mislead the public, and when this is done unconsciously, it demonstrates a lack of proper reasoning on their part. In either case, the public should beware of all statements from them, as it can safely be assumed that their conclusions are flawed.

Alas, we cannot expect politicians and political commentators to change their modus operandi, and therefore, the public needs to consciously differentiate between declarations and opinions when reading or listening to their pronouncements.

07/28/23 What the Heck Is This QAnon?

In viewing news and commentary, you may have heard or read the term “QAnon”, which has no formal meaning and seems to have no rhyme or reason in its application. The columnist Jeffrey A. Tucker has written about his examination of the history, meaning, and purpose of this term in his article “What the Heck Is This QAnon?”. His conclusion is the term was fabricated by the New York Times (NYT) and that:

“QAnon for the NYT is just a curse word, a thing they attach to something they are really against and really want their readers to be against too. In the parlance of the NYT, there is a gradient of bad guys. To be a “conservative” is to be clueless, stupid, and easily led. To be “right-wing” is to be malicious, hateful, and probably very dangerous. But to be QAnon, that is beyond the pale, utterly hopeless and grotesque, deluded and insane, and certainly a gravely destructive person who should never be allowed any platform, much less professional success.”

A conclusion with which I agree based on my observations of the usage of this term. A conclusion in which these gradients can be used as pejoratives to classify conservatives as disreputable, right-wingers as deplorable, and QAnon as despicable. Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders also have a gradient of ‘MAGA Republicans’ that spans the edges between conservatism and right-wingers for any American that would consider supporting Donald Trump. In doing so, any pejorative gradient is dividing Americans into good and evil Americans and sowing "Divisiveness in America".

Historically, this pejorative gradient of a people has been used by despots, dictators, and tyrants to oppress their people and conduct wars against other peoples, often with tragic consequences to those people who were so perjured. QAnon is also a signal to the "Wokeness" mob to engage in "Virtue Signaling" and "Cancel Culture" against the person or entity they declare to be QAnon, again with tragic consequences to those so labeled, as I have mentioned in my Chirp on “07/22/23 To Tell the Truth”.

As QAnon has no definite meaning, it can be assigned any meaning by anyone that would utilize the term. Thus, we have a situation much like Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll's ‘Through the Looking Glass’:

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean ' neither more nor less.'
'the question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'the question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master ' that's all.'

And any attempt to respond to the allegation of being a QAnon is analogous to Miguel de Cervantes's Spanish epic novel ‘Don Quixote’, in which Don Quixote attacks some windmills which he believes to be ferocious giants—to no avail.

The only solution to this problem is a return to "A Civil Society". Alas, in the hyper-partisanship and intense fervor of Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders, this does not seem likely. The normal human inhibitions of shame or benevolence of concern for another person seem to play no part in the words and deeds of those who would utilize pejoratives against those with whom they disagree. Thus, they are tearing apart Americans in order to achieve their political agendas and policy goals.

07/27/23 10 Things Black Students Don’t Need in Schools

Author and pastor John Amanchukwu’s vocal opposition to a proposed California school curriculum at a Temecula Valley Unified School Board meeting he attended on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, included a “10 Things Black Students Don’t Need in Schools” list:

Number one, we don’t need affirmative action,

Number two, we don’t need equity,

Number three, we don’t need to be pandered to,

Number four, we don’t need you to dumb-down test scores in order for us to thrive,

Number five, we don’t need the school system to be promoting victim mentality,

Number six, we don’t need the soft bigotry of low expectations as we have heard from other people,

Number seven, we don’t need critical race theory or intersectionality,

Number eight, we don’t need reparations or any more welfare state,

Number nine, we don’t need to be propped up as the darlings of the LGBTQ community,

Number ten, we don’t need white liberals telling us that they know what’s best for us.

The only thing that all students need from their public education is the skills and abilities to become functional adults; the Information, Understanding, Intelligence, Experience, and Wisdom about different areas of knowledge, as I have written in my article, "Knowledgeable – From Information to Wisdom"; and the ability to use "Reasoning" and "Rationality" to make a decision. All other education of a student is the responsibility of their parents or guardians, or those they would entrust to impart this other education.

07/26/23 Bidenomics

President Biden and his Administration are pushing the term “Bidenomics” to obfuscate the reality of the current American economy. In a new article by Miranda Devine, “The real scoop on Bidenomics: Corruption, tax evasion and Hunter”, she examines what Bidenomics means to the Biden family:

Joe Biden has been trying in vain to mainstream a concept he calls “Bidenomics.”

The mystifying slogan appears to be an effort to turn around negative public perceptions of his economic agenda, since polls show only one in three Americans approves of his handling of the economy.

The problem is that nobody seems to have a clue what Bidenomics means.

But the definition has become much clearer over the past week, after the first son’s sweetheart plea deal fell apart in Delaware, two IRS whistleblowers testified to Congress about the DOJ’s obstruction of the criminal investigation into Hunter and Sen. Chuck Grassley released an explosive FBI document alleging that Joe and Hunter received $10 million in bribes from a Ukrainian oligarch.

So here is a handy reckoner for Americans to decipher the president’s new catchphrase.

I would urge everyone to read this article as it is very revealing of the corruption of the Biden family.

07/25/23 A Weapon of Mass Corruption

It remains true that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When the guardrails of due process and impartiality are discarded, the power wielded by the FBI, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies becomes a weapon of mass corruption. Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas are corrupting the United States Constitution. This should come as no surprise as President Joe Biden is also corrupting the Constitution.

They are corrupting the Constitution by their undertaking "The Weaponization of Government" and engagement in "Despotism in America", as well as obstructing Congressional Oversight (see also Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute Overview of Investigation and Oversight Power of Congress) and their involvement in Judicial intimidation and/or attempts to circumvent Supreme Court rulings as I have Chirped on "07/24/23 The Circumvention of Supreme Court Rulings". In this, they are becoming a thug government, as Andrew C. McCarthy has written in a National Review article.

In this corruption are being assisted by Democrat Party Leaders, as I have written in my article "J'accuse!". They are corrupting our "American Ideals and Ideas" through the allegations and usage of Adjective Justice, Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Doxing, Hate Speech, Identity Politics, Racist, Wokeness, Hyper-Partisanship, and Equity and Equality. In this, they are attempting to destroy America so that they can fundamentally transform America to their ideology, as I have Chirped on “07/06/23 Destroyed From Within”.

They often utilize "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to justify their words and deeds as what is best for America, and consentaneous with the Soul of America. But make no mistake, their assaults on our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" and our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" is not the best nor consentaneous with our American Ideals and Ideas.

Consequently, the Biden Administration is corrupting the Constitution in order to obtain its political agenda or policy goals. If they are successful in these efforts, then future administrations will also engage in this corruption. A corruption that, if allowed to continue, bodes ill for the future of America and the Liberties and Freedoms of its people.

07/24/23 The Circumvention of Supreme Court Rulings

The circumvention of Supreme Court rulings has become modus operandi in the Biden Administration. Whenever a court ruling overturns an Executive Order or bureaucratic regulations, they look for ways to circumvent the court ruling. This is most pernicious when regarding Supreme Court Rulings, of which many of the Supreme Court rulings on Executive Orders or bureaucratic regulations rescinded these orders or regulations of the Biden Administration. They look to the letter of the ruling to determine how to circumvent the ruling and pay no heed to the spirit of the ruling. They then create another Executive Order or bureaucratic regulations to achieve their desires. They do this by using "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning", "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors",  "Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness", and “The Perversion of the English Language” to justify their new Executive Order or bureaucratic regulation.

This is not to mention that many of their Executive Orders or bureaucratic regulations go beyond the scope of Legislation. They, therefore, are a violation of the Constitutional separation of powers of the branches of government and, thus, an encroachment on Congressional or Judicial powers, duties, and responsibilities.

It is quick and easy to write an Executive Order or bureaucratic regulation, while it is slow and laborious to legally challenge an Executive Order or bureaucratic regulation. The Constitution was not created for quick and easy and, indeed, was created to slow down the process. Our Founding Fathers were well aware that the passions of the people could lead to governmental actions that infringed upon the Liberties and Freedoms of the people. They, therefore, created the Constitution with a separation of powers, duties, responsibilities, and checks and balances between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches of government that slowed down the process of ameliorating passions to preserve the Liberties and Freedoms of the people.

Thus, the Biden Administration is corrupting the Constitution in order to obtain its political agenda or policy goals. A corruption that gnaws at our "American Ideals and Ideas" and our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All".

07/23/23 Historical Context

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
 - Hamlet.

Academics and scholars have often debated what Shakespeare meant when he used philosophy in this dialog. Throughout the millennia, the word Philosophy meant the obtainment of knowledge inclusive of many subfields such as morality and ethics, religion and theology, law, science, engineering, etc... The term Natural Philosophy was utilized for what we now term science, but there was no set convention that discriminated between the usage of Philosophy and Natural Philosophy, and people often were inclusive of Natural Philosophy when they used the term Philosophy. It was not until the mid-19th century that the term Science was utilized to discriminate between Philosophy and Natural Philosophy. Thus, we cannot know if Shakespeare was using Philosophy in its all-inclusive meaning or if he was excluding Natural Philosophy.

I prefer the all-inclusive meaning in this quote, as it illuminates a truth in the search for knowledge—"that which we know that we know, that which we know that we don't know, and that which we don't know what we don't know” and makes this quote more meaningful. The debate about the meaning of Philosophy in this quote highlights the importance of knowing the historical context of what a word or term meant to the person who spoke or wrote the word or term. Too often today, we assign the modern meaning of a word with a historical statement that is not appropriate to what was originally meant in its historical context. In doing so, we are doing a disservice to the author of the original meaning that was intended.

07/22/23 Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, and Science

Throughout history, the terms Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, and Science were indefinite in their meaning and usage. This led to confusion whenever a person used these words and often misunderstandings of what a person meant when they used these words. Today, they have a more definitive meaning and less misunderstanding in their usage. Today’s meanings of these words are as follows:

Philosophy is the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge, and ethics, which throughout the millennia meant the obtainment of knowledge inclusive of many subfields, including Natural Philosophy.

Philosophy (from the Greek: love of wisdom) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those concerning existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation.

Today, major subfields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, which is concerned with the fundamental nature of existence and reality; epistemology, which studies the nature of knowledge and belief; ethics, which is concerned with moral value; and logic, which studies the rules of inference that allow one to derive conclusions from true premises. The history of philosophy is itself a philosophical undertaking. Other notable subfields include philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, political philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind.

Natural Philosophy was the science of matter and energy and their interactions, which began to branch off from Philosophy to have its own meaning and was eventually superseded by the word Science.

Natural Philosophy or philosophy of nature is the philosophical study of physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of modern science. From the ancient world (at least since Aristotle) until the 19th century, natural philosophy was the common term for the study of physics (nature), a broad term that included botany, zoology, anthropology, and chemistry, as well as what we now call physics. It was in the mid-19th century that the concept of science received its modern shape, with different subjects within science emerging.

The term natural philosophy preceded the current usage of natural science (i.e., empirical science). Empirical science historically developed out of philosophy or, more specifically, natural philosophy. Natural philosophy was distinguished from the other precursor of modern science, natural history, in that natural philosophy involved reasoning and explanations about nature (and, after Galileo, quantitative reasoning), whereas natural history was essentially qualitative and descriptive.

Science, the study of the physical and natural world using theoretical models and data from experiments or observation, supplemented the term Natural Philosophy in the mid-19th century to distinguish it from the other branches of Philosophy.

Science is a neutral, rigorous, systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Modern science is typically divided into three major branches: natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study the physical world; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which study formal systems, governed by axioms and rules. There is disagreement about whether the formal sciences are science disciplines because they do not rely on empirical evidence. Applied sciences are disciplines that use scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as in engineering and medicine.

New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the ethical and moral development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, environmental protection, and Climate Change.

07/21/23 Knowledgeable – From Information to Wisdom

What is Knowledge and a Knowledgeable Person? Is knowledge everything that is known, the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning, the factual information that a person knows, or the (technical) knowledge and skill required to do something? Is a knowledgeable person one who is highly educated, has extensive information or understanding, an alert and fully informed mind, or a person who is thoroughly acquainted with knowledge through study or experience? It is my belief that Knowledge is everything that is known, while a knowledgeable person is one who has accumulated much Information, Understanding, Intelligence, Experience, and Wisdom about different areas of knowledge.

With this in mind I have done an extensive update to my article on “Knowledgeable � From Information to Wisdom” to include the topics of Information, Understanding, Intelligence, Experience, and Wisdom. Thus, the new title for this updated article is “"Knowledgeable – From Information to Wisdom".

07/20/23 To Tell the Truth

Telling the truth is not easy—it is difficult and has consequences and repercussions. But the immediate consequences and repercussions of telling the truth are far less than the long-term consequences and repercussions of remaining silent, acquiescing or telling a lie. Therefore, you need to tell yourself and others the truth rather than what you think you or others want to hear.

I have had a lifelong habit of not telling people what they wanted to hear but rather telling them what they needed to hear. This habit often had negative repercussions for my career, as I was not very diplomatic in telling the truth, but after I learned how to diplomatically tell the truth, it had positive consequences for my career.

When I undiplomatically told the truth, I was often not paid attention to or shunted aside and sometimes scorned. I was also not promoted, and I often had to find other employment to advance my career. Once I learned how to diplomatically tell the truth, my career blossomed, as my coworkers and management learned that I could be trusted to provide all the unvarnished information they needed to make a good decision. My computer consulting clients were also appreciative of my honesty, as they knew that they would have all the information that they needed to make an informed decision.

In my article “Stories from an Examined Professional Life”, I relate the story of The Retail Furniture Store, where I told a potential client what he needed to hear and not what he wanted to hear. As a result, he did not hire me but instead hired another computer consultant who told him what he wanted to hear. I later discovered, from a mutual friend, that he had regrets about hiring the other computer consultant, as it turned out that what he needed to hear was the truth about his computer needs. As a result, he spent more money and time correcting what he wanted to hear than if he had listened to what I told him what he needed to hear.

In today’s America, the biggest obstacle to telling the truth is "Wokeness" and "Cancel Culture". Wokeness is an attempt to get someone not to speak or to lie about what they really believe to be the truth, while Cancel Culture is an injustice at the hands of a vengeful mob. Wokeness and Cancel Culture are brutal to those that it is directed against, with terrible repercussions to both the persons and the society which tolerates them. It is also true that much "Virtue Signaling" is a reinforcement of Wokeness. Wokeness and Cancel Culture is also a means to impose despotism upon a people. Thus, Wokeness, Cancel Culture, and Virtue Signaling must be opposed by those that value Truth and Justice, as well as Liberty and Freedom.

The accumulation of remaining silent, acquiescing, or telling a lie takes a toll on a person’s life, as it often demeans the meaning of their life. It also has the consequence of:

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right.
A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice.
A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”
 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

A YouTube video by Jordan B Peterson, “You Must Stand Up Against Woke Ideologies”, explains how Wokeness and Cancel Culture arise, how it is implemented, and its dire consequences, as well as the necessity of standing up against Wokeness and Cancel Culture.

07/19/23 How to Fix Climate Change

In Bjorn Lomborg's book “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet” Section 4 is given over to “How to Fix Climate Change”, in which he discusses the best means to alleviate Climate Change. While I have only a few problems with the chapters on Innovation, Adaptation, and Prosperity, I do have serious problems with the chapters on Carbon Tax and Geoengineering.

Bjorn Lomborg is a big believer in Carbon Taxes to reduce carbon emissions that impact Climate Change. While he acknowledges the problem with a Carbon Tax, he believes that it can still be helpful even if not properly and comprehensively implemented. I have no such belief. With Carbon Taxes, we are talking about much money and political power. Whenever large amounts of taxes are in play, the political lobbying for different tax rates and/or tax exemptions would be extensive, and the results are often inequitable and would blunt the positive impacts of Carbon Taxes on Climate Change. The political power to control the economy and impact the lives of the population increases, often to the benefit or detriment of various groups of people. Carbon Taxes are also a very Regressive Tax that imposes a greater burden (relative to resources) on the poor than on the rich. He also makes no mention of how the tax revenues would be expended. With such large revenues as Carbon Taxes generate, there would be much factiousness engendered. Many politicians would suggest that we provide subsidies to the poor to ameliorate the regressive nature of the Carbon Tax. However, this is just an elaborate means of Redistribution of Income And Wealth, a redistribution that would unduly burden the middle class and have minimal impact on the upper class. There would also be the tendency for politicians and carbon emitters to implement Emissions trading (i.e., Cap and Trade), which I believe is one of the worst ideas ever proposed to combat Climate Change, and that would enrich the traders at the expense of the consumers.

Geoengineering, the deliberate modification of the climate to suit human needs, is a science and technology that Bjorn Lomborg believes should be allocated more funds for Research and Development (R&D). While he does acknowledge the possible negative impacts of applying this science and technology, I believe he woefully underestimates the possible perverse unintended consequences of applying this science and technology. For the reasons I have written about in my Science Article, “Beware of Computer Modeling and Statistical Processing”, I believe that we should never attempt to implement this science and technology. I do believe, however, that research on Geoengineering should be increased, as this will contribute to our scientific knowledge and understanding of climate. I also believe that all the nations of the world should ban any attempt by any nation, entities, or individuals to perform any large-scale testing or implementation of this science and technology.

After all, in regard to any Climate Change policies that we pursue, we should remember that “Fools rush in where Angles fear to tread”, and most Climate Change alarmists tend to be fools, as I have Chirped on “07/18/23 The Myths of Climate Change”.

07/18/23 The Myths of Climate Change

At the end of the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, the almost true story of the attempt by British Commandos to destroy a train bridge being built by British Prisoners of War during World War II, the doctor who treated the POWs sits on a hillside to view the first train to cross the bridge. Instead, he witnesses the commando raid and the deaths of all but one commando and the death of the British and Japanese commander who built the bridge, as well as many Japanese soldiers. After he witnesses the destruction of the bridge (the untrue part of this story), he exclaims, in the last dialog of the movie, “Madness, Madness, Madness”.

Whenever I read or view the claims of Climate Change alarmists, I get the urge to exclaim, “Madness, Madness, Madness”. This madness of Climate Change alarmists is best explained in the book, “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet” by Bjorn Lomborg. Throughout my reading of this book, I chuckled or shook my head and sometimes exclaimed madness. This book is the most understandable explanation of the madness of Global Climate Change alarmists.

Enough, argues bestselling author Bjorn Lomborg. Climate change is real, but it's not the apocalyptic threat that we've been told it is. Projections of Earth's imminent demise are based on bad science and even worse economics. In panic, world leaders have committed to wildly expensive but largely ineffective policies that hamper growth and crowd out more pressing investments in human capital, from immunization to education. This book uncovers the truths that Climate Change alarmists don’t want you to know.

In another reasoned book, “Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything” by Patrick J. Michaels, Cato scholars Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger explain the real science and spin behind the headlines and come to a provocative conclusion: global warming is not hot―it's lukewarm. While that may not sound massive, it does, as the book's subtitle notes, change everything. Climate change is real, it is partially man-made, but it is clearer than ever that its impact has been exaggerated―with many of the headline-grabbing predictions now being rendered implausible or impossible.

These two books constitute my upcoming Book It of “08/01/23 The Mythologies of Climate Change”, and I hope that you will read them to better understand Climate Change. The introduction to both books is a must-read for those interested in the truths of Climate Change, while the conclusion of False Alarm is a warning of the repercussions of trying to “fix” Climate Change based on the myths. Myths and Science are diametric, and to believe in myths will doom any policies based upon the myths and result in much wasteful expenditures of time and monies, as well as bringing untold misery upon the world and its people.

For more information on truthful Climate Change science and untruthful Climate Change alarmism, I would direct you to my Book Its’ of “03/01/21 Apocalypse Never” and “ 08/01/22 Rational and Reasonable Climate Change”, which review the books  "Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All" by Michael Shellenberger and  Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters by Steven E. Koonin. For more of my thoughts on Climate Change I would direct to my Science Articles Climate Change and Beware of Computer Modeling and Statistical Processing.

07/17/23 Environmentalism and Climate Change

Before there was Climate Change, there was Environmentalism. Over the decades, Environmentalism has been subsumed by Climate Change, in that If you believe in Environmentalism, then you must believe in Climate Change, and if you believe in Climate Change, then you must believe in Environmentalism. But Environmentalism and Climate Change are distinct, and entangling Environmentalism and Climate Change diminishes Environmentalism.

Environmentalism is important, as it is important that we have clean air and water, as well as a rubbish-free environment. It is also important that we have natural lands, streams, rivers, lakes, and ocean preserves. But there has always been a conflict between the environment and the human utilization of the environment. Human progress has always been dependent on the usage of natural resources, and all human endeavors impact the environment. The question of what acceptable impacts on the environment are allowable to sustain human progress and what restrictions are necessary to preserve the environment.

Modern Environmentalism has gone to the extreme of not allowing any impacts on the environment for human progress. While almost no Americans would agree to unrestricted utilization of the environment for human progress, it is the balance between environmentalism and human progress that needs to be considered before implementing any decision on restrictions to human development that impacts the environment. This is analogous to limiting the deaths that occur from automobile accidents. Each year about 45,000 people in America die from traffic accidents. If you ask the experts to determine how to reduce this number to several hundred at maximum, the only answer is to reduce the speed limit to no more than 5 miles per hour. Nobody in their right mind would accept this solution, as the negative repercussions would be far greater than the positive benefits. We, therefore, must strike a balance for society and human progress to flourish. So, it should be for environmental policies.

I am all in favor of striking a balance in environmental policies and protecting the environment as much as the balance warrants. However, I could not say the same for Climate Change policies. As I have written in many Articles and Chirps, the current Climate Change science is very suspect, as I have pointed out in my Science Article, Climate Change, and my new Science Article, Beware of Computer Modeling and Statistical Processing. I believe in climate change. I believe the climate has changed in the past, the climate is currently changing, and the climate will change in the future. This is a meteorological and geological scientific fact. The question is whether human activity is causing the current climate change. This may be true or may not be true, depending upon your interpretation of scientific facts and beliefs. If you have read my Science Article "On the Nature of Scientific Inquiry", you know that I have a scientific orientation to my thinking, and in this article, I apply that scientific thinking to many of the issues and concerns of climate change. Without good science, it is not possible to determine a good balance between Climate Change and Human Progress.

As such, when Environmentalism and Climate Change merge, and Environmentalism becomes entangled in the political discord on Climate Change, it negatively impacts Environmental actions. In addition, the extremism of modern Environmentalists makes people wary of their claims and solutions. Consequently, environmental protection that is beneficial and necessary is questioned and stalled to the detriment of the environment.

07/16/23 Divorce – American Style

In my article “The Rights of Abortion, Homosexual Marriage, Transgendered, and Assisted Suicide”, I discuss the topic of what marriage is, but I make no mention of a divorce in a marriage. In the book, What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense by Sherif Gergis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, they identify and defend the reasons for this historical consensus and show why redefining civil marriage as something other than the conjugal union of husband and wife is a mistake. In this book, they point out the two views of the meaning of marriage:

The conjugal view of marriage has long informed the law—along with the literature, art, philosophy, religion, and social practice—of our civilization. It is a vision of marriage as a bodily as well as an emotional and spiritual view bond, distinguished thus by its comprehensiveness, which is, like all love, effusive: flowing our into the wide sharing of family life and ahead to lifelong fidelity. In marriage so understood, the world rests its hopes and finds ultimate renewal.” and “A second, revisionists view has informed the marriage policy reforms of the last several decades. It is a vision of marriage as, in essence, a loving emotional bond one distinguished by its intensity—a bond that needn’t point beyond the partners, in which fidelity is ultimately subject to one’s own desires. In marriage, so understood, partners seek emotional fulfillment, and remains as long as they find it.

In all views of marriage, divorce should be available in cases of abandonment, physical or mental cruelty, infidelity, or bigamy. The question is, what the other grounds for divorce in a marriage are? In a conjugal view of marriage, it is only when one spouse has broken or ceased in their conjugal vows that divorce is warranted. In a revisionist's view of marriage, when one of the spouses ceases to feel emotional or sexual fulfillment, then divorce is permissible.

As we have seen the rise of the revisionist's view of marriage, we have also seen the rise in divorce rates. Some would argue that this divorce rise is not a causality but a correlation in divorce rates (as my article  Correlation vs. Causality explains) and that other factors are involved in the rise in the divorce rate. While other factors are indeed involved in the increase in the divorce rate, Common Sense would indicate that causation plays a large part in the rise of divorce rates in a revisionist view of marriage. When marriage is easier to enter and easier to exit, as it is in a revisionist's view of marriage, then divorce becomes more common. Such easier divorce has many different societal impacts, most of them detrimental impacts, as the Wikipedia article discusses. The Heritage Foundation report on The Effects of Divorce on America on children reports, as well as the Forbes report on The Financial Impact Of Divorce, discuss other negative repercussions of divorce.

Thus, we need to include the societal impacts of divorce when discussing marriage; otherwise, we will continue to see an increase in divorce in America to the detriment of America. Along with divorce, America suffers from the problems of Single Parent families that the Hello Motherhood website discusses. As the rise of divorce and single parenthood are very complex problems, and one that I am not qualified to discuss nor recommend solutions, I will keep in mind one of my Pearls of Wisdom, “If You Don’t Have Anything to Say, Say Nothing”, and say no more on these topics.

07/15/23 Destroying an Embryo

I have made my views on abortion well known in my articles "The Abortion Question" and "The Analogy of Abortion and Slavery". In the book, “Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization” by Kevin Yuill, in Section 5—For Abortion, Against Assisted Suicide, the author fails to sufficiently address the humanity of the unborn child. Instead, he asserts without sufficient evidence that “Destroying an embryo is clearly not murdering a person.” This is a loaded, biased statement that has hidden presumptions and assumptions