Friday, November 25, 2016

The Alt-Right


Much has been said and written about the Alt-Right, little of it from the Alt-Right itself. I've been interested in and in a minor way participating in conversations with others in the Alt-Right for much of the year. Much of what is written about it focuses on a single issue to the exclusion of all else and often with a slant that ignores both the context and spirit. So, I will share what the Alt-Right has written and my comment about it.


1. The Alt Right is of the political right in both the American and the European sense of the term. Socialists are not Alt Right. Progressives are not Alt Right. Liberals are not Alt Right. Communists, Marxists, Marxians, cultural Marxists, and neocons are not Alt Right.

What is meant by "Political right"? In context it means a political view oriented towards individual liberty and limited government. It supports capitalism and in the United States, government constrained by our Constitution. In the past (actually, even now), Conservatives politically have been the political form of individual liberty and small government. But in the last twenty years, many have supported larger government that is more interventionist - both individually and geopolitically.

For much of the last 40 years we have discussed Conservatism as a fusion of traditionalist and libertarian viewpoints. Gay marriage is an example: libertarian point of view is that people have the liberty to choose their mates while traditionalists point to historical precedent and social constructs. (They argue the social constructs are based in biology - but we are not animals bound by our biology...) Using government to impose one viewpoint on individuals where there is no Constitutional foundation creates tension. The other variation (popularized during Reagan years) is the three-legged stool: fiscal, social/traditional, and hawk/defense conservatives. The problem has been that the GOP has not shown fiscal restraint, we have over-reached militarily and our social mores have been broken (family destruction). The stool has no legs and fusion has fractured.


2.The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA that is nominally encapsulated by Russel Kirk's 10 Conservative Principles, but in reality has devolved towards progressivism. It is also an alternative to libertarianism.

The Alt-Right seeks to reassert the originalist point of view of individual liberty and limited government by not supporting global interventions militarily, limited government generally, fiscal restraint and established social norms. It does not support the free-wheeling libertarianism but is much more traditionalist.

It seeks to reassert societal norms established by historical precedent - such as national borders, limited immigration, individual racial groups, familial bonds and limited (to no) global intervention, either militarily or via trade yet to be both absolute and resolved not to compromise for any reason. To establish a strong but independent national identity.

(Additional note: I have my own issues with Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles and have written a response to them elsewhere)


3.The Alt Right is not a defensive attitude and rejects the concept of noble and principled defeat. It is a forward-thinking philosophy of offense, in every sense of that term. The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.

Alt-Right does not seek to impose its views but rather is clear that history has been unrelenting in defining what works. When society departs from normative behavior (such as homosexuality), those societies fail from the inside and become weak in the face of outside forces. When diverse cultures are put into close proximity, it invariably leads to significant conflict as each culture attempts to maintain/attain superiority/dominance.

By pointing to historical precedent the Alt-Right does not need to establish an authority for its positions - those foundations are there for anyone to see. Its foundation is not in a belief system - though that exists - but rather in human nature. Rather than deny or dismiss it, Alt-Right embraces our human nature, what it argues is inevitable, human nature will always win no matter how long or how much damage is wrought trying to deny it.


4. The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy.

Alt-Right looks to the last couple thousand years of human history and notes three factors have driven human progress to this point:
1. Establishment of the rule of law. Most of human history can be defined by "might makes right" or "rule by man". The strongest rule and everyone submits to their whim. But starting generally with the Greeks and eventually leading to our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, humans have sought the stability and progressive (as it means to embrace everyone) nature of the rule of law.
2. Concurrent with that process has been a dominance of European nations: Greece, Rome, Spain, France and Great Britian. Although China and Japan (and prior to the Greeks, Egypt) have dominated their regions, it was the European nations that spread out both economically and culturally well beyond their borders. The reach of the British Empire is evident even today as Canada and Australia continue to exist as part of Great Britain. Except for the nature of their American colonists, Britain today would span the globe. The European culture embraces (until relatively recently) the rule of law and traditional mores.
3. Christianity. It is hard to speak of European history and culture without recognizing the influence of Christianity - either as a foundation or formative influence, Christianity is part of the individual, rule of law, social normative foundations. To dismiss or diminish its role is to ignore history.

Combined, Alt-Right sees these foundation stones as having reached their pinnacle in the establishment of Western civilization in general and in the establishment of the United States particular.

Looking at history generally - African culture has existed for eight thousand years, Middle Eastern culture has existed for six thousand years, Oriental culture for four thousand years and Western culture for three thousand years. Where has human progress been most productive?


5. The Alt Right is openly and avowedly nationalist. It supports all nations and the right of all nations to exist, homogeneous and unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration.

Alt-Right explicitly states that nations have the right: to exist, to self determine, and to defend themselves. All nations. Not just those that are our friends or allies. It explicitly argues that each nation can establish its culture and enforce it however it chooses without interference (or violence) from others.


6.The Alt Right is anti-globalist. It opposes all groups who work for globalist ideals or globalist objectives.

It explicitly opposes globalism or one-worldism in whatever form - culture, economic, governmental or religious.

Both of these two positions are pretty self explanatory and clear. Nationalism is not for the powerful nations but for all nations.


7. The Alt Right is anti-equalitarian. It rejects the idea of equality for the same reason it rejects the ideas of unicorns and leprechauns, noting that human equality does not exist in any observable scientific, legal, material, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual form.

All men were created equal is used incorrectly so often it all but signifies the idea that a big lie is easier to get people to believe. I was not born equal to Andre the Giant, Albert Einstein or Nadia Comaneci. While we were all born human, with the same need to breathe, eat, drink, sleep and shit, with the same biological functions and design (bi-pedal, tool using, genetic compatibility) we most certainly have different abilities, strengths and ambitions.

I do not expect to BE equal, I can't (or shouldn't) be treated equally in context (situationally). We have attempted to create a system where our institutions (specifically government) do try to address us all the same, ie equally. But even that recognizes that we are different. That is why our court system is one of equity not equality. We should recognize our differences and not seek to create a system by which you put in diversity and output conformity. Equality of outcome is not only a bastardization of "all men were created equally" it ignores every single gene of human nature. It defines the very nature of societal failure. We have seven billion unique individuals on this planet, to suggest we are all equal is "unicorns and leprechauns".


8. The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific.

Alt-Right specifically embraces science. Not the science of consensus (political whim) but the results of the scientific method. A science that reflects humanity's growing and changing understanding of the Universe. It rejects "the science is settled" except in those places where the "laws of nature" are well defined and established.


That is the foundation of the Alt-Right. I doubt many Conservatives or anyone on the Right would have a problem with it. That said, there is an inherent bias - almost all of the Alt-Right is found in Western Society. From this foundation flows the interpretation and philosophies. There is division/dividing lines/differences in what this foundation means for a 'movement'. What follows is what I think is the dominant strain/element, the part that gives Alt-Right its heft, its substance.


9. The Alt Right believes identity begets culture begets politics.

Alt-Right believes identity establishes your community, your place, which establishes the culture you exist within, which guides your politics. That this is true for everyone, everywhere. This transcends race, religion or nationality. And yet because we are our human nature, race, gender, ethnicity, and nationality are all dominant features of our identity that are all but impossible to deny or escape. Us vs Them is inherent historically and maybe genetically. Even when we escape one "identity" we often establish another to be part of. Most commonly via immigration.

Actually moving from one country to another does not always mean changing identities. We see immigrants waving the flag of the country they or their family came from, establishing aspects of the culture they left behind only geographically but not emotionally. People live with those that identify with their past, not their new, culture/identity. Those that immigrate to change their identity, to establish themselves in a culture they want to embrace, not change, seek to become different. To change into something different, and assumingly, better. That has been the lure and promise of the United States. To become American.

Who you are is the most important thing you learn growing up. It seldom changes once it is established no matter how much you want it to - it can, it does, but its influence is permanent. That is human nature and it is the foundation of our community, our culture and our politics. It is also why massive immigration of people with different identities, culture and politics are so dangerous.


10. The Alt Right is opposed to the rule or domination of any native ethnic group by another, particularly in the sovereign homelands of the dominated peoples. The Alt Right is opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence in any society through nepotism, tribalism, or any other means.

Alt-Right believes most new immigrants do not seek to assimilate, no not seek to change, but to retain their identity, their culture, their politics but for a time to take advantage of our system. They are not immigrants but invaders seeking to plunder without the warfare. And the Alt-Right seeks to exclude them from our society because that is what they choose - to be different, to be exempt. When so many already here are fighting to survive, why are we inviting so many with no desire to assimilate?

Further, why should we allow those that do not seek to assimilate to gain power and influence within our own borders? A simple example: we are a nation of English speakers yet there are communities in our country where no English is spoken.


11. The Alt Right understands that diversity + proximity = war.

Diverse communities are fractured, not cohesive, and prone to conflict as groups seek to establish dominance. The greater the diversity the greater/frequent the conflicts. When large communities/nations with divergent cultures meet it almost always ends in war.

Islam is at war within itself and at war with the larger non-Muslim world. Ignoring or dismissing this reality is giving that culture opportunities to enter and fracture existing non-Islamic communities. We are seeing it happen in many communities in the United States with vast numbers of illegal Latino immigrants.


12. The Alt Right doesn't care what you think of it.

For a long time now people that seek to establish/claim an identity that opposes 'diversity' have been singled out and attacked as racist, bigoted, phobic. So long and so often have the attacks gone on that almost everyone (other than those seeking power) has stopped being affected by the name calling. It has culminated in two ways that have broken its claim of hatred:
1. If you are white, you are racist
2. If you are white, you are privileged

These claims are absolute and the only acceptable response is to bow and beg forgiveness and to offer restitution. Whether it was the final straw or it just coincided with the discontent associated with the economic malaise I leave to others. At this point most, if not all of the Alt-Right doesn't care what others say or think about them. If their mere existence is an affront to a culture then that culture is nothing the Alt-Right cares about.


13. The Alt Right rejects international free trade and the free movement of peoples that free trade requires. The benefits of intranational free trade is not evidence for the benefits of international free trade.

Personally, I support global trade - if for no other reason than we do not have everything I want or we need within our borders. However, the 'free trade plus open borders' crowd is a detriment to us and all countries. There are benefits to trading with other countries but not at the expense of our own population. A pan-nationalist approach might be more to their liking but it is an active argument on the Right across the board.


At this point I want to point out that NONE of what I have written about above is exclusive to the United States. Every country can (and should) accept the above. Generally, most people I know even if they have issues with a specific point, generally would agree with everything above. Yes, the Left would have problems with the diversity issue but history is a harsh reality.


I am going to skip this one for a moment to address the final two items and then I will come back to it.

14. The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.


15. The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.

Alt-Right does not believe in the supremacy of any race, nation or people (or human sub-species). Each is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses. I think that the Western culture is the best and I personally think the United States is exceptional (not just first among equals). But the Alt-Right does not distinguish one as supreme - neither nation nor race.


16. The Alt Right is a philosophy that values peace among the various nations of the world and opposes wars to impose the values of one nation upon another as well as efforts to exterminate individual nations through war, genocide, immigration, or genetic assimilation.

And it argues each nation is sovereign and should be free from outside interference.

Alt-Right also abhors war and explicitly notes one means to attain peace is to limit diversity and culture clashes. By limiting immigration and open borders, Alt-Right seeks to minimize war.


These two, like others above are pretty straight forward. However most readers with other bias' will read them and think "aw bullshit...no one thinks like that, it has to be a front, a false face." I would say, nope. I've read a lot and think that it is in fact true. There is no demand for diversity or conformity - be who you are, establish yourself in a community, support and defend that community. Avoid conflicts but don't shrink from attacks - attack back until the threat is permanently removed. Strength personally and within the community.

Number 14, the one the media and many others focus on to the exclusion of all else.

14. The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.

This is the culmination of the Democrat Party and Liberal politicians (here and in Europe). For decades the Left has promoted identity politics - each group supporting "it's own". Be it gays, Blacks or Latinos or women, your identity was your political badge. With the culmination of anti-White activists over the last two years, is it any wonder that a politician that explicitly argues for 15 of the 16 points of Alt-Right "principles" while ignoring every accusation of bigotry might win a general election among AMERICANS?

The largest identity in this country is white, as it is generally throughout the West. If you demand people vote their identity, don't be surprised if it works for the majority.

Identity politics only works for minorities when the majority can be cowed into supporting the minority demands, even when those demands are harmful to the community as a whole. This is a problem for the Alt-Right. When the minorities realize their hold is slipping (or gone) they have only two choices: submit to the dominant culture or violence. Undoing the decades of damage will be painful in many ways.

It can't be racist or bigoted for Blacks to demand Blacks conform/vote for Blacks, for women to conform/vote for women, for Latinos to conform/vote for Latinos and BE racist when whites conform/vote for whites. It just goes back to the 'being white is racist inherently'. People are both tired and disgusted that nothing they do or say makes a difference, only the color of their skin determines their social standing - exactly who are the racists here?



Here is where I break from the Alt-Right...and it might not be a break as much as a difference or divergent point of view. I am the first born of immigrants to this country. I was in lesbian relationship for 18 years. I have helped to raise an adopted baby girl from China. I am NOT demographically an Alt-Right. Yet, philosophically much of the foundation is something I can embrace.

It goes back to a difference I think only exists because the numbers NOW support it: immigrants to this country are not assimilating. Prior to the 60s or 70s it used to take everything and emotionally, intellectually abandoning the external components of your identity to immigrate. With very few exceptions, immigration was a one time, forever proposition. There was no ability to avoid assimilation, you had to in order to survive. Until recently those trips took days, weeks and even months to accomplish moving to another country. Yet, there were always enclaves of immigrants. Did that mean people didn't assimilate? On a case by case basis, probably. As a community, it tended to break down as generations grew up and moved out. It took time.

My parents didn't associate with similar immigrants - they fully embraced America and everything about it. They raised six American children. No hyphen.

For a significant portion of our history, immigration to the United States skimmed the best of almost every other country. Best in the sense that they WANTED the American identity AND were willing to assimilate and work damn hard for it. It has become easy for people to come here and keep one foot in their past. There is no desire to assimilate, only plunder/take advantage of the United States. And we have given them the ability to influence our country in ways that damage and are destroying our culture and identity.

I can see a uniquely American identity that is more than the Alt-Right.


Finally, there are variations within the Alt-Right that are both acknowledged and distanced by different individuals. I put them here to distinguish them from the broader Alt-Right that the media is trying to paint.


The Alt-White focuses on the future for the White Race to the general exclusion of others. A SMALL subset are those White Supremacists we see in the media. They have taken the opportunity that the media (and some politicians) has given them - unintentionally - to gain a platform/megaphone. We'd all be better off it they were ignored.

The Alt-West tends to downplay the race but focus on the European aspect.

Alt-Lite is newer and I've seen several different explanations including ignoring the religious aspect but also that ignore race as a factor.


Right now Alt-(whatever) is trying to piggyback on the attention Alt-Right is getting. We are talking about groups that MAYBE number in the hundreds but are more likely much much smaller.


There it is. Alt-Right is generally, white, male, Christian, of European descent, traditionalist, chauvinist, and decidedly independent. If you are inherently weak in your own identity, Alt-Right is scary. It isn't. Your fears is not it's features. It doesn't care about you. At all. Join it because it represents you, or not. I have not been made to feel unwelcome. Some disagree with my choices, but I've found more angst and anger from Conservatives and Liberals than I have from Alt-Right.

Be aware however, as a movement, the thought leaders are intelligent, well read, and strong personalities. If that scares you, the Alt-Right is not for you.







Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Health care

The fundamental problem with health care in the United States is NOT rising prices - those are the symptom.

It started 51 years ago. Medicare.

95% of all the medical costs you incur in your lifetime will happen in the last year of your life. An insurance study done decades ago and only since refined, but not altered in the conclusion. As we have increased the life span the percentage has gone done for the last year but increased for the last five years of your life - we live longer but at a cost. Still, quality and quantity have been improving.

If I told you that your car insurance was $1 a day for January though November, but $10 a day for December...you'd demand one of three things:
1. A quote from another company
2. That we spread the December amount over the whole year, or
3. You wouldn't bother with insurance in December (or conversely, for January through November)

When there is no other company - you MUST get your insurance through me - the only other options are what we have with Obamacare.

#3 is what people decide when they think they are very good drivers and they have a very good record of not getting into accidents.

#2 is what everyone gets when we take the most expensive costs and spread them out over the whole. But...you could go your entire life without getting into a car accident, but you will not get out of this life alive. And those final costs are, especially over an entire population, significant. So, we spread it out. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical care times millions of people every year.

Medicare shifted the cost of health care for the elderly onto everyone else. When the number of seniors was small and the number of workers large, the difference was pretty small. Now, the reverse is true.

In a nutshell:
A procedure cost $10,000. For a senior under Medicare, because of agreements with hospitals and doctors, the government only pays $6,400 and lets the senior pick up $2,000. What is the hospital supposed to do with the missing $1,600? Simple, it increases the cost to everyone else (not on Medicare) to $10,500. But insurance companies want some of the same deals that Medicare gets so, they pay $6,800 and leave their customers to pay $2,100. What happens to the other $1,600? Simple, the hospital charges the guy that pays for it out of pocket $11,500.

The cost is shifted from the senior to the insured to the uninsured (or self insured). Spread that out over thousands of procedures on millions of people and the numbers become staggering. Add in inflation and more expensive care as more people survive longer and the cost shifting becomes a game of who can shift the cost to someone else fastest. Government, seeing rapidly rising costs demands more shifting away from the growing number of people on medicare (and the state provided, medicare subsidized medi-programs), while insurance companies faced with their own escalating costs of complying with ever increasing documentation and regulation and inflation and rising medical costs, shift the cost to their clients in higher deductibles and more co-payments and demands for their own cost shifting. Dumping more people that can't afford it into the uninsured universe of the highest costs.

x 50 years.....

Obamacare takes the sickest of the uninsured and tells the insurance companies - insure them.

That is telling the car insurance company to insure someone sitting in an intersection with a crumpled front end and dripping fluids...

Insurance is about managing risk - there is a 100% risk to insure someone that just had an accident FOR that accident. Obamacare was not only destined to fail, it was designed to. So that the 'only solution' was government cutting insurers out of the system and just putting everyone on medicare.

Sounds good to people.....except to those people already on medicare who have watched their costs skyrocket over the last 5 years of Obamacare's initial efforts while care and service has dropped because there is a flood of new patients but no change in the numbers of nurses, doctors or hospital beds - and basic economics will tell you that increasing demand over a fixed supply means rising prices.

It is a vicious cycle that started....51 years ago. And all the people that sold Medicare, voted for Medicare, who benefited first from Medicare are long dead. We are left to live with the destruction they sowed. There are alternatives....I've considered two different options in the last dozen years....but something will change in the next two years, no matter who is elected....

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Two sides...


One side sees government as the tool to effect social change. To education, to heal, to eliminate poverty - to improve the human condition.

One side sees government as a tool to protect our rights to live and act freely - be that from others, from corporations or from foreign influence/action.

An argument can be made (and it is) that government can do both, but it is a failure to understand the means by which government can to the former - it must have the authority to take from some people to give it to others: It must pay teachers and fund schools, it must pay doctors and nurses and fund hospitals, it must pay for food and housing and it must prevent actions by individuals that hurt or harm others. That authority, once given, is seldom restricted or recalled. A phone tax intended to support efforts in World War One was finally repealed in the 1980s. If you demand government teach, you either specify exactly what it teaches or accept that it will teach what benefits the teachers. You lose control of the tool of change.

Easiest example: government controlled by one party tells teachers to tell students that gay marriage is ok. Then government is controlled by another party that tells teachers to tell students that gay marriage is bad.

We get students of different ages told different things - each objectionable by one side or the other. Both arguing about what was taught but neither arguing that the teachers shouldn't be teaching EITHER side.

You can not give government the power to impose "good" on people without fundamentally destroying both liberty and good government.

So, while one side sees effecting social change as a morally good thing, the other side sees it as morally corrupt liberty destroying.

One side is evil. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Trust

It is not common knowledge, but most economists will tell you that paper currency ABSOLUTELY relies upon people accepting that it has value. When you work, offer your labor, in return for a piece of paper that represents more pieces of paper so that you can exchange them for food, fuel, shelter, you support a currency based solely on that trust.

What happens when that trust disappears? If you bought a car or a house, how much actual cash did you use? Or was it all 'paper' electronically exchanges solely based on your signature?

What happens when the value of the car or house, based on your paper purchase price, is suddenly questioned? When the bank realizes that the $200,000 it gave the seller of the house you bought in return for a mortgage against that house, represents much more than the house is actually worth?

Our trust in our currency and in our financial system is the ONLY thing that allows it to continue. Remove that trust (as happened in 2008 among banks and the financial community), and things quickly begin to unravel.

But it is the same with our electoral process. We have to trust that the system is fair (and Democrats screamed for years that the Bush presidency was illegitimate), or it too begins to unravel.

If you are unaware of the videos and wikileaks that show conspiracy to subvert the electoral process, you get your news from sources part of that conspiracy. I hate to offer a 'conspiracy theory - though it is clear it is more than theory - but it goes back to trust, large parts of the electorate are beginning to question the process and once that happens in a majority way, like the financial system, our governance system will start to unravel.

Trust. Fundamental to all relationships, personal, financial, governmental. Lose it and it all comes apart. And the tears are bigger than you think...

Offended I tell ya, OFFENDED!

A hallmark of free speech is the ability to offend. As a matter of fact, it was specifically called upon to protect political speech that stopped short of slander and defamation, but left every person that heard it offended.

Now, I don't like to use the term 'offended' because like 'racist' it is overused to the point of meaninglessness. Yet, if speech DOESN'T offend you at some point you are living in a bubble you truly need to get out of more often.

Getting out of your comfort zone is a sign you are stretching - if you only get out of the comfort zone by someone's speech, then YOU have failed in a basic human endeavor: growth.

All of this doesn't mean that you should burn your ears with loud, obnoxious, vulgar, hateful (not speaking of some pathetic "hate speech" code), diarrhea of the mouth. My brother could string together grammatically correct swear words, which were more humorous than what he was aiming for... No, calling someone corrupt, or a liar in order to protect the sensitive ears is treating people like four year olds. While they might WANT to be treated like four year olds, we really have to raise the next generation of twenty somethings to take on the real world.

So, next time someone 'offends you' with something they say, take a second to really listen and see if the problem is not what you are hearing, but what you are thinking.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A quiet time...

Waiting for the movie to start I relaxed and thought of the time I spend just sitting. It is a lost art I think.

Whether you call it prayer, meditation, contemplation or navel gazing, time spent sitting and trying to NOT think about what you need to do next, or when you stand up again is getting to be almost impossible in our 24/7 connected lives.

Two plus years ago, sitting in the RCU (Recuperative Care Unit of the homeless shelter), I spent 16 hours a day sitting in a chair, sitting in a hallway four and a half feet wide staring at the wall. Then the floor. Back to the wall. Floor. Wall....and so on. I listened to the people walking back and forth in the hallway. I could hear the TV in the room at the end of the hallway with Judge Judy and Jerry Springer. But after a couple of days...well, not much to think about when there is NOTHING to do next when I stood up, not that standing up was something I was happy to be doing.

So. I just listened. Mostly I tried to ignore the barely audible brain destroying TV (I swear I could feel brain cells dying whenever I walked into that room). In the evening when people started coming back in for overnight...there were conversations but mostly, 16 hours of sitting.

A funny thing happened. I can't tell you WHAT it is, but I can tell you that I heard things. Not voices, not rumblings. I began to be aware that I knew things I had no particular way to know

I would start to say something and as I was getting ready to speak, I knew that it wasn't right...and the words died before passing out.

I would say something and knew it was right the second I said it. I said things to people that others had told them miles and hours earlier. I said what they needed to hear. I was just spouting my usual pretentious stuff...you know, the stuff I say HERE!

This is of course not turning out as sage as it sounded while I waited for the movie to start....guess that's what happens 7 hours later.

What I want you to do is to find a comfortable place (no, the RCU hallway was NOT comfortable!), relax. Turn off the phone, TV, radio, IPod, turn it ALL off. And listen. Take a shot at 10 minutes, work your way up to an hour over the next month. Try every day.

The Universe is trying to tell you a lot, but ya got to LISTEN.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Women's view?

Woman's advocate on the Left describes Ivanka Trump as a 'character'.

Melania Trump is being criticized for not being out stumping for her husband....as if that is the best use of her time - she does have a career of her own....

Trump is being criticized for 'picking on a woman' by calling her overweight - weight shaming her - when the premier issue of her position was IMAGE....you know, that thing women are always complaining about beauty pagents....so when her image 'slipped' and he was the owner of the pagent, complaining about her image was the JOB DESCRIPTION.
People are dismissing Trump's apparent coming attack on Bill's sexual predator attacks as 'old news' their bringing up Trumps words from 20 years ago as a private citizen is truly hypocritical and politically motivated. Hillary talked about believing women that accuse someone of sexual abuse, except when they accused Bill (and he later admitted to several of them). Hillary talks about Trump TALKING about women, while ignoring Bill's actual physical attacks. Hillary talks about respecting women while Bill abused a 21 yr old in the OVAL OFFICE. Right, abused. See, just 10 years previously, a famous senator lost his job because he had an affair with a woman 25 years his junior in his office BECAUSE women of the Left said he was using his POWER to overwhelm the young woman's judgment. What was Monica but a 21 yr old intern...

Sorry. Either the issue is important or it is not. Either judgment is important or it is not. Either the actions of elected officials in office is important or it is not.

Hillary Clinton had classified material on her private computer - that is a felony. Intent is not a factor. Scooter Libby was convicted under the same issue...you remember him, the Left was apoplectic about it.

I'm used to double standards...but the Left isn't even bothering with a standard at this point, one standard for everyone else, anything goes for Clinton.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, 2001, In memoriam: Barbara (Bobbi) Arestegui

Posted annually on 9/11 since 2006 (I've missed a few, my apologies to Bobbi)

September 11, 2001, 7:59am, United Flight 11 leaves Boston's Logan airport.

In just a few short minutes, Barbara (Bobbi) Arestegui, 38, of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts would be one of the first casualties of that day. Assigned to the First Class cabin, Bobbi and fellow attendant Karen Martin were attacked shortly after takeoff.


In less than 40 minutes, the rest of the crew and passengers of Flight 11 died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

There are no public posts from friends or family on Bobbi. Two stories were published about her and her boyfriend Wayne. From them, the information below is shared.


"The first thing I noticed, of course, was that she is absolutely beautiful," he said. "We had a nice talk, probably for about 15 minutes. I asked her if it would be possible to get her phone number."

She told him sternly: "No, I don't give out my home number."

Wayne shrugged his shoulders and walked away, thinking: I gave it my best shot. She stopped him with one word.

"But," she said.
He turned.
"I'll give it to you."

She was living in Washington, D.C., the middle of five girls from a California family with Spanish Basque roots. Two of the girls would join the tight-knit community of flight attendants.

Her typical schedule was three or four days on followed by three or four days home.

She turned their house into a cozy retreat with a garden out back. They made a habit of walking the cranberry bogs, picking blueberries and having breakfast at the Mills Restaurant. She loved to cook - she dreamed of attending culinary school.

Bobbi picked up three stray and abused cats: Olive, Bruiser and Pumpkin. She'd loved animals since she was a kid in Hawthorne, a suburb of Los Angeles.

"She was a gentle person, yet tough when she needed to be," said Rosie Arestegui, who gave her daughter Barbara the nickname Bobbi. "She knew her job so well. She could do two or three people's work, plus hers, and it would be done perfectly."

Colleagues of Bobbi repeated that praise when Wayne met them in Boston on Friday. He talked with more than 50 people who knew his girlfriend through work. They remembered her as energetic; a huge heart in a 5-foot-3-inch frame.

Bobbi was not scheduled to work Flight 11 that day. But she had accepted extra flights; she was saving up her earned vacation to take a trip with Wayne at the end of September.

She got up about 2:30 that morning and within a few hours was out the door.

"Usually she wakes me up when she leaves. She didn't wake me up this time," he said.

But she did keep another of their rituals: At 6:45 a.m., he got a phone call from the airport.

"She told me that she was just about to board. She was waiting for them to finish cleaning the plane," he said. "She was in a wonderful mood, better than normal."


To view other sites honoring those that died on 9/11

Links:
http://www.september11victims.com/september11Victims/VictimInfo.asp?ID=3
http://www.flightattendants.org/Memorials/AA_FA_Barbara_Arestegui.htm
http://www.inmemoriamonline.net/Profiles/Folders/A_Folder/Arestegui_Barbara-(AA11).html
http://www.capecodonline.com/special/terror/changessubtle11.htm

Someone who inspired you...

Two years ago I was asked to write about someone that inspired me. I did, and fortunately, shared it with her a couple of months later...
***********

Sometimes we find that in looking for inspiration that we have overlooked what was right before us all along. At the first mention of this project, I immediately thought of Sarah Palin. This woman, a wife and mother, had been raised in a tight-knit family, played sports and went to a small Christian college, obtaining her degree. She married and started a family with a husband that worked in his family's business and had separate jobs as the seasons changed. Palin became involved in her children's school PTA. Eventually running for Mayor of her town, and a small town it was. Everyone knew each other and when children departed from the way they were raised, a neighbor would intervene and return them to their parents - not so much that it took a village to raise a child, but that a village was there to support the parents in their job. She eventually was picked to chair a commission that accomplished in 3 years under her leadership what it had failed to do the previous 10 years - get multi-national oil companies to the table and completed an agreement that resulted in Alaskan citizens receiving substantial benefits from the depletion of the state's natural resources.

In doing so she went against her political party and rooted out corruption. Her run for Governor thereafter resulted in a huge margin of winning. Throughout it all, she was a wife and mother first. Her commitment to principled stands made her well worth the admiration she garnered. But I wondered if I had someone better to hold up? I sighed inwardly...of course I did.

This woman was born into a wealthy family. Her father had a national reputation in his field, but World War Two and an addiction to alcohol cost him his reputation, his business and eventually his respect. But his wife remained and the four daughters they raised made a transition to working class. This woman would work as an usherette in a theatre and her boyfriend ran the projector. After a couple years, instead of a proposal, the boyfriend dumped her.

Three years later he showed up on the doorstep of her mother and asked her to marry him and leave the country she called home. She said yes. Imagine the inner strength of that. Marriage, leaving your country all for a guy that dumped you. Yet she did, and the children came. Six children in 10 years. Two miscarriages marred the happiness, but together, this woman and her husband did something no one in their families had ever done - they bought a home. Fixed it up, sold it and bought another one. In 1964 they were the original real estate flippers. Her husband worked nights, went to school during the day and moved from sweeping buses to maintaining high voltage substations for the Chicago Transit system.

To this day, some 56 years later, my mother and I share a connection that miles and daily living can not break. I have lived in 8 states, and while that is not the same as leaving your homeland, my willingness to jump into the deep end and move forward is in my genes. My mother's commitment to raising children that were cared for and loved has found few positive comparisons. She maintains a log book with every birthday and Christmas present bought and it's cost. None of her children can say one was favored over another, one loved more. That sense of fairness has never wavered. I am reminded every time I see that book that it was never about the dollar and cents of my parents giving, it was knowing that in the future their children might mistakenly accuse them and they would have proof of their caring for each equally. That book now has spouses, grand children and great grand children and the commitment is still there. Steadfastness in the face of everything.

We were not raised to be religious, we were raised to be reverent. To be respectful and to be respectable. My sibs and I have led others in every task we have been charged with. Loyalty given has been loyalty earned. When my brother passed, the City of Chicago Council recognized him and his contribution to the community. That certificate sits next to my brother's ashes in the kitchen/dining area in my parents house - so that he will always know we remember him and keep him close. Love not til death do us part, but forever.

My parents received a normal education, my father apprenticed and earned his master's license before he left for the United States. He did it again here in a new field will working and raising a family. When I received my Bachelors, they simply nodded and said, good job. We didn't get extra praise for doing what was expected. Ask my mother today if she did anything special and she will deny it. She raised six children that have benefited and contributed to society. Today that merits special attention because of its rarity. She expected we would all work and live to our potential. I can't say that we have all done as well as we could, but that didn't change my mother's attitude towards us.

My mother, a wife, a plumber, a cook, a chauffeur, a seamstress, an electrician, a painter, a den mother, a friend, has no awards or certificates to celebrate her accomplishments - she will point to me and my sibs as her reward.

When my partner of 18+ years passed, my mother said my strength and my adherence to my principles moved her to tears. My partner's daughter was embraced as my parent's 15th grandchild. My mother and father never wavered in their acceptance and support of our life. When my illness forced me into a dependent state, they were there to support and encourage. My mother talked to me every day. I am 56 and I still listen to and am comforted by her wisdom and advice.

A wife, a mother, a woman that I am still trying to emulate because I have found no other woman in my life more worthy than her of my ambitions.

The one word, mom. No job, career or ambition is of higher regard.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

You will be assimilated....

From Jerry Pournelle "migration without assimilation is invasion"

We have made the idea of assimilation a bad thing in popular culture - it is too....BORG like. Except, the 'melting pot' is an important part of becoming American. If you leave your country, go to another country (ANY other country) you will be expected to learn the language, follow the laws and participate in their culture. That is how my parents were expected to act when they came to THIS country, and how they planned to act. Now, we not only don't expect them to follow our laws, we are going to bend our culture/society to their expectations!

The 'anti-appropriation movement' is a direct attack on the 'melting pot' assimilation process.

The first step in assimilation, in becoming American, is to lose the hyphen.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Disrespect or Patriotism?

The Colin Kaepernick stunt continues to produce minor ripples in the convosphere.

When I went to church with V and CJ, I stood when everyone else stood, I sat quietly, I didn't read a book or listen to music on headphones. I didn't share their beliefs, but I was respectful. THAT is the difference. You don't have to share the beliefs, but respect someone's house when you are in it - or don't GO THERE.

No one says America is perfect, but when a black can earn 19 million dollars, or be President, or Attorney General or Governor or CEO or any other damn thing we have in this country....well, it doesn't give them a pass to be disrespectful of the society that gave them that opportunity.

The breakdown of American Society is the coarsening of the way people think of it. When segments believe there is nothing redeemable about our society, that it is racist, or misogynist, or ablist or whatever claim people to make about our society to argue for their withholding their support - except for their daily participation and benefit of it - then outside influences have the opportunity to widen the cracks and further damage what they can not damage themselves.

It is said that strong cultures are not destroyed from without, but from within. And that is what is happening. We are fracturing ourselves by isolating smaller and smaller groups, segregation writ large and self imposed, and then withholding our support from the larger society when it faces external and existential threats. More and more people are embracing those ideas and ideals that are destructive, socialism being one of the largest. But also the demand that others not assimilate into our culture but retain their ancestral own within our borders. The argument that our culture is no better than any other is demonstrably false.

It is not disrespect of another culture to ask the people that come here to assimilate and participate in our culture - after all, if theirs had been superior, why would they have left it? The benefits of our culture are a function of its foundations which was created by the assimilation and participation of everyone that has been born or chose to move here.

I could attend that church, participate in it's community, share the foundations but only by being respectful of it. Holding yourself apart, being disrespectful of the culture that you live in and benefit from is not making things better, it is making it much worse than you think it is. The alternatives are out there to see, and it should scare the hell out of you.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Cognative dissonance

Let us compare:

Stop the Keystone pipeline - an infrastructure project that will create tens of thousands of jobs (hold that bold thought in your mind)

Create a trillion dollar program to build bridges, dams and other infrastructure projects to put millions of people to work (add that in there too)

Provide a free college education to everyone that wants one

Allow millions of uneducated, unskilled illegal immigrants to come to, stay in United States.


These are the ideas of Obama, Hillary and the Left. Let's consider them.

If we create those millions of jobs that require 8 hours of physical labor every day, five days a week, 280 days a year, who is going to work them? The 50 year olds that have been laid off from manufacturing jobs lost to overseas? Hundreds of thousands of college graduates?

Or the uneducated, unskilled illegal immigrants?

Do you think unions will welcome those illegal immigrants into their ranks? I do. And all those 50 yr old ex-labor union workers will be on the street...picking up their $150 a month union pension. (My father paid into his union pension fund for 37 years, got less than $100/mo upon retirement)

So. Remember that first project? It is not the actual project that benefits us, it is what flows in that pipeline that does - millions of barrels of oil. Necessary to run all that equipment building all those projects.

Oh, we have millions of uneducated, unskilled, unemployed workers now - the black community. Wonder who will be hurt most by people willing to do physically demanding work for $12/hr, 8 hours a day, five days a week?

It is not that the Left doesn't think, it is that they don't understand consequences.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Alt-right or Alternative Right

Lots has been written about the Alt-Right in the last couple of days with Hillary's speech on Thursday. Ignoring the slanderist rhetoric, it would make sense to at least understand her concerns - and she is right to be concerned. Not for us, or the United States, but for herself and her agenda.

Most of the issues raised were more projection than explanation.

Clinton attempted a "reset" with Russia while Secretary of State. Her State Department helped to establish a 'technology center' in Russia that virtually everyone acknowledges is a way for Russia to 'steal', co-opt American technology. She helped Russia gain access and control over America's uranium supplies. She and Obama called Romney's characterization of Russia as our geo-political enemy laughable and dangerous. Russia was our partner against Iran, then ISIS.

Now Russia is the bogey man. Projecting Putin into Trump's head and campaign. Trump said that Putin's focus on Russia First was something we could emulate. Putting America First, not some pan-globalist ideal. Putin's aggressive stance against anti-Russia elements within his boards was another. Again, not something to oppose.

But the underlying reason to hate both Trump and Putin is their focus on 'nationalism'. Somehow, being for your own nation is bad. No, of course not, they (Clinton and the sycophants) want you to believe that they are acting in our best interest but that populism, support for a grassroots political(democratic) movement combined with nationalism is the root of an American NAZI awakening. Bullshit. And they know that, so, they have to tie in the one other piece to make their picture complete:

White Supremacy.

Do you think Japan should be for Japanese?
Do you think China should be for Chinese?
Do you think Israel should be for Israelis?

Most of the Alt-right categorically denies any allegiance to white supremacy. Only white sovereignty. And while I don't disagree in principle with that - after all, don't you support Black Lives Matter? Don't white lives matter also?

But, the issue (that I have) with alt-right is the general principle that alt-right stands for a christian, european, rule of law culture that is dominantly white. And that this country, the United States is the embodiment of the pinnacle of such culture that has lead the world in democracy, capitalism and innovation for two centuries.

There is some support for their positions that have historical support:

John Jay, author of the Federalist Paper #2-5 and 62, wrote:

It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, widespreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people--a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.

My own agnosticism is tweeked by the idea that we need to be a Christian nation. If by that we mean that it is populated by a supermajority of Christians, then I am ok with that. If it means to be governed by Scripture, then obviously I have a problem. But in discussions, the majority seem inclined to the former rather than the later.

So, while there are those that cheer the Alt-Right that are assuredly poisonous, that is not in itself bad. After all, the Communist Party of the United States backs Hillary Clinton wholeheartedly!! No one is claiming Clinton is the party of Communists....socialists maybe...!!

Many of the policy arguments tend to be highly supportive of Trump: limited trade agreements, very limited immigration, and certainly not of those that can't stomach our secular, humane society where everyone is 'equal'. That means that those that don't subscribe to women's rights and gay's rights can hardly be quietly dumped into small communities with no tangible ties to the refugees. It means that we stay out of the affairs of other countries.

The other place I have a problem with alt-right...and also with a portion of the economic landscape I am generally supportive of....is their opposition to free-trade. Although I am thinking there is a difference of opinion as to what that means. To the alt-right it means the free movement of immigrants. And I don't think it necessarily means that. But I am also having issues with my support of unfettered free trade. More on that elsewhere.

The significant point that Clinton generally hinted at, but those opposed to Alt-right have hit upon is this:

We must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children

You are going to read that and think white supremacy. And Clinton wants you to. But let me change it and see what your opinion becomes:

We must secure the existence of black people and a future for black children
We must secure the existence of Jewish people and a future for Jewish children

Any change in character?

To the first one: Black adoptees speak out

To the second one: Evangelical support of Israel

Iraq and Egypt and Syria have seen the slaughter of Christians. Many countries in the Middle East will not allow Christian churches.
Why are many Middle Eastern refugees not Christian, but Moslem? Are there no Moslem countries in the Middle East not at war and with significant financial resources....like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia?

I don't oppose legal immigration - my parents are legal immigrants as is my daughter. I want those that see the United States as a place for children to grow up with unlimited opportunities - I fully support the culture, the european, christian, rule of law culture. For that reason, I support the alt-right in principle. I do have some issues, but then, I wouldn't be me if I didn't want to reserve my own sovereignty....

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Current research project

What is the foundation of law? Moral foundation? Then either it is a Christian based moral foundation or a natural law foundation. Natural law has a long history, but by 1250 it was strongly codified/explained by Thomas Aquinas as 'of God'. My current reading list: "A Line Through the Heart" and Written On The Heart", J. Budziszewski "Natural Law", Jacques Maritain "After the Natural Law", John Lawrence Hill "50 Questions on the Natural Law", Charles Rice "On Law, Morality and Politics" and "Summa Theologica", Thomas Aquinas "The Natural Law", Heinrich A. Rommen "Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals", Immanuel Kant "Laws", Plato "Natural Law in the Spiritual World", Henry Drummond A Treatise of Human Nature", David Hume I'd actually be interested in a discussion on the following: Did a system of rights and morality exist prior to the religious foundations of Judism and Christianity? Is such a foundation applicable today?