The New Clarion

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You’re Doing It Wrong

April 9th, 2012 by Inspector · Culture

If your actions are indistinguishable from a Jim Crow era lynching except for which color of skin is on which side of the mob, then you’re doing the whole anti-racism thing wrong.

Dr. King said that he had a dream where, “they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” He didn’t say that his dream was that they WOULD be judged by their skin, only the other way around because revenge.

(Same goes for just about anything that would be indistinguishable from the Jim Crow era except with the colors switched… which is just about everything that comes out of a certain camp…)

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Another LTE Printed

March 21st, 2012 by Mike N · Uncategorized

This LTE was printed in the Detroit News on March 7th.

Letter: Focus on nation’s founding values

“The Feb. 18 editorial brief “Appropriate driving law” is an example of a true statement that can be misleading in terms of the principle involved. The sentence: “This new legislation expands a smart law that rightly punishes drivers who have chosen to risk other people’s lives with their irresponsible decisions” can leave the impression that the purpose of law is to protect people from irresponsible decisions instead of violations of their rights. The question then becomes who decides what is responsible or irresponsible and according to what standards?

Is the mother whose child had her turkey sandwich, banana and apple juice confiscated by food police guilty of irresponsible decisions? Were all of us guilty of irresponsible decisions for wanting to use incandescent light bulbs or watch analog TV or put salt on our potatoes?

The tea parties exist to get our nation back to its fundamental, founding principles. They could really use the support of those on editorial staffs to identify those principles.

The above quote could ideally have read in part “… rightly punishes drivers who have chosen to risk violating other people’s rights.” Individual rights are a profound value. To consistently fail to mention primary values is to consider them unimportant.”

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Andrew Breitbart, RIP

March 1st, 2012 by Myrhaf · Uncategorized

I never knew Andrew Breitbart, but I admired his courage. The left despised him; in fact, they still do, and they are now heaping scorn on his corpse, as one would expect from the tolerant and kindly left. They hate him because he was effective. He took down Acorn, their instrument for undermining elections in America, and so became a leading target of leftist bile.

Following his Twitter feed was a daily lesson in the frothing madness of the left. Breitbart always retweeted the insulting, hate-filled tweets he got; he was happy to let his enemies reveal themselves with their own vituperation. They are a seething, juvenile, mean-spirited lot, and not terribly clever, either.

(I gave up following Twitter because every week or so my password would not work and I would have to change it — most exasperating. Maybe my computer has a virus or something.)

Courage is important in our age. The increasingly totalitarian left depends on conformity of thought. This does not mean persuading those who disagree with them, but shutting them up. And the best way to shut someone up is make him afraid to speak his mind. Smears, intimidation and character assassination are the methods of the left. (How many people in Hollywood , publishing, government or academia remain silent because they know that speaking out is career suicide? How many women, minorities and gays toe the PC line because stepping over it means shocking decent people more than profanity did in the Victorian age?)

The main purpose of government schooling now is to mold young Americans into docile conformists. Political correctness is leftist thought control: these things you are permitted to say — those other things, no decent person must say. Independence is the virtue above all others that the left cannot abide.

When the left accepted the premise that the end justifies the means, they crossed a line. They are now the totalitarian left. This ain’t your father’s Democrat Party. These people are radicalized, and they mean war. Words are no longer tools of rational communication; they are weapons to be used in the political struggle.

With the left so far down the road to serfdom, good men need courage above all. Andrew Breitbart had it. We lost a brave fighter for freedom.

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A Liberal Goes Galt

February 29th, 2012 by Myrhaf · Uncategorized

Sara Robinson of AlterNet is unhappy. Red states take more government money than blue states, which Ms. Robinson thinks is ironic, since the red states are full of right-wingers who admire Ayn Rand. She thinks the productive blue states should “Go Galt” against the parasitical red states.

Now, a state is a large political entity with all types of people in it. There are people who work hard and pay their taxes in every state. There are parasites in every state. So Ms. Robinson is pitting two collectives against one another in ways that have little meaning. A state might have two Republican Senators merely because they got 51% of the vote. Moreover, being Republican hardly means you stand for limited government, much less the laissez-faire capitalism advocated by Ayn Rand.

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LTE Printed

February 16th, 2012 by Mike N · Culture

I had the following LTE printed verbatim in the Macomb Daily a countywide newspaper serving Macomb county which abuts Wayne County home of Detroit.

“We must return to basic principles

I applaud George Will’s Feb. 5 opinion column, pointing out the dictatorial desires of progressives from Woodrow Wilson to Franklyn Roosevelt and President Obama. Americans need to know that the Democratic Party is dominated by those who think brute force is the practical way to govern citizens.

But Will failed to take the next step: to ask why do progressives worship force instead of freedom, while our Constitution clearly calls for freedom? The answer is to be found in the Declaration of Independence with its principle of individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This principle is one of reasoned self-interest, that one can serve one’s own interests as long as one respects the same rights of others.

But progressives disdain these principles, believing that man is not capable of reasoned behavior and must be forcibly ruled by benevolent masters, a longing for something that has never been or will ever be. If America doesn’t return to the principles of the Declaration of Independence soon, the progressives will have the dictatorship they crave. Where reason and rights do not prevail, force does.”

Mr Will is a famous conservative pundit who is quite good at pointing out all the idiocies of progressive policies. But like so many of his colleagues, often fails to identify the principles underlying those policies thus leaving them unchallenged to continue birthing more such policies.

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Why we seldom get principled leaders

January 16th, 2012 by Mike N · Culture, Uncategorized

The Friday Jan 6th print edition of the Detroit Free Press carried an oped by Leonard Pitts Jr of the Miami Herald titled “Ron Paul is foolishly consistent in his extremism.” He starts it out with this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” I’ll skip the fact that there may be some debate over the contextual meaning of that quote in some circles and just focus on how Mr. Pitts uses it as received wisdom. I will quote a few passages with my comments in brackets. [Read more →]

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The Final Cause

January 10th, 2012 by Myrhaf · Uncategorized

 

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Trojan Horse: On “Discrimination” and Individual Rights

January 6th, 2012 by Jim May · Uncategorized

In my previous post fisking Jonathan Chait, commenter Michael asks:

“How do you reconcile individual rights with something like private discrimination?”

“Discrimination”:

1
a : the act of discriminating b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently
2
: the quality or power of finely distinguishing

Source.

Discrimination, in its original meaning, means to be carefully selective — to recognize and choose between “finely distinct” alternatives, e.g. a “discriminating” customer. We discriminate every day, as part of living — between food and poison, between the road and the shoulder, between good deals and bad ones, between the trustworthy and the untrustworthy.

Doesn’t it seem odd to you that *this* is the word has come to mean prejudicial choice, and highly evil prejudices at that — such as racism?

This isn’t an accident of semantics; it’s a clue to the ideological causality underlying and driving Leftist ideas like Jonathan Chait’s  — and to the biggest “Trojan Horse” in American ideological history.

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How Small an Enemy: Jonathan Chait edition

January 4th, 2012 by Jim May · Uncategorized

“Take a look at them now, when you face your last choice—and if you choose to perish, do so with full knowledge of how cheaply how small an enemy has claimed your life.” 

— John Galt, from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

 

At New York magazine, Jonathan Chait posts an example of the kind of tendentious, on-plantation tract that seems intended solely to reassure its denizens that it’s the right place to be.  The logical fallacies present therein are sufficiently obvious that the reader will either spot them in just a few minutes — or see nothing on account of having his eyes closed.

The point of my critique is not the refuting of it, as formatting this text will take more brainpower.  The point is to supply an illustrative example of a well-known and commonly used fallacy, but in a context where people usually fail to recognize it — unless one is armed with the principle of ideological causation.

Chait’s article is entitled “How Ron Paul’s Libertarian Principles Support Racism”.  That’s a pretty big, unambiguous claim isn’t it?  Chait’s going to show us how libertarian principles support racism.  Chait is saying that he intends to establish causation between “libertarian principles” and racism.  That would be huge, wouldn’t it?  He’d be refuting the core of the Enlightenment in one fell swoop!

So let’s see what he actually does.

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Headlines of 2012, Hopefully

January 1st, 2012 by Mike N · Culture, Politics

It’s that time of year again when I put together my list of a dozen or so headlines I would like to see in the New Year 2012. I normally do this on New Years Eve day. But Obama and both political parties have left so much to be desired that yesterday I could have had several dozen items. Now, reduced to an essential dozen I like to count at night instead of sheep, here is the list:

  1. Obama loses election
  2. Republicans take Senate and add to House
  3. ObamaCare repealed
  4. Dodd/Frank repealed
  5. Sarbanes/Oxley repealed
  6. Departments of Education and Energy to be phased out/privatized
  7. Fannie Mae,  Freddie Mac and TSA to be privatized
  8. Community Re-investment Act repealed
  9. Federal Reserve mandate to provide full employment repealed
  10. All bureaucracies to be examined for initiating force thus violating rights
  11. Eric Holder under investigation for crime of aiding and abetting public enemies (drug cartels) by arming them against american citizens
  12. George Soros under investigation for ties to election fraud activities. 
  13. (Bonus headlines)
  •  NYT and WAPO losing more readers
  • MSNBC bought by conservative publisher and revamped or shut down due to lack of viewers
  • Well that’s it for this year’s hopeful headlines. You can add yours in the comments of course.

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Passing Thoughts on Occupy Wall Street, Part II

December 14th, 2011 by Inspector · Uncategorized

Some more passing thoughts on OWS:

Their primary impetus seems to be that someone read Marx and told them that the rich are taking their wealth from the rest of us. This was untrue in the 19th century when it was written (excepting government-backed monopolies which were anti-capitalist, anyway). And it was a baffling confusion of capitalism and the feudal system. But, more to the point, it is patently ridiculous in this day and age. The problem is, the writings that these people are ultimately basing their complaints on predate the modern age of the welfare state and its progressive tax systems.

Don’t get me wrong – we need to abolish both as the immoral and impractical monsters that they are. But, since they are here, they do make the cookie-cutter Marxist complaints of OWS a bit of a poor fit. Not only don’t the rich steal their wealth from the rest of us, but they pay the largest share of the taxes in this country, by a wide margin. Both in terms of percentage of their income, and in absolute terms. Even accounting for people like Warren Buffet.

But let’s back up for a minute. Theirs is, on a much more fundamental level, a silly idea.

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Ending Our Immoral Tax Code

November 27th, 2011 by Inspector · Uncategorized

Lately, there have been some proposals in the political mainstream for a flat tax system. Such proposals are very much worth considering. The current tax code, with its system of deductions and penalties is grossly immoral – the government has no right to reward or penalize our non-criminal behaviors.

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Authoring Ourselves: On Ideological versus Physical Causation

November 15th, 2011 by Jim May · Uncategorized

Every hand’s a winner,

And every hand’s a loser.

–Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

Just this morning, the following items came across my radar. Can you detect the basic alternative that is common to all of them?

At the New York Times, Eddy Nahmias asks: “Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will?” (A very good read in its own right, I’m not linking it just for the title!)

Via Twitter, Linda Cordair (@CordairGallery) tweets:

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.

From Jennifer Casey, at her blog “Rational Jenn”:

Morgan said the most interesting thing to us the other day. It was something like this:

“There are three people who can invent me–you two [pointing at me and Brendan] and ME!”

That statement led to a fascinating conversation about how, yes, we created her, but she is primarily responsible for inventing herself.

Because she is. We gave her the raw materials, but she must learn and figure things out and integrate concepts and make decisions, all things which will shape her mind and sense of self and sense of life–each of which will in turn affect future decisions and her thinking (and even the decision to think).

Emphasis mine.

Those of you who have read enough of my writings about ideological causation should already be able to suspect what’s coming, as I have touched on this connection before.  The obvious form of the alternative, is free will versus determinism, yes — but I want to discuss a closely related expression of this alternative: ideological versus physical causation as the motor of human action.

 

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Passing thoughts on Occupy Wall Street

November 11th, 2011 by Inspector · Politics, Uncategorized

The “Occupiers” are shamefully ignorant. Ignorant of the other 99%: the 99% of corporations that do nothing wrong.

And another point of their ignorance is: what is the distinguishing attribute of the 1% who aren’t innocent? That 1% isn’t the biggest 1%. It isn’t the richest. It’s the group that are in bed with the government; that use government power rather than free market acumen to gain their wealth.

This, then, leads to the third question they are blind to: who is ultimately to blame for this? When a man with a gun and a man with money make a deal, who is wearing the pants?

And, then, one last question I’d like to highlight, that goes unasked by OWS: Who put that man with the gun in power? They won’t ask this because it is them. THEY put a government in power that meddles in the free market. They got exactly what they asked for; they’re just ignorant of the implications of what they’d asked for. And now they’re screaming for more. MORE! MORE OF THE SAME!

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The Tragedy of Theology

November 9th, 2011 by Jim May · Uncategorized

“Here is the tragedy of theology in its distilled essence: The employment of high-powered human intellect, of genius, of profoundly rigorous logical deduction—studying nothing. In the Middle Ages, the great minds capable of transforming the world did not study the world; and so, for most of a millennium, as human beings screamed in agony—decaying from starvation, eaten by leprosy and plague, dying in droves in their twenties—the men of the mind, who could have provided their earthly salvation, abandoned them for otherworldly fantasies.”

— from Dr. Andrew Bernstein’s “The Tragedy of Theology: How Religion Caused and Extended the Dark Ages” at The Objective Standard.

The Dark and Middle Ages are a gaping maw of a weak spot in the arguments of primitive religionists who seek to usurp the fruit of the secular Enlightenment — in particular, liberty and America — for themselves and their Judeo-Christian beliefs.  For the most part in Internet fora, religious conservatives pushing this line will run like hell (or drop to schoolyard invective) from anyone with even a passing knowledge of Dark Ages history.

The only exceptions I’ve seen invariably revolved around some variant of the idea that the Dark Ages weren’t dark at all, but had merely been misrepresented as such by anti-clerical thinkers during the Enlightenment.  If this claim could be solidified, then those fleeing religionists might finally have a card to play.  In light of this demand, it should be no surprise that Rodney Stark’s book is exactly what the doctor of theology ordered: an attempt to give that weak evasion some intellectual traction.

It is telling that the only one so far that is equipped to recognize and call out this fraud, is an Objectivist like Dr. Bernstein.  Thank you Dr. Bernstein for this ammunition; I’ll be putting it into my ideological holster, ready for use when the Dark Ages apologists start deploying Stark.

 

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The Twenty-Five Tents

November 6th, 2011 by Jim May · Uncategorized

Features distorted in the flickering light,
The faces are twisted and grotesque.
Silent and stern in the sweltering night,
The mob moves like demons possessed.
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best.
The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will.
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill.

— from “Witch Hunt” by Neil Peart for the band Rush

Uncle blogs a pithy, yet profound quote summarizing the difference between the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Tea Party:

The Tea Party wants to remove the Crony from Crony Capitalism.

OWS wants to remove Capitalism from Crony Capitalism.

The profundity here lies in the fact that capitalism is liberty; notwithstanding the contradictions which may yet prove fatal to the Tea Party movement, liberty *is* the essential difference between that movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

What is of interest here, is the pattern of apologia I am seeing in and around the Occupation movement — not only in the movement itself and its historical parallels, but also in the response to it elsewhere in the culture.

The Occupation movement itself is easy to figure out; it is following the same pattern as all similar Leftist movements in history. The development of these movements always share the same stages. For now, we are concerned with the first stage, where the movement is at its most apparently benign.

 

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Cavalcade of Links 11

November 4th, 2011 by Myrhaf · Uncategorized

1. Peter Hitchens looks at the science fiction world called Japan.

2. A great idea.

3. The Taranto Principle.

4. The Obama administration plumbs new depths in divisiveness using the First Lady as an attack dog.

5. The last time I posted about EMP, the idea was debunked in comments. But if it is really impossible, a lot of people have not heard the news.

6. Alexander Marriott shows how to detect fake internet quotes.

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Cavalcade of Links 10

October 26th, 2011 by Myrhaf · Link Cavalcade

1. An analysis of Obama’s willingness to act above the law.

2. President Robespierre.

3. The solutions are out there.

4. Obama’s political skills are lacking.

5. Why does Peter Schiff even bother trying to reason with these people?

6. California’s economic suicide. I’m seriously think it’s time to move…

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Programming Note

October 22nd, 2011 by Myrhaf · Uncategorized

If you put a link in a comment — which is great, keep it up — we have to approve the comment before it is posted. So if your comment does not appear immediately, that is the reason.

We get an awful lot of spam comments here. They make me laugh because they are written as if english were a spammer’s second language, or maybe third.

“I am learning good informations from your prolific writings. I love this blog!”

“This is being so deep! I must tell all the peoples about your blog!”

Gotta love it.

UPDATE: Got this one today, October 22, 2011:

I am really satisfied with this posting that you have given us. This is really a stupendous work done by you. Thank you and looking for more posts

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Lords of the Flies in Oakland

October 20th, 2011 by Jim May · Uncategorized

Ideological causality usually operates over the span of years, in a man and in a society.

Usually.   Sometimes, however it can cover ground damn fast.

From the source:

One Oakland police supervisor said that the participants first appeared to him as “freethinking activists” but have since devolved into something more sinister. He said it was “interesting for a group that claims to be against current civilization and rules to set up a far more oppressive society than our own.

(Via Instapundit & American Glob.)

 

 

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