Tag: power

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The Constitution contains a powerful set of ideals and a wise system of governance, based on a deep reading of classical and medieval history as well as Renaissance philosophy. However, none of this matters if no system of force is in place to keep and defend the Constitution. Ultimately, this what the 2nd Amendment is about: A distributed […]

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There are two ways of getting things done: persuasion or coercion. You either convince someone of the value of your ideas or you hold a (literal or metaphorical) gun to their head. The latter has been the norm throughout human history. Most of what we value about the contemporary West is a shift toward the former occurring over […]

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The Greatness of America: Part I

 

In my lifetime, I have never experienced such deceptive, malevolent, and destructive actions and behaviors from the Progressive Left. Maybe I was just naïve. Maybe their willingness to speak openly about their own devious behavior is how I’ve become enlightened. As a result, I am making demands of the Left that my government representatives, Senators and Congressmen, have been unwilling to make up until now.

But I take these stands, not with malevolence, but firm determination. I will not let you harden me or make me bitter. I will not descend to your level.

You must stop doing the following:

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There seems to be some misunderstanding that there will there be a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court after Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. John Roberts is not conservative in any meaningful judicial sense, neither interpreting laws based on their original public meaning (originalism) nor through some conservative view. And so, while there will […]

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  I have often wondered about people who change their party affiliation from one to the other.  What changed their minds?  What would cause a conservative with an asserted conservative world view (less government, less taxes, more accountability) to become a tax-and-spend Democrat?  What would cause someone who viewed the government as the source of […]

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The Destructiveness of Anger

 

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” — Mark Twain

People who are angry in these times feel justified in their fury. The world seems out of control, while scientists and doctors expound on the devastating impact of a perplexing virus. We, however, want someone, anyone, to be able to explain everything, right now, in a way that makes sense and can be digested by all of us.

When the “authorities” give us information with certainty, we are angry with them because we simply don’t believe them. When they share their views with qualifiers, we are angry because we want certainty. And we want to blame someone, anyone for the lack of complete understanding of what is happening, and a sensible strategy for moving forward.

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I’m sure many of you listen to the EconTalk podcast (if you don’t, you absolutely should.)  I thought this episode was great and this excerpt perfectly characterized the power situation in this country, especially the lack of meaningful reform, especially when public sector unions and the entrenched bureaucracy are involved. “Back in the old days […]

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QotD: Power and Marginalization

 

If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired. – Kevin Williamson

We saw some illustrations of that this week. Whistle-blowing is good if it hurts President Trump or any conservative, but it is bad if it is done against Progressive bastions (the mainstream media). If a Republican refuses to concede a close election this is an indication the Republicans cannot accept defeat. If a Democrat loses a close (or even not-so-close) election, refusal to concede is taking it to the man, or noble resistance. And heaven forbid a doula claim a man cannot give birth.

Chaos Incarnate

 

[Let’s listen in to this conversation in progress . . . ]

JB—So Nance, how’s it going? You folks have been pretty busy raising Cain in the last couple of weeks.

NP—Well, yes, that’s true, Joe. How are you doing? Where are you campaigning?

Quote of the Day: Sallust on Sloth, Covetousness, and Losing Power

 

“And, indeed, if the intellectual ability of kings and magistrates were exerted to the same degree in peace as in war, human affairs would be more orderly and settled, and you would not see governments shifted from hand to hand, and things universally changed and confused. For dominion is easily secured by those qualities by which it was at first obtained. But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the fortune of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving.” — Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust)

The first time I saw this quote, it was the abbreviated version starting at “But when sloth…” and going to the end. My thought reading that was, “That’s not my experience or reading of history there, old son.” But seeing the larger quote, it becomes obvious he is writing of changes in the power structures and of who is in place. Eventually, the people get tired of corruption and rise up. Eventually, a great man (or at least superior to his predecessors) arises to clean out the Augean stables of government. Or, the nation falls to another, which will have a higher vision. Sallust lived through a period when the Roman Republic was falling apart with factional fighting and finally fell into being the Roman Principate. I believe we are living through a similar period now.

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How often have you said, or heard someone else say, “Well, I had good intentions!” Unfortunately, that is the phrase that the Left repeatedly offers as if their good intentions override terrible outcomes. I propose that in these times, this mistaken belief borders on the evil. For over 100 years we’ve listened to the Left […]

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https://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/must_see/48060788/finland-s-new-generation-of-climate-heroes Play on words: Actually that is the name of a Finnish town which has achieved “zero waste” and has therefore proven that if a town of 10,ooo can do it, according to a person in the video (teacher?) we can do it globally and so we have “no more excuses.” Well, there isn’t enough […]

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Humanity is trapped in a vise. The two competing social models in the world–the small ethnic state and the large commercial empire–have proven equally prone to sudden outbursts of mass violence. Multi-ethnic empires are vulnerable to spirals of elite divide-and-conquer tactics that eventually trigger a civil war, while monoethnic states have a tendency to fight […]

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Apology Accepted

 

Making an apology comes naturally for some folks and can be very trying for others. We can store up an abundance of reasons not to apologize: it wasn’t my fault, he deserved it, I was right, she was wrong, it’s too late, it’s too soon. Even for those of us who will generally own up to our mistakes, apologizing can be difficult.

Recently I overreacted to a situation and was rude in response to something that was said. I had no way of knowing that I had misunderstood what was said, so was my rudeness really my fault? Yes. It was. But one of the challenges to offering an apology is getting past our own embarrassment and self-consciousness and just admitting we goofed.

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The recent Helsinki Summit between Putin and Trump, on the heels of meeting with NATO, is upsetting the usual people. What isn’t being talked about is the full-on, deliberate import of socialism, and the denigration of capitalism across all parts of society. Claire Berlinski writes in The Daily Beast, “The United States built the modern […]

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Beauty, Power, Babbling, and Tocquevillian Sex Ed

 

“He drinks because of you.” Even knowing now what I didn’t know then, the claim stinks of false blame, though youth and beauty are said to have great power over those who admire them. Young I was. But beautiful? Not really, I thought. A great many budding young women are kept far too busy frantically scrambling to keep the less-beautiful parts of puberty from turning their bodies into an embarrassment to take the extra step of deliberately using their bodies to gain power over others. Some girls absolutely are Machiavellian little minxes equipped to use “sexiness” to manipulate others before they’re even old enough to drive. Other girls are as absolutely not: these latter are innocents in a society that still claims (however implausibly) to value innocence. And of course, gals come in all stages in between.

Toddlers are innocent. Toddlers are hilarious – and destructive – because they haven’t yet figured out their own agency. Our own toddler likes nothing better than to make something “happen” – but he has little idea what, or why. He’s more powerful than he knows, which adds to the havoc. Much innocence comes from simply not knowing yet what the hell you’re doing. While babies’ innocence of basic motor coordination, language, literacy, and social skills is cute, it’s not inherently valuable. Indeed, the quicker children outgrow that kind of innocence, the better. But we do value youngsters’ sexual innocence. We also value young adults’ sexual agency. Puberty is sexual toddlerhood, only we’d really rather not have our teens exploring the world with their genitals the way toddlers do with their mouths. Fortunately, children are, at least in theory, quite grown up in other ways by the time puberty hits; in theory, able to apply lessons they’ve learned about their agency in other spheres to sexual agency; in theory, able to use reason to assert their sexual agency while maintaining their sexual innocence. In practice, though, developing sexual agency while maintaining innocence is tricky, especially absent wise counsel.

Conservatives want youth – but especially, let’s be honest, young women – to exercise more agency in guarding their genitalia. Even libertine conservatives want today’s young women to recognize their sexual agency better, and most conservatives would also like to narrow the gap between the age at which women lose sexual innocence and the age at which they marry, through some combination of earlier marriage and later loss of virginity. We want this not primarily to control women (though for some, control is part of the appeal), but to make human life generally more flourishing – for women, too. One problem, though, is that, while lack of awareness of one’s own sexual power isn’t all there is to innocence, it’s part of it.