Chaos Manor View, Saturday, June 25, 2016
I have never said that human society ought to be aristocratic, but a great deal more than that. What I have said, and still believe with ever-increasing conviction, is that human society is always, whether it will or no, aristocratic by its very essence, to the extreme that it is a society in the measure that it is aristocratic, and ceases to be such when it ceases to be aristocratic. Of course I am speaking now of society and not of the State.
Jose Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
I was going to write an essay on Consent of the Governed vs. “democracy”, but Microsoft decided to reset my system and I can’t find the templates I use to create these posts. Oh, I find one, but it is missing the aphorisms I usually have at the top; I removed them because they were getting old, and that is a reminder to change them , and that’s all right. I found a copy of TemplateView, got it – no aphorisms, but that’s fine – changed the date, saved it, then realized I had a
At this point I hit an unknown combination of keys, and the scroll wheel on the mouse started scrolling sideways rather than down the document. I wasted time and energy trying to figure out what happened. Eventually I tried View and got a menu I have never seen before and cannot retrieve, but which offered me the choice of “edit document”; I thought that was what I was doing, but certainly that is what I want to do, so I chose it, clicked, things swam around a moment, and I was back in Normal Word, and all was well again; I have no idea of what combination of keys produces a view of the document in which cannot edit and scrolls sideways, nor can I think of any reason any san e person would want a combination of keys that would produce that result, but perhaps there is someone, somewhere, who wanted it; but why Microsoft would think that all of us want to have a chance chat if we hit the wrong sequence of keys we will lose our ability to edit what we are writing is beyond my fathoming. It is the attitude that led Britain to Brexit, so it is relevant to my essay, so perhaps I ought to thank Microsoft. It is the attitude that “we are enlightened and know best for you, so we will do that without consulting you, since if you don’t want it that is a mistake, and we feel strongly that you must be protected from mistakes. You don’t have to thank us, but you should.” It reminds me of my parents telling me to eat English Peas.
Back to the introductory complaint about Microsoft. I found a copy of TemplateView, got it – no aphorisms, but that’s fine – changed the date, saved it, then realized I had a copy that included a great part of what I had written yesterday. That wouldn’t do. I found another, and used Word to open it. What opened was a copy of what I had just saved. OK, I didn’t really know where I was saving to – I never do under this brilliant new scheme they have in Windows 10 – so I looked for places I must have saved copies of the template file in past times; found one, double-clicked on it, and lo! A copy of what I had just saved appeared. Apparently Microsoft knows better than I do what I want. I spent the next few minutes trying to establish where I will save the Template for this, then where I will save the temporary work copy that will be copied to LiveWriter and once copied there can be the place I put tomorrow’s – well, you get the idea, and you don’t need a demonstration of how scatterbrained I have become, now that I tire more easily and have to stare at the keyboard when I two-finger type rather than watch the screen as I did before the stroke.
On reflection, Microsoft’s “We Know Best, Live With It” attitude is the problem of Consent of the Governed writ small. That is, you can, and some do, just say the devil with it and go to Word Perfect (George RR Martin still likes WordStar), or some .doc compatible editor; you’re not required to use Word.
Government is another matter. You can’t escape it. A simple parking ticket has behind it armed agents who will collect it whether you consent or not, and will result to force if need be.
Where does the power of government come from? One obvious answer is they have a monopoly on organized force and violence, and the willingness to use it against recalcitrant: you’d better obey. Your life ultimately depends on it. You need government: as Hobbes observed, life without government – in a state of nature – is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. You cannot live without some rules; even a pirate king is preferable to complete anarchy. Therefore, you pledge your loyalty to the king, and he protects you. If you a longer, and well written, exposition on Hobbes, I suggest the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Hobbes; it’s well written and goes through the moral problems with clear reasoning. At bottom, the question is, why do Black Lives Matter? Or Unborn Lives? Or, for that matter, small infant lives, deformed lives. Handicapped lives. White Lives, or any lives at all? Or do all lives matter, including Gorillas?
We all say we want justice. Why? What is so good about justice that we must want it even if it is costly, even risk our lives for it? Where does justice come from, and has it a definition, or is the concept a mere fairy tale to make the interest of the stronger more palatable to the losers? Who deserves this justice? Blacks. Whites? Gorillas? Dogs? Rattlesnakes?
Hobbes was born in 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada, and lived through the Stuart Monarchy era, the Civil War, and the Restoration. He was a tutor in a great house, and these questions were in discussion; and he observed the execution of the King and the Liberation of England under Cromwell. Macaulay tells us what happened after that:
“From Ireland the victorious chief, who was now in name, as he had long been in reality, Lord General of the armies of the Commonwealth, turned to Scotland. The young King was there. He had consented to profess himself a Presbyterian, and to subscribe the Covenant; and, in return for these concessions, the austere Puritans who bore sway at Edinburgh had permitted him to assume the crown, and to hold, under their inspection and control, a solemn and melancholy court. This mock royalty was of short duration. In two great battles Cromwell annihilated the military force of Scotland. Charles fled for his life, and, with extreme difficulty, escaped the fate of his father. The ancient kingdom of the Stuarts was reduced, for the first time, to profound submission. Of that independence, so manfully defended against the mightiest and ablest of the Plantagenets, no vestige was left. The English Parliament made laws for Scotland. English judges held assizes in Scotland. Even that stubborn Church, which has held its own against so many governments, scarce dared to utter an audible murmur.
Expulsion of the Long Parliament
Thus far there had been at least the semblance of harmony between the warriors who had subjugated Ireland and Scotland and the politicians who sate at Westminster: but the alliance which had been cemented by danger was dissolved by victory. The Parliament forgot that it was but the creature of the army. The army was less disposed than ever to submit to the dictation of the Parliament. Indeed the few members who made up what was contemptuously called the Rump of the House of Commons had no more claim than the military chiefs to be esteemed the representatives of the nation. The dispute was soon brought to a decisive issue. Cromwell filled the House with armed men. The Speaker was pulled out of his chair, the mace taken from the table, the room cleared, and the door locked. The nation, which loved neither of the contending parties, but which was forced, in its own despite, to respect the capacity and resolution of the General, looked on with patience, if not with complacency.
King, Lords, and Commons, had now in turn been vanquished and destroyed; and Cromwell seemed to be left the sole heir of the powers of all three.
Cromwell ruled as Protector under a regime called the Commonwealth; but then came the disorder after Cromwell died. The New Model Army tried to rule without success. It failed, and the son of the executed King was invited to return. The Monarchy was restored, but it was a near thing, as Macaulay notes:
Cromwell was gone, but the army remained. “But, when the sword, which he had wielded, with energy indeed, but with energy always guided by good sense and generally tempered by good nature, had passed to captains who possessed neither his abilities nor his virtues, it seemed too probable that order and liberty would perish in one ignominious ruin.
That ruin was happily averted. It has been too much the practice of writers zealous for freedom to represent the Restoration as a disastrous event, and to condemn the folly or baseness of that Convention, which recalled the royal family without I.146 exacting new securities against maladministration. Those who hold this language do not comprehend the real nature of the crisis which followed the deposition of Richard Cromwell. England was in imminent danger of falling under the tyranny of a succession of small men raised up and pulled down by military caprice. To deliver the country from the domination of the soldiers was the first object of every enlightened patriot: but it was an object which, while the soldiers were united, the most sanguine could scarcely expect to attain. On a sudden a gleam of hope appeared. General was opposed to general, army to army. On the use which might be made of one auspicious moment depended the future destiny of the nation. Our ancestors used that moment well. They forgot old injuries, waved petty scruples, adjourned to a more convenient season all dispute about the reforms which our institutions needed, and stood together, Cavaliers and Roundheads, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, in firm union, for the old laws of the land against military despotism. The exact partition of power among King, Lords, and Commons might well be postponed till it had been decided whether England should be governed by King, Lords, and Commons, or by cuirassiers and pikemen. Had the statesmen of the Convention taken a different course, had they held long debates on the principles of government, had they drawn up a new constitution and sent it to Charles, had conferences been opened, had couriers been passing and repassing during some weeks between Westminster and the Netherlands, with projects and counterprojects, replies by Hyde and rejoinders by Prynne, the coalition on which the public safety depended would have been dissolved: the Presbyterians and Royalists would certainly have quarrelled: the military factions might possibly have been reconciled; and the misjudging friends of liberty might long have regretted, under a rule worse than that of the worst Stuart, the golden opportunity which had been suffered to escape.
A very near thing:
That there would be a restoration now seemed almost certain; but whether there would be a peaceable restoration was matter of painful doubt. The soldiers were in a gloomy and savage mood. They hated the title of King. They hated the name of Stuart. They hated Presbyterianism much, and Prelacy more. They saw with bitter indignation that the close of their long domination was approaching, and that a life of inglorious toil and penury was before them. They attributed their ill fortune to the weakness of some generals, and to the treason of others. One hour of their beloved Oliver might even now restore the glory which had departed. Betrayed, disunited, and left without any chief in whom they could confide, they were yet to be dreaded. It was no light thing to encounter the rage and despair of fifty thousand fighting men, whose backs no enemy had ever seen. Monk, and those with whom he acted, were well aware that the crisis was most perilous. They employed every art to soothe and to divide the discontented warriors. At the same time vigorous preparation was made for a conflict. The army of Scotland, now quartered in London, was kept in good humour by bribes, praises, and promises. The wealthy citizens grudged nothing to a redcoat, and were indeed so liberal of their best wine, that warlike saints were sometimes seen in a condition not very honourable either to their religious or to their military character. Some refractory regiments Monk ventured to disband. In the mean time the greatest exertions were made by the provisional government, with the strenuous aid of the whole body of the gentry and magistracy, to organise the militia. In every county the trainbands were held ready to march; and this force cannot be estimated at less than a hundred and twenty thousand men. In Hyde Park twenty thousand citizens, well armed and accoutred, passed in review, and showed a spirit which justified the hope that, in case of need, they would fight manfully for their shops and firesides. The fleet was heartily with the nation. It was a stirring time, a time of anxiety, yet of hope. The prevailing opinion was that England would be delivered, but not without a desperate and bloody struggle, and that the class which had so long ruled by the sword would perish by the sword.
Happily the dangers of a conflict were averted. There was indeed one moment of extreme peril. Lambert escaped from his confinement, and called his comrades to arms. The flame of civil war was actually rekindled; but by prompt and vigorous exertion it was trodden out before it had time to spread. The luckless imitator of Cromwell was again a prisoner. The failure of his enterprise damped the spirit of the soldiers; and they sullenly resigned themselves to their fate.
You will note the presence of an armed militia in Macaulay’s account.
It is no longer required that the history of the English Revolution, Commonwealth, and Restoration be taught; but it was always in the minds of the men who led the Revolution. Who cares for justice? What do we need to assume for justice to prevail?
Jefferson and Adams attempted it in the Declaration: rights came from a Creator.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”
But the first principle in this declaration is not self-evident in any way. Leaving out the lack of self evidence of a Creator (I do not mean to deny that He exists, but I do deny His existence is self-evident), and conceding that all men are created, if anything is self-evident it is that men are not equal. An Olympic athlete is not the equal of a Down’s Syndrome child (called in those days a Mongoloid Idiot; one in a thousand children are born with this condition), nor are many of us the equals of Stephen Hawking or Mohammed Ali. It is absurd to say that all men are created equal except in a religious – you might say mystical – sense. Simple observation falsifies this self-evident presumption.
But this is an axiom; all men are equal and have certain inalienable rights, which they acquire as a gift from their Creator. To secure thee=se rights, governments are implemented among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
For nearly two hundred years – perhaps a few years longer – we acted as if these words were true; but now we obviously reject them. I will give you one obvious example:
Exclusive Video: Veteran Forcibly Dragged from Air Force Ceremony for Mentioning God. I don’t bother with more, but they are easily found.
SO: in England, for hundreds of years, the answer to the question of justice was that the king was the fountain of justice as the anointed of God, and criticism of the King was made in the Name of God, as Nathan rebuked King David over his treatment of Uriah the Hittite. We have rejected that premise.
Can we save the principle of just powers granted by the consent of the governed? Yes, but only if we agree on what we have consented to; and that was the rock on which the notion of a national unity foundered in 1787, and continues to founder to this day. The great rock in 1787 was Slavery. It was solved by the Connecticut Compromise, under which each State had equal representation in one House of Congress, and representation by population in the other: and the 3/5 of the slave population was counted as population. It was not loved by any and liked by but a few, but it did serve to allow the Union.
Those matters in which the States disagreed were left to the States to decide. Congress, with its two Houses, determined matters of national interest, but its powers were limited. It could not establish a national church, nor could it disestablish any of the seven churches by law established among the States, nor could it bully the states about the compromises they made with various religions. The Founders were well aware that some among them considered slavery too important to tolerate; but the Constitution was more important.
The Civil War settled the question of slavery, not without leaving considerable resentment in the defeated South; and the Voting Rights Act solidified it.
And all through this lies the fundamental fact that most of the nation had similar ideas about quite a lot of things. We were almost unanimously agreed that law ought to protect the innocent; that there was no legal protection for male relatives why murdered their female relatives for losing their virginity outside marriage; that religious organizations did not have any right to crucify people who ate during decreed fasting times; and a lot of other principles growing out of the Judao-Christian ethics.
That period is now ended.
But most of the nation does not consent to Sharia Law; indeed, most of the country would not tolerate its imposition within a narrow are of jurisdiction, especially if it would be applied to everyone of any conviction whatever who resided or passed through that jurisdiction; just as Massachusetts would not tolerate slavery in Louisiana.
There is more. But the governed do not concede the superiority of the Enlightened, or of the Progressive, or for that matter of the Blue Belly Baptists as having a great Truth to impose on everyone.
I beg pardon for the length of this, and I understand that some people my age will wonder why I am telling them things they learned in 5th and 6th grade; but alas, even our best schools have abandoned much of our history as the annals of the unenlightened, and many of our citizens no longer know what every voter knew in 1789.
Graduation day in Gaza
Islam, the “religion of peace” – read the Koran, there will be no peace until 1) Islam rules the world (the entire universe?), or 2) it is totally annihilated.
“Option two” is the only logical solution.
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” Mark Twain
Looking at the State Guard Association of The USA site, there seem to be fifteen active “state guards”. Among them, CA, IN, MD, OH, SC, TN, TX, and VA have web sites. They are all commanded by the governors of the respective states, and controlled by the adjutants general. They are authorized by Title 32 of the U.S. Code, and sometimes authorized in the state’s constitution, as in the case of the New York Guard. In other cases the states have passed authorizing legislation.
The best way to learn about the Texas State Guard seems to be through the Texas Military Department site: https://tmd.texas.gov/texas-state-guard
I am retired from the New York Guard. We were activated for various storm and flooding events, the TWA 800 downing, and 9/11.
Norway and its oil
Just sent you the Norway 10 commandments of oil. We were at the petroleum museum of Norway. I saw examples of the kind of hard core, lets go get it done engineering we want to see in space. It was truly impressive.
However, later on I was reading the extensive time table of Norway’s oil development. They carefully set things up to benefit Norway and not let the big oil companies gain control. When Norway joined the EU, all of that went down the drain. They lost control of their oil licenses and found things were run from Brussels. They have also become obsessed with man made global warming. Sounds to me they should nexit!
Fred Reed, and Walter Williams
Fred knocks it out of the park! When I was a young sprout in California, there was no problem in getting kids to learn the 3 R’s at a good level, even the so-called “slow learners.”
“Something is wrong somewhere….”
Regards, Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE
Walter Williams, Catholics, the Projects, and Schooling for Blacks: Something is Wrong Somewhere
“Posted on June 23, 2016 by Fred Reed
The CIA and our enemies
I don’t quite know what to make of Joshua Jordan’s claim that the CIA overthrew the Shah with Khomeini as the tool, based on hearsay and some rumors.
If the Shah became persona non grata among his “benefactors” (the CIA and British intelligence) shortly after they reinstated him in power in the 1953 coup that overthrew Mossadegh, it certainly took them a long time to boot the shah, as in twenty-five plus years from 1953 to the Shah leaving Iran for good in January of 1979. Not to mention that for a “persona non grata” with the CIA, the United Sates government seemed oddly happy to sell the persona non grata Shah’s regime billions and billions, in sixties and seventies dollars, of our most advanced weapons, such as the F-18 fighter and it’s Phoenix missile system. That sort of gear was generally restricted to NATO allies when it came to foreign sales, but the Shah got an exception. Does not sound very “persona non grata” to me.
As for intellectuals and higher socioeconomic class people finding assertions of CIA being behind ANY major international incident, historical occurrence or actions, that’s par for the course with these people.
Such folk are generally left of center, with the typical leftist intellectual predisposition to believe the CIA is both Evil Incarnate and Supremely Capable. Intellectuals and their confreres are quite susceptible to leftist “Fever Swamp“ concepts. How else could you, for example, explain the popularity of such buffoons as Oliver Stone and Michael Moore?
If the ridiculous and/or illogical is presented to this class of person as “Something Every Informed Person Knows”,with “The CIA did it!” tacked on for effect, they buy it.
They have no greater fear than being thought to be so “uncool” as to not accept such assertions unquestioningly.
I was in Army intelligence for a time, and we had a rule of thumb, and it has served me well over the years: When it comes to intelligence matters, in general, those who talk a lot know precious little. On the other hand, those who know a lot, talk precious little. Heavily discount those who tell you they “know the secret: and are willing to share it with you. They’re generally moonbat’s, or will pretty soon ask you for your credit card information.
As for the CIA having contacts with Khomeini: I should hope so! It’s CIA’s job to talk to anyone they can get useful intell from, and dissidents who might affect the future policy of major allies, such as Iran, would be at the top of any list of contacts CIA would want to have a back channel to. Also, the CIA used Iranian clerics in the 1953 coup to mobilize mobs for street demonstrations/riots, and according to at least one source the CIA right up until Carter took office paid about
400 million dollars annually in”subsidies” to Iranian clerics as part of a program to prevent communists gaining a foothold in Iranian society.
One explanation for the Iranian clerics turning so vehemently on Carter was that he was “Shocked to discover there was gambling in Casablanca!”, and ended the payoff’s to the mullahs.
Bottom line, CIA talks to a lot of iffy folks, as does any intel agency.
Nations always talk to their enemies, officially and informally. In World War One the Chief of the German Navy, Von Tirpitz, carried on a steady correspondence with his old chum Jackie Fisher, who was the head admiral of the Royal Navy. It’s part of The “Great Game”, and those who can be shocked by it ought to remain in the sitting room with the children while the adults settle matters for them.
I commend to you this post regarding what it means to be an educated citizen in the Republic: https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2016/06/atul-gawande-mistrust-science/
“Even more than what you think, how you think matters. The stakes for understanding this could not be higher than they are today, because we are not just battling for what it means to be scientists. We are battling for what it means to be citizens.”
Origin of the second amendment,
How far back does the Second Amendment go? According to David E. Vandercoy (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndschol/89vand.pdf),
Blackstone credits King Alfred, who ruled England from 871 to 901 A.D., as establishing the principle that all subjects of his dominion were the realm’s soldiers. Other commentators trace the obligation of Englishmen to serve in the people’s army to 690 A.D. Regardless of the beginning date, an Englishman’s obligation to serve in a citizen army is an old proposition. Coupled with this obligation to defend the realm was the obligation to provide oneself with weapons for this purpose. …
Charles II disbanded the army except for troops he believed would be loyal to his government. Parliament assisted by enacting the Militia Act of 1661 which vested control over the militia in the King. Charles II began molding a militia loyal to the throne by directing that his officer corps assemble volunteers for separate training and “disaffected persons … not allowed to assemble and their arms seized.” In 1662, the more select militia was authorized to seize arms of anyone judged dangerous to the Kingdom. In addition, gunsmiths were ordered to report weekly on the number of guns made and sold; importation of firearms was banned.
A move toward total disarmament occurred with passage of the Game Act of 1671. The Game Act dramatically limited the right to hunt to those persons who earned over £100 annual income from the land. More importantly, and unlike any prior game act, it made possession of a firearm by other than those qualified to hunt illegal and provided for confiscation of those arms.
Charles II’s successor, his brother James, pursued the disarmament. James, however, was the object of suspicion because he was Catholic. As King, James was also the official head of the Anglican Church. He sat on the throne of a country that barred Catholics from holding appointed office. …
James continued disarmament by enforcing it in Ireland. The common perception was that James was disarming Protestants in Ireland and the new Whig party that opposed him. James then asked Parliament to repeal the test acts that precluded Catholics from holding office, to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, and to abandon the militia concept in favor of standing armies. Parliament refused.
James responded by having his Judges find that the laws of England were the King’s laws and the King could dispense with them. The King replaced Protestants with Catholics at high government posts, including the military; he then placed 13,000 men of his army outside London. In 1688, James’s son-in-law, William of Orange, a Protestant, landed in England with a large Dutch army. James’s army deserted him and he fled to France.
William and Mary became sovereigns in 1689. Parliament restricted their powers by adopting the Declaration of Rights. William and Mary were required to accept the rights enumerated in the Declaration as the rights of their subjects and to rule in accordance with Parliament’s statutes. The Declaration recited the abuses by James, including the raising and keeping of a standing army without Parliament’s consent, quartering of troops in private homes, and disarming Protestant subjects. The declaration set forth the positive right of Protestant subjects to have arms for their defense, suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.
Well, there you have it. I have read this elsewhere, so it is not just one guy’s notion of history. The Founders wrote the Second with history and past abuses in mind.
Further, in a series of essays collected in A People Numerous and Armed, John Shy makes the case that it was the militia who won the Revolution. Wherever the Brits ventured the Militia rose up and fettered them, preventing them from gathering fodder and food, even fighting with them. When you think about it, that’s just the way it happened: they left Boston and took over NYC. Yet (as detailed in Washington’s Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer) the New Jersey militia made any extension to NJ impossible. And when they leaped down to Charleston, the militia and the Swamp Fox slowed them, pestered them and hobbled them.
So with both negative and positive examples to guide them, the writers of the Bill of Rights wrote this amendment, and placed it second, following only the amendment concerning the freedoms of speech and religion.
It makes sense when you look at it this way.
Actually, they had cannon, too; you can still see some of them on courthouse lawns…
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.