Please, commissioner candidates, don’t do us any favors. Don’t promise to make plans for us, be they masterful or otherwise. Your predecessors have made too much mess with plans for us already. Don’t promise to make Elbert County more effective so it can collect more taxes and haul in more revenue from the citizens. We citizens already think government hauls in too much from us. Don’t promise to get along with each other so that the commission can agree on doing more to the citizens of Elbert County. We don’t want you to do more. We want you to do less to us. Don’t promise us more government. We want less government – the exact opposite of what most of you were promising.
As true today as in 1849 when first penned, “That government is best which governs least…”, Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.
After viewing the Youtube vids from the multi-party commissioner candidate forum the other night, with all of the promises, plans, accusations, and elucidations, you’re all courting power, evidently imagining yourselves qualified to dictate to other people indistinguishable from yourselves.
I can imagine who told you this is what Elbert County needs and wants – the usual pro-planning, pro-government, country-in-county, NIMBY, something-for-nothing, folks who publish our local fishwraps, who think grant money is the route to profitability, who work daily to keep Elbert County stuck in the last century.
Elbert County is beautiful. But it’s also a wasteland with no viable economy and no affordable means for people to make a contribution to the modern world. That’s the legacy I heard most of you promise to uphold the other night.
Surely Elbert County could do more for the modern world than be a bedroom community for public employees, retired and punching coupons, or still employed by a public agency of some sort. In most other parts of the world, people actually have to make a contribution to society to survive.
I’m waiting for one of you commissioner candidates to promise to not sustain the Potemkin Village of Elbert County.
“Often contradictory in his views on atheism and religion, Rousseau nevertheless was certain of one thing: that the State should be the final arbiter of the human condition, in the name of something he called the General Will. Only the State, he thought, could make postlapsarian man well again. One can practically smell the fascism coming off his pages, all in the name of compassion, of course. No wonder his more perceptive contemporaries, including Voltaire, considered him a monster.
Many others, however, were greatly influenced by him, including most of the great monsters of the twentieth century. Without Rousseau, Marx is unthinkable; without Marx, Lenin is unthinkable; without Lenin, Stalin is unthinkable, without Stalin, Mao is unthinkable; without Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot are unthinkable.”
Michael Walsh, “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace,” 2015, p. 137-8.
I don’t see the malice in Trump that so many on both the Right and Left keep spinning up. Can Trump undo some of the damage to America that Obama committed? That’s the hope, though it’s probably too much to expect from one man. But meanwhile, the Left continue to promote malice to some under the excuse of favoritism to others. Sure, higher standards exist for choosing a President, but if frogs could fly they wouldn’t bump their asses hopping on the ground.
“Its pretensions to “comprehensitivity” destroyed, we can now see this “system” as a form of intellectual charlatanism, a studied fascination with process and minutiae that bespeaks the true soul of the born bureaucrat–the man who does nothing in particular, and to no societal good, but who by his own lights does it very well.”
The context of the above writing is not county politics, political appointments, school boards, citizen committees, or similar local governing bodies that folks–so eerily described above–zealously seek out and set aside for themselves each year in Elbert County.
How many times have you heard one of them hold forth on how hard they, or one in their cohort, works in the power role they’ve secured?
Do they expect us to believe that obsessive protection of their local offices somehow disproves the corrupting influence of power?
“The context and subtext contain the real message. This is true on both sides of today’s political battles. On the one side, we have the remnants–scratched and bleeding, but still partially cohesive–of the old American Christian cultures, largely Protestant but with a strong admixture of Catholics; on the other is the far less numerous but culturally potent Unholy Left, adhering to its own secular religion, although it professes atheism. As with the battle between radical Islam and the West, one side has explicitly avowed war on the other, while the other, more powerful, refuses to acknowledge it or even conceive of it. Which side, under these circumstances, is more likely to be successful?”
Michael Walsh, “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace,” 2015, p. 115.
Cool tool: http://electioninsights.mybluemix.net/#/
Graph adjustable from 1 to 250 subjects (bottom slider), and 1 minute to 1 week (top slider). Note how much better Trump is doing this past week than Hillary.
Memo to #nevertrumpsters: If conservative principles are so precious that they provide justification to subject the country to openly Leftist government, I should think those principles need more context and perspective.
“What evidence is there that there is an arc of history and that it bends in any particular direction? One would think that the Unholy Left would be the last to assert such a grand pattern, given their disbelief in the Deity. Whence comes this “arc”? Who created it? Where did its moral impulse toward “justice” come from? What is “justice” anyway, and who decides? And if the word “justice” bears a bien-pensant modifier (as in “environmental justice”), the only “justice” is likely to be the “justice” of revenge. The word “justice,” in the hands of the Left, has come to mean pretty much any policy goal they desire.
None of this matters, however, when the purpose of the assertion is not to offer an argument but to shut down the opposition via the timely employment of unimpeachable buzzwords and to advance a political agenda that has little or nothing to do with the terms employed for its advancement. Indeed, martial metaphors, not moralistic catchphrases, are the key to understanding the modern Left and its “scientific” dogma of Critical Theory: Theirs is a Hobbesian war of all against all (bellum omnum contra omnes), of every man’s hand against every other man’s. As Orwell, who knew a thing or two about the intellectual fascism of the Left, wrote in 1984: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” These three aphorisms are the official slogans of the Ministry of Truth in 1984, and the truth is whatever the Ministry says it is. Truth is malleable and fungible, a function of day and date. The Devil will say what he has to say and will quote such scripture as he requires in order to achieve the sole objective remaining to him: the ruination of Man and his consignment to Hell.”
Michael Walsh, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, 2015, pp. 52-53.
It was passing strange when Ken Buck represented the 1% of Colorado citizens who attend Republican caucuses as 40% of all voters yesterday (4/11/16) on the Mark Levin show. Stranger still that Levin went right along with the charade that unelected caucus attendees represent the voters. I lost count of the number of times he echoed the 40% of all voters myth.
I have to separate my respect for Levin’s constitutional analysis from my disgust over his knee jerk support for the non-representative caucus system.
When will the Colorado GOP figure out that they cannot claim legitimacy because a minuscule minority of them show up at a meeting once every two years? Legitimacy comes from the consent of all the voters, not a self-selected few.
The hypocrisy of upholding the values of accountability and personal responsibility when talking about the failings of other people, but practicing an unrepresentative form of politics by local-loud-mouth, completely undermines their cause.
- I’m waiting for the politician who doesn’t promise me, or anyone else, anything.
- I’m waiting for the politician who doesn’t use my idealism to advance them self.
- I’m waiting for the politician who doesn’t try to pull an emotional response from me.
- I’m waiting for the politician who is known for the laws they repealed.
- I’m waiting for the politician who has no pitch, and who is not a salesman.
- I’m waiting for the politician who does not seek political office.
- I’m waiting for the politician who takes no satisfaction from governance.
- I’m waiting for the politician who admits the evil nature of power in them self.
Same old stuff, different day – and you thought I was going to use the more accurate word.
Click on ’em, resize ’em to your browser, read ’em ‘n weep.
To summarize, in the name of the inalienable rights of liberty and property, the laudable purposes of safety and general welfare, and the myth of mother Gaia, the Left would lard up the Colorado constitution with collectivist abrogations of the inalienable rights of liberty and property, would decrease safety and general welfare, and would empower local Leftist apparatchiks to dominate their subjects – us – with impunity.
I don’t like being a subject. I suggest that Colorado citizens vote against becoming subjects by rejecting these Leftist initiatives. Don’t we have too much totalitarianism already?
One more thing…
The best thing for the citizens of Elbert County that you could do with the referenced grant money would be to dismantle and destroy the regulatory planning law and its appurtenant bodies that have caused so much harm to Elbert County in the form of foregone economic activity and the elimination of economic potential.
Faced with overwhelming evidence that markets “work,” Obama’s advice is to go on searching for “what works.” => Denial on stilts.
On the one hand we have an ongoing food-fight egged on by the media who only ask questions about the food-fight, and never follow any thread about substantive solutions to the worlds problems.
On the other hand, a serene and respectful candidate discussion about fantasy subjects that have never worked is encouraged, with a reality reduced to simplistic emotions for the least common denominator of voter, and a fawning media who never follow up on any problem in the world remotely connected to their simplisticism.
The real adversary in this election is television media; CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS & FOX.
This presidential race illuminates just how far out of the bottle the genie has gone. Peel back the layers of President and Congress to reveal the massive federal, state, county, local, and special district bureaucracies – the envy of any socialist utopian – that forge ahead relentlessly to define and manage every corporeal and theoretical element about America and her people.
The electoral theater is in season, with many acts, many intermissions, and incessant analysis – all of it tracking to the myth of the constitutional consent of the governed. As if!!!
As if any one man (a President), or any consortium of men (a Congress) could even know what the American bureaucratic Leviathan does to us each minute of every day.
As if the millions of lines of written rules by all manner of governing body in America – a.k.a. The Rule of Law – could even be comprehended in any significant degree.
We are subjects to bureaucrats discretion now. Our consent is vestigial. Our Constitution is open to interpretation and we have no control over the interpreters.
These flourishes at the margin where individuals step into the limelight for a few moments to plant seeds of hope in the fertile soil of our founding ideology, just remind me of what will never be a reality for us again.
To get America back, the bureaucracy must be dismembered, amputated, discarded. There is no mending it. The people who recognize that truth are vastly outnumbered.
And that’s the nuts and bolts of it. All the rest – the ideological fights, the religious fights, the rights fights, the wealth fights, the health fights, the cultural fights, they’re all sideshows. Constant distractions to divert attention from the one hand in your pocket, and the other one wrapped around your spinal cord.
Going to caucus? Please….
Justice Scalia’s death is a litmus test for the nation. Everyone who justifies their position on the proper course of action for the President and the Senate to fill Scalia’s seat on the Court with an appeal to the will of the people is wrong. America was never intended to be governed by a political expression of the will of the people.
Justice Scalia fought an uphill battle to preserve the rule of law, not the rule of men. He agreed with the Framers that Constitutional law should only be changed with the safeguards of the amendment process in order to avoid judicial tyranny. But this process is far too slow for the Left who see the Court as the architect of social engineering in America.
That concept – social engineering – is the very antithesis of freedom. It makes lab rats out of free men. It just amazes me to see the Left, who are all so libertarian about their behavioral choices, chuck their free will aside and line up to conform with the latest politically correct gestalt.
And if it were only that, I could grudgingly accept it. But no. They’re driven to make law to govern and force me to accept their experiments too. And that’s where I draw the line – because I don’t sell my freedom cheaply. I expect to be persuaded and convinced, and the Left, generally, don’t make compelling arguments.
“It seems to me that that is where we are heading, or perhaps even where we have arrived. Seventy-five years ago, we believed firmly enough in a rock-solid, unchanging Constitution that we felt it necessary to adopt the Nineteenth Amendment to give women the vote. The battle was not fought in the courts, and few thought that it could be, despite the constitutional guarantee of Equal Protection of the Laws; that provision did not, when it was adopted, and hence did not in 1920, guarantee equal access to the ballot but permitted distinctions on the basis not only of age but of property and of sex. Who can doubt that if the issue had been deferred until today, the Constitution would be (formally) unamended, and the courts would be the chosen instrumentality of change? The American people have been converted to belief in The Living Constitution, a “morphing” document that means, from age to age, what it ought to mean. And with that conversion has inevitably come the new phenomenon of selecting and confirming federal judges, at all levels, on the basis of their views regarding a whole series of proposals for constitutional evolution. If the courts are free to write the Constitution anew, they will, by God, write it the way the majority wants; the appointment and confirmation process will see to that. This, of course, is the end of the Bill of Rights, whose meaning will be committed to the very body it was meant to protect against: the majority. By trying to make the Constitution do everything that needs doing from age to age, we shall have caused it to do nothing at all.”
The Left and Islam have a strange codependency – each embodying and enabling what the other hates and loves the most.
On 23 January Brendan O’Neill took part in a debate about free speech on campus at the University of California Irvine. These were his opening remarks.
The most striking thing about Safe Spaces on campus is how unsafe they are. How hostile and even violent they are towards anyone who has unpopular views, or who simply believes people should have the right to express unpopular views.
Safe Spaces are spreading across campuses in the US and the UK. They’re presented as happy-clappy therapeutic zones in which students, especially minority students, should not be subjected to gruff words or prejudicial ideas.
As one student union in Britain puts it, they’re spaces in which students must be “free from intimidation or judgement” and should always “feel comfortable”. These spaces are justified in inoffensive, Oprah-like language: it’s all about providing a space in which people can be themselves without fear of ridicule.
But in practice, Safe Spaces are ugly, authoritarian places. They’re propped up by menace. They’re fortified by a simmering threat of force against any transgressors of the new cult of psychic safety and moral conformism.
Consider some recent examples from Britain, where students have built what they call Safe Spaces but which look to me more like Unsafe Spaces for those judged to hold the wrong views or to have the wrong attitudes.
Last week at King’s College London, a meeting of pro-Israel students was invaded by anti-Israel activists. They smashed windows, set off a fire alarm, threw chairs around. They chanted “Nazis!” at the attendees of the meeting. Oh, the irony of activists shutting down a meeting of largely Jewish students while shouting “Nazis”: a serious self-awareness failure.
A key justification given by student radicals for shouting down pro-Israel meetings is that such events are “offensive” or “distressing” to certain students. That is, they violate the Safe Space. So in the name of maintaining safety on campus, certain events can be violently interrupted. It’s Orwellian: war is peace, freedom is slavery, violence is safety.
On two campuses in Britain — Cambridge and Goldsmith’s — feminist students have burnt the literature of far-left groups whom they accuse of rape apologism and of contributing to a hostile climate for female students. That is, these far-left groups make women feel unsafe and therefore their pamphlets must be publicly burnt. The use of fascistic menace to make students feel comfortable — the Orwellianism continues.
At a London university last year, the Iranian secularist Maryam Namazie was harassed by members of the Islamic Society who shouted at her: “You are violating our Safe Space!”
Namazie is a stinging critic of Islamism. Some big Islamist guys turned up to her talk and hectored her, switched off her powerpoint, and created what could really be described as a hostile environment. And their justification was that they were maintaining their Safe Space against someone with problematic views. We have the Kafkaesque situation where a bunch of blokes can physically intimidate a woman in the name of saving students from feelings of intellectual intimidation.
In 2014, I was prevented from taking part in a debate about abortion at Oxford, on the basis that I am a “person without a uterus” and therefore have no right to discuss women’s bodies. As it happens, I was due to make the pro-choice case, to say that officialdom has no business limiting a woman’s sovereignty over herself.
More than 300 feminist students said the discussion would harm their “mental safety”, so they threatened to turn up to the debate “with instruments” to disrupt it. They couldn’t see the dark, twisted irony of threatening the physical safety of a campus debate in the name of defending students’ mental safety. Shamefully, the Oxford administration caved to the students’ demands and banned the meeting.
And on it goes. Things are burnt, people are harassed, and books, newspapers and songs are banned in the name of “safety”. Menace, fire and threats are used to create “safety”. Discomfort is deployed in the name of comfort. Intimidation is used to tackle alleged intimidation. Violence is safety.
Student unions in Britain have crushed all sorts of things in the name of safety. Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” has been banned on more than 30 campuses because it apparently makes female students feel unsafe. Mexican hats are banned on some campuses because they create a hostile environment for Latinos. Some unions have banned the making of sexual noises in the student bar, because it makes women feel unsafe.
On American campuses we have seen professors being screamed at and journalists being manhandled by mobs of students rallying under the banner of the Safe Space. “You make us feel unsafe and therefore we will destroy you” — that is the perverted rallying cry of today’s student radicals.
That Safe Spaces can generate so much unsafety is revealing. It exposes the iron fist of authoritarianism that lurks within the velvet glove of the self-esteem movement. It exposes the dark side to the cult of therapy and the idea that an individual’s feeling of self-worth should override other people’s right to express themselves as they see fit.
The motor of campus censorship is a profound feeling of psychic vulnerability among students. They see everything as a threat to their mental security. Statues of old dead white men, novels that feature sexual violence, pop songs… everything is considered potentially wounding.
This is best summed up in the idea of microaggressions, where even innocent, everyday conversation is reframed as a peril. The Oxford students currently trying to have a statue of Cecil Rhodes taken down describe the statue as an “environmental microaggression”. Even inanimate objects are experienced as an attack on the self.
This extreme psychic vulnerability confirms that we’re entering a new and quite terrifying era of censorship. Once we had ideological censorship, designed to elevate a particular political outlook by suppressing others. We had religious censorship, designed to protect a certain belief system through crushing blasphemy. Now we have therapeutic censorship — censorship which aspires to squash or at least demonise anything that any individual finds aggressive, uncomfortable, or wounding to their worth. It is a tyranny of self-regard.
This censorship is more insidious than the old censorships. It is vast and unwieldy and can turn its attention to almost anything: magazines, clothing, monuments, jokes, conversational blunders. It’s as if students feel they deserve their own personal blasphemy law to protect them from scurrilous comments or images or objects. We have a generation of little Jesuses, threatening menaces against anyone who says something that stings their psychic health.
Campus censors can’t be held entirely responsible for this therapeutic censorship. In fact, in many ways they are the products of a culture that has been growing for decades: a culture of diminished moral autonomy; a culture which sees individuals as fragile and incapable of coping without therapeutic assistance; a culture which treats individual self-esteem as more important than the right to be offensive; a culture that was developed by older generations — in fact by the fortysomethings and fiftysomethings now mocking campus censors as infantile and ridiculous.
Yes, we should mock these little tyrants who fantasise that their feelings should trump other people’s freedom. But we must go further than that. We must remake the case for robust individualism and the virtue of moral autonomy against the fashion for fragility; against the misanthropic view of people as objects shaped and damaged by speech rather than as active subjects who can independently imbibe, judge and make decisions about the speech they hear.
The Safe Space is a terrible trap. It grants you temporary relief from ideas you don’t like, but at the expense of your individuality, your soul even. If you try to silence unpopular ideas, you do an injustice both to those who hold those unpopular views, and also to yourself, through depriving yourself of the right and the joy of arguing back, taking on your opponents, and in the process strengthening your own mental and moral muscles. Liberate yourself — destroy the Safe Space.
These are comments Brendan O’Neill made at the conference “What Cannot Be Said” at the University of California Irvine on 23 January.
Leftists and political Muslims share a successful strategy of umbrage politics – “Agree with me or I’ll get upset.” Each day news reports come in about the riots, demonstrations, occupations, marches, boycotts, and class actions underway by upset beneficiaries. You’d think that’s all that ever happened in America.
Leftist reporters saturate the media with reports about the struggles. The struggles never end as the numbers of beneficiaries and Muslims continue to grow. No degree of social justice, religious obedience, or equality can satisfy them, as if these things could even be quantified. No fixed amount of entitlement benefits can sustain an enlarging population. The struggles are designed to be unsatisfiable, unsolvable, unwinnable, and unending.
Liberal politicians keep putting more money on the table and unscrupulous beneficiaries keep lining up to collect. You can’t legitimately call either the politicians or the beneficiaries citizens because citizenship implies duties that neither one cares much about. They are gamers – gaming the system for personal benefit, be it preferential law or public money – and gaming the system for votes.
Who even discusses economic and political theories, reasoning, science, education, or even metaphysical foundations anymore? Why bother with intellectual baggage when numbers in the streets will get favorable laws written, favorable court cases decided, entitlement money allocated, criminal prosecutions foregone, constitutional protections denied, the power of the Leftist state and Muslim Sharia increased, and votes?
Conservatives are chasing their tails with volumes of sound and persuasive analysis about these social pathologies, but the groups who trade in power demographics don’t care about what conquered people have to say, except to the extent it identifies more opportunities to exploit.
Pure democracy is literally devouring America. Leftists and Muslims are leading the short walk to the end of our constitutional society. The tyrannies of the minorities are on the march while liberal vote-buying politicians eagerly fund and enable them.
The overwhelming majority of Americans who provide the real value to America that predatory Leftists and political Muslims feed on, are apparently too busy to stop it.