the utopia of panacea

Let 2015 be the year the Elbert County Left get over their groundless expectation that Elbert County government exists to perfect their utopian dream.

“The government having stepped into the place of Divine Providence in France, it was but natural that everyone, when in difficulties, invoked its aid. We find a vast number of petitions which, though the writers professed to be speaking on behalf of the public, were in reality intended to further their small private interests. The files in which they figure are perhaps the only places in which all the various classes of prerevolutionary France rub shoulders, so to speak. They make depressing reading. We find peasants applying for compensation for the loss of their cattle or their homes; wealthy landowners asking for financial aid for the improvement of their estates; manufacturers petitioning the Intendant for monopolies protecting them from competition. Often, too, businessmen report to the Intendant confidentially that their affairs are in a bad way and request him to approach the Controller-General for a loan to tide them over this emergency. (It would seem, in fact, that special funds were earmarked for such eventualities.) Sometimes even members of the nobility did not disdain to play the part of suppliants, the only difference being that their letters were more grandiloquently phrased than those of the common herd.

. . .

In times of dearth-and these were frequent in the eighteenth century-everyone expected the Intendant to come to the rescue as a matter of course. For the government was held responsible for all the misfortunes befalling the community; even when these were “acts of God,” such as floods or droughts, the powers·that·be were blamed for them.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, 1858. Stuart Gilbert translation, 1978, pp. 70-71.

Panacea-3

Hey Obama, It’s All Been Done.

“In the long period of rankling unrest and rising discontent preceding the Revolution all sorts of schemes were worked up for the establishment of a new social order and a new method of government. The ends proposed by the reformers varied greatly, but the means were always the same. They wished to make use of the central power, as it stood, for shattering the whole social structure.and rebuilding it on lines that seemed to them desirable. For, to their thinking, only the central authority could bring this “ideal State” into being, and there should be no limit to its might, as there was none to its right. The one thing needed was to persuade it to exercise its power in the right direction.
. . .
Such notions were not confined. to books; they had taken root in people’s minds and were implicit in their ways of living; in fact, they entered into the very texture of everyday life throughout the country. It never occurred to anyone that any large-scale enterprise could be put through successfully without the intervention of the State.
. . .
To the mind of the great majority of people only the government was capable of maintaining order in the land. The populace had a salutary dread of the mounted police, and of them alone, while the landed proprietors regarded them as the only force in which they could feel some confidence. The mounted policeman was, in fact, the embodiment of law and order, not merely its chief defender. “No one,” we read in the minutes of the Provincial Assembly of Guienne, “can have failed to notice how the mere sight of a mounted policeman is enough to bring to heel even the most truculent disturbers of the peace.” For this reason every man of property wanted to have a detachment of mounted police posted at his door, and the records of the intendancies are full of such requests. No one seemed to have had the faintest inkling that the protector might one day become the master.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, 1858. Stuart Gilbert translation, 1978, pp. 68-69.

hands up don’t shoot

For 4 years Boehner sent up bills from the House that he knew would languish and die in Harry Reid’s inbox. He was free to make symbolic gestures without consequences, and he made hundreds of them. You’d think there was some conservative grit inside the man. Almost.

But now, on the brink of substantial Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, Boehner’s parting Christmas gift to America is legislation that funds Obamacare, funds the President’s immigration plans, and funds 1800 pages of pork spending — a bill that will sail through the lame Democrat Senate and get signed by Obama.

You’d think that a national tide already having receded from the Democrats, and the American people already having spoken with their votes in favor of conservatism, would have emboldened Boehner to provide one more symbolic gesture, and defund some of the nasty Democrat programs the voters elected the next Congress to take down.

But no. He wants to go out in capitulation to the other side, and completely undermine all of that inconsequential symbolism he parlayed about over the past 4 years.

In pleasing Senate Democrats and Obama, Boehner did the Republican brand no favors yesterday. And he rolled out the big middle finger to American taxpayers.

Boehner does not deserve to speak for a conservative House in the next term. He’s shown his true color when more than symbolism was on the table.
Boehner I give up

Reduce number of planning commissioners

The Elbert County Planning Commission [ECPC] has been a tool for Leftists to dominate growth and development in Elbert County for too long. The fiascoes over oil & gas development, planned unit development, zoning subdivision, density bonus, water rights, special use districts, and the country-in-county feel of Elbert County, have all been public stages for the Left to impose un-voted-for control over citizens of Elbert County.

static.squarespace.com

The ECPC has hosted mouthy liberal majorities for as long as I can remember. But these folks never win an actual election in Elbert County. Every time one of them steps out on to an electoral stage, they lose big time. Voters obviously don’t want them dictating the future of the county.

Yet they haunt the county administration building like ghosts, unable to leave the place, moaning about until they get themselves appointed to another volunteer bureaucratic position – on the apparent qualification that they just won’t stay home.

Alexis de Tocqueville described [at least] one of the main problems 156 years ago as follows:

‘Long before the [French] Revolution, Ministers of State had made a point of keeping a watchful eye on everything that was happening in the country and of issuing orders from Paris on every conceivable subject. […like modern zoning…] As time went on and with the increasing efficiency of administrative technique, this habit of surveillance became almost an obsession with the central government. […like modern planning…] Towards the close of the eighteenth century it was impossible to arrange for poor-relief work in the humblest village of a province hundreds of miles from the capital without the Controller-General’s insisting on having his say about the exact sum to be expended, the site of the workhouse, and the way it was to be managed. When an almshouse was established, he insisted on being supplied with the names of the paupers using it, the dates of their arrival and departure. In 1733 M. d’Argenson observed that “the amount of office work imposed on our heads of departments is quite appalling. […like modern bureaucracy…] Everything passes through their hands, they alone decide what is to be done, and when their knowledge is not as wide as their authority, they have to leave things to subordinate members of their staffs, with the result that the latter have become the true rulers of the country.”‘

Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, 1858. Stuart Gilbert translation, 1978, p. 61.

Think about it. Do we go through all of the time and expense to elect Board of County Commissioner [BOCC] members only to have unelected bureaucrats govern us? The question answers itself.

Electing BOCC members is the only means voters have to control Elbert County government. Additional layers of governors underneath the BOCC should be limited only to non-discretionary functions.

Reducing the number of unelected planning commissioners is, without question, a step in the right direction.

Look around at the absence of economic opportunity in Elbert County. The Left have done enough damage here.

Greenfield

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Fat Class Warfare

There was a time when fat was in and thin was out. Obesity was the privilege of wealth and being thin meant being poor. In simpler societies, before slumming became a romantic pose, there was nothing attractive about not having enough to eat.

To be fat was to be part of the leisure class. Thin meant you were on the road to the poorhouse or to consumption, which meant your body was being consumed, not that you were the one doing the consuming.

Then agriculture was revolutionized and the values flipped. No one in the West was starving to death and the poorest man could still grow fat. By the time the social programs kicked in, weight no longer meant leisure.

With packaged foods widely available and jobs shifting from the factory to the desk, it was entirely possible to work hard and get fat.

On the other side of the aisle, exercise meant leisure time. The standard was set by movie stars who struggled to meet unrealistic standards because they had the time and disposable income to do it.

Fat no longer meant upper class gentry. Instead it meant lower class peasant. As with art, the widespread availability turned minimalism, and eventually the worthless and overpriced, into class signifiers. Conspicuous consumption of that which was widely available was lower class.

The overflowing table made way for micro portions and exotic but barely edible foods. Thin was in on the plate and the waistline.
In many Third World countries where feudalism never ended, the values never flipped. Instead of anorexia, teenage girls suffer from being force fed to make them more marriageable. The wealthy are fat and the feasts at the top never end.

In the West, weight stands in for class, at a time when explicit classism has become politically incorrect. When Europeans sneer at how fat Americans are, and American coastal elites sneer at the rest of the country for being fat, it’s a class putdown.

And no one traffics in class putdowns like the left. [Read more…]

Article V of the Constitution


The Constitution of the United States
* * * * * * * * * *
Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Revolution persists

Recent events in Ferguson, other American cities, not to mention Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine, all host to rampage and destruction, have affirmed the enduring nature of the French Revolution.

“The pagan religions of antiquity were always more or less linked up with the political institutions and the social order of their environment, and their dogmas were conditioned to some extent by the interests of the nations, or even the cities, where they flourished. A pagan religion functioned within the limits of a given country and rarely spread beyond its frontiers. It sometimes sponsored intolerance and persecutions, but very seldom embarked on missionary enterprises. This is why there were no great religious revolutions in the Western World before the Christian era. Christianity, however, made light of all the barriers which had prevented the pagan religions from spreading, and very soon won to itself a large part of the human race. I trust I shall not be regarded as lacking in respect for this inspired religion if I say it partly owed its triumph to the fact that, far more than any other religion, it was catholic in the exact sense, having no links with any specific form of government, social order, period, or nation.

The French Revolution’s approach to the problems of man’s existence here on earth was exactly similar to that of the religious revolutions as regards his afterlife. It viewed the “citizen” from an abstract angle, that is to say as an entity independent of any particular social order, just as religions view the individual, without regard to nationality or the age he lives in. It did not aim merely at defining the rights of the French citizen, but sought also to determine the rights and duties of men in general towards each other and as members of a body politic.

It was because the Revolution always harked back to universal, not particular, values and to what was the most “natural” form of government and the most “natural” social system that it had so wide an appeal and could be imitated in so many places simultaneously.

No previous political upheaval, however violent, had aroused such passionate enthusiasm, for the ideal the French Revolution set before it was not merely a change in the French social system but nothing short of a regeneration of the whole human race. It created an atmosphere of missionary fervor and, indeed, assumed all the aspects of a religious revival–much to the consternation of contemporary observers. It would perhaps be truer to say that it developed into a species of religion, if a singularly imperfect one, since it was without a God, without a ritual or promise of a future life. Nevertheless, this strange religion has, like Islam, overrun the whole world with its apostles, militants, and martyrs.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Régime and the French Revolution, 1858.
Translated by Stuart Gilbert, 1978, pp. 12-13.

How it’s done

In may 2011, the Obama White House chooses Schultz, to be paid with your tax dollars, to handle press on Fast and Furious.

Our relationship is courteous enough. As far as I’m concerned, it largely consists of Schultz trying to discredit those who could harm the administration, and advancing story lines and ideas to help his boss. He seems to have a pretty well-organized network of support. For example, Schultz might suggest to his media contacts that they do a story dissecting controversies in Issa’s background. It could be an editorial or blog written by party loyalists, an article penned by a like-minded reporter, or a favorable piece in the left-wing propaganda blog Media Matters. Schultz then circulates the resulting “story” to the rest of us in the media, sprinkled with his commentary. The strategy counts on the tendency of many bloggers and reporters to copy and codify each other’s work. If things go according to plan, the story is regurgitated and excerpted by so many outlets that it appears, to the uninitiated, to be prevailing thought. It’s self-fulfilling and self-legitimizing. Pretty soon, the theme bleeds into real news organizations and the cycle is complete. The message being delivered, of course, is that there’s no real story behind Fast and Furious. Just a Republican vendetta.

. . .

It’s a propaganda campaign to divert from the damaging facts: controversialize critics to try to turn the focus on personalities instead of the evidence.

Sharyl Attkisson, Stonewalled, 2014, pp. 107-108.

To write, publish, blog, or facebook ideas contrary to the zeitgeist of Leftist orthodoxy is to routinely endure all manner of insult and ad hominem from the reverse barometers of truth and justice trying to saturate “prevailing thought” with their politics.

If the people taking down society are against you, however, one has to treat such attacks as compliments.

Hans-Ulrich Klose

Hans-Ulrich Klose is an Advisor to the Robert Bosch Foundation and former Member of the German Parliament. He is the former Chairman of the German-American Parliamentary Group and a former Member of the German Bundestag (MdB). Prior to that position, he was Coordinator of German-American Cooperation in the Federal Foreign Office. He has also served as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag since October 2002. His previous positions include Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag, Vice President of the German Bundestag, Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag, and Treasurer of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. A former Governing Mayor of the City of Hamburg, Mr. Klose was first elected to the Bundestag in 1983. Mr. Klose was also the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the Field of Intersocietal Relations, Culture and Information Policy at the Federal Foreign Office from 2010 to 2011.

Mr. Klose spoke on “German Foreign Policy Perspectives on Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the Middle East: Impact on the Transatlantic Partnership.”  Presented by The Denver Eric M. Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany.

Paul Ryan’s immigration plan

It is wrong for Obama to accuse Republicans of not having a plan to address illegal immigration.

From: The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, Paul Ryan

First, secure the border and enforce the laws we have on the books.

  • Institute an effective visa tracking program.
  • Institute an e-verify system for employers to electronically confirm an individual’s immigration status.
  • Institute a guest worker program for temporary and seasonal workers to perform jobs “not being filled by Americans.”
  • An independent third party must verify that the above border security and enforcement conditions have been successfully implemented.

Next, grant probationary legal status with specified conditions for undocumented immigrants.

  • an admission that they entered the country unlawfully
  • payment of a fine
  • payment of back taxes
  • a criminal background check
  • learn English and civics
  • must stay off any form of public assistance

After all the above have been satisfied, a probationary immigrant may leave probation and receive a non-immigrant work visa.

After another period of time, a holder of a non-immigrant work visa may get in line and apply for a green card.

Exceptions to the above:

  • Illegal immigrants brought here as children and who are now pursuing advanced degrees or serving in the military should have an accelerated path [to be determined] to legal citizenship.
  • Foreign students in STEM fields should be encouraged [to be determined] to remain in the U.S. after they complete their education.

The Way Forward

Victimocracy

old timey thumpin’

Paul Krugman: China, Coal, Climate

Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman opines 11-13-14:

“understand the defense in depth that fossil-fuel interests and their loyal servants — nowadays including the entire Republican Party — have erected against any action to save the planet.”

False implication – Republicans want to destroy the planet.

“The first line of defense is denial”
“cabal including thousands of scientists around the world”
“witch hunts against climate scientists”
“crazy conspiracy theory”
“economic scare tactics”

Denial, cabal, witch hunt, crazy conspiracy, scare tactics – a whole string of unsupported ad hominems.

“the right’s usual faith in markets”
“we’re supposed to believe that business can transcend any problem, adapt and innovate around any limits, but would shrivel up and die if policy put a price on carbon.”
“Still, what’s bad for the Koch brothers must be bad for America, right?”

Ridicule. False implication that markets are inefficient. False implication that carbon taxes would not suppress economic activity. “Koch brothers” ad hominem fallacy.

“a “war on coal” as if this were self-evidently an attack on American values, but the reality is that the coal industry employs very few people. The real war on coal, or at least on coal miners, was waged by strip-mining and natural gas, and ended a long time ago. And environmental protection is quite popular with the nation at large.”

north_pole_cartoon_med

Multiple false redefinitions of “war on coal” – first that it’s about coal miners, second that environmental protection means using less coal.

“the last line of defense, claims that America can’t do anything about global warming, because other countries, China in particular, will just keep on spewing out greenhouse gases. “

“climate denialists controlling Congress “

Ad hominem attack against Republican majority.

“Not to mention the possibility that the next president could well be an anti-environmentalist who could reverse anything President Obama does.”

False implication that whatever Obama does helps the environment.

This language rolls off Krugman’s keyboard without a hint of hesitation or thought. It’s a practiced script of leftist memes and mantras – a liturgy that Krugman recites like a high priest. In Elbert County Krugman’s acolytes surround us, parroting their high priest, proud, cocksure owners of the liturgy, thumping their keyboards – “oh the science, the science” – like preachers at a tent revival.

Elbert County is filthy with them.

Thing is, the standard these grubers set for the right doesn’t even rise to the level of a caricature. Instead, we get windows into mean little nobel prize winning minds that would be pitiable if not for all of the malice therein.

science vs. nonsense

People engaged in practicing scientific methods came to the Society of Exploration Geophysicist‘s [SEG] annual meeting and exhibition this week in Denver. They came to talk about all aspects of the science that uses imaging techniques for virtual simulations of the composition of the earth below the sea floor, below dry land, and below the sandy shallow shorelines. They brought examples of many of their tools for gathering the data to build the simulations – at least the tools that could fit on a semi truck, including a few as big as a semi truck. They brought a full library of reference books that SEG publishes and sells to anyone in the general public. They brought supercomputers built with arrays of CPU cores and stacks of graphics processors cabled into large racks to form co-processing centers capable of petaflop processing speeds. They brought software experts to manipulate datasets hundreds of terabytes in size through exotic transformations and functions for improving, interpreting, visualizing, dissecting, and representing the reflected seismic data vibrations gathered from massive tracts of potential energy-bearing geologic structures. They came to share their passion about their good fortune to be engaged in solving real and interesting problems using state of the art technology for the tangible benefit of mankind.

Last Sunday this technological frontier was out of sight and out of my mind. I hold our mass broadcast media responsible for that condition. Shame on those media content providers who evidently think the only thing interesting to talk about with regard to energy production is the latest bunch of creepy counter culture dregs carrying hand lettered signs with hyperbolic messages about how we’re all going to die from fracking.
savethepoudre1
Sure. We’re all going to die. You can’t seriously argue against that proposition. But the scientists exploring for energy actually push that day further out into the future for all of us. Geophysicists take on the hard challenge, the difficult question that requires years of education to successfully answer. Meanwhile, fractivists scribble up a few signs, organize their community of activists from the Left, and show up.

What do fractivists do for the betterment of mankind? That’s right. They show up. They occupy space. They “be.” And the media sends out their heavy satellite dish trucks to record the drama as news, to crowd out real information from the airwaves with an endless stream of meaningless pablum that will never build anything, inspire anyone, or improve our existence.

That’s why you have young kids stealing a couple thousand dollars from their parents’ credit cards to buy a ticket for Istanbul to go join some jihadi who will put an AK47 into their hands and add meaning to their empty existence. The kids know on some level that the world has amazing and fulfilling human endeavors in it, but they don’t know where to find them. So terrible forces move into those vacuums of meaning.

Educators and communicators steeped in Marxism for the last 40 years don’t dwell on real accomplishments because those events don’t politically empower the counter culture. Things like geophysics make the counter culture look silly, laughable, a waste of time and energy – all very disempowering characterizations. With Denver hosting a ground-zero event for worldwide oil and gas exploration – an evil incarnate population of engineers to a fractivist – not a single fractivist showed up to object at the Colorado Convention Center. Real meaning is kryptonite to them. Even geologist Governor Hickenlooper stayed away, perhaps not wishing to offend one of his Gang of Four deep pockets.

While geophysicists improve the world, the chattering classes spin their tales of Ebola, head chopping jihadis, financial collapse, wreckages of all sizes and shapes, storms and climate changes, victimization dramas, and politicians frame one hot mess after another with instant interpretations that always end with a moral that improves their side, their position. A cascade of false narratives give the Left the power to destroy, and power is what they live for. Disempowering the Left is the most politically incorrect thing one can do. Disempowering the Left is so wrong that the Left brand it with the most deplorable label imaginable – racism.

Don’t let the Left consume any more young people with destructive power. The Left squandered their franchises in the schools, the universities, and the media with false narratives, false dilemmas and false analyses.

It’s time our educators and communicators focused on the creators, those who accomplish the hard solutions from the difficult problem sets, the ones who tangibly improve mankind and don’t just talk about it.

Leave the dramas that empower the Left in the past. I doubt we ever needed their monkeyshines, but surely we don’t need them now.