Re-Engaging With the Study of Politics

I’m working through a guided reading of the Great Books of the Western World, as you know. Sometimes, not often, certain passages are not compelling. The author’s divisions feel forced and the destination blurs.

Because of my high literacy, I began noticing that the more I read the more I learned. And the more I learned the more I began wondering, more clearly than ever before, why am I studying this so fervently? I don’t want to be in politics. I don’t want to be a politician. It’s an interesting field of study, but there are many others just as interesting that may prove more practical, I couldn’t help thinking. But I kept coming back to the fact that Locke said that man first existed in the State of Nature on his own and only later, when it benefited him, gathered into political society. Aristotle, on the other hand, had started with man as a political creature. There was no isolated man. For Aristotle, no man was an island.

Obviously, Locke is right. But whichever side you come down on, the reason to study politics as a hobby is that everything (except religion) is post-politics. Your politics influence your decisions in every other facet of life (except religion). And the only thing that influences your politics is your religious beliefs.

Want to chat about the weather? Me too. But that’s not half as interesting as why you believe America is or should be a democracy. And it’s not one hundredth as important as why you believe that Qu’ran:Bible::Black Ink:Red Ink.

Will my study of politics help me in any measurable form or fashion? It might. That’s why I do it.

Morning Motivation

Two quick thoughts that make me smile:

Firstly, if you stop reading political columnists/pundits (as I recently have), flipping through and, subsequently past, even so-called news headlines is a breeze—as apparently there’s hardly any actual newsworthy events to report. And no news is good news.

Secondly, as a pilot I have to take flight physicals. These used to be a breeze mentally because I was a twenty year old in excellent shape. Now, double that age, the last few (still passing of course) have been mentally stressful because I’m not a twenty year old in excellent shape. To alleviate this, I’ve started a fitness routine to handle and control that stress. The motivational point is this: I am probably half way through this life and have never had to run for exercise, beyond a few tests for school and the Air Force. Never. Are you going to tell me that after 40 I will start running? After 41? How about after 50? Think I’m going to develop a habit of running after 50? No sir. Take that to its conclusion and that means that I will have made it through life on planet earth without running. That’s something to marvel at.

Two Things I Learned Today By Watching a Ten Year Old and a Seven Month Old Eat

If you want to get a ten year old to eat his cold cereal to the point the bowl is dry, then have his day begin with him having to rewrite his previous three days’ mistake-ridden writing assignments.

If you’re still unclear the meaning or origin of the popular, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” then you haven’t watched a seven month old eat with her hands. She grabs the wafer just fine. Her mouth opens. Her hand goes into her mouth. Her tongue touches the wafer. Then her hand and the wafer come back out. Boom. Unlikely as it seems, we now know that a baby’s hunger gave birth to the adult’s sad truth.

If You’re Angry, Then You’re Cain (And They’re Abel)

Here’s a post on practical application of the Bible. Why? Because it’s Sunday and because today I found myself looking up what the word “anger” meant as far as the Bible writers were concerned because I didn’t want to believe that I was angry—because I didn’t want the Word to apply to me.

Recently, my stepson and I have been reading some ol’ timey stories and the characters often say, “Be careful! Or I’ll warm you!”

Contextually, we knew this was a threat to fight, but we also knew that we didn’t quite understand it. Then, in one of the stories, an author took time to explain that “warming” someone has to do with how your opponent (the one about to be ‘warmed’) is presently calm and cool, but after a fight will be hot and sweaty—or warm. (“Painting your cheeks red” has similar meaning, again depending on context.)

Suffice it to say that this is what the biblical writers meant by “anger.” And this is still contemporary anger, too. Anger is being hot.

Cain kills Abel. He kills him after the LORD warns him that there is no reason to be angry.

How to cool off? Transfer the heat via radiation, convection, and/or perspiration. But I don’t know if this is the right question.

If you’re angry, then you’re Cain. Instead of cooling off, maybe don’t get angry. How to not get angry? Total perspective change. Here’s mine.

I’ve now come to be happy that the LORD has chosen my ex-wife to parent our daughter.

Why does it work? Because I have no fucking idea why He chose Abel; and His choice in this matter is likewise mysterious. (And because I’m not Cain.)

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And Another Thing

The other day, I read the same type of argument I have been hearing for many years now. In this case, it was Rich Lowry who did the writing. He wrote, “A key difference between the Greeks and Romans and the rest was that their writers critiqued and lampooned their own societies. This willingness to engage in self-criticism became one of the hallmarks, and strengths, of Western culture.” He wrote this within a piece which lamented the removal of the “Classics” from curriculums around the country.

At first blush, anyone who makes the same lamentations as Mr. Lowry might find his statement to be true. But ultimately it is not true. A key difference is not that the Greeks and Romans lampooned and critiqued their own societies (though other societies may, no doubt, have accomplished less of this). The key difference is that we, the West, conversed with our own societies.

Make no mistake, the Left believes it is carrying out the staunch and noble tradition of “criticizing and lampooning its own society” that Mr. Lowry mentions. But they, the Left, were never the West.

The West is something you choose to become, not something you’re born into. You’re not the West because you’re white. Or because you’re an American. Just like you’re not a man because you’re male. Or a woman because you’re female. Do you see? The West is built of men and women of a certain quality. But the Left never learned this. (This, too, can help explain why they behave like children.)

Regarding the activity of criticism and lampooning, the Left believes that when they remove the classics, they are doing what Copernicus and Galileo did to the geocentric model of the universe when that pair introduced the heliocentric model. The Left believes that when they revise history, they are continuing the tradition of replacing superstitious falsehood like Darwin. Don’t miss this point: Mr. Lowry would have us think that the West’s great tradition and singular tradition is to “critique and lampoon” itself. If that was accurate, the Left is surely in the right. But it’s not accurate.

The tradition is to converse, to discuss, to ask each other uncomfortable questions. And this is certainly not what the Left is doing.

So stop. Stop pretending that there is any other reality unfolding than shaming, that there is any other fix than violence—and most don’t seem to care to take it that far.

If the Left was the West, they’d talk to us. They’d debate us. That they don’t, even as they believe they are continuing the progress begun by the West, simply teaches us that we need to elevate our strategy.

To conclude, the question is not, “Are the Classics Racist?” as Mr. Lowry and his ilk like to express. The question is, “Should the Left be stopped?”

I’m Over Conservative Pundits. Off Button, Please.

Two days ago, I looked at the world through the eyes of Bill Gates. What I saw was not quite that he wanted to turn humans into batteries—Matrix-style—but that he (as an inventor of a powered tool) valued perpetual energy over human liberty. Today, I want to look at the conservative pundits through the eyes of a marketer. Why? Because my YouTube “feed” makes me feel shame before my maker.

Whether Shapiro, Prager, Tucker, or Elder (not to mention Knowles who I click on most for some unknown reason), when viewed from a marketing perspective, they all contribute more to the Left’s publicity than anything pushed by the Left. If ratings are to be trusted, this observation is even more damning.

I would never know that “chestfeeding” is a term or that the “classics” are being banned if I didn’t read and listen to the conservatives. Why wouldn’t I know? Because the Left doesn’t market themselves. Instead, the Left marches along, shaming any dissenters. The Left doesn’t shout, “We’re changing the language!” Instead, they change the language and shame dissenters. The Left doesn’t shout, “we’re banning the classics!” Instead, the Left bans the classics and shames the dissenters.

I’ve already written that if conservatives are not writing to incite war, then they’re wasting their time. Here again, I’m writing that if you’re calling attention to the Left’s actions, you’re simply acting as their marketing team. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. I’m saying here that I now believe that the conservative pundits help the Left, or, in other words, I’m arguing that conservative pundits are out of alignment with their own goals. You don’t put McDonald’s out of business by creating ads that tell people how cheap (in price or quality) their burgers are.

If the Left (or pure evil) understands anything better than the conservatives, it is that we do not live in a world of ideas. We live in a concrete world, a world where action matters most. “Raising awareness” is not action. And the Left, despite its claims to the contrary, never raises awareness. Instead, they shame dissenters. Shame is not an idea. Shame is the targeted illumination of specific actions for the purpose of conformity. Ben Shapiro revealing that the Left just passed another evil law does nothing but advertise that the Left is winning.

In any case, I’m done with conservative pundits. I own too many unread good books to waste time reading and listening to conservative pundits, now known to me as the Left’s marketing team.

Good day, Sir!

Eureka Moment And Vent About Bill Gates and IT Attitudes In General

At work recently I feel like I have been unceasingly finding IT to be in my way. Anyone else feel like this? I find myself venting, “IT holds our work hostage,” in an effort to describe how unproductive the action of “including them” in a project can be. Just this morning I said, “Name one other area of life where the professional level is worse than personal level.” I was serious.

Pilots fly much better planes in their professional endeavors than their personal lives. If I want to drive a race car, then by definition it is going to be better than my Nissan. Unless you’re me, the piano you play for a professional gig is going to be better than the one you own. And on and on. But the internet? Worse at work. The hard-drive? Worse at work. Getting IT to help? Worse at work. IT departments hold our work hostage.

Anyhow, the eureka moment occurred as I read about Bill Gates in the WSJ today. Classic puff piece. Really, more than that. More than a puff piece, more than a book advertisement, it was propaganda.

But it got me thinking, why does Mr. Gates think that a private citizen can understand the following?

“The planet must reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions being pumped into the atmosphere, currently about 51 billion tons per year, to zero by 2050. Nothing less, he says, will prevent a catastrophe, and he is calling for a full-scale technological revolution to make it happen.”

I like to believe I am very well read, and I simply can’t understand it. For example, what is a “greenhouse emission”? What is “pumped”? Where does the atmosphere start and stop for this claim? What tool is capable of measuring “51 billion tons per year”?

And I have a question of my own: Does Gates understand the meaning of “extrapolation”? Because I suspect that he is extrapolating at some point. And that’s no tool. And this leads me to believe that I don’t think he has such a measurement tool.

These days in my own attempts to understand everything, I fight off the notion that it’s impossible. But the fact that the notion (‘it’s impossible’) is in my mind, I take to mean that it is impossible to understand everything. Bill Gates doesn’t seem to have this inner debate. He thinks we can understand everything and then solve every problem. Why? What evidence does he have? None. Zero. So he changes the game. It’s not about solving every problem. It’s about solving his problem. And he cons us into thinking his problem is our problem.

Here is something that helps me understand his perspective. And this is the eureka moment. He thinks everything and everyone is just a data point to be counted. And when someone thinks this, their goal shifts from traditional human goals having to do with quality of life, to new goals—counting goals—like, keeping on the power to the counting machine. (Inverse way of describing his fight to stop climate change and the end of the world.)

Put another way, the man who invented the biggest, fastest counting machine thinks we should do everything we can, sacrifice anything, and pay anything in order to keep his counting machine powered.

It’s ridiculous. But I finally see it.

Get it? I do. Hopefully you can see it even if you disagree. (Or even if you agree with his priorities—clarity is a small goal of mine here.)

As for me, I’m just happy to have achieved some level of understanding regarding the man and his motivations (and also understand those of you who want to likewise be viewed as smart). And I’m happy to be a religious man (not a droid). And I’m happy to know the secret to stopping him—turn off the computer.

Mr. Gates will be seen as the nutjob that he is when 2051 happens uneventfully. (Anyone claiming that they are speaking coherently when they talk about “measuring 51 billion tons per year” qualifies as nutty.)

Are you going to celebrate with me? I sure hope so.

I Don’t Know Why It Evokes Such Emotion

Yesterday as I listened, I kept thinking, “If you’re not careful, you may end up highlighting who really incited the demonstration…yourselves,” as the Left made its case.

Today, when I watched the opening statement and the barrage of montage highlighting the utter hypocrisy of the Left, I cried.

Apparently I can take the dose from the Left when offered daily.

Apparently I am overwhelmed by the administration of many of the Left’s daily doses into one five minute period.

Oh. And the rest of the “very fine people” response now seems like the most sensible sentiment he ever uttered. Anyone else find that to be true? Separation makes the heart grow fonder, I guess.