Were the French Writers “Needlessly” Inflammatory?

Written By: Linda - Jan• 12•15

No.

Their fanning-the-fire writings were necessary.

From the National Ross Douthat:

But if publishing something might get you slaughtered and you publish it anyway, by definition you are striking a blow for freedom, and that’s precisely the context when you need your fellow citizens to set aside their squeamishness and rise to your defense.

Whereas far too often in the West today the situation is basically reversed: People will invoke free speech to justify just about any kind of offense or provocation or simple exploitation (“if we don’t go full-frontal seven times on ‘Game of Thrones’ tonight, man, the First Amendment dies”), and then scurry for cover as soon as there’s a whiff of actual danger, a hint that “bold” envelope-pushing might require actual bravery after all.

The idea that we need to tone down our speech/writing/atristic expression due to THREATS is the most profoundly ILliberal idea I’ve ever heard.  Should our people generally accept and tolerate other religions?  Yes.  But NOT because they threaten to kill us if we do not.  That threat, alone, would make them a fair target for ridicule, criticism, and contempt.

Focusing on the Most Important Things

Written By: Linda - Jan• 11•15
  1. Family – the major part of my energy for the next year will be to keep my far-flung family in my thoughts, and to show that by regularly calling, texting, emailing, and – yes – sending short notes in hard copy (there is nothing like the lift you get when you receive something in the mail WITHOUT a translucent window).  Family also includes my long-suffering husband, whom I need to make a top priority.
  2. Financial – this includes selling our second house, organizing records, and reducing debt.  All of this is necessary, if I plan to make our goal of retiring in 2-1/2 years.
  3. Work – setting up files (and weeding out old ones), making appointments for grade entry and planning, scheduling all mentor meetings, labeling my stuff and sub-dividing it into smaller boxes, with lessons inside.  I spend too much time trying to find stuff, and I’m tired of working in a cluttered environment.
  4. Home – clean, organize, and repair.  Really, the biggest part will be weeding out junk.

Notice that there is nothing there about politics?  By necessity, I will have to carefully manage what little time I have left.  So, I will be scheduling my once a week posting, and only occasionally posting more.

The Gathering Storm…

Written By: Linda - Jan• 03•15

…all apologies to Winston Churchill, who named his 1st of the WWII books that way.

No, we in America are preparing for a Storm – of Classic Proportions.

storm-clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s beginning to look like a CORKER – and it’s going to hit Barry’s “natural constituency”:

  • Single women
  • Part-time workers
  • Artists, actors, musicians – anyone who works on a sporadic basis, and whose income fluctuates
  • People who receive a regular paycheck, but may have received extra money outside of that – such as teachers

What is the cause of that storm?

Obamacare – or, for those who decided, after it turned out to be a stinker – ACA, the Affordable Care Act.

Ya’ see, people got those subsidies because they entered information in the website, or told the person over the phone, what they were making.  I’m betting that MOST of them wildly underestimated – either through wishful thinking, or because the fools didn’t understand the meaning of NET pay.  It’s amazing how many people never think about how much they make; for most people, the amount they take home is what sticks in their minds.  So, I’m betting that most of the subsidy-receivers used the net pay as their earnings.

And, that’s where the fun begins.

If they underestimated, they received MORE subsidy than they were entitled to.  And, unlike your mama, who would have said, “Oh, that’s all right, honey, you can keep the money”, the feds will take it back – with interest, if possible.  When these folks file their income taxes, they will find that they OWE Uncle Sam – and it will come in the form of a reduced IRS refund, or none at all.

Let the games begin.

I’m a HAM!

Written By: Linda - Dec• 20•14

It’s official – I passed my Technician’s test. In about 3-4 days (maybe more, because of the holiday), I should be listed in the FCC database, and can begin transmitting. Until then, I can only listen in.

Winter Break? Bah, Humbug!

Written By: Linda - Dec• 08•14

I work in a public school.  As a result, I’ve occasionally been corrected – very gently, I must say – when I refer to the 2 week vacation at the end of the year as “Christmas Break”.

Oh, no, I am informed, it’s a GENERIC holiday celebration (I generally refrain from pointing out that HOLIDAY is a variant of the original HOLY DAY).  Just happens that SO many important holidays occur around this time that it’s convenient to adjourn for vacation.

I always respond by saying, “I’ll call it Winter Break the very first year that it DOESN’T include Christmas”.

Christmas is the ONLY reason for the break – it comes at a bad time, just before the end of the semester.  It would make FAR more sense to delay the vacation for another week, give the tests, then adjourn for a between-semesters vacation.

Won’t happen.  Parents (most of them taxpayers and/or voters) would have the school boards roasted – like chestnuts – for daring to implement the sensible switch.

No, we break BECAUSE the majority celebrate Christmas – many of them attending church for the only time that year (I’ll address the twice-a-year Christians another time).  A few celebrate Kwaanza – fewer every year – and, in selected locations, Hannukkah makes the present-giving event(s).

Michelangelo_Buonarroti_-_Tondo_Doni_-_Google_Art_ProjectFunnily enough, few remember the Christian tradition of Epiphany (Jan. 6) or the Holy Day of Obligation (Jan. 1 – Feast of Mary – older Catholics may remember this as Circumcision of Jesus).

Christmas goes on from December 25 (the 1st Day of Christmas) to January 5 (the Eve of Epiphany, when the Magi appeared – celebrated as Three Kings Day in many countries).

The picture at the left shows the Holy Family at the start of their Flight into Egypt (by Michaelangelo).

So, in the spirit of the EXTENDED season,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

What is an American?

Written By: Linda - Nov• 26•14

I’ve been thinking about this, lately, what with the Imperial Decree from El Jefe that we WOULD admit all those He deemed worthy – not those icky non-Hispanic immigrants, who fail to show proper homage by voting solidly Democratic.  No, the Right Kind of immigrants, who deliver the Dem vote, year after year, and – this is a plus – also show up at rallies demanding their Right to take over this country, and join any union that will have them, cheerfully paying exorbitant fees for – nothing.

Like we’re gonna let that happen.  The world already has enough failed dictatorships.

I’ve been thinking about what it means to be an American:

  • You might, like me, have a family history that traces to BEFORE this was a United States – even before the American Revolution.
  • Or, you might be the 1st generation to hit our shores.
  • You might, like me, be of largely Euro background.
  • Or, you might be from any other ethnic branch, or several.
  • You might be Christian – if viewed by that sole criteria, we are perhaps the largest religious group.
  • You might be Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist, or another group – or none at all (both non-believers, who don’t care what you believe, and atheists – who feel COMPELLED to tell the other groups that they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG – do you hear them?  WRONG!).
  • You might be rich – we do have a lot of them in the USA.
  • You might be poor – again, we have a lot of people who consider themselves poor (although, it must be said, by the world’s standards, even our poor people are quite rich).
  • Probably, like most Americans, you would be considered middle-class.

Really, there are relatively few requirements for being an American:

  • You might get it easily – through birth (talk about hitting the lottery!)
  • You might have taken the slow road – getting permission to enter (Visa), applying for residency, learning our main language (English), about the rules and customs of our nation, and about the Constitution and our history.  I’ve seen videos of naturalization ceremonies, and they always bring tears to the surface.
  • Or, you might have crossed the border without permission (or, overstayed a legal Visa), and taken advantage of various amnesty programs.

Once part of the family, however, you are IN all the way.  No “American, but not really” status in our country.

Not all Americans appreciate this country.  Many want to change it – some in a radical way.  A very few despise the United States of America.  Even so, they remain Americans.

Many radicals would like to pretend that when Conservatives say “I want my country back!” they mean they’d like to take possessions, rights, and power away from non-White people.

No.

What they mean is:  I want the Constitution’s limitations on power to be respected.  I want laws and rules to apply to ALL consistently.  I want incentives for NOT working to be reduced (and, eventually, eliminated). I want those who earn money to KEEP their money.  I want opportunities in America to be for ALL, not just those who suck up to the people in power.

Are We Entering the HOPEFUL Season, or HopeLESS?

Written By: Linda - Nov• 16•14

The end of the year, for Americans in the 21st century, should be a hopeful, joyous time.  We travel great distances to give Thanks with our families, optimistically slap down the charge cards a few weeks later, to buy for family and friends special treats.

During this time, we sing out happily to all, friends and strangers alike, with “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Thanksgiving”, and other holiday greetings.  If asked by a stranger, we are quite likely to open our wallets and our hearts, and hand over cash.  Many Americans spend hours of their own time to give to strangers – gifts, food, clothes, and shelter.

I’m betting the Obama administration is counting on that.  At this time of year, more than any other, we let our guard down.  Expect more outrageous abuses of executive powers in the next month.

The question is, what will YOU do about it?  So far, complaints to our Representatives and Senators haven’t had much effect.

Some Thoughts For the Next Continuing Resolution…

Written By: Linda - Nov• 12•14

It goes without saying that anything the Congress passes, the President and his cronies will work, overtime, to get around.  So, I think they have to build in automatic triggers:

  1. Don’t just tie Department-specific cuts to the CR’s being violated with Executive Action.  Make an AUTOMATIC 5% cut to ALL parts of government, if he uses EITHER bureaucratic regulation OR Executive Action to get more illegals “legalized”.
  2. Don’t fall for a long-term solution – ANY CR has to be short-term.  The new Congress has a right to act without having their hands tied.
  3. Go aggressive – use PR about the cost of illegal aliens to the country – in hospital care, incarceration, schools, spread of disease, lost jobs and downward pressure on wages, etc.  Have a daily update, and post it on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook.  USE that alternative media – it can be an opportunity to influence younger and future voters.
  4. Set up a clock of the cost of illegal aliens, just as was done with the National Debt.  The sight of those numbers were influential with some of the public, and have led to more serious discussion of debt issues.  It’s a war of attrition, and we need to play full-court press.

If you have read this far, please contact your Congress-critters.

House

Senate

And, while I’m sure it’s going to be ignored, perhaps the sheer numbers will begin to align our Dear Leader with reality – The White House.

MORE $$$$$$ Down the Drain?

Written By: Linda - Nov• 09•14

This is outrageous, and an excellent reason why politicians should have to wear sponsorship patches – like NASCAR drivers – on their clothing.

I’m generally opposed to the whole bailout thing – if any investor screws up, and loses money, well, that’s his problem.  The government (and, really, the taxpayers, whose money funds it) should NOT throw money at their feet.

The most galling thing about this is that GOOGLE is a major investor in this (Link to Financial Statements here).  The other major player is NRG (Link to Income Statement here)

Check out the links – do these companies deserve PUBLIC money to increase their profitability?  Especially since the taxpayers will NOT share in the expected return?

The Political Significance of Knowing the Left’s Philosophers

Written By: Linda - Nov• 08•14

I’ve long had an interest in promoting self-education in the Everyday Conservatives (that is, people who almost instinctively support Conservative Principles, but haven’t studied the philosophical underpinnings of it).  As the Leftist Philosophers are HEAVILY entrenched in the educational establishment – first, in higher education, and, now, moving fast into secondary and elementary education, as well.

When your kid or grandkids come home, confidently spewing the Leftist crap they’ve been taught by their teachers, you want to know enough about the philosophy to refute its conclusions.

That’s where I come in.

When I first graduated from high school, the Leftist professors were just beginning their Long March into the Ed Establishment.  They were the Assistant and Associate professors (along with some grad students) who promoted the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s.  They wormed their way into classes, institutes, student organizations, and conferences.  Over time, they not only got themselves tenure, but they used their positions to bring in like-minded hires.

As a result, the entire college and university establishment is heavily soaked in the Leftist Philosophy Bible, which includes the Leftist Prophets:

  • Antonio Gramsci – his work is revered by Leftist “scholars” (I put that word in quotes, as too many of them sacrifice their claim to scholarship by the bias they bring to it).  A fuller treatment of his thinking on education is here.  A quote about his thinking on Cultural Hegemony (a term that had been often used in grad school classes, without ever explaining just what it was – below I’m quoting from Wikipedia, which has the best explanation of CH that I’ve ever read):

Orthodox Marxism had predicted that socialist revolution was inevitable in capitalist societies. By the early 20th century, no such revolution had occurred in the most advanced nations. Capitalism, it seemed, was even more entrenched than ever. Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also through ideology. The bourgeoisie developed a hegemonic culture, which propagated its own values and norms so that they became the “common sense” values of all. People in the working-class (and other classes) identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.

To counter the notion that bourgeois values represented “natural” or “normal” values for society, the working class needed to develop a culture of its own. Lenin held that culture was “ancillary” to political objectives, but for Gramsci it was fundamental to the attainment of power that cultural hegemony be achieved first. In Gramsci’s view, a class cannot dominate in modern conditions by merely advancing its own narrow economic interests. Neither can it dominate purely through force and coercion. Rather, it must exert intellectual and moral leadership, and make alliances and compromises with a variety of forces. Gramsci calls this union of social forces a “historic bloc”, taking a term from Georges Sorel. This bloc forms the basis of consent to a certain social order, which produces and re-produces the hegemony of the dominant class through a nexus of institutions, social relations, and ideas. In this manner, Gramsci developed a theory that emphasized the importance of the political and ideological superstructure in both maintaining and fracturing relations of the economic base.

Gramsci stated that bourgeois cultural values were tied to folklore, popular culture and religion, and therefore much of his analysis of hegemonic culture is aimed at these. He was also impressed by the influence Roman Catholicism had and the care the Church had taken to prevent an excessive gap developing between the religion of the learned and that of the less educated. Gramsci saw Marxism as a marriage of the purely intellectual critique of religion found in Renaissance humanism and the elements of the Reformationthat had appealed to the masses. For Gramsci, Marxism could supersede religion only if it met people’s spiritual needs, and to do so people would have to think of it as an expression of their own experience.

For Gramsci, hegemonic dominance ultimately relied on a “consented” coercion, and in a “crisis of authority” the “masks of consent” slip away, revealing the fist of force.

If you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to The Gramsci Reader – translations from his work.

  • Paulo Freire – again, I’m  linking to Wikipedia as a starting point – yes, they are generally biased in their articles on politics and culture, but it’s a good primer on Leftist Thinking.

Freire’s thinking permeates the Educational Establishment at most colleges and universities.  He is even more revered than Dewey.  The core of his philosophy is that education HAS to be revolutionary, or it will support “the system”.  For him, there is no such thing as a “neutral” education.

Fanon was a political radical, and an existentialist humanist concerning the psychopathology of colonization, and the human, social, and cultural consequences of decolonization.

In the course of his work as a physician and psychiatrist, Fanon supported the Algerian War of Independence from France, and was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front. For more than four decades, the life and works of Frantz Fanon have inspired movements in Palestine, Sri Lanka, the U.S. and South Africa.

Fanon was a supporter of the revolutionary liberation movement in Algeria.  He believed that ALL colonial governments were inherently violent, and that, therefore, violence was totally justified against those governments.  That viewpoint provided the basis for much of the 1960s revolutionary movements, in Viet Nam, Burma, Cuba, and other locations.

I’ll be adding more information about prominent “Progressive” and Leftist thinkers.  We need to become familiar with their work, to be able to effectively argue against their agenda.  Look for this Continuing Conservative Self-Education in the Tab at the top of the blog.