Are We Entering the HOPEFUL Season, or HopeLESS?

Written By: Linda Fox - 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 Fox - 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 Fox - 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 Fox - 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.

Can’t – Ehr – WON’T Live By Their Own Rules

Written By: Linda Fox - Nov• 06•14

There’s a group of Senate staffers who are eager to bring back the filibuster, according to Ed Whelan of the National Review.  It was abolished for lower court nominees during the Democratic Totalitarian Control of the Obama Regime Era.

It’s a bad idea – for several reasons:

  • Using the filibuster for partisan purposes (and, what OTHER reason would a Democrat have for using it?) would clog up the system unnecessarily.  Unless those opposing a nominee can marshall solid reasons, related to the performance of their judicial responsibilities, for turning thumbs down to a nominee, that person should be affirmed.  Too many courts are backlogged already – we needn’t make the situation worse by making it hard to get replacements or reinforcements.
  • Yes, the filibuster is a time-honored tradition – so are duels.  Some old ideas need to stay DEAD.
  • Lastly, I’m in favor of keeping the status quo, because it would be a necessary correction to the recent rampage of the Senate demagogues.  They imposed rules and procedures to make THEIR rule opposition-free.  They should have to live with the consequences of their actions for at least as long as they used the changes against Conservatives/Republicans/Any Sane Legislator.

 

Nearing Halloween – Strike That – It IS Halloween

Written By: Linda Fox - Oct• 31•14

It’s the dread of teachers everywhere, right up there with pre-Christmas inability to concentrate.  And, it’s not just limited to elementary-age kids.  High school students spend hours talking about their costumes, and carrying around treats for their friends.

Although Michelle Obama’s Grim Substitutes, the vegetable tray and other low-calorie treasures, may stop that.  We’ve been told – officially – NOT to bring in treats.  For ANY reason.

I never thought sugar and fat would become the New Crack.

I’ve never been that into Halloween, post-elementary age.  Until well into the 1980s, it was a relatively minor holiday.

No more.  Adults and teens have taken over the grim festivities, with gruesome body parts, truly repulsive costumes, and weeks – even months – of planning for the parties.  It’s chance for women to unleash their Inner Slut, men to experiment with Cross-Dressing, and for all to use conspicuous consumption as a signal of their Elitist Status.

Eh.

Don’t like horror movies.  Don’t enjoy dressing up.  Hate parties, for the most part.

Not my holiday.

The funny thing is that this all comes at a time when few believe in Hell, most think their “sins” are not an offense against God, and many try their Wildean best to avoid the appearance of aging, and throw money in a futile Faustian bargain at doctors, trying to avoid their inevitable death.

For all that many enjoy the Lion King’s Circle of Life song, they can’t quite see themselves as nearing the end of that Circle.  And, for those without spiritual underpinnings, that “endless” circle is broken.

<hr>

10/31/2014

I started this several days ago, just was too busy to finish.  My bloglife is a lot like that lately – not that I’m not interested, just too busy.

Which, is OK with me right now.  In the past, I hovered over my blogs.  Were enough people reading them?  Had I responded to a political issue?  In short, did I put my 2 cents in?

Eh.

I still have strong feelings.  But, more often now, I’ve found other people (in REAL LIFE) who are willing to listen to me, and respond in their turn.  Taking the blogging discourse into real life is FAR more satisfying.

Plus, over time, I’ve found those on Facebook and Twitter who are simpatico – some of them friends or family offline, as well, others – not.

So, even though I still have a burning desire to have my say, I – more often than not – can get that in other ways.

Right now, I am tired.  Weary of the political ads, the “issues”, the “news” clawing at my attention.

Work is tiring – not bad, but truly fatiguing.  I’m temporarily overscheduled – mentor stuff, grading, planning, and, now, getting signed up for a Gifted & Talented course – or, rather TWO courses – that I have to take to teach the Honors classes next year.

I’m 2-3 years away from retirement.  By that time, I likely will be REALLY ready for the rest.

At that point, I will – FINALLY – have time to write.

Which is my plan.

Sittin’ Here, Resting My Bones…

Written By: Linda Fox - Oct• 11•14

However, unlike Otis Redding, I am NOT lonely.

Just enjoying the sun – it’s perfect.  Mostly dimmed by cloud cover, occasionally breaking through for a dazzling over-the-top light (I left my seat, briefly, to get a hat with a brim).  My newly-finished Adirondack chair is comfortable, the air is warmish, without inducing sweat.

Perfect.

So few moments in life are that.  We need to stop sometimes to enjoy God’s creation.  Just sit in the sun.

 Link to “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” lyrics.

Link to the song.

And, don’t forget to sit and do NOTHING occasionally.

Are You Feeling a Heavy Sense of Dread?

Written By: Linda Fox - Aug• 16•14

UPDATE:

I read the following at Front Page Magazine:

Socialism’s big moments arrive when people feel helpless. It does well during depressions and recessions. That’s how we ended up with FDR, Clinton and Obama.

Socialism is a sleazy insurance salesman. Its product may be bad, but people are a lot more likely to buy it when they’re worried about the future. Europe turned to socialism after its people lost confidence in the future and themselves. America is turning to socialism after a similar crisis of confidence.

Right now, I’m at a low point.  Maybe later, it will be time to burrow into my nest, and pick up my spirits with an uplifting movie – The Return of the King, Enemy of the State, or other We Win, The Bad Guys Lose sort of thing.

Are you avoiding watching the news, anticipating that they will be ignoring the REAL problems of America and the world, while focusing on fluff?

Do you hate to open Facebook, knowing that your friends will be alerting you to the very REAL oppression of non-Muslims in the world?

Do you cringe when you see the President in news conferences, knowing that he will:

  • Blame Bush
  • Blame White cops/businessmen/teachers/school boards/governors/Republican leadership/out-of-office politicians/military/families/churches – etc., etc., etc., as the King of Siam said in the movie
  • Insist that he only heard of an administration evasion in testimony/flat-out lie/crime/abuse of power – whatever – from the news
  • Defend the PEACEFUL (shouldn’t that be Cut to PIECES?) religion of Islam from those who would question the fact that the practitioners seem to be the ones committing war crimes/genocide/enslavement of their enemies/terrorism/invasion/oppression of non-Muslim human rights

Yeah, I know – me, too.

I have a nagging sense of dread – civilization is in peril (not unlike the desperate moments in The Two Towers part of the trilogy).  The forces of evil are in command in much of the world.  The law, such as it is, seems to have a heavy hand on the scales, in favor of anarchy, socialism, and totalitarianism.  The Christian Church is facing the Islamic and Secular Lions, and no rescue is near.

Worse, America, the sole escape, is firmly in the hands of those who hate her – the ruthlessly Anti-religious bigots, the proudly non-working overlords, the savagely brutal bureaucrats, the thoughtlessly crude, the militantly ignorant (don’t know, and don’t care), and the relentless Humanity-Hating Humanists.

We are on the verge of a new Dark Age.

WWJD?

Written By: Linda Fox - Aug• 13•14

How will you vote this fall?

What are you currently doing about the Mid-East situation?

Let’s start with the second part.  For many of us, it’s hard to know WHAT to do.

  • Calling, writing, faxing, and emailing our representatives in Congress, Senators, and the President and the administration have led to one outcome, for me.  I get a nice letter on letterhead stationery that assures me they have listened to my concerns, appreciate my contacting them, and that they will keep my thoughts in mind – and, BTW, don’t forget to vote.
  • I have written in online comment boxes on news sites, blogs, magazines.  I Share, Comment, and Like posts that reference the conflicts and urge action.  I’ve signed the online petitions.
  • I bring up the subject with almost everyone I know.  They are generally sympathetic to the fate of the Christians and Jews in the region, but, when asked for more, say “What can I do?”.  They are not asking the question, but justifying their decision to put the issue to the back of their mind.
  • I pray – daily.  I have no doubt that the practice has efficacy, but truly think that the time for action is here.  There is a legitimate time for “Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition”.  It’s the idea of a Just War.

Nonetheless, I am opposed to any American action that puts our military representatives in danger.  I have NO confidence that the current administration will be effective – they seem to just want a photo op that bolsters the leaders for their next election.  They want to convince the public that there is an action called the “surgical strike” that will ONLY kill the ISIS members who are engaged in an atrocity at that moment, but leave all others in place to – what? – regret their actions?  Like that would happen!

One of the few politicians who seem capable of speaking the plain truth in public is Newt Gingrich – yes, I know he’s not the greatest representative of Conservative philosophy in action – 3 marriages would, for many, disqualify him from commenting on SSM – but, he does not shy away from telling the truth in public.

So, yes, voting will have SOME effect.  I’m also going to be writing to our pastor, and urging several actions:

  • Practical help – donations, resettlement assistance, prayer
  • Preaching about it – each week, there should be BOTH prayers for our Christian and Jewish brethren, AND suggested actions for the congregation to follow – petitions, letters to the editor, distribution of fact sheets that they can copy and use to educate their neighbors, friends and family, workplace (NOT political, but educating about the concept of Just War, links to donation sites, etc).

I do plan to continue to post on Facebook, but do not consider that effective action.  Just hitting the Like button is not enough.  Sharing is not enough.  It is, however, a start in spreading information.

I like FB.  I use it to keep up with friends and family.  Sometimes, it can be a part of your toolbox in educating the people you are connected with.

But, by itself, it is NOT enough.  We need to move beyond FB “activism”.

Should You Be Concerned About Ebola in the USA?

Written By: Linda Fox - Aug• 06•14

Donald Trump recently put himself into the news again when he expressed concern about Ebola making its way to the USA.  He, like many, favors quarantine of Ebola victims.  He is against letting victims, including medical personnel and Americans, into the USA.

The question:  Is he right?

The Washington Post thinks Trump is wrong, but their story is mixed:

  • Ebola is contagious – which means that you have to be in direct contact with bodily fluids of the infected person
  • “Amesh Adalja, a member of the public health committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America and an infectious disease doctor at the University of Pittsburgh” says that there is NO chance of infection for the general public.  This is in part due to the superior contagion-blocking capabilities of US medical establishment – hoods, masks, full-body suits, etc.
  • However, the CDC reports that American hospitals do a poor job of controlling infection – “One in 25 patients in U.S. hospitals has an infection acquired as part of his or her care”.
  • Hygiene is critical – keep in mind, that health workers can sometimes neglect hand-washing.  In Britain, the NHS has permitted exceptions to sterile procedure (long sleeves, no use of alcohol-based sterilants) for Muslims.  It has led to higher infection rates.

An explanation of how the Original Plague (also known as the Black Death) spread:

the 14th-century strain, the cause of the most lethal catastrophe in recorded history, was no more virulent than today’s disease. The DNA codes were an almost perfect match.

According to scientists working at Public Health England in Porton Down, for any plague to spread at such a pace it must have got into the lungs of victims who were malnourished and then been spread by coughs and sneezes. It was therefore a pneumonic plague rather than a bubonic plague. Infection was spread human to human, rather than by rat fleas that bit a sick person and then bit another victim. “As an explanation [rat fleas] for the Black Death in its own right, it simply isn’t good enough. It cannot spread fast enough from one household to the next to cause the huge number of cases that we saw during the Black Death epidemics,” said Dr Tim Brooks, a scientist from Porton Down, who was not part of the Crossrail team, will put forward his theory in a Channel 4 documentary, Secret History: The Return of the Black Death,on Sunday.

To support his argument, Brooks, who has yet to examine the Crossrail evidence, has looked at what happened in Suffolk in 1906 when plague killed a family and then spread to a neighbour who had come to help. The culprit there was pneumonic plague, which had settled in the lungs of the victims and was spread through infected breath.

The skeletons at Charterhouse Square reveal that the population of London was also in generally poor health when the disease struck. Crossrail’s archaeology contractor, Don Walker, and Jelena Bekvalacs of the Museum of London found evidence of rickets, anaemia, bad teeth and childhood malnutrition.

So, the factors that were important were:

  • General poor health (in these cases, complicated by lack of food, but it must be remembered that TOO MUCH food also leads to immune system impairment)
  • Other diseases – we have AIDS, asthma – which would be particularly susceptible to airborne Ebola, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a multitude of non-lethal, chronic illnesses.  In Western societies, you can live a long life, even though not healthy – until another factor, such as Ebola, enters the picture.
  • Closeness to neighbors – the original plague spread rapidly in the cities.  The countryside was largely immune, both for reasons of better nutrition, and because of the distance between potential victims.
  • The major plague outbreak years had AIRBORNE transmission.
  • Compulsive attention to hygiene – in a crisis situation, this is a component that may be ignored or given less attention.  And, a widespread plague IS a crisis.

Health workers are at greatest risk – about 100 have died in this outbreak.  One of them “Sierra Leone’s leading doctor in the fight against Ebola, Sheik Umar Khan, a national hero” is, by his name, a Muslim.  Now, why is that important?

Islamic beliefs have led nurses and other health workers to wear long sleeves, and refuse to use alcohol-based sterilants.  In Britain, the problem is so great because the NHS has allowed them to ignore procedures for reasons of religion.

The real concern is the possibility that Ebola might become airborne – infectious through coughs and sneezes.  From Wikipedia (I know of Wikipedia’s unreliability on politically-related subjects, but for basic information, it’s not bad).

It is not entirely clear how Ebola is spread.[15] EVD is believed to occur after an ebola virus is transmitted to an initial human by contact with an infected animal’s body fluids. Human-to-human transmission can occur via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person (includingembalming of an infected dead person) or by contact with contaminated medical equipment, particularly needles and syringes.[16] Semen is infectious in survivors for up to 50 days. Transmission through oral exposure and through conjunctiva exposure is likely[17] and has been confirmed in non-human primates.[18] The potential for widespread EVD infections is considered low as the disease is only spread by direct contact with the secretions from someone who is showing signs of infection.[16] The quick onset of symptoms makes it easier to identify sick individuals and limits a person’s ability to spread the disease by traveling. Because dead bodies are still infectious, some doctors disposed of them in a safe manner, despite local traditional burial rituals.[19]

The CDC claims that Ebola absolutely CANNOT be spread through the air.

However, the organization then issues an advisory that seems to contradict their claims:

Crew members on a flight with a passenger or other crew member who is ill with a fever, jaundice, or bleeding and who is traveling from or has recently been in a risk area should follow these precautions:

  • Keep the sick person separated from others as much as possible.
  • Provide the sick person with a surgical mask (if the sick person can tolerate wearing one) to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air by talking, sneezing, or coughing.
  • Give tissues to a sick person who cannot tolerate a mask. Provide a plastic bag for disposing of used tissues.
  • Wear impermeable disposable gloves for direct contact with blood or other body fluids.

The study that looked at transmission between species showed that non-contact transmission was possible.

There are three likely candidates for the route of transmission: airborne, droplet, or fomites.

Airborne and droplet transmission both technically travel through the air to infect others; the difference lies in the size of the infective particles. Smaller droplets persist in the air longer and are able to travel farther- these droplets are truly “airborne.” Larger droplets can neither travel as far nor persist for very long. Fomites are inanimate objects that can transmit disease if they are contaminated with infectious agents. In this study, a monkey’s cage could have been contaminated when workers were cleaning a nearby pig cage. If the monkey touched the contaminated cage surface and then its mouth or eyes, it could have been infected.

Author Dr. Gary Kobinger suspects that the virus is transmitted through droplets, not fomites, because evidence of infection in the lungs of the monkeys indicated that the virus was inhaled.

– See more at: http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/pigs-monkeys-ebola-goes-airborne-112112#sthash.ByoHbzTT.dpuf

The other side?  The Canadian Health authorities have grave concerns about airborne Ebola:

In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated (1613). The importance of this route of transmission is not clear.

Couple the above with concerns that Ebola might be used as a Bioweapon, and you have some interesting – and disturbing – issues.

So, could Trump be justified in his concerns?  Answer in the comments.