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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thought For Today — And Beyond

Recently, FreeThinke posted What Concerns You Most?, along with some choices of concerns.  See FreeThinke's post for the list.

I weighed in under the category of Other.

Here is my biggest concern, applicable not only to politics:

What concerns me most is the ever-increasing inability of adults to consider evidence and draw a logical conclusion based on that evidence. People today are locked inside their ideological boxes and are unable to think outside of those boxes.

Even worse: instead of thinking, people whose cognitive bias is challenged do everything possible to silence the messenger.

Two questions for commenters:

1. If my concern is accurate, what is the remedy? Is there a remedy?

2. Do you have a different greatest concern?


  1. I've never been much of a fan of "moderates" but Peter Berkowitz has written a timely article, Moderation is in Short Supply

    1. "Extremism in defense of Liberty is no vice."

      "Moderation in war is imbecility."

      "Any attempt to compromise with the Devil is bound to prove fatal."

  2. As a society, because we have made the fatal mistake of allowing ourselves to fall under the the three-part spell of Political Correctness, Multicuralism, and FALSE EGALITARIANISM, we have lost touch with the bedrock PRINCIPLES rooted in an enlightened, humanitarian understanding of the GOSPEL on which the West (formerly referred to as CHRISTENDOM!) thrived and prospered.

    The revolutionary humanitarian ideas fostered in The Enlightenment inspired the founding of our once-much-greater-than-now nation.

    By abandoning God, insulting Jesus Christ, and worshipping "Science" and "Progress" instead, we have cut ourseves off from our roots, and have bought ourselves a huge mess of trouble and confusion in exchange.

    In abandoning or losing sght of PRINCIPLE we are now mired in a swamp of myriad details –– many of them petty, many of them downright toxic.

    The "modern" anti-Christian social and psychological philosophies that have taken root like so many ugly weeds in our once-beautiful garden are literally choking the life out of all that was beautiful, fine, noble, encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring.

    Modern Thought, if I may call it that, is based on MATERIALISM –– i.e. there has to be a PHYSICAL solution to every concern. Materialism denies the very idea that MIND informed and inspired by SPIRIT coud have a salabrious effect on human endeavor.

    In short we have forgotten –– or stupidly rejected –– the understanding once taken for granted that Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone.

    In abandoning PRINCIPLE in favor of an endless, ever-expanding BOG filled with ever more irritating, enervating, confounding details, we have lost sight of The Big Picture, and have effectively BLINDED ourselves to the Guiding Light God gave us to help us work it our Salvation, albeit wth fear and trembling.

    "Modern Thought" encourages the notion that we are all VICTIMS of LIFE and therefore have no duty to take RESPONSIBILITY for OURSELVES. Instead it encourages us to feel ANGER, RESENTMENTMENT, BITTERNESS, REBELLIOUSNESS, DEGENERACY and to embrace limitless SELF-INDULGENCE no matter what it might cost others.

    That IS true, and how could it possibly not be the primary cause of the Great Unravelling we've been experiencing for the past hundred or more years?

    1. FT,
      we have made the fatal mistake of allowing ourselves to fall under the the three-part spell of Political Correctness, Multicuralism, and FALSE EGALITARIANISM

      Is there any remedy at this stage of the process of the poisoning?

      Materialism supersedes faith even among many who have faith and, for those who are persons of no faith, materialism has replaced selflessness. What a shallow existence!

      T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men.

      One commentary:

      T. S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men" darkly portrays the stagnant moral state of the human condition. The poem features "hollow men" whose exceedingly parched state is Eliot's metaphor for death and nothingness. They wait in a limbo-like state, neither fit for Heaven or Hell. Their existence is a meaningless void.

    2. In similar, but lighter, more satirical, more succinct vein to the Eliot:

      As it is, plenty;
      As it’s admitted
      The children happy
      And the car, the car
      That goes so far
      And the wife devoted:
      To this as it is,
      To the work and the banks
      Let his thinning hair
      And his hauteur
      Give thanks, give thanks.

      All that was thought
      As like as not, is not
      When nothing was enough
      But love, but love
      And the rough future
      Of an intransigent nature
      And the betraying smile,
      Betraying, but a smile:
      That that is not, is not;
      Forget, forget.

      Let him not cease to praise
      Then his spacious days;
      Yes, and the success
      Let him bless, let him bless:
      Let him see in this
      The profits larger
      And the sins venal,
      Lest he see as it is
      The loss as major
      And final, final

      ~ W,H, Auden (1907-1973)

      This was set to music by Benjamin Britten (1937) as part of a song cycle entitled On This Island on several poems by Auden. I've had the pleasure of accompanying it several times in New York as a tribute to Auden not long after he passed away.

  3. Most people appear to labor under an emotional shortcoming.....needing validation, and seeking it only through the lens of confirmation bias. These people don't listen to or research the opposing position, because they want so very badly to be right. Faux self esteem reigns supreme.

    This, coupled with the need to have a thought 'leader', whether a personality, political party or theme....makes for competing echo chambers.

    I don't see a solution...we're too far down the rabbit hole. We need a culling, and in one form or another...I believe we'll have one.

    - CI

    1. Upvote!

      Why think when conforming to hive dogma is so much easier?

    2. CI,
      We need a culling, and in one form or another...I believe we'll have one.

      I hope that your belief comes to pass.

      Faux self esteem reigns supreme.

      Ongoing since the 1980s, as far as I know -- at least, that's when I encountered such nonsense spewing from the mouths of parents whose children were not doing their schoolwork (usually by the children's choice, not because of any other deficit).

      How many generations has the self-esteem crap been plaguing America -- and the world? Is this self-esteem nonsense now part of humanity's genetic code?

    3. SF,
      Why think when conforming to hive dogma is so much easier?

      The intellectual laziness is astounding -- Right and Left.

      For decades, schools have been bragging about how they teach critical thinking skills. Pfffft! Hasn't been happening to any significant extent. "A mind is a terrible thing to waste,"* yet our education system has been making sure, one way or another, that minds have atrophied.



      * the slogan of the United Negro College Fund for over 40 years

    4. A culling?

      Right now we hear the squeals of the middle class as it i quite effectively being culled.

      I expect it to continue until these fools wise up and understand that they're on the menu.

    5. The "solutions" peddled by Ducky's ilk would lead us down Venezuela's path.

      The middle class is being squeezed by the bottom and the top, the left and the right. The silent, working middle class has no political home, no advocates. Just lip service.

    6. Samson St. George said


      Bilious denunciation betrays a fundamentally bitter, sardonic disposition, denotes a marked lack of Charity, a penchant for punishment of perceived inferiors, and offers no hope for or means of improvement.

      So BOO to you, whoever you are.

    7. A Reminder to Silver Fiddle of a Poignant Home Truth:

      Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
      ___ Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
      He wept that he was ever born,
      ___ And he had reasons.

      Miniver loved the days of old
      ___ When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
      The vision of a warrior bold
      ___ Would set him dancing.

      Miniver sighed for what was not,
      ___ And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
      He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
      ___ And Priam’s neighbors.

      Miniver mourned the ripe renown
      ___ That made so many a name so fragrant;
      He mourned Romance, now on the town,
      ___ And Art, a vagrant.

      Miniver loved the Medici,
      ___ Albeit he had never seen one;
      He would have sinned incessantly
      ___ Could he have been one.

      Miniver cursed the commonplace
      ___ And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
      He missed the Mediæval grace
      ___ Of iron clothing.

      Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
      ___ But sore annoyed was he without it;
      Miniver THOUGHT, and thOUGHT, and THOUGHT,
      ___ And THOUGHT about it.

      Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
      ___ Scratched his head AND KEPT ON THINKING;
      Miniver coughed, and called it fate,

      ~ Edwin Arlingtin Robinson (1869-1935)

    8. @FreeThinke -- The "solutions" peddled by Ducky's ilk would lead us down Venezuela's path.
      If it's the fallacy of the excluded middle, it must be FreeThinke.

      Pitch till you win.

    9. Europe's socialist model--propped up by oil revenue and lounging under the US security umbrella--is no solution either. The fabric is fraying, and Americans never would pay taxes north of 60%, especially to a government as bloated, wasteful and stupid as that of the United States.

      By the way, Venezuela was once a thriving nation with the best economy, government and infrastructure in South America. The socialists took over and now it is in the toilet. Where is Sean Penn?

  4. Angus Ottorino Swenson said

    I'm concerned about judicial overreach, particularly on the federal level. The power liberal judges have assumed makes them more of threat to liberty and democracy than the president and congress combined. These tyrants who constantly equate their whims and personal feelings with the law constantly "legislate from the bench." This ignores or undermines the Constitution, makes a travesty of the law, and rides roughshod over the will of the people.

    What happened to the founding principle of three co-equal branches of government? What happened to states' rights?

    1. Tyranny from the bench?

      The right wing snowflakes expect that all rulings are going to meet with their approval.
      Activist judge merely means one who rules contrary to the right's approval.
      It's childish.

    2. Duck,
      Activist judge merely means one who rules contrary to the right's approval.

      Um, no.

      Are there right wing snowflakes? Sure. But there are plenty of left wing snowflakes, too.

    3. Hard to tell the difference between a duck's quack and flatulence.

  5. Something else about which to have concern...

    Ann Coulter Cancels Berkeley Speech After Threats of Violence: ‘Sad Day for Free Speech’

    Key sentences:

    Ann Coulter is canceling her scheduled speech at the University of California, Berkeley, after losing the support of conservative groups that sponsored her appearance


    In February, a campus event featuring alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled after demonstrators shamed the area in a violent protest which caused $100,000 in damages.

    Now, I'm not a devotee of either Coulter or Yiannopoulos, but the very idea that inviting these speakers to a campus can result in such threats and such silencing of voices should alarm every American.

    We're apparently in a battle between anarchy and our First Amendment.

    1. It's hardly a battle. It's more like theater.
      Coulter and Yiannopoulos have nothing of substance to say and have depended on these blowups to maintain their entertainment careers.
      (m)Ann has been flagging for some time and gets more of a boost from a bunch of dumb anarchists threatening her than one more speech demonstrating that, "liberals suck" is the depth of her thought .

      Speech or theater, you decide. I say it's just kabuki.
      I'd be more concerned about what happened at Middlebury College when Charles Murray was scheduled to speak where some professors have chosen to issue an apology to the rioters rather than Murray or the professor (liberal) who was assaulted.
      The professor wrote a well constructed piece in the New York Times explaining her reasoning for inviting Murray and her hopes for reasoned debate.

    2. Never fear Ducky....you always have your campus speech Stasi's....surveilling the plebs who dare not use the emotionally appropriate gender identifying pronouns.

    3. Duck,
      It's hardly a battle. It's more like theater.

      I disagree.

      How often nowadays do hardcore Leftist speakers get protested to the point that the events are canceled.

      As for what happened at Middlebury College when Charles Murray was scheduled to speak, it was hideous. Your description is accurate. I'm sure that you are no fan of Charles Murray, correct?

    4. Murray is a mixed bag. He is serious and should be heard.

      Interesting that a couple professors from Cornell (I believe) copied an address by Murray and sent it uncredited to a variety of profs in their field and asked them to rank it one to ten on a scale off conservative to liberal.
      He scored a 5. He's not the empty bomb thrower (m)Ann is.

  6. I think one of the sage profits of what has befallen us has been Jean-Luc Godard. It's a shame more people aren't more familiar with his output from the sixties.

    Rather than culture being a repository for our collective values he saw it becoming commodified product and that's where we are.

    Our culture had been in a clamp down during the McCarthy years and experienced a brief golden age when we broke out of that dome of ignorance. It was brief and we've emerged in the days of corporate imposed ignorance.

    Now we are at a point here we can only talk in cliches. The Newspeak and memory holes are everywhere.

    1. I tried watching one of his cinematic monstrosities.

      I would rather watch dog vomit dry underneath a cloud of flies. At least the latter can teach us something.

      All Godard demonstrates is the twisted perversion that grips the left wing mind.

    2. Which film did you approach with such an open mind?

      The question, also, is not whether you approved or not but whether you understood his comments on pop culture.

    3. What Godard experienced and criticized was the post WWII "forced globalization" of the film (and all other) industry. France could no longer restrict imports of foreign (American) films... and it de-Francified the French.

    4. France sold French culture out for a few billion $ in war debt forgiveness. The result... this mess we today know as "global capital".

    5. “If you want to make a documentary you should automatically go to the fiction, and if you want to nourish your fiction you have to come back to reality.” ― Jean-Luc Godard


    6. Godard "exploited" the opportunity presented to promote the "Commie" cause.

    7. “Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho.”
      ― Jean-Luc Godard

    8. Thersites,
      Promoting the "Commie" cause is the postmodern cinema's primary intent.

    9. They've neglected the benefits that the "social distance" of capitalism has bought them.

    10. Pierre Damien Thanateau

      Monsieur Canard doit mourir aussitôt que possible, ce soir idéalement

    11. @Farmer --- What Godard experienced and criticized was the post WWII "forced globalization" of the film (and all other) industry. France could no longer restrict imports of foreign (American) films... and it de-Francified the French.


      The Cahiers du Cinema group was very receptive of American films and saved their vitriol for the French Tradition of quality.

      Jean=Pierre Melville, precursor of the New Wave admired American culture to the point he adopted Herman's name.

    12. @Farmer --- Godard "exploited" the opportunity presented to promote the "Commie" cause.

      Only in the Dziga Vertov years.

      Question: Are the adolescents in La Chinoise dilettantes playing a pop culture game or genuine revolutionaries.
      Is the ending not a comment on their foolishness?

    13. You mean "culiminating" in the Dziga Vertov years ('68-'72)...

    14. Godard gave "birth" to cultural capitalism (buying social redemption through consumerism) in La Chinoise. It became a roadmap for Madison Avenue.

    15. Mass Revolutionary Action was transformed into the purchase of $3 cups of coffee offering "Fair Trade" coffee bean prices to Columbian growers.

    16. The capitalists are so hungry for profits that they will sell us the rope to hang them with.... - VI Lenin

      The communists are so hungry for revolution, they will buy all of a capitalist's rope, and demand that they produce "more".

    17. FJ,
      The capitalists are so hungry for profits that they will sell us the rope to hang them with.... - VI Lenin

      Accurate statement.

    18. Godard sold "communist revolution" as a commodity.

  7. given Nothing can really get better long term without fixing education and given that Trump has Put Ms Devos on removing the feds from the education processes, Ebery Ting Gonna Be Ok purdy quicklike. 2-3 years. And for God's sake neuter the teachers unions.

    1. Do you really think the SecEd is going to remove all federal oversight of the school system? In other words, end her own appointment?

      I don't believe I've ever heard Trump or DeVos state anything close to that....much to their shame.

    2. CI,
      I'm not sure what DeVos might do about the federal oversight of the school systems.

      I certainly don't see her as adding to the oversight. Do you?


    As Ann Coulter canceled Berkeley her speaking event amid protests
    The University says "The hecklers used their veto”

    Conservative writer and commentator Ann Coulter told Fox News that she would no longer give a planned speech at UC Berkeley after The Young America’s Foundation pulled its support for the event amid threats of violence, calling her decision "A Dark Day for Free Speech in America."
    NO,- the 'HECKLERS' did not use their 'Veto'. It Was the Rioters, Looters, Arsonists, Destroyers of Public Property, and Those Snowflakes Who Engage in Un-controlled Violence Used Their 'Veto' Power.

    Liberals Have Sunk to a New Low..I think we are witnessing the very End of Free Speech right before our eyes!

    1. So, do you see political correctness as the matter which concerns you the most?

    2. Me? I don't. I'm more concerned with the influence of capitalism (and it's "customer is always right" ideology) undermining authoritarian structures (and Authority in general). It's influence is what has created the "post-modern" era (ala post-modern "permissive" father).

    3. ala - The "boss" who pretends to be your "friend". It's led to an almost 24 hour / 7 day per week "obligatio"n to be available to answer e-mails and do work.

  9. __________ Truth Never Dies _________

    Truth never dies. The ages come and go.
    The mountains wear away, the stars retire.
    Destruction lays earth’s mighty cities low;
    And empires, states and dynasties expire;
    But caught and handed onward by the wise,
    Truth never dies.

    Though unreceived and scoffed at through the years;
    Though made the butt of ridicule and jest;
    Though held aloft for mockery and jeers,
    Denied by those of transient power possessed,
    Insulted by the insolence of lies,
    Truth never dies.

    It answers not. It does not take offense,
    But with a mighty silence bides its time;
    As some great cliff that braves the elements
    And lifts through all the storms its head sublime,
    It ever stands, uplifted by the wise;
    And never dies.

    As rests the Sphinx amid Egyptian sands;
    As looms on high the snowy peak and crest;
    As firm and patient as Gibraltar stands,
    So truth, unwearied, waits the era blessed
    When men shall turn to it with great surprise.
    Truth never dies.

    ~ Anonymous


    Contributed to FreeThinke’s Blog March 24, 2017
    by Sophia Sapientia


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