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Monday, November 2, 2015

Ancient Wisdom

There is nothing new under the sun:

Partisans are a plague upon the land. They are incapable of considering evidence.

To discuss...Is there a remedy for this problem? If so, what is that remedy?

Related reading at Free Thinke's blog: FORMER CONGRESSMAN [TOM TANCREDO] "I’M QUITTING GOP."


  1. ___ A Big Ol’ Papa Bear Has Left Us ____

    The news was sudden –– caught us unaware.
    One never knows. They say, it’s up to God.
    Finality is always in the air ––
    Reaching out to claim us as we plod ––
    Earnestly –– erratic, or dogmatic ––
    Dogged –– fearful –– frivolous –– romantic ––
    The pious –– the heroic –– the pragmatic ––
    Hold on to Life, and try not to feel frantic.
    Or lose heart while knowing we are stalked ––
    Mercilessly –– from the day that we are born.
    Papa Bear was taken while we talked.
    Sadly, he won’t see another morn.
    Of him now, as we contemplate his loss,
    No one should speak unkindly or be cross.

    ~ FreeThinke (11/1/15)

    In loving memory of Fred Dalton Thompson (1942-2015) Truly an American Original! Rest in peace, Fred. We'll miss you.

  2. Sorry to begin with an Off-Topic posting, but I thought it was important to mark Fred Thompson's startling demise yesterday with a show of respect for his remarkable life –– and for the precious time constraints under which all of us labor.

    His death was a real shock to me, for I've always thought of Fred as an immortal Big Daddy figure –– a true adult, and much much older than I. I was stunned to learn that he was in fact a full year younger than this, your humble correspondent. It forced me to contemplate my own mortality –– and that of all of us, –– hence the hastily written sonnet.

    1. FT,
      I always liked Fred Thompson -- long before reverse-mortgages commercials.

  3. That quotation from Socrates is one of my favorites. It sits at the top of my Words from the Wise collection. I use it often, as doubtless many have noticed.

    Partisanship and bigotry are certainly siblings, if not identical twins. In a sense any person who holds strong views on any subject –– especially if those enthralled by Convention deem them controversial –– could be considered a bigot or a partisan.

    Is this always bad? When does deep conviction, passionate involvement, or devotion to a cause tip over into the realm of fanaticism?

    I guess it depends, as they say, on whose ox is being gored, doesn't it?

    1. FT,
      I use it often, as doubtless many have noticed.

      I noticed and found the quotation via a comment you made somewhere.

      Is this always bad?

      Yes, IMO. Strict partisanship destroys discretion.

  4. Cookery: medicine:: rhetoric: the art of justice.

    -Plato, "Gorgias"

  5. I doubt there is a remedy. We are too dumbed down now by a government education syndicate that has taught successive generations to cast aside logic for feelings and emotions.

    Based upon my limited experience, this very-hardened partisanship is unique to the US. In my travels about Europe and Latin America, people could discuss the relative merits and demerits of people and ideas across party lines, defending someone in Party A based upon one issue, and then criticizing that same politician on a different issue.

    I hate to say this, but Americans don't seem to possess the nimbleness of mind, nuanced thought, and critical analysis displayed by people in other countries, to include many people I've known from Kenya, Congo, Puerto Rico and Haiti.

    Our education system is partly to blame, but the power of politics is the main culprit, imo. Politics is way too big in this country, and it holds way too much sway.

    We herd ourselves into tribes (gun owners, feminists, #OWS, #BlackLivesMatter) and slash and burn one another for a piece of the political pie that grants, money and legitimacy to our tribal cause.

    In such a zero-sum environment where the political establishment (including the press) can crown you or crush you, you give no quarter to the enemy, concede no point because doing so exposes your soft-underbelly and your enemies will slash your guts out.

    I hate it. I absolutely hate it.

    1. SF,
      We are too dumbed down now by a government education syndicate that has taught successive generations to cast aside logic for feelings and emotions.

      I agree.

      But I am fighting the battle within the homeschool group, which has recently grown in size at the high school level. It is indeed a battle, and I have to "train" the parents as well.

      I won't be fighting much longer, however. Getting old and thinking about retirement -- or semi-retirement.

    2. And...

      I feel as if I am sending my graduates into a void. **sigh**

    3. Silverfiddle's said exactly what I was thinking;
      In Europe, one can sit around over dinner and drinks for hours and discuss all sides and nobody gets outraged, nasty, so partisan you can't talk. Obviously, I'm sure there are some, but I remember thinking how civil it was to talk and have people actually listen....it made me eager to hear them.

      At church yesterday, I discovered that two of my buddies were Conservatives...we don't talk politics there so I didn't really think of it before.....we had to literally go into a corner and whisper; not that many at my church might not be conservatives, I know some aren't, but Conservatives in this area get blasted.

      Both of them said (and I spoke to them separately) "what makes me curious is that liberals say things and just assume you agree with them"....."but I have to keep quiet because it's at work and I don't want to rock the boat"

      Am I blaming this totally on liberals? No.
      But Silverfiddle's right when he says that you can't lower your guard or you get slashed. When I had libs at my blog, I'd say something fairly centrist that I believed in and would get things like "you don't really MEAN that" or "See? You've been wrong all along.."

    4. We form tribes. Fair enough, Silverfiddle, I certainly wouldn't argue against that basic human quality.
      We also see opposing tribes as threats.

      How do we work out of this? Expand the tribe.
      Easier said than done, I know but it's our only hope.

      Myself, I am very antagonistic to today's American right because they embrace two forces which encourage tribalism, the Old Testament and laissez-faire capitalism.

      I've been reading lately about James Fifield and his very successful efforts to organize religion as an opponent of the New Deal.
      One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin Kruse is a pretty eye opening read.

      Now, can both sides of this issue be discussed. It would certainly be beneficial and needs refinement but the right would have to be willing to accept the basic premise for consideration and it is very, very difficult for them to accept America as a secular nation.

      Don't it drag on.

    5. Duck,
      the right would have to be willing to accept the basic premise for consideration and it is very, very difficult for them to accept America as a secular nation

      Force the Right to accept the basic premise you've decided upon?

      Well, how about you accepting the Right's basic premises?

      I will agree that some on the Right are very contentious. And, yes, sometimes downright rude.

      But the Left's intolerance for tolerance is an equal problem -- if not a worse problem.

      I don't know that the Left hurls more rudeness bombs than the right. But I know for certain that the Left hurls plenty of them.

      Maybe this is the basic premise: human beings are innately tribal. Humanity certainly has a long history of tribalism, and tribalism is still with us even though the tribal cultures themselves have been on the wane for over a century.

    6. Z,
      we had to literally go into a corner and whisper

      I know exactly what you mean!

      I think that the sneaking into a corner has been onging for decades -- but is worse now.

      Do you think that it's worse now as opposed to, say, 10 years ago? 30 years ago?

      And if so, WHY?

    7. Stephen Pinker states that there have traditionally been 3 types of social relationships, those based upon Dominance, Communality and Reciprocity. Both the "Dominance" (authoritarian father) and "Reciprocity" (capitalism) spheres are shrinking, and the "Communality" sphere is growing [as represented by SOCIALISM and corresponding "cultural capitalism"] The language "expressed" is becoming more "indirect" and "ambiguous", but with the undercurrent of the "orders" typically encountered in a dominance relationship.

    8. Human beings are tribal, but my point is that I haven't seen people in the other countries I mentioned form such tight knots around political parties, causes, ideology and politicians.

      I also point out that unlike in those other countries, we are largely incapable of clinically analyzing a political issue and discussing it dispassionately. There is also the knee-jerk response to hate it if the other side is for it.

      One of the reasons I hold leftists in this country in such low regard is that their thoughts, actions and speech are cartoonish when held up to people of the left from other countries.

      First off, "liberals" who enforce speech codes, shout people down, and discount out of hand information proffered from their political enemies are not liberal.

      Secondly most leftists in this country (unlike leftists in Latin America) lack intellectual ferment, nimbleness of mind, ability to hold opposing thoughts at once, and ability (or unwillingness) to comprehend an opposing point of view.

    9. SF,
      their thoughts, actions and speech are cartoonish when held up to people of the left from other countries

      I've noticed that, too.

      Is it because the United States has always been "a nation of extremes"?

    10. @SF - Liberals like to believe that their "Individual Knowledge" represents "Mutual Knowledge" (I refer again to the Pinker link, above). Political Correctness is their attempt at "making it so". That attempt has failed. People in other nations do not appear to have "committed" to "cultural capitalism" as we have.

    11. There are still Conservatives out there willing to state that "The Emperor has no Clothes" (ala - Abortion is BAD, homosexuality a "sin") But those individuals are farther and fewer between in a liberals daily experience... and confirmation bias.

    12. Red,
      Good observations.

      Also noteworthy: While many conservative believe homosexuality is a sins, we accept that we are a nation of laws, and despite the overheated rhetoric from the hard left, scant few conservatives are looking to take rights away from gay people.

      Are there any such examples on the left?

      Another example: Many on the right have come to despise crony crapitalism when we used to knee-jerk defend anything calling itself "free market capitalism." Cons are now also down on the TPP. We also excoriate crappy politicians on our own side, to the point of throwing them out of office.

      Any examples of that from the left?

      I'd say the right is the home of new ideas, free-thinking and open-mindedness.

      The left is a politburo of doctrinaire crabs threatening everyone who does not pay complete obedience to their stale doxies.

    13. Well, Silverfiddle, I think you confuse leftists with "social justice warriors".

      Myself, I lament the inability to build something similar to what Renata Adler described in Toward a Radical Middle .

      Any hope of a beneficial change was co-opted by the Democratic Leadership Council and the Clinton crew.


      Oh, before you complain about the left (whatever that is in America) being cartoonish, take a look at the array of candidates at the next Republican debate. It might also give AOW insight into the situation in the party today.

      Just as the Democratic party has been coopted by corporatists so has the Republican party only some like Cruz and Carson are outright crazy.

    14. @Farmer --- Political Correctness is their attempt at "making it so".
      Harping about political correctness is the right's attempt at "making it so".

    15. The only difference is... the Right accepts differences of opinion w/ what amounts to Christian "charity", the Left reacts with vengeance and the urge to "punish and/or "destroy"..

    16. How do you think "progressives" took over the American University campus. Vengrance. Destruction. The "classical liberals" from the 50's that they "replaced" didn't have a chance. Entryism, thy surname was Marx.

    17. AOW, the corner thing is MUCH worse now.....MUCH. I'd say the last 10 years. We allowed the media and other leftwingers to insult with very little backup; it became normal to slam Republicans because they 'hate women, hate immigrants, hate the sick, hate the poor, hate clean water...'...you know.
      Any thinking person would stand back and say "Wait, she IS a woman, and she IS from immigrants...must be something else she's against .."
      But no.......so Conservatives hide in the wake of those ridiculous accusations........and we know there are MANY people who actually buy the lie.... not fun.

    18. Z,
      I saw the corner thing to quite an extent in the 1970s, when I worked in the public schools system. I attributed the corner thing back then to all the divisiveness about the Vietnam War and what happened at Kent State ("Four Dead in Ohio"). I noticed a big uptick in anti-GOP sentiment following KSU. Did you notice that, too?

      Since 1979, I have been working in private education of one type or another, so I've been insulated in the workplace.

      I have noticed an uptick in the corner thing at church although the congregants of this particular church tend to be quite politically conservative. That said, they are divided on the matter of Obama's Presidency. I noticed the uptick at the church around 2007, when the economic crash occurred.

    19. Ducky,

      It speaks volumes that you replied by attacking the personalities of the GOP candidates when I didn't even mention them.

      I didn't say the left is cartoonish, I said their "thoughts, actions and speech are cartoonish when held up to people of the left from other countries."

    20. SF,
      Thank you for responding to Duck with It speaks volumes that you replied by attacking the personalities of the GOP candidates when I didn't even mention them.

      I noticed Duck's red herring and was waiting for you to come along to answer him.

      I do grow weary of diversionary tactics and "hijackings" of threads.

    21. To expound on what I just said, and example from the last Democrat Debate.

      (By the way, I don't denigrate the candidates simply because they are Democrats or liberals. Hillary Clinton was the only woman on that stage who didn't belong. She should be in a jail cell)

      Anyhoo, the apotheosis of leftwing though in America was brought into high relief by the indoctrinated male who posited a false dilemma logical fallacy as a legitimate question:

      "Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter?"

      The thinking person's answer is "All lives matter, but I support the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the slogan. It is unfortunate that in this day and age in America, we must still be repeating such a simple and fundamental fact."

      Webb got closest to say as much, but instead...

      The candidates bowed down to this totem to absurdity by accepting it as a valid question and then reciting the Only Acceptable Answer According to Leftwing Orthodoxy.

      Sloganeering replacing thought, critical analysis and candor.

      The saddest part is, every panderer on that earned goodwill by their ritual obeisance.

      Who says the left is irreligious?

    22. AOW:

      Typical leftwing argumentation--such as it is--is shot through with logical fallacies, red herrings, invective and logical fallacies.

      It's funny. I was excoriating the American left for their poverty of thought and analysis, and along comes Ducky to illustrate my point.

  6. I guess that while one may stand by his/her convictions, he or she should also be open minded when considering individual issues. I think that this was once known as thinking objectively. Sadly, I think that SF is correct in identifying the demise of that in K-12 and beyond.

  7. Ridicule works for me. The three main "opponents" of America today has no central strategic command to coordinate large scale military ops (China), took over 70 years to figure out Communism doesn't work (Russia), or worship a meteorite in a fixed location (Islamists).

    It's time for football.

  8. I would add that a prime indicator of a partisan is the presence of a "safe space".

  9. "If you know your enemy and know yourself you need not worry about the results of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu


    1. Beamish,

      Could you send your copy of Sun Tzu to the GOOPers in DC?
      They are channeling his opposite...

    2. Teaching Sun Tzu to the Republican Party runs counter to my desire to see that party removed from the face of the Earth.

  10. AOW, I also think a president's demeanor, his at least attempting to appear more bipartisan and concerned with all sides, helps to create a better environment in a society, one that promotes "the rights of a question" so to speak.
    We haven't had that these last few years, we've been insulted and talked down to, so that creates anger and anger doesn't promote listening to others' assertions

    1. http://news.yahoo.com/obama-republicans-handle-putin-cant-handle-cnbc-024107556.html

    2. Z,
      Did the GOP candidates say that they couldn't handle the CNBC moderators?

      Damn, I'm tired of Obama's sneering. Such sneering is unfit for the Office of President.

      Have you noticed that his sneering is worse now that he can't be re-elected to the Oval Office?

    3. I know what you mean..the sneering guffawing belittlement of the other party's new to our system and not a welcome change. Obama's lowered our discourse more than any other president; he's made it okay to insult and belittle in his zeal for acceptance.

      No, the GOP candidates didn't say they couldn't handle the CNBC moderators, but they did say they thought the questions weren't helpful....now some have penned a letter to future debate holders saying they want no YES or NO questions without time for explanation (I agree on that....and it's really only an unseasoned, bias interviewer who'd do that, anyway), they're asking for a cooler auditorium temperature, for it never to go to 3 hours, etc etc. Stupid, but...

    4. BY the way, AOW.....Obama's sending 15 troops to Syria but he wants it know that he's not putting 'boots on the ground'.
      And our media buys it. This is problematic. The man can't even say "Ya, I said I wouldn't do that, but the times have changed and I feel..."
      God forbid he should tell the truth and admit a change in policy.
      God forbid everybody doesn't love and worship Barack.
      I keep thinking of all the Greek columns when he gave the DNC speech....HAIL OBAMA, ALL HAIL OBAMA!
      We should have known.

  11. The pendulum will fall rightward with velocity...

    1. and take off a Leftist's head, no doubt.

    2. Nah. The GOOPers will get in the way somehow and get knocked out of the arena by the pendulum, causing it to swing wildly, take out some children and old people in the crowd, causing it to swing back left again...

    3. Well, preliminary scientific evidence seems to suggest that leftists totally stop thinking the way they do when you remove their brains with small arms fire. How much more of this gay compromise and listening to others nonsense are we going to put up with?

    4. Not with Republicans who clearly showed the public what bias our media has, during the CNBC debates, and, instead of capitalizing on that and letting it sink in, quickly jumped in with the list of demands for the next debate, including the temperature of the auditorium and other whiny points.....making the public forget the media bias situation and think the GOP candidates are idiots.

  12. Replies
    1. As I've said, the significant aspect of the Benghazi hearings is that those ineffectual bobos were too dumb to ask Clinton about her militarism, especially in Libya.
      Now that would have opened some wounds.

      But they didn't.

    2. At least we can agree on something every now and then...

    3. A conspiratorial-minded person would begin to think they are all on the same team...


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