About Briseadh na Faire

I am what I am.

TWH 5-26-16

We were warned:

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. …

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. …

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests….

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

We just didn’t listen.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FIVN%2Fvideos%2Fvb.233116802464%2F10152687398387465%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560

THE BLUEPRINT:

The secret accumulation of knowledge — a gradual spread of enlightenment — ultimately a proletarian rebellion — the overthrow of the Party. You foresaw yourself that that was what it would say. It is all nonsense. The proletarians will never revolt, not in a thousand years or a million. They cannot. I do not have to tell you the reason: you know it already. If you have ever cherished any dreams of violent insurrection, you must abandon them. There is no way in which the Party can be overthrown. The rule of the Party is for ever. …

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. …

We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. …

There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever

ARE WE THERE YET?

No. But we’re at the precipice and one foot is already extended out into open space. We have the illusion of free and open elections, and cling to this illusion in spite of the fact that nearly half of us cannot participate in determining the top two contenders for the Title. The two major political parties wrote the rules that make it impossible for any other party to pose a serious threat to their power.

And, what few people realize is that the two parties are but two faces of the same beast – the Oligarchy. The Oligarchy gradually adopted two faces to pit the masses against each other.

Maybe, deep down, some people realize this. Maybe this is the root fear the NRA feeds to keep gun sales strong. But maybe it is already too late to overthrow the Oligarchy through armed revolution.

Maybe we should just praise the lord and pass the soma.

OPEN THREAD

TWH, 5/18/16: The Argument for Revolution

A revolution in the United States is inevitable. Why? Because we make our own reality, and our reality is controlled by those who indoctrinate us to believe whatever the ruling class wants us to believe. Science? Facts? We distort both to conform to our indoctrinated reality. And, perhaps more crucially, the more educated we are, the more we distort reality to conform to our beliefs!
First, these studies:

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government
Abstract:
Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the “Science Comprehension Thesis” (SCT), which identifies defects in the public’s knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the “Identity-protective Cognition Thesis” (ICT), which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision relevant science. In our experiment, we presented subjects with a difficult problem that turned on their ability to draw valid causal inferences from empirical data. As expected, subjects highest in Numeracy—a measure of the ability and disposition to make use of quantitative information—did substantially better than less numerate ones when the data were presented as results from a study of a new skin-rash treatment. Also as expected, subjects’ responses became politically polarized—and even less accurate—when the same data were presented as results from the study of a gun-control ban. But contrary to the prediction of SCT, such polarization did not abate among subjects highest in Numeracy; instead, it increased. This outcome supported ICT, which predicted that more Numerate subjects would use their quantitative reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data to the result most consistent with their political outlooks. We discuss the theoretical and practical significance of these findings.

Kahan, Dan M. and Peters, Ellen and Dawson, Erica Cantrell and Slovic, Paul, Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government (September 3, 2013). Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 307. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2319992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2319992

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
[T]he preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of “affluent” citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do. To be sure, this does not mean that ordinary citizens always lose out; they fairly often get the policies they favor, but only because those policies happen also to be preferred by the economically-elite citizens who wield the actual influence.
(Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page; American Political Science Association 2014.)

So, we live in an oligarchy. The oligarchy influences public opinion so that we favor what they want.
We are given choices in elections – choices between social ‘liberals’ and social ‘conservatives’. But never a choice for someone who would challenge the Oligarchy.
As this article is being written, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. Hillary is the presumptive nominee. Sanders has not given up, and may yet garner more pledged delegates than Hillary, but even if he does, it appears that superdelegates will hand the nomination to Hillary – already she has appointed about 70 of the 75 committee members and chairs for the upcoming Democratic National Committee.
Both Trump and Hillary will advance the fortunes of the Oligarchy. Sanders will not. We will likely be faced with the choice between a Fascist and an Oligarchist. Sanders’ supporters will be left out in the cold.

But how did we get here? Indoctrination.
Decades of “christian” private schools and homeschooling have indoctrinated a substantial portion of the populace to believe the very messages Trump espouses. Textbooks published by the Bob Jones University Press puts the imprimatur of God giving His Blessings on social and economic policies that benefit the very rich. Thus indoctrinated, these students become incapable of recognizing facts, of recognizing any reality, that conflicts with their indoctrination. Trump has tapped into these voters. They will not be dissuaded by any argument, any fact, any reasoning. And they are ready to take up arms if they do not get their way.
But what about the majority of us that were educated in public schools? You mean, public schools, that for decades have had their textbooks vetted by the Texas Board of Education? We’ve been indoctrinated too. Indoctrinated into a white-washed version of history.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

Both private school and public school students don’t know history. But there is one major difference. Public schools teach history – names, dates, places. But they don’t teach the lessons of history. They don’t teach the ‘why did this happen’ and they don’t teach the moral lessons that we can draw from history. Private schools do, but their ‘moral’ lessons all point towards acquiescence to the policies that favor the ruling class.
The nation is primed for a charismatic leader, be it a Hitler or a Ghandi. Trump, by all measures, is another Hitler. Sanders is the closest thing to another Ghandi. Hillary is, neither. She is the face of the Oligarchy – the face of Big Brother. The Oligarchy won’t let Sanders have a chance – they are content with either Trump or Hillary.
But given a choice between Trump and Hillary, the inevitable outcome is revolution.

OPEN THREAD

TWH, May the Fourth (be with you) 2016. Open Letter to the Ruling Class

An Open Letter to The Ruling Class from We The People

Dear Ruling Class:

  • We The People are tired of running this country. We don’t want the responsibility that goes with being a voting member of a democratic republic. Please take away our right to vote.
  • We the People are tired of thinking. Thinking takes too much effort. Please tell us what we need to know in as few words as possible. Three word phrases are great. Nice and catchy. Easy to remember. Short and sweet.
  • We the People are tired of caring. We’re emotionally burnt out. Whether it’s abandoned puppies in animal shelters or polar bears starving in the Artic because of something that’s going on that takes too much thought to figure out – enough already. We get it. We’re supposed to care for these helpless creatures. But we can barely afford to feed our family and pay our rent. We just don’t have the emotional reserves to care about anything anymore.
  • We the People are tired of deciding what’s best for us. We want you to decide for us on some of the most basic decisions, especially when it comes to being pregnant. We want you to make the decision on whether our women should have the option of having an abortion or having an unwanted child. We want you to decide whether we should have access to birth control. Or even if we should know about birth control in the first place. That’s just too much responsibility for us.
  • We the People are tired of having our jobs shipped overseas. We want you to abolish the minimum wage, so that we may compete with workers in other countries on an equal footing. We know that in a competitive market, the lowest price gets the business and with the minimum wage, We the People cannot work for the lowest price.
  • We the People are tired of public education. Our kids complain about homework and testing all the time. Frankly, we’re tired of our children whining. Please take mandatory schooling laws off the books so we don’t have to send our kids to school any more. We’re tired of Back to School Night, of Science Fairs, and endless fundraising. Since public schools are failing, We the People are tired of wasting our tax money on them. Parents that want their kids to receive an education should pay for it out of their own pockets. Unless they send their children to a Christian School. In that case, we want our government to pay for it. It’s only fair, because we are a Christian Nation.
  • We the People are tired of hearing about things we can’t control. Things like the climate. Or safe drinking water. Or breathable air. Or safe food. We know you control the media, so please stop telling us we can’t drink the water or breath the air or eat certain foods. Time after time we have voted against GMO labeling. What part of “We don’t want to know” do you not understand?

We know that what is best for you is best for us, for you have told us so. And so we give you everything you want, and in return, you keep us safe from terrorists and gays and transgendered people using our bathrooms.

Oh, and thank you for repealing the assault weapons ban. We the People sleep soundly at night, comforted in the thought that we have more guns per person that any other civilized country on Earth. Just in case we need to kill an intruder. Or rise up in rebellion against a government that takes away our freedumbs.

OPEN THREAD

TWH, 04/27/2016: DC Circuit Court Upholds Deportation Law

A little noticed provision slipped into the latest military funding authorization bill survived judicial scrutiny last week. While the provision only affects residents of Washington D.C. it could have ramifications nationwide.

 

The anti-immigration provision was allegedly added by Mitch McConnell in an effort to appease the Tea Party caucus. It reads, simply enough, “All non-native people residing within the boundaries of Washington, District of Columbia, shall be deported to their country of origin.”

 

A legal challenge to the provision went before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals where it was upheld. The Court noted Congress had the power to make laws affecting Washington D.C. The Court further ruled that the language “non-native” was not ambiguous – that the statute applied to any individual whose ancestry did not include the indigenous peoples of the North American Continent before the arrival of peoples of European descent. The Court also interpreted “residing” to mean individuals with permanent, seasonal, or temporary residence within the District of Columbia, and excluding those who visit, staying in the nation’s capital two weeks or less in any given year.

 

With its ruling, the temporary stay on enforcement will expire in 30 days, barring intervention by the Supreme Court. Given the 4 – 4 split on the Supreme Court, it is highly unlikely the matter will be taken up for review. By the end of May, 2016, virtually all Senators and Representatives will be deported back to their ancestor’s country of origin.

OPEN THREAD

TWH, Hump Day, 4/20. Need I say more?

So, yesterday Hillary Clinton notched a victory in Wall Street’s home state. She now has 1893 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 1180. Ms. Clinton only needs 490 delegates out of the remaining 1704 delegates still available to clinch the Democratic nomination. If not for the wisdom of the upper echelons of the Democratic Party, it would be a much closer race: 1424 to 1149. But Democratic Superdelegates have thrown their weight behind Wall Street’s choice and they will not be dissuaded by popular opinion. That’s what makes them so “super”.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Trump trounced the opposition in New York. He walked away with 60% of the vote to Cruz’s 15%. The Republican delegate count now stands at Trump, 845; Cruz,559; and Kasich, 147. Trump needs 392 out of the 734 still available to have the nomination locked up. If he keeps picking up delegates at the rate he did in New York, Trump will walk in owning the Republican Convention.

Now, while you, gentle reader, are digesting the ramifications of the above, for something completely different:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/20/420-meaning-the-true-stor_n_543854.html

OPEN Thread