Tag Archives: Democrats

Machiavelli Is Alive and Well

San Diego — It is clear the democrats have boned up on their basic Machiavelli.  Writing for his prince, Lorenzo the Magnificent, he was among the first to note that in the arena of political authority over a people, “power” was not the result of money; in fact money was a by-product of power.  True power came, instead, from dependency.

It is an incredibly simple and inescapable concept: if you are dependent on someone, then that someone exerts a degree of power over you.  And the more you are dependent, the more critical to your needs and wants that dependency is, then the more power that someone will have.  I personally think that exemplifies true evil, but have to admit that even a cursory review of history shows that it works… every time.

Machiavelli also wrote that although one could rule based on love or fear, fear was better because it was far more predictable and controllable.  Ruling from love was a good way to start and get the people on your side but if you wanted to keep your throne, at some point you had to turn that love to fear.  And once you have established dependencies through goodies or the promise of goodies, then the ultimate fear is that you will take back those things.  He wrote that periodically the ruler should “turn loose his dogs on the people” so they will be so grateful when he calls them off.”

The goal was to not let the fear become unbridled hatred because that often led to rebellion and revolt.  Only fear and dependency was the proper mix.  And his advice has well served authoritarian-minded rulers from Lorenzo d’Medici to Stalin, Mao, Nixon, and now Obama.  But it works better in a demographic that has never known better than the servitude in a system in which the people are required to give their all for the government and to then be happy with what the government is willing to dole back out to them.

It almost always starts with the government largesse that creates the “love” part and then when the dependencies are established and locked into place, the largesse is inexorably removed a bit at a time with fear replacing it.  Freedom is among the first on the chopping block but that is OK for a populace besotted with entitlements; real freedom means you are responsible for yourself and that is something to be avoided at all costs.

it is also important that the goodies must not be removed too quickly or hatred will result.  Instead, the goodies must be reduced at just the right pace to keep key dependencies in place and the fear that even those will be taken away if one gets out of line.

Thus far, in our century and in this country, the fear applied and promoted is not of being sent to the rack, to the acid showers of Saddam, being flayed to the bone by the lash, or dragged to the stoning pit.  We modern Americans are so soft of spirit that such grim effort is not necessary; all that is needed is to threaten us with having to accept the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and, worse, live or die with the consequences should those efforts and those decisions fail.

Whether a Caesar, a Duke in Florence, a medieval King, a Tsar, a so-called President for Life, or as is supposed to happen in our country, a more or less honestly elected president runs it, a government is not a business that produces money.  I suppose one could argue that way back a government produced money by looting and pillaging the neighbors.  But even then the bottom line was that the only way a government makes money is by taking it away from the people who have actually produced and earned it.

Therefore the only money available to give out in “entitlements” or other dependency-generating bribes is money extracted from those who were able to actually earn some by their own skills and/or labor.  Whether it is directly pillaged loot, indirect loot in the form of ‘tribute’ to forestall further pillaging, or taxes, every cent of the government’s money comes from someone else who has delivered it over to the government at the point of a threat of some sort of consequence that seems worse than the loss of the money.

Those old time, “divine-right” kings held and enforced the idea that ALL means of production belonged to them in the first place so obviously what was produced belonged to them but, out of their kindness, they would allow the serfs to keep enough to stay alive so they could continue to work and produce for the monarch.  That was fairly easy when only the monarch (or local Lord who then had to pay the monarch) had a standing army that was as adept at terrorizing its own citizens as it was at toppling neighbors to enforce the concept.

When anything that seemed, on the face of it, to express the politically heretical idea that the King did not, in fact, deserve all of the fruits of your labor was seen as treason and punishable by death in such festive manners as drawing and quartering, it was pretty easy to understand how toeing the royal line and handing over your produce or earnings was a better choice.  But in our enlightened modern world where we engage in the pretense of honestly electing our rulers for a finite period (in theory at least) and, at least in America, enough members of our culture are not that far removed in time from the mind-set that does have some ‘line in the sand’ past which the imperious ruler dare not go lest we rise up in a body and help him or her to remove themselves from the seat of power, the want-to-be prince must be a little more devious.

Thus far at least, turning the armed forces loose on the civilian population is almost guaranteed to create that revolt.  The Constitution does allow for the militia to be used to quell any seditious insurrection but it would take some fast talking to sell the public on peaceable dissent as insurrection.  But even if the ruler did not care, at best it would be an incredibly messy and risky undertaking until the populace can be so domesticated as to offer no more risk of rebellion.

That may take at least another presidential term though I see us, especially after reading the pure idiocy and political naïveté of many of my acquaintances on that infamous social network, right at a tipping point.  So today and maybe for a few years more, our ruler has to be smarter than to simply apply blunt force trauma to the body politic.

The answer?  Create a large enough segment of the voting population that is, or thinks it is, dependent on the government for the slop in its favorite trough then you can rule not through fear of torture but through fear of an even greater horror: having the trough removed.  And some of us have grown so dependent on even the concept of the government trough that we are terrorized by the thought of having future troughs not be created.  They are so stupefied by the poison swill in that trough they refuse to accept the comment by Jefferson that a government powerful enough to give you everything is also powerful enough to take it all away.

This coming election cycle will, I believe, see the most horrific vitriol spewing forth that we have seen in a long time.  Counting on us being a population whose collective brain is numbed by TV sound bites and an overwhelming desire to not have to actually think for ourselves, the demonizing attack ads will just come pouring out and be completely unburdened by any connection with reality.  The makers of those horrid bits of offal do it because they know their partisan followers will accept it all at face value if it comes from a source they recognize as being philosophically incestuous with their own primary issues.

Despite protestations that negative campaigning is repugnant, we have already seen that they will probably be successful.  For a party with only a smoke and mirrors ‘record’ to run on, the only workable approach will be to convince the viewers that those other guys are going to remove the troughs and stop the flow of swill on which their followers have become dependent and addicted. So we will see a demonization of candidates the likes of which have not crossed the public’s eyes for a very long time.

Already the lock-step pabulum is being repeated on Facebook without a shred of fact checking or, worse, without a shred of real debate on issues that effect the future of this country.  The polarizing emotional issues will be blasted at us to garner all of our attention while the issues that may effect the financial stability of the country are avoided.  This group who cries sad tears about how we do not recognize our place in the global society do not, themselves, recognize that the global society is a dangerous place that wishes us ill and is getting themselves geared up to act on those wishes.

They will vote based on a candidate’s personal beliefs on narrow issues related usually to the important emotional troughs in the voter’s life.  Hearing a candidate is personally opposed to that trough is all it takes, whether or not that assertion is true.  And even if true, when that candidate has categorically asserted that they will abide by the law if it is contrary, it does not matter.  The issues facing the country be damned so long as the personal issues are rightly expressed.  Never mind that if the country falls those issues will be the least of one’s worries…

And at the same time they will ignore that another candidate who shares their narrow view and has promised to keep the swill flowing, even when the promises were broken and that candidate has proven themselves to be ideologically inflexible as well as unconscionably unqualified in the economic arena and in the foreign policy arena — the two most critical arenas we as a country can face – may take us further into ruin and vote for them.

I normally just throw away the trash from the union that constantly assaults my mailbox and email, but this last month an article caught my eye.  The core of it was about how, due to the pervasive technology that confuses ease of communication with depth of communication, we are losing our ability to enjoy true solitude.  So what?  Well that author suggests, and I agree, that it was only from solitude that we can honestly reflect and analyze ideas and propositions.  Without engaging in the reflective thought that only comes during solitude, all we have left to inform us and our conclusions is the constant drum beat from others.  And in this partisan, polarized world, we seem more and more addicted to the drum beat coming only from our own camp.

But one cannot engage in a meaningful debate unless they understand the truth of the other side.  Knowing only what a propaganda spinner from your side tells you about the other side is unlikely to reveal the truth.  You can only get the truth of what someone believes directly from that person since both their friends and enemies will spin it to suit themselves.

So I predict this election will turn not on issues that impact the future success of this country on the world stage geo-politically, or on the local stage economically, but on whether or not a candidate promises to keep the swill flowing, promises to feed the addicted dependency or force others to get on board and help support the self described victims and entitled pet causes.

And they will not think about what happens to the country when ALL of the citizens become entitled and feed at the trough; they wil not think to ask where will the tribute come from then?  Whose treasury or granary will be left to pillage and bring home for the trough?  What happens when they run out of other people’s money?

Their answer, based on their actions and posts is, “Who Cares?”  Who cares, as long as for the expected life of the voter clamoring for their place at the trough, the swill keeps flowing.  After that?  Who cares? if the system is doomed to collapse under its own weight but only the kids or grandkids will have to deal with it and not them, then who cares?

We were founded by people who did care.  They cared about the future and the lives of future generations.  They were people willing to sacrifice everything up to and including their lives for the bigger picture of a country.  They had their own petty squabbles by and between each other on smaller point but when the country was at stake, those got set aside, if only temporarily, for a bigger picture.

What my idiot (yes, “student,” I said it again) – what my idiot friends and students on Facebook who have swallowed the Kool-Aid, have proven to me, is that people such as those who founded this country… are dead.  Maybe all of them.

What I read, sadly, is a narrow take, viewed from a kneeling position in preparation for the public troughs, some of which have yet to be built, that is pounding nails in the coffin of this country.  But it may well be that the coffin was already filled and you are simply and happily, even purposefully, sealing the lid so we can get on to that great social utopia you think will follow.

Good luck with that.  And to keep your spirits high, do not ever risk engaging in the type of solitude away from texting and tweeting and face-booking where you can discover that such a plan has never worked in the history of mankind’s attempts at government. Thus far ignorance has been bliss for you.  If I were you I would hang on to that ignorance and advise further that you keep your eyes closed in blissful song with others singing from the same choir book.

So keep on singing.  As one of the belwethers among the sheeple you just keep leading them up the loading ramp.  But don’t complain when you realize, too late, what that strange hammer is for.


Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Happy Birthday America

San Diego – On this day in 1776, some very brave individuals dipped their quill pens in an inkwell and signed their names to a document that was to alter the course of history not just for this country but for the world.  The values embodied in that writing were, for over 100 years, the values that motivated this nation and illuminated its character until it truly became the place symbolized by the lady with the torch in New York Harbor.

Those men had backbones of steel and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish the land of the free and home of the brave.  Their words were immortal even if their bodies were not; and for that they should be grateful.  Because if they were still alive to see what we have done with their trust, a trust for which many of them actually gave their lives and fortunes, I think they would be appalled and profoundly saddened to see their political progeny with backbones of cornmeal mush.  John Adams wrote:

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” 

If there is kindness in Heaven then Adams will not be allowed to look down.  As a nation we no longer truly understand the word ‘honor’, much less ‘sacred honor’.  I fear that in another 230-odd years into the future, if in fact we have that amount of time left, future historians will see this country as little more than a footnote in history as is Rome or Babylon to us.  Unless, that is, we quickly get our heads back on straight and our country back on course and away from the ruinous path we are now on.

Most of the celebrants today are simply out for a day off work and the chance to see some good fireworks displays where they are still allowed.  A recent survey showed that only about a 3rd of the people knew what year the Declaration of Independence was written, fewer still could name any of the signers,  a statistically insignificant number could recite any of the reasons for it, and an astonishingly low number, less than a quarter of them, knew from whom we were declaring independence.  And it gets worse,

We have so degenerated into partisan bickering that a recent Harvard study concluded that 4th of July events tended to benefit Republicans and gave no benefit to Democrats.  What???  We have a major party fielding candidates to lead the country who derive no benefit from remembrances of the date on which, for the first time, we defined this country as one which was, as noted in some of my previous posts, obsessed with freedom?  What does that say about them if it is true?  And if it is true why would anyone have any truck with them at all?

Well the reason seems to be that Marx was right after all:  people will get soft after awhile and forget the fire that was in the bellies of their elders and ancestors and come to a point where all they want from a government is to be taken care of.  And they will give up the freedoms for which those signers risked everything, so that the fruits of the labors of others will be used to carry them.

Don’t think so?  Another poll taken just a few months ago showed that for the first time ever, over half of the citizens wanted the government to partake in wealth redistribution and have the people willing to work provide the goodies for those who are not.  As a nation and culture, this country cannot survive that attitude which is anathema to everything — EVERYTHING — those signers believed in.

Rather than accept the founders’ own words about what they believed and tried to accomplish, our universities are filled with liberal professors who have reinvented them in the images of their own beliefs and ignored all of the carefully written documents and letters to the contrary.  Those teachers are, to use Lenin’s appraisal, “useful idiots.”  And students, who know only what they are taught and no longer seem willing to take the time or expend the effort to go researching and analyzing evidence on their own, swallow that poison in big single gulps.  Who needs a Jim Jones when we have a cadre of professors pouring the cultural Kool-Aid for them?

I have written before and offered quotes to show that the social and political philosophies of the founders following Locke and Burke and elegantly phrased by Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other are not what is too often taught in our schools and certainly not in mine.  I have pointed to their own writing to demonstrate what they REALLY intended with the Bill of Rights and how it was NOT even remotely close to what we modernly have come to assert.

Though I have not previously written about one of those revisionist topics, a news article today encourages me to do so.  It is now popular to try to contend that the founders were not religious people and certainly not Christian. Even our president, King Barrack, said we are not a Christian nation.  We have usurped the founding fathers’ awareness of religious abuses and consequent fear of a State Religion to declare they were not, themselves, religious and spiritual people.  But as explained by Benjamin Rush, one of the founders and our first Secretary of Education,

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments…. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.”

Much is made modernly of Jefferson’s religious thinking and many claims are even made that he was most likely an closet atheist.  It is true he held organized religions, especially those with a priestly caste that interfered in governments, in the lowest esteem.  But that is a different matter and in a letter to John Adams, discussing Calvin, with whom he disagreed, Jefferson wrote:

 “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.”

Undaunted, much is also made of the alleged fact that even George Washington said that the U.S. was in no way founded on Christianity (though actually that is a quote from Adams) and also on the unfortunate fact that some quotes to the contrary by him have been shown to be, themselves, utter fabrications.  Indeed he may be one of the most often misquoted people outside of Yogi Berra and Abe Lincoln.

But there are plenty of Washington’s real letters and recorded speeches to draw from and we need to put those real lines in context as Madison admonished when he wrote that such reinventions of what people believed came from separating their words from the environments in which they lived.  In presenting one of the most critically important issues in trying to interpret the words of those no longer around to clarify things for us, Madison prophetically warned us,

“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” 

The founders were fearful of a state religion and noted frequently the history of Henry VIII who made himself head of the Church of England.  But to separate church and state politically is a very different thing entirely from separating a culture’s reliance on foundational religious principles and values.  And we therefore need to accept that Washington also wrote:

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” and further “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Or let’s listen to John Adams…

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

I think we are now seeing the truth of that statement come true as we increasingly lose our moral compass as we throw away our religious values.  It is true that Adams railed against the abuses of religion throughout history and so fought long and hard to make sure the new country he was helping to found did not incorporate the co-founding of a State Religion.  But for himself and his own beliefs, he also wrote:

“But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears, to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the Faith may be, I firmly believe.” 

Alas, modern revisions and attempts to reinvent the founders’ beliefs and intentions didn’t start with the religious issue and has hardly stopped there.  The new interpretations, as i’ve pointed out now and then, extend to other matters as well. James Madison, who wrote in defense of the 2nd Amendment (and contrary to a retired City College professor who asserted to me that the 2nd Amendment was written to avoid the draft— which NO ONE back then was talking about since after the war they virtually disbanded the army entirely)…

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Our professors and liberal leaders have clearly done what Madison advised against above and have taken words apart from their historical context as they tried to reinterpret and reconnect the founders’ words with the professors’ own desires.  And as a result we are, in my opinion, getting the very government he feared would intrinsically follow: “…a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”

Perhaps in part that is because we did not heed Madison’s other prescient warnings, such as…

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

And elsewhere he noted.

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. … It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad. … It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

Madison also had something to say to those who believe it is the role of government to provide a common trough from which all might feed.

“The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.” 

So what is the point of all of this recitation?  Why have I here and in other posts tried to show what the founding fathers and the intellectual mentors they admired wrote and meant as contrasted with modern, and mostly liberal, attempts to claim otherwise?  The reason is simple and straightforward.

I believe the country those great mean defined and founded was the best thing that ever happened to the history of man’s attempts to form “…a more perfect union.”  Yes it has flaws but our Constitution also provides the means to correct them.  But, to the point, we cannot accurately asses their words and deeds without accurately understanding their true intentions and foundational beliefs.  If we try to make course corrections without that understanding we are almost guaranteed to make mistakes and in this world those could be culturally and nationally deadly.

Many of the same issues facing them are facing us.  The world has grown and evolved but in some fundamental ways not changed all that much.  And human nature, sadly, has not appeared to have changed at all.  Our modern world may provide additional solutions to those problems facing us, but if we cannot accurately understand what the real problems they were addressing with their solutions and simply try to attack the bottom line, our chances of lasting success are virtually nil as are the chances of not doing some damage to the good parts as well.

My fear therefore stems from the fact that I believe that as we as a nation, following mostly liberal thinking, have drawn further and further away from the principles laid down by the founders starting with that document signed on the first 4th of July,  Our nation has gone, as a result, from growth to decline.

I believe that if the liberal socialist ideals embraced by much of Europe, and profoundly held by our current president, continue to expand and control, then we are doomed.  Like every other time in human history socialist economics has been applied and failed, it will fail with us too. There have been no exceptions to that litany of failure and we will not be the first.

In fact the country and especially this state (California) are poster children for the proposition that Socialist/Keynesian economics will bring any followers to ruin.  I fear, along with John Adams, that,

“… a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  And…

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” 

I also believe that when we find ourselves adrift in terms of core values just as we are adrift economically; when we reach, as we seem to have started doing, the point where we refuse to discriminate between right and wrong and insist morality is an old and obsolete concept, then our national soul is a rotten as our national purse and we, of right, are laying the seeds of our own destruction. Again, in the words of John Adams,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” 

I sadly am increasingly of the belief that King Barrack knows his Adams well.   He is not very good with the sword, as we are seeing, but he is beyond excellent with debt.

So on this Fourth of July in 2011 I will be celebrating the birthday of what was, at one time, the greatest country on earth.  For those who feel that this celebration has no benefit to them then I would say you need to re-assess your thinking or seriously consider emigration to a country more in line with your beliefs.

You cannot have it both ways.  If you belong to the “blame America first” thinkers, and if, eventually, you get your way and we turn into another socialist country of the current European model, then we will simply have their problems (think Greece as the exemplar of that ideal) you will lose the good things you wanted to keep.

If, on the other hand, you help those like me turn the country back to what it was you may lose your place at the government trough because I would personally throw the trough away.  But with that comes a place of true freedom, a place where, for those willing to work for it, the pursuit of happiness can result in success to a level unachievable in those other places from which our immigrants have come.

And if you are an immigrant, legal or otherwise, please think about this: you came here to escape a place where you were treated poorly or had no hope of rising past the level you were in.  Why would you then want to turn us back into the place you came from?

So instead of turning your environment into little enclaves of “the old country,” do what our earlier immigrants did: buy into the hope and possibilities of this great land, buy into the words and meanings and values of the Declaration of Independence celebrated on this day, buy into the freedoms memorialized in our unique Constitution, and do all you can do to let us and help us grow and all you can do to keep us from slipping into the same approaches and attitudes and allegiances and corruptions that defined and described the places from which you came.

If we will only open our eyes and see it, there are benefits to us all from celebrating the birthday of the signing of our Declaration of Independence.


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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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