There But For the Grace of God Go I…

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, one is best served by living the adage, “There but before the grace of God go I…” Not only is one best served, by living humbly and non judgmentally, but society is benefited as well. A win win. What then does it mean to live by the adage, there but before the grace of God go I? It is to harbor compassion in the heart, wisdom in the soul and results in charity in one’s works. Moreover, to be non judgmental, protects us from all sorts of misfortune in our lives. Lets face it, most, if not all the adversity we face, is of our own creation. Our own bad decisions, which might have seemed right at the time, led to almost every hardship we have ever faced. Obviously many are born into poverty, but especially in such circumstances, those who remain virtuous succeed, while those who turn to crime fail. The start to virtue is to embrace wise adages like, there but before the grace of God go I.

The term itself was first coined it is said, by John Bradford, at seeing criminals executed. Most probably because he considered, if he had been born in their shoes, he might have been the one jerking at the end of a rope… instead of that criminal. It is the understanding that, had you or I been born German in Germany in 1920, we could very well have become Nazis, even if you are a Jew today! Thanking God that in his grace, he didn’t test us as harshly as he did them. Or perhaps he did, and we passed, that is why we stand here, either way, it is by the grace of God that we are who we are, not by some inner superior strength. Many would like to imagine they are good because of inner superiority, but put in the right circumstances, might do anything. They don’t know if they are not tested.

Human heartedness, and living by the adage there but before the grace of God go I, correlate significantly. Human heartedness is E. R. Hughes translation of Confucius’ term, “jen” and others have translated as benevolence. The human hearted man seeks to do his or her best, at everything they put their hand to, are not envious of those above, or despise those below. They love and are beloved by their families, while they maintain their fences to the right, as they would have those on their left maintain theirs. The human hearted person has a love of learning. To be non judgmental by acknowledging one’s own weaknesses and failings is a step onto the path of human heartedness. It should be obvious that human hearted people do better at business and indeed in life.

Those who are non judgmental doesn’t compare themselves to others. The person who is not judging their fellows is obviously not comparing him or herself to others. Alternatively, those who sit in judgment of their peers must also measure themselves against everyone else. To constantly measure oneself against everyone else can only lead a person to be both prideful and envious. Two character traits that are often called character flaws, and for good reason. To live by, There but before the grace of God go I, is good protection from becoming prideful and envious, as well as the social roadblocks such characteristics create. To recognize one’s own weaknesses and failings puts us in a more charitable mood, if we are in a more charitable mood, we are more likely to donate time or money. Since charity benefits the giver as much as the receiver, especially effort over money, we are benefited in that way too.

It isn’t hard to practice, there but for the grace of God go I, just say it in your head when you find yourself judging, envying or pitying. It might just remove some social impediments to your progress up the ladder. Ever notice that many Chinese people do well in business and succeed in corporations? It is not some intrinsic trait of being Chinese, it is because of the philosophy many still live by, Confucian human heartedness. Looking at your fellow human beings, even those who live, both today and in history, through this lens, allows us to have a little more compassion, even for the villains. Perhaps that is what Jesus meant when he said, “Love thy enemies, bless those who persecute you…” because your enemy’s burdens have been, are or will be, much worse than yours. That is not to diminish the inner happiness that embracing, there but for the grace of God go I, gives the adherent…

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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Traditional, Administrative government… and Socialism

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, one way we argue past each other, is that we often haven’t rectified terms, specifically, the difference between the administrative type of government and traditional governments. Often when people argue for socialism, they are in fact arguing for the administrative type of government, not the socialistic form of economics. The two correlate but not to the nth degree. When college students debate the advantages of socialism, they have a bureaucracy in their minds, not a Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, or Mao… as the benevolent administrators to usher in the new age of world socialism. For haven’t you heard? Real socialism has never been tried. If that is so, then traditional forms of government are not compatible with socialism, and a new one is needed, the administrative type. But for our well intentioned kids, not having thought it through, perhaps a review of the administrative type of government is in order…

The administrative type of government is one in which… it is the bureaucracy that does all the real decision making, any residual traditional vestiges having only decorative powers. The US, it could be argued, may be considered an administrative type of government. Since the Congress has allowed itself to become an appendix, the President is limited by the whims of the bureaucracy, and the judicial is wielded like a sword by those that favor the administrative type, against anyone who would stand in the bureaucracy’s way. Yet it hasn’t reached the full apex of what the administrative type can become. The final step in a fully administrative government would be the elimination of the president, congress and even judiciary and replacing them with a bureaucracy to administer government. There would be no debate, politics or selfish aggrandizement, only more and more rules to order society the way the bureaucrats see fit.

Traditional governments have a right and wrong form, ie tyranny is the wrong form of monarchy, because the tyrant seeks only his or her own benefit… while the monarch seeks the benefit of his or her nation before their own. The difference is in intention. Right forms have the intention to serve the whole of society, and in that way they serve society, while the wrong forms intend to serve themselves, and in that way society serves them. This has been understood for twenty five hundred years since the time of Aristotle. The new form, the administrative type however, is something new. Yet, it draws it’s cogs from the same caliber metal as the traditional forms, and so will certainly be as subject to good and bad forms. The question then will be, “What are the intentions of the bureaucrats who run the administration?”

Those who favor the administrative state believe it only has a right form, that the enlightened bureaucrat, educated in the best schools with the right attitude, will always seek the betterment of the nation, and so will work diligently in their little cubicles to better the lot of Mankind, through regulation. Since the bureaucrat individually has little power, there is no reason to limit their power over the individual, and indeed limiting the power of the bureaucracy might invite backsliding, so those that favor the administrative type of government, must disfavor any limits on it. So what you have set up is either a benevolent or malevolent dictatorship. Counter intuitively… the benevolent dictatorship is by far the worse.

The kind of tyranny to be feared the most is a benevolent one. The benevolent tyrant will stick his nose in everything, seeking to make it better, but in fact making everything worse, which will of course be solved by more rules, to order that which is characterized by complexity. The human condition is a complex system. Our economics, governance, societies and cultures are all complex systems, and complex systems have as a principle quality, a dancing landscape. What may be perfectly right one moment, because the landscape so to speak changed, that becomes exactly the wrong thing to do. No matter how enlightened, benevolent or far seeing a bureaucracy is, the landscape will always change, making any prior rule possibly counter effective.

So what we have are kids, who think they know it all and are smarter than the rest of us because a professor has told them they are, and do, argue for a system they really do not understand, if it were implemented, and it looks like it very well may be, the results will be disastrous for them. The results will be disastrous, since both what could be called the right form of the administrative type of government, is even worse than the wrong form. If we accept their premise that socialism has never really been tried then they must then be arguing for a system other than that which has been the dominant paradigm of socialism, ie, the strong man model, for a different one, the benevolent administrative form. Sadly, that they have been so fooled by their indoctrination shows they are not indeed as bright as they credit themselves. It is up to us adults then, to teach as best we can, what they are really advocating for when they say with a straight face, socialism is the answer.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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When Some Are Above The Law

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, whenever and wherever some are above the law, what you have is not law but arbitrary rule. Another term for arbitrary rule is unlimited power, More than a matter of justice, when a culture allows certain people or groups to be above the law, that culture steps onto the path of destruction. That destruction is as sure as the Sun rises in the East. Tyranny always leads to societal discohesion, crime and poverty, as the people strive to follow their leaders into vice. When we see our leaders are above the law, we as human beings will emulate them and try to be just as corrupt, as those we are told to admire are. So, while allowing some to be above the law is immoral, it also has a very deleterious effect on the economy, society and indeed the culture itself. If we seek to leave our children a world wracked with tyranny, poverty, crime and violence, then by all means allowing some to be above the law is perhaps the best means to that end. If on the other hand…

Arbitrary rule simply means that the laws are inconsistent, random, subjective, and injudicious, and/or those that make the “laws” are themselves unaccountable. Arbitrary, like when they make laws that the little people are subjected to, but those that make the laws are not. A law that allows lawmakers to engage in an act, that would garner jail time if a common citizen did it, would be an example of inconsistent laws and therefore proof of arbitrary rule. When some people are caught, openly violating laws that they are supposed to be held to, but are not, is perhaps the most dangerous form of arbitrary rule… lack of accountability. It is not hard to recognize arbitrary rule if you know what to look for. All one needs to remember is, are the elite held to the same standards as a common person, do the laws apply to all equally and, are some above the law, the answer to these questions will inevitably tell the inquiring mind, whether or not he or she lives under arbitrary rule.

Arbitrary rule is always and everywhere a psychotic means to enrichment and power over others. As such, those that seek arbitrary rule are people who, by definition, should never be allowed anywhere near the levers of power, let alone unlimited power! You cannot claim that a person who is above the law, and can make laws that apply to everyone but him or herself… does not have unlimited power. What other definition of unlimited power is there? So what if the arbitrary ruler claims to be limited, by a no longer valid or upheld “constitution,” when in fact they are not. One has to ask oneself, is it reality that I favor, or a glittering lie? If I am connected inextricably to reality, then I must accept it no matter how ugly it is. Moreover, simply seeking to better oneself, makes one a human being, seeking to abuse power to enrich oneself at cost to humanity, is psychotic.

If we agree with Aristotle and admit, only those governments that serve all the people can be considered “Right” forms of government, which makes any government that serves only those that make the rules and their cronies, a “Wrong” form, then any type of arbitrary rule is a wrong form of government. All wrong forms of government are tyrannical in nature, according to Aristotle’s definition, and despotism is always exploited as a means to riches, rather than serve society as a whole. It should be obvious to anyone however, that those governments engaged in arbitrary rule, would not want that fact advertised. Like ancient Rome after the final intercine battle, that led to Octavius Caesar becoming emperor and establishing the Praetorian Guard, Rome pretended to remain a “republic,” but it was in name only, not at all in fact. So, you can cling to a glittering lie, or embrace an ugly truth, the first is the easy choice, and the second the more difficult.

We cling to glittering lies, believing that people who have lied to us, have proven themselves to be above the law, and have gone from rags to riches while in public office… actually work for the “downtrodden.” Many of us have invested so much emotional energy rooting for our team, which creates great cognitive dissonance, because admitting we have been rooting for villains instead of the heroes we believed they were, threatens our own self image. Mature adults however need to be reality based, living in a fantasy is a luxury best left for children, and so as adults we must take a hard look at our nations, societies and cultures asking ourselves… do we want to bequeath our children arbitrary rule or a land of laws, opportunities and wealth? If so, then we have to demand any and all forms of arbitrary rule be expunged from our countries, call for severe punishments of those exploiting their offices, and require from our leaders, without exception… accountability.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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The Rope Trick

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, sometimes the best thing you can give an adversary… is rope. Skilled liars can take hundreds of yards, and create an impressive knot with it, but eventually that knot will tighten around their own throats. One need be careful the opponent does not bury the rope however, for if it is buried, that rope will never find it’s target. This strategy works best when the initial assumption of the foe is absurd. The more absurd the better. Because anyone peddling absurdity must use a great deal of rope, yet absurdity is notoriously difficult to tie up in a neat package, so a Gordian knot must be created. One factor that insures the effectiveness of feeding rope to an adversary, is if that adversary is arrogant. Even the most skilled of liars can be defeated at their own game, especially those who are arrogant, simply by feeding them all the rope they need, to lynch themselves, while making sure they don’t bury the coil in the mud of fake news.

Lies have a tendency to compound, the longer they are told, the more they compound. No time is this more true then when a lie is absurd. Even the most charismatic liar needs to be able to add at least a veneer of logic to her statements. The most fawning press cannot treat what is clearly nonsense as truth, because when they do they lose credibility, which is why over time they always lose credibility. This leads to the need for more rope to weave an ever growing web of lies, and to try to claw back some credibility to the propaganda bureau. Once the lies become so obvious that even the most zealous of partisans has to admit them as lies… the noose cinches shut.

Arrogance leads to evil people removing the mask the moment they feel it is safe. It is a factor of arrogance to believe oneself to be superior to the run of the mill human being. Those who consider themselves superior must, as a matter of logic, underestimate the intelligence and acumen of others. This plays right into the strategy of feeding a liar rope. The arrogant liar will quickly weave a gleaming mask of lies, then take it off just a moment too soon, revealing her true hideous visage underneath. To be arrogant puts one perpetually behind those who are not, simply put, to be arrogant is to underestimate others, and to underestimate others is a sure path to ruin. No where is this more true than when a liar is arrogant and therefore underestimate’s her opponent and the people themselves.

This strategy is limited if your enemy has the ability to silence dissension. If that is the case we are reduced to using word of mouth. Clearly, anyone engaged in lies is someone who will not balk at meaner measures, like burying a story or promoting foolishness. If however, the government run propaganda agencies can be discredited, and often they disgrace themselves, (look at the wonderful job CNN has done in discrediting itself), word of mouth will gain far more credibility and will become as fast as email. In the realm of information, credibility is the currency upon which the media trades, without it, one is poor no matter how well endowed with radio and TV stations and with it, the other with credibility is rich, despite the dearth of infrastructure to promote his message.

Obviously, for a person to practice the tactic of feeding rope to a foe must be both certain in the justness of his position and fearless. I would add that it helps to be braggadocios. Someone loud and boisterous, fearless and a bit arrogant himself would employ just this strategy, to defeat an enemy that appears to hold all the cards… controls the media, the bureaucracy and is backed by the new class itself, would be indomitable to anyone but the egotist. Yet it is just the braggart who would exploit the deep vulnerability of arrogant liars and feed them rope upon which to hang themselves. And it becomes more obvious every day that despite control of the media, the bureaucracy and indeed the new class, as the coils fall from the loudmouth, gathering at his feet… a certain faction has tied a Gordian knot around their own necks… and are getting ready to jump from the chair.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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Kindness as a way of being.

Dear Friends,

It seems to me… kindness is the foundation upon which the civilized build their lives. One need not be agreeable to be kind, nor must a person be a pushover by being kind, kindness is a way of being, of looking at the world. Kindness is in the heart. Yes, the world is horribly flawed, yes the world is terribly unfair and without question, the world does bad things to good people, but those are even more reasons to hold kindness in our hearts. It is said that a man’s inner nature, for good or bad, is measured by the way he treats those below him. Those who embrace kindness as an integral part of their heart then, by that measure, will be exceptional. Think about it, we all have a sense of fairness, and most of us can apply it to someone other than ourselves.

We are like a mirror, but a mirror that has free will over what it reflects. We can reflect the evil we see in the world, we can choose to reflect the good all around us, or reflect nothing. If we embrace kindness in our hearts we naturally reflect that kindness. We have the ability to choose what to reflect out into the world, and by the butterfly effect, we have no idea how far or what form of hurricane could result, be it good… or evil. Because we are not mere audience in the world but active players. Our actions effect the whole. By reflecting good back into the world the light of goodness shines a little bit brighter. We can choose to reflect whatever we want back into the world, and be participants, or we can be bullied into not reflecting anything at all, letting others do the reflecting… so we can have someone else to blame for the world being so horrible.

Even though kindness is utile, it is not a utilitarian philosophy, it is a way of being. Often it is the highest and most human hearted form of kindness, to be unkind in the short run, to be more kind in the long run. Is it a kindness to get a heroin addict heroin? In the short term it could be argued, yes, but clearly in the long term the answer is a resounding no. When administering punishment, it is more kind to administer a punishment that will stop the behavior, rather than make other people feel a sense of “justice.” These are examples of utilitarian forms of kindness, made possible only when kindness is a way of being, which then creates long term solutions rather than pernicious problems. To be kind is to keep malice at bay, confront feelings of envy, recognize your fellow man is as imperfect as you are, and mostly, do not hold others to a higher standard than you do yourself. These are ways great men are made.

To say to oneself, “That is all well and good but doesn’t apply to me, I am not a kind person by nature…” is to deny free will. Everyone has free will to embrace kindness or coldness in their hearts. It is the coward’s choice to embrace coldness, because it is easy, while the hero’s choice is kindness, because it is hard. The poltroon finds himself always being chased while the swashbuckler finds opportunity. Those who embrace anger and bitterness must lack the fearlessness to overcome it, and so are trapped in lives of ever shrinking options, while those who embrace kindness in their hearts, feast on an ever growing smorgasbord of opportunities. Everyone has free will, but like any other aspect of a human being, that which is not exercised, withers away. It is easier in the long run to bravely embrace kindness, even if in the short run it might seem better, to become angry and bitter.

The human condition can appear to be nothing but humiliation and violence, and you can reflect that, or it can be wonder and peace, and you can reflect that back into the world as well. We all have an amazing ability to see only that which we want to see. We watch like a cat, for anything that validates our worldview, be it good or evil. Instead we should try to be more open minded. There is great evil, and yes it is the duty of good men to point out evil, else it will grow, but it is equally important for those good men, to keep our eyes open to the goodness that surrounds us, in order to nurture and husband it. Every time we see a mother wipe snot from her child’s nose, a dog bounding after a stick or a father pretending to be a monster chasing his kids, we are witness to goodness in the world. How can anyone not hold kindness in their hearts when we are surrounded by such love?

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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Envy

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the most destructive emotion, bar none, is envy… and sadly, we have an entire political establishment that is based on envy. What good comes of envy? Does it motivate people to better themselves? No, it only motivates people to destroy. Does envy create an inclusive society? No, envy demands exclusiveness. Envy destroys not only the person envied but the envious as well. It corrodes the soul until there is nothing left but hatred. Envy only destroys, but when stoked it insures that villains get power to harm those who are envied. The envious gleefully look upon their own calamity and cheer it, as long as those they hate are harmed as well. Yet that party that is based on envy is composed of the very people we are supposed to envy! They artfully manage our anger and hate to their own ends. Have you ever noticed that the very people telling us to “eat the rich,” are themselves uber rich? Is it irony or villainy? I would argue it is villainy of the highest order.

From our schools teaching envy as a virtue, our media stoking the fires of envy and our governments exploiting envy as a means to power, envy has become synonymous with progressivism. Common sense, the great philosophers and prophets, all have called envy evil, yet our modern sophists tell us and teach our kids envy is a good. Any society that elevates such a corrosive emotion, as envy, to the status of a noble act, is one that will soon see violence, crime and poverty. There is no way any culture that nurtures envy can create wealth, have low crime or dwell in peace, because envy is not constructive but destructive. Taking pleasure in the suffering of another motivates people to crime, violence and derision. Teaching envy to children is in all ways a crime against those children, and indeed, a crime against humanity itself.

Socrates said this about envy, “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” And it truly is an ulcer of the soul. The soul that is filled with envy must also be filled with hatred. The two conditions correlate to a high degree. Those who envy, must be filled with hate, and those who are filled with love, never harbor envy in their hearts. Solzhenitsyn said, “Our envy devours us most of all.” By nurturing envy in our hearts we slowly eat our own souls. This is because envy consumes us by filling our hearts with the poison of hate. The envious find solace in their own destruction if it also destroys the envied. Therefore they will not only harm the envied, but themselves most of all, and in doing so damage all of human society. Blind hate, born of envy, is why some gladly harm themselves and their loved ones, as long as it also harms those they envy.

Politicians who deal in envy exploit it’s negative qualities to gin up hate of their political enemies, while at the same time elevate themselves as the righteous warriors, who will deal a blow to the envied, in the name of “fairness.” While most of the time, politicians who use envy as a means to power, are exactly those who do not deserve their ill gotten gains. Bernie Sanders is a perfect example in this, He has never worked a day in his life, never produced a single good for anyone but himself, yet has several mansions on the lake and drives around in a super car. He has got rich in politics. Harry Truman said, “Anyone who gets rich in politics is a God damned crook!” By that definition Sanders is a GD crook. Yet while he deserves nothing that he has, he stokes the fire of envy against those who have worked hard for their wealth and contributed to society. Then wields the hatred as a weapon to destroy, not only those who have bettered the lot of Man, but against human heartedness itself.

Envy is a form of greed, a greed that is born of the envier’s self loathing, because they don’t have the chutzpah, intelligence, work ethic or virtue to get it themselves. Envy is avarice for that which the envious is unwilling to work for, a greed that insures the envious will never get, that which he or she so covets. Make no mistake, the heart that contains envy is one that is incapable of the true virtues of love, honesty, righteousness, humility, self sacrifice and charity. Instead filling the envious with hate, perjury, a passion for revenge, haughtiness, and selfishness… even at cost to themselves and their loved ones.

The politician who deals in envy then proves he or she is villainous by it. Throughout history all the great thinkers have unanimously condemned envy, yet today, our media, politicians, and even schools teach envy as a virtue unmatched by any other, which can only lead to want and suffering. Envy causes those afflicted by it to find joy in harming their own self interests. Yet we can speak up when they try to manipulate us with envy. Point out when we are being manipulated by envy, be an example to others, and teach your children to love rather than hate. It is the duty of the human hearted to call attention to the destructive passion of envy, and crush it wherever we find it… and if you discover you have envy in your heart, you are best served to expunge it, else you endanger your very soul!

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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Merry Christmas!!!

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the old saw that Christmas improves the economy, is false. Most people believe it is a self evident fact that Christmas shopping is a huge boon to our economy, but that is a pernicious meme that runs throughout out society. The long lines at the stores, the people bouncing off each other vying for the new pet rock, and eating out, all give the impression that if not for Christmas, most retailers would go broke. Yet what is unseen is that all the money spent, would still be spent. People don’t burn their money if not for Christmas, it would be spent anyway, and probably more efficiently. How many ugly ties does a man need that he will never wear? Instead, we should experience the Christmas season as a time to see loved ones, meet old friends, meet new ones, visit our acquaintances and help the poor.

It doesn’t matter if money is spent or saved, both help the economy. I suspect very few people burn their money if they don’t spend it on useless Christmas presents. Money spent increases the velocity of money, which has a host of add on benefits to an economy, and if saved increases the capital stock. Both have economic advantages. When the velocity of money increases, wages go up, demand for workers rises and inventory turns over much quicker. That can only lead to an increase in demand which makes factories run more. When people save, the increase to the capital stock allows firms to expand, people to start businesses, and loans become available for consumers to buy homes, cars, and the means of production. Money is the blood of the corpus economic. However, when it is wasted it is like bleeding, instead of doing it’s job… it covers the ground.

In Things Seen and Things Unseen, Bastiat uses the example of a boy breaking a window. A lad throws a rock and it smashes a shop keeper’s window. The shop keeper then has to get the window replaced. People marvel at the economic activity the breaking of the window causes and laud the boy for creating such economic progress. But in fact, the money the shop keeper used to replace the window would have been used for something else. Clearly the shop keeper wouldn’t have burned it. Perhaps he would have used it to buy a pair of shoes. In that case we can say that the glass cutter’s windfall comes at cost to the cobbler… and the shop keeper will have to wear worn out shoes until he gets enough money to replace them. As we see by Bastiat’s example, money is always used but the difference is, in the one case the economic activity is seen, and in the more efficient way it is unseen.

Debt only leads to economic progress if it is spent on utile things. Take the example of two men, one gets a loan to gamble on the horses, and the other uses his loan money to buy a store. No matter how lucky the first is, eventually he will lose that money and have to pay it back with interest, for zero gain. Which will make every other aspect of his life more difficult. The second will have an income stream with which to pay back the loan and derive income from it. Which will make every other aspect of his life easier and better. Obviously, or maybe not so obvious to some, creating an income stream is “more better” than flushing money down the toilet. Debt is only good if it is used for productive purposes, the worst kind of debt is credit card debt… and that is the form of debt people go into, to buy Christmas presents the recipient might never use.

Christmas is not for spending on useless gifts, it is for gathering with people we love, helping people, staying in touch with those around us, it is a time of celebration for the magnanimity of Jesus Christ, who suffered and died on a cross for our sins, instead the Christmas season has been taken over by calculating people, ignorant of economics, to enrich themselves. So… go visit your neighbors and bring them a hot toddy, call your aunts and uncles wishing them Merry Christmas, donate to charity or cook for the poor. In that way you will be paying homage to the suffering of Jesus Christ, it will improve your human heartedness and indeed you will be a better person for it. Rather than lavish your children with toys, that won’t even make it through the day… lavish them with love. Our economy will be more efficient for it and we will all be better people as well. God bless you, have a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year!

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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Our Culture is Vying for a Darwin Award…

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, our culture’s abandoning of common sense… can only lead to catastrophe. Common sense is the result of our species grasping the philosophy of causality. That our actions cause outcomes. It is common sense, for example, to believe that if I jump off a cliff, I will be dashed to bits at the bottom, but it is a violation of common sense to believe that if I jump from that cliff, I will learn to fly without wings. Common sense has allowed us to survive in a world where we are in many ways the most fragile animal around. In an effort to replace causality with pure logic, our leaders have utterly abandoned common sense and causality, and have instead embraced absurdity and the illogical. There is even a prize for those who have proved their lack of common sense… it is called the Darwin Awards. The more people that abandon common sense and embrace foolishness the more tragic will be our outcomes.

The logic chart for common sense goes something like this… We recognize that action A has always led to result B, then acknowledge that if we engage in action A we will have to deal with result B. Therefore if we don’t seek result B we withhold taking action A. It’s pretty simple actually. Common sense tells us that if we engage in action A, take drugs, it will cause us to become addicted to drugs, result B. If our neighbor shouts at us all day every day, how he will kill us and rape our daughter, it would be a violation of common sense if he burns down his own house, NOT to take him in and let him sleep in the same bed as our daughter. It is the same as taking in a rattlesnake as a pet and being shocked when it bites your child. Our leaders on the other hand, claim that he, (or the rattler) will realize what great people we are and instead of making good on his threats, (or biting) will embrace us and we will live together singing kumbaya.

Our leaders prefer pure logic to common sense. Pure logic ignores past results. Hegelian logic dictates that just because every time I have raised a pen over my head and dropped it, there is no logical reason it will fall, it could just as likely float away. Or, just because I bought the carton at the store that says “milk” in it, doesn’t mean there will be milk inside it. Pure logic need not take into account causality, as it is only a mind exercise, a thought experiment, and as such is not the least predictive. Pure logic in fact is in the realm of fantasy, anything that can be imagined can by logically commented on. Take socialism as an example of pure logic, every case of socialism has led to disaster, from the Acts of the apostles and the Mayflower pact, through the French revolution and Modern day Venezuela, socialism has always resulted in poverty and famine, but the elite today believe that if we had world socialism, it would work this time, because pure logic says so. Pure logic allows our leaders to believe in such absurdities, that are based on their living in a fantasy land, which can only result in catastrophe.

The elite in our society have lived in a fantasy for so long they have disconnected from reality. Their lives are disconnected from their actions. When a congressperson can legally engage in insider trading, they must therefore loose their understanding of how real people, who are not allowed such violations, have to live. A member of the elite can imagine a world where no animal has to die so someone can eat, because they get their meat cooked to perfection by top chefs, and never need to see or understand the backstory of where their food came from. The elite pretend they can take people from a place where it is unsafe to walk the streets, move them enmasse to Europe, and they will be peaceful… because the elite don’t have to live with the violent newcomers. The elite can act like printing money in the billions will jump start the economy for the working man… because the more money Central bans print and give the elite,,, the richer the elite get. Fantasy land is only a good place to live if you are protected from the negative consequences of your actions, as the elite are.

Common sense is an ugly truth and most people, especially those who are disconnected from reality, prefer a glittering lie to an ugly truth. If I put my finger in a fire.. it will get burned. The result is fast and undeniable, which is an ugly truth. If I put someone else’ finger in a fire, I will feel nothing but perhaps a sense of compassion, but the results of my actions are felt by others, not me, and so I can imagine that it is a good thing, I can believe a glittering truth. Yet, the result of the action is still there, it’s just that the person who engaged in the action didn’t feel the pain… and so common sense can be ignored. The more immersing the fantasy one lives in the easier it is to deny common sense, and pure logic can easily take the place of common sense where people live in a fantasy. For the common person however, common sense is the means to stay alive. As more and more of us follow our leaders and abandon common sense for glittering lies, inevitably, there will be more and more people putting their wagging fingers in fires, jump from cliffs, move rattle snakes into their homes… and our society that has abandoned common sense, will deservedly win a Darwin award.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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Abuse of Power

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, of all the abuses a wrong form of government can engage in, abuse of power is both the source and therefore the worst. Using the powers of government to forward a political faction’s power, is the source because, all other abuses of power stem from that initial usurpation of power. It is the worst since abusing the power bestowed to a politician, aristocrat, monarch, bureaucrat or tribune, is a fundamental violation of the trust placed in him or her. It is a personal, willful violation that shows the low caliber of the individual(s) and it bestows too much power on just those people who, as highlighted by their actions, should have none. Since abuse of power both violates the trust placed in our leaders, and it also opens the way for other abuses of the people and our trust, it also inevitably leads to oppression, chaos, poverty and war. Yet, all of those ills can be fended off long before they become real existential dangers, by simply making examples of those politicians who engage in abuse of power, so others in the future view the danger of being caught, as sufficient to cause them to withhold action.

What I mean for the purposes of this article by abuse of power is, the use of the apparatus of government to forward a political agenda, rather than a national one. Using the IRS as a political weapon for example. An executive who exploits his or her role and wields the IRS as a political weapon, has both violated the fundamental trust we place in that leader, and is an obvious attempt to undermine the legitimate political process, which can only lead to hegemony of a faction, which opens the door to every other usurpation imaginable. A leader who engaged in exploiting his position and violating the trust we placed in him, to create oppression, is someone who should be made an example of. Moreover, once the abuse of power goes unpunished, it becomes commonplace.

That is how societies evolve over time, what was once unthinkable starts happening, then mushrooms until it yields up it’s fruit. Either poison or blessing, the first leading to such catastrophes as the Black Death, and the second like the introduction of potatoes to Europe, saving the lives of literally millions of children over the ages. To allow the small end of the wedge of abuse of power into a governmental structure, especially if one faction is allowed while others are not, is a sure path to evolving a society to a catastrophe like the Black Death. Sadly, calamity is so easy to see, yet we refuse to look. We blindly glom along, as our society and culture are led to catastrophe by our ignoring the abuse of power. This is why abuse of power leads to poverty, oppression and war.

Another example of abuse of power would theoretically be… a corrupt executive abusing his power to listen in on conversations of people who are legitimate national security threats, to listen in on a rival political party’s communications, email, PM and voice, then used the intelligence gained to get the upper hand in an election. Any allegation of that nature, in a society that cares at all about corruption free government, would be investigated immediately, and by people who can demonstrate their lack of bias. Any nation where such an event happened and it wasn’t immediately investigated, is a nation in which the unthinkable abuse of power is rapidly becoming commonplace.

Nixon didn’t face impeachment hearings in the Senate, because some people affiliated with him broke into the Watergate hotel, without his knowledge… The overt reason, the one we are given by the unbiased media is that he engaged in a cover up of the crime, while not being involved with the crime he abused the power of the Presidency to cover it up. The subtext, the real reason never mentioned, is that Nixon was impeached by the House as payback for prosecuting Alger Hiss. Nevertheless, in the 1970’s, even abuse of power to cover up a politically motivated crime, was sufficient to generate articles of impeachment, how much worse to actually abuse power so fundamentally, as using the IRS as a political weapon, or the national intelligence service to spy on political foes? Our acceptance of such corruption will not make it go away, our acceptance by not speaking up, emboldens it. Inevitably leading to poverty, chaos, oppression and war.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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The Oligarchy and the Upstart

Dear Friends,

It seems to me…

There was once a nation that was ruled by two utterly corrupt political parties. That nation had been born in virtue and now became awash in vice. The political elite had it great though, they passed laws that didn’t apply to themselves, created slush funds to pay for anything they wanted and even broke the universal laws with impunity. So pervasive was their corruption it had oozed to the very bottom of the bureaucracy. The nation had become an oligarchy in all but name. One of the chief means the elite used to get their power was through factionalization and dependency of the electorate. Once some arbitrarily defined group became dependent, they could be relied on to vote against common sense every time, just threaten their government check. The national debt grew and grew, while so did crime, racial tensions, the militarization of the police and a seething underclass of illegal immigrants. Then something came along that threatened to spoil their soiree.

The new class elite, that made up the intelligentsia of both political parties had made their pick in the next election for executive, and all they needed was a challenger. Someone strong enough to get a few votes, but certainly not strong enough to get close… To face the corrupt elite’s choice, a woman, capable of finalizing the break from the nation’s founding principles, and joining a glorious thousand year new world order. A new system where the masses would have their lives benevolently controlled by government administrators. The administrators would be chosen, as much for their political ideology as their university credentials, which in that nation were highly correlated anyway, to insure they would continue to be politically correct in their abuse of power. She was the perfect tool for the corrupt to exploit against the nation’s Constitution and her people.

Then, out of nowhere, a stumbling stone. A crazy half witted Marxist, who had never held a real job in his life, drunk on the wealth he had derived from political office, (since he had been on welfare when elected), challenged the queen and was on a path to win! The epitome of the man Harry Truman referenced in his famous phrase, “Anyone who gets rich in politics is a God damned crook!” Apparently, the masses had recognized how crooked the queen really was, (since she had got even richer in government than the Marxist), so much so that the people in her own faction tried to choose that crooked half wit, over her crookedness. If not for the machinations of party stalwarts, the elite’s choice might have been knocked out in the first round! Fortunately, she was in the more corrupt of the two parties, and so the choice of the elite seized the prize, and the people’s choice had to settle for another mansion on the lake and a super car.

The other corrupt party had their choice, a milk toast who came from a long line of milk toast executives, that could be relied on to say one thing and mean another, which met the corrupt elite’s purposes perfectly. His family had even stumbled the nation into wars, which the deep state loved as it gave them even more power. Again, out of nowhere, came an upstart! Not just one but three. People who didn’t have any of the right credentials, and worst of all, actually wanted to change course! Obviously, the corrupt elements of government, the deep state (bureaucracy) and their bootlicks, simply couldn’t let that stand! So, the elite chose the one they thought they could destroy the fastest in the general… and gave him rope to hang himself, to their amazement, he tied them up with that rope! The other two, the media in the pocket of the corrupt elite, destroyed, as best they could. Once the general came, the elite had the election they wanted. Their choice, the queen, versus a buffoon they could burn down with two sticks.

To the shock and horror of the elite however, the buffoon stayed in the game and even had a path to victory! So the corruption that permeated every corner of government went to work. Those wealthy that had “supported” the upstart’s party changed and supported the elite’s choice. The media came out as a unit to destroy him and the deep state grasped for any reason to investigate him. The queen’s party even paid a rival nation, to write a fictitious document to sway the election, implicating the upstart as colluding with the rival nation to sway the election. Both the elite’s choice and the rival nation had aligned interests, because they had colluded a few years earlier to transfer ownership and thus control of uranium, from the treasonous queen’s nation, to the rival’s.

Imagine the dismay in the ranks of the corrupt elite, that despite all their vote fraud and full control of the legacy media, the upstart won! They immediately used the dossier, paid for by the elite’s choice, the would be queen, and written largely by a rival nation to sway the election, to get a special prosecutor to meet the upstart at the door to the executive offices. This special prosecutors office, stacked with people who openly avowed hate and loathing for the upstart and who had protected the queen in an earlier investigation, begin investigating every act of anyone in any way, connected with the upstart… as their bootlicks buy accusers. Meanwhile, the upstart commences… getting some of the most corrupt elements out of government, ridding the laws of needless regulations, the economy begins rolling again, pushes to lower taxes, stymieing the world’s dictators who had been encouraged by the last administration to acquire nuclear weapons from continuing, as people get off welfare rolls and onto employee rolls…

With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the story isn’t over… we’ll have to wait and see how it ends.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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