Posts Tagged ‘sophist’

Spurious Logic and Confusing a State of Mind with a State of Being

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the progressive elite often use spurious logic, to fool the people into confusing a state of mind with a state of being. To use spurious logic is to make an argument that appears on the surface to be logical, but is in fact fallacious, and is meant to deceive. By this means we can be fooled into acting against our own self interests and benefiting the arguer who uses spurious logic. If we seek to be rational maximizers, then it is important for us to know the difference, and be able to see a deception for what it is. In the realm of spurious logic, arguing a thing is other than it actually is, can be quite easy and very effective.

 

People argue in spurious logic to trick others into acting against their own self interest. This is an old con man’s trick. Claiming to be a bank auditor, and getting an old person to “loan” them money to help catch a crooked bank teller, who the con man says is ripping off the bank, is one example. The logic appears impeccable to the victim but is in fact fallacious. Many people have lost their life savings by this scam. The con man gets the victim to act against his or her own self interest, by convincing the victim something is true when it is not, using spurious logic. Twisting a state of mind into a state of being is no different.

 

A state of mind is essentially how we perceive the world. Our perception is to us, reality, it is our opinion and guides action. Examples of a state of mind are, prejudice, justice, friendship, humility, love and fear. These are not every example, nor are they an exhaustive list, but they are illustrative for the purposes of our discussion. A person can act in a bigoted way, we can act justly and we can be friendly, but that doesn’t make these things a state of being, because the root of the actions are the opinions and feelings of the actor. Our actions follow our mindset, not the other way around. A state of mind is an internal feeling, belief or thought, that effects the external world through our actions.

 

A state of being is something that is external that effects our internal state of mind. Examples include, the environment, the economy and illness. Again, this is not a comprehensive list but is sufficient to illustrate our point. A state of being is something objective that effects our subjective mindset. If the temperature is cold our mind registers it with a feeling of cold. Our feeling of cold doesn’t make the temperature lower. Just as an expanding economy might enrich us and make us feel more wealthy, but our feeling of wealth doesn’t make the economy grow faster, (despite the implications of the theories of John Maynard Keynes’ aggregate supply aggregate demand model of economics), and illness makes us feel sick, it is not that we decide to feel sick and as a result we become ill, (except in a diseased mind which is itself an illness external to the participant’s subjective mind). A state of being is external while a state of mind is internal.

 

Modern sophists like to claim a state of mind is in fact a state of being and have visited all kinds of mischief on mankind as a result. To claim a state of mind is a state of being, or vise versa, is how absurd premises get thought of as truth, and truth get thought of as falsehood, then are acted upon in the body politic. Well meaning projects to mitigate the plight of the poor are premised on conflating a state of being with a state of mind. Poverty is a state of being, but the assumption of welfare programs, is that poverty is intrinsic to the individual, as such the individual is unable to change his or her station, and cannot survive without a government handout. A great deal of damage is done to society, the economy and the poor themselves, by this pernicious notion. Not the least of which is to trap multiple generations of people in poverty, destroy the nuclear family and crush the work ethic of whole communities, all leading to more poverty.

 

Other examples of confusing a state of mind with a state of being are everywhere in the progressive playbook. From abortion to woman’s rights, using spurious logic like mixing of a state of being with a state of mind, is their go to position. Those who call attention to the absurdity of their stances are vilified as haters and bigots to deflect the criticism, which in itself is twisting a state of mind into a state of being. As you recall, bigotry and hate are states of mind, but arguing that a person’s stance on a state of being, (objective reality), proves a certain state of mind, (subjective reality), is like claiming a scalding burn is all in one’s mind. There will always be gullible people in the world, it is a fact of life, but most of us are capable, upon reflection, of recognizing spurious logic, especially if we are warned. Consider this warning.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Anthropogenic Climate Change Hoax

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the man made part of global warming is a hoax, a fallacy perpetrated on us by the New Class in a bid for power, the type of power Nietzsche said the uberman should strive for. They know it is impossible to prove a negative, and so they have convinced many that we are in dire straights if we do not follow their dictates and commit economic suicide, else we might face economic Armageddon. For the same reason I am skeptical when a cigarette company claims cigarettes are good for you, we should look at the arguments of those who stand to gain essentially arbitrary rule if we believe them… with a skeptical eye too. Climate change alarmists stand to gain tremendous power, wealth and prestige, by having the hoi polloi fall for the scam, and power is a compelling incentive to lie. It is in our self interests to be rational maximizers and look at the facts not the rhetoric.

 

I used to believe in anthropogenic climate change. It made me hopeful we can terraform Mars into a world we can live on. I looked at all the facts with a hopeful eye. As time went on, and the “facts” became ever murkier and confounding facts came up, my enthusiasm waned. As I began looking into the political reasons someone would perpetrate such a hoax on the world, the reality of human nature opened up to me, and I became a man made climate change denier.

 

Their arguments are based on spurious logic and have no real bearing on what is really happening. Many of the temperature data is knowingly fallacious. As land is industrialized, the same location that once was forest and fields, has become asphalt and buildings. The localized warming of a city is a well documented theory, and as civilization has encroached on locations that are cited by the climate change alarmist, the temperature will certainly go up. This is called the Urban Heat Island effect. That is not to say however, the temperature of the planet in it’s entirety has gone up, only those locations where temperature has been traditionally taken has. This makes the temperature data decidedly biased and thus dubious at best.

 

The nail in the coffin for me however, was finding out by reading Science News, (a strong voice for anthropogenic climate change), that planets around our solar system are in fact warming at a similar rate to Earth. I admit I was a bit depressed, because if planets around the solar system are warming, that pesky fact makes the likelihood of “man made,” evaporate like so much dry ice. Mars is the example most cited but there are other examples too. The planetoid, or asteroid, Ceres has been shown to be warming, Pluto seems to be warming even though it is traveling away from the sun, along with other planets and moons. The measurements of these planets and moons is not based on local temperature fluctuations, they are based in infrared measurements of the entire planet or moon, and so are more telling of the actual planet wide temperature than localized data. In other words, we have better perspective on them, then we do our own planet.

 

 

The alarmists argue that this is irrelevant because at any given time a planet or moon could be warming or cooling. It is mere coincidence that they are warming. Many pages of sophist arguments have been written with this perspective. They also claim the Sun has cooled so it is impossible for these places to be warming, and some simply deny the facts. These arguments are of course the pleas of a huckster who has been exposed trying to justify the utility of his snake oil. If their argument, that any one could be warming or cooling, then why are they all warming, and none are cooling? Logic would at least incline one to believe that if they could be warming or cooling, the ratio of planets and moons warming versus cooling, should be about fifty percent. The data flies in their face. Since there is not a single example of a planet cooling in our solar system, but many examples of planets and moons warming, this is at least strong evidence the warming trend is a solar system wide phenomenon. Since there are no carbon spewing cars on Mars, (as far as we know), Jupiter, Triton, Ceres or Pluto, the solar system wide warming cannot be human generated.

 

 

The scientific method is not a popularity contest. If it was, then the world would be flat, since most scientists believed at one time it was. There was a philosopher, Karl Popper, who posited a theory of science. In it he said that scientists are exceedingly bigoted people. They work diligently in their labs testing and proving ever smaller bits of fact about a theory, until it is proven false, then there is a paradigm shift culminating in a new theory. Since scientists have worked so long and so hard on their piece of a theorem, they have cognitive dissonance, in other words they are very resistant to change. In the case of anthropogenic climate change anyone who offers a different view is attacked as a heretic. No differently than Galileo, Kepler or Newton were in their day. Their ideas led to a paradigm shift in scientific thinking however, and are worshiped today, even as the modern equivalents of these great thinkers are vilified. Couple the propensity of science, and scientists, to cling to an idea, with the potential power such an idea as man made global warming puts in the hands of the new class, and you have the modern equivalent of the inquisition.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Justice is a State of Mind not a State of Being

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, justice is simply treating everyone the same, to argue otherwise is to twist wrong into right by spurious means. Justice is not to force everyone to be, act, or think the same, it is not to give everyone the same stuff… it is to treat everyone the same. It doesn’t seem like that is such a difficult concept to understand but it is not understood by most people. They have been fooled into thinking justice is a state of being and not a state of mind. We have been deceived into thinking justice is some concept of economic equality, (a state of being), when this is only a spurious way to trick people into acting and thinking, unjustly. To be a rational maximizer, or put another way, civilized, a person has to be sufficiently mature and thoughtful to grasp this basic concept of justice, rejecting those sophist ways the elite enforce injustice, by calling it justice. Our compliance with their absurdity, even if most who honestly believe justice is a state of being, creates a fundamentally unjust society, where people cannot leave the station they are born into, which is true economic, social and cultural injustice. In other words, unless we wake up and wake up our friends, our children and grandchildren will forever be trapped in the station they are born into, living in a fog of fallacy, with no ability to transcend it, regardless of their personal merit.

 

Justice is equality in treatment not equality in some physical instance. What if the elite claimed blond hair is the best and it is unjust for anyone to be burdened with brown or black hair? Would it then follow, that the government had a legitimate role to play in improving the lives of it’s citizens, by forcing everyone to dye their hair blond? What if the elite managed to convince the people that blond hair is indeed the best, would it be just then? What about if government forced blonds to shave their heads? No, of course it wouldn’t be. Justice is not a state of being but a state of mind. To conflate the two is a path to injustice. It is however, a sure way to trick people into doing unjust actions, while thinking they are actually being just.

 

Like the terrorist who believes he is blowing himself up and killing innocents to advance the interests of God. He doesn’t examine the absurdity of the notion, he simply follows the orders of the guy who would never blow himself up, and in the end advances the goals of Satan. The ostensibly pious person damages God’s ends and advances the ends of Lucifer while all the time thinking he serves God. Ironic as it can be, people can be easily tricked into doing the opposite of what they seek, by the diabolical means of fooling someone with sophistry. When we don’t think an argument all the way to the end, we can be tricked into the opposite of what we want, and end up doing injustice when we intend justice.

 

To be civilized, is to think things through and take concepts to their logical conclusion, to do otherwise is to be a member of a mob. Unthinking brutes who act on orders instead of logic and a sense of right. Do you suppose the Nazis thought they were evil? No, they thought what they were doing was good. People cannot be convinced to do evil, for evil’s sake, the packaging of evil must appear to be good. Yes, there are a few psychopaths out there who would happily serve Beelzebub, but the throngs of humanity seek goodness, and eschew evil. To get them to serve evil requires spurious logic and sophist arguments. Twisting justice into injustice by claiming justice is a state of being and not a state of mind, is just as absurd as tricking a child into thinking that committing several mortal sins at the same time, will get him or her to heaven and serve the goals of God, when it is the exact opposite of the truth.

 

Justice is clearly a state of mind and not a state of being. To force people to be the same, economically, socially, culturally or in any other way, is effecting their state of being. Moreover, to effect one’s state of being, forcing equality in some state of being, requires as a prerequisite that an injustice be done, in other words, some must be treated differently than others, which as we have already shown, is the definition of injustice. If you treat everyone you meet the same, with gratitude for their help, courteously recognizing their humanity, and avoiding hurting those who society tell us are “the other,” you are acting justly. If you visit evil on someone because their state of being is other than what the elite have defined as “fair,” then you are acting unjustly, and no amount of twisted logic can make that wrong a right.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

The Lake of Spurious Logic in Which We Swim.

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, we swim in sophistry, every argument we face is steeped in spurious logic and all controversies boil down to politics, in such a society the foundation is rotted away, as the frame it needs to support, gets larger. Examples abound where any question at hand boils down to a political one. Usually where a person stands politically, on even scientific questions, is more informative of his or her position than any other reasoning. It would be enough if most people understood this and made a huge effort to stand outside politics and observe every question with a politically unbiased eye. This is important because politics is almost always the perspective that yields the worse outcomes.

 

There are so many examples of how we are immersed in sophistry, that I could get bogged down listing them so instead, I am burrowing into one. The collegiate system is the epitome of the old boy network. The utility of that paradigm is all but spent but the prerogatives it rewards academia are growing. It is in the system of academia’s self interest, to limit the product and by doing so, using the supply demand model or scarcity value, bestowing a higher value than it might otherwise have. In this they are no different than OPEC, limiting the supply of oil onto the marketplace, keeping the cost high, and their profits high as well. This is one reason the united States is a net importer of Medical doctors, colleges limit the supply.

 

The elite in academia would have us all believe that theirs is the only way, while the market system coupled with the Internet has offered a different solution, private online colleges. These colleges break the mold in several ways, they operate for profit and so are subject to market forces, they give those who have not been identified as above average an opportunity, an opportunity that the traditional system didn’t and couldn’t care less to, and private college’s self interest is to expand production not limit it. Market forces will be an unstoppable power lowering costs and profits until either the market reaches perfect competition or the government steps in and imposes limits that block competition.

 

Some of the spurious arguments, the politicians in the pocket of academia claim, run the gamut of insane to devious. The one I always get a laugh at is, “The dropout rate is higher in private schools than public institutions.” This is absurd in that it denotes nothing. There is no context with which to weigh the sentence, which makes the argument float in meaning. Since the public institutions have the best students from the get go why wouldn’t they have a better graduation rate? Moreover, are they saying that the education at private schools is higher than that of the public institutions, since the public institutions graduate almost everyone who enters and private institutions only graduate those who merit it? Or perhaps the maker of that argument believes certain people shouldn’t even be given a chance? The sophistic echos go on and on.

 

It is not in the interests of those who run academia today to embrace change. In that change coming, their cushy jobs preaching socialism to the youth, while having sex with someone from every graduating class, being revered by other elite, and receiving much better than average pay, the incentives to keep the system in stasis are mighty. Perfect competition might lower the cost of education, so doctorates could be common, but the value of those doctorates would drop commensurately, as would the profit to those who dispensed them. The market would drive down cost and raise quality inexorably. The powers that exist have to get us to believe their spurious arguments because as Milton Friedman argued, When a business faces competition that has a better product at a lower cost, that business can lower it’s price and increase it’s quality, or it can go to government…

 

That was only one of many examples that can be cited as proof that we do indeed swim in a lake of sophistry. Today the question is irrelevant, but who the political patron is, is. Arguments that appear to be logical are actually twisting logic to make truth into a lie and a lie into the truth. We have a whole class of people who have practiced, honed and perfected this feat. It is up to us to rise above the smoke they obscure every controversy with, and be rational maximizers, weigh the costs, opportunities and risks for ourselves. Only in that way, can we truly vote and act in our own best interests, instead of someone else’s.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Justice

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, justice is simply the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is the most realistic and clear definition of that mercurial term there can be. Any other definition requires people to do to someone else, that which they would chafe under where it done to them, and thus is not just. It is important to define such a widely used word as justice, because when a speaker claims he or she seeks justice, and ten people are listening, inevitably there are eleven definitions of justice in the conversation. This makes the term a sophist tool to trap people. Everyone has a sense of justice but few have a defined definition that is simple and universal. If we want true justice in our world, then we must agree on a definition, else it means nothing.

 

People bandy the term justice about constantly, to get the upper hand in an argument or to denigrate this or that action, thought or philosophy, but to do so if the term is not defined, is simply spurious. It is like me saying I will give a car for this or that. Every listener will have a different idea of what type of car I mean, but lacking a definition, no one will know. If I continue claiming I am going to give people a car I can convince people to do real damage to their self interests. Once I have got money, power or property from them for this car, I can give them a plastic toy car and have not overtly lied.

 

Any definition that is more complex than the golden rule opens itself to injustice. Once we say justice requires calculations and metrics, we have made the word so complex it looses all meaning, and devolves back to a mere tool of sophists. Furthermore, justice cannot mean doing different things to different people. The moment we say it is just to do this to him, and something different to her, we have waded into quicksand. For a thing to be just it must be universally just.

 

Justice as it applies to property is the golden rule as well. If I pick up a rock and using only my talent and another rock… I carve a figurine, that figurine is mine and no one else’s. To take it violates my right to that which I have made by my own hands, and also steals my liberty in the form of the time it took to make the figurine, because had I known it would be stolen I would not have spent the time to make it. This same logic applies if I have made a thousand figurines, because to take from someone while defending one’s own property, (and everyone defends his or her own property)… violates the golden rule.

 

Rawls definition of justice comes in two parts and is meant to show how socialism is just. The first part and therefore the foundational part is that any definition of justice must give people the most liberty possible without trampling their rights. The second is that for a person to make an unbiased decision about what economic system is just, they must do it in a, “Veil of ignorance.” This veil is supposed to show that if we don’t know where we will land in this new economic system we will want everything distributed equally.

 

Nozick’s take on Rawls, is that Rawls believes money and property are like mana from heaven, and that Rawls ignores the very real effort that it takes to get money and property. My take is that Rawls second principle violates his first. If any definition of justice must firstly give maximum liberty and not violate people’s rights, then it is not possible to take from one and give to another. The very act itself makes a slave of one of the parties. Only a twisted mind would argue slavery gives maximum liberty or that it doesn’t violate human rights.

 

So… justice can be simply defined as the golden rule. Doing something to another, you would not like done to you, no matter the societal good that would be theoretically gained, is fundamentally unjust. The term justice, undefined, can be used for all sorts of pernicious ends, and usually is. Economic justice must also rest on the golden rule, it cannot be given a complex definition, and must be universal, else it is spurious. Over the years, philosophers have tried to twist justice into a reason for injustice, using complex arguments and smart sounding phraseology, but what they propose is not justice but a perversion of justice. It is important for us to understand what justice really is, to stay clear of the pitfalls of sophistry, that brings into the world injustice called justice, always at the point of a gun.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Constitutional Usurpation

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, if I am not held to the Law, I will not follow the law. Moreover, if our elected leaders are not held to the Constitution, they will not follow it either. This not only applies to the US, where the Constitution has been bastardized by the New Class to their own purpose, but around the World. Human nature is unyielding. We do what we can get away with due to our egoistic self interest. No one among us is immune we are all subject to the demands of our egos. It is said that our emotions are like an elephant and our reason is merely a rider. Since politicians are human beings, they are as subject to this weakness in human nature as anyone, perhaps more, since they seek egoistic power over others. If we are to leave our children and their children, a World where people are free and prosperous, we must realize a means to counter this predilection in our leaders.

 

Think about it this way, if the laws against speeding are not enforced, people will speed more and more. As a result accidents will become more and more frequent and deadly. If the laws against drunk driving are not enforced as well the trend of more deadly accidents will accelerate. This is incontestable, we all know that we will do what we can get away with, and we all understand the repercussions. What we fail to realize however, is the same holds true for our elected leaders, but with far greater negative consequences.

 

The elite, like everyone, seek to exceed limits on their actions. In the case of the elected leaders, they want more freedom, to limit the freedom of others. Like the guy late for work, if he believes he will get away with exceeding the limit, he will do it. The repercussion to the society and culture from the elite exceeding their authority, as limited by the Constitution, are far more dangerous than merely allowing drunks to careen down the road fast as bullets. If we allow our leaders to surpass constitutional limits, the results include but are not limited to, famine, oppression, poverty, social strife, and hopelessness.

 

The predilection of the elite is only exacerbated, when those that are empowered with limiting the power and scope of government by their Constitutions, cheer and applaud when a would be usurper publicly announces he fully intends to practice arbitrary power. In this case the Constitution is nothing more than a cloak that gives the new tyrant’s usurpations a veil of legitimacy. When this happens the people have two options. Rise up and demand the Constitution be followed to the letter as intended or fall into line like lambs to the slaughter house. In such a society, where the people rise up immediately, the change back to Constitutional rule can be done with little or no blood shed, but where the people fall into line, whether it is for free stuff or fear of being called a name, eventually they will be led to slaughter and terror. Once that happens, if the people become enraged at the usurpations and rise up, we will be put down by deadly force and much blood will be shed, like in Tienanmen Square or Iran.

 

The right thing to do is never the easy thing to do. Most of the time we know the right thing to do but withhold action because it is seen as too difficult. Mo Ti wrote volumes about this facet of human nature, that we will do the hard thing to avoid the easy thing… In the case of a blatant usurper the right thing to do is to immediately write letters and articles, demonstrate, demand the Constitution be followed as written and intended, and otherwise act out. This is not easy, especially when the elite in the media, government and culture, back the usurper. But if it is not done and we fall into line like lambs the slaughter house cannot be far away.

 

In the US today we have a President who is so blatant about his usurpations he announces them to standing ovations like Adolph Hitler did. He is so confident that the American people will fall into line like lambs he openly avows he will practice arbitrary rule, like following laws as he sees fit, changing laws to suit his moods, bypasses other Constitutionally empowered branches of government and otherwise acts the dictator.

 

Using the spurious logic of “living breathing document” wasn’t undermining the Constitution fast enough, and we have become such sheep, he can do all these things without complaint from the very people he is avowing he will oppress. He knows the media will not hold him to any standard, the cultural elite back his incursions, and all other political factions behold his usurpations with admiration, drooling at the possibility they will get the same power if and when they come into office. The last hope to such a society, are the people who are awake and aware, we must demand our Constitution be followed. A NUMA is only a means to maintain Constitutional limits once they are reestablished. Like I said, if we do not hold the elite to the Constitution, they will not follow it, with all the consequences that will ensue. Lambs don’t write letters and don’t fight, they cry as their throat is slit, but to no avail… they have entered the slaughterhouse of their own free will.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Tolerance

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me tolerance is a one way street to the political left. They have no tolerance whatsoever but demand absolute tolerance from the rest of us. This may be the definition of hypocrisy, but the left bathes in hypocrisy, it is the left’s bread and butter, to them it is a sacrament. What is not so obvious is the pernicious nature of it. Our society, government and culture are damaged greatly when a faction with so much political power are so intolerant of other points of view, other religions and other philosophies. What drives them to such heights of intolerance and hate is their innate self doubt. They know in their minds and hearts they are wrong on most issues, and their leadership will inevitably lead to poverty and violence, but they are committed to their ideology, so to have any hope of winning in a political contest they must stomp down any debate about issues, with spurious demands for tolerance, which in the parlance of the left, is approval and approbation. The longer we allow this level of intolerance of our Constitutional republic, morality, rights and liberty the lower we will fall.

 

Societies rise in virtue and fall in vice. This is the primary lesson of all of human history. There is not one example in the annuls of humanity where a society rose in vice and fell in virtue. Virtues such as Christian morality, prayer, liberty, traditional marriage, limited government, hard work, along with so much else of what has made America great, are despised by the left. Yet the left is constantly talking of this or that iniquity as being a moral imperative, they see liberty as unconscionable. We are to hang our head in shame if we pray in public, but the reprobate who uses his EBT card on strippers and prostitutes, is defended.

 

They demand not only tolerance of the intolerable but acceptance as normal and even demand our funding morally reprehensible actions. I personally find abortion to be the evil of our day. In the future people will look back at us, as we do the slave owners of yore, and they will wonder at how we could have been so blind at the wickedness of it. The left however, sees abortion as a sacrament and so I must not only tolerate abortion, but pay for it. I was not only supposed to tolerate a picture of the Virgin Mary decorated in feces, the sign of Baal, but I was even forced to pay for it! While I am cowed by the ever present threat of State violence if I should disagree, they cannot tolerate even hearing a prayer said in public, they cannot tolerate a manger, smoking, SUVs or capitalism.

 

I am expected to send my children to be “taught” in their schools, where they undermine my religion, the morals I try to teach, they indoctrinate our children into their political mindset with money they take from me at gun point, and they seek to teach ever child the exact same thing through Common Core curriculum. While more and more teens graduate high school without knowing how to read, write, history or geography. If I were to go to a school and speak about God, or the miracle of the free market, I would be forcibly removed, but they can teach how to have gay sex, teach there is no God, teach their twisted version of history and inculcate communism to our children. They cannot tolerate my drinking too large a soda, my eating meat, my right to keep and bear arms or my free speech.

 

The left has raised hypocrisy and hate to an art form. Their intolerance is more then mere hypocrisy, it is damaging to our society, culture and indeed government. While we are ordered to obey their absurd rules and regulations to the letter, they feel no compunction at all to follow any standards… even their own. The Constitution is an anathema to them because it limits their ability to control the rest of us and so is a stumbling stone to them. Those of us who want the freedom our Constitution guarantees must tolerate the redefining of it, to comport with the left’s need to dominate the rest of us, while they demand our approval else we are “haters.” Leftists see no irony at all when they wear a Che Guevara tee shirt, as they give speeches on the immorality of war, the free market and the rich… while vacationing on Nantucket island. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so destructive.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Our Constitutional Crisis

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the debt ceiling and government shutdown is not about spending, and it is not about winning or loosing a mere political battle, it is a Constitutional crisis. The needless rhetoric that has been thrown around during this debate has been a way to change the subject to mere name calling and fear mongering. The malpractice of the media that calls itself unbiased has been even more pathetic than usual and is a large part of why the real issue has been overlooked. Our republic is jeopardized by this type of emotional manipulation of us, by the political elite, the media and intellectuals.

 

The Constitutional principle in question is separation of powers and the power of Congress to control spending. This is the only fundamental power left to the neutered legislative branch of our government. In this debate, as it now appears, the Executive branch has seized almost all of the powers the Constitution bestowed on the Legislative branch. The power of the purse, as it is called, has now fallen to the Executive as has the power to legislate via the Bureaucracy. Once this episode is over the Legislative branch will have no power whatsoever. Even the power of oversight has been taken from the impotent Legislature by Executive privilege, stonewalling and outright lying under oath.

 

The rhetoric that has been used by Obama, the media and the democrats has been over the top. They have called the Tea Party wing of the republican party, bomb throwers, terrorists, and hostage takers among other detestable things. The toadies in the media have backed the progressive elite up even to the point of agreeing with them. Elenore Clift is one such example Sunday on the McLaughlin Group. To draw a moral equivalence between people who engage in such evil acts as killing innocents, with people who are making a principled stand for Constitutional rule, shows one of two things. Either those who draw the equivalence are horribly broken inside or they are liars. Both disqualify them from holding any power over anyone.

 

I hadn’t written The Frog and the Scorpion a month before the AP phone scandal broke. We later found out FOX news reporters phones were being tapped as well. The press feigned outrage but in fact quivered in their boots. Terrified of the power they had bestowed upon the new imperial President. Today news reporters have few sources and those they do meet them in dark alleys and fear they are being followed. Story after story has come out describing the fear the press holds of this president. In this latest struggle between the imperial president and the legislature, the media has uniformly followed the the talking points of their oppressor. Perhaps they have Stockholm Syndrome? Regardless, if it was out of fear, cognitive dissonance or blind obedience, they have done themselves and our country a great disservice.

 

The separation of powers was supposed to be a bulwark against an executive becoming imperial. Our republic was founded on the knowledge, historically tyranny has risen from the executive branch, in a republic. Montesquieu made the argument that the Judiciary should be separated from the Executive Branch to further weaken it and prevent this outcome. Our founding fathers agreed and placed the Judicial Branch into our Constitution. The provision for a free press was an idea incorporated into our Constitution as another means to prevent tyranny. As this sad episode has shown us, this president has effectively neutered the Legislative Branch, he has whipped the unbiased media into line, he disregards Judicial rulings, he enforces the law arbitrarily and he is caught lying to the American people without consequence. In the Federalist Papers Madison, Jay and Hamilton warn this would be the end of our republic and limited government. I fear that unless drastic measures are not taken, like impeachment or installing a NUMA, to reign in this president, WE will be the generation that lost liberty… to our eternal shame.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Opinion, Violence and Civilization

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the moment opinion is met with death threats, there is no longer civilization in the land. What had been civilization has now become anarchy, and until the threat of death for opinion is removed, there will be no civilization… with all that portends. It should be clear to everyone, it is not the right role of government to empower those that meet opinion with death threats, because government’s role is to foster peaceful civilization, so the people can go about their days without being molested or having their property stolen. Those that meet opinion with violence are to be vilified, and if possible, incarcerated. They are the very real manifestation of a mortal threat to civilization and should be treated as such.

 

The role of right government is to create a framework so that commerce and social living can go on with minimal impediment. This is one of the reasons Machiavelli said that a stable tyranny is preferable, to the people, than an unstable democracy. A stable tyranny is just that… stable, while an unstable democracy is, well… unstable. People cannot walk down the street alone in an unstable society, women and children are always in danger from the criminal element, and property is up for grabs where instability reigns. While on the other hand, people prosper in a stable society, a woman can walk down the street or ride a bus alone in safety, and children can play without fear of predators. Clearly, from this we can see, the right role of government is to foster a stable society and shun that which makes it unstable.

 

Civilization itself is dependent on the free exchange of information. Much of that information is in the form of opinion. If certain opinions are met with threats of death, especially if they are carried out, they shut down the free flow of information. By definition and by design. Civilizations that have no debate quickly stagnate and die unless there is a source of outside income. Stopping the flow of information necessarily staunches debate. The reason staunching of debate is so bad for a society, is because various societies are intermingled, and in competition. They are usually designated by national boundaries, but sometimes cross those boundaries, the Kurds for example. Those countries that stifle debate, fall behind those that do not, in every metric of good. For example, poor performing economies, they quickly become tyrannies, and their state of general education declines, among many other negatives.

 

Those who are insecure in their beliefs are always those who seek to shut down the opinions of others. They unconsciously know the weakness of their arguments and instead of backing them up with logic, which is their opinion’s weakness, they back it up with violence. This means that no one in the debate, believes that the position who threatens violence is correct… even those that argue for it! If they themselves know there is no argument that can be made for their position, but have too much hubris to cede it, violence is their only resort. By doing this they discredit not only themselves but their very movement! That is not to say, once violence is started one shouldn’t protect themselves, it is natural rights, to meet violence with violence, but is far different from threatening death for opinion, that is meeting words with violent action. Words can be ignored but violent action cannot be.

 

Where civilization is in decline and instability rears it’s head… poverty and want can never be far behind. Those that threaten the stability of society and undermine it’s growth, are in fact leading directly to our civilization’s destruction, and therefore are a direct threat to us, our legacy and our children. The best thing to do, is to immediately point at the offender, whenever violence is offered for opinion. Let’s face it, offering violence for opinion, is evil, and if we all point at evil, evil cannot hide behind platitudes and spurious ad homonym attacks. The cumulative light of all of us, shining our own little beam on evil, must wither and dessicate it. Like a vampire in the old movies… evil can only live in darkness.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Empiricism, and the Existence of God

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, Hume’s argument against the existence of God is weak, in that if a single miracle can be proved to have happened, by his argument’s parameters, God must exist. Now, it is possible that God wants us to be able to prove his existence logically and empirically, but I think not. Despite our hubris, we are profoundly ignorant, and believe ourselves enlightened, patting our own backs in egotistic self deceit. Pride and conceit are the attributes of spoiled children. Once our civilization reaches it’s initial maturity, our self importance will max out, (as it does in a teenager)… further maturity will result in less conceit and pride with true awe and deep humility. Eventually, once humanity has actually become enlightened in the deepest sense, will we understand the role of God… or the myth of God, if such exists. That is both the way people mature and the way civilizations mature. That our civilization is so egotistic it believes it can empirically disprove God, or Prove him, is sure confirmation that we are moving into early adolescence.

 

Hume claimed if there were free will then it would be folly to punish a criminal. Because under free will he would be untrainable, due to his free will, ie. No external control of his actions. Thus, we must not have free will. It is our ability to control ourselves that proves there is no free will. Therefore, punishing criminals proves there is no free will… But, to my way of thinking, if we are but machines, subject to programming and outside control, then why, even in ancient Athens under the laws of Draco… have there always been criminals?

 

His epistemology was based on the insight that logic does not necessarily comport with reality. This was truly an insight. He made the point that just because he let go of a pencil, that pencil could logically go up, instead of down. It is our experience, or custom, that makes us believe it will fall. This was an important discovery in the evolution of philosophy, because it showed that metaphysical logic can go very wide of the mark, unless it is based on empirical proof… in other words, the weakness of logic disconnected from observation. But, just as he claimed that logic allows for a pencil to fly, instead of fall…

 

He also claimed, by their very definition, miracles are things that are not custom. We never see those actions in our daily lives. In fact, he argued, in the more civilized places we never see miracles at all. Since miracles have only been seen in barbarian places, then they are most probably figments of imagination, superstitions and the like. Since the existence of God is based on miracles, like creation, Jesus’ resurrection, turning water into wine and so forth, and they are mere superstition… there is no God. This is simply arguing that observed reality should be discarded for theory.

 

It is like the Cartesian arguing against Newton’s Laws of Motion, because his laws required action at a distance, and thus were absurd. To the Cartesian, skepticist theory trumped observable reality, as it is for those who seek to make the purely mechanistic argument for the existence of the universe. They must discount evidence that disproves their theory, as superstition or imagination, by dwelling on the non repeatable part of the miraculous instead of the empirically proven examples. Isn’t that the true nature of a miracle though? Something that is not custom, did happen and is not repeatable? In discrediting miracles as superstition, they seize the empirical high ground, with spurious logic. In the end they could be right, but as history shows us, the theories of today are always supplanted by the theories of tomorrow. With a commensurate advancement of our understanding of our Universe and our role in it.

 

We, as humanity, have a long way to go before we can begin to understand such subtle questions, as the existence and nature of God, or even if there is one. It is the hight of presumption to argue there is no God, because, since we have miracles testified to and in some cases, as in miraculous cancer remission, empirically proven yet not repeatable, there is at least the strong implication of God… and that there exists far more to reality than we, in our profound ignorance, can possibly understand, let alone quantify. As our understanding grows, so do our questions, therefore we can know only this… that we know little. It is conceited and prideful of us to believe otherwise.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin