Sunday, July 04, 2010

July Fourth Civics Lesson

So, 26 percent of Americans have no idea what country the United States fought in order to gain its independence. Perhaps they were just confused as to whether the questioner was referring to the past or the present, since this time around Americans are having to fight their own federal government in order to regain their independence.

What's much more disconcerting is that 44 percent of our Supreme Court justices haven't even read the Constitution. It makes you long for a "simpler" time, when Americans knew their own history, and when the average person knew just as much about the Constitution as Sonia Slowtocatchon or Ruth Boyare Gunsbad:

No offense, but I think we can do better than the Star Spangled Banner for a national anthem, starting with a melody that was actually made in America. Why an English drinking song? Why not an American drinking song? I mean, anything you want we got it right here in the USA:


Blogger ge said...

Old Testament off topic musical share y'may not've

7/04/2010 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I learned the preamble to the constitution from Schoolhouse Rock. It's nearly impossible for me to recite without hearing the melody they used!

7/04/2010 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I never saw the show, but did you know that most of the songs were written and performed by bebop and cool jazz pianist, composer and vocalese singer BobDorough, who also arranged and produced the legendary sunshine pop act Spanky & Our Gang? It's why their vocals are so jazzy....

7/04/2010 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The lyrics to Three is a Magic Number are rather mystical when you think about it:

Three is a magic number,
Yes it is, it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number.

The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body,
Give you three as a magic number.

A man and a woman had a little baby,
Yes, they did.
They had three in the family,
And that's a magic number.

7/04/2010 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I did not know that. The melodies have stuck with me for a long time I learned the parts of speech from Schoolhouse Rock. In fact, I probably learned more from schoolhouse Rock than I did from the actual schoolhouse. I am not saying that is a GOOD thing!

The Preamble

7/04/2010 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

His vocal arrangement for It Ain't Necessarily Bird Avenue is pretty great.

7/04/2010 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Three is a magic number?! I remember that I think...who know I was learning the mysteries of the universe during the commercial breaks of Super Friends!

7/04/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He also did a good vocal arrangement for Stardust.

7/04/2010 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...


Here's one book I forgot to mention. John Tavener's Music of Silence. As you probably know he was heavily influenced by Schuon.

7/04/2010 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Just came back from the beach. I'm surprised it's as high as 26%.

7/04/2010 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I believe Tavener is an Orthodox Christian disciple of Schuon.

7/04/2010 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Johan our Swedish Coon might be interested to know that one of the architects of Swedish socialism -- can't recall his name -- later renounced socialism and became a disciple of Schuon.

7/04/2010 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And Woodrew Wilson's daughter became a disciple of Aurobindo and spent the rest of her life at his ashram.

7/04/2010 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

That all sounds very romantic.

7/04/2010 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As I've said before, I'm quite sure that a lot of people flee Christianity because it is presented in such a manner that no intelligent person could accept it. Indeed, you will notice that the MSM perpetuates this by covering only the stupidly religious, thus perpetuating their own anti-Christian agenda.

7/04/2010 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

GB - yes it is. These people are either looking to make a buck off dupes or looking for a sensational conversion in a superficial way.

That's why I always advocate doing your own research.

7/04/2010 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

As for the media these days, it's cool to take up for idol worshipping killers (have they done any research into how islam got started)?

They attack Christianity instead because it's a religion they know they can attack and we won't kill them.

They like to pretend we're silly and laughable, but I think they're afraid of it.

7/04/2010 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Having lived in the Bible belt I am familiar with both the stereotypes and the reality regarding the alleged small-minded, ignorant Jesus-worshippers. I would take a single small church full of these people over the entirety of the US intelligentsia in a heartbeat. These are the towns the Marines and infantry come from, not Cambridge or Berkeley.

The MSM are beyond blasphemy -- they're straight up enemies of all Christians.

The people who seemed to get the universality of Christ (Christianity is for everyone) more than anyone I've met were the clergy in Rome.

7/04/2010 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

what an amazing song THIS is!

i suspect few here know it

almost as amazing was this the only site that has it---more 'patriotic' than any westerner!
[that's writ by ron elliott who plays the guitar---the spare production makes it, 2 vocs & a geee-tar]

7/04/2010 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

...this time around Americans are having to fight their own federal government in order to regain their independence.


7/04/2010 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

ge -- that is a great song. I have it on the Rhino Everly Brothers box. A lot of their later stuff was great, long after they had fallen from the charts.

7/04/2010 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger greyniffler said...

Bob, I'll disagree about the Star Spangled Banner, with a fillip of my own.

First, the best-known verse begins and ends with a question. That's appropriate for this country. It's moderately hard to sing perfectly. Again appropriate: being Americans and remaining anchored to the spirit of our COnstitution is difficult. The melody was an English drinking song? Also appropriate. Our revolution was fought to preserve liberties which the English colonists regarded as their birthright after a thousand years of bloody history.

But here's the kicker: we only know the first verse. Maybe if we were in the habit of singing the third verse it wouldn't be so hard for us to understand the need to track down and destroy those who are trying to destroy us:

And where is that band
who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war
and the battle's confusion
A home and a country would
leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out
their foul footsteps' pollution.
And nothing could save the
hireling and slave
From the terror of flight and
the gloom of the grave.
And the Star-Spangled Banner in
triump shall wave
O'er the land of the free and
the home of the brave.

7/04/2010 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I see your point. Still, consider the last verse of Back in the USA:

Looking hard for a drive-in,
searching for a corner café
Where hamburgers sizzle
on an open grill night and day
And a juke-box jumping with
records like in the U.S.A.

Makes a grown man weep.

7/04/2010 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I'm still enjoying PJ O'Rourke's shameless defense of American exceptionalism today. A bit of refreshing and funny pride in even our exceptionally bad traits.

7/04/2010 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I love that Barney Fife scene. :)

Happy Independence Day!

7/04/2010 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I always like the verse beginning, "And thus be it ever when free men shall stand/Between their loved homes and the war's desolation/Blessed with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n rescued land/Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation."

I remember way back when I was a kid hearing "Meathead" on the Archie Bunker show protest the national anthem as a war-mongering hymn. I remember thinking, "And conquer we must, IF our cause it is just." It's about justice and freedom, not war.

7/04/2010 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Sorry. Meant to say, Just came back from the beach. I'm surprised it's as low as 26%.
Of course, just knowing the facts, the who, is not understanding the why.

7/04/2010 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If conservatives had been in control of education for the past 50 years, it would be their fault.

But since liberals have been in charge, it's just a mystery. Oh, and they'll need a lot more of our money to get to the bottom of it.

7/04/2010 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Public education plays a part, no doubt. Plus the simple fact that some percentage of Americans are going to be less intelligent than average. If memory serves, something like 1/4 to 1/3 of Americans polled were Truthers, too.

Still, such a simple element of history should be easy for almost anyone to remember, provided they were taught it in the first place...

7/04/2010 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It would be fun to ask the same people what percentage of the population they believe is of below average intelligence.

7/04/2010 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

lol - first, they'd have to have been taught what an average is...

7/04/2010 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Extra fun - ask the same question of the same people, but substitute the word "mean" for average.

7/04/2010 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

That's one thing about Christianity: you don't have to be smart to be a Christian. If you're really smart in this country, chances are today you're an atheist, and always will be. Go figger.

7/04/2010 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

To be honest, Bob is one of the few obviously brilliant people (not trying to flatter here, just stating objective truth) who managed to pull things together to the point where he is able to help the rest of us do the same.

The VAST majority of very high-IQ people I've worked with and otherwise known are spiritually dumb, if not retarded.

7/04/2010 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Not that there aren't *many* others like Bob: Prager, Sowell, and many others. But my point stands that probably most 150+ IQ Americans are spiritual runts.

7/04/2010 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One of the problems is that at a certain point, high IQ is associated with a diminution of imagination and creativity, two critical modes required to engage O in a fruitful manner.

7/04/2010 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Could be part of the reason why -- with a few obvious exceptions -- most successful entrepreneurs are not super-intelligent, however they certainly are creative and imaginative (pretty much by definition).

I worked briefly for a firm in Cambridge comprised almost entirely of MIT PhDs. Technically it was ferociously competent. Commercially it was a catastrophic failure that flushed $65M in 4 years flat.

7/04/2010 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Americans have always managed a healthy disdain for intellectuals, something the French utterly failed to achieve in 200+ years.

7/04/2010 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

NB--I'm partial to visionaries like that. Well, I guess so...I married one. Never cared for the "picky-une" type. I think the visionary type is quintessentially American. It takes a visionary to forge ahead into the unknown and make something out of wilderness. It takes real inventiveness to make it by the skin of your teeth and not much else. It's largely farmers who settled this land, and farmers are some of the most inventive people around.

7/04/2010 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

In fact, the people I admire most are the practical, common-sense country wits. I love those Texan sayings, for instance. :)

7/04/2010 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...


No one cared much about the electric guitar until somebody turned it up too loud.

7/04/2010 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

uno mas musical recommend:
for the man Richard Thompson said of: 'There are only three white blues singers, and Geoff Muldaur
is at least two of them.'
[[most links have active options]]

7/04/2010 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Thankfully we won the cold war...brace yourself as the Russian Navy sings Let it Be.

Move over Sir Paul!

Happy Independence Day!!

7/04/2010 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

'nevah listened to electric guitar'

Why o why i couldnt-a figured out on my own Hendrix's pre-gadget idea for 'that' sound!!: you just overdrive the amp on 10 or 11, and have the guitar vol at zero, then inch it up fractionally. McCartney reported being at his first Hendrix gig and hearing the loudest "B-z-z-z-z cachuunk" he'd ever heard as Hendrix plugged in...

7/05/2010 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Veering OT, Weingarten rarely brings a smile to my lips, but yesterday his heartache did.

7/05/2010 05:41:00 AM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

"Johan our Swedish Coon might be interested to know that one of the architects of Swedish socialism -- can't recall his name -- later renounced socialism and became a disciple of Schuon."

Yes, I actually knew some about that. His name is Tage Lindbom and was part of the intellectual left/working class movement. Obviously he was to (or true) intelletuall to leave them.

I have also stumbled over a couple of swedish perennialist blogs too.

7/05/2010 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said... had a contest to express the Declaration of Independence in a twitter tweet. Runner up:

"Our Rights from Creator (h/t @JLocke). Life, Liberty, PoH FTW! Your transgressions = FAIL. GTFO, @GeorgeIII. -HANCOCK et al.

7/05/2010 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

**"In fact, the people I admire most are the practical, common-sense country wits. I love those Texan sayings, for instance. :)"

Susannah, I always like your comments, but this one really gets my 100% agreement. ;-)

7/05/2010 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not bad. Reminds me of when liberals used to be funny.

7/05/2010 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I mean the tweet, not you, tweetheart.

7/05/2010 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Yeah, Slate is "centrist" according to Slate. There are some classical liberals there among the lefties. No leftist would have used the word "Creator". In fact, here's a leftist entry from the same contest:

"Dear (no longer our King) George, we'd much rather oppress and unfairly tax than be oppressed and unfairly taxed. Peace." #TinyDeclaration

How many "liberals" are at least to some extent actually liberal, versus how many are leftists? Inquiring minds want to know...

wv: anapper
Fortunately baby Katie is having one while Mom is out for the morning.

7/05/2010 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Breaking in the new nanny this week (girl from mainland China -- fluent English). Any tips re this process much appreciated.

7/05/2010 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Swiped from Glenn R.'s site:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

-- Robert Heinlein

I have to say that the Obama cabal is doing everything in their power to discourage grass-roots wealth creation. It is so bad that as I've mentioned here before I've started my latest company outside the US (first time in 25+ years).

7/05/2010 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. nanny advice, I think you're on your own with that one, NB. I'm pretty sure we're all do-it-yourselfers as far as childrearing goes.

7/05/2010 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...


Yeah we are too pretty much. Mom is home full time, and I'm around most of the time since new corp is run mostly remotely for now (R&D phase). Nanny is more an extra set of hands at this point.

7/05/2010 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Bob's many posts about the critical importance of mother-child bonding, the sacred three-ness of the mother/father/child dynamic unit -- all that stuff sunk in for us quite firmly. There will be no handing this child off to others, nor will there be any malignant leftists in the public school system offering condoms to her in grade school (this is actually now in MA).

7/05/2010 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

correction: actually happening now in MA

7/05/2010 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

NB, I've often thought a temporary nanny would come in handy for a couple of weeks while I got the house de-cluttered and ready for the new "schooling" year. :) Just to make sure the little boys don't brain each other with baseball bats or anything.

(Just kidding...I actually hid the baseball bat out of reach, anticipating just such a scenario...)

Mainly, I'd need somebody to handle meals and clean-up. These people just *insist* on being fed at regular intervals.

7/05/2010 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You mean you don't just fill one trough with Doritos and another with strawberry smoothies? I thought it was so easy....

7/05/2010 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

As my Dad used to (still) says, "Now I'm really hungry!"

7/05/2010 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Susannah, that makes sense. For extra hands in the short term, I just invite the in-laws. It works for now, since the baby novelty hasn't worn off yet...

7/05/2010 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Clearly, I'm doing things the hard way. ;)

7/05/2010 01:46:00 PM  

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