Friday, November 30, 2012

Whittle While I Work

No time for a post this morning. I'm turning the wheel of the cosmic bus over to Bill Whittle, who, I think you'll agree, speaks excellent coonglish (HT: American Digest):


Blogger ted said...

Amusing talk, but full of partial truths. More rhetorical, than useful. The next conservative president will need to remain principled, while bringing with him/her the culture at large, not through compromise but, by reframing the ideology. Reagan & Lincoln were masters at that. But it's unlikely to happen from a pop culture maverick as Whittle hopes for.

11/30/2012 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Whittle spoke for 15 minutes. I don't think he meant to lay out an extensive and thorough agenda. The point is that we would like for someone to stand up and not be ashamed of individual freedom and a free-market ethic -- for someone to say, as Reagan did, that government is the problem not the solution.

11/30/2012 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Rhetorical? Yes, but maybe only because what he says is true - most of us don't believe that's it's OK to believe what we believe, at least not in public :)

And probably - only a (?)percentage of the 50% of right-headed voters truly believe in rugged American individualism anymore. This culture has sapped all of us to some extent.

11/30/2012 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What I got out of it was

1. Always be on offense.
2. Never apologize for truth.
3. Start taking back the culture from these psychopaths, moral retards, and intellectual pygmies.

11/30/2012 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

That is what I got out of it too, and I posted it on my facebook several days ago. It got a good conversation going. So many people are tired of being cowed.

12/01/2012 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Interesting, Leslie, re Facebook. Any lib response (if you have lib FB friends there)? I would guess mine would not be able to bear to hear a few words in to it. Literally, like words too vulgar to hear. Physical pain.

12/01/2012 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

I belong to a secret conservative group on fb. That is where the conversation was. I thought about posting it public, but, like you, I am too sensitive to take the abuse just now.

12/01/2012 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I may not have been clear. I meant my lib friends would be too sensative. When I engage with them on these subjects, which I never bring up (they do) they simply cut the conversation off. And I'm never emotional, or personal, or lengthy in my comments. My mission is to get somewhere. And I never do. Not yet.

12/01/2012 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Right. There is no arguing with idiots.

12/01/2012 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

The next Reagan if he wants to be president will need to run as a Dem.
That "D" has magic powers over way too many people. They reject everything but the d. Including what they hold dear, I say.

12/01/2012 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Leftism is primarily a spiritual illness, so it cannot be reasoned out of, only cured. And it cannot be cured without a spiritual transformation.

12/01/2012 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One of the horrors of Obama is seeing a man with such power who has the same ideas I had when I was such a psychopneumatic retard.

12/01/2012 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I suppose it's a little like seeing that your child is going to make a bad choice, and that there's not a thing you can do about it. Except there's no possibility that Obama will ever grow up, since he's so invested in his ideology and his "accomplishments."

12/01/2012 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I have a friend. Almost 60. She's even served as a dem town council person. Two terms. Life-long. What she would have to discard. I mean, I was the default variety and only about 20ish when someone explained conservatism to me. It was a short conversation .Then he directed me to listen to Rush. I chucked so easily whatever I had. Which wasn't an investment of any effort to speak of.
Many times I get somewhere with her and we agree. But if it gets too close to seeming like a conversation about political parties or ideologies.

12/01/2012 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As I've said, for me it required years of listening to Prager. I was a tough nut to crack, full of irrational prejudices I'd assimilated from the culture and exposure to higher education.

12/01/2012 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

When I think of how little I actually knew about conservatism, but how I was so ready to detest it anyway, I can understand how easy it was for Obama to play on such prejudices in his campaign. The media and educational establishment soften the person up with years of pounding, so it doesn't take much to deliver the knockout punch.

12/01/2012 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As of 1989 I still detested Reagan, and I voted twice for Clinton. Since Bush 2 was the first Republican I ever voted for, my awakening must have occurred somewhere between '96 and '00. If memory serves, I think what finally pushed me over the edge was the Elian Gonzalez deal, when Clinton sent that poor kid back into tyranny.

12/01/2012 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes, but in my case, I say she really doesn't have much to undo. She's not over educated. We have such similar temperaments and likes. She "gets" slack. I say she lives as a conservative. It is literally the D which separates us.
So maybe Bill is right in a way. But she could not watch that video.

12/01/2012 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not coincidentally, 1995 is when I made a serious spiritual commitment from which I haven't wavered.

12/01/2012 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Harvey Mansfield speaks the truth.

12/01/2012 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick -- she should take Prager's Are You a Liberal? test.

12/01/2012 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, yes no doubt. If there is no God, you would be crazy to not vote for freebees. Why would you care about what comes after you?

12/01/2012 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jack -- Mansfield's book on Manhood is excellent.

12/01/2012 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, I don't know about that test. It might do more harm. The questions (I just skimmed them) are too identifiable. In other words, she'll know how she's supposed to answer them. Even though she doesn't "live that way".

12/01/2012 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Mansfield's book on Manhood is excellent."

Thank you. I will check it out.

12/01/2012 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

For example, the cross dressing one. It's easy to check that box. But in reality, she might likely make fun of the guy among friends.

12/01/2012 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...


I have a coworker who is probably 80% conservative. We have all sorts of conversation on the decay of morality. Or the idiocy of certain leftist ideologies that are quite prevalent in the "progressive" town I live in.

Yet he would NEVER think, as far as I can tell, of himself as conservative. He votes reliably Democrat. He thinks that Republicans are, by definition, a force of ontological evil.

It's quite baffling.

12/01/2012 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, I would guess mine would not be able to bear to hear a few words in to it. Literally, like words too vulgar to hear. Physical pain.

Yes, I'm pretty sure any lib friends of mine on FB would be physically incapable of hearing. Even if they listened to the whole thing. People who consider documentaries by Michael Moore to be insightful and clear-headed are not even remotely prepared to take in Whittle's observations.

12/01/2012 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

My first step towards the spiritual world was through the realm of American Buddhism (Zen in my case). It often seems that Buddhism has been overrun by leftists no different than say, education, or Hollywood.

In fact one of the reasons I stopped involving myself in it, is that it seemed closer to a "spiritualized" form of postmodernism and progressive politics i.e. not spiritual at all.

My slow--perhaps even glacial--move towards Christianity began there. It was only then that I could begin to let go of the accumulated layers of idiotic leftism.

12/01/2012 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Jack, I know a few people who are that way, too. Or some like many my husband works with, who live personally very conservatively and expect their families to live conservatively (for instance, who have said they'd disown their child if he came out of the closet), but who are happy to support liberal and libertine lifestyles for everyone else. I think they think they are being magnanimous.

12/01/2012 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One of the points Prager often makes is: why do you not vote the way you actually live? Why not vote your values?

Most of the liberals I know lead extremely conservative lives, often in the negative sense of the term: cautious, conventional, predictable, flatlandish, etc. But then they vote for the opposite of their lived values.

12/01/2012 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, Jack, thanks. Where would I be without the raccoons.

12/01/2012 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I don't know about you, Rick, but the conversations here help keep me sane, especially after a morning of entertaining and shepherding two small children. :)

Thank god for nap time...

12/01/2012 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm reading this book by Giussani, and it's exactly paralleling what we're discussing here. Eerie. Like the same experience in two dimensions!

12/01/2012 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob, yes. The other day on the highway, I hope this doesn't come out wrong, there was this guy going precisely the speed limit. Seemingly unaware of the other driver's speed around him. I'm not encouraging speeding. But there was something repulsive about his behavior. He was wearing all the proper "gear". Like a pod-person. Hands at 9 and 3 o'clock or whatever they're supposed to be. Looking straight ahead. Trying no to disturb the earth.
Obviously I don't know him. But yet I keep seeing this fear of breaking "rules" everywhere. Probably a bad example or whatever. But it was repulsive. Probably has to do with having read Gulag. Rules? What time is it.

12/01/2012 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, the thing about speed limits is that often, they are somewhat arbitrary and bear little relation to the actual conditions on the road. Quite often, the guy fixated on the rule of the sign actually makes traffic conditions worse, and can create a dangerous situation. One of the surest ways to cause a traffic jam is to have a bunch of cars driving parallel in all available lanes at exactly the speed limit...

12/01/2012 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I sometimes wonder if we ultimately distinguish between lived experience and what we have "experienced" say in watching countless movies where liberals are heroes and conservatives villains.

Reality shows that one is successful and happy by embracing conservative values. It is entirely inescapable. Only those largely buffered from reality deeply believe otherwise. Yet simultaneously we imagine we *know* that leftism is true because we've "experienced" it being the case so many times.

This is where Andrew Klavan's insistence on winning the culture through art, music, movies etc becomes imperative. Perhaps there can then be a degree of unification between one's actual lived experience and cultivated imagination.

It has been on my mind how I could better contribute to that.

12/01/2012 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The irony is that liberals are such sanctimonious, buzz-killing prigs and scolds, which is then projected into the conservatives of their imagination.

12/01/2012 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

I have a liberal friend, "Lance", who often posts things to see what I will say. Today, he posted an article about something that happened in my town. One of the local high schools "locked down" and did a drug sweep using folks from the private prison in the area. I hadn't heard of it. His friend commented that such abuse happens because of the privatization of police and jails. I told him, that I am so far removed from institutionalization (I took my children out of school 13 years ago), that I hadn't heard of it, but I wasn't surprised. The fact that such a horrible thing is happening in school and was brought on by the policies of the left, is completely lost on him. So typical of the left.

12/01/2012 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We have some liberal friends who moved to Bend, Oregon, and thought the schools were so bad, they founded their own private school. But I don't think it ever occurred to them to ask why public schools are so bad, and who is responsible. Just clueless.

12/01/2012 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger NotquiteunBuckley said...

GB scares the shit out of me.

I can't compete with his mind, knowledge, experience, or wisdom, and know my comeuppance is more than do.

So I will say it: The GOP needs more Buckley.

We need to go back in time.

Everyone that truly cares must be willing to prove it by quoting Buckley accurately where, and most importantly when as Buckley knew timing is everything, things D. Carnegie talked about in How to Win Friends ... namely, be like dog: loyal, enthusiastic, and game.

I don't supplicate much GB and don't want to confront everything you stand for as I am sitting staring at mystic Buckley metaphors and that satisfies me (like C. Kane told his wife Susan).

12/01/2012 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't like Glen Beck either, but nor was I ever a big Buckley fan.

12/01/2012 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Completely off topic, speaking of strange things that happen to people after they move, tonight I'm being treated to the sound of a mariachi band, live from my next-door neighbor's back yard. Sounds like quite the party...

12/01/2012 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Awesome. And 15 minutes or no, he does nail the core problem, that being that those the GOP (and others) put forward, either do not actually believe the ideas they claim to represent, or they are incapable of articulating them, and do not have the spine to do so even if they could.

12/02/2012 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

And the problem is not just with the GOP, but with libertarians, independents and just plain Americans in general.

I went to a meeting at our state capitol yesterday, of grassroots activists from around our state, MO, and there was very little consistency of 'messaging' (the new buzzword) there either, though there was much concern of how to craft your messaging so as to appeal to the young, the mex... hisp... ullLahteeeenOHhhesss... etc.

I put in my two cents, that it's not a matter of making a message more timely, but more timeless. That you can't appeal to people by 'reaching out' to them, when those you're competing with are reaching out with goodies. They have to be made to understand your message and why it is important to their lives, or fuhgedaboudit.

I met one of our occasional OC commenters there, Philmon, and he summed it up well:

".... many people don't really have a consistent philosophy behind what they believe ... in other words, they might believe the right things, but they don't know why. Which is kind of the job of culture. We can't all be intellectuals. Some of us got jobs."

Definitely. Which is why culture, and respect for it, is so important (and why the left has been attacking it for so long) - it conveys the best understanding of the best of those the culture has produced, without every person having to do the due diligence of understanding every point themselves.

Once the culture is fragmented, mocked and/or in many places simply gone - what it once had to say is no longer enough to be referenced in an argument, especially a political one.

The essentials must be understood. Especially by those attempting to promote and defend them.

12/02/2012 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

The essence of the Left is collectivism and relativism. For many years, I had a lefty-esque orientation because liberalism appeared to me like Tradition. But......I didn't realize that secularism is basically the 2nd commandment without the 1st. Consequently, it is a parody of Tradition. A sacred civilization is "collectivist" and "humamist"- but based upon the verticality of the great chain of being.

But the masses are familiar with a very different story. I was recently watching a "History of Western Civilization" DVD from the Great Courses Company. The program started with the Rennaissance at which point we're told that this marked the beginning of the "collapse" of the Great Chain of Being. This was presented, of course, as a wonderful and enlightening thing because the GCOB provided the worldview rationale for the hierarchical feudal structure of Christendom.

The instructor explained that this "collapse" was a great advancement for humanity in that it laid the foundation for democracy and individual rights. The key point was clearly that God belief and the accompanying Tradition legitimized inequality and, by extension, tyranny. The perspective throughout the next few episodes was that theism equals despotism.


12/02/2012 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Apologies for always going off topic.

12/02/2012 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, relativism and collectivism sum it up nicely. Those two devolve to nihilism and tyranny, i.e., the absence of truth and freedom (which are two sides of the same coin).

12/02/2012 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Looking forward to this new bio of Coolidge. Very much the anti-Obama.

12/02/2012 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

" One of the local high schools "locked down" and did a drug sweep using folks from the private prison in the area. I hadn't heard of it. His friend commented that such abuse happens because of the privatization of police and jails. I told him, that I am so far removed from institutionalization (I took my children out of school 13 years ago), that I hadn't heard of it, but I wasn't surprised. The fact that such a horrible thing is happening in school and was brought on by the policies of the left, is completely lost on him."

My father, a former school superintendent, would have loved something like this.

He was big on the entire law and order/punishment thing. Pretty much an anti-hippy.

His heyday was really the 1970's, when he was in charge of discipline at a high school, where he got to interrogate students and get trick them into giving up information on other misbehaving students.

I think what he really wanted to do was be an FBI agent or Secret Service Agent. He would probably have also enjoyed being in charge of security at a U.S. embassy.

I accompanied him on a police raid once, where a bunch of kids playing with a ball at 2am were all forced to lay down at gunpoint for violation of school property laws. This was years ago.

I think using the police against the student population gave him an adrenalin and endorphin rush.

12/02/2012 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"Apologies for always going off topic."

There's a topic?

No wonder I always felt like I was missing something that other people seemed to intuitively know when I commented here.

12/02/2012 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Philmon is from MO? I'm surprised. He seems so normal.

12/02/2012 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Chris said "The program started with the Rennaissance at which point we're told that this marked the beginning of the "collapse" of the Great Chain of Being."

Is that "Foundations of Western Civilization"? But part 2, right? If so, in fairness, the first Prof does spend 48 lectures leading up to that point, but still, you're right, that is often the tone.

I popped in the first few lectures of Part 1 (never got part 2) while toodling around today, to refresh my memory, and it was about what I remembered. Typically the prof affects a breezy style, heavily inflected with wry tones, always shooting for an amused detachment, slightly mocking, and for those issues which the people of the time (could be the Hebrews, could be the Sumerians) held to be important, he adds in just a dash of condescension sprinkled so as to include you, the listener, in on the joke at their expense 'Sargon, the Assyrian leader, was supposed to have been found floating in a reed basket in the river, just like the later story of Moses. Perhaps not surprisingly, a River people commonly tell stories of gifts born on the waters, as well as of disastrous floods.'

Always the point seems to be a mechanistic, reductionist ('probably this led to that, which was then told in epic as...'), always analyzing and rarely synthesizing to anything more than a happenstance of events. Usually quick to point out the error of reading too much in to what so & so people actually accomplished, yet oblivious to their own assumptions. A couple stand out favorites from today, he goes to great lengths to disabuse the listener of their uncritical assumptions about the terms 'Foundation', 'Western' and 'Civilization', and yet in describing them he notes that Western Civ has 'produced great wealth, though often unfairly distributed', giving zero attention to what assumptions might be made in regards to 'fair' or to 'distributed'.

And then, in describing the region the Hebrews settled and established kingdoms in, as "Roughly what we think of today as Israel, or, from another point of view, Palestine." [blink]. 'award-winning scholar and teacher Thomas F. X. Noble of the University of Notre Dame'. K.

BTW, for several years I gobbled up huge chunks of their lecture series, but got tired of the never ending "New INCREDIBLE Sale! 75% off!", and their chopping the lectures down from 60 min to 45 min, and then down to 30 min length. I switched to the "Modern Scholar" series which are on the one hand essentially free in my monthly subscription, and two, go to greater depth and length on their topics,& without forcing them into a set time. Still though, with a few exceptions, that tone is the norm, and if you sit through the video taped courses from MIT, Berkeley, Yale, etc, that is the least abrasive aspect of them.

I still enjoy them all more than listening to the radio, but....

12/02/2012 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Mushroom said "Philmon is from MO? I'm surprised. He seems so normal."



12/02/2012 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...


Yes, it was Western Civ Part 2. The teacher was Robert Bucholz. An excellent lecturer- I enjoyed the course. But, as I stated, the theme that he kept referring back to was the collapse of the great chain of being (big smiles). I would be highly surprised to discover that Bucholz is not a liberal. With Noble, I am not so sure.

I'm gonna check out the Modern Scholar series. Thanx!

12/02/2012 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I kind of missed the liberal secular humanism bus.

That is to say, it left without me on it in the first place. Granted, I was on the materialist bus, but that's because science came so easily to me. I chucked that in college.

I don't argue with people about politics/religion/Van because it tends to alienate them.

What is this great chain of being thingy?

12/02/2012 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

vile nytimes reports on the vagaries of fame, charity, doing 'good' out of

12/03/2012 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

"College" is a major part of this problem. Baccalaureate institutions prolong adolescence and chain students to the state's "largesse."

Once you throw students to the wolves of the marketplace, they grow up fast. They hustle. They innovate and scratch itches. And they don't like you messing with their money. Then they also get involved in the charities they want, in a big way.

The Statists were very patient in their long march. So too must be the Freemen. Here are three points in what must be a relentless critique:

1. The State is the Dead Hand of economic life. Exhibit A: Europe.

2. Relativists are the socialites of the intellectual world.

3. When Democrats are in charge, you get Detroit.

The next twenty years are going to be rough, folks.

I used to be a quiet, polite guy about politics. It got my kids eight years of Obama.

Now when people ask, I'm blunt. Example: "Great news about Obama, eh?" "No, actually. He's a proven disaster, for everyone." You should see the looks on their faces. I used to care, but now I don't.

They're screwing my kids, and that means I don't have to play nice.

12/03/2012 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Magister, Yep. And especially on: " They're screwing my kids, and that means I don't have to play nice."

12/03/2012 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

JP said " I don't argue with people about politics/religion/Van because it tends to alienate them."

On the contrary, I think you don't argue because you you assume you are already alienated from them and would rather leave it that way, hoping to avoid being found out (which was why that despicable dictum was sold as ' manners' in the first place).

See Magister's comment above.

12/03/2012 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

JP said "What is this great chain of being thingy?"

A bit cheesed up, but it is from wackademia:

"Among the most important of the continuities with the Classical period was the concept of the Great Chain of Being. Its major premise was that every existing thing in the universe had its "place" in a divinely planned hierarchical order, which was pictured as a chain vertically extended. ("Hierarchical" refers to an order based on a series of higher and lower, strictly ranked gradations.) An object's "place" depended on the relative proportion of "spirit" and "matter" it contained--the less "spirit" and the more "matter," the lower down it stood."

12/03/2012 10:01:00 PM  

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