Archive for January, 2012

Cries For Civility

Posted in Ethics & Morality, Politics, Society on January 31st, 2012

Cry Baby - You're MeanMuch like the cries of racism and complaints about ad hominem attacks, recently we’ve been hearing a lot of cries for civility in political discourse. There’s a certain subset of the residents within America’s borders who want a more polite and staid approach to deciding the course of America.

It seems that politics has gotten too raw and real for some people.

This, of course, begs three related questions: who are these people crying for increased civility, what is it that they actually want, and why do they want it so much?

Who’s Crying For Civility

I see two disparate and unrelated general segments of America’s population crying out for an increase in civility in political speech and argument. They are respectively the apolitical drones and the Leftists, the Liberals and Progressives. Each makes similar outcries but for seemingly different reasons and with different real goals.

What Do They Really Want And Why?

The apolitical people just want things to go quietly. They’re uninvolved in politics, fervently wish to stay that way, and are both bothered and scared by the passion that is being shown by many others. Whether from cynicism or self-centeredness, they do not want to pull their heads out the oh-so-comfortable sand and become involved and the fire of current political discourse is preventing them from doing this.

The staid, stuffy, and easily ignored ways are what these drones want to return to because they don’t want to open their eyes and choose a side.

The Leftists, these Liberals and Progressives, are quite different.  They are awake, aware, involved in the political process, and they have a definite direction that they want to take America in. Their cries for civility are really two things: cynical attempts to silent their enemies and cries for validation and acceptance.

The willfully uninvolved will just have to stop their ears better and learn to keep their heads down.

For many of the Left, their cries are just dog-whistles for censoring the American people. They don’t really want civility, as their very cries for it often show, so much as they want to stop any dissent against their foundations of their agenda.

For others on the left it is a matter of crying out for acceptance and validation. They’re looking for some affirmation that, even though their enemies disagree with their core ethos, they are still respected and approved of.


Sadly for those who’re crying out for increased civility, I don’t see much chance of- or value in its return any time in the near future. The divide in America is not too deep; it’s to fundamental. It doesn’t allow for the luxury of civility anymore. It’s not a political divide; it’s an ethical and moral divide.

We’re not going to be silenced. We’re not going to engage in carefully managed debates over minutiae of methodology when we want to change the goals and systems. And we’re very much not going to respect our enemies when we find the core beliefs that underpin their goals and actions to be utterly abominable and abhorrent.

Related Reading:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
Putin's Propaganda Machine: Soft Power and Russian Foreign Policy
Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

Ad Hominem?

Posted in Musings, Politics, Society on January 30th, 2012

You hear a lot of people, mostly Liberals and Progressives, whining about supposed ad hominem attacks. They just don’t, from what I can see, have a firm grasp on what that term means.

Ad Hominem

A Hominem ( Latin for  “to the man” ) is short for argumentum ad hominem, a logical fallacy that is an attempt to negate the validity of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.

While Leftists of all sorts do get abused regularly be citizens of the Civilized World, especially Americans, I see only a small minority of the occurrences being truly argumentum ad hominem.

In political discussions and across the blogosphere – neither a place known for staid and polite discourse – I see comparatively few instances where people have tried to negate the validity of a Leftist’s claim by pointing out the Leftist’s negative characteristics or beliefs.

I have, on the other hand, often seen examples of what I’ll call argumentum ad factis ( Latin for “to the facts” ). Very often people try negate the validity of Leftists by pointing out the negative characteristics of their arguments.

It’s not the same thing to say that they’re wrong because of their arguments (“ad factis“) as it is to say that their arguments are wrong because they said them (ad hominem).

Related Reading:

CSB She Reads Truth Bible, Poppy Linen
Melodious and Progressive Studies for Flute, Book 1
Mystic's Musings
The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama
Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

Forgetting History

Posted in Politics, Society on January 28th, 2012

Despite how much and how stridently the Liberals and Progressives claim that Americans want to revise history, it they who are not only forgetting history but demanding that it be forgotten.

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

— George Santayana
The Life Of Reason. Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense

To put it simply, those who cannot learn from past mistakes are more than likely going to make them again.

Americans need only look into the past to when we were the invaders who refused to assimilate into the native language, culture, sociopolitical tapestry of America and accept and retain those lessens.

Is it too late to build a fence?
Is It Too Late To Build A Fence?

The Native American tribes could have done things differently and stood a better chance of retaining their nations, cultures, languages…and lives. They, however, failed to recognize the dangers and act accordingly in the early days of the European colonization of America.

We've lost control of our borders. They must be rounded up and deported
…All 300 Million Of Them!

This ended up leaving the debased remnants of the Amerindian peoples in an untenable situation. No amount of Ghost Dances are going to return the land to their tribes now or bring back their languages and cultures.

  • Of the 300+ native tribal languages in the US, only 175 remain many without native speakers. This is expected to drop to 20 by 2050
  • In the 17th Century Native Americans in the US numbered between 12 – 18 million. By the beginning of the 20th Century they had been reduced to 250 thousand

Now we, as Americans, are on the other side of the equation and we can remember this history or we can forget and face the consequences.

Related Reading:

The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Become a Great Cook
By Reason of Insanity: David Brunelle Legal Thriller #3 (David Brunelle Legal Thriller Series)
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outline of Aesthetic Theory
Reasonable Insanity