Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Teach Out

We think that common sense will win out. It is after all the American virtue. But common sense is not innate -- otherwise all cultures would be relatively equal. No, common sense is the result of culture, not its creator. We are the product of our upbringing. Sometimes we get lucky, and transcend it. But sometimes we don't live up to it. It's not chemistry, it's alchemy. In any case, these things are statistical, and we tend to follow the lead we're given. If we're trained to expect corruption, then that's just the way it is, and we buy justice when we can afford it, and when we can't we throw ourselves at the feet of vain and arrogant judges and hope that a whim will favor us. Is it not so?

Americans expect justice, not corruption, because it's what we've been trained to do -- respect our institutions. Of course there's corruption, in high places. Of course corruption can be institutional. It's as much to observe that there is decay and death in the world. We do not condemn our decency because we have seen degradation.

The other day I was talking with a fellow, the Truther dude, who believes in all these conspiracies. He was trying to explain Mendelian recessive genes to me. After a point you just have to interrupt that sort of thing. Yes, I went to high school. He seems to believe that the world lies in the lap of the Evil One. He seems to think that Satan works through Priniciplalities. Well? He is correct. Yet I maintain that somehow God nevertheless is in control. Nations have archangels, as they have fallen angels. There is a battle in the heavenlies, and God notes the loss of not only sparrows.

It was interesting to observe his use of half-understood evidence. I recommended that he read a book on logic. No insult meant, but it was really sloppy. He asked, "Do you know that Satan can kill people? Cause a bloodvein in the brain to burst?" "Prove it." And he offered Job, the attack on his health, and I had to agree that Satan can affect health. But then I said it was a limited example -- God deliberately handed Job over to Satan. This tells us not that Satan can damage our health, but that God allows Satan to do so, sometimes, under specific circumstances.

He believes in the power of the Masons. There's a statue of a guy named Pike in Washington DC, and he invented the 33rd degree, and there's never been a statue erected to a private citizen in Washington and that proves the Masons are in charge of the evil conspiracy. Something like that. I won't bother to parse it. I just gave him the proverb, A man seems right, until his neighbor stands to speak. Evidence is not for believing. It's for testing.

Point is, common sense. It has to start with logic, which starts with axioms and premises. If we're not trained, even a little, in the need to test things to their very foundation, there is no common sense. It's the job of parents, and teachers, preachers, and institutions, and anyone in a position of influence. Well, you know how that goes. Parents are, mostly, morons. Only a small percentage of humanity keeps civilization going. We'd be wearing caked mud and eating chicken feathers without the industry of a relatively few organized personalities.

So the attack on free speech, on the First Amendment -- it can't come as a surprise. George Will observes that academia, liberal, focuses its efforts on limiting political expression. How very strange. Their efforts "treat free speech as not an inherent good but as a merely instrumental good, something justified by serving other ends -- therefore something to be balanced against, and abridged to advance, other goods." Such goods as, say, eradicating corruption. Liberals believe this can be done. Human nature, they believe, Evolves.

Thus, Zephyr Teachout, maven of academe, offers a "capacious definition of corruption [which] includes even an unseemly 'attitude' of citizens as well as officeholders 'toward public service.' She says the Framers thought limiting corruption was their 'primary task.' Therefore the 'anti-corruption principle' should have 'as much weight' as the First Amendment..." Attitude is not behavior; attitude is thought. She wants to limit thought. She thinks, ultimately, that the First Amendment was about limiting speech, rather than limiting government. She fails to apprehend that the Separation of Powers, and the Federal System, and the system of Checks and Balances were profoundly effective and wise measures to limit corruption -- which measures the Left has been attacking ever since mankind Evolved out of the primordial slime from which all life Evolved, and the Universe too. And the Slime Evolved out of itself, or nothing. It's common sense.

"What Teachout disparagingly calls 'the apotheosis of speech' and 'the sanctified meme of "free speech"' is, she says, 'a serious problem' requiring a rethinking of 'the proper relationship of speech to self-serving public actors.'" My. My my. Allow me to be obvious. I won't explain Mendel to you, but Teachout should be silenced, cuz she's so dumb. Git it? The only reason we have to tolerate her stupidity is that we value her right to free speech. She values only her own right to free speech. See? See how that works?

"'Unequal access' to the political process; 'unfair deployment of wealth'; 'undue influence' by this or that group; speech that is 'distorting' or lacks 'proportionality' or results in 'drowned voices' or a 'passive' or 'dispirited' public or that causes a 'loss of political integrity' or creates 'moral failings for members of Congress.' Such speech might not be constitutionally protected if we properly 'refine the meaning of the privilege of political speech.'"

Well. I am almost perfect, and that's just not fair. So beautiful, so tall, so powerful and manly. You yourself rush here several times each day in the dire hope that I've condescended to offer you some slight droplet from the unbounded ocean of my genius. Is that fair, that I should have so much and you so little? Sadly, it is reality. Fair has nothing to do with reality. The rich, too, will always be with us, with the privilege of deployed wealth, the influence due to it. Speech will always be distorting -- it is the nature of communication to be distorted. The great unwashed masses will always be dispirited -- we liven them up with bread and circus. As for the cause of moral failings, it is to be found through introspection, not through blame. And blond, did I mention that I'm blond? That's the best thing to be.

We overcome, if we do, stupidity with common sense. It's not slick-sounding speech, and it's not the ideas behind it. It's the truth behind it, if any. We determine that truth by looking for inherent corruption. We have found Ms Teachout's corruption in her hypocrisy. She uses a gun to forbid anyone else from using a gun. She uses her annoying and foolish and self-refuting free speech to argue against my right to free speech.

Stupid bitch. But I'd do her.


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