A Chillingly Reasonable Conspiracy Theory

A comment at The Belmont Club post, “Ebola in America,” is chilling in the manner it parses federal “incompetence.” Or maybe federal “incompetence” really is, à la John Ringo’s “The Last Centurion”–genuine institutional and political stupidity. You decide.

Ebola In America

From the comments to the post linked above:

“1) Responding to epidemics/pandemics is NOT something that has never come up before. The very fact that we are here, with our pre-Ebola life expectancies, is based on the ability of medical science to respond to disease outbreaks.

“2) The standard first response, backed by millennia of successful experience, is isolation of the infected community/individuals with quarantine for those who are suspected and at risk.

“3) The deliberate, considered, and premeditated response of Federal agencies across the board has been to bring as many disease vectors into this country as they possibly can, to forcibly prevent them from being medically screened, to scatter them throughout the country, and to actively impede state and local health authorities from responding to any disease outbreaks triggered.

“We now have Ebola being spread by government actions within our borders. We now have previously eradicated TB being spread by government action within our borders, except now drug resistant. We now have an epidemic enterovirus all over the country attacking children, now killing them, and mutating into a form of polio which we had eradicated within our borders. We now have Dengue Fever spreading within this country, which has not been here in any volume for a century.

“And all of it spread in the last couple of years with the help of all agencies of the Federal government.

“This is a level of ‘incompetence’ that cannot be blamed on one or two individuals. It crosses several Cabinet level departments with them working together for a common result. Which we are seeing now. That level of “incompetence” is in fact planning and premeditation. The odds of multiple departments committing reinforcing acts to bring this result by pure chance are beyond credibility. Especially, since not one of them are responding to the breaking reality with changed behavior.

“The proper domestic response to the initial outbreak would have been stopping all direct flights between the US and the affected countries, blocking entry of anyone who has been in those countries until they can prove that they have been outside those countries for 30 days, the cancellation of student and tourist visas for people from those countries, and [oh, yes] securing our borders so that anyone who comes in is screened for health and legal status. Noting that 15% of the illegal invaders who cross our deliberately-erased-by-the-Federal-government are NOT from Mexico, Central, or South America. And that from January-August this year 71 nationals from the Ebola infected countries were caught at the former border. And that we only catch a small percentage of those crossing.

“I would also note that we have done the travel restrictions relatively recently for H1N1 flu. This is not breaking new ground. It is deliberate avoidance of proper epidemiological procedure.

“Prediction: sometime soon, the Federal government will institute movement and quarantine controls inside the country for US citizens only. The national borders will remain wide open. Foreigners, legal or invaders, will be allowed to move as they please. And all anti-discrimination laws will be firmly enforced.

“I have expressed doubts about a real election in November. This reinforces those doubts.

“And it would not be a bad thing for those that can to prepare for a period of self-imposed isolation, and self-defense, during it.”–Subotai Bahadur

It sure seems to be a good fit for King Putz’s consistent implementation of Cloward-Pivens, doesn’t it?

In closing, competing aphorisms:

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”–Ian Flemming

and

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”–attributed to Napoleon

So, which is it? Or, is it essentially both: stupid malice?

Update: While considering the above, add this into your ponderings:

Immigration Expert: Obama Admin Responsible for Letting Ebola Patient into U.S.

Perhaps we should quarantine all US Ebola patients in the WH–along with the “foist” family

Did I Say That?

Juuuust in case things should ever “get real,” 1776-style, having such things as FM3-07.22* and other military manuals to have some ideas how to counter the counters, as it were, might be handy. . . *heh*


*”Counterinsurgency Operations. Knowing what “counterinsurgency” might entail would be useful to those seeking to restore rights as the Founders were forced to do. Do keep in mind that I’m not advocating another American Revolution to overthrow illegitimate government, though our “feddle gummint” has certainly delegitimized itself. After all, the Founders themselves counseled overthrowing an illegitimate government only as a last resort. But should it ever become necessary, “know your enemy” is wise counsel. . .

Pubschool=Prisons for Kids?

[UPDATE: See, “Last Thursday, I Lied”. be sure to Read the Whole Thing®.]

[Note: I have family members who are REAL teachers and know at least a few more REAL teachers. Heck, I have even known three–THREE–pubschool administrators who were actually worthwhile uses of the oxygen they consumed. Really! Still. . . ]

Pubschool isn’t entirely “prison for kids”. . . but it’s usually the next worst thing. Pubschool certainly was no picnic for me. People kept interrupting my learning to “teach” me things that were on THEIR schedule. . . *heh*

From a Salon article, School is a prison — and damaging our kids:

“. . .the more scientists have learned about how children naturally learn, the more we have come to realize that children learn most deeply and fully, and with greatest enthusiasm, in conditions that are almost opposite to those of school.”

Well, especially for boys, for whom pubschool is often a kind of prison camp designed to make them into girls 1, or ANY kid who’s in the second standard deviation above the norm or better on any standard IQ test. “Odds” of all kinds find pubschool to me mind-numbing torture as they are REQUIRED to fit into the box. . . and find the box to be far, far too small.

But. . . the problem is this, though: how can a society educate 2 its population in such a way as to maximize the number of useful, productive citizens? Assembly line “prisons for kids” has been the answer for many years, though good teachers–REAL teachers–do everything they can to minimize the “prison” and “assembly line” aspects and encourage real learning. Oh, but that’s another problem: where does one find REAL teachers in numbers great enough to overcome the disadvantages of the system itself, the “millstones” of pubschool administrators *gag* and the plethora of remote-educrat-meddling they implement?

Education 2 ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. . .


1Christina Hoff Sommers, The War Against Boys. From a review:

“Sommers, a philosopher by education and a mother of two boys, shows that the trend she identified in the late 1990s to see boys as defective girls and therefore somehow in need of retooling has continued, and its effects have spread.”

2“Educate” has come to mean, more and more, simply “propagandize, brainwash.” Real education leads from darkness to light. What is created by the system of remote educrats promulgating rules for pubschool administrators to use cutting oxygen from the brains of teachers and students alike being implemented in a system of regimentation, indistinguishable from a prison regime, INTENDED (see Dewey, et al) to turn children into useful little cogs in an industrial machine is a kind of software lobotomization that seems to be designed by a conspiracy of dunces to make the lowest common denominator universal. *sigh* I am in awe of teachers–REAL teachers–who can do battle against this monstrosity day in and day out–actually bringing light to some students!–without going out of their everlovin’ gourds. Such people are amazing.

Check Different Angles Out, First

I occasionally see/hear frustrated people writing/muttering (or louder) about revolution as the solution the “feddle gummint” seems to be pushing its citizens subjects towards.

Better think long and hard on that, is my first council. We’re a loooooong way from needing a “solution” that, urm, revolutionary. Besides, as a “Dwarven Rifleman” (interesting fictional character) observed,

“It may seem a fine thing in song or story to be ankle-deep in the blood of your enemies but in reality it’s slippery, smells bad and is nearly impossible to get out of your socks afterwards.”

Yeh. Think long and hard before electing to pursue a course that would likely ruin every pair of socks you own. . . Just reconsider, mmK?

“Don’t Know Much About History”: One of the Reasons the US is Getting a “Swirly” from Reality

Victor Davis Hanson beats a drum often heard here at twc:

“Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education that include a similar erosion in grammar, English composition, and basic math skills.”

Remember third world county‘s corollary to Santayana’s Axiom:

“In a democracy (‘rule by mob’), those who refuse to learn from history are in the majority and dictate that everyone else suffer for their ignorance.”

And remember also that “literacy” is not just being able to decode the written word, either facilely or laboriously. It’s being able to do that AND having a goodly store of useful knowledge gained thereby. Anything less and one is simply either a useful idiot fit for deploying in the service of evil or a completely useless idiot, good for nothing in particular.

Sadly, somewhere near 75-80% of Americans seem to be one or the other of those two idiot alternatives.

On Being Literate

“Literate” has two distinct, though related meanings–with a commonly-accepted extension of the second–although one of those common meanings has been pejorated to the level of virtual meaninglessness in recent decades.

lit·er·ate
adj.
1.
a. Able to read and write.
b. Knowledgeable or educated in a particular field or fields.
2. Familiar with literature; literary.
3. Well-written; polished: a literate essay.
n.
1. One who can read and write.
2. A well-informed, educated person.

Anymore, “Able to read and write” and “One who can read and write” has become a useless definition of “literate” as the term has been made almost meaningless by “edumacationists” who use the term to apply to those they have mis-trained to be barely able to puzzle out words from those strange hieroglyphs on a printed page. *sigh* “Reading” that does not result in comprehension isn’t literacy at all, although it’s usually counted as so in “edumacationist” circles1.

And then there’s the problem of people who can read–either the laborious assignation of sounds to strange squiggles on a page or even real reading–but do not. Sadly, given both the content of much that is being written nowadays and the technical incompetence of many published writers (and their proofreaders and editors), those who choose to not read may often simply be avoiding brain damage. *sigh* Oh, come on! You’ve read, or tried to read, books that are so badly written that even brief exposure felt like a fork poking and stirring your prefrontal lobe! Writers who are so execrably bad at the craft, and who nevertheless are published–by traditional publishing houses, no less (Dan Brown: looking at you), whose editors and proofreaders are apparently not even decent ESL students (“*uh* Language is my second language. *uh*”)–abound. *gagamaggot*

But still, good writing with worthwhile content abounds, too. Too bad that both reading skills2 and exposure to well written works are avoided by the “edumacationist” establishment.

. . .Oh, well. Flying in the face of “edumacationists,” a few colleges are at least attempting to encourage literacy–both the ability to read and comprehend text and a genuine education, as opposed to simply behavior training and brainwashing students, as is more and more common in primary, secondary and so-called “higher” levels of “edumacationist” prisons for minds. Two such colleges are New Saint Andrews College, which takes an unabashedly Reformed approach to the liberal arts and St. John’s College, which takes a clean Western Civ approach to the liberal arts. Much of the core curriculum is similar in both institutions, although New Saint Andrews seems a bit more rigorous in some ways, requiring reading of the classical Greek and Latin texts in *gasp* . . .Greek and Latin. Nevertheless, many of the readings in the core curricula of the two schools are similar. The link below is to the core readings list for St. John’s. A good list. Not comprehensive, of course (and lacking some of the excellent and influential Reformed texts required at New Saint Andrews), but certainly a list where any literate person would find many old friends.

The Reading List

BTW, the core “reading list” above, as well as the core curriculum at New Saint Andrews, includes musical selections as well as graphic art selections for study and discussion. A Good Thing, IMO.

Of course, such lists are NOT a definition of a literate person but represent only a good starting point for anyone who is literate in Western culture. E.D. HIrsch, Jr.’s Core Knowledge Foundation and The Great Books of the Western World offer other approaches to literacy that are equally valid, IMO. (My own set of GBWW, purchased when I was 15, is a bit worn and is now backed up by a set picked up at a book sale, and we still have the “What every X-grader should know” books in the E.D. Hirsch, Jr. series we purchased for our kids’ elementary school years to back up our sets–yes, plural: one “collectible” set, one everyday set–of Junior Classics.)

One of the foundational causes of many of the woes we face in society today stem, I think, from the simple and profound fact that the ratio of literate (no, really literate) folks to illiterate (or perhaps simply “subliterate”) folks in our society has slipped so far, so fast. A simple example: around 50 years ago, when I was still a high school lad, my paternal grandfather gave me a collection of little books that was centered around 19th Century British poets. As I opened “Lady of the Lake,” he began to expressively “read” it back to me. . . from memory.

He was, at various times in his life, a farmer/rancher, a carpenter and a postal worker. In those days, I did not find his depth and breadth of literacy unusual, but perhaps I just lived in a clan of folks who were a bit more literate than others. Perhaps. The folks my parents and grandparents associated with, such as uncles who were ranchers, oil field roustabouts, route salesmen, country preachers, etc., as well as their extended friendships and acquaintances were, in retrospect, also pretty well read with wide ranges of experience and knowledge adding perspective to their understanding. (Edit: of course, family and acquaintances also included grad professors in–even today–esoteric intellectual subjects, a president of an institution of higher ed, some college deans, and others who were genuinely accomplished in intellectual and artistic pursuits, but that’s just it: folks in ALL walks of life had common LITERATE grounds to relate to each other. I recall an uncle drifting off from the TV football crowd during one family Thanksgiving gathering to come over and discuss the book I was reading. It turned out that Summa Theologica was a fav of his. . . *heh* And after the football game was over, we all gathered around the piano for singalong–in impromptu 4-part harmony–for better than an hour. Just a typical gathering at Me-Ma and Dad-Dad’s: politics, sports, theology, music, philosophy. Just the way things were.)

What changed (if anything)?

One of the theses found in Jose Ortega y Gasset’s “The Revolt of the Masses” gives a clue in his delineation of “mass man.”

“The mass man lives without any discipline, and—as Ortega remembers from Goethe—’to live as one pleases is plebian.’ The mass man ‘possesses no quality of excellence.’ He demands more and more, as if it were his natural right, without realizing that what he wants was the privilege of a tiny group only a century ago. He does not understand that technological wonders are the product of an intricate cultural process for which he should be grateful. ‘What before would have been considered one of fortune’s gifts, inspiring humble gratitude toward destiny, was converted into a right, not to be grateful for, but to be insisted on. . . ‘”

*sigh* The elevation of “mass man” to be the determinant of culture means, therefore, the debasing of society to not only the lowest common denominator–which can and is pretty darned low, indeed! Rap “music” as a sample–but to a lowest common denominator defined by a “gimme-gimme” attitude that views the fulfillment of the basest desires as a “right.”

Add to that the dumbing down and brainwashing of society via “misedumacationists,” the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind and the whole massive propaganda machine that debased contemporary culture depends on, and it seems inevitable that, absent a large leavening of literate folk, our society will slide into a new Dark Age.

But imagine what could be if even such small things as Volumes 4 (Heroes and Heroines of Chivalry) and 7 (Stories of Courage and Heroism) of the Junior Classics were reintroduced to large numbers of children in grade school! Models–real and fictional–of folks who courageously performed their duty, and more, instead of poorly (or even well-) written empty pablum or toxic waste served up for reading could have a positive effect, and might even serve as a small antidote or immunization against the toxic waste of Hivemind culture. (I’d suggest more than a small bit of Bible reading, too, but Prisons for Kids “edumacationsts'” heads would explode. On second thought, that may not be a bad idea. . . )

Too tired to tie this up with a bow right now. Maybe later I’ll revisit this post and finish this out. Lots of loose threads.


1 [insert stuff here later]
2 [insert stuff here later, too]

*heh*

Answer: Yes, But Only Just. . .

. . . and not with the kind of score I’ve been used to being able to score on academic tests over the years, just about whenever I really wanted to. . . and also only because of grandparents and parents who were well-read and encouraged reading well-written, high-information books. Oh, and a really rigorous (for the times) 8th grade biology teacher and a few others who didn’t rigorously stifle independent study (yeh, that was a problem even back in those days of yore. . . ). But I was one of the lucky ones for my generation:

Century-old 8th-grade exam: Can you pass a 1912 test?

By contrast, the “sample questions” for the 12th Grade history section for the 2010 NAEP are relatively simplistic, and cover very little of a nature of questions that my generation of 8th-graders would not have been able to ace. *shrugs* Of course, my acing, now, of the five sample questions is no test. But considering that some serious scholarship has demonstrated that college grads generally are barely better informed on American history/civics than high school grads, the chart below is at least somewhat interesting.

12th-grade-US-history


Continue reading “Answer: Yes, But Only Just. . .”

Did Edward Snowden Break the Law in Revealing the Depth and Breadth of the NSA’s Surveillance of Citizens?

For those excoriating Edward Snowden for “breaking the law” I’ll say this: I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t know, because I haven’t–and probably won’t–research the relevant laws, because I do not care whether he broke any in revealing the NSA’s surveillance of ordinary citizens.

Here’s why that is: ANY time a citizen shed’s light on government mistreatment of its citizens’ rights it is a Good Thing, no matter what his motivation, no matter what laws he breaks to do so. Any laws that even ALLOW the government to cover abuses are anathema to me, and should be to every citizen who lives; they are nothing short of being bad faith with the social contract the Founders recognized which establishes that government exists to protect our rights, not abuse or deny to us the free exercise of them. ANY law or regulation that provides cover for government abuse of citizens’ rights is illegitimate and has no moral force whatsoever, no excuse for existence save for the vile, reprehensible, utterly abhorrent excuse of defending that abuse of power, and that’s a raison d’être that in itself gives adequate cause to sneer at and openly flout disobedience to any such law or regulation.

Apparatchiks in the same party that gave us the death toll of Fast and Furious and Benghazi, the trampling of the First and Fourth Amendments in the AP scandal and the blatant IRS abuses of power have talked with relative comfort about disappearing Snowden. Yeh, what’s a little banana republic terrorist tactic between friends, eh? In the toxic atmosphere of an overweening, anarcho-tyrannist “feddle gummint bureaucrappy” that views everything with an US (the “gummint”) vs Them (former citizens, now subjects) it becomes obvious to anyone who’s not dumber than a sack of Shiite that the “feddle gummint” is cast adrift from a constitutionally-informed social contract designed to protect the rights of citizens and not the turf of politicians *gag-spew* and “bureaucraps” *gagamaggot*.

In such an environment, as I said, ANYONE who for ANY REASON brings government abuses of power into the light of day has done right, no matter what their motivation, no matter what any CYA laws or regulations say.

Doing the right thing, even for wrong reasons, is doing the right thing, no matter what.

One last thing: Edward Snowden may be weird. He may be distasteful in his personal habits, lifestyle or morality. I don’t know and I don’t care. I have seen hints about such things written by people condemning him, though hints only, as I skip over and simply note another ad hominem attack designed to discredit him in the eyes of stupid people. I don’t know Edward Snowden, and I do not particularly care to; not only that, I do not have to know ANYTHING about him apart from the fact that the information he revealed has so far checked out and that it reveals massive abuse of power by the federal government. THAT is ALL that matters in this brouhaha. Period.