Of Fairy Tales And Grizzly Bears

Of Fairy-Tales And Grizzly Bears

 

Asked why the Civil War occurred Abraham Lincoln replied with droll wit it was impossible for a foreign power to drink from the Ohio or lay a track in the Blue Ridge and so if the free American Republic was ever to be destroyed, the American people had to do it themselves.

But during those years of fire and thunder rolling across the countryside it would have been difficult to imagine that a hundred and fifty years in the future we would come much closer to destroying its most cherished ideas, simply by listening to fairy-tales.  Childish, clever and very phony short stories intended to popularize, of all things, the economic and social theories of nineteenth and early twentieth century Left-Wing European intellectuals who reviled us.  Indeed hated everything about America.

 Although the fact that their fairy-tales have prevailed to the extent they have doesn’t mean that Americans are particularly naïve or easily hoodwinked.  It only means that the Left is very good at making up stories.  Not conquering a continent, inventing modern appliances, building bridges, starting productive businesses and creating wealth, teaching children to read, farming, freeing slaves, inventing the light bulb, just making up stories.  And stories, even made-up stories, are not  one way in which a people learns what to believe or how to act, by and large they’re the only way.  It is, for good or ill, the way the human mind works.  Indeed will always work because only stories offer morals and what we  invariably see as common sense or common knowledge is the sum of the morals we have absorbed.  

 It’s why the Bible has only less rules than parables.  It’s why when you try to teach something to somebody with a mound of books and charts they’ll n raise their hands in surrender and ask “why don’t you just tell me about it”  meaning of course, “why don’t you just tell me a story which explains it” and it’s why millions of us can remember scores of movie plots but not the name of one Vice President.

Stories explain why cultures differ.  In a very well understand process a real life event sometime becomes a story which becomes a parable which becomes a metaphor which in becoming a word in someone’s language representing a lesson or a moral perhaps unique to that culture alone. 

Stories also explain why cultures sometimes charge in a new direction because the process can be short-circuited when they get made up.  One of the best examples from history are those stories told by the greatest of all storytellers, William Shakespeare.   John Gillingham  in his wonderfully readable book The Wars Of The Roses points out that for some prominent Englishmen all they knew about their country’s history, indeed all they wanted to know, is what William Shakespeare told them in his plays.  Yet Shakespeare is terrible history.  Many scenes such as Tudor and Lancaster lords dividing by the choice of either a white or red rose in a palace garden are wholly made up.  Shakespeare also has characters contemporaneous one of whom died before the other was born and of course he puts words in everybody’s mouth they never said while inventing any number of words to begin with (or was the first to ever write them down.)  But to this day all of us English-speakers are profoundly influenced in our view of who we are and how we should act by his fanciful accounts.   Indeed Shakespeare is pivotal in the emergence of the Anglo-Sphere, the fact that English is the most commonly understood language on earth and that England’s Elizabethan culture focused through the object lens of four hundred years of the American experience, is the most imitated on earth.

Which in a backwards looking, sordid and much less talented way is exactly the task the Left-Wing Liberal  has been about in America, short-circuiting our culture in order to change us into something else.   Not larger than life, full of a life  Elizabethans this time around, but a tamer, cowed and so, much more manageable flock. 

A race which will feel very guilty about any sort of personal success, is afraid to trumpet their belief in a loving God,  respectfully nods their head when the building inspector says they can do this and not that, is fearful of disciplining their children, worries about the environment toppling into a black hole because of something they might do, even more endlessly about obtaining credentials from government agencies or academic institutions in order to validate their own life,  doesn’t speak out because they’re risk adverse and forever struggles to appear caring, compassionate and concerned about everything except their own spinelessness.  A group so unhooked from its own history and self-respect that they’re willing to dance to almost any tune.

Luckily the Left-Wing Liberal’s job isn’t done and Americans aren’t all like that,  not yet and not by a long shot.  Which means that we see our way back to that golden road into America’s future by returning to those American stories Left-Wing fairy-tales were designed to replace.  Absorbing or rather re-absorbing those morals instead.  See something quite different as common sense.  And we can do this wherever we find ourselves, at the kitchen table, at work and play, around a campfire.  By you, not somebody else, reading them in books, accurately portraying them in the news, in a movie or by hanging them on a  poster in your third grader’s classroom. 

Because there they are lying motionless in your backyard’s shade.  For all the world like any number of dozing American Grizzly bears.  The true, fierce, inspiring and ever so much more interesting tales of these four hundred odd years gone by in this country.  Just waiting to be woken up. 

Although Grizzly Bears can be scary.  All the scarier because we’re not used to seeing them tramp across the landscape any longer.  Doubly scary because unlike left-wing fairy-tales, they compel us to take our own measure and we’re not certain we’re all that brave. 

But we are. 

 

Should The World Intervene?

Henry Porter, whoever he is, has apiece in the Observer today which figures prominently on the Guardian website suggesting that the world intervene to stop American gun ownership.  It’s basically a rehash except for the following paragraph:

But no nation sees itself as outsiders do. Half the country is sane and rational while the other half simply doesn’t grasp the inconsistencies and historic lunacy of its position, which springs from the second amendment right to keep and bear arms, and is derived from English common law and our 1689 Bill of Rights. We dispensed with these rights long ago, but American gun owners cleave to them with the tenacity that previous generations fought to continue slavery. Astonishingly, when owning a gun is not about ludicrous macho fantasy, it is mostly seen as a matter of personal safety, like the airbag in the new Ford pick-up or avoiding secondary smoke, despite conclusive evidence that people become less safe as gun ownership rises.

And so gun ownership is equated with owning slaves and he gives you a link which proves death rises with increasing gun ownership.  Only when you follow the link you find the study shows that societies with gun ownership have gun deaths and those that don’t have none or close to none.  Which is like saying that societies with automobiles have auto deaths and those that don’t none or countries with seashores have more deaths by shark attack.

Lesson learned for the thousandth time – these people lie to you with a straight face.

Mr. Police Superintendent

 

Mr. Police Superintendent

Any number of Left-Wing Liberals (yes I can define tautology but I enjoy alliteration) including the other day Chicago’s new police superintendent ( which in Chicago means police chief not the guy who unstops toilets and collects the rent at police headquarters) said this:

“Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children.”

Now I took the quote from Huff Post so I’m not responsible for its accuracy but use it because this exact point of view is very common in the democrat party or as they define themselves today the Gender Identity Is One Of The Major Problems Facing America Today crowd.

The argument being that firearms flow into urban centers from the rurality (as anywhere outside certain city lines is termed on the upper east side of Manhattan) and cause the murder of and mayhem visited upon minority countrymen and countrywomen living there by their fellow minority countrymen and countrywomen living there.  

Unanswered though is the question of why if the rural gun-toting areas of the country have more guns laying around than the average household in Chicago (and so according to Chicago’s new police superintendent are inclined to export them to Chicago where black and brown people can kill each other) there isn’t more murder in these places.  Which there isn’t.  In fact for the most of the gun-toting country, that is those portions of the nation outside of the decades long democrat party controlled urban areas, the crime rate is lower than say England with its Orwellian anti-gun laws. 

And believe it or not Mr. police superintendent there are also millions of black and brown people in those areas who don’t shoot one another or anybody else.

So the problem isn’t guns – it’s you and your kind.

 

They’re Not Catholics

Those of us who read the Daily Mail (yes I know it is tacky) know it has the best reader comment sections going.  Indeed the comments are often more illuminating that the articles.  Here is a very typical comment about the murders in Nairobi.  Not  mentioned in any news reports from anywhere  is the bravery of the Kenyan policemen who went up against the Muslim killers armed with hand grenades and automatic weapons only with their police issue 9mm pistols

We know who they are and we know where they are. What are we waiting for? How anyone can embrace this revolting “religion” completely escapes me. If you look at all the trouble spots in the entire world what do you find? Hint: they aren’t catholic.

Capt Dan , jupiter, 22/9/2013 04:09

Some Thoughts On Energy Policy

I’m Afraid Of Her Future And You Should Be Too

 Nancy Pelosi once used the phrase “this is the future” at a press conference about the new energy bill some years ago.   A slogan obviously lifted from the democrat playbook because Representative Ed Markey (now Senator) used the exact same phrase on Fox at the same time.  But you have to admit it has a bright happy ring to it.  The future after all is the land where anything is possible.  It’s where we’re going to start eating five helpings of organic fruits and vegetables a day, lose those extra pounds and live to be a hundred and ten.  It’s where we finally build that tree house for the kids, write that book, learn a foreign language and plant a flower garden.

 

Maybe even some eggplant.

The only problem is, is that since Nancy Pelosi’s vision is going to be enforced with the full power of the federal government, its agencies and police, prosecutors, judges, prisons and seizures, we’re going to be stuck with her future instead of our own.   

Which is not to put too fine a point on it, not the way this country was designed to operate.  Remember “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  The point being of course that this country was supposed to be about people working out their own happy future and if that means to them, a bigger warmer or cooler house, a bigger safer or faster car, flying to Hawaii for a vacation, a heated swimming pool for the kids or for that matter a simple decent inexpensive electric light bulb by which to read by at night, then God bless ‘em, in America that’s what they’re supposed to do, go for it.

And since when is energy consumption bad? Energy is what purifies our drinking water and makes soap, allows our children to sleep in warm, dry beds, grows our food and takes us from place to place.  We should be using more of it, not less.  Is it harming the environment?  Well what really harms the environment is the less technologically advanced forms of energy consumption like third world slash and burn agriculture.  Look at deforested Haiti, vast swathes of starving Africa or Brazil.  What energy does in industrialized nations is change the environment we live in for the better, make it more comfortable, safer. 

Which is the whole point.

There’s something like sixty-five million people getting together with their families this coming Thanksgiving and inexpensive energy is what allows them to do it.  We should have more of it.  Energy is not there to be conserved it’s to be used and I for one would like more people to gather in families over holidays, more snug homes and I’m afraid of a future where there weren’t those things, or less of them.

Besides Pelosi isn’t a scientist or an engineer, she’s a politician.  In fact as near as I can tell she’s always been a politician and so pretty much have every other congressman and senator who voted for the that energy bill.  They’ve never had to make anything or make something work.  They’ve never had to run numbers and then live or die by them, repair a tractor in the middle of a frozen field, build a brick wall, make pizzas, captain a ship.  By and large they don’t even write their own books.

But energy policy might be more important.  It’s a base indicator of prosperity.  All other things being equal we consume more energy then anybody other country on the planet because we’re richer.  So it’s not a bad thing despite what the environmentalists say.  Okay, occasionally we hit our thumb with the hammer but so what?  Do we stop building and improving and trying to make ourselves more comfortable because we make mistakes? 

So when I listen to this child talk about how wonderful our future will be now that they’ve tinkered with the forces in the energy market I’m reminded what happened when the sorcerer’s apprentice picked up his master’s wand and started waving it around.

You can see some of the consequences looming already.  Higher food prices for one as government mandated money pours into the corn market.  Electric light becoming more expensive as we’re forced away from the incandescent bulb, automobiles more dangerous to drive as they get lighter and lighter and smaller and smaller in order to comply with arbitrary fuel efficiency standards.  But what’s really disturbing are the gleaming eyes waiting in the dark rocks of the issue which neither I nor you and certainly Nancy Pelosi cannot yet imagine.

At least until they’re on us.

Which is what always happens when politicians think they know better than the market.

For example cheered on by Congress the Federal Reserve suppressed interest rates in the nineteen twenties in order to keep the boom going and we took a much bigger hit when it was over.  Then trying to ensure the future of American jobs Congress enacted tariff barriers which casts us into a depression.  Or take one of a hundred recent examples such as when Congress tried to ensure the future of American home ownership by extending savings account insurance to any amount of Savings and Loan money and the taxpayers were forced to eat hundreds of billions of dollars in bad loans that never would have existed otherwise.  Or what about just yesterday when Congress spent billions trying to ensure the future of New Orleans, how’s that working out?  Or the future of education? 

And it isn’t a security issue either.  Quite the reverse.  The Middle East sends us oil and we sent them pieces of paper with George Washington’s picture on them.  Which of course, is the only way they can buy things from us because they can’t make anything themselves.  So who has a security issue, them or us?  Besides if you want more domestic energy all you have to do is license more nuclear plants, which don’t emit any pollutants and as far as I know, have never killed anybody unlike say the coal industry in which people die on a routine basis and does emit noxious substances.  France uses abundant nuclear energy, so does Japan.  Or how about drilling for oil in the artic wastelands, the Eskimos are begging us to do it and the Russians already are drilling there.  Or how about more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico where the Mexicans, laughing all the way to the bank, are sinking one new well every day.

But there’s something else that’s really scary about this energy bill because it seems to be the greatest legislative intrusion into how we live our lives that’s ever been fabricated on Capital Hill and that’s not what we elect politicians to do.  In fact what we elect them to do is written down right there in the constitution and its amendments and no where does it say Congress is supposed to decide how you light your home or heat it.  It doesn’t say Congress should decide how we travel either or what sort of machine a factory another has to build and sell to another supposedly free citizen.  Instead of constitutional authority 

 

I

New Old Friends

I often get joshed by my children for re-reading books.  They remember me poring over something thirty years ago and here I am today back with the same story in my lap. Yet they themselves listen to music they enjoy over and over again and that’s okay.  Or they chuckle over the same family tale at the dinner table for years, go home to the same house over and over again and repeatedly enjoy the same meals.

I mean there are people out there who have seen Casablanca on fifty or sixty occasions but I shouldn’t read Something Of Value four or five times in my lifetime?  Captain’s Courageous?   Kidnapped?

Good books should be re-read.  Especially well-written fiction or histories including the subset of biography because a man or woman has taken a year or two of their life to put an adventure together for you or to assemble a thousand or so references in order to hammer out a thesis which explains events or a life, sometimes in a completely unique manner, and you’re is supposed to get it all in four or five hours?  I don’t think so.  Besides as a former president might say “sometimes you dis-remember.”  Read a dozens of books after that one with something important to say and have to reboot.  Get your facts about something straight again.

Because most books, just like most movies and music are chaff.  Don’t supply much nourishment even if they might be at one moment fun to read or diverting and since it’s almost impossible to tell one from the other at first blush you have to dive in, let the winds of life blow the worthless away and leave the grain on your threshing room floor.

So when you do find one that says something important you should keep it around.  Come back to it on occasion.  And the great thing is that a good book once read is like an old friend or neighbor who’ll put up with being ignored for a long time because when you knock on his door again, he always opens with a smile.  Is ready to stop and chat, share a pot of coffee – lend you those same tools again. 

And you need those tools which only books can loan you– your child needs those tools.

So in introducing books to children speak of as acquaintances, some of which might turn out to be friends.  Friends who might wind up in their lives for their lifetime and upon which your child can always depend.  Especially when the two of you are distant in the future or – you’re not around any longer. 

Ariel Castro

The suicide of Ariel Castro is unfair.  The state of Ohio spent a lot of money on preparing his prosecution and on demolishing his house.  Then after hoping to get a 1000 years out of the guy he goes and offs himself after only 33 days.

Which raise the question – why can’t these people hang themselves before the state spends the money?  Indeed we should have a mandatory waiting period for horrific crimes.  Give the man a cell with an already prepositioned noose, plenty of quiet time for a couple of weeks and see if saves everybody concerned, including himself, a whole lot of trouble.

The state could provide incentives such as a Christian burial and a star on a wall of redemption in the rotunda of the state capitol.

Who Were The Real Builders?

 

Ancient Egypt’s civilization is represented to our children as the historical gold standard in building with stone. The pyramids, the sphinx, Luxor, the red sea canal any amount of gigantic statuary etc.  Indeed so revered are they as builders we’re today forever being fed news articles claiming to reveal the “secret” of how the Egyptians built this that or the other thing without modern equipment like pneumatic drills and chisels, lifting cranes, excavators and so on.

Yet everything built by Egypt in the three thousand years of its recorded history before Christ does not equal the volume or craftsmanship of the stone quarried and laid in the two hundred years of the high middle ages in northwestern Europe*.  A civilization also lacking modern equipment like pneumatic drills and chisels, lifting cranes, excavators and so on. This was true even given the fact that northwestern Europe’s challenging weather shut construction down a good part of every year or the fact that European builders didn’t have millions of slaves to whip to death dragging rocks around for thirty centuries.

Or, or that northwestern Europe during this period had no central government to plan their projects, no common language, currency or universal system of measures.

Hmmm?  Could it be that the lack of a central government and planning, common language, currency or universal measures, that is a system much closer to the ideal of freedom than Egypt under the Pharaohs, was actually responsible for the stunning difference?

What do you think?  What does your son or daughter think?

*A good history of this period for only a mildly precocious child, and a lot of adults, to read is Medieval Europe, A Short History by C. Warren Hollister where they’ll learn other very interesting, indeed fascinating, details about the society emerging in Europe during this period.  And gain some additional understanding or our own society. 

Errata

Mark Levin must have enjoyed my article Bring On The Elephants (about his proposed Constitutional Convention) in American Thinker because he tweeted it.

I just bought an anvil, yes an anvil, through Amazon – who knew?

I’m on a campaign about the word decimate.  Any number of news readers and politicians are working it into their speech recently meaning destroy, injure, hurt, damage or wound.  But what it means is kill one out of every ten.

Not ever discussed in any parenting article or four minute parenting segment on TV that I know of is – teaching children to both define and evaluate art.  But I am shortly going to tell you how to do this with one simple rule.  So plug into richardfminiterblog.com.

Prediction – Duck Dynasty goes to twenty million viewers and Hollywood frantically tries to hire any number of new writers with hillbilly cred as a modest trend towards beards  surfaces among Conservative men and some angry Lesbians (with the help of hormone injections of course) the latter in hopes that a hairy face will stave off LBD.  But nothing ever does.  Or should.