Will crash across your southern capes
Will reach your eastern shores
Fields of green
Will tumble through your summer days
In your time
Feel the wind
And set yourself the bolder course
Keep your heart
As open as a shrine
You’ll sail the perfect line . . .
At the heart of why we fail to live up to our potential as a society is because we excel at polluting even the purist form of fact. How can we possibly solve serious problems when we refuse to adhere to some semblance of the fundamentals of making sense?
— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue
My Cousin Vinny is maybe the most hilariously educational movie ever, and this scene is at the core of our culture’s communication divide.
Don’t shake your head. I’m not done yet. Wait till you hear the whole thing so you can . . . understand this now . . .
Early on in COVID, I was ridiculed for refusing to take a position on something I knew nothing about.
I’m old-fashioned that way
A lot of things are old-fashioned on here — and my willingness to admit mistakes is one of ’em. With the right spirit, you can even have fun with it — as I did in Elephant in the Room Award.
Acknowledging error is liberating and leads to enlightenment.
The Last Battle tells of a snail-mail letter of apology I wrote to someone unworthy of it — a jealous husband who ruined one of the best friendships I ever had. His role in shaping those events doesn’t excuse mine — an honest mistake that a little thoughtfulness could have prevented.
I blew it. Writing that letter was the right thing to do — period!
Houston, We Have a Problem is about the February freeze — and the importance of looking out for others.
We lose sight of that sometimes, and it’s good to be reminded — as I was.
And I made a mistake . . .
In my video montage that captures the essence of my documentary.
Years later, I was looking around and discovered that the picture on the right is a different Trayvon Martin.
At the time, I just grabbed the graphic without giving it much thought . . .
Which is precisely the problem!
My endless efforts to get it right on everything else — doesn’t excuse my carelessness.
It’s bad enough that it’s the wrong Trayvon, but big, bold letters of “The truth Should Not have an agenda!” is not my style. More importantly, I would never purposely paint anyone in an unfair light.
I made a mistake and I’m embarrassed by it.
None of that goin’ around
That slip-up is nowhere near my standards — which bugs the hell out of me and always will.
But it’s an opportunity to show how this can happen — even to those with the most unwavering commitment to truth.
And that when you make a mistake — you say so.
All that aside — to this day, I doubt that most people know what Trayvon actually looked like.
And that — is by design
I think what’s amazing . . . to give you a sense of the lack of danger here — is that the kid weighs 140 lbs . . .
— Cenk Uygur
Lemme tell you what’s amazing, Cenk — you guys making 2 key factual errors in 33 seconds:
The second the Left painted Trayvon as a child — they contaminated their judgment.
The cops made an honest mistake in calling his watermelon drink “iced tea” (simply because of the brand).
That the media advocates reported it the same way at first is understandable. That they never corrected it is unforgivable.
To conform to fact . . .
We must agree that it was watermelon and consider what it means: Maybe nothing, maybe everything. But you pollute the debate when you won’t even acknowledge the irrefutable.
Worse than that — you poison your purpose.
Is their motive to hide the watermelon because of the stereotype and/or the Lean connection? Likely both, but either way — it’s a watermelon drink and it’s dishonest to say otherwise.
Note: A few years ago, I looked into the stereotype and wrote a bit about it on Way of the Watermelon. I love the process of discovery in the origin of things — as you might have noticed.
Language & Liberty
Does the Democratic Party have a history of manipulating racially charged incidents? Undeniably! Has the left-leaning side of the cable clans increasingly accommodated Democrats over the years? Without question!
Can you conclude what happened to Trayvon and Michael Brown with the same certainty as the death of George Floyd?
No way — but ya did, and in lickety-split fashion.
Zimmerman’s brother perfectly put it: “He had the greater hand in his own demise.” To an apologist, he had no hand at all — a mindset that violates the rules of reality.
If you’re pulled over by the police and you cop an attitude, you’re askin’ for trouble.
And right on cue
He was a wannabe cop and was told not to follow him!
So, you want to skip right over what transpired and go right to “gunned down” — because he was armed and didn’t follow instructions?
Wishful thinking is not an argument — not to mention the fact that preforming calcified conclusions is prejudice by definition.
This country needs critical thinking skills more than ever — and this crap is killing any chance of that:
It’s just a can — what difference does it make?
You could not be more wrong
Speaking of prejudice, it’s also against the rules to refuse to take attitude and behavior into account — and how it shapes an outcome. Ya know — the rules you want others to follow when considering your concerns.
Chris Rock hilariously captures a serious part of the problem below. The operative word is “part.” It would be absurd for me to say:
Lookie here — if only they’d act accordingly, all would be well.
I don’t do one-dimensional views — just like I Don’t Do Slogans.
You do both
And because of that, we have no chance of ever making serious strides in addressing this problem (which precludes the possibility of solving other problems).
Chris Rock didn’t come up with this sketch out of thin air.
You see “Slogans, Monuments & Movements” and think it’s entirely about the Left.
Unarmed but for a bag of candy and an iced tea . . .
That is narrative — not argument
Sowell and his supporters would say the same, and yet they refuse to see that he and his party pull the same stunts in pursuit of “greater good.” Pay no mind to the damage you’ve done with your partisan passions.
The Yellow Brick Road is the path of America’s pursuits.
When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land? . . .
Which images below look related to nuclear weapons?
Contrast his loose language of “various nations‘ intelligence agencies” (and anything he said on the subject) — with the specificity of mine . . .
Could you tell me why the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) — got an equal say on the aluminum tubes for the NIE vote?
An agency that does imagery analysis of the Earth.
Same for NSA and other agencies that had no expertise in centrifuge physics.
And why wasn’t JAEIC allowed to weigh in? What’s JAEIC?
DAVID ALBRIGHT (RWM): An alternative method to resolve this conflict would have been for the DCI to ask for the judgment of the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEIC for short) which is officially part of the [National Intelligence Estimate] process. JAEIC has been a standing DCI technical intelligence committee for several decades.
WASHINGTON POST (April 1st, 2005): The CIA refused to convene the government’s authoritative forum for resolving technical disputes about nuclear weapons. JAEIC proposed twice — in the spring and summer of 2002 — to assess all the evidence. The CIA’s front office replied that the CIA was not ready to discuss its position.
RICHARD W. MEMMER: For a year and a half the C.I.A. was ready enough to shovel its certitude to the White House. Turner was ready enough to arrogantly dismiss the conclusions of all the world’s top centrifuge scientists. And yet somehow the C.I.A. was never ready enough to openly debate the issue.
DAVID ALBRIGHT (RWM): This polarized debate was formalized, but not resolved, in October 2002 with the NIE. In this process, roughly ten intelligence agencies each had one vote, which pitted one agency against the other in a drive for a majority, vote.
RICHARD W. MEMMER: Only DOE and INR dissented. The CIA won a majority vote with agencies that had no business being involved in the discussion — which is where Colin Powell’s empty assertion of “most U.S. experts” came from. What does satellite surveillance and phone tapping have to do with centrifuge science?
Even the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency got an equal say on the aluminum tubes — an agency that does imagery analysis of the Earth.
“Some people took one view — some people took another”
In the film, Larry Elder describes Sowell as the “greatest contemporary living philosopher and notes that he causes people to “rethink their assumptions.” Rethinking and questioning our assumptions has long been en vogue in the academy, and if you really listen to what he has to say, few scholars will make you rethink your assumptions like Sowell will. If you’re looking for a one-hour introduction to one of the great minds of the last century, Common Sense in a Senseless World is exactly that.
Next to zero
Number of Sowell’s disciples willing to “rethink their assumptions” — about the “greatest contemporary living philosopher” who “causes people to ‘rethink their assumptions.'”
Compared to what?
— Thomas Sowell
Everything that guy just said is bullshit
The Russians said so.
The British said so.
Bill Clinton said so.
Leaders of both political parties said so.
What did they say?
We’ll get to that in a moment.
You see information through a party-line lens — I do nothing of the kind. And I would never wish failure upon any president, so I didn’t have any dead-set desire to bring Bush down.
That’s your world, not mine.
This is all I’ve seen from conservatives on Iraq. Not once have I had anything that qualifies as conversation.
It’s not anti-war — It’s pro-thinking
If I were a fan of Sowell and saw his claims on WMD — I’d easily recognize that it doesn’t remotely measure up to the standards I’d expect from him.
You follow the man — I follow principles and patterns of behavior.
I saw the post-9/11 blitzkrieg of nationalism in another light — that by virtue of volume you can identify patterns of questionable integrity more easily.
Condoleezza Rice struck me as someone working awfully hard to say something of little substance. Cheney’s robotic claims were devoid of complexity — and simplistic repetition is a telltale sign of propaganda.
Colin Powell’s U.N. speech seemed more like a laundry list of complaints than a well-argued case. And the Democrats rolling with the tide could hardly be read as an indicator of authenticity.
And once the trumped-up intelligence started seeping out after the invasion — anyone with an open mind could put that puzzle together.
— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue
And then there’s this
Those tortured talking points need to be put out of their misery — and I know of no one better for that than Greg Thielmann. I emailed him to ask how he would respond to Whittle’s common claim, and one of the most telling aspects to his answer was the technicality of literal truth in the manufactured myth.
Thielmann acknowledged that nearly everybody thought that Saddam had hidden away some mustard agent left over from the 1980s, but he added that the Bush administration did not make its case for war on the strength of suspicions that Iraq retained World War One-era munitions.
It’s the second half of that statement that Whittle & Company conveniently ignore.— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue
Theilmann’s detailed reply to follow momentarily . . .
Greg Theilmann should know — he had been Powell’s own Chief of Intelligence when it came to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Thielmann elucidates one fine point after another for over a page: Germans on the unreliability of Curveball. I.A.E.A. on the tubes and “uranium from Africa” reports. D.I.A. reversing its position on the drones before the invasion.
And as Thielmann talked about on P.B.S. FRONTLINE, a senior Australian intelligence analyst resigned in protest over the fabricated intelligence. . . .
Thielmann also pointed out that few intelligence agencies had independent means of evaluating U.S. intelligence. He brings up the infamous Downing Street Memos that explicitly state that:
Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action — justified by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
“The British said so”? Hmm . . .
It’s impossible to overstate how egregiously uninformed these people are on this issue. Shouldn’t we be addressing what the disagreement is about before you decide on what’s a “long way” and “willfully disregarding evidence”?
The tubes were everything for the administration’s case. They were something tangible that they could point to. Without it, they had NOTHING.”
Sowell never addressed the marquee evidence used to sell the war:
If that’s not “willfully disregarding evidence,” what is?
Someone comes along with a WMD documentary of a depth of detail never before seen on the subject — to tell you that it’s not at all what it “seems.”
And your counter is a 22-word Tweet topping out at 137 characters (with spaces)?
So much for “follow the facts” — when it’s about protecting your own, you don’t dare go down that road . . .
And I just love this gem
Someone who shows signs of a willingness to take that trip — but doesn’t grasp the inherent contradiction in his claims: How do you know what a “reasonable defense” is — when you don’t know the case nor the story that created it?
ascribing to dishonesty what might simply be the info everyone had
For people so dead certain on Sowell and honoring his standards — you sure have a habit of clinging to “seems” and “might simply be . . .”
Once again — there are rules
An assertion is just a point of view, an opinion. An argument goes further. An argument is a point of view supported by reasons that demonstrate the view is a good one.
Why it is a “reasonable defense”?
And by Sowell’s own standards — wouldn’t you watch the doc before you make up your mind?
the vid looks interesting
Thanks — but why not just start there and find out for yourself “what might simply be”?
Then there’s this
And omission speaks volumes — all by itself.
On Jan 22, 2014, I emailed Greg Thielmann to ask him the following question:
If you were in an interview, how would you respond to someone raising the claim that ‘every intelligence agency in the world thought Iraq had WMD?’
The following is his response to that question:
From: Greg Thielmann
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 5:03 PM
To: Rick Memmer
Subject: Re: fairly quick question for you
Happy New Year!
Returning to that thrilling Iraq saga of yesteryear, here’s how I would answer the question you posed at the end of your message:
To say that “every intelligence agency in the world thought Iraq had WMD,” is misleading to the listener/reader.
First, few intelligence agencies had independent means of evaluating many of the claims and analyses made by the US intelligence community; they had to rely on the huge intelligence establishments of their close allies, and would run risks of future intelligence sharing if they were too skeptical of US claims.
What does it mean to assert that Denmark also thought Iraq had WMD?
Secondly, the statement about Iraqi WMD would be literally true because nearly everybody thought that Saddam had hidden away some mustard agent left over from the 1980s, largely because the verified destruction numbers did not add up to the known production numbers. (We now know that some of the CW was destroyed in secret after the 1991 war.)
But the Bush administration did not make its case for war on the strength of suspicions that Iraq retained WWI-era munitions that would not critically impede a modern military.
It waved the red flag of nuclear weapons program reconstitution with “mushroom clouds” imagery, files of anthrax, and reports of mobile anthrax laboratories and nerve gas allocated to front-line troops.
The Bush administration and its UK co-dependent further spun questionable intelligence judgments by dropping careful qualifiers about confidence levels and contrary evidence in the information provided to the public.
The Downing Street Memo’s infamous characterization about US “fixing” the “intelligence and the facts” around the policy is an implicit acknowledgement that it was a witting coconspirator in the distortions rather than an independent validator of US conclusions.
Moreover, there was certainly not consensus between all foreign intelligence agencies on some of the critical WMD claims — “uranium from Africa,” mobile BW labs, the U.S. on the use of aluminum tubes, the U.S. (in Fall 2002) on CW/BW warheads for drones, etc.
For example, the Germans warned the US Government in Dec. 2002 that it could not validate the claims of its own source on the mobile BW labs, “Curveball.” IAEA experts expressed strong skepticism about the alleged use of the aluminum tubes and the veracity of the “uranium from Africa” reports.
The DIA itself reversed its position on the drones before the invasion.
Moreover, the appropriate period of time for critical scrutiny is not the weeks leading up to the UK’s “dodgy dossier” in Sept. 2002 and the unclassified summary of the US NIE in Oct 2002.
It is the 12 weeks between the return of the UN inspectors in November 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
The truth is that all evidentiary legs of the stool collapsed during that period of time, but by then, the books were closed by the US Congress, most of the press and the American public, whatever the evolving views of other foreign intelligence agencies may have been.
Arms Control Association
Lo and Behold
Some circles call that evidence — I call it cowardice
You ignore his entire body of work
I’m not ignoring it — it just no bearing on the issue in question (which you are ignoring). . .
Button your lip and don’t let the shield slip
Take a fresh grip on your bulletproof mask
And if they try to break down your disguise with their questions
You can hide hide hide behind Paranoid Eyes
Most docs deal in one domain of interests — but the underlying message of mine operates in the theatre of all interests.
You’ve got one color to deal with — I’ve got the whole palette of poppycock.
The Left lumps me in with the Right — the Right lumps me with the Left . . .
Delighting in The Safety Dance of Self-Delusion
I’m not a chess player — and I don’t claim to have much of a strategic mind.
But in the sense of scope and serving a side, politics is driven mostly by commentary within one dimension or occasionally two.
So it’s clear where it comes down — and you’ve got a built-in audience ready to receive it.
I don’t have that luxury
Everything on this site is three-dimensional thinking.
That makes it incredibly complex to convey. The second I mention one dimension — people seize on it because that’s what they’re used to.
And if I try to explain how each dimension interacts with the other, they complain about it being too long and convoluted.
Never mind that I’m trying to unravel complex and convoluted material . . .
Knowing damn well and good how they’ll react in response — from decades of dealing with the doubt-free.
You make it impossible to put a pinprick through the envelope of intransigence encasing your brain — then have the bottomless nerve to deride my “disjointed” website . . .
Which only exists because you never take 5 seconds to . . .
We are living through an epidemic of cowardice. The antidote is courage. . . .
Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission.
— Bari Weiss: Some Thoughts About Courage
Why have things come so undone? And what can we do to rebuild them?
I have an answer
But she’s not gonna like it — no one will!
And it’s about time we stop loving things that are so damn easy . . .
There are countless people saying the same things in the same old ways — with channels, sites, and substacks that conform to the formula.
No offense to the fine work that many people provide on those platforms:
But I find those environments unimaginative, unfulfilling, and of questionable efficacy.
Not to mention this:
But we’re all here because we share some important things in common: a commitment to reason, curiosity, independence, decency, and a hunger for honest conversation. In our upside-down world, holding fast to these ideals can sometimes feel lonely.
More than ever, we crave the company of people who share our core values.
— Bari Weiss: Welcome to Year Two
It’s a nice gesture to bond with her audience.
Unfortunately, it’s not true:
In any audience
The smorgasbord of sub-cultures has created another dimension of delusion in America:
Hardening minds not broadening them.
The quality of the work provided by the source might be excellent — but on the whole, it amounts to fodder for a fix (even for the sincere). Ever-growing exposure to never-ending battles becomes an illusion of impact.
I don’t see a single person of prominence doing any analysis on how the problems that plague America are interrelated. And outside of an inquiry I came across (which I address later) — I haven’t seen anyone else asking these kinds of questions.
I’m sure it’s intoxicating to amass a following and feel like you’re making a difference.
And in some ways, I’m sure you are.
But I’m gonna weigh your impact partly as a reflection of your community — how people behave, not what they believe.
If you can’t get that right, I don’t care how big your following gets — you’re taking this nation nowhere.
Not in the right direction, anyway.
Without commitment to those virtues she listed above — it’s just entertainment.
If it were commitment
When some guy comes along to say:
Wait a minute — there’s something more to see
You wouldn’t bark back with what amounts to:
How dare you show up with your non-linear and seemingly unrelated stories — replete with in-depth arguments backed by exhaustive examination of evidence wrapped in insightful analysis.
I want my material paint-by-numbers — so I can consume it as quickly as possible and issue my beliefs like I did the day before. I’m busy — I gotta weigh in on this outrage today and do it all over again tomorrow.
I don’t have time to consider the possibility that there might be a better way. The other side is destroying America — there’s no time to waste in our immaculate crusade of truth and what’s right.
Tarantino did pretty well with “non-linear and seemingly unrelated stories.”
It gets a bit more complicated when you’re questioning the character of your audience — while explaining that their unjust actions and objectionable behavior are colossally counterproductive to their own interests.
I’m not even suggesting not to pursue those interests.
I’m simply saying that being smart and honest in your aims will pay off in the long run (especially if it comes at a sacrifice in the short run).
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
To illustrate psychological gymnastics, I intertwine the Trayvon story with the Iraq WMD delusion — an echo chamber of timeless deceit by Democrats and Republicans alike. The Iraq WMD debacle is one of the most manipulated, convoluted, and costly stories in history — and my documentary is the only source that brings crystal-clear clarity to it all.
You think a story like that can just unfold before your very eyes in a matter of moments?
You think that because something doesn’t instantly appear as logical — that must mean it isn’t? That if you don’t immediately understand it — it’s unworthy of being understood?
Even if you think all those things
What possesses you to behave like a child when challenged? Could it be the people who massively oversimplify matters — massaging your mind into believing that you’re right about everything you think?
And for those who spend their lives scrutinizing others — what gives with your refusal to take?
I got the deal — why didn’t you?
It’s as apples & oranges as it gets to compare my efforts against the accepted standard of social media norms. However difficult your task, you’re not taking on the entire nation.
At the core of it all — is that it’s critical to understand the complexities of a problem. Conforming to a format should be the least of your concerns when weighing someone’s work.
What are they trying to accomplish?
From “We’ll give it a gander” guy — who went from accusations of “mudslinging” to “Richard, Holy crap . . .”:
I missed his follow-up question about Sowell — so I’m sure glad he brought it to my attention. How he handled that is pretty rare as well: Instead of assuming anything about the lack of response to his inquiry, he just politely reposted it.
I was just curious
A culture with the courage to be curious would be limitless in its potential.
I answered with an extremely summarized explanation about how Sowell could turn the tide. But since I’ll be sharing the whole thing at the end, I’m holding off on that reveal.
His “glad to help” was in reference to this:
We could move mountains with just a little effort in understanding.
America has become all too cozy with run-of-the-mill information that caters to your cravings. Some suppliers are sincere, some are corrupt to the core, and there’s a faction for everything in between.
In any case, we’ve seen more than enough and it’s not working.
You’ve got plenty of that 24/7/365 — would it kill ya to see somethin’ new and say to yourself:
Hmm, this is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before — maybe this guy sees something we don’t. And shouldn’t I apply my own standards to find out?
There is no curiosity in them. There are no questions in their minds. There are no “what ifs?” or “maybes.”
— Laura Knight-Jadczyk
You deserved to be treated that way! You’re a moron and pathetic character assassin . . .
I’m not singling out Bari — it’s just that her comment provided a perfect way to frame this facade.
There is no market for what I do
But there wasn’t one for PCs at one time either.
We could revolutionize the world too — just by using the tools we were given from the get-go:
That’s that lump that’s three feet above your ass!
Of all the great principles that foster fruitful communication, this one is paramount:
You Improvise, You Overcome, You Adapt
I adapt to you and you adapt to me . . .
And somewhere in the middle or on the way to it, maybe we come to a meeting of the minds.
There’s no finer example of that than these classic scenes from the all-time “everyman” master. Tom Hanks’ character is coming from a different place — and his attitude from the start was:
I don’t have ballplayers, I’ve got girls!
But little by little, he came around — and once he saw them as ballplayers, he treated them as such. And that’s what that first scene above is all about.
In the second scene, as much as he’d like to treat them the same as any player, he adapts to find some way of communicating his concerns without being too harsh.
You’re still missing the cutoff man. Now that’s . . . . that’s something I’d like you to work on . . . before next season.
And whad’ya know, she responds in kind!
She recognizes that he’s trying really hard to get something important through to her, and that he’s adjusting his approach from last time — and she appreciates that.
Now that’s something I’d like you to work on . . .
Lastly, it’s not about the site. These people are not after the truth, they’re looking for ways to entertain themselves as they evade it.
They see something that doesn’t fit their formula:
And rather than consider the possibility that there might be some value in the exploration — they take the easy way out:
This over-the-top praise from professionals was all I could take . . .
How could you know so much about someone — and miss something so obvious on a matter of world-altering magnitude?
Particularly when his claim to fame is “follow the facts” and he went nowhere near them.
He butchered the debate
As he brazenly ignored the debauchery in his own camp — creating the conditions for Trump to come along and take depravity to new depths.
And why mess with tradition?
And it’s just preposterous . . .
To write a biography and blatantly ignore a huge hole in its premise.
I spent $19.47 to prove a predictable point: Not one word on WMD — and fittingly, Iraq shows up only once in a footnote.
Mr. Riley — it’s just precious that you peddle his prescience — while conveniently ignoring his role in creating chaos that feeds the very polarization he predicted.
Quite the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sleight of hand
I’m often amazed for someone who writes about so many controversial issues — not just race — how little real criticism I get.
That’s convenient — most people don’t even know who this guy is (I didn’t until over the last year or so). Ergo, the notion that nobody challenged him on WMD is absurd — since few would have known about him or even bothered to if they did.
And it’s not like he didn’t know there was massive disagreement on the matter — where he could have “engaged” to welcome a challenge to his claims.
Why bother, when you can chalk it up to “Weapons of Crass Obstruction” — and still be seen as Sherlock Holmes.
[Thomas Sowell] is brilliant and has predicted much of what has transpired over the past 30 years well in advance of anyone else, with incredible detail and accuracy.
Somebody brilliant — would certainly know that America’s March of Folly into the Middle East comes with consequences.
Just how brilliant could you be and blow it on something this big and glaringly obvious?
This isn’t about intelligence, it’s about ulterior motives.
But if he really were brilliant, shouldn’t he have the foresight to recognize the inherent holes in those motives? That however well-intentioned they might be, catastrophic consequences tend to come with endless lying and ineptitude.
Not to mention the poison of partisanship to absolve it all — running the nation into the ground while you’re at it.
At what point does it dawn on you and your beloved Sowell — that blind loyalty to that cause would predictably damage your other causes?
I’m not brilliant — and I figured that out all by myself.
You have no idea how easy you’ve got it with all this information laid out for you.
I got mine the old-fashioned way . . .
I did my homework – tons of it
And because I respect intelligence, hard work, depth, and an artistic & unique take on things — I’d know exactly what someone was up to if I came across this site.
You see something like the imagery below and mock what doesn’t instantly materialize in meaning. I see it and want to take the journey.
You see “disjointed” media & writing — and I see patterns that clearly have a design. That it demands something of my mind is what interests me all the more.
I love having to work things out and connect the dots.
In the face of the imagery above and below — what road did you take where wonder is no longer a virtue?
What the hell is he up to?
When I imagined the set design — that’s what I said to myself in hopes that you’d say the same.
One glance at this picture and I’d think, “This guy’s not f#@%*!` around!”
I’d know he’s up to something I’ve never seen before — and I’d have to find out what that is.
That observation isn’t just about me — it’s about how you observe anything of depth that takes time and effort to digest.
I was bored to death by the professor in that World History class at Purdue — so I started flipping through the pages.
It was a life-altering moment the second I saw that sculpture.
You don’t have to care about art or be uplifted by it — but isn’t there anything that goes off in your mind to wonder . . .
Hmm, I’ve never seen anything like that before. He’s saying something of significance with it.
That tells you something about the sophistication of someone right off the bat.
Props mounted on lamps. A motorized turntable (serving a practical and symbolic purpose). Black & white outfits. Silver masks.
There’s depth in the design alone — and not only would I instantly know that, I’d be fascinated by it.
I wouldn’t care what I thought I knew. I’d just know that this guy knows something I don’t.
And you know things I don’t
Wouldn’t this be a better way to serve the nation, yourselves, and the world? Not only would it be far more fruitful, it’d be a helluva more interesting, don’t ya think?
The artistry in the images below. The names of the sites. The dots between “The Deal.” Trillion Dollar Tube. The story on the postcard’s back.
Most of America is so bogged down by baggage and bullshit — that none of these things even register.
The importance of that point isn’t just about what I have to say — it’s about what anybody has to say.
Whatever form the truth takes — it should be welcomed whether you like it or not. And it’s in your interests to do so.
Maybe not in that moment or upcoming election, but it would pay off with benefits in other forms (which would eventually cycle back in your favor on what you sacrificed).
It’s gonna go in cycles no matter what you do.
This country was not designed for anyone to get their way. So you might as well accept that and go about your business with integrity.
First mention of Thomas Sowell
I don’t know much about Thomas Sowell — but for him to brazenly ignore the Right’s playbook in the Gutter Games of Government — smacks of someone who’s been courted by them way too long.
Putting the Left’s lies and ludicrous ways aside for the moment — for this man to make these claims below (as if this behavior is limited to the Left), he is either:
- Intellectually dishonest to the point of being delusional
- A liar
- Been living under a rock for the last 30 years
And yeah, I’m about to take him to task on WMDs — along with some others in the Facts Over Feelings Parade.
You want the Left to listen to you — get some credibility.
“The master of ‘idea density'”
That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.
Particular issues can arouse passions here and there for anyone with any political views. But, for many on the left, indignation is not a sometime thing. It is a way of life.
— Thomas Sowell
“What is surprising, however” . . .
Is that your crowd treating me with nothing but contempt for the truth for nearly 20 years — slinging baseless beliefs with “hostility and even hatred” . . .
Doesn’t constitute a “way of life” to you, Mr. Sowell . . .
If you wanna make the opposition look bad, try looking good. If you wanna have the moral high ground, try earning it:
The moral high ground, in ethical or political parlance, refers to the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness.
And so it began
My journey into the world of the willfully blind who bow to this man — while simultaneously touting virtues that vanish the second they don’t work in their favor.
They instantly defended their “Maverick” on matters they know nothing about — unleashing rapid-fire ridicule with pride & extreme prejudice.
They refused to begin the journey — so I showed them what awaited them at the end.
No deal . . .
Say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind . . .
We can go when we want to
The night is young and so am I
And we can dress real neat from our hats to our feet
And surprise ’em with the victory cry
Say, we can act if we want to
If we don’t, nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile . . .
- “Yeah, I have it all wrong. Where can I go to repent?”
- “Sigh. Have a drink. Crawl out from under your bed.”
- “My secret exposed! I feel guilty. Where shall I send your reparations check?
- “I’m removing my teething ring as we speak.”
Behold the height of conservative argument around Iraq WMD — and their childish behavior when challenged . . .
Though I doubt I’d see such infantile language from Sowell.
All that jazz about responsibility and accountability goes right out the window when it’s about protecting their own.
Other efforts followed
Becoming increasingly harsher on their echo chamber of the asinine. But through it all, I found a way to frame a final series.
Note: I wasn’t aware of Sowell at the time of that exchange, but Elder predictably worships him like all the rest.
An unarmed teen in Florida was shot and killed today — he was black and the guy with the gun wasn’t
At that moment — that’s all I know
Race relations, gun control, stand-your-ground laws, black, white, whatever — none of that even enters my mind.
It instantly enters yours — because you got into the habit of letting people put it there.
Even if you got the entire world to become card-carrying members of Black Lives Matter — this key ingredient in the recipe for reason would accomplish more than BLM ever will:
You’d think that a party that prides itself on intellectualism would examine the efficacy of their efforts. Perhaps even try some predictive analysis:
Hmm, we’ve got the first black president in the White House and we’re marching to Black Lives Matter.
That might be overplaying our hand and have unintended consequences.
that’s rich . . .
You think because something’s .com it magically makes it more reliable? I could have had .com, but I was ecstatic when I saw that WordPress had added some new options.
Since I’m writing about life — .life somehow seemed to fit.
But that’s me.
If you’re uncomfortable clicking on a link, then don’t — but don’t be a child about it. At least Sowell wouldn’t do that.
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
When Stephanopoulos asked Rice why she claimed that the tubes were only suited for nuclear weapons, she put on a clinic of obfuscation. Since the story hinges on dimensions, material, and quantity — how could you fail to focus on those factors?
Try this sampling on for size:
“Ms. Rice — I know what the C.I.A. thought about the tubes — what I’m asking is why they thought that way.” And when she repeatedly deflects your questions to talk quantity, tolerances, tube price, and anodization — you’re armed to the teeth with questions that shut her down in every direction.
His Name was Joe
I would love to see the look on her face when someone asked her what the separative capacity of their doctored tube would be. It doesn’t matter if the audience doesn’t understand the essentials of uranium enrichment — what you’re trying to ascertain is whether or not she does.
If she can’t explain even the basics behind why dimensions, material, and quantity matter in the context of U-235 output — now you can circle back around to those mushroom clouds and show that they simply made it up.
— Richard W. Memmer: Act IV
It just doesn’t register with the likes of O’Reilly that what Clinton and Cohen thought is entirely irrelevant to the tubes — but smugly circulating invalid arguments is the way of the world now.
— Richard W. Memmer: Act IV
And I love how people immersed in politics — conveniently come down with a case of collective amnesia in knowing how it works.
They rip Democrats to shreds — but the second the Left says something that serves the Right, suddenly a Democrat’s word is good as gospel.
Never mind their motives
Considering Glenn Greenwald’s gold-standard summation of Democrats below, does the word of these people strike you as reliable?
Here we have a perfect expression of the most self-destructive Democratic disease which they seem unable to cure. More than anything — they fear looking weak. To avoid this, they cave, surrender, capitulate — and stand for nothing.
Flagrantly failing to factor for motive in Sowell’s “said so and so” in the environment above — is as insulting to your intelligence as it gets.
Never mind that it’s all meaningless in the context of the tubes anyway.
That article doesn’t even imply what he thinks it does — and as someone who’s read 10,000 pages on the topic, it was not news.
He was screwed the second I started explaining uranium hexafluoride.
So instead of respecting my knowledge and expanding on the discussion, this is where it went:
- “You use words like honor, courage and commitment as punch lines at liberal cocktail parties” — ripping off A Few Good Men and thinking I wouldn’t notice
- The “therapist” routine
- “I’ve stood on the wall — have you?” — Jesus, why not toss in “You weep for Santiago” while you’re at it?
What does any of THAT have to do with the price of tea in China — or THIS?
The “Promotional” Program
Ah yes, the “promote your little video” ploy
Every single thing we share on social media is promoting something (even if it’s cupcakes you just baked). Nothing wrong with promoting a little goodness — whether it’s right out of the oven or white-hot truth.
And steel is strong because it knew the hammer and white heat
Oh, and about those NAVY Core Values he holds so dear
It’s not who I am underneath — but what I do that defines me
These comfort-seeking types confine their convictions to the narrowest scope possible — as victory lies in the vacuum of how they see themselves.
They fabricate reasons to outright reject what’s really being said — warping reality to manufacture their own.
A lot of that goin’ around
The kids skipping to the tune of “Everything is ‘satisfactch’ll’” attitude of contentment — syncs with the self-absorbed culture we created.
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s “actch’ll”
Everything is “satisfactch’ll”
Putting the angelic nature of it aside, the song is simply a caricature of how I see America being butchered to death by bullshit — an unyielding faith in baseless beliefs that’s beyond anything I could have imagined in my youth.
It’s the truth, it’s “actch’ll”
Everything is “satisfactch’ll” . . .
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah is a fitting moniker for the lickety-split satisfaction people get in in zipping through any discussion — gleefully gutting the truth as they glide right past reality with ease.
If you don’t like me spoon-feeding you illustrations — go read the reports for yourselves: And I’ve got plenty more material to add to your reading list.
But that takes work — and why bother when you can just ridicule those who did it for you.
One picture is worth a thousand words
When you don’t want the pictures — and you don’t want the words:
What would you have me do? And once I did it — we both know your next move.
Write your own views? . . .
For nearly 20 years, I’ve been practically spit on for telling the truth:
And my record is impeccable in my commitment to it.
That — is an assertion: Backed by irrefutable fact:
truth verifiable from experience or observation
I love the process of crafting, shaping, and reshaping ideas. And as I wrote on You Got Gold:
I love the challenge of channeling my thoughts to a world that will gleefully swat them away in an instant.
That aside . . .
Thanks for sharing your undoubtedly fascinating views. I wish you well in the country you’ve found that’s better. Would you take with you the immigrants who swarm across our borders desperate for what we have to offer? You have a duty to save them from their poor judgment.
Ah, the pooh-poohers of possibility
Forever on the front lines of lowering the bar while I’m trying to raise it — you’ve been a constant companion almost all my life.
Where would I be without you? . . .
Indictment of mankind’s character
That’s what a friend called my documentary — he’s pretty sharp in coming up with lines like that. Unfortunately, it was too long for Twitter — so I had to settle on the one below.
Man is at least as much a problem-creating as a problem-solving animal. Better a crisis than the permanent boredom of meaninglessness.
Do you think the arrangement of the chairs is just random? If you had any idea of what it takes to condense subject matter of this complexity into a postcard:
I wonder, would it matter? Would anything?
You tell me what would penetrate your hermetically sealed mind, and I’ll do it.
When I was in college, I had a choice between Music Appreciation and Art Appreciation.
I’ve always regretted not taking both.
The class in music was magical — but I wonder how much more I could have seen and heard had I taken the art one as well. There are priceless paintings that I wouldn’t want on my wall for free. But clearly the owners see things I don’t.
Even if I if did, I probably still wouldn’t want them on display in my place — but I’d like to know what I’m missing anyway.
If you don’t care about the symbolic overture of me being surrounded by black & white thinking — and other philosophical aspects of the set, fine.
But the props on display — that is the story. The rest is about your refusal to hear it.
The manipulation of that evidence set the stage for much of what you see today. I can’t imagine the abyss of blankness your mind must be in to bypass all forms of inquiry:
And go straight to scorn
You’ll never know how much more the world had to offer you — and how much more you had to offer it.
Inspired by Jurassic Park, one semester I had some extra time, so I took a class on dinosaurs. I have great memories from the field trips. The students who loaded the lecture hall — don’t.
The professor appreciated my passion and asked me to join one of the teams for the debate on extinction. I accepted without hesitation.
I was eager to explore the topic:
And these . . .
And right on cue
Someone’s sitting there smirking about my “skills.“
Tell ya what — when one of you finally finds some guts to get in the ring and debate me on this, we’ll see how your skills stack up against mine.
I don’t know what your experience was in college — but for me, I found that seemingly unrelated things were all connected in shaping my mind.
Bullshitting is the universal plug-and-play device of every apologist who defends their position purely on faith.
Instead of acting on a set of principles that allow for a more fluid understanding of an issue, hermetically sealed minds employ all the same tactics to turn the opposition into the problem.
Whatever happened to taking pride in backing up your beliefs? And how about a hint of respect for those who do their homework?
Then again — why study when you can just “agree to disagree” about everything under the sun:
We have become a society of spin doctors who manipulate language anytime it suits our needs. It took the toppling of time-honored traditions to fabricate our fact-free liberties.
In days long gone, “agree to disagree” was usually engaged with some degree of sincerity in order to get beyond an impasse with civility.
The intention of the well-meaning motto is that you actually offer something in the realm of a sensible argument. Baseless assertions devoid of any effort in the discovery of truth do not qualify.
Naturally, the slope got slippery over time as the egregious abuse of the adage caught on.
Nowadays you can “agree to disagree” about subject matter that you know absolutely nothing about. Its indiscriminate usage is so off the charts that you could even to deny the existence of gravity and gleefully get away with it.
Being smoothly smug is now considered civil
Never mind the notion of genuine courtesy that comes with the willingness to be wrong. We begin and end our conversations believing that we’re right — shunning the discipline it takes to be correct.
Anything goes in our Age of Unenlightenment — where “all opinions are equal” whenever you feel the need to call on that convenience.
I’ve been writing about this hijacked-for-hackery adage for nearly 20 years. There’s nothing sacred in our society — anything that can be butchered, will be.
Then the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind
He is the maestro of foot-tapping melancholy, whose voice reverberates with the pulse of humanity. Adding to that, what matters to me as much as how great this guy was, is that he didn’t see himself for something he is not.
— Richard W. Memmer
Time is of the essence . . .
If I were to come across this, I would know what the writer was up to with injecting seemingly unrelated topics into the mix.
This is a ton of material to process.
It would be a lot simpler to just watch the documentary — which is far easier to follow. And keep in mind — he sent this Tweet without even seeing the whole thing yet.
The doc is structured to the hilt — so it’s much easier to digest. I can’t do that here — because I’m dealing with your obstinate refusal to watch it in the first place.
So I try to reach you in other ways
Almost all pages and posts begin and end with music. Sometimes it’s related, sometimes not.
It’s an attempt to connect on a human level. Maybe you’ll like the song or the kind of music. Maybe you love the artist and you’ve never heard it before — so I’ve given ya a gift from the get-go.
Something to remind you that we can still share something in common. Let’s start with that.
wouldn’t that be something
On top of all that — I’d think the songs and such would be a nice break. And there’s always something to discover in whatever I’m sharing.
I love people showing me something I didn’t see — as it not only open your eyes in that context, it’s training your mind to look at other things more closely.
I would have never picked up on what’s going on here in The Godfather. I took note of how the other guy’s hands are shaking and Michael’s aren’t, but I didn’t grasp why he paused to look at the lighter like that.
He’s noticing and thinking about why his hands are steady
That’s sharp as a razor! Do we know for a fact that’s what Francis Ford Coppola or Pacino had in mind?
Who cares? It’s interesting!
And that’s at the essence of what art is all about. So even if that guy’s wrong — his analysis planted a unique take in your mind.
And that’s a damn fine habit to have.
Why is the rocket spinning on a motorized turntable? All along, the tubes were clearly intended for Iraq’s Nasser-81mm artillery rocket — which is a reverse-engineered version of the Italian Medusa.
The rocket is spinning to show the decals of both — and because they were spinning the tubes to manufacture a war.
That’s what happened — and there’s no two ways about it.
But since you snicker at concrete evidence of mathematical certainty that would wipe that smug smile right off your face — putting your beliefs where they belong in the dustbins of delusion.
I gotta go with . . .
Well, he loves Johnny Cash, he can’t be all bad.
A replica of the actual tubes is mounted on the teardrop lamp. The tiny tube on the little lamp represents the 400mm concoction that went into the N.I.E. Hacking the tube in half was pointless — since it still weighs twice that of Iraq’s proven carbon fiber design resting on the bottle-like lamp.
The findings were inevitable in every aspect of the overflowing evidence. Just as the I.A.E.A. did 4 months before the invasion — Chief Weapons Inspector David Kay paid a visit to the Nahser plant in the summer of 2003 — and found the aluminum tubes lying in wait to be turned into 81mm rocket casings.
Kay’s conclusion was that the tubes issue was an “absolute fraud.”— Richard W. Memmer: Act II
These guys were selling you snake oil and I’m telling you the truth. Your standards could not be any lower for them — while not of this world for me.
Remember What the Dormouse Said
No matter how I frame the info — and no matter how painfully obvious it is:
This is what awaits me
Nobody who wanted the truth would consistently behave this way in the face of information they don’t like.
Well as I told you when you were up here, I pretty much disagree with you in all of your thoughts on President Bush and the war but that’s the beauty of it we can disagree!
Clearly you think my line of thinking is incorrect and I think yours is wrong also so I would have to say this is one of the spots where agreeing to disagree is appropriate.
I know you don’t believe in that but I’m sure it’s safe to say that you aren’t going to change your mind on the President and neither am I,
BUT THAT IS Ok!
— A Former Friend
That former friend is the same one who told his wife:
Rick’s the most honest guy you’ll ever meet
How quickly they forget
The minimum standard for a “line of thinking” — is that you actually do some thinking. You cannot counter with nothing and say it’s something.
audioenglish.org does a nice job of defining it:
The process of using your mind to consider something carefully.
The prime-directive ploy of an apologist is to keep everything at the absolute highest level:
I disagree with you in all of your thoughts on President Bush.
We’re not talkin’ tax policy here
Somebody brilliantly captured the fallacy of this corrupted catchphrase:
And whad’ya know — Tom Nichols was tracking the same tactic:
No matter what the subject, the argument always goes down the drain of an enraged ego and ends with minds unchanged, sometimes with professional relationships or even friendships damaged. Instead of arguing, experts today are supposed to accept such disagreements as, at worst, an honest difference of opinion.
We are supposed to “agree to disagree,” a phrase now used indiscriminately as little more than a conversational fire extinguisher. And if we insist that not everything is a matter of opinion, that some things are right and others are wrong . . . well, then we’re just being jerks, apparently.
Oh yeah, I know the routine
All too well . . .
You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte . . .
Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you’re where you should be all the time . . .
You had me several years ago
When I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me . . .
Shown here is a somewhat dehumanized, life-size bronze figure of a human being of no particular sex, age, race, culture, or environment. Compressed between the two wheels, it seems to present humanity as the victim of its own complicated inventions.
The wheels also symbolize the blind ups and downs of fortune. The date 1965 is inscribed on the base, and the whole sad assemblage seems to say that human history and civilization have not exactly turned out as was once more hopefully expected.
— A History of the Modern World
Wheel Man was the first thing I put on my wall when I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1997. A year or so later at a flea market, I came across this book on the making of the movie.
I probably paid $10 but I would have paid a lot more. Inside I found that picture of them on the raft and knew right where it belonged.
They were set up to hate each other by the powers that be.
A lot of that goin’ around
Yet they saved one another. I love the look on their faces as they wonder what ship is on the horizon. I’ve even been to the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana . . .
Mighty important to honor the principles that set your path in motion from youth, don’t ya think?
I see no enemy
Even when you’re getting it right
It’s not upright.
If it were, you’d maintain that standard independent of party.
This nation does nothing in the spirit of exchange, give & take, and arguing in good faith. Talk about being triggered (since that’s the lingo you love):
Instantly firing back with “Where’s your facts?” — in the face of maybe the most detailed documentary ever done on any subject . . .
That — is raw emotion
It would be unthinkable for me to refuse to look at someone’s work — and fire back with “Where’s your facts?” because they don’t instantaneously appear.
And let’s get real: That’s a stunt, not a genuine inquiry in the interest of actually getting them.
If you operated anywhere in the same galaxy of these claims below — the mountain of material I’ve written over decades would not exist.
It’s all marketing
If he were the genuine article — those books would not be so one-sided.
The notion that feelings over facts is limited to Left is ludicrous. If you were trying to solve a problem instead of sell books and boost your popularity — you’d be fair-minded by addressing how this behavior applies across the board.
If I were truly about following the facts, you wouldn’t need slogans — and wouldn’t want ’em.
Your record would speak for itself.
“To learn to ask: ‘Is that true? . . .
Maybe there’s something to what she just said. Let me think about it. That’s interesting. Maybe I should change my mind.’”
. . . Somebody opens their eyes
And turns around to reflect in the very spirt of “Is that true?” above . . .
Look at this journey
What else? . . .
We’ll give it a gander . . .
As I told him, the integrity of “give it a gander” is like the cowboy code below:
Duvall’s nod of acknowledgement embodies an honor code in one’s willingness to listen. I love the idea of the journey you can take in that “roll” — that pausing even for a split-second can be life-altering.
And I would know — many times over.
Just Roll It Around Is All I Ask!
I’ll swim across a river of insults to get to a meeting of the minds on the other side. But we’d get there a helluva lot faster if you’d just show a little grace in the give-and-take of information.
Take note of the timestamps below.
This shitkicker shows more intellectual honesty in 2 seconds — than most of America has the guts to give on matters that shape our society and sometimes the world.
Cal Naughton Jr.: Got a new nickname, “The Magic Man” — Now you see me, now you don’t
Ricky Bobby: That is stupidest nickname I’ve ever heard
Cal Naughton Jr: Is it, Ricky? Cuz I think you wish you thought of it
Ricky Bobby: All right, you got me — that’s an awesome nickname
What you see on TV isn’t real
You put these people on a pedestal and they’re cashing in.
Always the dollars. Always the f#*%in’ dollars
And Around and Around We Go
Hard to Imagine
A young man sittin’ on the witness stand
The man with the book says “Raise your hand”
“Repeat after me, I solemnly swear”
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seemed to hear anymore
And it didn’t really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair
What Is Truth
People don’t want to be informed — they want to feel informed
Who do ya think Roger Ailes was talking about?
Did he really say those exact words? That quote is the irrefutable record of what happened on Fox — so it doesn’t really matter.
To be sure, the Left has gone off the rails in following suit to feel informed. And all the while, the Right celebrates freedom by slinging snippets of certitude in a ceaseless cadence of crap.
“Heroes in Error”
There’s a classic scene in Seinfeld that delightfully illustrates the divide between declarations of virtue and delivering on them:
And now, even now . . .
The cat . . . TOTALLY out of the BAG!
it just never ends . . .
This blog was the most non-sensical thing I’ve seen in a long time. I genuinely worry for this blogger’s mental well-being.
Or Not . . .
Snowflake, Libtard/Trumptard, Libturd/Trumpturd, Cupcake, Bush hater, Bush basher, Bush Derangement Syndrome, TDS, Demoncrat, Democrat Party
They are not aware when life asks them a question . . .
They are not aware when life asks them a question
I’ve always been aware
I can’t speak for what Purdue is like now — but back in my day, I had a political science teacher named Yasmin who was a purist in her purpose.
She made an impression on me right off when she told us that she doesn’t vote — as a means to not harbor any political leanings in her teaching.
I immensely admire that.
I respected her passion, objectivity, and desire to make the material as enjoyable as possible. While I always did pretty well on my papers, I fell short a time or two on the exams, so I was on the border for getting an “A” in the class.
I knew the final paper would put me over the edge, and I was dead set on making that happen.
But when I got my paper back on Nazi Germany, I discovered that she had given me a “B” — decorating my paper with a lot of red ink to point out my mistakes.
I was not too happy about it and went to her office hours to talk it over. I wasn’t angry, but I wanted to raise my objections.
We went over every single item, and while I disagreed with her here and there, on the whole she made quite a convincing case. By the end of the discussion — she could tell I was still frustrated and said:
If you still think that you deserve an ‘A’ on the paper, I will give it to you.
That concession would have meant an “A” in the class, and in so doing provided a boost to my lackluster GPA. But here we go again with another moment of truth.
“I’ll take the ‘B’“
To accept the “A” would have been tantamount to disrespecting Yasmin and everything I had learned in her wonderful class — making it more about a grade than the value of the knowledge.
Don’t tell me that “college isn’t the ‘real world’” — everything is about how you approach it.
I had my shortcomings in school, but when it came to papers, group projects, presentations, debates, and so on — I tackled it all with great care and sincerity.
Even though I needed that “A” and worked hard for it, it wasn’t good enough — so I didn’t earn it.
It doesn’t get any more real than that!
Some might ask, “What does it say about her that she was willing to give you an ‘A’?”
I think she knew I wouldn’t take it — and was testing me.
I know how great teachers operate — and they have a sense about these things. It’s a risk, but great educators have a knack for knowing when it’s worth it.
Our capacity to choose changes constantly with our practice of life. The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions, the more our heart hardens; the more often we make the right decision, the more our heart softens — or better perhaps, comes alive. . . .
Each step in life which increases my self-confidence, my integrity, my courage, my conviction also increases my capacity to choose the desirable alternative, until eventually it becomes more difficult for me to choose the undesirable rather than the desirable action.
“On the other hand” . . .
each act of surrender and cowardice weakens me, opens the path for more acts of surrender, and eventually freedom is lost.
You kept lowering the bar — and now there is no bar.
You’re so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshank’s table . . . that you’ve missed your God-given right to something better.
I’m of the Dave Doctrine
See, there are certain things you should expect from a President. I ought to care more about you than I do about me. I ought to care more about what’s right than I do about what’s popular. I ought to be willing to give this whole thing up for something I believe in.
If you weren’t so busy bitching about the opposition — you might learn something from each other for a change. And who knows, you might even look around and take notice of how your ways never work out well in the long run.
Yeah, yeah, yeah — you won this, you won that:
But at what cost?
As my videographer perfectly put it
We finally figured out what we were doing by the end
If we don’t change course as a country — we won’t.
Heart Over Mind
I love you so much that I can’t leave you
Even though my mind tells me I should
But then you make me think that you still love me
And all my thoughts of leaving do no good . . .
You’ve got me heart over mind worried all the time
Knowing you will always be the same
You’ll keep hurting me I know but I still can’t let you go
Cause my heart won’t let my love for you change