Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell: Part III

Think of what you’re saying
You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s alright
Think of what I’m saying
We can work it out and get it straight, or say goodnight . . .

Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we might fall apart before too long . . .

Even in my diehard days of watching baseball back in the 70s and early 80s, no amount of loyalty to my beloved Yankees would allow me to look away from the wrongdoing below.

That the game is governed by rules is part of its beauty — as with life when governed by conscience.

The blameless attitude below

That even with irrefutable evidence on video, he still threw up in his arms in disbelief:

So in tune with the times.

Matters of world-altering consequence have been decided in such ways: Where it wasn’t about what was right, what was true, and what made sense — convictions were calculated entirely based on benefit to the team.

If you learned anything from it — at least that would be something, but America doesn’t roll that way.

There was a time when it would be embarrassing for a ball player to feign being fouled on the level of theatrics in King James’ court.

You’d be laughed off the court for pulling stunts like that in my day. This man takes no pride in how he wins — and it’s increasingly rare to find people who do.

It’s all the more absurd when you consider that even with the hardest-hitting fouls back in the 80s — nobody flailed about like that on impact.

Never mind Lebron’s built like a Tiger tank.

Tiger Tanks Could Withstand a Dozen Sherman[s]

The only way that so many levels of sham & stupidity could be so easily accepted — is that it was normalized little by little over time.

Ain’t that America

I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys

— Lebron James

His words are pure fantasy

But it doesn’t matter, because that’s the country we’ve become — where words are empty and utterly baseless claims can be beaten into your brain as bedrock fact.

You can apply a follow-the-facts standard in one breath and abandon it the next . . .

And get away with it with ease.

The NBA implemented an anti-flopping rule almost a decade ago, but it’s rarely enforced. That such a rule was needed in the first place is bad enough, but then they created one with fines that are a joke — since they miserably fail to follow through.

So the saga continues — much like America’s ever-increasing acceptance of the asinine & flagrantly false.

A buffoon befitting of this circus music — that is the legacy he’ll leave behind. He doesn’t concern himself with the future and the harm he does in shaping it.

And neither do you

Reddit is the place where people come together to have the most authentic and interesting conversations on the internet

— Reddit: Dive into anything / App Store Preview

Oh, you’re so condescending
Your gall is never-ending . . .

Your life is trite and jaded
Boring and confiscated
If that’s your best, your best won’t do

Turns out

You were just fine taking it — and had no qualms about losing it.

Be it in response to even a single post anywhere on social media — and all the way back to the early days of email: It’s always been some variant of mindlessness from people trying to protect their interests and how they see themselves.

If only our country could see how the latter infects the former and vice versa.

In a world of people wallowing in information that indulges them: Maybe being “disoriented” is exactly what we to turn things around. That wading through what is not immediately clear can be a gift that keeps on giving:

Training your mind to arrive at conclusions instead of jumping to them.

When I took that class at Purdue, we didn’t do rote memorization — we did in-depth analysis. We had to write how events and people correlated with one another.

It was demanding — and I loved it.

Nothing was seen in isolation . . .

Unlike how we do things here

Inspired by that life-altering experience and another one in Political Science, the next year I took a dual-level course on Hitler and 20th Century Germany. I was the only undergrad in the room, which was a bit daunting:

As my classmates blew me out of the water with their knowledge.

But at the same time, that’s what was so great about it.

There’s nothing like the air in an atmosphere of excellence — to step up your game in the midst of minds immersed in elevating their knowledge, understanding, and insight.

If that’s not your thing, that’s fine. But this nation is mired in the opposite of that, and that’s not fine.

In light of the times and America’s attention span, I created some promo clips to spread the word on the doc. 160 minutes too long for your taste — how about 5?

And that was mocked too

Considering the degree of complexity involved in conveying a story of this magnitude — to boil the essence of it all down to 5 minutes:

What goes through someone’s mind to respond with such contempt?

All the more maddening is that they act as though they welcome the truth with open arms — just like Lebron doesn’t flop.

How this clip came about embodies what I just wrote about being around excellence. My research, my writing, my ideas — and Shane’s magic to bring it all to life.

I called him with a concept for how they fabricated the Zippe/Beams Hybrid from an à la carte of tubes and dimensions. Inside of 60 seconds, he came up with this exquisite example of beauty in simplicity.

And the pencil scratching sound was a stroke of genius — perfectly illustrating the idiocy in their concocted claims.

No way in the world would I have come up with anything this good on my own.

5 minutes too much of a burden?

How about 33 seconds?

“You Can’t Believe Everything You Read”

My documentary illustrates evidence to a level of granularity not remotely approached by all other WMD docs combined.

Any one minute is more substantive than everything Sowell ever said on the subject.

On this story, 10 pages of reading trumps 10,000 hours of TV — cable clans & broadcast to boot.

That’s a fact — I did the math:

And I had access — to everything

Who cares about 10 pages when “You Can’t Believe Everything You Read”?

Same standard to snub someone who’s read 10,000 — on world-altering affairs you snicker at.

And I noticed “You can’t believe everything you read” only applies to words you don’t like.

Never in my life have I resorted to such silly sayings that are award-worthy for statements of the obvious. It’s all the more meaningless when you consider that the people most often peddling these pearls of wisdom:

Haven’t read anything that would qualify as even a cursory level of research.

I have a friend in the Special Forces who’s one of the most well-mannered individuals I know. But arrogance and dismissiveness can come even from the courteous in subtle certitude.

If you belong to an elite crew with security clearance, I’m sure you feel a sense of authority in intelligence. But feeling and being are two very different things — and context is critical to that determination.

When this report came out below, I instantly recalled that friend alluding to the “discovery” 7 years before at dinner. Even if what was found amounted to the bombshell that believers think it is:

And it’s nothing of the kind — as usual with this crowd.

It would still have nothing to do with the aluminum tubes. How can we possibly reach anything in the realm of rational debate if we can’t even agree that this does not equal that?

You might as well be arguing that day is night and night is day.

What that friend in the Forces believes doesn’t bother me that much — especially since it’s not politically motivated. But for the mutual friend from high school with us that night — it’s pure politics.

And having your best friend with a security clearance is solid gold — never mind he has no idea what he’s talking about . . .

Any more than this guy

But it’s all about association

And it always has been:

The most costly entitlement of our time is the unyielding devotion to your own opinion . . . unburdened by whether it’s informed or not.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion . . . draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises . . . in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.

Factoring for that — and this

A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on

The Right has a knack of controlling the narrative (and the Left seemingly goes out of its way to accommodate them). But whatever damage is being done by “safe spaces” on campus and such, it pales in comparison to the one that rules them all:

Where regurgitating garbage gets people to “Like” you — celebrating “victory” by clicking “bravo” to bad manners and bunk.

Social Media is Safe-Space Central

Anything Goes on Safe-Space Central — where you can hide amongst friends in fellowship of fury. The ever-rising ocean of partisan pettiness is gluttony under the guise of concern.

Ridicule just rolls right off me anymore. I’m not dealing with individuals; I’m dealing with a collective machine that’s been programmed to put me down.

My job is to jam up the gears — and get these gears going again:

I like the cut of your jib, sir

And then there are those memorable moments when someone surprises you with the simplicity and elegance of a line like that.

In a sea of insults, one kind comment is like wind in your sails.

You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you an inactive Spectator, but if the Sword be drawn I bid adieu to all domestick felicity, and look forward to that Country where there is neither wars nor rumors of War in a firm belief that thro the mercy of its King we shall both rejoice there together.

I greatly fear that the arm of treachery and violence is lifted over us as a Scourge and heavy punishment from heaven for our numerous offences, and for the misimprovement of our great advantages.

If we expect to inherit the blessings of our Fathers, we should return a little more to their primitive Simplicity of Manners, and not sink into inglorious ease.

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

— Abigail Adams, 16 October 1774

Abigail and I go way back . . .

These work-related stories are not simply parallels to the behavior illustrated throughout this site. They’re also about someone who’s spent his life harnessing setbacks.

The bigger picture is a beautiful thing:

As your interests can be served in ways you wouldn’t have imagined had you gotten what you wanted. To be sure, I’ve paid a price for my principles many times over — but the gains far outweigh the loss.

If you can’t see how that applies to America — I don’t know what to tell ya.

It’s always the bad apples that poison the waters of possibility — and incredibly, we’ve created a culture that caters to such kind.

Even in my tiny world of work, the waste I have witnessed is staggering.

Who hasn’t had to put up with some jackass on the job?

Some degree of that just comes with the territory, but in my industry of IT — there has been an undeniable trend of tolerating what would have been totally unacceptable in the past.

And lo and behold . . .

same trend happening here

The banks built my career

And I’m eternally grateful to them. This isn’t Occupy Wall Street — I don’t do The Big Bad just like I Don’t Do Slogans or anything indiscriminate.

I’m not keen on conventional approaches to protesting, and I had no interest getting in anyone’s way to bring attention to my cause.

My prime directive was that I would not engage unless engaged first.

I let my A-frame convey my message, but I was happy to talk to anyone who approached me. And if I’m gonna spend a few hours hangin’ around, I’ll make the most of it with some good reading.

A gentleman in a suit walked up to me one morning and said:

I really respect the way you’re doing this

Manner matters

I exhausted every avenue before I put those names on the sign.

As shown in the original rig, there was no Fraudulent 5 component to the protest — and nobody cared. Within minutes of showing up with the new addition and banners to boot, they cared.

It created quite a stir in the neighborhood, and I was threatened with a lawsuit if I didn’t take it down. I didn’t budge one bit. I had the Constitution on my side, but even more important than that — I had the truth.

A courtesy — for those who showed me none . . .

The names of my nemeses are nowhere to be found on this site. I believe in having a sense of proportionality in my purpose, and broadcasting their identities on the internet seems over the top to me.

They’re exposed on a sidewalk outside Gateway Village because it’s the scene of the crime, and it’s my only conduit to communicate with them.

We need to realize that something very wrong is going on here, and it goes much deeper than Bank of America and 5 guys on a sign.

It’s all connected

I’m sure many of you can relate:

It never ceases to amaze me that companies coddle people who epitomize the lowest common denominator. Rather than inspire them to rise to standards set by others, the meticulous are asked to accommodate the careless. On top of all that, there seems to be a universal rolodex of excuses that gets spun to absolve those in question.

I put my neck on the line to Do the Right Thing. That was their slogan — I just did it as a matter of habit, and I was hardly alone.

Getting screwed over makes for good writing material, but I’d much rather tell the stories of the long line of incredible colleagues and uplifting experiences I’ve had.

What Real Leadership Looks Like is one of my favorites — and it happened it at the same bank.

As I’m a connoisseur of silver linings, I’ve made the most of my exile that railroaded me from the bank 11 years ago. Between Einstein’s quote above and Bacon’s below, I’m in pretty good company with that attitude:

I wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the experiences that have come my way as a result of that fiasco.

My work in Reno, my documentary, crisscrossing the country on my never-ending quest — I’ve turned my distress into once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Rick’s the type of guy who would lose his job on principle

— CH (circa 2007)

I’ve practically burned my career on principles.

I’m lucky to have a job at all at this point (and I’ve got a pretty good one at that).

Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first

— Chanakya

Rollo thought he had somethin’ when I asked him if he had proactively pursued leadership training. I could hear him raring up to boast about how he had done this and that back in the day.

To which I said

That makes it even worse — because you’re not applying that experience

I was promised something and Elara didn’t deliver.

It’s a great company packed with outstanding people — and I’m grateful for my time there. But I was after something bigger than my immediate sphere of influence — and I made that pretty clear when I interviewed with Rollo and Head Honcho.

I wasn’t aiming for monetary gain in those goals, a feather in my cap, accolades of any kind, or some avenue of promotion.

As June Carter Cash was fond of saying

People and their sales pitch, I swear.

To put company credos in comical terms, there’s that vintage My Cousin Vinny scene where he says:

You were serious about dat? . . .

In response to the judge reprimanding him once again for not looking lawyerly in his courtroom.

It’s not so funny when companies have that same look on their face when I hold them accountable to their claims:

What? You thought we actually meant all that stuff about higher standards, accountability, integrity, and iron sharpens iron?

You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you, an inactive spectator. . . . We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

— Abigail Adams (October 16, 1774)

Over the Moon is a synopsis of the story — which I sent as a laminated letter to the top brass and then some:

Why would anyone jeopardize a high-paying job that they love? I feel a deep sense of duty to my customers, as they’re the reason I live a life of endless fulfillment in problem solving.

Since I get to learn and grow in all kinds of ways that serve my interests, shouldn’t I seek to do the same to serve theirs? If I were running a company, you’d check your ego at the door or you wouldn’t work there.

I may never find such a place, so I’ve had to make concessions for the totally unnecessary.

But just how far should I be asked to lower the bar?

Fun fact: Elara is one of Jupiter’s moons.

What the powers that be in most companies don’t get — is that you create more conflict in cultures that go to excessive lengths to avoid it. It’s just that the conflict is concealed in subtleties that disguise mounting frustration and waste.

While you put out your PR and pretend this undercurrent of crap doesn’t exist.

If you’re not embarrassed by the leadership involved in this story, I have to wonder what it would take.

His turbocharged hypersensitivity couldn’t handle even the most delicate of my prior efforts.

So he would go out of his mind had I gone to him with what I told End Run. And I had my doubts about going to Head Honcho — with good reason, as it turned out.

That these are dangerous waters in our plush little worlds is deplorable.

Without authority, it’s impossible to penetrate a mind so cemented as Mike’s — so this was a managerial matter all along. Had I thought of it, I would have gone to HR before that call and requested to be transferred out of his team.

I should have known that he wouldn’t rise to the occasion, and I no longer had any faith in his leadership.

I also should have known that I couldn’t count on Dave to do his job.

But unlike them, I was still trying to find a way to solve the problem. Doing right by our customers, the team, and each other were my primary concerns:

Pride and politics were theirs

For folly of this level to persist, almost invariably, it’s connected to the relationships of those involved.

Nobody gets away with this without a guardian angel.

A lot of that goin’ around

The notion that remaining calm equates to being aboveboard and reasonable — is an illusion. Mike revels in that tried-and-untrue tactic — priding himself on his calmness, as he sails Scot-Free on his Sea of Chaos.

As for you, Dave — here’s what I think of your “Here’s what I think and here’s why . . .

My aim was always to find a home where I could settle in for an ever-evolving future — a quest for belonging in the right company, with a crew that continually hones its craft.

I wanted one tiny space in the world where people do right by one another — and rise to the occasion when they don’t.

It was just a dream, so I’ve had to repeatedly lower my expectations if I wanted to continue in this career. All I ask for now is that people be in the ballpark of their beliefs, but even that seems too much to ask.

My concessions could never keep up with the pace of pampering that plagues our society — as I’ve always clashed with a culture that increasingly values bullshit as currency.

Rollo‘s behavior became normalized that way.

And so did yours

I never got on board — and I never will

Deep down, the dream lives on . . .

When you see your ship go sailing
When you feel your heart is breaking
Hold on tight to your dream . . .

When you see the shadows falling
When you hear that cold wind calling
Hold on tight to your dream

If you think I’m harsh on Sowell — you should have heard me chew out my manager Rollo Tomassi.

Ed Exley: Rollo Tomassi

Dudley Smith: Who is he?

Ed Exley: You are. You’re the guy who gets away with it

We’ll see . . .

After nearly 2 years of walking on eggshells with Rollo, I’d just had it. How he treated me wasn’t the worst part though — it was how he treated our customers.

I can’t have that.

Trying to reach him was like playing dodgeball — for all the “Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge” goin’ on. A younger version of me would not have put up with it for as long as I did.

It was bound to blow

If Rollo had been the worst of the culprits who came before him — I could live with that. He was worse than all of them — combined!

Outside of that — I really liked the guy and we got along great.

On that note, what do dancers have in common with good leadership?

Dancers in the center are always the smoothest. The other girls are good, but the ones in the middle have the magic.

You don’t have be magical or even smooth to be a manager — but if you wanna be at the center, you better be willing to step up your game.

If chaos consistently surrounds a leader — they’re unfit for the job. Like most people, the team operates within the confines of the conditions set by the manager.

Whereas I’m the guy who essentially says . . .

You can do a helluva lot better, and you sold yourself as someone who would!

Wouldn’t it be something if we did the same?

“So I will ask you once again”

Blind loyalty would bore the hell out of me. To not question, reflect, wonder, pause, consider, and reconsider — would be like asking me not to breathe.

And if I tell you you’re wrong — I’m not gonna Tweet a talking point wrapped in childish insults to satisfy a fix.

You’re wrong — and here’s why

I’m old-fashioned that way

Most of America — went another way . . .

From where I sit, we owe all those who came before us who had to fight in ways we’ll never have to. They handed us so much to build on — and this is how we honor their sacrifice:

Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

  • Rather than read and digest, people scan and dismiss — frantically seeking any fragment they can frame in their favor.
  • Sensible arguments are snubbed with meaningless replies that are utterly absent of original thought — mercilessly torturing reason with trite talking points.
  • Even against overwhelming evidence served on a silver platter, they will swat it away in disdain without so much as glancing at the goods.

  • Always at the ready — they’ll gleefully “inform” you with 60 seconds of “research” — compiled by copying & pasting material disseminated by the equally uninformed.
  • They’ll look away from a mountain of evidence against their side — while nitpicking over pebbles to pounce on the other.
  • They want a presence without having to exert any effort to legitimately participate
  • They peddle their opinions while shirking any responsibility to validate them

Climb the Earth’s tallest mountain
To where it reaches the sky
Take a gun fire a bullet
Straight up out of sight
Where it stops in the heavens
Well that ain’t half as high
As the distance between you and me . . .

In John Wayne: The Life and Legend, the author relays a story about The Duke growing up as Marion Robert Morrison — and how every day he rode eight miles to elementary school on a horse named Jenny. No matter how much he fed his horse, Jenny was still too thin.

Some ladies in town took notice of what they perceived as malnutrition and reported his family to the Humane Society. After a vet examined the horse it was diagnosed to have a disease and eventually they had to put her down.

On top of losing his beloved horse, Marion was understandably unhappy with how he was treated:

[A] sense of outrage over being falsely accused never left him. “I learned you can’t always judge a person or a situation by the way it appears on the surface,” he remembered. “You have to look deeply into things before you’re in a position to make a proper decision.”

In the book: DUKE, We’re Glad We Knew You: John Wayne’s Friends and Colleagues Remember His Remarkable Life — in the forward is a 1979 article that includes the following:

To him a handshake was a binding contract. When he was in the hospital for the last time and sold his yacht, The Wild Goose, for an amount far below its market value, he learned the engines needed minor repairs. He ordered those engines overhauled at a cost to him of $40,000 because he had told the new owner the boat was in good shape.

— The Unforgettable John Wayne by Ronald Reagan

This 60-second scene from The Searchers squares with the quote above, and it’s at the bedrock of my beliefs.

“I Told Ya, Didn’t I!”

John Wayne was also a jerk on some of his stances. But it’s ludicrous to waste time and effort on purity tests about the past that do nothing but poison the present and cripple the future.

This — is not problem solving

“It is widely recognized that racist symbols produce lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma particularly to Black communities, people of color and other oppressed groups,” the resolution says, adding that Orange County is more diverse than it was when the airport was christened under Wayne’s name in 1979.

Lemme tell you what else is “widely recognized” — you’re being played.

Whatever gains you get by aimless protests, removing monuments, renaming airports, and other concocted outrage you come up with — those gains will be offset untold times over.

And they already have been.

Couldn’t we just have a grandfather clause that covers our questionable past — and get on with the business of solving problems in a serious-minded manner?

By the way, it’s equally absurd to inflate someone’s record as it is to taint the totality of it for political correctness.

John Wayne was 34 years old when the attack on Pearl Harbor shocked the nation. And when the U.S. declared war, Wayne rushed to sign up for active duty. The patriot John Wayne was overwhelmed with despair when informed that he was both too old to fight, and under contractual obligations to the studio — which would keep him out of combat.

That — is not true

[R]ushed to sign up for active duty . . . overwhelmed with despair . . . too old to fight . . . under contractual obligations

Utterly ridiculous

They’re either lying or incredibly sloppy in their research. Pick one.

Either way — if they’re willing to produce such shoddy work on something as uneventful as The John Wayne Story, what do you think passes for accuracy on matters of importance?

And this is precisely how the media molds your perception — by wildly oversimplifying issues and leaving out anything that doesn’t fit.

To tell the truth on Wayne’s reluctance to serve when his career was kicking into gear — complicates the narrative.

Recognizing complicated issues is what this country desperately needs.

Appreciating complexity sharpens the mind and simplifies problem solving (as it cuts through the crap that narrow-minded narratives create).

What do you think I’m saying with these black & white outfits?

I think of conversation as a journey — where even the tiniest kernel of truth can alter your course. No matter how much I disagree with another’s view, I’ll look for anything that’s true and work backwards from there. 

What I find might not change anything or might change everything, but it’s a worthy endeavor regardless.

Ford: Rebuilding an American Icon tells of the company’s comeback after its largest-ever loss of $12.7 billion in 2006. At the helm of its turnaround was Alan Mulally — who faced quality concerns by embracing criticism from Consumer Reports.

When he says the following, it’s not some fancy quote to float — it’s a mindset that makes all the difference in the world:

We’re gonna seek to understand before we seek to be understood.

This 2:20 scene shows what serious-minded leaders look like (and not just Mulally). Ya gotta hand it to the great-grandson of Henry Ford for having the humility to see what was best for the company by putting the right person in place:

Mulally didn’t invent the phrase — but his version flows a bit better than Stephen Covey’s from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The synopsis for the “seek to understand” tenet is as follows:

Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.

Our country could sure use some habits like that.

We’re here to listen, we’re here to learn


There are powerful forces that go to great lengths to make damn sure you don’t.

I took some boxing lessons a lifetime ago, and I remember watching the trainer pound a medicine ball into those who were seemingly glutton for punishment.

While I was not aiming to become a boxer, I had every intention of taking the same blows. Before that day arrived, I had always imagined the pummeling as an agonizing workout, but it turned out to be quite exhilarating — a rite of passage of sorts.

All along it was just an illusion that I had created in my mind, and that fear was far worse than the reality.

The Teacher beats you with medicine to build up resistance that will ultimately protect you, but first you have to be willing to trust that he’s not out to crack your ribs.

Even spur-of-the-moment debates on unimportant matters can be invaluable training when you enter the ring with sincerity.

Think of uncomfortable encounters as intellectual sparring to keep your mind in shape.

Merle’s sorrowful song has an uplifting twist at the end, and without that final 45 seconds — you’d miss the meaning of the message.

The underlying meaning in mine: Your beliefs should be backed by your record.

I’m old-fashioned that way too

Stop rolling down hill
Like a snowball headed for Hell . . .

My generation got off easy, as all we were called to do was weigh information. But even that was too much of a burden.

As we got more — we became less

With the religious-like following around him: It’s precisely because of his reprehensible record on Iraq — that makes him perfectly placed to turn the tide. Like I said in Part I:

I’ve . . . got – a – plan

I’m not just taking Thomas Sowell to task because he’s got it comin’ — I need this guy . . .

we all do

She was a comedian!

Even through the phone, I could see the smile on her face when she spoke of June Carter Cash. Shirley’s faith was so strong that she once said, “Why not me?” — should great misfortune come her way.

Years later, it did

I don’t have her courage to say, “Why not me?” just yet, but if that time comes, I’ve got someone to look up to.

This one’s for you, Shirley — you mattered and most certainly are missed.

It amazes me how people reject criticism as if the input exists in a vacuum — as though others don’t feel the same simply by virtue of not hearing it from them.

Guaranteed, every single person who’s ever spent time working with Rollo — knows how he rolls.

I’m just the guy who said it out loud.

I’ve always been that guy

Then there’s the fact that the wisdom someone’s trying to share — was most likely inspired by others in some fashion. So when you turn away from one person, you’re likely turning away from many.

And in my case, the line is really long.

The second I finish this series — I’ve got a backlog of goals to get back to in the IT side of my world. This is just another writing project to see that the truth someday gets its day in the sun.

I may never see that day — but I gotta know that I did everything I could.

On a matter of world-altering consequence on multiple fronts — decisions that shaped the society you see today:

I spent $15,000 for a few views and merciless mockery — never mind that not a single person has ever countered with anything in the same universe of sound argument.

And yet . . .

It was worth every penny

It was a life-altering journey — learning and doing things I never imagined I’d do. You can’t put a price on that — and all the stories in the pursuit of getting it right.

Even if nobody cares — I do.

I knew the impenetrable wall of resistance awaiting me with the doc, just as I know what awaits me with every post. But as I said before:

I love the challenge of channeling my thoughts to a world that will gleefully swat them away in an instant.

I’m not a “genius,” a “hero” or a “statesman” — but I’m everything else Abigail brilliantly brings to life here . . .

And you could be too

Who knows, maybe you could be the genius, hero, statesman, or all 3 that America so desperately needs.

I’m a big fan . . .

Unlike almost all of America — I don’t see through the prism of Right & Left.

  • This makes sense — that doesn’t
  • This is true — that’s false

That’s it!

There is no amount of gain you could give me to believe something to be true that is false. When warranted, I will defend those I despise and call out those I like. I call a spade a spade, period.

Little did I know that something so comical would become so acceptable:

Sir, I have got conclusive evidence: Notarized depositions, tire prints, blood samples. I’ve got eyewitness accounts, murder weapons, fingerprints, recordings . . .

Hold it. Hold it, kid. It’s flimsy. It’s not enough. It’ll never hold up, not in a court of law. Let’s put this aside . . .

We’re here to socialize — not talk shop

On WMD . . .

The frantic on Fox drove its viewers down an expressway of self-delusion. But when they spoke the truth about Obama or anything else, it would have been unthinkable for me to dismiss that information.

Speaking of the Rock Star — Rush Limbaugh was one of the most destructive voices in American history, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was right about the media overplaying Obama’s qualifications.

I say that as someone who voted for him — once!

Rush also wrote good books for kids — and big kids like me.

If I can see some good in someone who lied for a living and occasionally told the truth — perhaps you could show a modicum of courtesy to someone who always tells the truth.

Right and Left — the likes of Rush make it all too easy for you, and the eradication of reason is the result.

If we expect to inherit the blessings of our Fathers, we should return a little more to their primitive Simplicity of Manners, and not sink into inglorious ease.

Geraldine Ferraro and Rush were in opposite camps, and yet she said essentially the same thing he did:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.

Every word of her statement is true, but that didn’t matter to those who bombarded her with . . .

vicious e-mail messages accusing her of racism

Utterly ridiculous

In a follow-up interview, Ferraro said she was “not trying to diminish Obama’s candidacy, and acknowledged up front that she would not have been the vice presidential nominee in 1984 if she had been a man.”

All she was trying to say was that Obama lacked experience and that the media was overplaying his qualifications — and I couldn’t agree more.

I gave him a shot anyway — and he blew it.

Past is Prologue

Though I gave him a shot, I said in 2008 that he wouldn’t be the “change” candidate he claimed.

How did I know that?

Because he had no record of risk — and past is prologue.

He had an opportunity to take race relations to new heights but took it to new lows — playing the same tried and untrue games that get you nowhere.

Not for a nanosecond do I think that Obama wanted to involve himself in race-related incidents — which hijacked his presidency and poisoned the atmosphere of race relations.

But he caved into his party’s playbook on pandering — because past is prologue.

You don’t have to be Nostradamus to know where this is going:

Past is prologue isn’t limited to the Left any more than pandering is.

But as always, the Right controls the narrative — never mind their noise in the endless complaining of one grievance industry grinding against another.

Anything Goes in service of the cause:

Racing to win without a second of consideration for unintended consequences, timeless truths about right & wrong, anything in service of sense, and now even sanity is optional.

I just have this old-fashioned idea about not rewarding people who are dishonest and don’t do a good job.

— Richard W. Memmer: Prologue

No amount of unconscionable obstruction on the Right changes the fact that you blew it all by yourselves.

And worse than that — is your refusal to recognize that reality (allowing you to conveniently ignore other realities).

As I’ve said many times: Black Lives Matter, the removal of monuments, and Kaepernick’s kneeling — rolled out the red carpet for Trump.

That — was not smart

What if Kaepernick kneeled and acknowledged that they need to do their part while asking the police to do theirs?

Hold the phone — you want us to share some responsibility?

You wanna solve the problem or protest about it?

I object to the indiscriminate outrage rigged by Black Lives Matter — as I object to all-things indiscriminate by applying that principle across the board.

That — is what makes it principle

Nobody nailed Obama better than Matt Damon:

A one-term president with some balls . . . [would have been] much better

Easily the most obvious example of how overly hyped Obama was can be found in Hardball’s Chris Matthews.

He had been a disciple of Obama’s since the beginning, and he didn’t even bother hiding it on Tuesday, February 12, 2008, the day of the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia primaries:

I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear a Barack Obama speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg . . .

No, seriously, it’s a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics, it has to do with the feeling we have about our country, and that is an objective assessment . . .

Objective assessment?

In politics, you pursue everything as if there’s nothing to be gained from the manner of the pursuit.

You don’t concern yourselves with the trueness, quality, and creativity in the crafting of ideas — all that matters is what sells them.

At all costs . . .

I have other ideas

In the Florida election fiasco of 2000, I just wanted the right thing to be done — whether it served my interests or not was irrelevant.

And I said so at the time.

That sense of fairness is so foreign that I might as well be speaking another language.

They brought a [butter] knife to a gunfight

In the year 3535
Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today

Sooner than you think

The right often accuses the left of exaggerating victimhood, turning a blind eye to reality, and distorting language to do so. The left, it’s often said, harbors “snowflakes” and the like who are beset by a victim complex.

Lately, however, this frame of mind knows no party or political affiliation. Especially since the Capitol riot, assorted conservative figures have embodied a fragility of the right.


Mr. McWhorter — I’ve been in the trenches dealing with these chronic complainers for a helluva lot longer than “lately.”

Not only did they systematically deny the obvious on the most important matter of our time — they proudly refused to even allow the debate to get to the point of what it’s even about.

And defend the indefensible to this day.

Holy war

Given the world-altering magnitude of the Iraq War, the chances of Sowell being a repeat offender on lying and/or manipulating matters in a manner outside the parameters of a “maverick”:

And right on cue

How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans? How often have conservative students on campus shouted down a visiting speaker or rioted to prevent the visitor from speaking at all?

Thomas Sowell

While I don’t subscribe to the silencing of anyone, it’s not simply about how “often” — it’s the magnitude that matters most. World-altering events rank a bit higher in importance than preventing people from speaking at college campuses.

A fair-minded argument would at least acknowledge that the Brooks Brothers Riot happened in the aftermath of the Florida 2000 election. You can share their concerns and still say it was wrong to behave like this.

That they were Republican operatives makes it even worse than people off the street (as it shows the machinery involved to make this happen).

Even if I agreed with them, I would be against this kind of conduct.

Sowell may be right about what he wrote about Florida — I’d have to thoroughly research the issue before I would weigh in on it. And even then, that subject matter’s so murky that it would be hard to say with certainty.

I glanced over a couple of his articles on the voting debacle. While he knows more about it than I do — for an event of such colossal importance, I’m not impressed.

It’s just too simple and slapdash for my taste.

And why should I trust someone who so flagrantly ignored the most obvious and clear-cut evidence imaginable — on going to war in the Middle East, no less?

That I don’t trust him doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wrong on Florida 2000 — it just means his word is unreliable.

As a distinguished scholar once said: “The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”

— Thomas Sowell: Desperate and Ugly in Florida

And then he has this trend of headlines oozing in partisanship. On two of the biggest events in American history — Sowell seems pretty tribal to me:

Desperate and Ugly in Florida

And I find it interesting that with Sowell — one reason some people today would find it hard to go with him is that he doesn’t write with that tribalist sense.

Weapons of Crass Obstruction

He’s trying to be purely objective and there’s nothing in him of — here’s what we down here think. Here’s what we’ve been through.

Weapons of Political Destruction

It’s not seasoned with any of that — he’s just trying to have a white lab coat on and look at the facts.

— John McWhorter

If that’s not “seasoned” to you, Mr. McWhorter — what is?

Sowell also has a habit of painting the Left in the worst possible light — while acting as though “hostility and even hatred” are uncharacteristic of conservatives.

It’s all about framing the problem in a way that allows him to conveniently ignore the same behavior in other forms.

How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans? 

— Thomas Sowell: The Anger Of The Left

I’ve been met with almost nothing but belligerence and belittlement for decades on WMD — but because I wasn’t shouted down in the streets, it doesn’t count?

And this gem

It is hard to think of a time when Karl Rove or Dick Cheney has even raised his voice but they are hated like the devil incarnate

So you can manipulate the nation into war — make up more lies to rationalize those lies, pit half the nation against the other in a post 9/11 world, and on and on:

But as long as liars don’t raise their voice — there’s no call to be angry about it?

We were trying to stop the recount; Bush had already won,” said Evilio Cepero, a reporter for WAQI, an influential Spanish talk radio station in Miami

I strenuously object? Is that how it works? Objection. Overruled! No, no, no, no . . . No, I strenuously object! Oh, well, you strenuously object — then I should take some time to reconsider.

Speaking of objection

How come Sowell’s not a “National Treasure” for his spot-on assessment of Trump in 2016? If you wanted to value him as a “maverick” — here was your chance to deliver:

As he did

Perfectly crafted common sense . . .

Advertised and delivered . . .

One might ask why I’d readily agree with his assessment on Trump but not on Florida 2000.

It’s a fair question — but the answer should be as self-evident as what he wrote on Trump. You can’t compare baseline behavioral traits with issues involving voting machines, recounts, court cases, and whatever else went on down there.

I’m not even disagreeing with him — I’m refraining from judgment because I’m not informed enough to say.

How often do you see that?

I’m not agreeing with Sowell simply because I don’t like Trump — it’s that every word he wrote squares with the bare-minimum expectations we should have of any president.

He called a spade a spade

And that — is the Sowell I’m seeking.

When I’m trying to learn a new language — I start at the beginning. What I espouse was not a foreign language in elementary school — but it is now, because you lost your way.

You no longer understand the language of honesty, integrity, fairness, right & wrong, and habits like these — and you blame the messenger for your failure to grasp the goods.

Not me — I get to work

And start at the beginning . . .

I’m almost finished with a Covid Tracking tool I built in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It just happened to be Covid data — it’s a coding exercise that could have been anything along those lines to advance my skills.

I made it as challenging as possible

As I’m training my mind to become a better developer in areas of interest outside my bread & butter expertise.

The mistakes I’ve made have already been invaluable in that journey.

And the first thing I’m gonna do when it’s done:

  1. Get a pizza
  2. Pat myself on the back
  3. Send it to a few people who really know what they’re doing . . .

And ask ’em to . . .

Rip this thing apart and show me how to do it better next time.

At the heart of everything I advocate is the idea of leveraging knowledge. Every element is connected to a conviction that boils down to Saint Jerome’s journey:

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.

“Good, better, best” and I go way back as well . . .

I made a big mistake above

And not only did I come up with a way around it — it was a blessing in disguise.

We will cut the wheel down the middle

You see America through the lens of politics.

Mine’s problem solving . . .

That’s there’s a connection between the above & below in craftsmanship, commitment, detail, and design:

What road have you taken to lose sight of such things deserving of at least a little respect?

Respect is not my concern . . .

But if you showed some, it might be just enough to crack open a conduit to this quaint thing called conversation.

Countering with crap about my “11 followers” (all the way up to 14 now), my next-to-nothing views on the doc, my “TENS of readers,” I’m a “nobody” taking on your “National Treasure”:

By Sowell’s standards and supposedly yours — that’s against the rules . . .

All of them

But your I-beam steel stubbornness and insults gave me the idea for this series on Sowell, so thanks for that. If I have any chance at all to get the word out, this will be my best chance.

I’ve been writing about principles and WMD for decades, but in what I discovered about Sowell and the echo chamber around him:

I came up with an idea for how to change the dynamic of debate in America.

Have you ever heard of anyone taking someone to task for the purpose of elevating them to a figure that could change the course of history?

That sounds intriguing — but that’s me.

Maybe when you’re done talking race, woke, and CRT for the ten thousandth time — we can consider approaching problems in a more multi-dimensional manner?

Just a thought

I don’t believe that Sowell bought what he was selling on WMD. He went along because he knew what would happen if he didn’t.

The Right would have beaten the hell out of Maverick had he acted like one when it mattered most.

Past is Prologue

I’m not informed enough on Powell’s early history to offer educated commentary on it. But if a man of his stature wouldn’t buck the system when he had enough clout to start a war or stop one — I’d say he’s always played it on the safe side.

The following scene shows just that in a striking contrast between the Powell that put Rumsfeld in his place on that dump truck deal — and the good soldier who put on that performance at the U.N.

— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue

As Insincere as it Gets

Back to Loury & McWhorter

They made sweeping assumptions outside their lane in order to heap praise upon Sowell . . .

Would they step back out to correct him?

This is the Loury I was looking for

The Civil Rights Movement is over” — in 1984!

That — took guts!

Alas, that it was 37 years ago bolters my case about the forces of folly that smother such bold thinking. If you support truth-to-power people like Loury — think of my words as a way to help them.

Loury, McWhorter & Crew are doing their part — you’re not.

Cheerleading on YouTube doesn’t get it done.

When you see a sentence like “Not a trace of Thomas Sowell’s ‘follow the facts’ claim to fame can be found on the most world-altering topic of our time.”

I have no idea what you’re talking about . . .

Is not the mark of an intellectual giant (or an intellectual on any level).

Sowell is a great man because of his books. I stand by that. you want to refute his books — go ahead. I’m listening.

— Glenn Loury

Oh, I see — you wanna confine his record to a box of beliefs that suit you, and ignore anything that doesn’t. So the rules of argument you espouse on a daily basis don’t apply to you . . .

A lot of that goin’ around

O.J. was a great football player

Should I just look past that a little matter of murder because I’m a fan?

Sowell sold out to sell those books you stand by.

I have no idea what you’re talking about . . .

What part of “WMD,” “biggest and most costly lie in modern history,” and “most world-altering topic of our time” — do you not understand?

Perhaps an inquiry or two for clarification was in order?

What happened to “looking at the deep questions”? . . .

We’re a university. We should be above whatever the fad or the fashion is of any given day. We should be looking at the deep questions. We should be analytical. We should be emphasizing reason. Instead, it was like a kind of emotional rush — in which . . . the president and provost and the top leadership of my university — wanted to jump on a bandwagon. They wanted to wave a banner.

And I thought to myself, what have we come to at the university — that the first reaction to grave matters — and the rioting in the street after George Floyd died is a grave matter.

That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of Black Lives Matter

— Glenn Loury

Remove the references around George Floyd — and that behavior rings a bell.

Now I Remember . . .

As the patriots Never Forget

The aftermath of this

That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of . . .

Hard to Imagine

And Damn Disappointing to Boot

An intellectual is not closed-minded by any means on any subject

A friend said that on February 15, 2015 at 5:00 PM — and I immediately wrote it down. Contrast the intellectuals above with the North Star on the nuclear charge below.

When it comes to uranium enrichment, Dr. Houston Wood is perhaps the foremost expert on the planet — and yet even he leaves the door open.

But ya gotta make the argument — fantasy doesn’t cut it.

Now this is a pro . . .

Let me tell you something about how the mind works, Mr. Pinker . . .

And this — is Amateur Hour . . .

From the great Glenn Loury:

I expect you to follow your own standards and think it through — not make excuses for why you won’t.

You said that they had no argument against your [R]ebuttal to Brown University’s letter on racism in the United States.

Neither do you on your National Treasure.

I must object

You’ll find the full email in What a Fool Believes He Sees — my response to Loury’s utterly ridiculous defense.

Once again, anybody can “follow the facts” when they’re going in the direction you desire — only the genuine article takes the trail no matter where it leads.

And they damn sure don’t fuss over tone along the way.

America is infected with the plague of wishful thinking — framing the “debate” in whatever way works in your favor.

When I first came across Glenn Loury — I could not have imagined that I’d eventually see him in his own safe space. And they’re all in it. The more I saw, the more I knew what to expect when I sent that email.

I was deeply disappointed — but not one-bit surprised.

“The truth” about everybody — except Sowell . . .

He’s off limits

Call it a “rant,” call it whatever you like — but every word I wrote is true.

As explained on You Got Gold, I cut the connection to our Crap is King culture. But every once in a while, I’ll comment on something and leave the link to my calling card.

When I said I was cutting the connection — I meant it:

I’ve never heard Joe Biden speak as president (outside of an unavoidable TV in the background a time or two).

And while I voted, I didn’t look to see who won — I only found out because a friend couldn’t resist telling me a week later. That same person told me that something happened on January 6th, but I didn’t check it out until recently.

I had never even heard of Rittenhouse until right around the verdict.

I can’t offer an informed opinion on the matter, but just from the video alone — I don’t know what the Left is looking at.

And they don’t either.

Like the Right, they carry baggage into every issue — so the next outrage is just another vehicle to further their agenda. What I think of these people running around with their rifles is precisely to the point of this entire site:

That I can strip away anything extraneous to see a situation for exactly what is:

In the moments that matter most . . .

Your reply shows me you have no such experience and knowledge. You played yourself, and you lost. Sorry, read some Thomas Sowell . . .

14 years ago, just a few weeks on the job — I discovered a blunder that 4 other developers had missed for over a year.

These are smart guys — and I learned a lot from them.

So how could they have possibly missed that all the decimal places were missing in a key source with over 100 million records?

What’s more — how could they still not see it once I pointed it out to them multiple times?

Even my manager said, “That data’s been validated.” I thought to myself:

Yeah, that can happen when you’re comparing two wrongs that make it look right

Once again, I sent out more screenshots to compare the source to destination side by side.

And finally

The first guy on the project replied:

You’re right, they’re all gone

They had to go back and re-pull all the data over again — which was pretty time-consuming considering the volume.

No politics, no religion, no heroes, no raging egos involved . . . and yet they couldn’t see what was right in front of their faces. How can that be?

Groupthink — plain as day.

I’m not fond of the first definition in this case, because it includes an “urge to conform” and possibly having an agenda.

This one’s more applicable

Each developer had followed the ones before. 2nd assumed 1st was right. 3rd assumed first two were right. And 4th assumed the other 3 were right.

5th guy comes along and says:

Wait a minute!

And they can’t wrap their mind around it

No matter how glaringly obvious it was that they blew it.

So they rationalized why it couldn’t be true — instead of simply taking a look for themselves.

They weren’t being dismissive or blowing me off — they just couldn’t believe that 4 guys at their level could botch something that big.

That data was worthless without those decimal places, but we were able to salvage the situation before it got to the customers.

Now imagine the waste and destruction on a daily basis . . .

When politics, religion, money, power, narcissism, greed to get your way, the Almighty values, attention seeking, and hero worship are involved.

And then handing it all down to those who follow in your footsteps.

With every fiber of their being, Loury, McWhorter, and Hughes believe something to be true that is demonstrably false.

There’s nothing sinister about it in their case — they just fell into a typical trap in human nature.

But unlike my colleagues who didn’t have much to lose beyond their pride being hurt, Glenn & and the Gang undeniably have a vested interest in protecting Sowell’s reputation.

Loury’s knee-jerk reaction was out of sincere love for Sowell — I don’t doubt that one bit. I’m simply saying there are many motivations involved here — especially because of their tight-knit community that worships Sowell like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Such religious-like loyalty is common — what’s unique in this case is that they’re defending Sowell on subject matter that’s entirely unrelated to their knowledge of him.

And contrary to convenient opinion — I’m not even challenging Sowell in areas within his wheelhouse.

You ignore his entire body of work

I’m not ignoring it — it’s just that it has nothing to do with it. If you followed through on the standards Sowell espouses, you’d know that.

Loury & McWhorter heaped praise upon Sowell for stepping outside his lane — and they’re flat-out wrong. Granted, it’s mostly McWhorter’s words — but Loury went along without a word of objection.

In watching the full clip again though, I do wonder if Loury might see something about Sowell that McWhorter doesn’t — as Glenn at least acknowledges that Sowell is “political.”

In any case, Loury did say this in response to a viewer’s question:

This is from Isaac Woodward . . . “I know Sowell is on the right of you on the political spectrum, but your commitment to rigorous analysis and facts over feel-good narratives distinguishes all three of you in the space of public intellectuals today.”

The Work and Impact of Thomas Sowell

I challenged Loury on Sowell’s “commitment to rigorous analysis and facts over feel-good narrative” — and Loury broke his own rules to blindly defend his hero.

But these guys are not garden-variety apologists.

If Loury looked at the evidence, no way he’d deny the irrefutable. That much faith in him remains. He avoided it entirely — and I’m looking for someone who won’t.

When it comes to the truth — be wary of those who have something to protect:

And they’ve got company

The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence we have specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, we would expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselyte or to persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.

Festinger’s 5 Conditions

Speaking of social support

Origin: November 20, 2016

So when the Left cries, they’re “snowflakes” — but when you do it, you’re freedom fighters?

Tell ya what . . .

You’re welcome to make your case and I’ll listen . . .

But you first: As what I have to say — sets the foundation for what you see, and what you don’t.

Loury lives his life making arguments all day long (and excellent ones at that). But he abandoned his standards in a heartbeat with this horseshit:

I didn’t invent the rules — I just follow ’em.

And essential to that commitment is the willingness to reflect on when I fall short. I don’t care how harsh the criticism — it would be unthinkable for me to reply to someone’s in-depth email in the flippant way that Loury did.

My writing was “brilliant” when he agreed with it — but relegated to a “rant” when I dropped the hammer on his hero.

I’ve been treated far more harshly (and usually without cause). But I’m always willing to re-examine any situation. Even if I’m clearly in the right — maybe there’s something more to see.

Sometimes I find it moments later, sometimes years — and the door’s always open with everything in between.

18 years ago, I declared bankruptcy. I tried to pay it back 16 years later when I was finally in a position to do so. The banks had no way of setting it up, but I sincerely tried.

I was free and clear long ago — why would I do that?

When I told a couple of my best friends about it at the time — one was understanding and the other assailed me for it.

He was harsh but the underlying truth was undeniable.

He held me to my own standards and I’m damn glad he did. He didn’t care about Trump’s bankruptcies though — funny how that works when it comes to politics.

But I don’t care — as I don’t set my standards relative to what others do.

I’m well aware that business bankruptcies are different, but Trump is the perfect example because most people use the behavior of others to rationalize theirs. I don’t.

I got out of a massive hole that freed me up for a better future — and once I found it, I could afford to keep my word: And fix what I failed to do so 18 years before.

In that friend’s scathing rebuke of just a couple of comments, he reminded me of how important my word is to me. Was it over-the-top in its severity?

Oh yeah — but who cares? I got the message and that’s what matters.

Cinderella Man says it all

This is what influence is supposed to do: You see someone who inspires you — and you try to live up to what moved you. Without that — it’s just entertainment.

Reporter: Bob Johnson, Boston Globe. Two days ago, we ran a story about you giving your relief money back. Can you tell our readers why?

Jim Braddock: I believe we live in a great country, a country that’s great enough to help a man financially when he’s in trouble. But lately, I’ve had some good fortune, and I’m back in the black. And I just thought I should return it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I’d love to share my story of power-outage problems, but it pales in comparison to many others. I’d much rather share a lapse in judgment that will always stand out in my mind over this mess.

At the hotel breakfast this morning, pouring milk into my cereal reminded me of one of my all-time favorite lines:

This time around, I know what I’m fightin’ for . . . milk!

Cinderella Man

I was so happy to have that milk — just as I was thrilled with the package of sausage biscuits they provided. It was the first real food I’d had in a couple days.

With hot coffee and orange juice in the mix, that was the best breakfast ever.

P.S. I returned to my apartment yesterday (with electricity but no water). I finished this story and checked the faucets to find that my water was back on.

How fitting

Well ain’t I a doin’ fine
I’m gainin’ all the time

My Two Sides of the Same Counterfeit Coin series would not exist without the inspiration from Glenn Loury. In fact, this whole site was partly inspired by him.

I hope you keep that in mind — as I call Glenn out for miserably failing to follow his own standards. Unlike looking at the underlying truth as I did with my friend, Glenn took the easy way out.

A lot of that goin’ around

All that is to say:

You may offer sound arguments at times, but when you allow your motives to muddy the waters, your abilities go right out the window — right along with reason and reality.

And that — is why “you first”

By intersecting these topics, I show no favoritism in illustrating how emotion runs roughshod over reason.

And when I say, “make your case” — I mean you gotta earn it. Unless you did a documentary on it — or have extensive writings or podcasts you’ve done:

Don’t send me some links to spare you the time. You make the argument in your own words.

By all means, offer supporting material — but you have to do the bulk of the work. And if you know the counterarguments to your arguments — you don’t know the material.

I’ve never believed anything to be true that was demonstrably false. If I’m wrong about anything — I wanna know and I’ll openly admit it. What I think of Biden and Trump is immaterial to my interest in the truth.

And if you think I’m a fan of either one, you’re not paying attention.

Just as Florida 2000 — all I care about is that the right thing was done (my interests don’t factor into it in the slightest).

I know very little about Jan. 6th — but I can say with certainty that the people pushing that the election was stolen do not have a consistent history of acting in good faith.

If you knew Trump lost and you could cheat your way to a win — you’d rationalize the lie the same way you stole that seat.

Same way you do everything

Seems out of sync

So much ugliness in the face of everlasting beauty . . .

Life is like a mountain railway
With an Engineer that’s brave
We must make the run successful
From the cradle to the grave
Heed the curves, the hills, the tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hand upon the throttle
And your eye upon the rail

There was no point in just doing another documentary on WMD alone — no matter how exhaustively detailed. It had to have something else — something to address the root of the problem.

While all of America is spinning its wheels on the symptoms.

What’s with the different names of your documentary?

What’s with your mindset that necessitates massaging it with harmonious headlines?

What I’m calling “The Trayvon Travesty” embodies the ubiquitous behavioral patterns of apologists who defend their position purely on faith — and the “Saga of Self-Deception” is the debauchery of platform politicking that has become America’s pastime.

On all-things Iraq, conservatives were in lockstep — just like liberals for Trayvon Martin.

By intersecting these topics, I show no favoritism in illustrating how emotion runs roughshod over reason.

That was the whole idea

And since nobody gave a damn about WMD — The Trayvon Travesty: A Saga of Self-deception was the best I could come up with at the time.

If I had it to do over again — I would have gone with what came to mind later for the promo clips: The WMD Delusion: Timeless Deceit by Democrats & Republicans Alike.

Trayvon would still be the hook into the whole thing — I just wouldn’t have used his name in the title if I had a better idea.

And sadly, that title has to factor for this “having said that” culture we’ve created — where you’ve gotta pamper your audience to pave the way for what you really wanna say.

And after you’ve soothed their minds with some degree of shared scrutiny — that goes right out the window the moment you mention anything that challenges their calcified convictions.

I gave it a shot anyway — riding high on a sliver of hope that I’d at least get a “hmmm” from . . .

Hey, he’s with us on the Left’s ludicrous ways — BLM, monuments, and even the hackery over the homeless.

As I wrote 2 years ago in Cruel To Be Kind:

More money + more services = more homeless
That formula doesn’t make sense to me.

But wait — you’re saying the Right is part of the problem too?

Does Not Compute

The fact that it doesn’t compute is precisely the point — to jar your mind into using it.

And since my signal of equally applied scrutiny is made with “WMD Delusion: Timeless Deceit by Democrats & Republicans Alike” — that’s what I would have gone with had it come up with it sooner.

If I had it to do over again . . .

Is nowhere to be found in politics.

You measure yourselves by belief and whatever gains it gets in the moment. And no matter how damaging the outcome down the road, you’ll do it all over again . . .

And again and again

Truth and integrity are just about branding: Messaging tools to browbeat the opposition about virtues you employ only part-time.

I come from a different place. A different time. A different way of life.

People love to plug the “nobody’s perfect” line, and yet so many of ’em proudly refuse to be corrected on anything.

The incorrigible in that camp act like they’re never wrong, never rude, never foolish, never over-the-top, never unreasonable, and never insulting.

In the spirit of “only guilty man in Shawshank” — I’ve been all of those things at one time or another.

If you wanna gauge someone’s commitment to doing right by their fellow man — ask ’em how many times they didn’t.

So many people and things can get you down
But it only takes one man to turn it around . . .

It’s an up and down world and you can’t change it
Might get a chance to rearrange it
If you hold on partner good things are coming to you

Even if 99 times out of a 100, you’re met with people with treat the truth with contempt — ya gotta leave the door open for the one who won’t.

That’s central to this site and all my efforts, so I damn well better deliver.

And if I fall short — it’s time to suck it up and say so.

I did

So many people and things can get you down
But it only takes one man to turn it around . . .

I obliterated the basis of that book

No rational person would argue otherwise.

But there’s still time to get it right — and that biography would blow the above out of the water.

A great man would have the guts to admit when he’s wrong . . .

And mark my words, that admission would accomplish far more than all the times he’s ever been right.

It’s an up and down world and you can’t change it
Might get a chance to rearrange it
If you hold on partner good things are coming to you . . .

Stick around — you’ll see

Comforted in the Cloak of Loyalty’s Lies, it just doesn’t register that by refusing to hold your own accountable — you do a cosmic disservice to your leaders, yourselves, and worst of all — America and the world around us.

Even if you pooh-pooh my mission for honesty, integrity, and decency — how about trying it out just for somethin’ different to do?

You can always go back to your old ways . . .

But if we don’t right this ship soon, returning to some sense of complying with reality has no chance — not in our lifetime, anyway.

Lara walked along the tracks following a path worn by pilgrims and then turned into the fields. Here she stopped and, closing her eyes, took a deep breath of the flower-scented air of the broad expanse around her. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life.

She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.

― Doctor Zhivago (referenced in Into the Wild)

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