Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell: Part V

It was a picture-perfect wedding
We had the whole world at our feet
Everyone thought we were
Heading down a lovers easy street

We’d have a house out in the country
A picket fence, the whole nine yards
They said our love would last forever
It was written in the stars

I should have known it all along
When the future looks too bright
Can’t be anything but right
Wrong . . .


Let’s analyze . . . what’s been working for us

True folly, Tuchman found, is generally recognized as counterproductive in its own time, and not merely in hindsight. In Tuchman’s template, true folly only ensues when a clear alternative path of action was available and ruled out.

The following excerpt from Blueprint for Armageddon — parallels today’s trench warfare between armies of unreachables.

The Belgians are going to teach the first great lesson of the war — about what’s changed since the last time great powers faced off. How much the killing power that machines afforded mankind on the battlefield.

How much that had changed the age-old equation of war.

Machines have been taking over for a long time — becoming more and more important.

This is the war where they take over completely.

And man’s supremacy on the battlefield — even though they’re the ones who run the machines — will always be now secondary compared to the killing power and mechanization that can be brought to bear by modern societies. . . .

And one of the interesting sort of sub-themes of this whole upcoming conflict is:

How long it takes some people to absorb the lessons that are being taught in this conflict.

Lesson number one is how deadly the weapons are and how you have to account for that.

Some of the generals and military thinkers understood this going into the war, because they had paid close attention to the 1905 Russo-Japanese war . . .

That taught lessons about what happens when two sides armed with machine guns, and two sides armed with modern artillery and all that face off.

But the lessons were not the kind of lessons some people wanted to learn. . . .

These cavalry commanders don’t want to hear that it’s even worse than it used to be. . . .

If your country’s doctrine and your entire military is organized around the culture of the offensive . . . where it’s all about guts . . .

Nobody wants to hear that machine guns just rip guts out — that’s the only thing they care about guts, and it doesn’t work to have bayonet charges and ridiculous offenses.

Well, the French would say, “Yes, well what doesn’t work for the Russians or the Japanese — will work for the French — and that’s why we have a great military.”

There are all kinds of ways to rationalize what you don’t want to learn.

Audio version (with additional commentary)

Tuchman alighted on a root cause of folly that she called “wooden-headedness” — defined in part as “assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting contrary information.”

Ever since I was a kid I loved The Ballad of the Green Berets. Every line is exquisite but the one that resonates with me most is “Men Who Mean Just What They Say.” The sound and rhythm that slowly intensifies throughout the song is sheer perfection.

That one could convey such a captivating story of triumph, tragedy, and tradition in 2 minutes and 26 seconds is a hallmark of magnificence.

I’ve never heard another song that so personified honor. I would like to think that bravery in battle would be worthy of intellectual courage from our keyboards.

— Richard W. Memmer: Prologue

Glenn threw down the gauntlet in 1984

I did the same 7 years ago — but this is my target audience:

And one of the interesting sort of sub-themes of this whole upcoming conflict is how long it takes some people to absorb the lessons that are being taught in this conflict.

From I Don’t Do Slogans on The Yellow Brick Road:

But as sharp as Loury and McWhorter are — they need to spread their Necessary Roughness around . . .

An endless barrage of niche-based argument to beat back bunk — has no chance of success in today’s trench warfare.

I know another way

This definitely feels like a bug here . . . this is going to take some much deeper investigation — WordPress Support Rep

I’m saying the whole system is failing — to a nation that refuses to recognize that there’s even a bug.

Unless it’s on the other side, of course.

They’re infested with ’em — while your side is a cleanroom for computer chips.

Continuing quote from Blueprint for Armageddon:

Many of the militaries of the world are organized like Napoleonic times. They don’t want to hear that that is a completely wrong way to be organized.

The French cavalry heading off to war . . . you have to imagine this:

If you want to see what Napoleon’s soldiers looked like — go look at pictures of the French cavalry in 1914 going off to war — with metal breastplates and horse hair helmets.

You’d have to be an expert to look at a picture of them in 1914 and a picture of Napoleon’s cavalry in 1814 — and find the differences.

The officers are gonna go to war in white gloves. They’re gonna have swords.

They’re gonna stand up and troops are gonna march into combat — in like billiard ball formations or bowling pin formations, drill formations from the battlefield.

None of the people who consider this to be an integral part of military culture want to learn:

That the rules have changed. . . .

The military virtues of valor that were so celebrated during this period — where the romance of warfare, which had always been strong in human culture, was probably at its height.

The 19th century — the romance was incredible.

This is the era where that romance runs into reality.

Here’s the thing that this war is gonna teach:

If you watch the Charge of the Light Brigade and you think it’s magnificent and brave — a doomed sort of attack on the part of incredibly courageous men:

What happens if, after the charge fails — they send another one and the same results occur.

And then they send another one and the same results occur.

And then they do it again and again

At what point does this wonderful, doomed, romantic celebration of the courage of the military heart become something obscene?

This war is gonna take us there — and it’s going to pound the point home till you’re sick of it.

Audio version (with additional commentary)

She also saw wooden-headedness as a certain proclivity for “acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by facts.” Wooden-headedness, said Tuchman, was finally — “the refusal to benefit from experience.”

As I mentioned on Working the Refs, that the mere mention of a book can derail a discussion these days, is at the core of our country’s ills.

So even after all of the following:

  • A blog series called Two Sides of the Same Counterfeit Coin
  • A documentary that nails Democrats to the wall for their role in the war, their kid gloves treatment of Obama, and the race-related absurdity that sank his presidency
  • That the point I’m making is about the punditocracy across the board in the cable clans
  • A verbal note in the doc that says, The same book could not be written today
  • And the fact that the book was published in 2003 — which might as well be 1903, in light of how far we have fallen

What does it say to you that I feel the need to do this preamble — just to get you to listen before you go out of your mind over a title alone?

It’s year one (of the [flopping] fine protocol), so you’re not just going to go cold turkey. . . . Guys have been accustomed to doing it for years, and it’s not even a bad thing. You’re just trying to get the advantage. Any way you can get the advantage over an opponent to help your team win, then so be it.

His excuse is exactly in line with how we created a nation that has no shame:

Any way you can get the advantage over an opponent . . .

A lot of that goin’ around

These people take no pride in how they win — and neither do you.

How did our country come to abandon principle with such ease? It happened for the same reason that the likes of Lebron and A-Rod lost their way . . .

Decades of “working the refs” by people like these:

Just like it’s nothing new to go overboard a bit to draw the foul — how politicians and pundits worked the refs in the old days wasn’t as egregious as it is now.

Once again

The internet and the cable clans paved the way for the onslaught of the utterly absurd.

And the decades of conditioning that came before it — set the stage for people to work the refs as they were worked themselves. Now it’s mostly noise from the endless complaining of one grievance industry grinding against another.

The mere mention of the book that gave me the idea about “working the refs” in a political context — could derail this discussion in some circles.

I’m simply using a few quotes to frame an argument about deceptive language and its role in how we got here.

Anyone acting in good faith would be willing to factor for that information.

Just Roll It Around Is All I Ask!

And if you’ve got the guts to take that trip, you could be on your way to the top of the triangle:

As I said in Part III

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.

There are countless people who have triumphed in amazing ways that reflect the spirit of the song below. And many of those same people and others have got the goods on “I’m Game.”

But somehow those principles don’t translate to challenges that threaten your interests.

That someone could have the guts to climb a mountain or keep cool under a barrage of machine-gun fire — but not have the courage to consider the possibility that something they believe to be true, is false:

That fascinates me

I don’t have the guts for a lot of things, but when it comes to confronting inconvenient information, I can take anything.

And if there’s truth to be found, I’ll find it.

Restless feeling, coming up from inside
Nothing’s easy, mountains to climb
Take my chances, got a long way to ride
Pushing, pushing, pushing it right to the top

Ready or not
Let’s go American flyer
You aim high, a race against time
I know, your heart is on fire
Going the distance leaving the others behind

You’re asking the people that you’re working with to like, push you — and to be more game than you are. And to commit to things at the same level you are or more. And if they’re doing it more than you, it’s not about bigger performances or anything — but you see somebody who really gives a shit, and is really committed and game, and you’re like, “Oh, I gotta . . . do what he’s doing.” It’s one of the only spaces where it’s not cool to like, opt out.

I can really relate to what she says at 2:15, as my life has hinged on being inspired by people operating at a higher level.

I’ve never held anyone to anything near the “I’m game” gold standard. But for the self-satisfied who plant themselves at the other end of the spectrum and pretend otherwise . . .

What gives?

The cemented minds I’ve run into over the years — wouldn’t budge one bit, or at best, moved one millimeter at a time.

I have only so much tolerance for people who lower the bar while I’m trying to raise it.

A lifetime ago it became clear that I could not expect people to be game in the ways she speaks of in that clip. But it’s like we’re reaching for the bottom of the barrel as a nation — and I don’t get how anyone finds that fulfilling.

Some will never know what it was like at a time in America when people didn’t seemingly live to complain — poisoning possibility with venomous politics.

As a duty, no less

Those of my generation and older — long for what they remember:

Forgetting the fraud and folly they inflicted upon the country — comforted by their collective amnesia.

Why bother taking any responsibility when you can just blame somebody else?

[W]e must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.

At the time of the foundation for all that followed — this poster was on the wall in my high school’s vocational building — and I’d walk by it every day on my quest that consumed me.

The school didn’t make a habit out of promoting the latest movies — there was a reason why this particular one was showcased.

Above all else, I believe that reason is right here in the ending (particularly the line below).

You see us as you want to see us — in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions

And yet — our country has become increasingly crippled over the years — because of seeing people in the “simplest terms” and “most convenient definitions”

That aside — who doesn’t love the ending of The Breakfast Club?

Nothing’s easy, mountains to climb

For anyone who’s ever felt the virtues of accomplishment from such yearning — pushing yourself and wanting others to push you ever further.

What happened to that desire?

What was the point of it all if you didn’t carry those principles into lessons for life? If a party, politician, pundit, or anyone makes it too easy for you — I don’t understand the attraction to that.

I fail to find the inspiration in people who keep you constantly angry. And the endless complaining — I don’t know how you stand it.

I’ve always been partial to people who elevated me in some way:

Teachers, coaches, family, friends, and colleagues who inspired me, pushed me, challenged me, corrected me, or just gave a little look that said:

You can do better!

And even strangers who left their mark by reminding me that I could have said something better — or maybe made an assumption I shouldn’t have.

I’ll take anything that sharpens my mind and makes me a better person.

In every form I’ve ever found — I love:

Moments of measurement

When I put the calipers on those spindles, I was measuring raw material and turning it to precision — the wood and the worker. I wasn’t a “master craftsman,” I just cared a great deal about accuracy — and I have never rested in that pursuit.

Remember that guitar in a museum in Tennessee
And the nameplate on the glass brought back twenty melodies
And the scratches on the face
Told of all the times he fell
Singin’ every story he could tell . . .

At a time when Rock & Roll was split into a dozen competing camps, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers came along to put the pieces back together again. From the first note of their first record, they were both grounded in tradition, and completely fresh.

It was as if they had looked at all the possibilities Rock had to offer, and built their music out of only the best parts. Over time each of the Heartbreakers emerged as a songwriter, singer, and record producer.

Each had success outside of the band . . . yet when they came together they put all  their talents behind Petty’s vision. Petty’s idea of Rock & Roll was stubborn and rebellious, but full of idealism. To Petty, Rock held up the chance of living a life of community and creativity, without compromise.

He never backed off that belief.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made music like the last of the true believers. They gave back to their audience what they took from Rock & Roll themselves . . . the best of everything.

The best of everything: Imagine

Yeah, yeah, yeah — I know it would never be like “the best” above or anything remotely close.

But come on

We could at least do something in that spirit, couldn’t we? I can see that each side makes more sense on some things — why can’t you?

“Ready or not”

<Some people are>

Thanks for all the memories and countless hours of attitude in some of the finest music the world will ever know.

Runnin’ Down a Dream is a 4-hour documentary for the ages — spanning Tom Petty’s pursuit of greatness that was fulfilled many times over. I’ve heard him tell of the time he got a birthday card from Johnny Cash, and in it the Man in Black wrote:

You’re a good man to ride the river with

Coming from Cash, is it even possible to have a higher compliment?

From the book I’m about to mention

Once again, it was published in 2003 — which might as well be 1903, in light of how far we have fallen . . .

[W]hile some conservatives actually believe their own grumbles, the smart ones don’t. They know mau-mauing the other side is a just a good way to get their ideas across — or perhaps to prevent the other side from getting a fair hearing for theirs.

On occasion, honest conservatives admit this. Rich Bond, then the chair of the Republican Party, complained during the 1992 election, “I think we know who the media want to win this election — and I don’t think it’s George Bush.”

The very same Rich Bond also noted during the very same election, however, “There is some strategy to it [bashing the ‘liberal’ media] . . . . If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is ‘work the refs.’ Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one.”

I’ll add a few more quotes as we go along, but they all point to same demonstrably provable fact:

That you’re being played — and always have been.

The powers that be engineer your perception by drilling lingo like “Democrat Party” into your brain — and hammering away with hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter.

Working the refs — works

But is it really worth it?

Black Lives Matter, the removal of monuments, and Kaepernick’s kneeling — rolled out the red carpet for Trump.

It’s quite possible that Comey’s cover-his-ass actions in the 11th hour tipped the scales. Given the possibility that a single event like that could alter the atmosphere of an election — what do you think pouring fuel on the fire for years did?

Given the tight margins — there’s not a doubt in my mind that these ploys put Trump in the White House.

If that doesn’t register with the efficacy of your efforts — nothing will.

And for the umpteenth time — this isn’t about my preference for POTUS:

It’s about being smart

If looking at problems in an intelligent and upright manner helps one party or the other from time to time — I don’t care. I’m more than happy to make those sacrifices for the good of the nation.

Somehow these strategies don’t strike me as sound:

And the Right treating Bush like the Second Coming of Christ, set the stage for the rise of the Rock Star they spent the next 8 years railing against.

I don’t understand the math in your methods:

You pay untold millions to political strategists — don’t these people do any cost-benefit analysis on the long-term impact of endless lying and ineptitude?

And even William Kristol, without a doubt the most influential Republican/neoconservative publicist in America, has come clean on this issue. “I admit it,” he told a reporter. “The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.”

Preach responsibility and take none

Take it on the run

The title alone is fitting for the times in the Zip-a-dee-doo-dah nature of our nation — where we celebrate freedom by being in bondage to a culture where Crap is King.

But I know the neighborhood
And talk is cheap when the story is good
And the tales grow taller on down the line . . .

If Johnny & “The Real Bully” could have a breakthrough . . .

Anything’s possible

That the SCLM were biased against the administration of Ronald Reagan is an article of faith among Republicans. Yet James Baker, perhaps the most media-savvy of them, owned up to the fact that any such complaint was decidedly misplaced. “There were days and times and events we might have had some complaints [but] on balance I don’t think we had anything to complain about.

When Lebron flails about in his pathetic performance — he shows his lack of respect for the game.

Toward the end of my time at Purdue, I saw a disturbing trend in pick-up basketball — as traveling became increasingly acceptable.

I never got on board

I’ll never forget the day I called traveling on myself at a crucial point in the game. My team took issue with it — so I walked off the court saying . . .

If that’s the way you wanna win, you can do it without me

As mentioned before: I applied the same principle to the Florida election fiasco of 2000.

Such choices are exactly what Eric Fromm is talking about below:

The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions, the more our heart hardens; the more often we make the right decisions, the more our heart softens — or better perhaps, comes alive . . .

“I’ve gotten balanced coverage, and broad coverage — all we could have asked. For heaven sakes, we kid about the ‘liberal media,’ but every Republican on earth does that,” [Patrick Buchanan] cheerfully confessed during the 1996 campaign.

We’re worlds away from that now

You don’t really need to find out what’s goin’ on
You don’t really wanna know just how far it’s gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry . . .

We can do “The Innuendo,” we can dance and sing
When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that crap is king

An objective observer can cut through all that to ascertain the truth.

Ulterior motives don’t change the truth when untrustworthy sources occasionally tell it.

The left-leaning side of this charade was gunning to topple Trump from day one, but their poisonous purpose is not an argument against the truth when they told it.

Same goes for Fox trying to bring Obama down — the Right was right on the money at times.

What I think of soulless spin doctors is one thing — weighing their information on the merits is another.

I fear that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls. . .

— John Adams letter to James Warren, 22 April 1776

I’m not a fan of anything that makes it easier for people to summarily dismiss an opposing point of view. That’s a surefire way to develop bad habits.

This nation needs an attitude adjustment — so we can start working on these habits:

You think I just imagined this reaction to the book I’m about to cite?

“And now, even now” . . .

The Punditocracy

For pundit chat, the qualifications usually include: not being too fat or too ugly; the ability to speak in short sentences and project an engaging personality — and a willingness to speak knowingly about matters which one knows little or nothing. Believe it or not, ignorance is actually an advantage, since it allows you to ignore the inherent complexity of any given problem with a concise quip and a clear conscience.

As Capital Gang panelist Margaret Carlson observed, “The less you know about something, the better off you are. Network executives and news producers are looking for the person who can sound learned without confusing the matter with too much knowledge.”

America went to war on the word of people like that.

Imagine what we could accomplish with this approach instead:

And we asked each other a lot of questions. I asked you questions, you asked me questions

— Johnny Cash

I asked you questions, you asked me questions

Wouldn’t that be something

Rush Limbaugh once admitted to being “an entertainer.” I didn’t believe him at the time, but now I think it’s the most honest thing he ever said.

So when I came across this question below, it really hit home. I had asked a similar question before I found this one.

His was better. Not only was it more direct, but it also shed light on something I hadn’t thought of . . .

And I love that

I wanted to believe — and it’s easy to get lost along the way. But I never get lost for long, and this question kickstarted my turnaround.

My version

Out of all the commentary I’ve seen in that community (Loury, McWhorter, and Hughes — across multiple platforms):

I’ve never come across anything resembling the questions above.

I imagine there are more somewhere, but from what I can tell — it’s just an endless stream of self-congratulatory praise.

They all think they’re part of some revolution in reason — where the likes of Loury & McWhorter are a beacon for honest debate.

They could be — but not the way they’re going about it.

Those questions above were the beginning of the end of my faith in Loury and the world around him. It eroded with every obnoxious & asinine comeback from Sowell’s disciples.

And then there’s this

And this

And the hits just kept on comin’

The self-importance of people like Sowell just kills me — how they sit there acting like they’re Senators from Krypton.

That’s not knocking appearance just for kicks — as the look and the language is all part of . .

The Presentation

And This — is Conformity 101

Ice-cold partisan hackery wrapped in the warmth of a “white lab coat” . . .

The Cloak of Loyalty’s Lies

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

Come on, guys — I could spot this bullshitter a mile away:

Once again

[B]ullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant.

And Mr. McWhorter, I’d like to think that a linguist at your level — would sense how Sowell’s style is smugness under the guise of civility.

He’s engineering an illusion — and you bought it.

Back to Glenn & the Gang in a bit.

A friend recently told me of a mutual friend deactivating his Facebook account over “what FB has become.”

I find that amusing — since he was a pioneer in peddling poppycock 15 years before Facebook existed.

Fittingly, he’s the friend I’m referring to in the following clip.

Return to Sender

Being his best friend a lifetime ago — groomed me for what the country has become. He and his entire family embody the win-at-all-costs mindset that helped run America off the rails:

And act like they had nothin’ to do with it.

A lot of that goin’ around

That family has some of the finest people I’ve ever known — and they profoundly impacted my life back in the day.

Politics & religion were always in the atmosphere whenever I visited their home, but as hardline as it was — it wasn’t poisonous.

They lost their way long ago.

In making a point about principle and consistency in character, I once told that friend, “I’m the same person I’ve always been,” to which he ridiculously replied:

Well, I’ve evolved!

Try “devolved”

Your approach doesn’t have a prayer in the polluted world you helped create — Right alongside Left.

Don’t believe me? Take down the date and return in 10 or 20 years, and . . .

We’ll see

All we had to do was shoot down the helicopters . . .

And for the Black Lives Matter believers — your outfit is one of the worst possible things you could do to make black lives matter.

So yeah, the blowback principle applies to you too. I was keenly aware of this all along — and you didn’t listen.

And now, even now . . .

You’ll pull the same stunt in your contempt for correction.

The cat . . . TOTALLY out of the BAG!

Since the labyrinth that lies below isn’t really working out for anyone, seems like it’d be worth a shot to try something else.

But that’s me

Whatever your political persuasion, Ray Liotta’s philosophy from Copland would accomplish more than your way ever will:

You don’t drive down Broadway to get to Broadway. You move diagonal . . . you jag

BLM is a blunt instrument at the other end of the spectrum of this principle.

The first black president in the White House was a tectonic shift in the times. To capitalize on that — you best be smart in every move you make.

You weren’t — in any

True folly, Tuchman found, is generally recognized as counterproductive in its own time, and not merely in hindsight. In Tuchman’s template, true folly only ensues when a clear alternative path of action was available and ruled out

The goal is perpetual motion. You want greens, but how do you ensure the greens? You can’t — as in life, in traffic. So what you do is you leave yourself an out. At every corner you leave yourself an alternative. You move diagonal — you turn the wheel when you hit a red light. 

You don’t drive down Broadway to get to Broadway. You move diagonal, you’re gonna get perpetual motion, and that’s what you want . . .

To be sure, the Diagonal Rule involves risk that might not pay off in the short term — but those losses will produce gains of other kinds.

That frees up time, energy, and mountains of otherwise wasted money — allowing you to focus on other things (including trying to get back what you lost).

You’re already in a perpetual fight from one election cycle to the next — but you’re carrying over the same set of problems, and making them worse while you’re at it.

That — is not how problem-solving works.

This is

You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem . . . then you solve the next one . . . and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home

Then there’s the fact that with this approach — you could take pride in pursuing your interests with integrity.

Just a thought

Even 20 years ago, it would have been impossible for Trump to be seriously considered — let alone win.

If you’re not looking into that — you’re not looking.

Exactly in line with Black Lives Matter, the language in The Lincoln Project is pure fantasy — as they act like they had nothing to do with creating the problem that they’re trying to solve.

[W]e must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.

Every time I go on Twitter to share my latest link, I shake my head — even at the stuff I wholeheartedly support.

You seem to think that if you just continue to pound the point home — that it will eventually register.

It won’t

Conservatives control the narrative about responsibility and think that magically translates to taking responsibility. The Right pounces on the Left day in and day out — as if the record of Republicans vanished off the face of the earth.

Making matters worse — is how even the most genuine in their purpose are unwittingly providing an unlimited supply of candy to that piñata.

Once again, that the Left brings it on themselves is another matter.

It’s all about framing the narrative — and the Left institutionalizing weakness is a gimme for the Right to rail on them.

And the icing on the cake

Sincere intellectuals justifiably calling out universities, woke ways, racially rigged incidents and such:

Providing endless fodder for the Right to ridicule people for behavior that pales in comparison to what they did after 9/11 and to this day.

That — is faith-based belief at its “best” . . .

The Left’s anti-racism religion, woke, and whatnot — they’re amateurs.

The Right takes no responsibility for its role in world-altering destruction and poisonous politics that plague America.

If you’re not gonna do your part and accept responsibility for the damage you’ve done, why should the Left?

Why should anyone?

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.

Where do you think childish lingo like “TDS” came from, Mr. McWhorter?

I was stunned when I saw this “lately” bit in your piece above.

How could a linguist fail to connect the dots with how events have shaped the nation with abominable behavior and juvenile insults over the last 30 years?

He has a rather narcotic joy in dismissal and belittlement

John McWhorter

How can you come up with a brilliant line like that — and not investigate the history behind how it became so acceptable?

The people themselves had to become that way too — and that took time.

But not too long — with Safe-Space Central comin’ on strong.

By not deviating from your lane, you don’t understand the roadblocks within it that were created outside of it.

And not only is there a firewall from the Right’s history of bottomless hypocrisy in an ocean of lies — by not understanding it, you’re helping to feed it.

It would be extremely difficult to reach the Left no matter what you do. But by feeding that firewall, you’re building in barricades that block you from reaching them in ways you might be able to without the Right sailing Scot-Free.

Requiring you to work a helluva lot harder than you should have to in addressing the issues in your lane.

And if you worked a hundred times harder — you still wouldn’t make a dent.

This would

Even if it doesn’t turn the tide

Loury, McWhorter, and Hughes would do far more good by holding Sowell accountable than all their efforts combined.

Accountability would frame those efforts in a broader light — establishing credibility in ways their approach never will.

More so than ever, America battles multi-dimensional problems in a one-dimesional manner. That will never work — especially in the trench warfare of today.

However much you gain by that approach in the short term, we’re all paying for it in the long term.

Look around

Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment.

They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.

— Barbara Tuchman

“Unschooled in adjustment”

I ask you the same question I ask Black Lives Matter: Do you wanna solve problems or protest about ’em?

Will you correct your mistake on Sowell — showing your audience the way in your willingness to be wrong?

Or will you rationalize why you won’t — like Loury did?

He outright refused to look at the evidence in order to preserve what he believes — so what makes him any different than the minds you’re all trying to change?

They protect their interests — he protects his.

The Left wouldn’t correct the record on Trayvon’s weight, the watermelon drink, and what he really looked like. If you won’t admit that you’re wrong — why should they?

Why should anyone?

If you won’t set the record straight on Sowell — you’re protecting a lie no matter how you slice it.

And protecting that myth — protects a MUCH bigger one by proxy.

America is sinking in an ocean of absurdity. That it’s always somebody else’s fault is at the root of why you’re Two Sides of the Same Counterfeit Coin:

We should be looking at the deep questions

— Glenn Loury

I couldn’t agree more . . .

Nobody wants to hear that machine guns just rip guts out — that’s the only thing they care about guts, and it doesn’t work to have bayonet charges and ridiculous offenses.

Falsehood flies

Glenn & the Gang — I’m not trying to be disrespectful to your great work, but “bayonet charges and ridiculous offenses” is how I see trench warfare on Twitter and everywhere else.

The black community didn’t take stock when you threw down the gauntlet in 1984, Glenn:

What makes you think they will in a world where no one does?

Many of the militaries of the world are organized like Napoleonic times. They don’t want to hear that that is a completely wrong way to be organized. . . .

The officers are gonna go to war in white gloves. They’re gonna have swords.

They’re gonna stand up and troops are gonna march into combat — in like billiard ball formations or bowling pin formations, drill formations from the battlefield.

In today’s trench warfare — “white gloves” depict the presentation of tactical arguments that don’t account for larger complexities in play.

Swords” are posts that puncture with a pinprick at best:

YouTube talksTweets, podcasts, debates, speeches, books, blogs, articles . . .

And the “billiard ball formations” embody the endless barrage of repeatedly addressing the same old problems in the same old ways.

I claimed that the problems of the lower classes of African American society plagued by poverty and joblessness were, at the end of the day, not remediable by the means which had been so effective in the 1960s of protest and petitioning for fair treatment.

— Glenn Loury

Perfectly put

But Loury doesn’t understand that the same principle applies to his efforts today:

You cannot fight these problems head-on and expect results — ya gotta “move diagonal.”

The increase in your well-deserved attention is giving you guys the impression that you’re making more of an impact than you really are.

In and of themselves, the discussions below might be exceptional at times.

But as a whole, they’re blunt instruments too

Like Black Lives Matter, they’re just pounding away at problems without any examination of the efficacy of their efforts.

This is not problem solving — it’s serving a market. However intelligent and well-intentioned, this is not the mark of “looking at the deep questions.”

And as they stand — they’re counterproductive measures by pumping candy into that piñata (just like BLM and the ways of woke).

The idea is to reach your target audience — not simply amass support from those already inclined to agree with you.

McWhorter’s right

Anti-racism has become religion — but fighting that religion has become another religion.

And they already belonged to one before that:

Thomas Sowell’s Politically Incorrect Legacy Is Built On ‘Following Facts Where They Lead’

If only it were true

But faith-based belief is all the matters anymore. As NC State Rep. Blust essentially put it with pride:

It’s not a lie if I believe it’s true . . .

And once the trumped-up intelligence started seeping out after the invasion — anyone with an open mind could put that puzzle together. But to this day conservatives refuse to see the obvious for the same reason that liberals look away from logic to get in line over Trayvon — because that’s what party-line conditioning is designed to do.

— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue

That got ’em – that took the fight out of ’em.

Look at ’em quit!

If only you had the guts to know when you’ve been beaten — as decisively as anyone has ever been.

Then you could get up off the ground

and we could get to work

Just get up off the ground, that’s all I ask.

Get up there with that lady that’s up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won’t just see scenery; you’ll see the whole parade of what Man’s carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting.

Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so’s he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed.

That’s what you’d see. There’s no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties.

Coleman Hughes might be the only one willing to open his eyes to the truth about Sowell. Hugues has shown he’s willing to change his mind, and he’s young enough not to have Sowell baked into his entire being.

McWhorter might surprise me though — it’s hard to say after Loury’s knee-jerk reaction.

All I need is one

The others will fold in the face of the irrefutable being accepted by someone of influence in this community.

What I have in mind is something of a JSOC — to join forces for a greater good that’s the gold standard of unimpeachable integrity.

Institute for Honesty? Institute for Integrity?

Something along those lines. Let’s just stick with JSOC for now — since it sounds cool and it’s got a nifty badge and all. Whatever the name . . .

JSOC’s scrutiny spares no one

These are just the first voices that came to mind to float the idea.

I’m really aiming for a Team of Rivals, but I’d need some help in finding people who could put their politics aside when acting on the behalf of JSOC.

When I couldn’t think of anyone else, I looked around and came across Transparency International:

To end corruption we must first understand it. That’s why we look at what causes corruption and what works against it. . . . We advocate for power to be held accountable. Everywhere.

Now we’re talkin’

Since the psychological gymnastics of human nature is at the root of our culture’s decline, exploring that would be central to JSOC’s mission.

I’m not familiar with the people in The Psychology of Politics, but they’re asking the right kind of questions.

I don’t see Sowell as a “great man” at all . . .

But he can be

Sowell joins JSOC 

I know he’s getting up there in age, so I’m not looking for major involvement. His seal of approval would do plenty — and some occasional involvement would be nice.

Then we go after this guy — boxing him in by his own “facts over feelings” standard.

With Sowell’s backing, how does Shapiro escape his own words about what a “terrific thinker” and “ethical guide” Thomas Sowell is?

Thomas Sowell is of course one of the foremost economists in America. He’s a terrific thinker — and more importantly, Thomas Sowell is I think a real ethical guide for a lot of folks because he thinks about issues rationally.

To be clear

Outside of overall views like Why war in Iraq is right for America, I haven’t seen anything Shapiro’s said on WMD (which I find curious). In any case, I want to make it clear that I’m not implying anything about his record on WMD — as I simply don’t have any information on that.

Go after this guy” — is about bolstering what Thomas Sowell says if he comes clean. Shapiro’s word carries a ton of weight — and his following dwarfs Sowell’s.

Which means Shapiro could blow this thing wide open all by himself.

That aside: As opinionated as Shapiro is, you have to wonder why there’s no clear trail of his thoughts on WMD. He weighed in on the war but not how we got there?

That strikes me as a calculated move by someone being very careful.

Up against JSOC (with Sowell and hopefully Shapiro on board): Larry’s days of dishing but not taking are done.

And if he stops behaving like a child when challenged — and consistently delivers on “facts over feelings,” JSOC would welcome him right in.

JSOC drops the hammer on the whole show

And this is the short list:

JSOC would be welcoming of all those who went astray and want to find their way back. The Lincoln Project sounds good on the surface, but they’ve got some soul-searching to do before they’d be qualified.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed

I have a better idea

If you want to change the world — clear the air on who helped screw it up in the first place

The roles will be reversed once again when a Republican is at the helm . . . and around and around we go.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act V

And Around and Around We Go

This nation has no remorse

Not for relatively recent wrongdoing, anyway.

How can you learn or expect others to — when you consistently and miserably fail to hold up your end of the bargain? How can you spend your lives asking others to consider evidence if you won’t when your interests are stake?

If a “great man” got it egregiously wrong on the biggest and most costly lie in modern history — wouldn’t he admit his mistake?

Wouldn’t a “great man” see such an admission as a huge opportunity in giving guidance to others?

Would a “great man” go around touting such beliefs as below — and then flagrantly fail to abide by them when it matters most?

If faith-based belief is foolish for those you oppose — why is it okay for you to blindly defend Thomas Sowell? Would a “great man” be proud of people who defended the indefensible as he did — entirely abandoning their principles to protect his reputation?

Wouldn’t holding him accountable be the essence of what he’s ostensibly all about?

You guys went outside your lane to exalt Sowell’s surgical objectivity in following the facts — examining evidence in a “white lab coat” free from “tribalist” impurities.

And now you know better

What you do with that information determines who you really are. Call it fair or don’t call it — you can’t have it both ways.

Then again, in today’s America — Anything Goes, so I guess you can:

But if that’s the way you wanna play it:

You’re not part of the solution — you’re part of the problem.

Speaking of Anything Goes

After every game in Little League we lined up to high-five our opponent with “Good game!” Back then we were told:

It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game

I imagine coaches still preach the same thing today, but what’s the point if we’re just gonna abandon our sense of honesty and fairness for political gain?

Whatever I think of Obama, you cheated the system to steal that seat — no matter how you slice it. If you’re gonna cheat the system — what’s wrong with these parents doing the same for their college kids?

Why not everybody cheat the system any way we can?

Why not just let America officially be the free-for-all nation that it’s become?

Nah, you wanna play this game where you can rip these Hollywood “elites” for pampering their “snowflakes” — while you rob and plunder for your platform. As long as someone else does the dirty work, you’re clean as a whistle.

And oh yeah, I had words for these parents — but out of principle, not piñata.

There is one Thing, my dear sir, that must be attempted and most Sacredly observed or We are all undone. There must be Decency and Respect, and Veneration introduced for Persons of Authority of every Rank, or We are undone.

— John Adams to James Warren, 22 April 1776

What was different in 2020 was we were of the same party as the president

— Mitch McConnell

Good Lord

If it weren’t that it would be “leap year” or some other ridiculous rationalization.

It was March 16, 2016 — so “the people should decide in an election year.” If it were October 16th with your boy in office — you’d bulldoze that nomination through if at all possible.

I wrote that 4 months before they did exactly that.

One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, “Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

There is no measure for how small you are in my eyes, Senator McConnell.

Grand Theft Auto

As in being on autopilot in your willingness to accept anything in service of your agenda. Right and wrong never even enters the equation — it’s just about getting your way, and Anything Goes to get it:

Goldbloom’s Golden Rule

Which is at the core of America’s decline.

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could — that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Hypocrisy in politics isn’t going anywhere

But we could surely do something about the deafening noise of never-ending nonsense and abyss of deceit.

That with a straight face someone could stand there wishing for a world of fairness (after robbing her with lies that people love to hear):

Is typical of the times

David Drumlin: I know you must think this is all very unfair. Maybe that’s an understatement. What you don’t know is I agree. I wish the world was a place where fair was the bottom line, where the kind of idealism you showed at the hearing was rewarded, not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world.

Ellie Arroway: Funny, I’ve always believed that the world is what we make of it.

Sir Roger Bannister was the first person to break the four-minute mile by turning a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds in 1954.

Subtract sixteen years and you’ll find a track star by the name of Louis Zamperini who should have been the first to crack what was considered impossible in those days.

In 1938, word was getting around that Louis just might capture the ever-elusive record. His competition at the NCAA Championships was not too keen on that, so under orders from their coaches, some runners sharpened their spikes to cut into Louis during the race.

They surrounded the star to prevent him from breaking away from the pack.

The notion of sportsmanship was lost on those who were willing to jam their shoes into Zamperini’s shins, stab him in the foot with a spike, and crack a rib with an elbow.

Amazingly, he managed to break through the mob that encircled him and just missed the mark by barely over eight seconds.

Considering that he was assaulted by the crowd that contained him for a lap and a half, Louie would have crossed the finish line in under four had he not had to escape his attackers.

As you can tell from the title, Louis’ destiny lay elsewhere when war came calling.

Who wouldn’t be appalled by such an injustice?

How many of us would commit such an affront to fairness to win a race? Is that the height of our standards though — that we stop short of physically gouging our fellow man while in pursuit of our precious ideals?

He has a rather narcotic joy in dismissal and belittlement

A ton of that goin’ around

But nobody beats what someone else had to say on the same subject:

The thing that is most disturbing to me, in a sea of disturbing things — is that there is no opportunity in all of humanity, to observe the world we live in, and to see all the scope of life in the world, like being President of the United States. You sit there, and for 4 years, or for 8 years — the crème de la crème of society is presented to you.

“Here’s the bravest man and woman in the military. Here’s the smart scientists. Here’s the most dedicated children in their learning.”

You get to see the ugliest . . . what are terrorists doing in torture camps. You see the world from a vista that only a man, or one day a woman, can have that outlook. And I thought to myself: “Surely, when he won . . . he would change as a result of that.”

Every day, you’re having meetings and talking to serious people. And then you come into the Oval Office to “Here’s the winners of the Spelling Bee of San Diego.” . . .

And you meet these people, and life just comes washing over you. Your heart and your mind open up. What a learning experience — how much you learn about the world.

And I thought, “It’s gonna change him.” . . .

He didn’t change one f#%@g gram.

That says a great deal more about America than it does about Trump.

That I won’t say who said it is central to this entire story: That you instantly seize on a source to support or assail:

Never mind the merits

That same quote applies to Bill Clinton, Bush, and Obama: They came in with deep-seated character flaws and let the power of the office exacerbate them (causing astronomical damage to the nation and the world).

And instead of demanding better of them, you enabled them — right on cue for the cause.

Now — let’s analyze what’s been working for us”

I don’t see anyone of prominence saying that. I don’t see anyone asking the deep questions that cut the bone of the poisonous relationship between the parties and how it got that way.

You help create and/or worsen many of the very problems you’re fighting against — and your only answer to that is more of the same.

How can you solve problems if you don’t recognize the different dimensions within them?

All the more reason we need JSOC — an outfit with unimpeachable integrity that you could look to as the gold standard of information.

Of course, members would still pursue their political aims outside of JSOC. But while representing this institute: One whiff of judgment tainted with political manipulation — and you’re gone.

None of the people who consider this to be an integral part of military culture want to learn that the rules have changed.

JSOC sets new rules

Your niche channels would no longer be seen as one thing.

And those who seize on your scrutiny of the Left — they’re screwed when you’re comin’ for them too.

No more piñata. No more sailing Scot-Free.

If you’ve got a better idea — I’m all ears

But I don’t see anybody with any ideas — just more of the same that got us here in the first place.

You think my idea is a fantasy? I need a handful of key people and hardly any money to make this happen.

Your ways have repeatedly failed — the fantasy is thinking that they’ll magically work next time.

As I said from the start

My aim is to clear the clutter for honest debate

Abigail’s quote is fitting for the times

All your iniquitous schemes in your daily derision of demanding from others what you refuse to do yourselves.

After decades of doing so — this is the legacy you’ll leave behind.

This is the JSOC way

We go after the truth regardless of whom it hurts or helps — as our eyes are trained on the bigger picture of what’s right.

JSOC is not just about exposing lies like WMD and the shameless manipulation of racially charged incidents:

It’s about consistently demonstrating what sound argument looks like on multiple fronts.

And by serving JSOC’s cause — you bolter the credibility of your own.

Glenn said that his colleagues entirely ignored his [R]ebuttal to Brown University’s letter on racism in the United States.

As you’d no longer be boxed in by the sensitivities around race — JSOC would make it increasingly difficult to be ignored.

The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly.

Habit of Thought is a very valuable book — but it’s missing one key component:

It doesn’t factor for how people abandon their critical thinking skills the moment motives take over — which really brings those skills into question, don’t ya think?

But the idea behind the book is spot-on.

It just needs a way to stress test those principles in a setting where you’ve got somethin’ to lose.

My documentary is ready-made for this mission — as it provides a forum to force participants to make an argument, and have it scrutinized for the quality of it and what they might be missing.

The intention is not to make people look bad — it’s for them to learn so they can stop looking bad.

This is just one tool to kick-start the program. As to what format this would take — here’s a few options that came to mind:

As I mentioned earlier: Start with people like Sowell, Shapiro, and Elder. Challenge them to answer for the evidence I offer — and why they never addressed any of it.

Box them in by their own standards.

They’d blow me off — but how long could they get away with ignoring guys like Loury, McWhorter, and Hughes?

With Zoom and all, there are all kinds of possibilities for discussion.

How about getting college debate teams involved? What about regular people writing in to earn the the opportunity to participate?

My doc was never intended to explore what happened with Trayvon in any detail, as my main interest was the turbocharged emotion in the aftermath of the verdict.

People far more knowledgeable on that case and other racially charged incidents — could explore ways of framing discussions that put people on the spot to explain how they came to their conclusions.

And how quickly they got there

JSOC is a jerk-free zone — you make your arguments like an adult or you’re out.

Civility in JSOC has its own rules though. No childish insults or tap dancing to talking points allowed. We don’t do the cable clans program — showing opposing sides to engineer the appearance of fairness . . .

Where debate is for drama — not ascertaining the truth.

You don’t get to skip past compelling argument to say what you wanna say — pretending to listen with token pleasantries.

You will answer for it first — then you’ll get your chance to make yours.

But if things get a bit heated here and there, so be it — because part of the experience is learning how to “cowboy the f@*% up” and get past that.

It was explained to me that, outside the Mission Control room, it could get downright heated . . . that it was allowed . . . that the NASA etiquette, allowed for screaming matches when it was about the work, when it was about solving the problem.

While NASA’s etiquette of allowing for screaming matches is not what I’m after as some kind of official standard — JSOC offers the freedom to speak your mind:

In the spirit of professionals hashing it out and still being able to work together.

Come with the willingness to be wrong — or don’t come.

I’m sure we could figure it out

It could even be fun — once people remember what it was like to learn and grow: To welcome challenges, embrace difficulty, and be inspired by intelligence.

All I know is that your way is not working and some fashion of JSOC’s will. On top of being far more fruitful, it would make things a helluva lot more interesting.

No society in history has had it better on the whole — and yet this is what you’ve done with gifts we’ve been given.

And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains . . .

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence . . .

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

Your way

The American Way . . .

Remember what it was like to be uplifted by the genuine spirit of America? Maybe it wasn’t as real as I imagined it to be, but that authenticity is worlds away from where we are now.

Your move

Thank you for reading!

When you open your eyes to what’s underneath — it intrinsically trains your mind to see with increasing clarity.

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