One voice began to echo through the night. One voice raised in song. The song was terribly out of tune — but sung with great enthusiasm.
One voice became two — and two became three.
— Admiral McRaven
It’s a testament to the times that variations of this video total about 80 million views — so inspiring viewers that the inspiration ends there (except for sharing the link, of course).
Oh, you excel at that
It’s the doing you don’t get
If ya did, you’d take note of this site name and see I took the spirit of his speech and acted on it. Look around! But digesting the difficult takes work — and why bother when talking is the only currency that counts these days:
And easy is all the rage.
The guts and grit in that quote is of paramount importance in that speech, and yet this nation reflects nothing of the kind.
Without work — it never will.
this — is entertainment
this is work
Work is a journey on which you welcome challenge . . .
Work does not instantly respond — work digs to discover and inquires to clarify. Work is difficult and demands discernment. Work wonders, pauses, listens, absorbs, and reflects.
Work does not rest on who’s right and who’s wrong: Work wants to know if there’s something more to see, something to learn, something that sharpens the mind. Work never stops building on the foundation of your own work and what you learn from the work of others.
Work works its way through material that is not easy.
Work recognizes complexity and the demands of in-depth explanation. Work will go on a trip to ideas that take time and effort to understand. Work knows that you can’t see your way to a solution without understanding the different dimensions of a problem.
Work does not defend before you consider
Work does not race to conclusions — work arrives at them through careful consideration. Work is willing is rethink what you think you know. Work takes integrity, courtesy, curiosity, courage, and decency.
Work comes with the willingness to be wrong.
Work is not self-satisfied. Work does not sling snippets of certitude — work crafts argument on the merits. Work is an exchange where each party takes information into account. Work does not issue childish insults — work demands that you act your age.
Work respects your intelligence by using it — and shows respect to others as we work our way to mutual respect. Work won’t be pretty and might even get ugly — but work will do what it takes to work it out.
And if you wanna start solving problems — work is what it’s gonna take.
Speaking of work
I’m looking for fiercely independent thinkers for an idea that could turn the tide. If you’re not interested in hearing me out and having meaningful conversation — we have nothing to talk about and I wish you well.
Please contact me through the site or DM on Twitter — as I no longer respond to Tweets or superficial fragments of any kind.
For the influencers at the helm of these echo chambers (including those I agree with):
I’m sure it’s intoxicating to amass a following and feel like you’re making a difference. But I’m gonna weigh your impact partly as a reflection of your community: How people behave — not what they believe.
If you can’t get that right, I don’t care how big your following gets — you’re taking this nation nowhere. Not in the right direction, anyway.
Same goes for this crowd
Nothing in the atmosphere of America is improving on any front:
But hey . . .
We’ve got 24 million visitors to our website, an email list of 2 million & growing, fundraising on the rise, and a million actions taken.
The Yellow Brick Road is the path of America’s pursuits — and how systematic oversimplification has taken over to the point where inconvenient correlations are condemned as convoluted.
And any attempt to have a conversation on issues that clearly call for careful consideration — is hijacked by baseless beliefs beaten into your brain as bedrock fact.
Marching to Black Lives Matter with the first black president sitting in the White House — was that a smart move?
The answer should be abundantly clear — and yet the question is not even considered: In a culture too busy Tweeting to pause long enough for “Hmm.”
I’ve been blocked by people on Twitter for just politely suggesting that BLM is a counterproductive cause. Instead of considering how you could fight for justice more intelligently, you act like I’m saying you shouldn’t fight for it at all.
The moment Obama caved on the Democratic Party playbook on race — he put Trump on the path to the presidency.
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?
If the indiscriminate approach of BLM pisses me off: What do you think it did for people gunning to bring Obama down?
You overplayed your hand
He had golden opportunities to take the country forward, but instead of leading the way — he followed his base and went backwards. Given the tight margins — there’s not a doubt in my mind that their ploys put Trump in the White House.
And still — you don’t learn
At the core of our country’s decline — is the unrelenting refusal to get to the bottom of anything.
Like this 1619 business: You wanna draw correlations from the past — while flagrantly ignoring crystal-clear connections in the present. Black Lives Matter, monuments, kneeling, and now this?
You’re all over the place — and you’ve got company:
Blind Men Touching an Elephant
As with Kaepernick’s kneeling, Black Lives Matter, and the removal of monuments — what are you really gonna gain out of 1619? Even if you could miraculously get what you want:
And you have a better chance of walking on water.
What’s it gonna take for you to see the unintended consequences that come with it?
Therein lies the folly of it all. This consortium of causes has no chance of achieving anything remotely in the realm of your loosely defined aims — and you’re doing catastrophic damage to the very thing you’re trying to remedy.
Has it ever occurred to anyone in BLM — that simply calling it something else would have served your interests far better?
All Lives Matter . . .
How could you not see that tit for tat in taglines coming? You predictably damaged the debate on the name alone.
And now, even now
The cat . . . TOTALLY out of the BAG!
It absolutely amazes me that some of the most brilliant minds in the world seem incapable of correlating how “unrelated” issues impact one another. The most harmful pollution on the planet is noise — narrative that drowns out sensible discussion.
You could blame those who amplify that deafening noise with delight — or be smart by not doing dumb things that drive the narrative in the first place.
The Right didn’t write this — I did:
I don’t see what the problem is
— Typical Tweeter tapping earth-shattering insight
You don’t see — a lot!
All this over-the-top engineering of sensitivity has gotten totally out of hand. Excessive sensitivity breeds hypersensitivity. When you water things down to be politically correct, our nation’s ability to discern decreases right along with it:
Creating a culture that’s increasingly more easily offended and radically irrational . . .
Across the board
Renaming teams and pancake products, wiping Indians off boxes of butter, banning Dukes of Hazzard, and Microsoft’s Inclusiveness Checker to program you proper:
For those who would try to educate me by saying I don’t understand the feelings involved in these asinine efforts to comfort people:
No, you don’t understand . . .
Even without unintended consequences — it’s just plain stupid. No matter how many times the Right has tortured the truth without mercy — that doesn’t change the fact that they make a helluva lot more sense on this front than the Left.
And don’t even get me started on how homelessness is a problem perpetuated by those most sensitive in their approach to solving it.
How you handle one issue can do catastrophic damage to all the rest. If you don’t know that by now — open your eyes and take a good look around.
Then there’s this . . .
I’m not qualified to discuss climate change, but I can say with certainty that no number of Legacy docs would put a pinprick in the atmosphere of absurdity that’s suffocating our country.
It’s easy to blame climate deniers — but you’ve done plenty of damage by denying reality of your own.
Unschooled in Adjustment
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.
— Russ Hoyle, Going to War
On that note
The Right wants the Left and the black community to get its act together on matters deeply woven into the fabric of America’s long history of brutality and disgrace:
Slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, murder, decades of civil rights violations, questionable shootings, and so on.
While the Right won’t even look at the material properties of a tube.
What’s wrong with that picture
And this one? . . .
Preach responsibility and take none
When your camp came up empty on WMD — you just bought more bullshit from the same people who sold you the first batch:
Happy 20th Anniversary!
Seize the day to be jacked up on fuel to fire off your fury and excuses in a nation that never learns — but loves to light it up in lip service to virtues.
Ever-so bold behind walls of unreason that butcher those “beliefs.“
For nearly 20 years
I’ve been practically spit on for following principles those same people promote on a daily basis. I did the doc to address such behavior, but in the last 18 months — I’ve seen savagery beyond anything that inspired it.
And that — is an opportunity. It’s just “terribly out of tune” — as empty claims don’t amount to jack where I came from.
My generation got off easy: 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.
I point you to a 7-part, 2 hours and 40 minutes doc — that distills a story that demanded a massive amount of effort, thought, research, and writing:
And you tap a Tweet with a talking point or two — thinking you can inform me.
I offered you overwhelming and irrefutable evidence in my documentary that exhaustively exposes the biggest and most costly lie in modern history — taking both parties to task for it. You refused to even glance at the doc while deriding my efforts with pleasure.
So with this site I tried another approach: Interweaving clips in conjunction with the behavior of those who slavishly defend the indefensible.
The documentary is structured to the hilt in 7 segments averaging 24 minutes apiece — so it’s much easier to digest.
But circular certitude is quite the convenient cop-out:
Allowing you to blow off the doc, dish your derision on issues you’re wildly unqualified on — then complain how you can’t follow the format of a site that wouldn’t be needed if you simply watched the doc in the first place.
It’s amazing how everything falls into place from a foundation of effort and understanding.
This is more your style:
If only you’d laid it all out exactly as I like it — then I’d abide by the principles I preach
And to top it all off
Some rapid-fire ridicule from afar
Cozy in the KILL
As you recoil from questions secure in your cover on social media
Where you can promote principles in one breath and abandon them the next. And get away with it with ease — because you’ve got friends:
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.
These five conditions specify the circumstances under which increased proselyting would be expected to follow disconfirmation.
From the get-go
Almost every post points to an identifiable disconnect — enough to know that something’s not right with people you put on a pedestal.
You could skip the post and go straight to the doc — and watch one at a time for 7 days, 7 weeks or 7 months. You could watch clips and ask questions — exploring in a piecemeal pursuit of the truth in whatever way works for you.
You do nothing of the kind.
You skim my site and breeze on by clips at the crux of the story — as you’re not looking to learn, you’re looking to respond.
And entire industries are engineering that need.
We get rewarded by hearts, likes, thumbs-up — and we conflate that with value, and we conflate it with truth.
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” . . . Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. . . .
“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth.”
No wonder you don’t like work
It exposes the hypocrisy and lies you live by — along with heroes who are hacks. You find out you can learn from your fellow man made into an enemy — by purveyors of poppcock who make millions making you believe things that have no bearing on reality.
You grow — in your ways you never will with your methods. But because gain you get in the moment is the only measurement that matters anymore, who has time to grow?
That — is not this
Your walk doesn’t reflect your talk.
Following facts going in the direction you desire doesn’t count:
Anybody can do that
But you don’t burden yourselves by the demands of reflection. Bonding in bitching is the fellowship of our time: Boasting about beliefs you abandon the instant they’re inconvenient.
Blind loyalty would bore the hell out of me, so I don’t even get the atttraction.
Fanatical followers of pundits act like these people are some of the greatest minds to ever live. Anyone worthy of this ridiculous hero-worship — wouldn’t want it, as they’d have a helluva lot higher expectations of their supporters.
We’ve become a culture that wildly exaggerates on everything: Gushing with over-the-top praise or seething with over-the-top scorn.
Decades of delight in the Gutter Games of Government has crippled this country. By being in bondage to baggage and baseless beliefs — painfully obvious lies become calcified as fact. We could do something about that:
But you’re busy
There’s no willingness to say, “I’m wrong.” I mean, you have to take a 2×4 to these people, basically — to get ’em to, sorta, knock ’em down and admit they were wrong.
I promise you
Doing the difficult and learning — along with objective scrutiny and accountability across the board:
Is far more fruitful and fulfilling than this horseshit:
I don’t know how people find the path of least resistance so satisfying — as I love the demands of difficulty and discernment. To not step up my game in the midst of opportunity or challenge — would be tantamount to treason upon my very existence.
This nation has no such notion
America wallows in a fantasyland of circular certitude — where denying the obvious has become a duty to defend your tribe.
Hiding behind your force field of fallacy:
You win from the start and even more at the end — reinforced by the fellowship of friends cemented in the same standards. No amount of irrefutable evidence & expertise can convince you of anything in your race for satisfaction and insatiable appetite for glorifying those who give it to you.
If you want to start solving problems instead of endlessly talking about them, we need to take a hard look at how we got here.
My doc was designed as a tool for honest debate. Now? It’s intended for a larger framework to clear the clutter that’s crippled this country.
To the uneducated, abstract ideas are unfamiliar; so is the detachment that is necessary to discover a truth out of one’s own knowledge and mental effort. The uneducated person views life in an intensely personal way — he knows only what he sees, hears or touches and what he is told by friends. As the unknown sage puts it, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
But more than ever, even the most educated minds act in an uneducated manner in service of their interests — and harm them in doing so.
My plan calls for fiercely independent thinkers (to be fully realized), but right now — one will do.
One voice became two — and two became three
How bout it, Bari? . . .
Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. . . .
We are living through an epidemic of cowardice. The antidote is courage.
— Bari Weiss: Some Thoughts About Courage
It’s gonna take a heap more than “thoughts.” Communities like hers talk a good game — but in the end, they’re all the same:
Talkers — not listeners
As I wrote about Professional Know-It-All (PKIA for short) — on Mount Everest of the Obvious: The Deal Is That We Connect These Dots — Part I:
What does it say to you — that I have to withhold PKIA’s identity for now — so you’ll weigh his words in isolation from his immaculate image?
Bari claims her community embodies “commitment to reason, curiosity, independence, decency, and a hunger for honest conversation” — and how they’re “holding fast” in the “company of people who share our core values.”
On irrefutable evidence of mathematical certainty (of world-altering consequence, no less) — do these replies below strike you as reflecting Bari’s beliefs about her community?
In response to this
I receive this . . .
Almost invariably across these echo chambers (and these are on the mild end):
You couldn’t carry PKIA‘s jockstrap!
Seriously? Get a life. It doesn’t matter what you say, he’s better than you basically in everything.
You deserved to be treated that way! You’re a moron and pathetic character assassin
Your reply shows me you have no such experience and knowledge. You played yourself, and you lost. Sorry, read some PKIA
Their precious PKIA . . .
Flagrantly ignored the evidence to peddle partisan hackery on the biggest and most costly lie in modern history. But there’s an entire industry for sucking up to this guy — making it nearly impossible to put a pinprick through the envelope of intransigence encasing your brain.
So staunch in your standards and so bold in your beliefs: That you cower away from questions to defend the indefensible — insulting your intelligence every step of the way.
So rock-solid in his record — it can’t withstand scrutiny and I have to babysit you with an alias. He gutted the truth with regurtigated garbage — selling out to sell those books you “stand by.”
“The Genius of PKIA” . . .
Is that this fraud got followers to believe he’s not only a genius, but some kind of saint-like Sherlock Holmes to boot.
It’s pathetic — and . . .
You talk about the idea of discussing ideas — but you’re not too keen on doing the work. You boast about evidence and critical thinking skills — but all that jazz goes right out the window when it’s your interests on the line.
A lot of that goin’ around
Whatever your aim
It’s going nowhere without work.
To be sure, you can make short-term gains by tortuing the truth without mercy. But none of you seem to notice how you poison your purpose by doing so — offsetting those gains in ways you have yet to imagine.
[W]e must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it . . .
In a nation that incessantly blames and complains (seemingly for sport) — no one’s taking responsibility for anything. The ever-rising ocean of partisan pettiness is gluttony under the guise of concern.
What would you call untold millions marching to a Twitter-rage parade on WMD — dishing on the deaths of Rumsfeld and Powell (and whatever anniversary marks the moment):
But too lazy to take the time to look at what we can do about it.
Of course, that would require holding their own accountable as well:
So there’s that
If we don’t right this ship
We will not see a return to some semblance of recognizing reality in our lifetime. Mark my words — your ways will seal that fate.
As my videographer perfectly put it:
We finally figured out what we were doing by the end
If we don’t change course as a country — we won’t.