Justice and decency are carried in the heart of the captain — or they be not aboard
— Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Anyone wanting to know the truth — would not behave in ways that ensure they never will.
Wherever we stand on anything: It’s in everyone’s best interests to discuss issues in an intelligent and intellectually honest manner — welcoming knowledge and insight to light our way to what’s real and what’s not.
The solution to this problem is more truth, not less
No, it’s not
You cannot forever beat something into the ground and think that will magically make a dent someday. And even if by some miracle it does, wouldn’t you want to know if you could have cut out years or even decades had you been smart about it?
If you lose elections and laws — then fight to win back the former so you can reinstate the latter: Wouldn’t you want to know how you could have avoided it all in the first place?
Imagine if you had listened to the person telling you all along.
At the core of why my efforts don’t compute — is that my mission is not driven by changing your values, but rather the manner in which you pursue them.
You think the end justifies the means — I say your means make damn sure it will never end. I took a look-see for what others have said along those lines.
Mine’s minor league compared to this:
The right thing tends to be the demanding thing.
In a culture increasingly comfortable with ease, wrong is increasingly rationalized in the name of right. If only you could see the galactic waste of time, energy, and money on matters that make you think you’re making progress.
Never mind the damage you do along the way.
Believe it or not, the best way to serve your interests is to first and foremost — hold your own accountable. If you wanna make the opposition look bad, try looking good.
If you wanna have the moral high ground, try earning it:
The moral high ground, in ethical or political parlance, refers to the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness.
Early on in COVID, I was ridiculed for refusing to take a position on something I knew nothing about.
I’m old-fashioned that way
A lot of things are old-fashioned on here — and my willingness to admit mistakes is one of ’em. With the right spirit, you can even have fun with it — as I did in Elephant in the Room Award.
Acknowledging error is liberating and leads to enlightenment.
My track record for the truth and seeing the lay of the land is impeccable.
Having made that assertion — I have a responsibility to back it up with argument. When protecting your interests, most of America’s into the newfangled ways of “argument” — where you furiously fire off some fashionable form of “You’re wrong!” and dish it all day long:
Insisting on “affirmation independent of all findings” (borrowing from Peck who borrowed from Buber).
I never got on board.
You’re wrong — and here’s why
That’s the discipline — to have a work ethic in the way you think. Without “here’s why,” you’re just whistlin’ Dixie.
By the way, it’s high time we appreciate the difference between assertion and argument — perfectly defined on a blog I stumbled across years ago:
An assertion is just a point of view, an opinion. An argument goes further. An argument is a point of view supported by reasons that demonstrate the view is a good one.
Argument on the merits, that is:
Central to my arguments is that I see things as they are — not as I imagine them to be. But in light of new information, I’m happy to sharpen my senses and change my mind when warranted.
On that note
All these channels are blunt instruments (including those I agree with). You’re just pounding away at problems without any examination of the efficacy of your efforts.
Like anyone else, I like to believe in people who are championing a cause I care about. But if you become part of the problem you’re trying to solve — you are not the champion I thought you were.
In talking about take a wild guess, a fairly influential figure said:
He has a rather narcotic joy in dismissal and belittlement
And yet the person who said that fails to see how he’s unwittingly conditioning people to act the same way. 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.
What’s more, you’re making matters worse and being rewarded for it. I’m going to show you how to fix the problem you don’t even know you have. And I assure you, the gains you get now pale in comparison to what awaits you:
If you’ll put away your wishful thinking and adjust in your approach.
You’re all trying to plow through problems when you should be going around them. Ray Liotta put it best in Copland:
You don’t drive down Broadway to get to Broadway. You move diagonal . . . you jag
Fighting the problems of today with conventional tactics is colossally counterproductive, dangerous, and even deadly. But almost everyone is operating on faith-based belief that their efforts will prevail:
Bolstered by the fact that they’ve achieved some fashion of success.
I suggest you reconsider . . .
Repeatedly rehashing issues is not the mark of problem solving.
It’s the mark of a market
Give it a go
And I’ll be happy to show you the courtesy so few have shown me.
Wouldn’t a country so concerned with the direction we’re going — be willing to reflect on your mistakes so as not to repeat them?
No, you wouldn’t . . .
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
America is unschooled in adjustment, I’m not. For that reason and many more, I see possibilities that others don’t.
I’ve got an idea — and it’s got teeth.
It’s not that difficult to grasp — but in a country consumed by a rat race to feel right about everything: It’s almost impossible to explain anything of depth that doesn’t instantly register.
Arrival is a movie that makes you think — and that’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Their efforts to develop a conduit of communication is in striking contrast to how we talk to each other today. With the word “HUMAN” written on a whiteboard, they were able to build on that by seeing patterns in indecipherable symbols.
We have the most sophisticated communication tools in history — and we can’t even talk to each other in the same language.
Instead of listening and learning — slinging snippets of certitude has become America’s pastime. We’ve created a knee-jerk nation where discernment is derided and negligence is in vogue. What was beyond the pale in the past is now perfectly acceptable.
Roger Waters was right on the money — in 1988:
There was a time when adults acted their age. Those days are long gone — as the internet and the cable clans paved the way for the onslaught of the utterly absurd. America’s in perennial pursuit of ideologies — warfare waged with:
opinions lightly adopted but firmly held . . . forged from a combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and fashion
— Theodore Dalrymple, Life at the Bottom
I solve problems for a living — and central to my success is keeping the door open, admitting mistakes, welcoming ways better than mine, and giving credit where credit is due.
As in — my way of life
I’ll never forget pausing to consider what a colleague told me about his coding convention at the dawn of my career. Just walking along the hallway, I stopped to ask him about it and he said, “That’s just the way I was taught.”
I thought to myself . . .
So, his way is more organized, easier to follow, and cleaner to work with. What are my reasons for why my way is better? I don’t have any good ones?
End of story
His way was better — no debate needed. And when I made a database blunder several years back — my manager sent out an email to the DBAs saying, “We made a mistake that requires a restore.”
That’s what a manager should do — but now it’s my turn to do what I should do. I replied to all by saying:
While I greatly appreciate the sentiment, “we” did nothing of the kind . . .
When I walked into his office a little bit later, he said, “I see you fell on your sword.”
A colleague once corrected me on something I thought couldn’t be done (as I was coming from a different database platform). Rather than cling to a belief based on my own experience — I let him enlighten me with his. We had an impromptu meeting with a whiteboard and minutes later it was all cleared up.
Next team meeting — I openly thanked him for correcting me.
Contrast my attitude
With what I faced below when politely correcting some colleagues on a colossal screw-up they just couldn’t see:
In 2008, 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 missed that all the decimal places were truncated 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
Comparing two wrongs that make it look right:
A lot of that goin’ around
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.
These are good-natured guys with no politics, ulterior motives, or raging egos involved. And yet they couldn’t see what was right in front of their faces.
How could four professionals at that level fail to see what could not be more obvious?
Groupthink — plain as day
I’m not fond of the first definition in this case, as it includes an “urge to conform” and possibly having an agenda.
The one below is 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!
Imagine what untold millions are missing when money, power, politics, religion, fragile & raging egos, and cult-like hero-worship are involved.
The damage is astronomical
And exponentially increases in a nation that never learns. I have a lot to say about that — but more importantly, a rock-solid idea for how to right this ship.
Try this on for size — and welcome how answers often lead to more questions.
You’d be amazed by what you can see if you just take the time and leave your assumptions behind — as M. Scott Peck illuminates below:
Then one day at the end of my thirty-seventh year, while taking a spring Sunday walk, I happened upon a neighbor in the process of repairing a lawn mower. After greeting him I remarked, “Boy, I sure admire you. I’ve never been able to fix those kind of things or do anything like that.”
My neighbor, without a moment’s hesitation, shot back, “That’s because you don’t take the time.” I resumed my walk, somehow disquieted by the gurulike simplicity, spontaneity and definitiveness of his response.
“You don’t suppose he could be right, do you?” I asked myself.
Somehow it registered, and the next time the opportunity presented itself to make a minor repair I was able to remind myself to take my time. The parking brake was stuck on a patient’s car, and she knew that there was something one could do under the dashboard to release it, but she didn’t know what. I lay down on the floor below the front seat of her car.
Then I took the time to make myself comfortable. Once I was comfortable, I then took the time to look at the situation. . . .
At first all I saw was a confusing jumble of wires and tubes and rods, whose meaning I did not know.
But gradually, in no hurry, I was able to focus my sight . . . I slowly studied this latch until it became clear to me . . . One single motion, one ounce of pressure from a fingertip, and the problem was solved.
Clearing the clutter can be quite revealing.
And lo and behold — that’s what this is all about.
“Could be right?” I asked myself.
I’ve spent most of my life asking such questions — so it just became second nature to wonder what I might be missing. And since I love the demands of difficulty and discernment — I embrace having to connect the dots on the trail to the truth.
To not step up my game in the midst of opportunity or challenge — would be tantamount to treason upon my very existence.
I’ve never continued to believe anything to be true that was demonstrably false. If I’m wrong — I wanna know and I’ll openly admit it.
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.
“Why, thank you! I had no idea!” Why would people prefer to justify mistaken beliefs, behavior, and practices rather than change them for better ones?
From a lifetime of practice, “Why, thank you! I had no idea!” is protocol for me. I love to be corrected — even if it stings a bit at first.
I’d rather feel foolish for 5 minutes than be a fool for a lifetime.
I find changing my mind to be magical — that you can think one thing, take new information into account, and think another. It’s fantastic. As I wrote 18 years ago:
There’s nothing more edifying than taking a trip to another point of view
I happily belong to an infinitesimal minority that feels we’re not informed enough to have all the answers to every controversial issue in America. We don’t have a monopoly on virtue — and don’t want one.
We’re not only willing to change our minds, we welcome it — and appreciate those who correct us.
Speaking of Dr. Aronson
Elliot Aronson was chosen by his peers as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century
— Amazon’s About the Author
The forward he wrote in When Prophecy Fails was super helpful in framing my message in my documentary that illustrates how emotion runs roughshod over reason. And he was helpful again when he put me onto his friend and fellow renowned psychologist, Dr. Phil Zimbardo — “a very smart guy with incredible energy,” he added.
Since Dr. Zimbardo is 90 years old — that’s saying something. For medical reasons, he’s unable to get involved, but in response to an email on the essence of my idea, he wrote:
Very Interesting and original
Those 4 words were a jolt of hope just like Dr. Cortney who inspired this post — another psychologist who’s willing to consider what so few will. But for what I have in mind — all I need is one:
Or a connection that puts me on the path to find them.
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 . . .
If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person.
— Admiral McRaven
Dr. Zimbardo can’t be two — but he made a difference. And Dr. Cortney doesn’t need to be two, but even in a “small” way she can make a big difference (as I explain at the end).
When it comes to ascertaining the truth — I don’t care what your cause is, who’s in the White House, who controls Congress or the courts.
I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.
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
I love moments of truth and measurement that put my principles to the test. One of my favorites is 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 said so at the time.
That sense of fairness is so foreign I might as well be speaking another language.
But even how you handle seemingly small things can shape your self-awareness in how you see matters of monumental importance.
Last night I came across a 9-year-old email I sent Dr. Cortney (who did the TEDx Talk Honest Liars — the Psychology of Self-deception). I was stunned when I saw her reply below — because I didn’t recall seeing it.
Thank you for the message. It looks like you are doing some very important work. I will look at your documentary. Is it available online for viewing?
Surely, it’s not possible I could forget something of such importance to me.
Or is it?
That question is at the core of what this site is all about: The willingness to wonder, pause, listen, reflect, and discern. I have a pretty good memory and the purest of motives on this matter, but it’s amazing what you can find when you keep the door open.
Like my reply that proved I was wrong.
I just couldn’t find it at first because it’s an old computer and Outlook was rebuilding the Search Index. And here’s the deal — I waited for what I didn’t want to find.
If I found a reply to Dr. Cortney — that meant my efforts went nowhere. If I didn’t, there’s new hope in contacting her again. Of course, I contacted her anyway — but things have changed. Back then, my doc was going up against institutions and all of America.
Now? It’s about getting to one man
A professional know-it-all with a cult-like following unlike anything I’ve ever seen. As I’ve been in the trenches battling hermetically sealed minds for decades, that’s saying something.
The force field of fallacy that shields this man is almost impenetrable. His disciples defend him before they even know what the subject matter is — in egregious breach of the standards he espouses.
And that — is a golden opportunity!
If not for “Tolstoy’s Wall” in the way — we’d be well on our way to the kind of conversation this country’s never had.
Without some out-of-the-box thinking — you’re not gonna break through the envelope of intransigence encasing this crowd.
Luckily . . .
Is what I do best
And I’ve been at it a really long time . . .
Workin’ all day in my daddy’s garage
Drivin’ all night chasing some mirage . . .
You have no idea
When I accomplished the seemingly impossible on that table & chairs — the judges couldn’t wrap their minds around it: How one kid could pull this off in 7-1/2 months. And my turnings were so accurate they assumed I used a copy crafter, which was against the rules.
I had never even seen one.
And all that — was after we had to fight the committee just to enter the competitions in the first place (Regionals and State).
We don’t have a category for you . . .
I’ve been fighting that same mindset ever since.
Conventional thinking clouded the minds of those who couldn’t see that I did what couldn’t be done. There’s always been people in the way of those doing what others said couldn’t be done.
They were right in one sense
It was impossible — for anyone not driven by something so deep within that it was like their life depended on it. Turned out, it did.
They screwed me — but it was a gift that’s never stopped giving.
I was robbed of what was rightly mine, but when I didn’t get it — I found I didn’t need it. It’s a long story but there’s one line that captures it all:
I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see
I’m fascinated by the wonder of when a person takes that first step that defines who they become. My construct of consideration began in April 1988: One moment of truth that set the foundation for all that followed.
That teacher didn’t need a letter or a lecture — just a look and a few choice words.
He revealed something I couldn’t see, as I was blinded by my disgust in being so royally wronged — again.
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. Took me a few years to figure it out in full, but the world would never look the same once I did.
People really don’t listen.
People are just either not that interested in what you’re saying, or they are too focused on their own agenda. It’s ridiculous to see two people acting like they can’t really hear each other — by choice.
In “The Significance Principle,” authors Les Carter and Jim Underwood posit that we should listen past where the other person has finished. We should even pause before answering. Let them get their point, their story, their compliment, and even their criticism out. Completely. . . .
The ability to hear is a gift. The willingness to listen is a choice.”
— Mike Greene, Why you should first seek to understand — before trying to be understood
In other words
Don’t shake your head. I’m not done yet. Wait till you hear the whole thing so you can . . . understand this now . . .
My Cousin Vinny is maybe the most hilariously educational movie ever — and this scene is at the core of our culture’s communication divide:
Everything above was built by fundamental problem solving and adapting to the situation: All of which dovetails into the doc and my ideas for using folly from the past for the benefit of the future. Each principle has a place for what I have mind.
And just like old times — input from others would shape my vision into something far better than I could have ever achieved on my own.
A culture consumed by certitude, completely lacking in imagination, and devoid of any desire to connect on a human level in the interest of truth and understanding:
Scrolls right on by — while the keen and the curious wonder.
I made a big mistake above
And in the wrong hands, it’s over. A solid block was not too bright, but not only did I come up with a way around the problem I created — it was a blessing in disguise.
Sometimes we do things with the best of reasons behind ’em — with rock-solid experience shaping our approach. But problems can arise when we get too comfortable relying on our experience — then make assumptions that don’t account for other factors.
That can happen to anybody, but if you wanna accomplish your goal — keep the door open for when things don’t go as planned. And ya gotta be willing to wonder:
Is this working? Will it ever work?
I was right on the money with my CAD/CAM approach — I just had the wrong CNC machine. You’d think a waterjet that could cut through 2 inches of solid steel would buzz right through that block.
Not so fast!
But by reassessing the situation:
I solved the problem — and then some! A solid block was stupid in the first place — a decision driven by my vast experience in building solid furniture. That made perfect sense in that domain, but I was in new territory and didn’t adjust.
Now I was about to
By going old-school to reset the situation — and new-school to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
I didn’t want a gap when sliding the CD into the slot, but I was so dead set on that from the start that I never even asked:
Is a solid slot “really” necessary? And was the excess weight worth it?
Once I was willing to consider such questions — inside of 60 seconds, I came up with the idea for how to fix my misstep.
And the only reason I could pull that off is because I’d explored other CNC options for possibly producing an acrylic plastic wall-mounted version (in prehistoric times when CDs dominated the day).
How you adjust from mistakes and knowing the tools available to you — can make all the difference in the world.
We will cut the [wheel] down the middle
In a blurb on yet another book on cognitive dissonance, a science-fiction writer wrote:
[The author] has seen the future.
If he had, he’d know his book has no chance of achieving its aims. Conventional methods have repeatedly failed and won’t put a pinprick in the atmosphere of absurdity suffocating the country. In that same blurb it states:
Cognitive dissonance happens when one’s beliefs are no longer in alignment with reality.
On what basis would you believe that another book, conference, project, study, report, podcast or organization — would make a dent in the systematic self-delusion driving this nation into the ground?
But integrate those same tools into an unconventional framework for honest debate — and now you’ve got something.
All I need is the right sort who sees what so few can. Ideally, someone with the credentials and connections to put me on the right path. So, a sight for sore eyes is an understatement in sight of this the next morning:
You sound very passionate about your work. You are welcome to send me information on what you have put together. I can’t tell you whether I can help until I see it, but I certainly respect Phil tremendously.
She’s referring to Dr. Zimbardo. Whatever comes from Dr. Cortney, her courtesy’s hard to come by.
On top of that, everyone’s wrapped up within their wheelhouse — operating under umbrellas of interests that don’t account for complexities outside of them.
Just picking the “root cause” that works for you doesn’t get it done. You’ve gotta look at interconnected causes across the board.
Is where my Clear the Clutter framework comes in:
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 do catastrophic damage by doing so.
It astounds 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.
It’s like committing unforced errors in tennis then blaming your opponent for capitalizing on them. In politics, they’re often cheating the system in the process (and I’ve got plenty to say about that).
But when you put stupidity on a silver platter, what do you expect in a culture that doesn’t play by the rules?
You could cry foul — or realize how you shouldn’t have made the mistake from the start.
Pursuing aims in ways that predictably damage your cause is bad enough. But once the outcome becomes clear, it’s beyond belief that you refuse to reflect on your methods.
Even if you’re right and have the best of intentions: If you’re not smart in making your moves, you can exponentially worsen the problem you’re addressing — along with seemingly unrelated ones.
And already have — again and again . . .
All in defense of this . . .
To see the character of the government and the country so sported with, exposed to so indelible a blot, puts my heart to the torture. . . . Or what is it that thus torments me at a circumstance so calmly viewed by almost everybody else? Am I a fool, a romantic Quixote, or is there a constitutional defect in the American mind?
Were it not for yourself and a few others, I . . . would say . . . there is something in our climate which belittles every animal, human or brute. . . . I disclose to you without reserve the state of my mind. It is discontented and gloomy in the extreme. I consider the cause of good government as having been put to an issue and the verdict against it.
America loves to laud people who simplify everything. Has it ever occurred to you that it’s so easy to digest because they left a bunch of stuff out?
Purveyors of poppycock do it intentionally — as they don’t care about any truth that doesn’t serve their agenda. Purveyors of virtue are another breed. They don’t deliberately lie in most cases, but when confronted with facts that fly in the face of their interests — they’ll turn on a dime to change the rules.
I know this from firsthand experience with household names who flagrantly failed to deliver on the principles pushing their popularity. These people are not gods. When you treat them as such — you do a cosmic disservice to them, yourselves, the country, and the world as well.
There’s a classic scene in Seinfeld that delightfully illustrates the divide between declarations of virtue and delivering on them:
I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car.
See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation . . . and that’s really the most important part of the reservation — the *holding*
Anybody can just take ’em!
By the way
One of those household names once called my writing “brilliant” and was “blown away” by this site and signed up. That’s a helluva lot of incentive for me to think these people are the “geniuses” their ever-growing audience thinks they are.
I don’t roll that way . . .
While I maintain a degree of respect for him — and I’m forever grateful for the inspiration he provided: If you’re part of the problem, I don’t care who you are — I’m calling you out.
On that note
That household name — he’s on their board of advisors.
And since I predicted that voice of reason would outright reject it to protect his hero — how do you think my prediction would pan out for his fellow advisors who worship the same professional know-it-all?
Let’s find out, shall we?
I’m not out to ruin these people or that organization, quite the contrary. Raising the bar will make them better — lowering it makes them worse.
How can you expect anyone to admit when they’re wrong if you won’t? And every time you allow emotion to run roughshod over reason, you further calcify habits at the other end of the spectrum from these:
Rather than assert that all opinions are equal, students in seminar learn to judge opinions on the basis of the reasons given for those opinions.
Nobody ever had to explain that to me. I’m sure you all feel the same:
And yet here we are
When I was growing up, it was inconceivable that America would become a country that tap dances around reality on a daily basis: Delighting in contempt for correction.
A go-to tactic of the dead-certain is to make damn sure the debate never reaches the merits of the matter. I’ve seen highly intelligent people derail discussions by claiming that “everything’s just an opinion.”
Nobody really believes that — it’s just a cop-out.
And if you call ‘em on it, they fall back on Old Faithful — “agree to disagree.” How this hijacked-for-hackery ethic caught on over the years can be charted with the times:
Where things that once meant something, now mean nothing.
The United States is now a country obsessed with the worship of its own ignorance. . . . [W]e’re proud of not knowing things. Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything.
It is a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.
We no longer have those principled and informed arguments. The foundational knowledge of the average American is now so low that it has crashed through the floor of “uninformed,” passed “misinformed” on the way down, and is now plummeting to “aggressively wrong.” People don’t just believe dumb things; they actively resist further learning rather than let go of those beliefs.
I was not alive in the Middle Ages, so I cannot say it is unprecedented, but within my living memory I’ve never seen anything like it.
— The Death of Expertise
I know the feeling — all too well
On the title alone, if I came across this and hadn’t done my homework — my first thought would be:
I must be missing something pretty big . . .
The rotor speed required to separate uranium isotopes doesn’t care who’s president, and when it comes to ascertaining the truth, neither do I.
In order to maintain such speeds, the material properties of centrifuges are as critical as it gets. You don’t need to interview a world-renowned nuclear scientist to figure that out — but I like to be thorough.
Alas, you have other ideas . . .
Button your lip and don’t let the shield slip
Take a fresh grip on your bulletproof mask
And if they try to break down your disguise with their questions
You can hide hide hide behind Paranoid Eyes
It seems we have all the time in the world to promote the false — but not a second to spare for the truth. “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on” — a quote that’s been around in various forms for over 300 years (evidently the original being from 1710):
Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect.
This image is especially fitting for the times — since it’s a myth popularized by Washington Irving and others.
According to The Flat Earth Myth: the Real Myth is the Idea That Anyone Ever Believed in a Flat Earth:
“Bias” gets all the press
When prejudice is paramount to the problem. If it were just bias, convincing you with overwhelming and irrefutable evidence might still be difficult — but you’d be willing to be convinced.
Prejudice doesn’t roll that way. In fact, it doesn’t roll anywhere — as you don’t budge one bit, and take pride in it, no less.
As a friend comically put it:
It’s not “Pride and Bias”
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.
For two decades, I’ve been practically spit on for following principles those same people promote on a daily basis.
How many laypeople have you ever come across who wrote and produced a documentary? In nearly 20 years of challenging people on these issues and others, I’ve never met a single one. What road have you taken to lose sight of such things deserving of at least a little respect?
A modicum of courtesy perhaps? Doing your homework used to count for something. How about we just start with that?
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.
I did the doc to address irrational behavior in a nation that no longer has any sense of itself. But in the last 18 months — I’ve seen savagery beyond anything that inspired it. And we’re not talkin’ run-of-the-mill politics — this involves irrefutable evidence of mathematical certainty (of world-altering consequence, no less).
But these are the gems of genius that await me:
So, on an issue involving centrifuge physics in an industry where fractions of a millimeter matter — you wanna ignore the evidence to show off your math skills by splitting hairs over the meaning of “mathematical certainty”?
by the way
Decorating your points with special punctuation does not make meaningless crap magically have merit.
On that note . . .
For instance . . .
To claim that Iraq WMD wasn’t a lie should be like saying we didn’t land on the moon.
As I wrote and produced the most exhaustive documentary ever done on WMD, I would know. And David Albright: The physicist who wrote extensively on the tubes — would know even better:
I defy you to find a single instance of anyone on the Right even attempting to make an argument on the dimensions, material, and quantity of the tubes.
You’ll be lucky to find them mentioned at all.
You think it’s just a coincidence that all the “arguments” on the Right just happen to follow the same pattern (conveniently leaving out the marquee claim on a mushroom cloud)?
That — all by itself, speaks volumes:
To anyone who thinks world-altering wars are more important than whining about websites that expose painfully obvious lies, anyway.
The surgical specificity of this clip puts this lie in its place in 5 minutes alone.
Trillion Dollar Tube
Imagine what I did with 160
“There is no skimming over the surface of a subject with [Hamilton]. He must sink to the bottom to see what foundation it rests on.”
— Major William Pierce (Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton)
Wouldn’t it be absurd to share that quote if my clip contained nothing but trite talking points? Some circles are not burdened by squaring their walk with their talk.
They seem to think that advertising virtue equates to embodying it.
Case in point
People who talk glibly about “intelligence failure” act as if intelligence agencies that are doing their job right would know everything.
— Professional Know-It-All (PKIA for short)
D.O.E’s standard is to spin a tube at 20% above 90,000 RPM before failure — so 48,000 short is a pretty loose definition of “rough indication.”
And since the entire point of testing should be to replicate the conditions of centrifuges, one would think that the full-blown testing would be performed before the N.I.E. was completed.
— Richard W. Memmer: Act II
Between PKIA’s words and mine
Which ones strike you as glib?
If I came into this cold — I’d know on the doc image alone that PKIA has no chance. If you don’t know that by now, I don’t know what to tell ya.
You think that poppycock of PKIA’s gets better from here? Trust me, I’m just warming up. And by the way — I suggest you start putting some faith in people who have integrity instead of buying it from those who sell it.
PKIA is worshipped as some kind of saint-like Sherlock Holmes:
Never mind he flagrantly ignored undeniable evidence to peddle partisan hackery on the biggest and most costly lie in modern history.
And lo and behold, he has a habit of toeing the party line: All of which flies in the face of the principles he peddles.
But who needs scruples when you’ve got an army of apologists to absolve you of anything that doesn’t comply with the PKIA Program.
Believe it or not . . .
I’m not just taking PKIA to task because he’s got it comin’ — I need this guy. The ultimate irony is that blind loyalty limits him — while my criticism could elevate him to heights that hero-worship ensures he’ll never go.
So, you’re saying that your plan will elevate PKIA to worldwide recognition — by holding him accountable? That if he comes clean — he could be the catalyst to turn the tide?
That’s exactly what I’m saying
It won’t matter that PKIA blew it on WMD or why — all that matters is having the guts to say:
I was wrong — and I’m trying to make it right
In a culture consumed with being right — wouldn’t it be refreshing to talk about the immeasurable value in the willingness to be wrong? Don’t just tell people how to behave:
Lead by example — especially when it comes at a cost!
Shouldn’t you abide by the principles upon which you put people on a pedestal — even if it knocks ’em off of it? Wouldn’t the genuine article want you to hold them accountable to their claims?
Admitting where he’s wrong will work wonders for where he’s right — which benefits everybody. Elevating him is not my aim, but I can live with it to stem the systematic self-delusion that’s taken this nation totally off the rails:
Right & Left
What does it say to you that I had to come up with an alias for the figure in question — just so his crowd will consider his claims in isolation from his immaculate image?
Just as this cartoon captures what words cannot — so too does the implication behind the alias. What would you call someone who shoots their mouth off without addressing the evidence — but banks on their fabricated reputation to create the impression that they did?
Anyone entering this discussion with sincerity — would come away realizing that there is no debate, and there never was.
They just made it up
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?
Hmm, so the dimensions exactly match the tubes used in Iraq’s history of manufacturing the Nasser-81mm artillery rocket (a reverse-engineered version of the Italian Medusa)
That sounds worthy of consideration — don’t ya think?
Not to PKIA’s parishioners
And their kin who came before them:
It is as though with some people — those who most avidly embrace the “we are right” view — have minds that are closed from the very get-go, and they are entirely incapable of opening them, even just a crack.
There is no curiosity in them. There are no questions in their minds. There are no “what ifs?” or “maybes.”
— Laura Knight-Jadczyk
And about that “mudslinging” . . .
truth verifiable from experience or observation
If you have a history of hypocrisy and lying — you are a hypocrite and a liar. If you don’t like being called those things, don’t do those things. But so typical of the times — nothing has meaning anymore.
Calling criticism “mudslinging” is just somethin’ to say to escape scrutiny.
And the irony is
I’ve received almost nothing but mudslinging for decades — by people who cry foul with counterfeit claims on what they do for real. And let’s face it: You need it to be mudslinging, because if it’s not — your beliefs are gonna fall apart.
So you change the rules . . .
Right on cue | Never fails
PKIA had his own moves in mind . . .
Funny how none of ’em went anywhere near the evidence on WMD or anything else on that fiasco for the ages.
To learn to ask: ‘Is that true?’
Maybe there’s something to what she just said. Let me think about it. That’s interesting. Maybe I should change my mind.’” . . .
When is the last time you can honestly remember a public dialogue — or even a private conversation — that followed that useful course?
Not long before this Tweet — this guy was condemning my efforts like all the rest that day.
And then he opened the doc . . .
As part of our polite exchange that followed, he asked me a question.
And it was a good one to boot:
There are far worse culprits on all-things Iraq, but I’ve already been down that road. You try taking on all of America by yourself: See how far you get in a nation that instantly supports or scorns on lickety–split perception alone.
But PKIA is perfectly placed to turn things around in a way no other can.
We’re well beyond “disagreement” in America — this is madness (untold millions miserably failing to follow even the most fundamental methods of how understanding works):
You introduce statements and arguments of people who aren’t PKIA
As this story is also
About the behavior of the echo chamber around PKIA — it’s kinda necessary to include other people to properly illustrate the problem.
And I wouldn’t mind explaining everything — if you thought about anything.
I’m showing you the legacy he’s leaving behind — and there’s no way this is what he wanted. I don’t know much about him — but I’m betting he’d be embarrassed by what’s happening in his name.
He’s a well-manned guy on the whole — and these people are acting like animals to honor him.
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
In the Crap is King culture we’ve created:
Infantile insults are celebrated
The doubt-free who don’t do their homework are the experts. Those who belittle and outright reject correction — are the righteous and wise. The ones with courage to admit when they’re wrong — are the weak. Tireless dedication is mercilessly mocked — while intellectual laziness is esteemed.
Original thinking and uniqueness are bashed — while conforming to the trite is trumpeted. Depth is discarded with disdain — while shallowness is embraced with love.
The honest & sincere are shunned — while manipulators & liars are welcomed with open arms.
This is my story — and if you read it in full, you’ll find it’s part of your story too. You’ve all dealt with the same behavior I have — the difference is that I get it from every direction.
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
I wonder if anyone wonders why I blur out their names. This is about accepted behavior across the country — not specifically targeting these people.
My aim isn’t to make you look bad — it’s for you to stop looking bad. 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.
In addition to interviewing world-renowned nuclear scientist, Dr. Houston Wood, I also corresponded with David Albright and Colin Powell’s chief of intelligence at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
Greg Thielmann said the following in 2013:
It will be up to Iraqis to debate whether their country now has a brighter future than it otherwise would have had without foreign invasion and occupation in the first decade of the new century. But it is uniquely incumbent on Americans to understand who and what were responsible for an enterprise that proved so costly in terms of U.S. lives lost, money spent, international reputation tarnished, and a campaign against al Qaeda diverted.
America just casually moved on
I didn’t — as I knew then what few know now:
The immeasurable value in the willingness to be wrong, understanding why, and looking to learn from it. And that not doing so — increasingly compounds the consequences of no accountability.
PKIA’s second article on the subject is a 2-minute read at 752 words — not one of which addresses the tubes that took us to war. And yet this mountain of information below was publicly available before he wrote that article:
How do you reconcile that?
You can’t believe everything you read!
Speaking of INR
Powell’s very own intelligence bureau — that he conveniently ignored. INR stuck to its old-fashioned ways by agreeing with DOE (ya know, the actual experts).
The second you shun evidence that doesn’t fit the narrative you want — you have contaminated your judgment. How quickly you come to your conclusions — and what you’re willing to ignore to solidify them:
That is the underlying message of my efforts.
America Remains Mired in the Murky
What does it say to you: that on evidence claimed as components to build a nuclear bomb — the “debate” was hijacked by 10-second sound bites?
Shouldn’t any debate establish what the debate is actually about? What does it say about a country that can’t even establish that much on a matter of this magnitude?
The road to reality is blocked by detours designed to keep you going in circles. Purveyors of poppycock reroute you with narratives that avoid detail like Black Death.
The way out is to start with an inconsistency or two that’s narrow in scope — and take the trail where it leads.
To ascertain the truth on any topic
If you’ve got something concrete to go on — that’s your point of entry. By all means, keep the door open in every direction. But by nailing down the definitive first, it paves a clearer path to all the rest.
This country does the exact opposite on everything — lumping it all together and never even approaching where you should have started in the first place:
This chart is misleading in several respects . . . Beams centrifuge never actually worked . . . We can infer . . .
Sounds pretty sloppy to me
Perhaps we should have a conversation to clear up what all this means on issues that have eroded reason beyond recognition?
Take note of the trite & trendy language that follows: Strikingly in sync with PKIA’s, don’t ya think?
CIA is not the all knowing God of the Bible. The CIA could do everything 100% correct but still not know everything.
— Tweeter tapping the typical
There’s another reason why they wouldn’t know everything: Nuclear scientists don’t work there — they work at the Department of Energy.
And that — is what this is all about
You’d know that had you watched Trillion Dollar Tube instead of trying to educate me on things you know nothing about.
Speaking of the moon
Not the tiniest trace of reasoning can be found in anything I’ve come across in decades of dealing with the doubt-free on WMD. And of all those I’ve challenged — their knowledge combined could fit into a thimble with space to spare.
I’d suggest heading on back to that backwater school, Purdue, for a little more indoctrination, er, I mean education.
To call the Cradle of Astronauts “backwater” is award-worthy for asinine statements.
The “arguments” of “Expert” By Association — taking cue from his kin on Rolodex of Ridicule:
- “You use words like honor, courage and commitment as punch lines at liberal cocktail parties” — ripping off A Few Good Men and thinking I wouldn’t notice
- The “Get help!” routine
- “I’ve stood on the wall — have you?” — Jesus, why not toss in “You weep for Santiago” while you’re at it?
What does any of THAT have to do with the price of tea in China — or THIS?
Out of 31 tubes in subsequent testing, only one was successfully spun to 90,000 RPM for 65 minutes — which the C.I.A. seized on as evidence in their favor.
One D.O.E. analyst offered a superb analogy of that contorted conclusion: “Running your car up to 6,500 RPM briefly does not prove that you can run your car at 6,500 RPM cross country. It just doesn’t. Your car’s not going to make it.”
In an industry where fractions of a millimeter matter, these guys were playing horseshoes with centrifuge physics . . .
— Richard W. Memmer: Act II
Or Not . . .
Snowflake, Libtard, Libturd, Cupcake, Bush hater, Bush basher, Bush Derangement Syndrome, TDS, Demon-crat, Democrat Party
Anything Goes for apologists trying to preserve what they perceive. I know their Rolodex of Ridicule rabbit-hole routine — all too well:
And Now for the Weather
Funny thing about information
It can seem incoherent when you don’t take any of it into account.
Would you browse a textbook then blame the teacher for your failure to understand the material? If you’re not gonna watch clips at the crux of the story, what’s the point?
That the decline of America over the last 30 years in the Gutter Games of Government — doesn’t unfold for standard scrolling with ease, is not a flaw in my argument and array of illustrations:
It’s a flaw in your willingness to work through it — absorbing each building block of information your brain is well-equipped to handle.
Or at least it used to be before information became so funneled in a fashion to your liking — you don’t even know what to do with anything that isn’t. It astounds me that wading through unfamiliar territory on this site is somehow seen as complicated as quantum physics.
I assure you
What it took to acquire this information was infinitely more demanding than anything you face here — let alone the complexities in exposing systematic deception at the core of our country’s ills.
What I do takes work — time and effort to think it through.
This — is entertainment
I wonder — if you didn’t know that the reflection has meaning, wouldn’t you want to? They’re boxes of beliefs that reflect how you see yourselves.
Or as I coined it . . .
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.
God can’t make square circles — [but you think you can]
— Willow Creek pastor, Chicago
One picture is worth a thousand words
Which image below would you choose if you wanted to understand a fairly complex coding concept?
For me, it’s whatever it takes to get me where I wanna go.
But I can’t do it alone
I need the help of amazing minds from my multitude of sources that increasingly grows the more I learn and advance my skills.
When I returned to this topic awhile back, I almost got it in the first video. In the face of such phenomenal work (or any sincere effort, for that matter): It would be unthinkable for me to blame the source because I gotta work a little harder.
I was equally impressed by the 2nd video. He furthered my grasp on my question — and enhanced my overall understanding to boot.
And the icing on the cake: He taught with this magical tool I’d never seen before.
This — is pure gold
3rd and 4th tries
Found that amazing graphic and a guy who ranks with the best I’ve ever seen in any discipline.
My gap paved the way to pay dirt — but only because I kept digging. Now I’m tapped into the internals, and I’ve got new tools to advance my knowledge on that front and many more.
The answer was there all along — I just needed to train my mind to see it.
Works the same way here
Einstein borrowed from the one below:
The worth of man lies not in the truth which he possesses, or believes that he possesses, but in the honest endeavor which he puts forth to secure that truth; for not by the possession of, but by the search after, truth, are his powers enlarged, wherein, alone, consists his ever-increasing perfection. Possession fosters content, indolence, and pride.
— Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Are you telling me . . .
That I can grasp this — but you can’t grasp that?
As the problems that plague America are interrelated, there was no point in just doing another doc on WMD alone (no matter how exhaustively detailed).
My aim was to illustrate how emotion runs roughshod over reason when your interests are at stake.
Whether or not we share some of those interests is immaterial to my purpose. To properly illustrate the psychological gymnastics of human nature, I could not show any favoritism. And therein lies the rub. As I wrote on Without Passion or Prejudice in reference to its opening image:
Half the country is with me on this — and I just lost the other half. Had I started with the image below — it would be the opposite half.
Think about that — to have some inkling of an understanding of the complexities I face.
Countless hours of research & writing, a documentary, multiple sites — and one little La La La (Not Listening) is what this is all about.
It’s what it’s always about
Probably the most powerful of these group cohesive forces is narcissism. In its simplest and most benign form, this is manifested in group pride. As the members feel proud of their group, so the group feels proud of itself.
A less benign but practically universal form of group narcissism is what might be called “enemy creation,” or hatred of the “out-group.” We can see this naturally occurring in children as they first learn to develop groups.
It is almost common knowledge that the best way to cement group cohesiveness is to ferment the group’s hatred of an external enemy.
Deficiencies within the group can be easily and painlessly overlooked by focusing attention on the deficiencies or sins of the out-group.
The.Deal.Is.That.We.Connect.These.Dots . . .
This nation has no such notion:
One picture is worth a thousand words
When you don’t want the pictures and you don’t want the words — what would you have me do?
And once I did it — we both know your next move . . .
[W]e must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it . . .
— M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
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
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 force fields of fallacy that butcher those “beliefs.“
A young man sittin’ on the witness stand
The man with the book says “Raise your hand”
“Repeat after me, I solemnly swear”
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seemed to hear anymore
And it didn’t really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair
What is Truth
If you want to start solving problems instead of forever 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.
The refusal to benefit from experience
As I said in my doc
Tuchman could have just as easily been describing America as a whole. As a nation — we don’t solve problems, we perpetuate them.
The incurious see something like the imagery below and mock what doesn’t instantly materialize in meaning.
I see it and want to take that journey.
The wonderless see “disjointed” media & writing — while I see patterns that clearly have a design. That it demands something of my mind is what interests me all the more.
In order to do that and start solving problems instead of perpetuating them — it’s gotta get ugly:
Or as ol’ Bill put it
There’s bound to be somebody on that board who will abide by their pledge.
All I need is one . . .
From F.A.I.R. or any institution where word will get back to my target audience. If Dr. Cortney can’t get to F.A.I.R. — then the next best thing is someone in her circle.
I can’t network in the way Dr. Cortney can. And that’s at the heart of what problem solving’s all about: Building a bridge between expertise to shape a solution.
These lies live on because people protecting their interests contained the “conversation” by refusing to even have it. But get this story in the right hands and the jig is up. What makes this saga especially unique is that a lot of ’em aren’t even defending the WMD deception:
They’re protecting PKIA — and themselves . . .
Because if this guy’s not the “great man” they believe him to be — what does that say about them? And just one step down the road of objective scrutiny — where does it end?
Given the world-altering consequences of manufacturing a lie to invade a Middle Eastern country in the aftermath of 9/11:
The chances of PKIA being a repeat offender on lying and/or manipulating matters in a manner outside the parameters of the PKIA Program:
But no need to fuss over predictions . . .
As I’ve already got the goods to prove that PKIA’s hypocrisy doesn’t end on WMD.
“It’s indefensible! Don’t you know that?”
Chuck Lane: This wasn’t an isolated incident, Caitlin. He cooked a dozen of them, maybe more . . .
Caitlin Avey: No, the only one was Hack Heaven. He told me that himself
Chuck Lane: If he were a stranger to you, if he was a guy you were doing a piece about, pretend that guy told you he’d only did it once. Would you take his word for it? Of course not! You’d dig and you’d bury him! And you’d be offended if anybody told you not to.
I’d think people in psychology would have a field day with this underworld of absurdity. But even if word just drips out, eventually it’ll get back to those who need to hear it most.
In any case, it sounds more complicated than it really is. And keep in mind: All I’m asking them to do — is do what they say they do.
Purveyors of virtue pride themselves on their reputations. Once they feel boxed in by their own standards, it won’t be about protecting PKIA anymore — it’ll be about protecting what they prize the most.
You should not need an incentive to do what’s right, but the incentives are off the charts. Changing the dynamic of debate and demanding better from their audience — will undoubtedly drive some out.
But that loss will be a drop in the bucket compared to what they’ll gain by broadening their audience and making measurable impact. As these communities are interconnected — once one of ’em raises the bar of debate and gains subscribers:
Along with worldwide attention for exposing lies on a level that changes the trajectory of America . . .
Others will follow suit.
And that’s just the beginning. 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
There are strategic steps as to how JSOC would be established (which can be found elsewhere on this site).
Right now, I’m just floating the concept — and other ideas this nation so desperately needs:
You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you an inactive Spectator . . . 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