Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Who, What, When, and Where?

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Oct. 23, 2017

Briefly and long ago I thought of majoring in journalism. At Antioch College, they had a work-study program and I was assigned a plum job in New York City at the Overseas Press Club. I learned there, and at college, that a news story should tell in its first paragraph–who, what, when, and where. It is a decent rule that is often followed by most newspapers. I also learned there that I wasn’t really cut out to be a journalist!

So I changed my mind about a career in journalism and got a Master’s degree from NYU in philosophy. Now at long last, I can combine the two disciplines, philosophy and journalism. This is reflected in the effort today. One thing I learned in philosophy classes was to never treat anecdotes as reliable evidence for anything. In other words, the journalist’s stories that almost always feature the who, what, when, and where are useless as proof of any truth or political policy!

Take that you died-in-the-melting-glacier, polar-bear-loving, and hurricane-tornado-and storm-noting radicals for climate change.

Trump is famous for attacking the “media” over “fake news.” I often support Trump’s claims. I subscribed and for many years read the justly famous New York Times (“all the news fit to print”). Only recently could I see clearly their bias. Their “fake news” stories usually began with an “unnamed” source leaking some juicy story that did have the What, Where, When, and Who. But it was neatly packaged by the Times to skewer Donald Trump and support left-wing Democrats.

Donald Trump has accused the media (especially The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN) of consistently making up this kind of fake news and being extremely biased against him. He does have a point. They really do and show extreme bias against Trump and all of his policies. Recently The Baltimore Sun joined the battle and claimed in its editorial, reprinted widely and our local newspaper (clearly dominated by liberal clergy journalists) headlined the attack, “Trump’s attacks on the media are ‘disgusting’.”

In support of that opinion, The Baltimore Sun drew on a historic event (the passing and failure) of the “Alien and Sedition Acts” during the time of our third president, John Adams. The editorial parenthetically, hopefully, and copying the tweets of you-know-who, came up with a prediction–(“John Adams was a one-termer. Sad.”)

It remains to be seen who will win in that second term election. If I were a betting man I don’t think it would be wise to bet against The Donald. He has chosen in my opinion a very powerful way to go by using the bully pulpit of a presidency in a unique way­­, tweets.

So far at least Trump has shown very few signs of being fast on the way to a fascist dictatorship. Not nearly as many signs as the liberal hero, Franklin D. Roosevelt left. Or the progressive hero here in Wisconsin, Fighting Bob LaFollette, or for that matter the president who first invented the phrase bully pulpit, Teddy Roosevelt. FDR used Fireside Chats by radio to get his messages out. LaFollette and Teddy had to rely on long-winded speeches from random stumps, railway cars, and the halls of Congress. Trump has reinvented the bully pulpit. He uses a 21st century invention, Tweets, to magnify, communicate, and extend his point of view. And to bypass the establishment clergy and get his message to the public! In a democracy like ours the voters will have the final say. Trump’s tweets may prove especially useful in recent flaps over “disrespects” to black veterans who died in the service of the country or “knelling” football players who decline to stand for the National Anthem.

Actually I agreed with the history part of The Baltimore Sun editorial. The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 signed into law by our third president John Adams forbade anyone from making fun (or making up fake news stories) of government officials. They were actually revised and codified in 1918 for use in Woodrow Wilson’s WW1 and used to imprison citizens sympathetic to Germany. In turn the same repressive laws were used by President Franlin D. Roosevelt to lock into prison Japanese, German, and Italian aliens–and citizens–during WW2. These same revised laws remain on the books today!

As the editorial of The Baltimore Sun correctly pointed out, these Alien and Security Acts of 1798 are clearly unconstitutional and a serious blow to freedom of the press. I agree. But face it guys–Donald Trump, to my knowledge, has never called on Congress to pass any new sedition laws against “fake news” or media bias. He has instead relied on tweets that do get under the skin of editorial writers of the dominant left-liberal clergy men and women–journalists and pundits on the fast declining circulation and staffs of the liberal newspapers, magazines, and cable news outlets.

For instance here is a copy of a recent letter of mine that gives, in my opinion, a hint of where things are heading tomorrow, “Please cancel my subscription to The New York Times. I have been a reader for many years, but in recent days I have found your paper too left-liberal biased. Also, especially the Sunday edition, is too difficult to even follow with your increasingly bizarre typography, presumably redesigned to appeal to your leftist readers.”

Come election and bankruptcy times, we will find out who has the most trust.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P. S. For the intellectually curious who want to know more details of my life-long journey through the idea swamp, from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to conservative libertarian, I suggest, or stronger, I beg you to buy and read one of my three recent books (they are all dirt-cheap and, in my opinion, profoundly true if not revolutionary)–Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or at minimum view some ideas on science and society now streamed free on YouTube.

In Defense of Pornography

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Oct. 16, 2017

I may be too old to write blogs every week, but I am not too old to like pornography.

I like it despite its anti-feminist content, its crudity, its narrow view of sex, its depiction of women as sex objects, its kinky excursions into ridiculous fantasy, its near relation to criminal child porn and abuse, its use and abuse of young women and teenagers, its thumbing of nose at the politically correct, and its near-total lack of intellectual ideas or social relevance.

Why do I like it then? I like for its honest purpose and result–masturbation and orgasms. How many sites can offer as much?

I also like it because, despite the intense disapproval of many people I respect, it is immensely popular. Free porn on the Internet is in many cases also responsible for a good many things of virtue: saving many marriages by giving a simple way of getting orgasmic relief for both the male and the female partners with children but for the moment sexless; for making successful and sexy marriages more sexy and successful; for reducing prostitution; for reducing abortions; increasing male and female pleasure; bankrupting porn theaters and pimp incomes; increasing tax revenues and decreasing welfare costs, drug use, and drug crimes.

Take that reference to tax revenues and welfare costs. Anything free is suspect. How can free pornography can make a difference in tax revenues and welfare costs? Simple enough.

Anything that makes marriages, or just living together with children, and having periods of limited sex is not only welcome. In many cases, it can mean less welfare, less police, more revenues from taxes on gainful employment, and less free stuff the government is forced to give when activists and left-liberal clergy stage protests. It also makes for happier and more satisfied citizens, a healthy and growing population with fewer abortions, more wanted children, less prostitution, fewer street protests, and reduced police budgets.

I respectfully ask–what is not to like about all this?

The anti-pornography feminist and religious crowd can argue all they want that pornography cheapens loving sex–like the nudity in Playboy or Penthouse magazines–is insulting to ordinary women, is gross and god-awful aesthetically, and is an insult to all religious morality from the Bible to the Quran.

How many men and women today really and truly believe this today?

Many do but judging from the literally millions of hits on typical free porn sites compared to the hundreds, or fewer, on serious religious or intellectual sites like this one–not that many!
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Despite all that defense, personally I have to confess the awful truth I find the typical porn video pretty boring and I don’t get really get much satisfaction, or even a decent erection, watching porn! But I admit I still watch! Of course, that only proves what I already know only too well–I am getting really old! In the short as well as the long run, porn video does not come close for me to the pleasures of watching TV sports matches, heavy Shakespearean or even sentimental tearjerking movies, old-time musicals, and for me political folderol.

Speaking of old-time musicals you could do worse than pay close attention to songs from the musical South Pacific. I still remember Mary Martin in the worst part of WW2 belting out this old chestnut from the 1940s in a plush Chicago theater I visited as a 17-year-old Navy recruit (and woke up singing this ditty last week) …

“I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we’re done and we might as well be dead,
But I’m only a cockeyed optimist
And I can’t get it into my head.

“I hear the human race
Is falling on its face
And hasn’t very far to go,
But every whippoorwill
Is selling me a bill,
And telling me it just ain’t so.”

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P. S. For the intellectually curious who want to know details on my life-long journey through the idea swamp, from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to conservative libertarian, I still suggest, or stronger, I beg you to buy and read one of my three recent books (they are all dirt-cheap and, in my humble opinion, profoundly true if not revolutionary)–Twilight or Dawn? A Travelers Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s-Blogs. Or at the minimum please view some of my ideas on science and society, now streamed free on YouTube.

Dry Spell

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Oct. 9 2017

Sorry, but I couldn’t come up with a good idea this week. Too old!

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P. S. For any who want to know details on my life-long journey through the idea swamp from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to conservative libertarian, I still suggest, or if you insist, I beg you to buy and read one of my recent books (they are all dirt cheap and I claim, immodestly, they are all profoundly revolutionary in their messages)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some of my ideas on science and society, streamed free on YouTube.

Consultants, Journalists, and Clergy

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Oct. 2, 2017

Some readers take offense when I write about the “clergy.” I use that term deliberately to connect the secular religion that is currently popular—left-liberal Socialism—with dominant religions of the past like Christianity and Islam. The modern clergy do not wear special garb but they do set the tone for modern states in the Western World.

If you doubt this, a quick look at currently popular TV shows and the ads that support them will convince you. If you choose to get your News or streaming from the Internet or newspapers this clergy is still dominant. Rare is the journalist who doubts the wisdom of politically correct values. (This does not apply to President Trump and some Fox News fans.)

Among these Politically Correct faiths are that:  the government is and should responsible for nearly everything from the economy to the climate; radical equality is the major order of the day. Not merely equality under the law, but equality of talent and wealth is a not a privilege but a right; the government should seek to control and maximize people’s health, wealth, welfare, environment, and above all do something to control the climate; charity welfare programs, consultants, and bureaucrats are needed to do this; prejudging any group (perhaps excluding majority whites) is a major no-no, no matter how destructive, ignorant, violent, or incapable is the individual minority member.

A democratic egalitarian government should add more welfare programs to help minorities, even if they end up counterproductive; personal sob stories and street protests are the most effective tools the clergy uses to advance their agenda and to encourage immigrants from anywhere; last but not least, the clergy heaps scorn on the belief that our culture (Western Civilization) is the best, or that it is in any way exceptional!

The government and the press should also be concerned about relatively minor things like: football players not respecting the flag; college students raping girls or not paying back loans; activists destroying monuments they don’t like; union people paying for their own health insurance; LGBTQ bias; professors not allowing right-wingers a voice; bureaucrats leaking top secrets; journalists making up fake news; governments, businesses, and schools hiring consultants to cure the incurable; and above all encouraging diversity in the workplace, education, government, advertising, and entertainment.

The only thing the government must never do is use the military to fight wars to defend our freedoms: to do or not do any PC or non-PC action.

I do confess I too believe some of these PC values. I too think the government is important and is right to be concerned with the “common welfare.” I too am against wars and prejudice and for diversity, with some minor exceptions.

I do think the government can go too far in its lust for giveaways, useless or harmful programs that curb freedom, and make dependents (sometimes violence-prone looters and drug criminals) out of many otherwise decent and potentially productive citizens. I think the government can do more to encourage families by tax laws and discourage children out of wedlock.

Take the current flap over football players kneeling for the flag and anthem. Personally, I agree with our President that they should be fired but I don’t agree that the government or the president should do anything about it. If fans agree with Trump (and I suspect most football fans will) the crowds will slowly fade, the advertisers will reduce their support, the TV revenues will crash, and the athletes (and the sport of football) will suffer. Things will change!

If college students are really raping girls and not paying back loans they should promptly be arrested and have to face a jury. Likewise people destroying public monuments should also be arrested and have to face a jury. If private companies, government employees, or schools commit bribery or corruption they too should be punished. As for most consultants, journalists, and bureaucrats, don’t hire them in the first place and things will still change!

Journalists making up fake stories should be fired, and soon. So should government employees who leak information. So should athletes, actors, musicians, and comedians who make millions entertaining us be fired. Free speech has never been absolute and doesn’t protect the jerk who cries “fire” in a crowded theater. They are crying “fire” in our way of life.

I make an exception for health care. The liberal Democrats have a point and single-payer is probably inevitable. I’m just not sure it’s going to be any better than the free market we have all lived with for centuries. In the short run, socialist health systems seem to work fairly well in European cultures. But in the long run, they may not work well in populations as diverse as the US.

Remember Bill’s Law #2: Political bad ideas have a half-life of a century or so. Egalitarian socialism is a politically bad idea. It has dramatically failed in diverse large countries like Russia, China, and India, even in small states like Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.

As to climate, leftist greens are whistling in Dixie if they imagine anything the government can do will make a difference. If we were to go back to a medieval agricultural lifestyle and drastically lower our standard of living (as well as take years off our average lifespans) as Pope Francis and some Greens actually urge, that might help. But all the subsidies and rosy impossible dreams for renewable energy as well as all the worst clergy journalists can say about fossil fuels won’t make a lick of difference to Mother Nature or lower by a single dollar all the hurricane, tornado, and major storm damage.

As for all the consultants, journalists, lobbyists, and bureaucrats hired (at large salaries) to make a difference in diversity this will indeed raise our taxes, lower everyone’s living standards but not make a sliver of difference in education, housing, policing, and effective government.

The long and short of it is–despite their interest in being progressive, I think the left-liberal clergy is really out to destroy Western Civilization and the Modern Age that the USA launched a little over 200 years ago.

This is, without doubt, the most serious complaint I have against the clergy—where I was once a humble deacon.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

Fascism, Trump, and FDR

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Sept. 25, 2017

Fascism is hard to define. I tried in my video on Fascism. I looked at fascism as a secular-religion challenge to democracy. Like communism it was attractive to many people in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Jane and I grew up in that depression as children.  Neither of us suffered that much. Neither of us paid much attention to politics either.

We both had barely heard of Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to dictators in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Later, of course, in WW2 we did pay attention.

In my reading much later I learned that FDR, our president at the time whom most of our families supported, was something of a Mussolini fan. In fact he promoted versions of fascist thinking in his own anti-depression programs: specifically the NRA, the CCC, and his failed unconstitutional attempts to pack and bypass the Supreme Court.

The current antifascist movement, Antifa, focus their fire on Donald Trump although they seem to be against Jews and white supremacists as well. Antifa protestors often use violence in opposition to Trump’s policies, especially his alleged racism, sexism, arrogance, nationalism, and immigration wall. In this they are cahoots with the media today but all seem to be unaware of that same clergy’s fascist leanings in the past. The question becomes today who is the real fascist and who supports democracy and freedom?

I continue to believe the left-liberal clergy are the source of most semi-fascist thought. Professors especially tend to favor leftist thought and oppose any smidgeon of conservative (from Ann Coulter to Benjamin Netanyahu) or libertarian free speech (see protests against Charles Murray at Middlebury College and bitter opposition of all academic clergy to “bell curve” science.

It was similar in tee past. Democratic liberal President Woodrow Wilson was an open racist, eugenic fan, and WW1 supporter, as was the otherwise very liberal Margaret Sanger, feminist founder of Planned Parenthood. As I pointed out before, President Roosevelt in the Great Depression has a better chance than Donald Trump to be called our first openly racist and fascist president. It was Roosevelt after all who slammed the immigration door on Jewish refugees when Jews were in such grave danger in Germany and all of Europe. Wilson came from the Ivy League (President of Princeton), was an open racist, and supported WW1. This was a war fought on Agricultural meme issues (wealth was land and resources) and finally settled with a Versailles Treaty that reinforced Agricultural Age memes with a vengeance and brought us WW2.

Wilson also ended up hating progressive Republican Fighting Bob Lafollette because he so vigorously opposed WW1. Lafollette incidentally was a republican progressive then and is a democratic Progressive hero now.

Roosevelt outdid Trump in his fears of immigration terror. The Jewish Brandeis Center claims, “The U.S. immigration system severely limited the number of German Jews admitted during the Nazi years to about 26,000 annually-–but even that quota was less than 25% filled during most of the Hitler era, because the Roosevelt administration piled on so many extra requirements for would be immigrants. For example, as of 1941, merely having a close relative in Europe was enough disqualify an applicant–-because of the Roosevelt administration’s absurd belief that the immigrant would become a spy for Hitler so that his relative in Europe would not be harmed by the Nazis.“

FDR also sponsored the NRA (National Recovery Act) that set prices, profits, and wages for workers. This was an ultimately failed attempt (the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional) lto fix one of the pillars of freedom and democracy, free market capitalism.

FDR was elected four times, was crippled with polio, and died early in his fourth term at the then advanced age of 63. His New Deal is still a model for Democrats. He was alternately lauded and cursed for his CCC and WPA (also known to us depression folk as, We Poke Along). Both were programs that gave jobs to unemployed youth and older folk (and got more votes for FDR). They were copies of similar programs in Germany, Spain, Japan, and Italy that Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, and Military Generals in Japan launched to combat the worldwide Depression—and increase local support for their versions of fascism.

None of this program of popular support is necessarily true of Trump. He relies instead on blue-collar workers, giant pep rallies, rich businessmen, and middle-class resentment of the left’s Politically Correct clergy. He doesn’t seem to think much of secular religions and he avoids talking about religion except to support freedom of belief.

True, Trump is undoubtedly arrogant, ignorant of many things including language, is frequently a blowhard, and is certainly a fervent supporter of nationalism. But he doesn’t come close to the charisma, venom, power, or the many programs for the youth jobs (and votes) that Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Roosevelt, or the Military in Japan had in spades.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P. S. For any who want to know more details on my life-long journey through the idea swamp from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to conservative libertarian, I suggest you buy and read one of my recent books (they are cheap)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some ideas on science and society, streamed free on YouTube.