Archive for the ‘sheeple’ Category

Liberalism and populism in the US.

I have to admit that I find the blog American Creation to be really interesting and informative. Which leads to their credit for having a post about William Hogeland (Hysteriography), which is a name I’ve encountered before since we share interests: in particular, early American insurrections and populism. Although, I have to admit his pieces in the Boston Review, Real Americans, and at New Deal 2.0, Liberals and Populism: An Uneasy History, really struck a chord with me.

The left is often left wondering why its message is lost on the people. For example, I read a blog which made some wild claims about progressives being against “freedom”. Of course, the blogger in question probably has a different concept of the word freedom than I do if he dislikes the changes that progressivism has brought about: such as the pure food and drug act, the clean air and water acts, child labour laws, laws about safety in the workplace, and so on. Or is it a person’s right and freedom to want to be a slave?

The problem is that there is a strong anti-intellectual streak in the American population. As Hogeland points out “the main populist assault (During William Jennings Bryan’s time), just as today, was on common liberal modes of discussion, debate, and expertise.” There was the disgust with the East Coast, Elites, which today would be termed the “Within the Beltway mindset”. Hogeland takes his premise even further back at Liberals and Populism: An Uneasy History going to the War for American Independence.

Liberals and Populism: An Uneasy History gets me thinking my usual question about how many of the founding fathers would have chosen to incite the masses had they known how hard the mob would be to control? As I said at American Creation, Especially since Samuel Adams wasn’t a populist! That is truly an interesting point. I know that he had made a comment about Shays’ Rebellion which would point to his being a strong denouncer of insurrectionism (“Rebellion against a king may be pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.”). Given that Sam Adams was prone to stirring up mobs as happened in the Boston Massacre and Philadelphia, this is truly a revelation!

Of course, this post may tend toward the elitism for which overeducated people such as myself, but one has to wonder how much the people who wanted independence at any cost would view the effect on US Politics (as opposed to the Tories who wanted any change to be done through legal means)? The problem is that the mob is not a body which can be controlled or is reasonable. One needs leadership. Or to quote James Madison:

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. Federalist #10

Watching the media…

I have to admit a fair distrust in the media: especially the US media since it is pretty much run by corporate bosses (even NPR). The Beeb may be slightly more trustworthy, but I think the average journo is basically a frustrated PR person.

The problem is that the media and PR has far exceeded just giving me information. I have made a few posts about how there is a lot of disinformation out there in the political arena.

I also mentioned how PR firms can be used to flood out opposition. Then this piece comes out about Fake Grassroots Letters Oppose Climate Bill. It seems that PR firms were sending out forged letters in the name of the Hispanic advocacy group Creciendo Juntos and the local branch of the NAACP opposing a climate bill. Fortunately, they were caught out.

I found this super list of sites where you can check out the media
http://ahwoo.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!A63DC3F437782D49!1105.entry?sa=930637252

This is a list of resources you can use in order to cross-check and reference topical news stories from around the world, so as to try and get a picture of what’s truth and what’s agenda driven reporting. Even with this list, you’ll have to educate your brain to discriminate between the lines, but it may help. Good luck and remember one thing – at the end of the day we’re all just puppets of that big ole PR machine in the sky.

Born to run things

I had to admit that there were a few possible titles to this post, such as “Sure I am an elitist”, “Define Sheeple”, “critical thinking on the internet”, and so forth. But if you have actually read this blog, you have figured out that I am from the “ruling class”. You know, the elite, the people who run your life.

I find it interesting to see how people are described as “sheeple”, especially in the context of the “Second Amendment debate”. Even more so when I look at the wikipedia entry:

Sheeple is a term of disparagement, in which people are likened to sheep.

It is often used to denote persons who voluntarily acquiesce to a perceived authority, or suggestion without sufficient research to understand fully the scope of the ramifications involved in that decision, and thus undermine their own human individuality or in other cases give up certain rights. The implication of sheeple is that as a collective, people believe whatever they are told, especially if told so by a perceived authority figure believed to be trustworthy, without processing it or doing adequate research to be sure that it is an accurate representation of the real world around them.

Sorry, I don’t fit the picture of “sheeple” in any way. Maybe “sheeple herder”, but not “sheeple”.

Nevermind that I am a believer in the “collective right” and will always be as it is the historically accurate interpretation. The “individual right” camp has done a wonderful job of twisting the truth, yet I am amazed at who is willing to believe it. Yes, there are lawyers who actually believe that the Second Amendment includes self-defence: despite the fact that they would rip holes if it were the opposite opinion claiming that there was a right that didn’t exist (e.g. abortion).

No, this is not because I was told this was the correct interpretation, but because I actually looked at the source material, which I frequently cite for you to examine as well. It is the only interpretation that makes sense as well.

Unless you truly believe criminals have the right to firearms ownership.

Additionally, I am amazed that there is such blatant running of the Heller by the Special Interest think tank, the Cato Institute. And guess what, the Cato Institute has ties to Rupert Murdoch. In case you missed it, Murdoch owns quite a large media conglomerate: News Group. News Corp owns the Wall Street Journal.

As the bumper sticker says: “the media are as liberal as the large, conservative companies that own them.”

And there is a reason that “conservatives” dislike National Public Radio and want to cut funding: they would have no control over a publicly funded organisation. But fortunately, nearly 30 years of “conservative” governments in the US have left public broadcasting with almost no funding.

What is left? You find that the media, and even the internet, are filled with right wing posts and a predominance of right wing information. You have to sift to find anything useful.

You are told that Heller “finds” an individual right, but guess what? That right seems more and more nebulous if you scrutinise it.

For example:

Although we do not undertake an
exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the
Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be
taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the
possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or
laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places
such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing
conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
Heller p. 54

This has a footnote, 26, which states:

We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only
as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.

Don’t forget footnote 23 as well!

23 With respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation,
a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also
said that the First Amendment did not apply against the States and did
not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required by
our later cases. Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252,
265 (1886) and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535, 538 (1894), reaffirmed
that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government.

What does that leave you with? Nothing?

But it is an “individual” right!

As Justice Stvens said:

The question presented by this case is not whether the
Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an
“individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be
enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second
Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us
anything about the scope of that right.

The Civic right, Collective right, or whatever you want to call it means that the Second Amendment only protects the “right to keep and bear arms” as part of the militia, that is the body organised under article I, section 8. All the quotes from the adoption deal with partition of power between the two governments:

To Congress is given the power of “arming, organizing, and disciplining the militia, and governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States.” To the state legislatures is given the power of “appointing the officers, and training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” I observed before, that, if the power be concurrent as to arming them, it is concurrent in other respects. If the states have the right of arming them, while concurrently, Congress has power of appointing the officers, and training the militia. If Congress have that power, it is absurd. To admit this mutual concurrence of powers will carry you into endless absurdity— that Congress has nothing exclusive on the one hand, nor the states on the other. The rational explanation is, that Congress shall have exclusive power of arming them, and so on, and that the state governments shall have exclusive power of appointing the officers, &c. Let me put it in another light.

May we not discipline and arm them, as well as Congress, if the power be concurrent? so that our militia shall have two sets of arms, double sets of regimentals, and so forth and thus, at a very great cost, we shall be doubly armed. The great object is, that every man be armed. But can the people afford to pay for double sets of arms? Every one who is able may have a gun. But we have learned, by experience, that necessary as it is to have arms, and though our Assembly has, by a succession of laws for many years, endeavored to have the militia completely armed, it is still far from being the case. When this power is given up to Congress without limitation or bounds, how will your militia be armed?

See my How will your militia be armed? Post.

Funny, but Patrick Henry doesn’t mention self defence in that piece I just quoted. But, you can stop being sheeple and actually do some cite and fact checking for yourself. I mean, did you catch that was a quote famous quote from Patrick Henry?

So, I find it amazing that people think that the Bilderbergers work in secret. See how many people have missed that they have been played by the DC v. Heller nonsense.

The Bilderbergers could post their agenda on the front page of the New York Times and most people would miss it.

Who you calling “sheeple”?