Salem Low Temperatures 2/26 and 27

Again we have especially low temperatures, as one will find officially recorded at the Salem and South Lyon weather stations, just West of the edge of Wayne County, along the Base line, or Eight Mile. We repeatedly receive a strange pocket of air much colder than the surrounding areas, as is visible on the website of Mark the Weatherman (no relation), and the Weather Underground, which lists all the stations. He has a map of Michigan for February 28, 2014, last year, and one can see the pocket colored -24 to 28, like the pocket of a left handed catcher’s glove. Yesterday it was 11 below at 11pm, 17 below at 1:30 AM, 20 at 5:30, 19 at 6:30 and 18 at sunrise. On the North side of the street, my friend got 17 below the other day, 2 days ago, and I had 17.5. Meanwhile, the official report was that it might be -7 in outlying areas, though I think I heard -16 reported for Ann Arbor. These are just records for this date. Our 30.2, recorded officially as 28.1 in South Lyon, may be the coldest ever recorded in these places.

We appreciate the story on NPR about frozen fog and “Diamond dust,” which precipitates or crystallizes out of the air, probably when the dew point is like 17 below. He also spoke about rainbow spots and sundogs. I still wonder if clouds are always, sometimes or never frozen. So on these mornings, our consolation is the glorious “ice like diamonds on the street” (Judy Collins song- does she not select poems that are like diamond ice precipitating through the poet’s air?) We hope you all take time to notice the prisms and sparkles in the ice, and the patterns like leaves in the frost on the window.

Richard Bauckham III

   As I read along in the PDF posted for free on the internet (Thank you, Mr. Bauckham), I will post thoughts, and update this blog like a webpage. These critical thoughts should not detract from our high praise of this work, though the wonders he is showing me now are more difficult to write than the brief criticisms.

   Mr. Bauckham, like most modern scholars, thinks that the Revelation could not have been written by John the Apostle. We await his reasons for thinking not. In the first chapter of my book, I think it becomes “obvious” that no one other than John could have written or received the Revelation. There is little reason to think not, though there must be more reason than I have found in my note #1. The book speaks of the Apostles in a way that an Apostle might not speak of the Apostles, and Jesus does not address John as one he knew in life. But these things are not decisive.

   Mr. Bauckham also, like most modern scholars, assumes that the book cannot be what it says it is, a revelation given by Jesus. So the scholars are always saying things like “John uses,” or John draws in such a way on this or that Old Testament prophet, or John “is concerned with working out…” etc. Though there is much that is “deliberate” in the things related to the Old Testament, there is no reason to think it is John’s deliberation or intention, especially when the text explicitly says that it is not. What if God said the same thing to John that he said to Isaiah or Ezekiel? Then it would be clear that it is not John “drawing on” or such things.

   A vision is not something one devises to serve ones personal intention. Bauckham writes as though he does not believe that John had a vision at all, but only pretended, using a literary device that he could have fully explained, having possession of the purpose.

   Yesterday, I marveled at his account of the little scroll, and today at the Lion and Lamb, and the meaning of witness.

   But is it only an accident that this has come to have a new meaning in the past few months? And where is Nero? Mr. Bauckham thinks that Nero is the Beast, as do most modern scholars, although few particulars fit. Sure, John has written an anti-Roman political pamphlet hidden in symbolic language to avoid persecution. This may in part be true: Jesus is the only one who spoke out (Luke 13) during the emergence of the worst tyranny ever, under Tiberius, because one might be killed immediately. Nor do we get a critique of Caligula from the early church. Van Impe is superior to Bauckham on this point, because he understands that Nero, like Antiochus, can be a type or prefiguration of the Antichrist. He kills the two witnesses, Peter and Paul. But there is no mark of the beast, no nations of the four corners gathering at Armageddon, no separate “False Prophet,” no Euphrates or Kings of the East, etc. No ascent of the witnesses viewed by many peoples, no winepress, no “Parousia,” as they like to call the second coming. There is the destruction of the Temple by Titus under Vespasian, as was prophesied repeatedly by Jesus and others, a worldwide dispersion, and a trampling by the Gentiles that is to occur until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.

   The world wide extent of the reign of the Beast and the apocalyptic events is merely “hyperbole.” The globalization of our world, a mere coincidence.

   Bauckham sets as a principle that prophesy must be understood as intended to be heard by the contemporaries to whom it is addressed. But Daniel is told that the vision is sealed, until the time of the end, and is not even for him.

   There is further no reason to think that the Revelation was written before the traditional date of about 96, during the reign of Domitian. So John is all about a return of Nero from Parthia? Mr. Baukham would like my book, if I could get it to him. But as it is, the text is sealed, and it turns out that one sure way of keeping a text out of the hands of those who do not want it for the intended purpose is to set a moderate price on it! My first chapter is intentionally bland, and this is already plenty enough to get me in trouble with just about anyone. Just as Betty D. said as she was inducted into the Michigan writers Hall of fame, a writer is supposed “to first grab the reader by the eyeballs” This is not always true. At least we can count on our FBI understanding scripture well enough to make certain distinctions (not). And if they cannot, to understand their own limitations and the precedence of our First Amendment, where no one’s rights are being violated (not).

   So you see, if the reader does not care about the things in Chapter One, I do not really want them to read the rest, and would pay them 12$ to not, if I had it!

Marijuana: The Federal Prohibition is Unconstitutional: D. C. and State Legalization Must Stand

Here is the argument that can trump the supremacy clause and win in the Supreme Court, if the States or Washington D. C. would challenge it properly. In a word, we never gave the federal government the power to prohibit Marijuana, and it has no such power.

The Federal law against marijuana is unconstitutional, and always has been. The Prohibition of alcohol required the amendment of the constitution. Regarding Marijuana, we just dispensed with this formality of amending the constitution, when congress passed the law in 1937. When no one else’s rights are being violated, the Declaration requires that liberty take precedence. When the states entered into the Union, they gave the federal government certain delegated powers. These are those explicitly enumerated, and it was thought by some that we did not even need a Bill of Rights, because the government was given no power, for example, to regulate religion. So, while the Supremacy clause makes federal law supreme, this is only so on issues where the federal government has been explicitly delegated these powers (or the powers that are implied by those that are explicitly delegated), and we, the states, never gave the federal government the power to prohibit either alcohol or marijuana. They do not have these powers because we never gave them up, they simply took them. Further, congress decided contrary to the recommendation of the American medical association, and were otherwise lied to, which is a violation of due process.

In Leary and Reich v. Ashcroft, the federal government attempted to base the authority to prohibit marijuana on the power to tax, and then the power to regulate interstate commerce. Where no commerce is involved, and there is no purpose to regulate toxic or deadly medicines, the Federal government has no business. Even during prohibition, it was legal to make ones own beer and drink it, because we have a constitution.

Within the states, the argument is more difficult, but if the Bill of Rights applies to the states, the Pursuit of Happiness and Liberty in the Declaration must take precedence, where no other rights are violated. Privacy, as in the Alaskan constitution, also requires that the citizens be left alone. They need not even argue on the basis of medicine and the right to life. We are so lame in our constitutional reasoning that it was thought that a majority must vote to allow these things, and our courts are such slaves to public opinion that they decide things like Reich v. Ashcroft, expanding the commerce clause to include basically everything, including flatulence, that might effect commerce. The Supreme Court has failed us before, siding with common opinion, as in Plessy v. Fergusson, and the Dred Scott case. The imposition of an unconstitutional law has required not only the perversion of the commerce clause, but of the entire constitution, as drug testing became routine on this issue. The reason is that in prosecuting an unconstitutional law, privacy must be violated, since the action need not concern any of our fellow citizens or the violation of rights. A crime in American law is, basically, when we violate rights that the government is to protect, like rights of property. “To secure these rights, governments are instituted”- the purpose of government is to secure rights. Prosecuting things because we think they are ethically wrong was not within the scope of American government. Jefferson says as much in his Letter to Francis Gilmer, and elsewhere.

In Ann Arbor, about 1995, as I walked to the library while the Hash Bash was going on, the police set a woman on me, pretending to like me, which is very cruel to do to a lonely, homely and poor man. This too has become routine. After all, what are we going to do with all those women entering law enforcement? This is obscene.

It is the God’s truth, as they say, that I was on my way to the library, though John Sinclair was speaking then, and I should have gone for that reason. I had no car, and a stepfather was going to Ann Arbor that day. I was working on a dissertation, and needed things in the library- a very odd coincidence. As a result of the trauma, I have not been back to the library in Ann Arbor but once or twice since 1995. What occurred after this woman was set on me, I may tell in a future blog.

If, even subjectively, Marijuana is thought to help reading the Bible, one need not even argue, as the Rastafarians did successfully, that it is sacramental in ones religion. Further, the free exercise of religion does not require that the religion be traditional, though it does probably require in principle that the claim be sincere. Marijuana stirs the knowledge within each of us, and in small amounts may help to awaken the soul to more important things. Certain kinds,( Sitiva over Indica ?), can be developed to select this effect, and decrease the tiredness cured by a nap. Growing organically must be legalized, because chemicals like phosphorus will be used to increase the profit from an allotted amount, just as occurred with tobacco. Now, you see, we have a right to avoid the black market and the medicinal market. Criminalization led the kids straight to the addictive drug dealers, who often sell both, and provided one half (I kid you not) of the profits fueling the illegal drug cartels. That is what happens when we violate the right of free speech, which has assured that those speaking out on this legal obscenity would be hounded, at taxpayer expense.

We need not only legalization, but a Supreme Court decision for a number of reasons. One is that if only the law is changed, those violating it in the past will continue to be treated as criminals. To criminalize those who are not criminal is a political disaster. The people have always intuited these thing about liberty, and the result is the decreased respect for the law. To say one has “broken the law” is no longer so grave, and half the time is a joke. This one issue has done a disproportionate job of destroying constitutional liberty in America.

So, the constitutional argument is not just a technicality. If we are not true to our principles we may destroy political liberty. Without liberty, we may indeed harm the general welfare, which is a purpose stated in the preamble of the Constitution (as distinct from a power delegated to congress).

Marijuana is beneficial for depression, far more than the toxic garbage the pharmaceutical companies give us, though some think too that it causes depression, if it is mildly addictive, as is caffeine. Marijuana has no toxicity, and so is less toxic than caffeine. My friend agrees that Marijuana addiction can cause mild depression. He says yeah, I get bummed when I don’t have a sack!


Adjunct Faculty and Education

The issue of adjunct faculty has again emerged, and there are rumors of a walkout. This is about thirty years overdue. Basically, the universities made student teaching level jobs permanent careers. While the full time professors were unionized, the adjuncts were not, and one cannot have part of an industry unionized, for reasons that are beginning to become obvious. While charging over a thousand dollars per student, and increasing the class sizes continually to well over thirty sometimes, the colleges paid the professors the equivalent of Seven-Eleven wages, if one course is one quarter of a full time load. Millions are spent on buildings and facilities, with the union janitors well paid, while the increase of adjunct pay is postponed because they do not wish to raise the cost of tuition. The teachers are forced to respond by eliminating content. If we, in American Government, assigned a term paper, we were under minimum wage for the hours required to prepare a class. So there are no term papers anymore, and the creative writing teachers have creatively learned to have the students grade the papers. Classes with content are discouraged, so students entering the required American Government class are unprepared for anything in a genuine college, but have skated through their flimsy courses just fine. We were forced to grade multiple choice tests by machine, which I would never do. Meanwhile the union faculty are paid about double a middle class salary, and live quite comfortably on the other side of an immense gulf. Certain types too are stuck permanently on the adjunct side. All adjuncts in politics are white males, while all full time positions go to white females. There are no non-white PhD s who are permanent adjuncts. Everyone knows this occurs, in Philosophy departments too, because the liberal arts were used to stuff the federal government’s quotas. If this were done in medicine, or brain surgery, there would be results that are visible to the many, or to more, and so this was done where no one would notice. Gender studies replaced political science and philosophy.

All this was possible, interestingly, because of student loans. The supply of teachers with degrees for college level exceeded the demand, and the Unions kept the advanced degrees out of the High Schools with this half-delusional degree called “certification.” Again, as is well known, the best students especially in the liberal arts go to graduate school, while the “C and D” (more accurately the B grade) go to Eastern Michigan to spend two two years and 50,000 $ on the sensitivity training they ought have got in Kindergarten. Indeed I exaggerate: They might also study “Outcomes Based Assessment” or perhaps merit pay for teachers, if they are administrators. They cannot usually even identify the great books on education, except for John Dewey and those who sing the praises of multiplicity. And just what is “merit” in education? Surely it involves a lifetime concern with the whole study of the human being and the current circumstances, and all the human things, history, Literature, psychology, politics and philosophy, as well as music, biology (to understand the third of us that is animal) and many other things. That is why our politicians cannot answer the question: “What is the goal of education.” They have never studied it or been concerned with these things, at least as priorities above career advancement, marketing and the American “success” ideology, which cannot distinguish between criminal and genuine success, so long as all the appearances are the same.

Plato, in his Republic, has, in my opinion, the finest and most thorough account of education in relation to the nature of the soul. Aristotle, Plutarch, Xenophon, among the ancients, and surely Rousseau, if also Dewey, among the moderns, are essential for understanding education and what has occurred for education in Modernity.

I know these things, but live half in a shed, so that I am now too poor to show up for work. Those in charge of Education in the state, while receiving vast salaries, have probably majored in something like how to prepare for certain tests and gain federal monies. Meanwhile, the people pay on those student loans of mine, and may get stuck with them, if I die before coming up with a hit, like a book that sells or an invention.

Add to this the new rule about smoking any where on campuses, including ones own car, while everyone ignores the rule except teachers, who are uniquely responsible to set an example by obeying the rules, and I am content to stay in my shed, be a blogger, and try to write. Who else has time to read the Revelation in liberty, without having to do obsequies for grant money?

So, the adjuncts must unionize because the full time faculty are unionized. But in two instances discussed above, the unions are the problem, because they place the economic interests of a class of workers above the good of the schools and of education. Unions will not solve the problem, but only a restoration and rediscovery of the meaning of education. The rich cannot tell what to fund, or they would likely not have had time to become rich. We, in America, have to care for virtue in private and for free, at the very top of our political order, as has always been the case. The secret is that our nation depends on liberal education, though we do not even know or care what this means. When the pharmaceutical companies say that psychology prescribes drugs like Ritalin for everyone, we have no basis in our psychology to even question, say, whether one of the side effects of antidepressants is school shootings. Take a poll of college and High school teachers, of what percentage have done a study of the constitution, and who their teacher was. Almost all the politicians come from money making enterprises. How many have studied political theory, even Locke, Marx, Hobbes, etc, not to mention Islam, so that we might know that with which we are dealing.

Richard Bauckham II

While satirizing the Anti-futurist reading of the Revelation, I neglected to address Mr. Bauckham. He is a wonder as a scholar, reader and writer. The Baptist review by Mr. Luter showed me to Mr. Bauckham’s other book, more on the literary and historical study of the Revelation than on the Theology, called The Climax of Prophesy. Just reading the Introduction, one can tell this is going to be some fun, catching up with the reading of this anti-futurist. I had things from his part in the Oxford Bible commentary especially in the section of my book on chapter one. He is showing me now, something about the seven angels and the relation of the throne scene to the unfolding judgments.

Mr. Bauckham is also alot of fun, having a story on his website about his bus ride home, encountering knickers and an Indian Holy man, for whom he offered to pray for free.

We do not have holy men in the Biblical tradition. This is something like the way that it is sometimes said that in the Greek, there is no Holy God (said by Strauss contrasting Socrates and Isaiah). But if we did, well, she showed him her knickers!

Richard Bauckham

While staying up all night to watch the record lows, and keep the shed cat happy and warm, I have been reading Richard Bauckham’s book on the theology of the Revelation. He is good for me, because he reads the book like the modern scholars do, as referring to the Roman empire in the time that John wrote, rather than some future political disaster. This is comforting, because then we do not have to worry that these things are occurring in our world. There is just a huge hiatus between the Roman emperors and “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And that third of the world destroyed, why, that’s just symbolic of the Roman empire, the nations at the four corners of the earth, just parts of the Roman empire surrounding Jerusalem as in 70 A. D., the whole apocalypse referring to those other people. The seventh trumpet has been blown, and Babylon fell somewhere early in the fifth century. The beheading of the martyrs, again symbolic of Roman persecution, as must be the mark of the Beast. The scroll and seals were open for the seven churches, and refer to the particular troubles predicted in the seven letters.

The anti-futurist reading makes sense of some things in the text which are otherwise difficult for me, like the inclusion of the seven churches in the gifts of the kingdom, and the fact that all the apostles seem too to have thought of the events as very imminent, in their own lifetimes. It is a good challenge to our reading to say just why it cannot be so. If I were not now doing the second manual index for yet another edition…I will address these things in a note, after I spend some time with his book.

The main reason we think the futurist reading to be true is the symbolic resemblance of things in the vision to things in the political theory and developments in the world. But it is also said that the gospel would be preached throughout the whole world, and then the end would come. But there is no way to demonstrate, for example, that the reading of the visions in the Revelation as referring to the end times future is false or is a misreading. The modern scholars simply assume this as a principle, because we are uncomfortable with so many futurists. We can say things like there has not been a universal rule, the nations have not gathered at Armageddon, no mark of the beast given, no nations from the four corners of the world, etc. But they will simply say these things are not really to be looked for, but rather, we were to look for Nero revived attacking Rome with the Parthians for troops. This we know because we know John was writing about his own times, and could not think beyond the Roman emperors then bothering the Christians.

Perhaps some simple math is in order: The Antichrist or Beast/False Prophet is to be the worst tyrant of all time. Hitler was worse than Nero. Therefore Nero is not the Beast or Antichrist.

Three foul spirits are to proceed from the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet, gathering the armies from the four corners, that were held back by the four winds. Nothing like the modern ideological tyrannies of fascism, communism, and now terrorist Islam, had ever been imagined in the world when John saw his vision.

You see, I should not stay up past 5 A. M. watching the weather!

Strange Record Low Temperatures Again in Salem

At 4:15 A. M, we recorded 30.2 degrees below zero, and at 4:40, about 29.9. One station nearby, in South Lyon, has officially recorded 28.1. This may make this morning the coldest it has ever been in Salem township or anywhere in the Southern Lower Peninsula, surely below the Eight Mile Meridian, though it may be colder in Port Huron. The weather station, WWJ, just keeps reporting the wimpy lows of 10 below at Metro Airport, 12 below in Grand Rapids, and one suspects they do not have access to the weather underground. We can feel the burning difference between 10 below and 28.

No one talks about Global warming in these times, though it is clear that the weather now is different from when we were young.

On Education: President Obama Calls for a Long Term Effort to Oppose Terrorist Ideas

The president has begun to address the difference between Islam and the terrorist teachings at the root of the supposed new caliphate called Isis. This is an effort of study, and of liberal education. Unfortunately, for the past twenty or thirty years, we have been systematically destroying liberal education in America. The only goals of education that are publicly admissible, addressed by our president or Governor, have been the goals of jobs, or “opportunity,” and technology. This destruction of education has become so bad that Representative Lucido suggested a civics test for High School graduates. As addressed in a blog, and a letter to him, does he realize that Michigan schools do not study government past the eighth grade? And how will the studies currently funded – such as the one about cockroaches, or the one about trans-fats, or caffeine, how will these studies help us to separate out Islam, with whom we are not at war, from the terrorists, with whom we are at war? All that money, given by the entrepreneurs to the universities, and little did they know that these would be the funded studies.

We have done everything with education except education. We have used the offices to promote our infantile ideas of of numerical equality, destroying the previously white male dominated departments of political science and philosophy. Because these departments were, prior to affirmative action, white male dominated, only non white and non-white males have been hired to full time teaching positions in the past 15 years. There are no unemployed non-white male PhDs in these disciplines, while it is well known that for the past twenty years, white males would not be hired except as adjuncts, part time teachers paid about minimum wage. So, at every community college in the nation, all the adjuncts are white males, while all the full time professors, those paid like professionals, rather than soda jerks, are either not white males or were hired before affirmative action or are nearing retirement. Find the statistics, if you doubt this. The Statistics are not kept, but my guess is 80-90 % of full time jobs in political science and philosophy departments have gone for quota stuffing by the universities, to fulfill federal requirements. This despite the Fourteenth Amendment, which forbids racial preference, for everyone, and not only the some who are more equal than others. Ah, but we have not studied the constitution since eighth grade!

One would think that a PhD in human studies: politics, philosophy, literature, psychology, history, theology- would have the schools looking for these persons. But there is an army of advanced liberal arts degree scholars who are forbidden to teach in High Schools because they do not have “certification.” To teach in High Schools, one must get a Bachelors degree and no more, then take up a special study, once described as how to set up a class room and to be sensitive to other races. These are things we ought have learned in Kindergarten. We grant that how to avoid lawsuits for the district may be a more difficult study. For this we turn to the law scholars, whose goal has been not justice and how to apply the law, but how to make money suing one another. These are trades, and not liberal studies. The same for that science of how to make money proscribing drugs for every malady imaginable, now called psychology and psychiatry. And again for that of how to write grants for studies. We haven studied almost nothing but the greatest books, and taken up residence with the greatest minds of mankind, and we were unemployable in the Michigan education system, and probably anywhere in America. Had we turned our political studies to how to win elections, or been willing to subject the science of the soul to the more limited purposes of government agencies, we may have done well.

The president is right that the distinction between moderate or conservative and radical Islam is crucial to preventing our trouble with certain terrorist groups from becoming a major war. President Bush popularized the phrase “hijacked Islam,” saying that the terrorists had taken over Islam as a hijacker takes a plane. It is extremely important that conservative Islam see this distinction, and it is not guaranteed that they will. The terrorists want the conservatives to see this as a war between the Christian West and Islam, in part because we would not allow them to destroy Israel. The key for us is to drive a wedge between conservative and terrorist Islam. We cannot do this ourselves, because they cannot listen to us. It is a bit like an Islamic Imam trying to persuade David Koresh that Jesus thinks what he is doing is unjust. But we can call for Islamic teachers to clarify these matters. Certain organizations, such as that of Usef Islam (Cat Stevens) promote Islamic education, but the Koran does not emphasize study and critical thinking. So, like our faith-based Biblical teachings, they are in trouble when authority authorizes a false or limited teaching. The authorities must make the distinctions and then teach them, and this raises the question of how, if they were blindly obeying authority, these terrorist movements could get started at all. Something very fishy is at the root of this. The revenge of conservative ethics and the love of one’s own group do not quite explain the limitless injustice and cruelty of these apocalyptic tyrannies. But like the atheistic apocalyptic tyrannies, these kill more of their own people than the targeted enemy. The true interest of conservative Islam is clearly on the side of humanity.

I have begun again a reading of the Koran, beginning with my current hypotheses, that it is about Justice  and Charity, that Mohammed brought the Monotheism of Abraham to the Arabs, and that while it does not prohibit war nor the self defense of Islam, does not promote injustice of any kind against either Jews or Christians. The Koran is medieval, written in the seventh century, while the Christian scriptures are ancient, and this matters, because medieval religion includes persecution. In the first two chapters, the Koran calls on the believer to have faith in this book and message or face the fires of hell, and this is more than in the whole of scripture combined. The medieval picture of the world can barely be squeezed out of the Old and New Testaments. But this islamofascism, this new tyranny, may be a certain revenge of the medieval, in the history of the conflicts between East and West. I have learned from Chapter 2 that Mohammed intends to reject both Moses and Jesus, as additions to the religion of Abraham, and to base Islam on this. I had thought Islam followed the Ten Commandments. Still, they must follow the law after Noah. There are teachings of charity and chastity, if the old traditional or conservative ethics are sometimes imposed despotically. There are amazing teachings, too, like about Khadir and the Ephesian youths in Chapter 17. The apocalyptic teachings will be the most important. We have the three frogs of Revelation 16, and the possibility that terrorist Islam is the False Prophet. It seems way too early, but these are the three who by ideology gather the three who come toward Armageddon.

More interesting is the strange sense of allusions to works like the Nativity of Mary and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, as though these works, reprinted in the Roberts and Donaldson, were available in Byzantium. The Quran is another window into these things. I received my text from the official Islam people, and promise to treat it with respect, though not because we fear anyone. In certain circumstances, we only read secular works, out of respect for the texts and the people of the texts.

We have always, though, been gravely concerned that the teaching of Christianity is forbidden most Islamic nations, and appeal to them to allow it. But consider the things forbidden in the American colonies before the Declaration! Our openness is the revolutionary teaching, and is foreign to most the rest of the world.

I should have been able to read the Koran a long tome ago. But since my studies are not funded, I have never had the time. My nation has had me painting, doing labor, and rolling my own cigarettes, because these are the truly important things. I have written on the Revelation, which is published above, and on music, which is soon to be published, because these studies might actually sell, and so the effort can be justified regarding my creditors, as the only way I will prevent the people from being stuck with my school loans.

Another reason that I do not like to talk about the Koran and the Revelation is that our government may construe this study with whatever suspicion they wish, and our constitutional rights have become meaningless. No one would do anything if someone started piling on their general terms that sound bad to make a particular seem to fit that does not fit. (There is no English word for this practice, a shadow casting done with words). I could easily be an adherent of a “fringe ideology” that thinks apocalyptic-ally. Better watch those guys! And what do we care? Perhaps our government will infiltrate these suspicious sorts. Maybe they  could get one suspicious sort to fall in love with their infiltrator. Is that not the most effective surveillance? But what do we care? And who would ever do anything about it? So maybe it is safer to leave these studies alone, since security is the only good. Or perhaps the president, as the only person free of the U. S. executive agencies, has the liberty needed for such an inquiry.

In my book on the Revelation, I had warned as early as 2010 of a more radical group arising out of Iraq. It was clear that Al Qaeda was beating us strategically, by sparking civil war with the Shiites. I also suggested we consider how we would respond to an attack on Rome. Foresight is one result of education, but its cultivation is not the same as “jobs” and “technology.” We can be mistaken. But read Plato’s Republic, in book VII, about the turning of the soul. This is the most important thing about the nature of man and education, and our psychology cannot even approach its study. They do not even admit that there is a psyche or soul, so that we sometimes have to say, “That thing your thinking with, and the thing I’m talking to, that is thinking.” But if we do not know the highest faculties of the soul, we do not know the health of the soul, nor can we hold a single thing correctly in the science of education, except by accident. Our scientists look at neurons lighting up in areas of the brain, and, following a freshman philosophy error, think this is knowledge.

If anyone wants to come along, I am going to take up my Introduction to Philosophy course, which I used to teach at St. Mary’s of Orchard Lake. I want to write on Plato’s Euthyphro, since my philosophic friends think, from my New Testament studies, that I must have forgotten the most elemental things about the conflict between religion and Philosophy. We used to do this book, along with Apology and Crito, in the Introduction to Philosophy class at Salem Academy. Perhaps we could have Salem Academy Online, and even publish a newsletter with essays and miscellany. We also did classes on Plato’s Republic, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet. We tried to do books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Job, Daniel and Revelation. The project died for lack of a place. As the fool says, “…a house to put his head in.”

The liberal arts are dependent upon society for support, and yet society cannot possibly understand them. But it turns out that liberal education is the one thing most necessary to national security, when our people and our policy makers cannot distinguish between Shiite and Sunni, Islam and Isis, nor between liberty and tyranny. What part of the goals of Jobs and technology covers these things?

Next we will blog on how liberal arts is one of the few things we can do to counter the emptiness of soul that allows for drug addiction in America.

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Strange Low Temperatures in Salem Twp. for February 15-16

For some unknown reason, we often get strange low temperatures here at the edge of three counties and four cities, at Eight Mile and Napier. We have frosts and freezes a bit ahead of the forecast, so I was not too surprised when the mercury began to drop on February 15th. But at 9 PM, when other places were barely reporting zero, we had 18.3 degrees below zero. I called this in to WWJ, because it was so strange, but one could feel the air burning the skin, even just walking out to the shed. I prepared to stay up to watch the phenomenon.

At 10:25, I recorded 20 below. At 11:08,minus 22 was the lesser of two thermometers, the second reading past -30 Celsius, which is about 22 below. (One was on a board with a pile of snow, the other, lower, was on wire in the air a couple feet off the ground) It eased up to about 19.8 at midnight, which I checked because I wanted to see the record for February 16th. I got 22.5 below at 1:30 AM, and 23 at 1:54. When I went for a nap after 2, it was 22, and when I woke up again at 5:30 it was also -22.

Ann Arbor, which is a few miles southwest, recorded 12 below, their record for the date. The all time low ever recorded in Ann Arbor was 22 below. But I’ll bet that night, it was even colder in Salem, out behind the shed.

I think the polar vortex was passing right overhead, or something. We are in a bit of a valley between Northville and Chubb road, and the storms, on Doppler, seem to part as they come along eight mile heading north-west. But there is nothing that would make sense of these strange lows.

The Fourth Amendment and the Patriot Act

As might be known from our essay on the reasons for the Fourth Amendment, we think that this provision of the Bill of Rights is being ignored, and that this ignorance has consequences that are harms to our nation. Observance of the Fourth Amendment does not mean that the nation cannot do what is necessary in times of war. We could have passed a Patriot Act with provisions to secure oversight and accountability, so that when things go wrong, a way of addressing these problems might exist. But our congress passed the Patriot Act without establishing meaningful recourse when these powers are abused. The executive branch simply ignores the Bill of Rights regarding covert actions, so that the Bill of Rights increasingly ceases to exist.

Observance of the Fourth Amendment places government in the position of an involuntary guest when it comes to unwarranted intrusion, rather than in the position of a despotic ruler with powers including imperium over life and death. The presumption of innocence means that the police must fix things when they break them, as when they are intruding, and if the people cannot afford to pay the damages, the suggestion is that we be more careful. The difference is in the lives of those recently killed in confrontations with police. We can have security with the Bill of Rights or without it. “If we do not dance for you, we will die?” the Jester asked the tyrant. We shall die in any case. The question is only, in the meantime, will we dance. We will have security, and we will have accidents, regardless of whether government observes the Fourth Amendment. The question is whether we will, in the meantime, remain free.

There is not a single complaint or investigation of corruption in the Federal executive agencies, and the means do not even exist. There are no lawyers to take such cases, which are hopeless in any case. The Church and Pike Committee reports are not even accessible. The agencies simply do what they want, for example infiltrating ten to catch one, or torturing ten to gain information from one. They argue that these things produce intelligence, but the argument is the same regardless of the proportion, be it 100 or 10,000 to 1. There is incentive only to avoid the terrible events that are occurring, but none to observe the Bill of Rights, and these agencies have covert powers. These agencies have never been held accountable, nor paid a bit to remedy the harms these programs are doing and have done, when there is no one to uphold the other end in the balance that is our liberty. Why do they not voluntarily report the truth and pay reparations when harms are done? No one cares unless it is done to them, and often they do not even know. Nor can we know the extent to which these things are harming our nation, making us weaker. Oversight, accountability, and meaningful recourse must be established, or our liberty is lost, as of the George Bush Presidency, if not before. Majority opinion governing without constitutional limits is not what the founders had in mind. It is the despotism into which American liberty degenerates, and it did not have to be this way. We are stronger, not weaker, with observance of the Fourth Amendment. That we are not is the delusion of lazy executive officers who wanted to govern without going to the trouble of being elected: too lazy to face the rigorous questioning of their interference with the citizens, and unwilling to have their efforts redirected to warranted investigations, or perhaps too criminal or corrupt to bear public scrutiny of these public offices. Perhaps there should be a law against abusing the excuse of national security. We want the committees of congress to be brought into the loop on these executive practices, and not to refer the hens back to the fox when there are questions of whose interests are looked after when he’s guarding the coop.