Diantha Parker of Chicago Public Radio reports on court cases involving forced confessions, false confessions, that occurred in the seventies and eighties in Chicago. There is no oversight, so if these things are “ongoing,” it may take another thirty or forty years before there is any trial or compensation, when the people of Chicago rather than the immune officers- and this was a Commander who did this in 190 cases- get to pay for not insisting upon law and order in “the law.” Just as it is a special kind of crime to strike the badge, so it is a special kind of crime to tarnish the badge. The FBI is so concerned with their reputation they suppress public criticism, so that there is no oversight at all, but not yet so concerned to enforce the law where they see it violated. They will publicly do backflips even in court and impede any investigation just like city and county police. The suggestion is that if we want to secure the respect owed to the badge, we begin by making sure they obey the law. The people are just going to have to hold two thoughts at once on this issue, so that we can both protect “blue lives” and uphold the Bill of Rights at the same time. These powers are being abused because there is no oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse when obvious problems emerge. If these powers are abused, they cannot function properly at crunch time, endangering everyone. The shooting on the streets of Chicago is worse than Detroit, and far worse than the Capone days. These things do not occur without corruption at many levels.
Month: July 2016
Plato’s Euthyphro and the Introduction to Philosophy / Curriculum
Up on the Menu above, I have just printed some comments on philosophy and on Plato’s Euthyphro. I hope to improve the draft, and write more on the Apology. Philosophy, of course, cannot be written at all, and need not be, since Socrates wrote almost nothing. But, since we will be trying to re-set the foundation of psychology on the study of man or the nature of man that begins in Socratic philosophy, it is just as well to print these things.
In the university, the highest studies are philosophy, theology, psychology and politics. Literature and History might also be departments. These departments overlap, and are cultivated for their own sake, though they guide the professions. The professions are Law, medicine, education and policing / soldiering. Economics, archaeology, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics, music and gymnastics are also departments, especially in high school, while the four highest studies cannot be pursued in High school at all, though literature and history may be pursued. When asked, Eva Brann once suggested that Drama is where genuine education might enter high school. This division is more realistic than the trivium and quadrivium, which are really high school studies. High schools can also cultivate trades, like the auto mechanics department, and it is not too obscene to have a business school supporting a liberal arts school even in college.
Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz (or Larry Arnn) For President
How about a four way election, America? An agreement of Both Sanders and another Republican, one who has not made the deal, perhaps, would cancel out the disadvantage, if two candidates of superior integrity were to run simultaneously. I say this because the Democratic party is in trouble for having their finger on the scale in the primary, and the Republican party has produced a tyrant with lipstick. The only reason a tyrant could be elected in November is the failure or negative ratings of Hillary. By running alone, though, Bernie could throw the election to Trump, unless, as is possible, he beat both candidates. But is Republicans have a decent alternative, The Donald might even find himself fourth. All of America, though agrees that the primary process has failed us this year.
Larry Arnn is the president of Hillsdale College, a moderate or at least not extreme right (now fascist) Republican, and probably superior to any candidates running, and able to name ten others too, if no experience in Government is required. I, of course, would not vote for him if he agrees with Andrew P. McCarthy on Islam or does not see that other Fergusson effect, but that is because we are the CLC and not the RNC. So here is the CLC’s gift to America, the proposal we endorse: Lets make it a four way election, America. We can do it if we click our heels: We are Dorothy.
Trump’s “Art of the Deal” on NPR
Last night, NPR, either on “Ted Talk” or “All things Considered,” interviewed Tony Schwartz, the author of The Art of the Deal. That’s right, the Donald did not even write his own autobiography! He probably has not even read his own autobiography! The most that can be said for it is that Schwartz tried to write it as if it were written by Trump, with a few glosses to make him less brutal and more saleable. Schwartz says he did it for the money. He listened to Trump make deals, and in place of any theory or experience, the Donald promises to make us a better deal. He says not hat he means or thinks to be best or true, but what ever will get him what he wants. I am still somehow convinced, though, that most of his speech was written by him, and there is some improvisation off the text, like that thing about his new American credo. I am also still convinced that he has not read the Constitution and does not know the law, nor does he intend to make “the law” obey the law. He is indeed nothing more than a salesman, and the content of effects, the political and ethical effects, are irrelevant. We might even profit, to the extent that other nations, too, can be snowed, were it not that his policies and executive actions might lead quickly to foreign and civil war. The businessman does not see or appreciate the context of political liberty necessary to secure the free market in which they swim. Nor does he know that it is secured not by deals, but by ethics and politics.
Hillary finally has picked up on Brian Balke’s characterization of Trump as the traveling scientific peddler in The Wizard of Oz who turn out to be the wizard behind the curtain- a salesman who can fly in a balloon, and so impresses all the munchkins of Oz. And let her be our Dorothy, for the truth is that the American people are like Dorothy. We have to overcome the appearance of the shyster salesman, that is the American myth, our challenge. And watch this guy, he does not care, he will send you to get the broom of the Western witch for him, expecting that you will not return, and does not care about your dog either. We have always had the power to return to Kansas with three clicks of our heels. We need, though, first to have the courage to look behind the curtain.
Trump’s Convention Speech
Now there is a speech written by the one delivering it! We repeat: Donald Trump is a tyrant, not a politician proper to a free government at all. This does not mean that America has no problems, nor that his opponent is flawless, but that he is not the one to address the problems of America. A flawed Democrat is the superior choice to a tyrannical character, who will in fact bring war and disaster to America.
Law and order, we are told, is the solution to the violence of America. Donald Trump discussed the entire issue of the recent police shootings without mentioning the shootings of citizens by police that appear to be indeed errors, manslaughters and murders, for which the police are not being held accountable. Regardless of the heinousness of the murder of the officers in Dallas, and the specially terrible status of striking at the police, the fact is that if there were not the shootings leading up to and including the worst example yet, in Minneapolis, there would not have been the shooting in Dallas. Yesterday, an unarmed therapist with his hands up was shot in the leg as he worked with an autistic person in the middle of the street. When he asked the officer why he was shot, the officer said he did not know. Trump’s answer to this, and the shooting in Minneapolis of a legal gun carrier who was reaching for his wallet according to orders from the officer, is “Law and order.” He does not mean that he will subject the police to the law, but will even more use the police to subject the citizens. He thinks the iron fist can solve these problems, when in fact, the wrong application of law and order is causing these crimes. Apply the iron fist here, and we might indeed have civil skirmishes. Trump speaks of “law and order,” but he has not studied the law, and we maintain that he has not read the constitution, and does not understand that the Constitution is fundamental law. These Democrats, his opponents, have not devoted their lives to things like Trump University- which encouraged seniors to empty their savings to take his courses on how to make money doing things like making seniors empty their savings. Rather, they- the Obamas and the Clintons- have devoted their lives to the study of law, the constitution, and political offices. Do you, Donald Trump, believe it is ok to make money immorally, so long as is it legal, and illegally so long as you do not get caught? Let Trump then go make money. Let car mechanics fix cars, and let politicians run the nation, until we find an alternative that will not lead directly to world war three. Presently, Trump would plow us into the Middle East so that Russia can roll over Europe and watch our quagmire from the coast of the Atlantic, reminding indeed of the way Stalin and Hitler divided territories at the start of World War II.
He tells us: “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people who can not defend themselves.” This is the first hint of a hope that he is not a tyrant. But he seems to mean so that Hillary Clinton cannot beat up on Bernie Sanders, of whom he speaks fondly because he is courting the Sanders voters. He does not seem to refer to the policemen with guns who shoot unarmed civilians now weekly in America, nor the Heroin dealers, nor the cops and judges who take payoffs and kickbacks from the drug companies while fleecing the addicts and the taxpayers in the name of rehabilitation programs, or property seizures. He seems to have in mind those powerful immigrants who beat up on white suburban Americans, those threatening “the peace on our streets,” none of whom are police officers or potential Trump voters.
He finally mentions the constitution, though- so we suspect he had help here with the speech writing. He says that preachers are threatened with the loss of tax exempt status if they speak about politics from the pulpit. Without saying what is wrong with this, or how it is unconstitutional, he and his speechwriter throw this dog biscuit to the evangelicals. Neither, clearly, have read that little story in the Revelation about the trumpets.
The economy is rigged because Congress has allowed the Billionaire internet and prescription drug industries to rig it, and to take possession of our information for their profit. Businessmen like Trump cannot see where to subordinate money to the public good. That is what happened regarding Governor Snyder and the Flint Water Crisis: we elected an economic governor, and he made complicated political decisions like he was running a business with the goal of profit. What was the goal of that Iran deal? And did it achieve that goal? But it is surely not the three branches of government and their interrelations. He may mean the systems like campaign finance, the systematic problems we have on the ground today in Washington that allow, for example, the prescription drug companies to addict so many to their product so that they can make money, or gerrymandering, or the control of congress by the internet companies. But he does not say that this is what he means.
But Trump assures us that
Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.
It is not clear what he has in mind by his unique ability and knowledge of the system. I am sure e sees something here, and would listen in detail about how the broken system works and how we should fix it. But I do suspect it can be fixed not by one man alone, but by everyone standing up all at once, as Bernie Sanders too has suggested.
Trump does not address any of the issues of the CLC- Prescription drug abuse, Internet integrity, Campaign finance reform, property seizures, justice reform, liberal arts education, oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse regarding the executive agencies, the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Internet Integrity, and police shootings. Barak Obama and Bernie Sanders, and hopefully Hillary Clinton, have taken these issues up, in part, because they listen, and think.
Ted Cruz at the Convention
Well, it is clear who the Republicans might have nominated had they wanted a President who could write his own speeches. Freedom means… That was very nice. Oh yes, and, we have a First Amendment with two religion clauses that is fundamental law in America, regardless of what some bully orders.
And again providing material for us, the cynical comedic bloggers, the Trump mob chanted boos when Mr. Cruz said “Vote your conscience.” They do not like conscience. Again, anything for the Party.
Melania’s Speech: Michelle Obama for President?
Have we not had enough of politicians who cannot even write their own speeches? The great embarrassment from the Republican convention is the obviously accidental plagiarism of the speech of Michelle Obama by Melania Trump. Indeed, if we want a facile bimbo for a first lady, we can elect Bill Clinton! This sort of thing can happen by accident, when writers are gathering notes and sincerely forget their sources, though in this case that is a stretch. The Republicans, though, are simply saying whatever the pollsters and PR men are saying will fly on the flagpole. Lets all praise the police, this week! I want every American to contrast the last three speeches of Barak Obama with all the speeches combined of Mr. Trump, looking especially to thought and substance. Now add the thought and substance of the curriculum of Trump University! I do not have yet, but want copies of the memorial speech and the State of the union address. One of the roles of the president is to speak at times of national grieving, and well, if we elect a shyster salesman without thought or substance, we will not have anyone to deliver such beautiful speeches. These speeches save lives, which is also a role of the president that we may not have anyone to fulfill.
Some of my own stuff may have been used by speechwriters, even in the last State of the Union address, without plagiarism, because they got on to the same ideas without using the same words. Seven issues that appear first in my blogs were addressed in the State of union speech, which is still much better than I could have written, and obviously written by the President himself, using both his sources and his speechwriters for material, himself providing the thought or form, leading up to the crowning idea of “unarmed truth,” which is his own, and very good. If this were so, that our blogs are working topics into the public discussion as well as getting onto emergent ideas eight months before the people do, it would of course be a great honor, to ever do good or help to make things better at a national level. I am deeply in debt to my nation for my education, and so at least am able to give back, if I cannot pay my debts due in part to the rigged game. There are about twenty issues that appear first in my blogs or letters and then on the news, from Prescription drug abuse and “rigged game” economy through replacing Andrew Jackson on the twenty instead of Alexander Hamilton on the ten. This is still not one tenth of the platform of the CLC.
Earlier, I blogged considering Michelle Obama for President, if Hillary is qualified by having been First Lady, and now, hearing her words, this does not seem ridiculous. It is a very nice speech, and I will have to look that one up as well. But we are still endorsing Bill for first lady, as this is the main practicable alternative. The experience of these two combined, with Hillary having been secretary of State and a Senator, and Bill having sat in that seat for eight years, with the contacts and world leaders he must know is the obvious safe path for a nation that is to guide the world, holds nuclear weapons, and in many cases holds war and peace in its hands.
Trump the “Blue Collar Billionaire?”
On the public radio, a supporter of the Trumpet was attempting to present him as some guy for the people, the working person, you know, because there are not enough rich people to win an election. Similarly, an attempt is made to present this salesman as the “outsider” the voters have been looking for, to get around the corruption 0f Washington regarding campaign finance. It is said that because he brought his own money, as a Billionaire, he is not owned by the interests that finance him.
But rather than being this outsider who cares about the workers, Trump is an example of many points on which the oligarchic Republicans are the cause of current difficulties, including the disappearance of the middle class. He does not understand why we say that the economy is a rigged game: The rich, the Billionaires, have gone into congress and made rules favoring themselves. This is different from an economy where people make money from the value of their products. It is people making money from the power that their wealth gives them to set the rules of the game to their advantage. The obvious result is the disappearance of the middle class and concentration of wealth in these billionaires.
One example is the failure of internet integrity and in particular the marketing of information about the people. The internet companies make money spying on the people, most of whom do not believe in anything they cannot see, let alone know why they should care about the instantaneous disappearance of privacy in the past two years.. The companies are allowed to prostitute this information, some of which might get someone killed or robbed, and the people are allowed no recourse, nor even to say much about it, but will be the ones to pay the unseen consequences.
Nor does the Trumpet seem to have much to say about Prescription drug abuse, where billion dollar pharmaceutical interests have been raking it in at the expense of the common good for some time now. They just addicted one fifth of the next generation to oxy, and congress has only recently begun to notice. Psychiatric medicine is doing more harm than good, to their great profit. Trump and the Republicans will not oppose these money interests. Trump, the supposed outsider, is the embodiment of the very cause of these problems, our idolatrous excessive honoring of wealth.
The same will be true on some very serious problem issues, such as property seizures, police shootings and oversight of the executive agencies. “Law and order” means that if you think these agencies had a blank check regarding your Bill of Rights before, you will not believe what the Republicans following Trump have in store. We have transgressed our Constitution, our fundamental law, due to our terror, and this requires not less oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse, but more: As we make exceptions for security reasons, we need to make sure these extra-constitutional powers are not abused, as they are and surely will be. And hey, what do they care if there is oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse, since they do not have anything to hide and are not doing anything wrong? Does the common man, the blue-collar guy, benefit from the power of the rich to set laws he does not even know about, buying Congress? How about allowing product manipulation, so that, for example, your burger makes you very thirsty for your sodas? The rich think they benefit from a lack of regulations, and the Republicans- buoyed by some special interest influenced bad regulations- have supported no regulations at all, no legislation to prevent businesses from profiting at the expense of the common good, manipulating and even poisoning consumers. Our very admiration for the success and wealth of the big businessman will lead to no improvement regarding the rigged economy. Our rights have been prostituted as a commodity: the First, Fourth and Fifth especially, though the second is left pristine so that we can harm ourselves when government will not listen. Finally, the working man will lose a great deal if civil unrest from the shooting of citizens by the police continues, and if police continue to be above the law. For the honor of the badge, we need criminal police to be held answerable by the system, by the prosecutors and by other police. The honor of the badge is the cause of its respect, and when this is tarnished, is it not late and artificial to demand we flatter its respect? Justice is the treatment for injustice, not more injustice. A speaker at the memorial for the Dallas officers said they lay down their lives for their friends, almost quoting the gospel of John, and this is what the police do every day, for us. But for this very reason, we cannot allow these shootings, of homeless men from a distance for not dropping a knife quickly, and 4, 7 and 16 bullets into an innocent man reaching for his wallet under orders, a seventeen year old white kid in Eaton County, Michigan, and a fleeing suspect in the streets of Chicago.
Trump, again, is a tyrant. Hitler, remember, had the German worker’s party. Trump is not yet a Hitler, but he is a right wing rather than a left wing tyrant, and it is interesting to see the Klan and Nazi fascists, the race-based rather than the class based ideologues, line up behind him in his phallic parade. But he so stupid regarding political thought that he does not even mind the name of tyranny. “Great again” does not mean for him liberty.
The Trump Crisis: Will America Elect a Tyrant?
The failure of the Republicans to choose nation over party, endorsing the boisterous image salesman, has led to the genuine possibility that an entire branch of the U. S. government go over to tyranny. The Americans seem no longer able to elect one capable of governing. His latest move is to begin to preach “law and order,” meaning the application of force of government to any problem in broad categories without regard for the constitution. He will be similar in foreign policy: Brutal force will be applied without regard for the humans or the nations involved, leading to the suffering of America under the tragic principle, as what he sought to do to others will be done to us. America seems utterly oblivious to the looming crisis should such a man be elected president in the nuclear age.
Trump would be the first president without experience in either the Senate or as the governor of a state, as said on public radio. He would swear an oath to defend a constitution that he has not read, except perhaps as a crash course to deflect such criticism since deciding on his current venture. How do I know he has not read the constitution? a Trump supporter asked me. I can sometimes tell what people have read. It is not on the curriculum at Trump University.
So, what do I mean by saying that Trump is a tyrant? I have already clarified that he is not of the worst sort of tyrant, but America is choosing tyranny over liberty contrary to our 240 year tradition of the hatred of tyranny, the love of liberty and the attempt at self-government. America is failing.
It is a misfortune to have an opposing candidate with so high an unfavorable rating, and this is another factor leading to the possibility that Trump will win. Many who do not see the danger hidden in the Trump candidacy are set to vote that way to avoid what they consider the usual Washington corruption that has led to many of our problems. The choice of Bernie Sanders as Vice President would bring the runner- up into the office, which is a good practice with the VP office whenever possible. It is more important now that the VP be someone actually capable of being president. But most important here, Sanders would bring a charge of enthusiasm, youth and vigor that would prevent these young voters from staying home on election day in utter apathy. If the Democrats turn out to the polls, Trump can be beaten, but if not, oh it will be just “horrible.”
Trump speaks in adjectives that are what he wants you to think when he is done with you. He blames misfortune on the president, generally on his failure to be more of a tyrant. ISIS is his fault, we are to believe, as well as the national debt and every American soldier who has died in combat during the Obama presidency. Oh, and the approach of Iran to the nuclear capabilities. This is not a problem inherent in the development of technology in the nuclear age, but, we are to believe, the result of not starting yet another war.
If I remember correctly, Bill Clinton presided over the strongest economy in the history of the world, just before the housing scam and some business shysters led us into the recession. And this was, Contra-Perot, with NAFTA quite in place, if I am not mistaken. Those who think wealth is the most important thing will sacrifice the national good to their own short term economic benefit. This they call shrewd money-making, the greatest if not the only virtue. Then they die. We hold that friendship with other nations is good for mutually beneficial commerce, and we outrun other nations because we produce more value. The America First selfishness in the economy sacrifices the whole and future advantage to a short term and illusory benefit, a calculation in which the true costs are hidden. The President speaks of America first as putting the national interest above personal and partisan interests, looking toward the common good, the very thing Aristotle says distinguishes the legitimate regimes from the corrupt regimes.
An additional note: I find it shocking that the “Evangelicals” are lining up to support Trump and the Republican Party, now that the party has disgraced itself. In addition to his various vulgarities and the rejection of compassion, this man has twice spoke flippantly of actions that are murder. He has done this once regarding what he could do in the streets of Manhattan and still be loved, and once regarding the families of terrorists. Tyranny and murder are akin, and this sort of thing fits my thesis that some 40% of America is about to elect a tyrant. It is clear that Mr. Trump has read less scripture than any other candidate, but it does not seem that the Evangelicals care much about scripture after all.
A second post-script: The new law and order plank in the Trumpet platform suits tyranny again perfectly. In response to the shooting of police officers, he simply blames the disorder on the President and prescribes his own iron fist to solve it. The president did not cause this little scirmish. If you will remember, the police have been intentionally killing especially black suspects, emptying their guns into them to make sure they are dead as though it were a matter of policy, and they just did this to a just citizen who reached for his wallet according to orders. Then Black militants- a phenomenon we have not had since the seventies- shot police who had nothing to do with it, and in fact attacked a model police department precisely regarding these problems, a department that is way ahead of others in constitutional policing. Now officers, again who had nothing to do with the shootings of suspects or citizens, have been attacked in Baton Rouge. These are murders, criminal responses to what are nearly murders by the police. I want to know why the police are repeatedly making sure the person shot is dead and even failing to call an ambulance. Is this policy? If so, let us reconsider it. It looks to me like that stupid saying one hears about how if one shoots an intruder and he falls outside the window he was climbing in, one is supposed to drag the corpse inside to avoid lawsuits. I swear, I would take my chances with the truth in court before I would interfere with a crime scene and a corpse, and perjure my testimony. Are the police making sure these people are dead not only so they do not get up and attack the officer, but to keep things tidy for the American courts? But the police were a nervous wreak before, since everyone in America is armed. Yet the police do not raise a squeak against the NRA. Why do we not demand that government get better at distinguishing between responsible and irresponsible gun sales and gun owners?This is the very civil violence we said would result from the lack of oversight regarding the executive agencies in America. Again, in Canada, when there is a police shooting, there is an independent investigation, not a sham investigation declined to be conducted by the buddies of the cops called prosecutors. It is wonderful to call for law and order, but in that way it is a bit like calling for people to eat more- they will do this on their own in a measured way, and just as with attacking ISIS, our government under President Obama has been doing this plenty, if with a subtlety that escapes the Republicans: How many of our sons have come in boxes, and how many would come home in boxes if we follow Trump? Not to mention the “collateral damage” of foreign innocents killed in our war, which is manslaughter if any action is done wrongly, or is not a justifiable act of war. And what if again we do this in the middle East without making anything better? Law and order begins at home, especially in obedience to our Constitution and clearing out criminal and criminally ignorant police. We might start by electing someone to our highest office who has read the Constitution and considers law more than just a fence to get over in raking in profits and glorying in the exercise of his own will by having inherited the power to say “Your Fired.”
The CLC and the center in general are endorsing Mrs. Clinton, and Hope she will choose Mr. Sanders, again to assure the Republicans that Barry Goldwater moment the morning after the elections.
Rainwater Collector #1: A Picture
Here is a picture of my simplest rainwater collector. Again, it is a 6 x 10 piece of plastic spread over a frame with a rock in it and a hole off-center, with a coffee filter and funnel underneath catching the water into a five gallon Absopure bottle set in a trough for overflow or any we miss. The edges of the plastic are rolled in dowels and a staple gun secures the system up to about a fifty mph wind. Pouring the trough water through the funnel manually takes more time. A graphite or charcoal filter would help. The hole off center collects anything solid and heavy, and pouring off the top when it is full, or overfilling the bottle, clears off anything that floats, but we get very few impurities. I collected 11 gallons in the storm before last, before the headwind of the one after that blew a frame board aside. I would like to start a company of water inventions, but cannot even afford a patent, so I am trying to find an investor or someone who will give me the twenty percent of profits usual for a good invention. But mostly, I want people to do it and have clean water!
I have seven different models based on this idea, all patentable inventions. The second is to sew a filter pocket onto the plastic collector. The third is to make the same shape out of sheet metal like a coffee table with a top that opens and closes to keep it clean between rains. A fourth is to make interlocking plastic sections about 4 x 4 that flow into one another and are set in the ground with stakes. A fifth is made of granite like a counter top, but shaped to collect water. A sixth is out of formed mortar, and a seventh is a sculpture out of stone such as marble. Different materials like cotton are being considered for the first and simplest model. The shapes must be cleanable, and this is the great advantage compared to roof rainwater collection. 60 square feet yields enough drinking water for one person, (including 3/4 gallon per day for coffee!). I would like to test my water, but again, it appears quite clean or, pristine. If the plastic is left out, it must be washed before a rain.
Again, I am watching the people of Flint cart bottled water and drink leaden tap water. They did not even figure out to use rain barrels for washing and bathing water. They first must run the rainwater through the ground, down the river, through the pipes, then the filter. These inventions could supplement our bottled water delivery system, already over-taxed. Finally, if the system could be kept clean, this could be done in a big way, even on the roof of the factory where they bottle drinking water. Bottled rainwater would surely sell because of the beauty of the idea. Our water problems are only beginning, with road salt melting the pipes and many areas poisoned for groundwater. But there is no reason first to run the water through the ground, if only we filter it as the ground once did. Thirty percent of the world lacks clean drinking water, and how many there watch the rain go into the gutters and dirty ponds, then try to drink it?