Posts Tagged liberty

The 657th Republican Debate of The 2012 Presidential Campaign in the State of Iowa as Told By Franz Kafka

“Nansen saw the monks of the eastern and western halls fighting over a cat. He seized the cat and told the monks: “If any of you say a good word, you can save the cat.”

No one answered. So Nansen boldly cut the cat in two pieces.

That evening Joshu returned and Nansen told him about this. Joshu removed his sandals and, placing them on his head, walked out.

Nansen said: “If you had been there, you could have saved the cat.”

-From The Gateless Gate

Announcer:  Now, presenting tonight’s debate between the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States.  Today’s event is sponsored by Big Vern’s Preowned Buicks an independent, freedom-loving outlet for the finest in preowned vehicles in all of suburban Waterloo, Iowa.  Here is tonight’s host, former All-American right tackle from the 1978 Sugar Bowl Champion Iowa Hawkeyes, the man who can put you in a Buick for under 10,000 dollars, Big Vern Walters.

Big Vern:  Yeah, uhm, thanks.  Tonight we are going to talk to some great Americans who may be President if the good lord wills it and chooses to not rain fire and brimstone down on the people of Iowa for embracing Satan and for buying cars made in Japan and other communist countries.  So, I digress, here’s the candidates.  If you don’t know them by now it’s probably because you’ve been watching CNN, otherwise known as the Commie News Network.  (audience laughs on cue)  Anyways, lets give a big Iowa welcome to the candidates.

(Audience applauds thunderously in response to the promise made by Big Vern before the debate that if they make the “Applause-O-Meter” reach 10 at least twice, they would get a dollar off coupon that can be used at the local Applebee’s)

(At this point, the candidates paste a big “gosh I hope you can look at me and think I’m the type of guy (or gal) you can sit down and have a beer with” smile on their makeup plastered faces)

Big Vern:  As for my first question, here it is.  Mitt Romney, Do you think that Obama is a Muslim?  If not, why are you protecting him?

Mitt:  Americans are were very hardworking them those who hate freedom well twelve Obamacare the enemies of the West those who hate us Obamacare Obamacare measured balanced approach our boys in Afghanistan Reagan them rock and roll is a bunch of mindless noise small businesses tax breaks Reagan fourteen insert joke here experienced leadership.

Gingrich:  Let me just interject for a minute.  Massachusetts Ted Kennedy liberal noise crickets my plan tax breaks Obamacare job creators those who hate freedom.  I have a plan that allows the 29th Amendment to use the Federal Reserve to make bacon.  Liberalism I’m an outsider Osama Bin Laden fear tax breaks Obamacare smarter than your average 4th grader thinking man’s conservative values welfare death cheaters awake after three.  Obamacare.  Liberal.  Brain Science.  Eliminate the Capital Gains Tax.  Reagan.

Big Vern:  That’s quite interesting, but Mr. Paul, how would you address the issue of people who make over 250 thousand dollars a year having to give away 3 quarters of their income to people on welfare who don’t want to work for a living?

Paul:  Let me first say, Obamacare (audience boos wildly).  Founding fathers spinning in graves to the tune of 7 trillion dollars in money spent on welfare in the past 10 seconds Federal Reserve Lizard People death no more taxes Obamacare….

Audience Member:  KILL THE HERETIC!!!!!

(Rest of Audience Laughs)

(Applause for no apparent reason)

Paul:  Federal Reserve buying cocaine or cannabis shouldn’t be a crime if you happen to drive Mercedes oppression taxation Department of Education selling crack to unwed mothers.  And that’s fine.  This is America.  Rights, Freedom, Liberty.  Some obscure historical example Republicans typically don’t use.  Freedom. Liberty.  Liberty. Reagan. Liberty. Atlas Shrugged.  Reagan.  Liberty.

Big Vern:  I just want to complement you, Mr. Paul, on being the only straight talker on this here stage.  Mr. Santorum, do you feel the media has been ignoring you?

Santorum:  Abortion….

Big Vern (cuts off Santorum):  And Ms. Bachmann, it’s been said that you believe strongly in values.  Is this true?

Bachmann:  Curing homosexuality welfare Obamacare (audience boos) good hardworking Americans freedom liberty Christ values Christ Tim Tebow (audience applauds wildly).  Freedom I’m from where the real people live liberty godless heathens cities children puppies apple pie godless communism Christ Tim Tebow Reagan.  Reagan.  Reagan.

Obamacare!  (audience lets loose bloodthirsty shouts)  Our soldiers are brave.  Socialism welfare dead values my opponents people underestimate me because I’m not paying attention.

Big Vern:  And Mr. Perry, how would you change America if elected President?

Perry:  (Unintelligible noises that somewhat resemble English)

Big Vern:  And Mr. Huntsman, clearly with a haircut like yours you are an establishment liberal from Massachusetts who can’t win.  A question for you Mr. Gingrich, now that you are the frontrunner in the field, how likely is it that your past ties to communist organizations like The Heritage Foundation hurt your campaign?

Gingrich:  (while wearing a giant squid on his head)  Fifty four forty or fight!!!!!

(Editors note:  How much sadness, how much horror, how much shame can one nation be subjected to before they see the entire sick, twisted carnival as being too much to bear?  Tell me what can be done….please.  Because this actually does matter.  Because this is not just simply a sideshow for the amusement of a bunch of uninvolved spectators.  Because really important things hang in the balance.  Because we are desperate for people who can help us make sense of the world we live in.  Because this is not entertainment, this is our lives they are talking about.  Because the civic arena was once where we exhibited the best of who we were.  Because there have to be better people who can lead us.  Because there simply has to be more than this.  Right?  Right??!)

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Dissecting CARCASS’ “Heartwork” – Second Incision…Carnal Forge

This is the second in a series of articles analyzing the lyrics from the 1993 Carcass album “Heartwork”.

The second song on the record “Carnal Forge” is one of the more lyrically challenging songs I’ve encountered.  When I first got a copy of the record, I sat there with a dictionary for an hour trying to figure out what on earth Carcass was talking about.  Jeff Walker is known for having a remarkable vocabulary and this song proves it. Unless you scored in the top one percentile on your college boards, you are going to need help with a few of the words he uses.  As a service to our readership with IQs below 160, I took the lyrics and clarified them a bit.

“Carnal Forge”

Multifarious carnage
(A massacre that takes many different forms)
Meretriciously internecine
(A vulgar, disgusting display of death)
Sublime enmangling steelbath
(A glorious, destructive bath)
Of escheated atrocities
(Of things lost to the State through terrible acts)

Enigmatic longanimity of ruminent mass graves
(Quiet graves that show a mysterious ability to suffer without sound)
Meritorious victory, into body-bags now scraped…
(A great win worthy of recognition that is shown by a high body count)

Regnant fleshpiles
(The authority and power of piles of dead bodies)
The dead regorged
(The dead shot out of their graves)
Osculatory majestic wrath
(A union of beautiful anger)
This carnal forge
(Human forms beaten and molded like a blacksmith working with metal)

Desensitized – to perspicuous horror
(No longer able to feel the awfulness of horror)
Dehumanized – fresh cannon fodder…
(Humans reduced to objects and killed on the battlefield)

Meritorious horror
(Something awful being praised for its greatness)
Perspicuous onslaught
(An obvious massacre)
Dehumanized – cannon fodder

Killing sanitized
(Murder in a way that is clean and neat)
Slaughter sanctified
(Murder made holy)
Desensitized – to genocide
(No longer capable of feeling what is wrong with mass murder)

Reigning corpsepiles
(Piles of dead bodies ruling over the land)
Death regorged
(Death shot upwards)
Sousing bloodbath
(Being drenched with blood)
Carnage forged…
(Bloodshed and death turned into something else)

In the cold, callous dignity of the mass grave…
(Respectful mass graves without feeling)

Multiferocious carnage
(Violence taking different forms and leading to a massacre)
Cruel, mendacious creed
(Evil, lying system of belief)
Sublime, murderous bloodbath
(Glorious massacre)
Of fiscal atrocities
(A massacre having to do with money)

Inexorable mettle in redolent consommé
(Unstoppable courage blended into a pleasant smelling soup)
An opprobious crucible of molten human waste…
(A disgraceful furnace of melting bodies)

Priapismic deathpiles
(Bodies piled up to the sky)
Infinitely regorged
(Endlessly shot upwards)
The smelting butchery
(A process of separating metals, a process of slaughtering animals)
Of the carnal forge

Desensitized – to pragmatic murder
(No longer feeling the horror of murder which is committed for practical purposes)
Dehumanized – into cannon fodder…
(Turned into non-human form and destroyed without feeling)

“Carnal Forge” is a searing study of the horrific nature of war.  The whole “war is bad” theme has been done to death in heavy metal, but through the use of clever language and Joycean puns, Carcass is able to breathe life into a hackneyed lyrical concept. The major motif in the song is the monstrous merger between mechanized and human form.  The effect is that the listener has a difficult time distinguishing between the two.  This melding of forms stresses the concept of dehumanization in an even more immediate way.  When Walker sings of “inexorable mettle in redolent consommé” he is giving the image of a soup made from mettle (courage) but also a soup made from metal (the human form turned into scrap).  “Fiscal atrocities” means the destruction of capital, but also is meant to imply physical atrocity (the destruction of the human form).  In these puns, we see a world where the lines blur between the animate and inanimate.  When this line is obliterated, so are we.  Our willingness to see humans as objects makes it possible for us to murder those who share our likeness.  It is in the Carnal Forge of war that our human characteristics are lost.

The ultimate irony of this destruction through desensitization is that it is so engrained in some circles that it is not greeted with horror.  Instead, it is celebrated.  Soldiers who return are feted with parades; those who do not are given dignified, stately memorials.  The dead do not care about these things.  They do not care about the flags that cover their caskets, they are not interested in the soldiers firing skyward in their honor, and they do not gaze proudly at their names etched into stone walls.  They cease to feel anything in the name of country or God or safety or resources or land or whatever-reason-was-given-to-them as they take their final journey into endless night.

There is no honor in death.  The dead only know coldness and silence.  Yet through a stroke of pure madness, many believe that the great wrongs that have been committed can be righted through ceremony.  The louder we shout our love for the soldiers, the easier it is to forget the great waste of life that has been sacrificed in our names.  Even the veneration of the dead is an act of objectification that makes future suffering more possible and even more likely.

Remembrance of their anguish does not wipe the slate clean.  It is not for them; it is for us.  A genuine act of contrition would be to create a world where massacres are entirely unacceptable, no matter who commits them.  We do not live in that world.  Instead, we live in a world where idle actions and traditions absolve us of our responsibility to stop the madness of war.

(Special thanks to Metal Matt Longo for his brilliant edit of this.  Thanks to his fine work this article is being simulcast by the good folks over at MindOverMetal.org.  Stop on by.  Tell’em Keith sent ya!)

To get to part 3 click here

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Guided Meditation For Conservatives

We, at The Tyranny of Tradition, are proud to present today’s guest writer, Jonathan Winthrop.  Winthrop is a conservative columnist, syndicated talk radio host, all-around great American and a personal friend of mine.  He is the founder of the The Conserva-zen Institute for Self-Enlightenment and Lower Taxes.  He has published a series of  New York Times best-sellers including “Visualize Liberty”, “Visualize a City On The Hill Without Liberals” and “Visualize, Then Fire”.

Visualize Reagan:  Guided Meditation For Conservatives

By Jonathan Winthrop

Guided meditation is an important component on the path to spiritual enlightenment.  Today, I present to you a short exercise to help you free your mind of some of its stress and strain.  I recommend you sit down in a cool and comfortable place, dim the lights and play some soothing music.  Close your eyes and let a feeling of safety wash over you.  Have someone with a calming voice (preferably not someone with a foreign accent) read you the following words.

Envision Reagan.  He stands straight and proud.  Look closely at his face.  It is a calm face.  It projects strength.  Liberty.  Freedom.  Look closely at his mouth.  The confident smile.  Like the Duke.  Poised.  Look into his eyes.  Steel Blue.  Knowing.  Like a wise Grandfather.

Reagan is at the podium.  He stands in front of a room full of proud Americans.  Good Americans.  People like you and me.  They are singing.  He raises his hands and they fall silent.  He speaks of freedom.  He speaks of joy.  He promises to lower the marginal tax rates for earners making over 250,000 dollars a year to below ten percent.  You gaze at him.  He begins to glow.

You and Reagan are transported to a beautiful serene valley.  Reagan stands in a meadow surrounded by happy animals.  Playing.  Sheep and lambs run around him in a circle.  Reagan smiles.  Angels dance around him.  They lift him upward.  Slowly.  He levitates towards the clouds.  Gentle white wings appear in his back.  Reagan begins to soar faster until he disappears in a white blur.

You are in a nursery surrounded by beautiful newborn babies.  All the babies gently coo.  You see a beautiful boy.  You pick him up and look closely at his face.  The baby’s face morphs into the face of Reagan.  He smiles.  You feel warm.  His eyes lock with yours and you feel a perfect inner peace.  Those same knowing eyes look back at you.  The eyes of Reagan.

Bad people appear.  Communists, 60’s radicals, liberals, mass murderers.  The baby Reagan becomes the strong, grandfatherly Reagan.  His eyes grow red.  A beam shoots out of them and kills all of the bad people.  He stomps on each of their bad faces.  He looks at you and smiles.  The babies are safe.  All of the babies are in Reagan’s arms.  He comforts them.  Like a Grandfather.

Reagan does not take.  He gives to those who deserve and shows a firm hand to those who don’t.  He is peace through strength.  He sees the part of us that is rejected, that is lonely, that has been weakened by government programs like affirmative action and Planned Parenthood.  He reaches out his glowing finger and he heals us.  He heals us.  He heals us.

Audio copies of this meditation read by Charlton Heston or Ann Coulter are available through City on The Hill Publishing for $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

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Op-Ed Response to the Sarah Palin Oystergate Scandal

If you want to find out what started this whole mess, here’s a link to the original article.

Get more coverage of  Sarah Palin and Oystergate on Facebook or Twitter


There have been many scathing editorials written throughout America on the Sarah Palin Oystergate Scandal.  This recent item was a column that appeared in this morning’s Fort Worth Examiner. Jonathan Winthrop, who is referred to in his bio as a “true, red blooded patriot”, writes a weekly column for the paper called “America:  Love It or Leave It or Don’t”.

Even Bloodier Libel

By Jonathan Winthrop

If there’s one thing Americans have had enough of its Sarah Palin bashing.  First, the liberal media machine said she was not “intellectual” enough to join their little club.  Next, they said her words were causing deranged loners to turn violent.  Now, they are saying that she hates Swedes.  By the end of the year, they’ll be accusing her of the Kennedy assassination, breaking into the Watergate Hotel and turning Jeffery Dahmer into a cannibal.  It is interesting that every time that Kenyan in the White House has his poll numbers drop or has to go to the sentencing of one of his former Chicago cronies, Sarah Palin says something that gets herself in trouble.  If one looks closely, it starts to become obvious that the Obama administration, along with the wealthy Hungarian-American George Soros, are behind this latest round of Sarah bashing.  Sound crazy?  Let’s look at the facts.

First of all, lets clear up the comments made by Palin.  We need to face the uncomfortable fact that much of what Palin said is true.  Unless they started having elections recently without me noticing, Sweden is a socialist country.  Tax rates for the average Swede are right around 99.3 percent.  According to several studies, the average Swede works two and a half hours a week.  Yet, for less than 12 hours of work a month, Swedes have full health care, a chauffeured limousine ride once a week to the local “free store” and are given up to four massages a month.  And who pays for all these perks? Why the taxpayer, of course!

From a young age, Swedes are taught not to work.  The most commonly used Civics Textbook in Swedish classrooms is a malignant piece of socialist propaganda called “Why Work…The Government Will Pay You Anyway”.  The crime rate among Swedish teens is appalling.  By the age of 15, 1 in 2 Swedes has committed a violent crime, stolen a car or missed more than 10 days of school in a year.  Most young Swedes wile away their time hanging out with friends or listening to violent so-called “heavy metal music” or surfing on the Internet in these things they like to call “chat rooms”.  Their government sponsored schools and socialist parents are getting them ready for a life of reading Lenin, taking government handouts and mugging senior citizens all while the US tax payer foots the bill.  In this context, Palin’s point makes a good deal of sense.  Do we want our young men and women forsaking their commitment to truth, justice and the American way and becoming like young Swedes? I, for one, do not.

Much of the rest of the story includes your usual cast of characters.  Wildly inaccurate MSNBC stories, articles written by deranged (George Soros sponsored) bloggers and money hungry former employees and their fictitious accounts of anti-Swedish tirades by the Palin family.  All the while, the Obama administration skillfully manipulates the media into anti-Sarah commentary and Swede-baiting.  It is not a coincidence that several of the states with large Swedish-American populations were toss-up states during the 2008 election.  Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana could all sway the 2012 election in favor of Obama.  The Obama administration, a ruthless organization of Chicago pols bent on forcing all working people to their knees at the altar of Godless Islamic Communism, is again playing puppet master, pulling the strings of the media in order to force good people to believe bad things.

Before we join in with the legions of torch carrying former 60’s love children eager to step on the throats of hard working Americans with their collective Birkenstocks, let’s remember the lessons of 9/11.  The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  The price of eternal vigilance is abiding loyalty.  The price of abiding loyalty is everlasting devotion. Let us never forget the dream our forefathers struggled and died for.  Let us never forget the price some have paid and others may pay and still others haven’t paid.  We must defend freedom!  We must defend liberty!  We must defend Sarah!

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The Locke-Hobbes Complex: Free the Goose, Locke up the Gander

The American Leviathan rises up to clobber all of the “bad” people who dare threaten to take our stuff and use our hospitals

The ideas of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes lay at the root of the American governmental experience at many levels.  Locke was a social-contract theorist who believed that all humans were born with rights and surrendered them in order to procure the advantages of civilized society.  He thought that if there was no government things might not run as smoothly, but people could get by.  Locke had a notion that people are rational creatures that are capable of making decisions that are in the best interests not just of themselves, but of the group.  Thomas Hobbes also bought into the idea of the social contract, but that is one of the few things the two agreed on.  Hobbes thought that human beings were essentially machines that functioned to protect themselves from injury and death and to get what gave them pleasure. Government was meant to act as a check on the base and violent desires of the masses.  He thought that without government life (like Napoleon) would be “nasty, brutish and short”.  Hobbes thought that you had one basic right, to be protected from the other maniacal machines around you.  Any other right could be taken away freely by the government in order to keep the people safe from themselves.

The progenators of the American governmental system were highly influenced by Locke and Hobbes.  Thomas Jefferson spent most of his political career doing a fair John Locke impression.  He turned Locke’s “life, liberty and property” into “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and parroted Locke’s controversial belief in the right of people to revolt against an unjust government.  James Madison (writing as Publius in The Federalist Papers) was clearly channeling Hobbes when he wrote in Federalist #51 that “if men were angels, no government would be necessary” and “ambition must be made to counteract ambition”.  Our constitution is a marvel of balancing Locke’s democratic intentions (the House of Representatives, the Bill of Rights) with Hobbes’ fear of the great unwashed hordes (the Senate prior to the 17th Amendment, the Electoral College).

Locke and Hobbes are still very much with us today, but in another more bizarre, irrational form.  The Locke-Hobbes complex can most clearly be seen in the Tea Party Movement, although it is certainly not exclusive to them.  Here’s how it looks:  The inward view of many Americans seems to be that Locke was correct.  The individual should be controlled by the government as little as possible.  Americans should be freed from many of the burdens of taxation or regulation.  What’s mine is mine and should not be taken, the government should not restrict the development of business, I should be able to say what I want to say and not be bound by political correctness, and the government should stay out of my private affairs.  At first glance, it seems as if Locke would be entirely comfortable at Rand Paul campaign headquarters dressed up like Patrick Henry with a NoBama tattoo on his or her forehead.

However, Locke’s ideas seem to appear in the rhetoric of both major American political parties (and quite a few smaller ones).  Some candidates rail against the idea of “big government” that doesn’t seem to get that “the government that governs best governs least”.  Others loudly protest a government that restricts reproductive rights or the rights of individuals to choose to live life the way they want to.  Whether it be keeping the government’s hands off my money or their laws off my body, the cries of individual liberty seem to echo from every corner of the American political landscape.

It would seem that a people so committed to the idea of the freedom and thriving of the individual would have no place for Hobbes’ principles…and yet they are very much alive in our culture.  A person can’t go five minutes without baring witness to a political diatribe on the importance of freedom and yet thanks to ever more strict sentencing laws the Washington Post reported in 2008 that 1 in 100 adults in the United States is in jail or prison.  The United States is the world’s leader in incarcerated adults both in percentage and in number.  In order to really understand the perversity of this statistic one must realize that China, a nation that our leaders have regularly excoriated for their unconscionable human rights record, has an estimated population of over 1.3 billion people, while the United States, the world’s beacon for freedom and liberty, has around 303 million people.  In spite of nearly a billion more people, China has less prisoners than the United States.  According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study, non-violent crimes made up nearly half of the state prison populations in 2006.  On the federal level, non-violent crimes take up an even higher percentage of reasons for incarcerations.  Large numbers of Americans are in prison for non-violent crimes that run the gamut from drug abuse to public intoxication.  Clearly, much of the imprisonment in the United States does not even serve the purpose of public safety.

It would seem that a nation with such a highly advanced, Lockean conception of liberty would be able to come up with a solution that involved a bit more creativity than building more prisons, but that seems to be the solution we continue to come up with.  At the root of our problem lies an incredibly Hobbesean conception of the role of the state.  But, maybe we are just talking about the “bad” people here.  A common refrain is that criminals (often defined as the amorphous mass of people out to harm us and take our stuff) are not deserving of the same rights as the rest of us.  Even though the Bill of Rights spends nearly half of it’s time dealing with the issue of criminal justice, many believe that the rights of individuals should be obliterated upon the commission of a crime.  One would think that this current wave of liberty based hysteria would have brought more politicians into power who opposed the federal government tearing rights away from citizens and yet, Russ Feingold, the one Senator who opposed the 2001 passing of the Patriot Act, the largest broadening of federal investigatory power in the last 50 years, was voted out of office.  Is the message more liberty for the “good people”, less protection for “the bad”?  How are we able to tell them apart?

There are some things to be feared and some things to be appreciated about each philosophy. Locke’s social contract was so loose that some would get away with crimes that could severely harm their neighbors, but he believed strongly enough in people’s judgements to believe that this problem could be overcome.  Hobbes argued for a system that strangled human growth and potential on the altar of safety, but he also realized that there are characteristics that needed to be monitored in human beings in order to allow them to be protected from the loss of their most important right, the right to continue to stay alive.  It’s as if our culture has picked out the most base, selfish characteristics of both philosophies and melded them into a giant Leviathan that attacks the liberties of the “bad” with one hand while cherishing the rights of the “good” with the other.  What we fail to recognize is that we can easily be mistaken for either.  Hell may be other people, but after a while it becomes us.

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