All posts by Prudence Leadbetter

(Word)holes, Redux

Many people worthy of trust and respect are seriously upset about the president’s crudeness.  He reportedly asked why “we” should allow people from various so-called “shithole” countries to immigrate to the United States?  For all of its crudeness, offensiveness and vulgarity, it is a very good question – one we should not be afraid to ask.

Well, the circumstance of the comment and the comment itself are both fairly straightforward, even simple.  But the inherent permutations and nuances are profound, sad, and instructive. This requires some parsing and mapping of the “splatter” that has emanated from the splat of a single word into the miasma of politics, hate, government, and the “American Dream… not to mention social media and hate.  Didn’t I already mention “hate?”  We shouldn’t overlook hate as a driver in modern… umm, modern ahhh, well… modern everything: media, news, broadcasting, ‘friend’ships, dialogue, religion, holidays, commerce, advertising, movies, philosophy and casual rumination.  Facebook, too.  Sad.

So, first observation is that every person who has talked about, proclaimed about or even thought about the description of many countries as “shitholes,” could in a few minutes, list a dozen or two dozen countries that fit the description!  Let’s change the term to “backward countries” and each could list three dozen.  What does it mean to make the identification?

It means, generally, that those countries have truly crappy politics.  Our politics are pretty crappy, too, granted, but, as Churchill observed, democracy is the worst form of government ever tried… except for all the others.  Corollary to that gem is this: The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Even those who could construct a list of “backward” countries probably cannot describe what is “wrong” with their politics – the system of leaders, laws and lies that govern their populations.  Typically, under the blanket of crappy politics, the economics of these countries are also pretty crappy… sorry, “backward.”  The result is extreme stratification, poor education, low skill levels, limited industrialization and little imagination.  Simultaneously, the BELIEFS of their citizens are likely to be very different from those of the majority of ours.

Changing beliefs is the primal tool for the weakening and subjugation of peoples.

One might reply that “America is the melting pot” and go on to predict that “we” will “make” those unfortunate immigrants “better” and therefore more like ourselves.  Seems like hubris.  This attitude sounds magnanimous and sympathetic but it was never true.  If there is an American myth, that’s it.  We have functioned fairly well as a “salad bowl,” but never as a melting pot.  Americans of every origin and kind learned to live and thrive together, yet they were never forced to change who they were, beyond learning and following our constitution and laws.  But there were very distinct differences about when America “worked” and how things are, now, when so many consider our country and institutions to be “broken.”  The key is a grand misunderstanding of what is “The American Dream.”

The real and enduring “American Dream” can be stated only thus: That all kinds of people can come together in FREEDOM, respective of one another, respective of law and reason, free to follow God as each sees fit, and responsible to themselves and others for the consequences of their actions.  This sentence summarizes the U. S. Constitution’s connection to individuals.  Not connection to groups, cliques, whether religious, emotional or political, but to individuals, much the way that Jesus described individual responsibility to the laws of God.  “America” represents the boundless opportunity offered to every individual to perfect him or her self: the pursuit of happiness.  And no less, or more.

This is not how many view the “American Dream” or “America,” itself, today.  Socialist thought perceives control of individuals as the high point of governance, the exact opposite of the teachings of Christ or of the values and purpose behind the founding of the United States.  To accomplish complete control – and different kinds of socialists have tried many ways to do so – it is essential to place people into groups, or “identities” for whom certain laws will apply, whether to control that group or apply to another group or to all others(!) in order to control THEM.  There is no clearer example than brown-skinned people as an over-group, and African-Americans, as the driving sub-group, and descendants of slaves, the most exalted of the “drivers.”  Barring descent from slaves, having marched in Selma or having stood near Martin Luther King, Jr., suffices.

As with the growth of federal welfare programs, the epithet of “racist” has become almost standard within the belief structure of many black or brown-skinned residents of the U. S.  The charge of “racist” works to control the “other group” of essentially all “Whites,” including modifying their language and actions.  This has yielded political power to the modern kind of socialists: American liberals.  This, in part, explains the immediate descent to charges of racism emanating from one participant of the immigration meeting during which the president spoke so crudely.  But, it doesn’t make it true.

Welfare, itself, is a gigantic difference, since the 1960’s, from when earlier waves of immigrants reached our shores.  Those from Ireland, for example, came to take care of themselves and their families, as did Italians, Poles, Portugese, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns and Germans, Russians, Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Syrians, Lebanese and Egyptians and many others.  Did they come perfectly?  No.  We didn’t send ships or planes to bring them here more quickly, either.  They were strong and self-selected to endure the sacrifice of leaving everything behind to start anew.  This is no longer so.

Immigrants in recent decades have been encouraged and assisted for purposes of “diversity,” the opposite of e pluribus unum.  Immigrants , today, receive fundamental – and generously comforting – public support, benefits, even cash, yet are not required to meet ANY tests applied to earlier generations.  They need not learn English, they need not become citizens (refugees, asylees) they need not assimilate.  Indeed, they need not even follow laws, often being released for offenses that citizens pay dearly for committing.  One might observe that their beliefs are not those of the “American Dream,” but of taking advantage of our official guilts and sympathies… or of selling drugs, or worse.

We are stretching our capacities to accommodate immigrants, including illegal entrants, even to the point of breaking our own laws, local and federal, to make them comfortable.  Yes, we are an “immigrant” nation, by past definition – most assuredly not by the current one.  I am glad someone with authority and sensibility is asking, “Why should we welcome immigrants from the (backward) countries of the world?”  What we have been doing of late is certainly not in the national interest, which is the primary business of a president, one hopes, although it may fulfill the interests of political partisans and of those who wish America to not exist as we know it.  Ask that question again, Mr. President, louder.

A second observation instructs that the president cannot, ever, trust in the confidence or even honesty of anyone from Congress or the “press” and damned few from the executive branch.  Trump failed to take note of the many lessons of the past year and more, when he posed the question everyone in the room, except Mr. Durbin possibly, a mendacious Democrat of proven, documented unreliability, was thinking and should be thinking: Why should we welcome immigrants who are unlikely to contribute to our economy or standards of living, and whose beliefs are antithetical to the fundaments of the U. S. Constitution or of the “American Dream.”

The ridiculous process of “hating” the president (and others) for so many things of which most of us are also guilty, and so readily accusing him of racism, transphobia, Islamophobia or a dozen other awful constructs, is corrosive and intensely destructive of our “unum” for which millions have bled and died, sacrificed and struggled.  If we are seeking perfection in or from our elected leaders we are fools.  They need, like John Kennedy, only to be pure enough to set a course that is pro-American.  The conversations never disclosed, that the Kennedys had then, or that brother Ted ever had, or by ANY other president, would curl our earlobes.  The profanity and privately voiced prejudices of EVERY president, have been, until recently, kept out of the news because their disclosure would have been so destructively irresponsible.  What we didn’t know didn’t hurt us; had we known all of it we’d have been damaged and history made far different.

News outlets of every kind hope to make history by ripping away confidentiality, no matter the damage.  Their hatreds justify the damage… for shame.  Do we think – do I think – that Trump will become perfect in order to avoid that damage?  Hardly.  When I pray about him it is to cause some intercession that will abridge the worst of his impulsive communication.  It is not that he will disappear, leaving leadership to others.  I have no love for him, but no hatred.  I grasp his attitudes, and even share some, not, I hope, the worst of them.  But then, I try to live on purpose and not in comparison, as does he, I suspect.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.  For all of his flaws I believe Trump is on stage exactly when needed by this country.  I want him to succeed where his direction and intention is right and best – or at least better – than where we were heading prior, God willing.

 

 

Resolution Revolution

The start of a New Year may be a more significant spiritual event than any on liturgical calendars.  As a genus, Humans are compelled to count days, organize seasons and lunar cycles, divide days into candle-time, observe celestial cycles and even build gigantic stone thingy-s associated with all of those times.  Longest day, shortest day, equal days, feast days – they all become so very important.  But, the most important of all… the one day that every one of us cares about, regardless of nationality, is the day, indeed the hour, minute and SECOND that we change the number we have rather arbitrarily assigned to the year-time division: New Years.

Every one of us that is aware of the change in annual numbering is equally compelled to make promises to ourselves – sometimes publicly – as to how we will comport ourselves in better ways in the “new” year.  It’s a time for new personal and, in effect, spiritual beginnings.  We collectively, but privately, intend to be “better” people… replace bad habits with good ones, go on a diet, give more to charity, maybe go to church more often, tell our significant others, more often, that we love them.  Now, then, to whom are we speaking when we tell ourselves these promises?

Obviously we are attempting to communicate to a “self” that exists somewhere deeper? higher? than our cerebral cortex.  Short-term memory is notorious for being… well, short.  Our need at New Years is to imprint some new pattern of behavior – belief, really – on very long-term memory, and to do so quickly.

Belief is the key, and beliefs are spiritual, fundamentally.  Does all of our consciousness exist in neurons, ganglia and synapses?  Religions teach us, “No,” and even a little meditation can expose that our beliefs are held in a different level of mentality, and that maybe there is a spiritual component to the reflective human.  However it works, it is unlikely that a smoker, for example, will relinquish his or her hold on the habit until he or she believes that he or she is a non-smoker who is simply entangled with tobacco.  At that point dis-entanglement can begin; it won’t until then.

Or a druggie or a drinker, for other examples, must cement the belief in him- or her-self as a non-addict before commencing a true path toward cleansing that self of the entanglement with drugs of some kind.  The same is true of any habit or practice that the resolute resolver can identify as needing change.  The best news is that we need not wait for New Years’ morning to get started.  There are lots of cycles that we attend to that form perfectly good times to start becoming better humans.

In Eastern traditions there exists a concept called “The Cosmic Clock.”  It’s connected to other concepts related to the “Law” of “Karma:” As ye sow so shall (must) ye reap.  There are many ways of stating this idea.  “What goes around, comes around,” is one.  Even westerners understand it.  The Cosmic Clock starts the cycles of your life when you are born – that’s YOUR true “New Year.”  In line with the concept of being tested in each lifetime, aiming toward self-perfection, you and the people around you start a series of tests upon your birth.  Every year on your birthday you commence a new cycle of both testing and accomplishment, and by the end of that year you are obligated to place your accomplishments – your harvest: what you have “reaped” – on the spiritual altar of your “higher” self… the one you are trying to communicate with through New Years’ resolutions!  These cycles come in groupings of 12: 12 hours, 12 months, 12 years.

It is in your thirteenth year that your own, personal karma begins to cycle into your life.  That is the age of spiritual responsibility, as it were.  Many cultures and spiritual paths recognize this timing with celebrations – or events, at least – marking the end of the first 12 years’ milestone, like a bar-mitzvah.  In every year there will be 12 beginnings we call months; every day there are two beginnings – of 12-hour cycles; every 12 years of our lives there are major beginnings.  Sometimes the kinds of tests this life will include come to 12-hour, 12-month and 12-year “peaks,” together, so to speak, and even comfortable Westerners can detect a point at which testing is severe, a point when “everything goes wrong” at once.

“Every cloud has a silver lining,” is a platitude that then applies.  The lowest point is when there is the greatest opportunity for good, or improvement, or, we might say, Victory over that test.  Karma instructs that the tests you failed to pass the first time (in this life or a previous one) will be presented again, providing the opportunity for personal victory.  Trying to imprint a “resolution” is a response to the spiritual need to prepare yourself for tests your “higher” self knows are coming, and to remove weaknesses that will interfere with your victories.  You might refer to the post of Christmas Eve for another aspect of this: http://www.prudenceleadbetter.com/2017/12/24/the-religious-question/

So, New Years is a big party, presumably a celebration of all we accomplished in the spiritual year just ending.  But, it is also commencement of a year/cycle in preparation for which we are resolved to “be better.”  Pretty cool, thank goodness.

Is ‘drug’ the past tense?

We seem to not be serious about – truly intent on solving – the growing drug threat in the United States.  “We” refers to our governing and policing institutions… and to all of us, one supposes.  While there are many subsets, and many individuals, of local, state and national agencies who are deeply committed to the fight, overall, our national policies have effectively allowed the trade to grow and corrupt many levels of law enforcement and justice.  While doing so, this “business” has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, destroyed families and spawned immeasurable volumes of criminal activity that has damaged many other thousands, if not millions of people.

Today our publicized problems center on “opioids” both “natural” and pharmaceutical.  A market developed by criminal drug-dealers has proven too attractive to ignore for multi-billion-dollar corporations, corrupting them and their medically licensed facilitators, daily prescribing their FDA-approved wonder drugs at clinics, hospitals and back rooms, nationwide.  Soft-headed federal welfare and subsidized medicine programs help irresponsible patients “pay” for their prescribed addictives.  One statistic tells us that it’s long past when our national battle tactics ought to have changed dramatically:  over 60,000 dead from opiate overdoses in one year.

Unfortunately, opioids represent simply and tragically just an aspect of the modern American drug culture.  It’s a culture that begins with candies, ice cream and juice-boxes rewarding good, or at least not too embarrassing, behavior, by 18- to 84-month-old infants, continuing unabated through aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, “arthritis formula,” Cold-Eze, Thera-Flu, Nyquil, Dayquil, 5-Hour energy, cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, nicotine “Vaping,” Claritin, dextromethorphan, Robitussin, Afrin, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, and hundreds of other variations of over-the-counter feel-better concoctions for aches and pains,  “colds” and headaches, plus the dozens of prescription pain alleviators, allergy relievers, cold-symptom removers, cough syrups, tablets and inhalers… and we didn’t even get to actual pain “killers,” a most suitable name.

Every TV program advises consumers to question their doctors as to which sort of blood-thinner is best, what kind of goop will kill fungus, how to resolve breathing problems and 44 ways to get better sleep through chemistry… or better sex.  Once all of these conditions have been restored to desirability, it is crucial to eat, swallow or drink something to improve regularity and then avoid and cure hemorrhoids.  It’s a never-ending battle to achieve perfect health – or a perfect simulation of it.

Eventually we pay attention to ads for diabetes medications… other than juice-boxes, of course.

Doctors, in 2013, wrote narcotic prescriptions at a rate 272% of the 1991 rate.  That is, 207 MILLION prescriptions!  For 300 Million people?!  Gross opiate production had increased from 3,520 kilograms (7700 pounds) in 1993 to an astronomical 70,000 kilograms (155,000 pounds!) in 2007, which MORE THAN DOUBLED just 6 years later, to 150,000 kilograms!  What the Hell has our government done to protect the nation in this period?  Why, they’ve forced a “cutback” to only 108,000 kilograms!  Whoop.

Where did all this pain come from?  How did humans ever evolve without Dr. Feelgood?

Today we give pills not only when we feel sick… because we ARE sick, we give them when we just feel, well, not right.  We give boys hormone treatments when they say they want to be girls; we give related treatments to girls who feel like boys and even perform bilateral mastectomies on teenagers who don’t want to admit to being girls.  Boys are mutilated by removal of genitals.  What has “medicine” become?  It seems similar to Nazi experimentation, except that people in favor of the mutilations – chemical and otherwise – are the ones accusing realists of being the Nazis.

Is it just profit?  Much like the alcohol business, fortunes are not made in painkillers and other stuff from people who nurse a bottle of Scotch for 3 months.  Big money comes from people who consume a couple of bottles/packages/ounces a week or more – Scotch or Advil, Oxycontin or Aleve, marijuana or Lunesta.  Amidst all this we try to draw lines that cannot be crossed – like Bingo at the Parish Hall but no permitting of casinos, no, no, no.

We hate cocaine, for example, and we really hate crack cocaine, so no legalization for that stuff, no, no, no.  And heroin!  Oh… my… God, heroin?  No, no, no – a thousand times NO!  BUT(!)… if some powerful pharmaceutical manufacturer – powerful because of political contributions and constant lobbying – wants to distribute a few hundred Million capsules of SYNTHETIC heroin, then the mind/nerve altering effects can be described in wonderfully pharmaceutical terms and the distribution system liberally supplied – FDA approved, Medicaid-financed.

In an earlier career I worked with a Vietnam vet, a Marine, who had received shrapnel in one arm.  It was badly scarred and made possible the receipt of a check every month for his “disability.”  Every 3 months or so he had to go to Boston, to the V.A. hospital, and get tested for the level of feeling that was returning to his arm… or not.  Meanwhile he practiced not reacting to pins in the flesh of that arm.  Then, when he’d get tested, he could look stone-faced and continue his claim that he had no feeling in the arm, and the checks would continue.

Humans are very capable of lying to the point of severe discomfort, to get what they want.  Do we think proto-addicts wouldn’t lie to keep receiving pain-killers?  Even if all they were doing was selling each month’s supply?  Is the medical establishment that performs hundreds of thousands of abortions each year, unable to withhold excessive quantities of opioids?

They certainly can’t refrain from prescribing.  Two-thirds of patient visits result in a prescription… meaning upwards of THREE BILLION prescriptions for 300 Million people!  That’s 10 each.  We’ve all experienced the kindly scrip-recommendation from even the most caring physician (or nurse-practitioner).  It’s no surprise; most medico’s receive constant “education” from the pharmaceutical complex and there exists an inherent desire by them to provide advice that patients will experience benefits from, and that often means a drug of some sort.

Unfortunately, there are about ONE MILLION adverse drug reactions every year, yielding some 100,000 DEATHS – the fourth largest cause of death in the U. S.  We might consider that fentanyl-laced heroin or synthetic opiods also produce “adverse drug reactions.”  The differences can be distilled to two: the INTENT of the seller/provider, and the legal status of all concerned.  Both are interested in two things: making the customer feel better… and repeat business.

It’s all part of a national, societal culture of control of biology for human comfort.  Whatever we don’t like about nature… there is a drug – a chemical – to “fix” it.  “Addiction” is pejorative only because of the lesser qualities of the illegal providers.

Today states are racing to legalize marijuana, all 122 current strains of it because it will provide (choose a favorite): tax revenue for underfunded state budgets; ability to control quality and safety; stiff competition to illegal drug dealers, hopefully to stop illegal drug trade; funding for drug-treatment programs; reduced dependency on “bad” drugs; votes for those most supportive of legalization.  Another, really important provision is eliminating Timmy’s criminal record for possession and, one other: freeing up the justice system to concentrate on serious crimes.  After all, if “they” are going to get the stuff anyway, we might as well go along with it and raise some revenue to boot.  Who are we to interfere?

There are no adults… we’re a nation of juveniles.  And the drug “culture” is us, this most pampered generation.  If you weren’t sure of where you stood on socialized medicine, be mindful that such a system will cement the drug culture even more firmly in place.  Whoop.

The Religious Question

Everyone seems to question religious doctrine these days… “everyone” meaning a large majority of Christians in Europe and the United States and Canada.  We think we have become “too smart” to believe that stuff.  That smartness is like an infection, similar to socialism, where our science, technology and ubiquitous governors (bureaucrats) are creating a much nicer world than “God” supposedly ever did.  The internet, gaming and pornography are meeting most of our needs; WalMart, Kohls and fast-food restaurants handle the rest.

And the rigors of marriage are so last Millennium – let the bureaucrats raise the kids.  I, mean, with pre-kindergarten, pre-school, K–12 and perpetual college, who really needs parents anymore?  The love-making part is OK, but even that’s becoming a big hassle; and courtship… forget it.  Hooking up and living together is fun but look at all the divorces.  No, that model doesn’t really work for us anymore.  If that’s the religious model, then let’s pass.  And it’s so expensive!  How much more pleasant driving around is.  Besides, my low-emissions hybrid helps to save the planet.

Oddly enough, Muslims are more serious about religion today than almost ever.  And the most serious expression of their most-serious religion is the destruction of Christianity – and of Christians, themselves, of course.  It’s as if we were in a race with terrorists to prove the unimportance of Christianity, except we’re not winning.  Muslims still want to kill us or convert us.  Jews are just as bad as Christians, in their book, so they are more than happy to kill them, too.  Jews are certainly willing to give up religious seriousness, along with Christians, so why do the Muslims care so much?  It’s a worthy question.

As Muslim terrorism has accelerated over the past 50 years there has been a parallel, mostly anti-Christian movement gaining steam in “the West:” atheism.   And this isn’t some “live and let live” form of God-less non-religion.  No.  It has become virulent… same infection, different strain.  Atheist don’t expend a lot of effort opposing Judaism, Buddhism or Hinduism – mostly they target Christianity.  Christmas makes atheists apoplectic, similar to its effect on Muslims.  Why on Earth do self-proclaimed non-believers – we’re talking scarlet-lettered “A” atheists, here, not agnostics or, presumably, not ignorant fools, but serious opponents of Christianity and its slightest mention… why the Hell do they care?

The broad network of atheists concentrate on the awful record of human organizations that operate in the name of doctrines other humans wrote stories about, derived dogma from, and implemented with motivations of personal and institutional power, as well as motivations of financial security.  There are thousands of years of policies and incidents – crimes, in fact – that belie the ostensible teachings of EVERY religious tradition.  Just collating and describing every human error will always yield plenty of material.  Indeed, an entire movement could be, has been, created out of the effort.  But that story is not complete, is it?

Nowhere in the vast network of atheist websites and their aggregation of terrible acts, is there a long list of extraordinary acts of charity by other humans deeply motivated by the overarching story of Christian sacrifice.

If your intention is to catalogue human failings, you will forever be busy.  You may also become blinded to phenomenal beauty, sacrifice, love and greatness.  However, rendering judgments about the existence of “God” based solely upon the much-edited and selected stories in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, or upon the evolving catechisms of churches, will always be somewhat erroneous.

There are but two places to stand in the debate about the truth of God’s existence: He exists or He doesn’t.  The rest of arguments on either side are inevitably biased for each advocate’s personal advantage, comfort, satisfaction or smug superiority.  Barring personal experience with God, Himself, all of our words are opinion, more or less informed.  Hearsay, we might conclude.  And, in Prudence’ view, too fraught with mysteries that may be balanced only with faith.  This in no way denigrates faith.  Faith is the best glue religion provides to cause populations to share codes of morals and conduct.

Prudence tells us that God would not launch our long climb into perfection with a list of mysteries.  It doesn’t make sense that He would hold us to standards we cannot understand – there must be a logical structure to God’s Law, logic that humans can grasp and apply to our social organization.  Further, it seems reasonable to assume, following God’s Law must be good for people and for Life, itself, and, still further, and logically, for God, himself who never, by definition, acts outside of his own “Law,” since He is that Law.

So, for those of us who stand on the side of God’s reality, admittedly thanks to a measure of faith, there must be a value to God for the creation and existence of humans with the free will to choose between His law and earthly evil.  That is, there must be a BENEFIT to God to go to the trouble of creating humans.

Hinduism provides some insight to the logic of God’s existence, through the laws of Karma.  There is a near-universal understanding of what Christianity states as: “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” which is to say: “…so MUST ye reap.”  Karma is more complex than that, of course, because of its connection to re-embodiment of the soul.  Western Christianity does its best to suppress the possibility of being truly “born again,” but even the Bible includes references to it.  In one view, the New Testament provides the opportunity to return, through karma, to resume self-perfection, arriving after being “judged and found wanting,” agreeing to accept the rigors of a life that will provide the opportunities to “balance” what is “wanting” – karma.  Only by cleaning up all of our negative acts in whatever lifetime, can we achieve acceptance into “heaven,” if that is our goal.  Whether we call it Nirvana or Heaven, or some other, mankind generally believes in rewards in an afterlife for good living in this life.  Is there a logic to this?

There is if God also benefits.  What if – just consider – that God’s Law that tells mankind to “go forth and multiply,” applies equally to Him.  He is the Law, by definition, so of course it does.  In other words, individual perfection is logical if God is ENHANCED by humans’ choices to adhere to His Law and not succumb to the comforts of evil.  In other, other words, God becomes happier when his “children” do right.

Oh, that’s impossible, you might say.  God is all there is.  But, then, who are we to limit Him… if we are standing on His side, after all?  After all, you get to keep only what you give away!  In those other words, it is only the ACTION of charity – or of following the Law – that stays with your soul.  The other side of that is that an evil action must be balanced in order for your soul to progress into “Heaven.”  It’s very logical.

And, it’s not a mystery.  There is a value and purpose to being “good” and not “evil.”  Part of the value is that society and civilization, itself, holds together through the application of shared morals.  Society functioning, strengthening families and children, educating them and protecting them, is a value.  Only in strong societies do people have the opportunities to worship and, one hopes, to learn greater aspects of the Law.  No mystery there.

Atheists perform an important function.  They continuously expose our flaws, particularly  human failures in the guise of religion.  And well they should.  They may be blind to some things, but they’re searchlight-clear on crucial others.  If they can recognize, as Karma describes, that life is a series of tests and that earth is the testing place, then they might accept that belief in God is a test and that disbelief is also a test.  It really doesn’t serve anyone to attempt to determine whether others are passing or “failing” a test, only whether we, ourselves are passing.  If belief in God generates hatred and death, it is reasonable to think that a test is being failed.  Likewise, if disbelief generates hatred or worse, that is also evidence of a failure to pass.

Every event, whether we deem it good or bad, is an opportunity to choose good or evil.  One can stand in judgment of God if he or she wishes, and say that this or that earthquake, flood or disease is an indictment of God, but what is the value of that except to sow hatred?  If God were to place us all in nurseries so that we would be perpetually comfy and fed, free of disease – free of choices, in effect, what value would humans have?  There would be no growth, no strength, no ability to make ourselves more perfect.

If there were no standards to meet or tests to pass, life would be useless; there’d be no horizon, no mountains to climb, no wonder to fulfill by finding out.  No, you non-believers, that there are tests is not proof there is no God but, rather, that there is.

It is our response to the test that we can take with us, not our comfort.  Still, you should keep on holding up your mirror, reflecting back at us our flaws and errors in God’s name.  The original question, though, remains.  Why do opposing religions, best exemplified by Muslims in opposition to every other belief structure including atheism, become so hateful toward others?  What do they care?  I think the only care great enough is that their chosen enemies may be right.

Little Things Mean a Lot

When Rudy Giuliani became mayor of New York in December of 1994, having been a prosecutor, he instituted a policing philosophy that gave importance to “the little things.”  These were little things like broken windows, littering, vandalism, petty thefts, truancy and the like.  He’d seen the cumulative degradation that took place in neighborhoods’ and even individuals’ characters, when small deviations from decency went un-chastised and uncorrected.  The next offense, public or private, singular or neighborhood, would be just a bit worse, and on and on, until the new normal became neighborhoods where good people put themselves in “jail” for safety, while feral criminals held sway “in the streets.”

Sanctioning and anticipating the little things produced a big reduction in “big” things.  The city became cleaner as well as safer.  “Stop and frisk” appeared to prevent crimes in the highest-crime areas and more people invested in the city… as in living in the city.  Between the mid-nineties and 2006 the population of Manhattan, alone, increased by some 40,000.  People react to high levels of caring in their neighborhood.  It’s a lesson that applies to groups as small as two.

In many smaller cities and towns it’s not uncommon to see signs or bumper-stickers that admonish the reader to “Think globally – Act locally.”  Oddly, these same places are where little acts of uncaring are common, while commensurate acts of “caring” are made public.  Consider this example:  A woman – and often, sadly, it is a woman  – will finish offloading groceries into her car and then carefully leave the carriage in the open parking space next to hers, or propped on the curb of the island in front of her and other’s cars, rather than pushing it 20 or 30 steps to the cart corral provided.  Sometimes they look around to see if anyone is watching, but most often not.

The cart corral became a fixture in store parking lots decades ago when store owners gave up their hopes that customers would return the cart to the store whose owner had provided it for their convenience.  At the same time jobs were created for some fellow to go out into the lot to retrieve the loaned carts that customers were too offended to return.

“Well, hey,” you might be thinking, “people are busy and the carts let us buy more stuff in one trip.  It’s a small cost for the store to pay for the increased business.”  Except it’s not a small cost, and uncaring individuals may impose costs on fellow shoppers quite easily with their failure to return the favor of the loan of that cart, particularly when it rolls into a parked car or is hit accidentally when a harried driver thinks he or she can pull into an open space where the cart was carefully parked out of laziness, earlier.

And, let’s not overlook the cost every shopper pays to have others “pick up” after them.

But let’s compound the costs by recognizing what happens when a woman with children pulls the same stunt.  I know, I know… she can’t leave her children alone or apart from herself for more than 3 seconds.  She puts the kids in their car-seats and buckles them in, offloads her groceries and is suddenly incapable of locking her car and placing the loaned cart in the corral, seconds away and in view of her vehicle and its precious cargo.  So, she, in effect, discards the valuable cart the store owner loaned to her, and blithely teaches tomorrow’s leaders that convenience trumps courtesy – that the implied contract she made with the store when she accepted the convenient use of the cart does not have to be lived-up-to!  She will wonder how, at age 13 or so, those grown-up munchkins think the world revolves for their edification – including their parents.

Small disturbances yield larger and larger ripples of dismay and, one might recognize, degeneracy.  “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”  That quote comes from the 17th century, but refers to Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”  Every aware and loving parent grasps the need to make the sanction of bad behavior as close to immediate as possible.  The positive lesson will be learned and remembered.  It is valuable to discomfort yourself a little and return the cart.

There is no sanction as immediate as shame.  Yet, we’ve decided, educationally, to remove shame as a human guidance system, as it may impact a child’s “self esteem,” the strengthening of which has become paramount… to society’s detriment.  The main vector for building self-esteem is to eliminate shame, which means to eliminate rights and wrongs according to absolute social agreements, be they from shared – or similar – religious philosophy or strict legal constructs.  Relative good and bad, determined by temporary, largely uninformed or misinformed feelings – which is to say popular beliefs, often shifting with political demands and broadcast unfairnesses or, perhaps hatreds derived from both, leaves individuals free to feel and act as they think best, based on popular opinions that spread like wildfire, unfiltered.

The result is a sort of sovereignty without responsibility, where laws may be declared “bad” or “wrong” and no longer binding in this or that case.  This form of freedom shrinks, automatically, as rule upon rule upon rule must be imposed to “protect” the new personal rights devised at the speeds of change exemplified by schools of fish or flocks of birds.

Littering is another example.  Each instance is a small thing.  “What will this matter?” the offender thinks, “Look at the trash in the street… mine makes no difference.”  Ah, but it does.  Cigarette butt by gum wrapper by coffee cup, the action of tossing one’s inconvenient trash out of the car window or, simply, on the ground, creates a sort of callous over the fine membrane of community fellowship.  Someone who is practiced at trashing his own town or neighborhood is more likely to disregard the laws and mores of where he or she lives, unless it is convenient to follow them.  Many times such people live in a carefully protected and cared-for home, sometimes fenced and gated, making the point that he or she cares about him- or her-self, but not a whit about others.  Society breaks down when such are the inhabitants.

Sometimes the litterer lives amidst trash, caring not about him- or her-self or about anyone else – including children, in those environments.  Their minds may be just as trashy.  Underlying such surface depravity is a hatred for country, community and self, often projected outward as hatred for others.  Such members literally impose costs on their neighbors, yet it costs nothing to respect oneself, one’s family and children and one’s place of residence.  Discarding one’s trash in a proper receptacle is practically free, as is cleaning up one’s attitude.

Soon, because a messy living condition breeds hopelessness and resentment, there are numbers of weak-minded people who may be led into hate campaigns against their own country or neighbors.  Society’s future and its ability to create happier lives is inversely proportional to the extent of self-inflicted hopelessness.

The two greatest institutions of hopefulness: churches and schools, have been transformed in a generation or two, into irrelevance through socialist philosophizing and, now, virulent atheism.  No longer are religious pillars of right and wrong respected; no longer do government schools reinforce right and wrong – it’s all situational ethics, and we’re paying the price.

Maybe we’re too smart to be bound by religious mumbo jumbo, conscience or shame.  Is it really possible – or likely – that a majority of Americans will pull together to clean up their streets, parks, government and politics, while believing that America deserves to be swept away because it’s not perfect?  And whose perfection would that be?

 

Let me in, Wheeeouu!

The city and courts of San Francisco have made ever so much clearer how mentally dispossessed they are, of any semblance of America, and Americanism, and of Decency.  And, of Justice, Prudence dictates.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is not – was not – an immigrant.  Señor Garcia Zarate is and was an illegal entrant into the nation and into political subdivisions of the United States of America.  To be an immigrant, or to immigrate into a new country implies legality of action.  It implies that said immigrant has a valid place to be in his or her new country, that he or she intends to “settle” therein and, therefore, to live there legally, perhaps to gain citizenship.  It is for the furtherance and fulfillment of such implications that a nation would institute immigration laws; and it would be to prevent the obverse of the aforementioned implications that those same laws would be enforced.

Nations have a clear, hitherto well-understood obligation to define and enforce the laws that define their borders whether on land or water or, as is now the case, at airports.  Indeed, such enforcement is the first and most fundamental contract of citizenship – even of legal residence – that obligates any nation… else its nation-hood is false.

Amazingly, there have developed numerous pockets of citizens, some of them elected by their peers to represent the highest qualities of citizenship, thereby qualifying them to hold office in various levels of government, all of whom disbelieve these obligations of nation-hood.  Each of those elected has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, meaning ONLY of the United States of America.  They may swear to uphold the constitution of one of the United States, but that cannot, by law, presume to deny the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution.

The existence of the nation known as the United States of America, whose laws are defined by the Constitution, carries the clear obligation to establish and enforce laws governing both borders and immigration, citizenship and residency, incarceration and deportation.  There is no LEGAL space in those constructs where officials of any State or subdivision thereof, having been sworn to office, can elect to not be bound by the laws of the United States, feelings notwithstanding.

Any individual citizen or legal resident who were to take it upon himself or herself to knowingly fail to follow the laws of any town, city, county, State or of the United States nation, becomes a criminal upon such failing; further, the status of being sworn to office can in no way change the criminality of failing to live by or uphold any of the laws of the land… at any level.  Any municipal or State official who not only knowingly but publicly fails to follow or uphold the laws he or she SWORE to uphold upon assuming office, is a damned liar, not to mention an unethical pig whose word is less than slop.

Worse, it could be said, such an official is traitorous.  He or she could be said, given the conditions outlined above, to be consorting with and harboring, known federal criminals, wanted on one or more charges.  These actions betray an extraordinary mental twist, one that ought to deny that official his or her office, federal, state or local.

In fact and logic there is NO official obligation to either provide for or protect any illegal entrant, beyond basic humane treatment during the process of returning said illegal entrant to his or her point of origin as may best be determined.  Collectively, this nation has no more obligation than that, as well.

Illegal entrants, by virtue of presence, alone, have no Constitutional protections, which is to say, no “Bill of Rights” under the Constitution of the United States.  No crime committed by an illegal entrant deserves free public defense in court, nor does it deserve any form of “plea” bargain or appeal of verdict.  Illegal entrants are not entitled to jury trial, “Miranda” rights or specific protections from search of their persons or property.  Technically, they may be charged and held without benefit of a Grand Jury indictment.  They have no Constitutional protection against double-jeopardy, nor any specific right to free speech, assembly or redress of grievances.  They are not citizens or even legal residents.

That Constitutional rights are afforded illegal entrants is a failure of enforcement of the very Constitution in which those rights are enumerated.  It is a failure to uphold the rights of citizens.   To treat so-called “illegals” like citizens is, itself, a crime.  Such confusion of our governing obligations is a reflection of the ascendancy of emotion to a level above that of law – law that lately is applied more strictly to citizens than to illegal entrants.  It appears to have infected judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys and is corrosive to the rule of law and to the Fourteenth Amendment among others.

Some political subdivisions want to allow illegal entrants to vote, a right won by the blood of hundreds of thousands of American citizens.  There being absolutely NO legal basis for Constitutional protection of illegal-entrant non-citizens, one must dig very deep to find a justification for doing so, along with the affording of comforts like welfare, medical care and public education.  Is there an agenda, political or economic, that is furthered or fulfilled by harboring illegal entrants?  While such does nothing to change the illegality of failures at federal, state and local levels, especially by sworn officials, the discovery of said agenda might provide a reason to understand the public willingness to break laws on behalf of illegal entrants.

We are told by otherwise rational officials, including congressmen and women and senators, that illegal entrants pay taxes.  For this we should be grateful, we are told, because the ILLEGAL contributions illegal-entrant laborers make toward Social Security (on stolen or fabricated identities), will benefit our retirees.  No mention is made of the crimes involved, especially when illegal entrants collect Social Security payments on stolen Social Security numbers.

We are assured by sworn officials that many illegal entrants entered our nation illegally for very “good” reasons, such as “to work” and to “make a better life” for themselves or their families.  No mention is made of the livelihoods that are stolen or devalued of United States citizens, the only people to whom said sworn officials have any obligation under law, whatsoever.

We are told that law-breaking officials are in favor of deporting illegal entrants who are charged with “serious” crimes, for which stance they seek public approval.  However, this hollow pronouncement overlooks or obscures the arrogation by such officials of a role to determine on their own judgment, without benefit of law or process, which crimes are serious and which are to be ignored.  There is no amount of tax to be collected that justifies the insertion of personal opinion by ANY official as to which crimes committed by ANYONE, much less an illegal – therefore known-criminal – alien, deserve adjudication and which do not.

Indeed, the arrogation of this role, inserted between criminal and civil codes and those charged under law with their enforcement, is itself a crime, made worse by its belying of officials’ sworn statement to uphold “the laws.”

These same have told us that the fears of illegal entrants concerning deportation do, or may, prevent the solving of crimes known to them, since they will fail to speak to police officers given those “fears.”  This is presented as some sort of justification for their (officials’) criminal distortion of enforcement actions by the insertion of their personal judgments as noted above.  This argument is specious and obfuscatory, since illegal entrants OUGHT to be fearful of deportation.

And so, we come back to the matter of Kate Steinle’s illicit death.  A California jury, ostensibly ignorant of immigration issues surrounding señor Garcia Zarate, agreed on the crime of possession of a firearm by a felon.  The lies contained in Garcia Zarate’s initial statements did not sway their rejection of even an involuntary manslaughter charge.  They may have been strictly – very strictly – correct in the particular, and peculiar, circumstances of Miss Steinle’s death, but the shooting was a crime resulting from crimes committed by elected officials in San Francisco.  The killing of Steinle was not “an accident.”

Ultimately, the arguments of the open-borders enthusiasts are summed up as follows: You’ve been stupid about immigration for decades so you can’t stop being stupid, now – it’s not fair.

“Trumpism” is a ghost

Much is made, of late, about “white privilege” and “racism” and about some sort of racial “hatreds” that must exist, all bumper-stickered into the term, “fascism.”  By denigrating everyone who is not negroid in appearance, the loose forces that aim to destroy the ideas of America and this nation/society/culture, itself, cause many to question everything about our heritage.  The attacker always has the advantage until a true counterattack can be mounted.

What the “antifa” is fighting is not hatred or even racism, it’s anger – anger to which “whites” have no evident right – anger about the loss of the actual, historic, fundamental and incompletely codified American Dream: that all kinds of people can live and thrive together, sovereign in their God-given rights and responsible to themselves and others for the consequences of their own actions.  That’s the “Dream.”

The dream isn’t home ownership, or multiples cars or too much to eat… and, it isn’t universal welfare (slavery) either.  It’s freedom, a dream that is a nightmare for government types and other tyrants.  It’s a nightmare for one-worlders and financial globalists whose ultimate wish is to control production and every producer/worker through taxation and sufficient consumerism to keep them quiet.

All that individuals need to do to become “an American,” is to adopt the culture of freedom and responsibility, and to respect our laws.  It is the world’s winning-est formula despite all the flaws it is growing out of.  The Dream is worth saving and preserving against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

There’s a common saying, that if you wait for all the lights to turn green before you back out of your own driveway, you’ll never get anywhere.  It is infinitely more advantageous to everyone else, along with YOU, the driver of your life, if you will take responsibility for guiding your vehicle through the myriad traffic jams and delays on your way to YOUR OWN personal goal – your pursuit of happiness.  Waiting for a government-type to provide both your goals and means is to adopt a new slavery that is attempting to trap every one of us in its web of when and how to live.  God forbid.

Do you think the death-panels of socialized medicine are a form of freedom?

The anger that has been rather hidden through the fourth civil war and its consequences since the early 70’s, began to surface for certain during the Obama years.  Perhaps a tiny fraction were angry because he was black (by choice, not genetics), but most cared not about his “blackness” but about his “pinkishness.”  A virtual communist, Mr. Obama led us away from the true Dream as rapidly as he could, a goal that deserved the anger of those who still choose to be free.

Enter Mr. Trump.  Sometimes the best expression of wisdom for a political leader is to recognize where the people are headed and run to get in front of the movement.  America was, and is, uneasy.  We like to “tolerate” exceptions to Protestant ethics and traditions; we DON’T like to have them forced upon us and, worse, protected by new laws that coerce us to adopt new ways of life.  We are angry about having to fight century-old battles again, when there is no possibility of victory – at least, no victory that is good for the country.  We are angry about being accused of being born guilty of other people’s sins.

Trump isn’t president because he’s the great leader a majority of Americans admire – far from it, as polls indicate.  He is president because he speaks his mind and is not afraid of causing silly offenses.  He favors what a majority favor; he points out duplicity that a majority can see; he stands up for what a majority will stand up for.  Mrs. Clinton represented things a majority fears in government, and a direction a majority do not want to follow.  It’s pretty simple; writing a book was not needed.

There is no “Trumpism.”  The existence of the Trump administration does not represent a new political force focused on Trump, himself, nor will his family be slobbered over like Kennedy’s, sufficient to propel relatives or offspring into other offices.  But the ideas, beliefs, loves and fears behind him will bring others into office.  That’s not “Trumpism,” it’s Americanism.

Conservational Conservatism

Real conservatives are also conservationists.  Liberals, of course, will scoff at this, but Prudence tells us that this is a logical relationship.  The nature of true conservancy can illuminate the right thinking of true conservatives.

Those who fight for conservation of nature have drawn political lines mainly along economic – often anti-economic – lines.  The in-group of conservationists tends to view all those who are not as rabid about conservation as they as somewhat backward, perhaps rapacious exploiters who care about only profit… even if it will “destroy” our home planet.  Planetary destruction is a tall order, but humans have been quite industrious about modifying our environments, plural, although the greatest, planet-wide climatological changes have occurred with no human input whatsoever.  Still, our increasing need for energy has changed the lower atmosphere, at least, making humans ever more suspect.

As defined by conservationists, conservatives are all greedy, overweight and driven by profits; very conservative people, however, see such people as enemies of honest capitalism similar to their being enemies of conservation.  Real conservatives are not in favor of unregulated, monopoly capitalism, like that which results from close connections to politicians and their overreaching governance.

Real conservatism is not reactionary, but it does desire to conserve good philosophies and, with them, the best of ethics for organizing and governing our society.  This also means conserving the best of our culture, not plural.  It is, viewed without hate, not all bad.

Some conservationists would sacrifice human civilization to preserve a pristine habitat for every other form of life, or at least, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants wouldn’t be missed, especially if snail-darters would then thrive.  Once enthralled by being smarter and more sensitive than everyone else, rabid conservationists tend to ally with others who are equally so convinced.  Political power follows.  Now, the very overreaching government that makes so-called capitalism an enemy of vast majorities, is seen as the one force needed to assure adherence to their beliefs – whether conservationist, abortionist or racist (anti-white).

True conservatives can discern which of these causes should be opposed and which are worth working with.  We oppose abortion-on-demand and racism of all colors.  We believe in non-wastefulness, non-pollution, and clean environments.  We tend to be religious and we do NOT seek for the government(s) to enforce our beliefs, but to protect them.  We oppose globalized, monopolistic crony-capitalism since it tends toward organized theft of both wealth and sovereignty.  We trust individuals to perfect themselves, yet we insist on firm application of laws and sanctions for wrongdoing… for everyone.

Conservatives believe in balance and in courtesy toward all.  We tend to accept others as good or, at least, right-motivated until proven wrong.  To true conservatives, what someone feels is not nearly as important as what one DOES.  That is, anyone who is willing to ACT like an American, including respect for our laws and for other people, is welcome to live in America.  It’s fairly simple.  Respect for other people includes respect for their environment – everyone’s environment, while enabling economic opportunity and private property rights that make it possible for individuals to be FREE to the greatest degree possible… FROM GOVERNMENT.

The most passionate conservationists are well-advised to be conservatives, as well, and to recognize human nature as individual and not monolithic.  Conservationists seem to have fallen into encouragement of a police state that will enforce conservation as they see it; conservation that pits its desired ends AGAINST people, requiring, therefore, government to force compliance with conservationists’ corner on a part of science.  This ignores other parts of science, particularly that of human nature, yielding a somewhat fascist liberalism that has rendered America a rich-appearing debtor, barely able to afford conservation or even self-defense.

The success of the American experiment will be recognized in the shrinkage of government, not its growth, and in its honesty of education, not its bias.

Racial Fascism

There is an extraordinary dichotomy playing out amidst a mix of misunderstandings, hatreds and pure ignorance across the United States.  It is fueled by the ignorance and connivance of a predatory press as well as the instantaneous sharing of ignorance and hate over the internet.  It is instructive to diagnose how America became so stupid as to threaten its own existence with so much energy.  There are people and institutions worthy of being blamed for their role in the descent to our current condition.

The highest profile is held by president Trump, of course.  He has drawn fire, as it were, from several stripes of Democrats and other leftists of varied antagonisms, toward himself, individually, and toward the United States collectively… and comprehensively.  America- haters love the current circumstance.  Trump is ultra-sensitive to criticism and literally hurts himself to get even.  It is sad that that kind of give-and-take hurts his agenda – which Prudence indicates the nation needs to see enacted.

In his defense, Trump has been attacked with largely meaningless, deliberately misconstrued charges, along with the handful of real criticisms.  The whole process started out making lots of supporters angry, but now the attacks have devolved into calls for impeachment on amorphous, hate-based charges.  These are dangerous to the president and to the country, but the hatred – not political opposition, but hatred – actively encourages more virulent enemies like George Soros and his forces – like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.  They think they’re winning.  What they are winning is ill-defined.

The conflict in Charlottesville, Virginia is widely – and wildly – misunderstood, even after weeks of angst and anguish.  We are supposed to believe that it’s about the offensiveness of statues, as though the history represented by those statues were about to repeat itself with chains and slave auctions, given the pudding-like mentality of white people.  The lessons of history are best to be learned, Prudence instructs, not buried.

But there are certain elements of anti-white fervor who must have fresh targets on a regular basis.  A pudding-like press and equally useless politicians latch on to that pious hatred and feed the demands for removal of “symbols of slavery” as if removing the statue of military genius and anti-slavery southerner, Robert E. Lee, would place a strong brick in the wall against slavery’s breaking out again!  Where are the adults?  Where was education?

The new jack-booted thugs, “Antifa,” really care not a whit about Robert E. Lee, or Stonewall Jackson or even Jefferson Davis.  They are paid, literally, to break heads.  Screaming about anti-fascism while executing fascism better than anyone since 1945 may fire up the pudding-heads in the left-wing media – print and broadcast – but it doesn’t make anything “Antifa” says or does true or honest.  “Black Lives Matter” is nearly as debauched.  They, too, have seized upon a flaming hot button that delivers money and power into their hands – police killings of blacks, some of whom are innocent and whose badged killers deserve jail time.  The deaths of thousands of other blacks in inner cities, mostly drug and gang-related, has no commensurate value.  Making themselves enemies of local police is not helpful, but, sadly, rational to “BLM.”  What is the end-game?

One would think that there might be different judgments directed toward people who are paid to hate, as many of the “Antifa” are – paid, that is, by George Soros-connected “organizations.”  Soros, when not cooperating with real Nazi’s during WW II, has made his disdain for the American experiment quite clear.  He hates the ideas of America.  He hates individual sovereignty.  He pays his thugs not to defend ANY of the purported causes they shout about, but to generate discord.  Even in Charlottesville, slowly being revealed as “staged” in large part, the result that was sought by Soros and other enemies of freedom, has manifested:  widespread belief that many Whites are racists with KKK and, illogically, Neo-Nazi beliefs.

This media-touted “meme” of widespread racism is the ideal “lever” by which anti-freedomists  can and have manipulated public policy (such as removing statues – not out of understanding but out of fear) to change the culture of a nation.  Combined with left-dominated public education that is sympathetic to everything being “wrong” with America, purpose-driven forces opposed to our sovereignty, nationality and freedom are dividing us from our heritage, our history and our future as a free people.

Photos show that fighters for both sides in Charlottsville arrived on the same buses.

 

 

American University

Every few weeks, when there is a slight lull in 24-7 news crises, someone will describe how terrible the student-loan burden is for stressed-out graduates.  This is then followed by some pandering politician decrying the unfairness of higher education’s being available only to those who could qualify for loans and, therefore, with E-quality being more valuable than quality itself, college should be “free.”

This is an odd declaration for a federal representative who is overseeing budgets that are trillions of dollars out of balance.  Fortunately, we have an army of migrant workers and illegal entrants who help us harvest cash from the money trees that flower perpetually in a secret orchard between Washington D. C. and Wall Street, New York City.  No one responsible for spending the money on our behalf – we, the citizens of this great bankrupt country – can imagine denying free stuff to ostensible college entrants, regardless of ability.  How fortunate that we have full-time, well-compensated spenders working to expend as rapidly as possible.

In any case, the topic of student loans can be easily turned into a big, emotional shibboleth that, obviously, only a bankrupt, spendthrift government can solve.  First, President Obama, as part of the so-called “Affordable Care Act,” essentially placed all student loan business under the aegis of the federal government, applying the “profit” from those loans toward attempting to finance Obamacare.  Soon, of course, politicians were screaming about “profiting” from poor students who just want to improve their opportunities for higher wages through diploma ownership.  Oh, the horror.

On the other hand, many families impoverish themselves to pay for college and post-graduate programs.  They’re not cheap.  The cost of college has increased more than twice as fast as the Consumer Price Index, since 1980.  Another way to look at it is in comparison to car prices.  In 1980 a 3-series BMW was around $21,000 or so, and it was pretty nice.  Today a 325i is about twice the cost of the most comparable model from 1980.  And, it’s still pretty nice.

The thing is, the 2015 version is a far superior car to the 1980 model.  Almost no part of it has not been modified for the better; its performance is better, safety is way better, as are comfort and expected life of components.  The electronics are a phenomenon all their own.  Remarkably, compared to inflationary price pressures, today’s BMW is LESS expensive than the 1980 – and it’s far, far better.

College/University education, on the other hand, is turning out a poorer product, on average, for about THREE times the cost of 1980 tuitions.  That is, college costs have gone up half-again what other big-ticket items have.  What can possibly cause this?   There are only so many instructional hours in a semester.  Are the professors smarter?  Working longer hours?  Taking on more classes each week?  Are highly-compensated administrators covering more functions for their rapidly growing incomes?

It seems that the opposite is true in all of these question-categories.  In the 35 years that automobile manufacturers have continuously become MORE efficient at higher quality to stay competitive… to keep attracting buyer dollars, education has become LESS efficient, more philosophically (politically) biased, less likely to teach American History, less likely to study the Great Books, Greek history and philosophy, English literature… and a bunch of other culture-strengthening stuff.  There are a lot of lawyers, though.

College students, however, thanks to the fatuous generosity of federal grants and loans, are able to pay more and more and still more for those still-coveted diplomas.  Like the uber-capitalists they try to hate, colleges have raised their prices in virtually direct relation to the amount of tuition moneys available.

The growing number of high-school grads going on to college has increased steadily as tuition dollars became more available; at the same time, the net quality of entering students has gone down.  While this speaks to the reduced net quality turned out by, largely, public high schools, it speaks more loudly about the cynicism of colleges and universities: if you got the money, honey, we’ll happily take it while nearly half of you drop out the first year.  Your time, indebtedness and mental health are of no concern for us.  Can your parents, grandparents, rich uncle or well-to-do siblings co-sign for you?  Yes?  Well then come right in and we’ll call you a college student.

Even worse, larger institutions are perfectly happy to create 4-year degree programs in “soft” studies that have very little chance of generating significant incomes.  It’s not that the education isn’t real, it is the reality that it is very, very hard to sell the related skills.  For the college, however, those very significant tuition payments help to finance more costly areas of study and research… not to mention the multi-hundred-thousand dollar salaries of, say, law professors at Harvard – at least the Native American ones.

There is a simple, universally beneficial answer, and it is absolutely NOT federal-taxpayer-free college, Ms. Senator Warren.  The answer is for colleges to co-sign for every student loan!

What?  You say.  Make colleges actually responsible for student success?  What if the student spends his time partying?  Is the college responsible for that, too?

Well, what if they were?  How would the college experience change if the college actually cared whether students were studying or goofing off?  If the college could only come out ahead if the students it admitted ALSO came out ahead, who would they admit?  Would they let Freshmen enter if they had no scholastic history that indicates the ability to learn, study and succeed?  Would they then offer realistic remedial programs AT THE STUDENT’S EXPENSE (as low cost as possible) that would have to be mastered before the rest of their college time could be financed with an institution’s co-signature?

Imagine the real cost of college dropping as schools, themselves, realize that huge student loans are a shared risk.  Maybe the financial wizards who have rewarded one another while money has been free-flowing will become enough sharper as to provide genuine education for far less dough… maybe even scheduling classes so that degrees can be earned in 3 years instead of 4.  Hmmnnn.  These are ideas that make you go, “hmmmnnn.”