Thursday, September 25, 2014


The Anointed and the Tragic Visions

The good and the bad exist in our society and in our government.

What we have now in our government is a clash of visions as Tom Sowell defines it in his book Intellectuals and Society. The current dominant vision is that of what was labeled "the vision of the anointed". In this vision, elites, largely self-anointed,  hold the principle influence and direction of our government across a wide swath of issues. I called this the "authoritarian vision" in a recent post, because the elites want what amounts to expanded, even dictatorial, powers to use their presumed knowledge and superior intellect to create laws and govern the nation. In this anointed vision, our current Constitution is merely a hindrance to the objectives of the elites, and it needs to be changed to suit their unique and not publically voted upon vision.

The opposing vision is labeled by Sowell the "tragic vision", which is the "traditional vision" I defined earlier, that most of us hold dear. This vision considers the basis of our government to be contained in the Constitution and civil or common law, and which makes effective representation of the people, checks and balances throughout government and our mediating institutions central and indispensible features to counter the potential excesses of those in power. The written Constitution ensures that every citizen knows the fundamental law of the land.

It is a tragic vision simply because it recognizes the tragic need for protection of the people from the elites and the power-hungry progressives--- those who would be king---and those that would make drastic changes to our government in the name of their anointed vision of efficiency and amorality! Tragic also because it recognizes that all men are fallible, and a fallible man or group of men with power to dictate laws and sweeping regulations is a serious existential problem for this democratic republic.

The good things in our society are from the traditional, tragic vision for our democratic republic.

The bad things are from the vision of the self-proclaimed intellectual anointeds which is an anathema to our way of life.

For a more complete listing of the good and bad ideas prevalent today see my post of July 18, 2014 entitled Conservatism: Simple to Complex.

Tom Sowell wrote 669 pages with notes in his book Intellectuals and Society to explain why intellectuals and their "vision of the anointed" (and my version of the authoritarian vision) are highly detrimental to our nation and to individual citizens as well. So I strongly suggest that everyone reads this masterful work.





Friday, September 19, 2014



The Good and the Bad

There are at least four divisions of Muslims today along the following lines:
—Majority, peaceful, not given to jihad.
—Minority, peaceful but understands jihad and give jihadists tacit support.
—The few percent Jihadists, willing to fight for what they see as rightfully theirs, and to kill the infidel.
—The relatively small rogue elements typified by ISIS, that are fulltime jihadists and overly strict Islamic conformists straight from the 12th century. They practice all of the very worst to be found in the Koran, the Haddith, and their own Fatwa’s. They apparently number in the 60 thousands now.

I respect the majority, and hope they never think the lesser jihad is desirable.
I hope the minority that tacitly supports jihad has a complete change of heart.
The rest are true enemies of Western civilization.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014


My Reading List

A Consequential Library

In order to obtain a solid background in conservatism, I decided to develop a comprehensive library of books by important writers, both for conservatism itself and for the deeper philosophy it entails, as well as other issues that came to me as I read. As of now, that library has the following list of books and their authors. I heartily recommend all of them for they each have an important message to give.

The problem this list presents is endemic to any textbooks of deep significance; to master the material requires reading and rereading perhaps two or three times.  Even then, a further time is needed to absorb the work more fully, and relate it to the rest of your thinking.  In my case, this list took the better part of 14 years of study for several hours daily for me to feel comfortable with the material.

All but one of these books are now in my private collection. The list follows:

1.              A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

2.              Aftershock, David Wiedemer

3.              A History of God, Karen Armstrong

4.              A History of Knowledge, Charles Van Doren

5.              A Nation under God, Krannwitter and Palm

6.              Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow

7.              A Primer on Formal Logic, John Cooley

8.              A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson

9.              America Alone, Mark Steyn

10.          American Conservatism (An encyclopedia)

11.          Applied Economics, Thomas Sowell

12.          Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell

13.          Blueprint for Action, Thomas Barnett

14.          By Design, Larry Witham

15.          Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen Meyer

16.          Collapse, Jared Diamond

17.          Conflict of Visions, Tom Sowell

18.          Constitutional Chaos, Andrew Napolitano

19.          Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant

20.           Emerson, F. I. Carpenter

21.           Emile, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Allan Bloom, Trans.

22.           Empire, Niall Ferguson

23.           Ethics in Theory and Practice, Thomas E. Hill

24.           Encyclopedia Britannica, 1953 Edition

25.           Free to Choose, Milton Friedman

26.           Future Shock, Alvin Toffler

27.           Gödel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter

28.           History of Political Philosophy, Third Edition, Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey

29.           Holy Bible, King James Version

30.           How Now Shall We Live, Charles Colson

31.            Ideas of the Great Philosophers, Sahakian and Sahakian

32.            In Defense of Natural Law, Robert George

33.          Intellectuals and Society, Tom Sowell, 1st and 2nd Editions

34.         In the Words of Our Enemies, Jed Babbin

35.         Imperial Hubris, Michael Scheuer

36.         Inside The Asylum, Jed Babbin

37.         Introduction to Mathematical Logic, Alonzo Church

38.         Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

39.         Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

40.         Mind Siege, Tim LaHaye

41.          Natural Law and Natural Rights, John Finnis

42.          Natural Law and Human Nature, Father Joseph Koterski, SJ

43.          Natural Law and Natural Rights, Robert George

44.          Natural Rights & the Right to Choose, Hadley Arkes

45.          Objectivism, Leonard Peikoff

46.          On Liberty, John Stuart Mill

47.          On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin

48.          Operationalism, Percy Bridgman

49.          Our Mathematical Universe, Max Tegmark

50.          Postmodernism, Glen Ward

51.          Power Shift, Alvin Toffler

52.          Power to the People, Laura Ingraham

53.          Programming the Universe, Seth Lloyd

54.          Religion of Peace, Robert Spencer

55.          Revolutionary Wealth, Alvin Toffler

56.          Right from the Heart, Phil Valentine

57.          Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer

58.          State of Fear, Michael Crichton

59.          The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis

60.          The Age of Analysis, Morton White, Editor

61.          The Age of Belief, Anne Fremantle, Editor

62.          The Basic Works of Aristotle, Richard McKeon

63.          The Big Questions, Nils Rauhut

64.          The Clash of Orthodoxies, Robert George

65.          The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom

66.          The Complete Works of Plato, John N. Cooper, Editor

67.          The Concise Conservative Encyclopedia, Brad Minor

68.          The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk

69.          The Constitution of the United States of America

70.          The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav

71.          The Declaration of Independence

72.          The Edge of Evolution, Michael Behe

73.          The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene

74.          The Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene

75.          The Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

76.          The 5000 Year Leap, W. Cleon Skousen

77.          The Greening of America, Charles Reich

78.          The Information, James Gleick

79.          The Koran, N. J. Dawood, translator

80.          The Laws of Power, Robert Greene

81.          The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Friedman

82.          The Liberty Amendments, Mark R. Levin

83.          The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hayes

84.          The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas Barnett

85.          The Philosophy of As If, Hans Vaihinger (Public Library)

86.          The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, Robert Spencer

87.          The Prince, Machiavelli

88.          The Republic, Plato

89.          The Science of God, Gerald L. Schroeder

90.          The Science of Good and Evil, Michael Shermer

91.          The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis

92.          The Social Contract, Jean Jacques Rousseau

93.          The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler

94.          The Tocqueville Reader, Edited by Zunz and Kahn

95.            The West’s Last Chance, Tony Blankley

96.            The Will to Believe, William James

97.            The Wisdom of the Ancient Greeks, Steven Stavropoulos

98.            Thomas Jefferson, Basic Writings

99.            Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

100.                            War, and Anti-War, Alvin Toffler

101.                            Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

102.                Who Needs God? Harold Kushner

103.                Winning the Future, Newt Gingrich

104.                Why Us? James Le Fanu

105.                Written on the Heart, J. Budziszewski





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