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  • THANKS to Joe Walsh for Interview with Mike Lotus (a/k/a Lexington Green) Tonight

    Posted by Lexington Green on September 16th, 2013 (All posts by )

    Super-duper thanks to Joe Walsh for having me on his show tonight to talk about America 3.0, and for speaking so kindly about the book.

    Joe was struck by the optimism of our message, which was great. This is exactly what we are trying to get across.

    Hope and a vision of the future are FORCE MULTIPLIERS. We need to not be thinking of all going down gloriously at the Alamo. If we must have military analogies — and we must! — we want to be sinking the Japanese carriers at Midway and turning the tide in the struggle. We plan to win this thing.

    Mr. Obama said he was going to fundamentally transform America. So far he has tried, but his main effort is falling apart before it has even started.

    We, unlike the President, do not want to fundamentally transform America. America is fundamentally good, and worthy of our love and loyalty. What we need to fundamentally transform is a public sector that is corrupt, wasteful, inefficient, destructive, coopted by cronies, brutal, heavy-handed, intrusive, and incapable of executing its basic and necessary functions. We are in an transition period out of industrial era America, and we need a reconfigured public sector for that new era. The Twentieth Century legacy state needs to go to the scrap yard. It is heading toward the junk heap faster in Illinois than in most places, and sadly the most vulnerable people are the ones who are going to get hurt the worst. We need to build this thing down intelligently, openly, transparently and fairly. That is going to be hard, and most people don’t yet realize it has to be done. But that realization is going to get harder and harder to avoid.

    We will need a big coalition — a big tent, a huge tent, to do this.

    (While I’m at it: We are going to need to work with our Progressive friends and neighbors who really and truly care about helping the poor and the needy, when possible, and issue by issue. We need a thriving private sector to sustain a generous public sector, and we need a government which uses real incentives to get good results, not bureaucratic stasis. That is a conversation we need to be having. We exclude no one who agrees with us on even one issue. We will work together on that issue and leave the other stuff for another day. Heck, when Occupy got started, I found I could agree with some of what they wanted. One of my greatest regrets is I did not get in line, take the microphone, and say, “I am Mike Lotus from the Chicago Tea Party, and here is what we agree on … .” Probably nothing would have come of it. But now I will never know.)

    America’s greatest days are yet to come.

    Believe it.

    Make it happen.

    Fear God and dread nought.

     

    21 Responses to “THANKS to Joe Walsh for Interview with Mike Lotus (a/k/a Lexington Green) Tonight”

    1. T. Greer Says:

      We are going to need to work with our Progressive friends and neighbors who really and truly care about helping the poor and the needy, when possible, and issue by issue. We need a thriving private sector to sustain a generous public sector, and we need a government which uses real incentives to get good results, not bureaucratic stasis. That is a conversation we need to be having. We exclude no one who agrees with us on even one issue. We will work together on that issue and leave the other stuff for another day.

      Seconded. With a ‘hurrah.’

      i sometimes make the analogy – and you can tell me if this is a poor one – with America of 1776. Some of those folks who signed the deceleration to secede from Britain would end up as bitter partisan enemies a few decades later. But those conflicts were in the future. What mattered then is that they all agreed King George and the British order had to go.

      Those opposed to the current system of plutarchy and government sponsored corporatism need to stop treating their allies across the isles like its 1800. The election of 1800 is still a few decades away.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      Too few people see this.

    3. Death 6 Says:

      No doubt that there will need to be some missionary outreach work done with the progressive elites and seeking common ground on specific issues is a component. The challenge is to disabuse them of their devotion to using government to make others behave as they think best and to produce their ideal outcomes. We are talking about their core principles here. The Occupy Crowd just wants to own what the corporate world has; they don’t really want them gone. Their frustration with the demonstrated symbiosis between crony capitalism and big government doesn’t led to them in anyway to seek less government, rather more government using its power more pervasively in the cause of social justice (as progressively defined).

      I believe the comparison to the revolutionary unity in opposing British royal oppression among those who later became bitter political opponents is thin. The revolutionaries were not only united against a common precisely defined enemy, but there was a unified position that the desired end state would be based on a system of personal liberty, not divine right. The discordance later seen was much more narrowly confined than we see across our current political and worldview spectrum. The post modernist progressives seem highly resistant to rational critical analysis of cause and effect. This is about their own truth as they want it to be and intensions are all that seem to really matter.

      I worry when I hear government generated incentives (the equivalent to the progressive nudge, I believe) and a generous (expensive entitlement) public sector. Any government that engages in directing personal or corporate behavior necessarily creates the constituencies that benefit in consequence. These constituencies have very strong secondary incentives to expend part of their rent in increasing their benefit from the political process while the bill payers have a very decentralized interest in opposing it. The transactions costs favor the concentrated interests and the symbiosis blossoms. When the progressive desire to unconditionally financially support those in need (defined by whatever criteria) using public finances, there is no accountability for the effects, positive or negative, direct or secondary. Dulling the natural incentive to better one’s own position in accordance with one’s desires and abilities by one’s own productive (as opposed to political or criminal) efforts is not only destructive to individuals, but also society. It is also self-accelerating at the expense of the productive sector called on to support such an increasing dead weight loss. There may be some limited and localized opportunity to provide the opportunity for increased upward mobility based on productive effort such as financial assistance for performance-based education and training. Private activities are generally preferable to government, as they tend to preserve the benefit-payment closely tied together. Government activity often crowds out private assistance as well.

      If America 3.0 turns out to include in reality a reset of the progressive vision of collective direction and “social justice” with better tools and initially more limited scope, I fear it won’t be long lived. I add my recommendation to Thomas Sowell’s of Theodore Dalrymple’s Life at the Bottom for a graphic and comprehensive description of the consequences of the progressive intellectual elite’s paradigm in shaping society from bottom to top. My conclusion is that it is unlikely that common agreement on individual issues based on polar divergent first principle reasons is going to unify what can not be logically reconciled. We have to proceed based on true first principles and unite on their basis alone. Some significant portion of our current society is strongly disposed not to come along. I don’t give up confronting the progressives based on first principles, not because they can be won over, but because the uncommitted are watching.

      Mike

    4. MikeK Says:

      Almost anything of Dalrymple’s is worth reading. I feel we are experiencing a slow motion replay of the French Revolution. Ironically, If you read “Citizens” by Schama, you learn that the Revolution was supported in large part by the young nobility which was bemused by the romantic delusions of Rousseau. Their passion did not slow the fall of the Guillotine blade at all. I wonder how our elites will do when the collapse comes ?

    5. Death 6 Says:

      Agree, hadn’t thought of it in those terms. Certainly Rousseau is a founding father of progressivism. The ones I know won’t do well because they aren’t generally skilled at being self sufficient in their physical needs and won’t likely be creative in a threatening situation. Can’t even visualize the need.

      Mike

    6. MikeK Says:

      British schools are considering going back to a 1930s set of history of Britain series since so much of the British public is ignorant of their history. I doubt that would ever get past the teachers’ unions here.

      Rousseau ? Who’s he ?

    7. PenGun Says:

      I have always preferred the St Augustine’s “Love god and do as you will”.

      I don’t much like the Christian use of fear. It diminishes the entire religion.

    8. MikeK Says:

      “I don’t much like the Christian use of fear. It diminishes the entire religion.”

      Compared to what ? Your personal religion ? Global warming perhaps ? Living in Canada, I would be all in favor.

    9. Lexington Green Says:

      Here is St. Thomas Aquinas on fear of God.

      In the saying “fear God and dread nought” it means fear God and nothing else, and our love for God is “filial fear” which bound up with our awareness that he is our father and that he loves us.

    10. Val Says:

      America 3.0 sounds like a real eye opener of a book. Can’t wait to get a chance to read it.

    11. Grurray Says:

      As Pope Benedict said earlier in the year-
      Fear of God liberates, freeing us from fear of men.

    12. PenGun Says:

      I have been a Buddhist since I was 18, that’s 49 years now. One of the main reasons I left the Christian church was reading the Articles of Religion in the Anglican prayer book.

      The Jews are damned, all who do not properly fear are damned, etc etc, they do go on. I decided this was obviously wrong.

      The path of the Buddha does not need your fear. It will dispel it rather than exploit it.

    13. Lexington Green Says:

      Val, let us know what you think once you have read it.

    14. Death 6 Says:

      PenGun, it’s the Bible! What a sect or denomination chooses to add to it or subtract from it does not diminish the redeeming work of Christ. A church congregation or Christianity is not a club for saints, it is a hospital where flawed humans help each other based on the biblical teachings of Christ as empowered by the Holy Spirit to attain all that Christ died for us to be. It’s a lifelong process upon acceptance by faith of the truth of our conciliation to God through the sacrifice of Jesus. It produces, the “fruits of the spirit” and fear is not one of them.

      Anyone who condemns the Christian faith on the basis of the imperfection of its members or their erroneous addendum to biblically based core doctrine has applied a standard that Christ specifically rejected. The “fear” of God is our awestruck respect, deference to and love for the Creator whose dual nature is love and righteousness. I’m not Catholic, but I say the Pope is correct.

      I’ll make no comment about your decision to become Buddhist or about that faith. I do believe in the Law of Noncontradiction as the first principle of logic.

      Mike

    15. L. C. Rees Says:

      Sound advice from the Original Witness:

      תְּחִלַּ֣ת חָ֭כְמָה יִרְאַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים בִּינָֽה׃

      English:

      The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

      Or even in Anglican:

      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

      Christians don’t end in fear. They don’t necessarily start or dwell in fear. But, at the beginning of wisdom, and we speak here of that wisdom which only comes from outside mortality, fear can be a useful spur to enlightenment.

      Example:

      But the Gods were jealous of the celestial felicity enjoyed by this city of the earth. They made an old man, and, in order to trouble Siddhartha’s mind, they set him down on the road the prince was travelling.

      The man was leaning on a staff; he was worn out and decrepit. His veins stood out on his body, his teeth chattered, and his skin was a maze of black wrinkles. A few dirty grey hairs hung from his scalp; his eyelids had no lashes and were red-rimmed; his head and limbs were palsied.

      The prince saw this being, so different from the men around him. He gazed at him with sorrowful eyes, and he asked the charioteer:

      “What is this man with grey hair and body so bent? He clings to his staff with scrawny hands, his eyes are dull and his limbs falter. Is he a monster? Has nature made him thus, or is it chance?”

      The charioteer should not have answered, but the Gods confused his mind, and without understanding his mistake he said:

      “That which mars beauty, which ruins vigor, which causes sorrow and kills pleasure, that which weakens the memory and destroys the senses is old age. It has seized this man and broken him. He, too, was once a child, nursing at his mother’s breast; he, too, once crawled upon the floor; he grew, he was young, he had strength and beauty; then he reached the twilight of his years, and now you see him, the ruin that is old age.”

      The prince was deeply moved. He asked:

      “Will that be my fate, also?”

      The charioteer replied:

      “My lord, youth will also leave you some day; to you, too, will come troublesome old age. Time saps our strength and steals our beauty.”

      The prince shuddered like a bull at the sound of thunder. He uttered a deep sigh and shook his head. His eyes wandered from the wretched man to the happy crowds, and he spoke these solemn words:

      “So old age destroys memory and beauty and strength in man, and yet the world is not frantic with terror! Turn your horses around, O charioteer; let us return to our homes. How can I delight in gardens and flowers when my eyes can only see old age, when my mind can only think of old age?”

      The prince returned to his palace, but nowhere could he find peace. He wandered through the halls, murmuring, “Old age, oh, old age!” and in his heart there was no longer any joy.

      He decided, nevertheless, to ride once more through the city.

      But the Gods made a man afflicted with a loathsome disease, and they set him down on the road Siddhartha had taken.

      Siddhartha saw the sick man; he stared at him, and he asked the charioteer:

      “What is this man with a swollen paunch? His emaciated arms hang limp, he is deathly pale and pitiful cries escape from his lips. He gasps for breath; see, he staggers and jostles the bystanders; he is falling…Charioteer, charioteer, what is this man?”

      The charioteer answered:

      “My lord, this man knows the torment of sickness, for he has the king’s evil. He is weakness itself; yet he, too, was once healthy and strong!”

      The prince looked at the man with pity, and he asked again:

      “Is this affliction peculiar to this man, or are all creatures threatened with sickness?”

      The charioteer answered:

      “We, too, may be visited with a similar affliction, O prince. Sickness weighs heavily upon the world.”

      When he heard this painful truth, the prince began to tremble like a moonbeam reflected in the waves of the sea, and he uttered these words of bitterness and pity:

      “Men see suffering and sickness, yet they never lose their self-confidence! Oh, how great must be their knowledge! They are constantly threatened with sickness, and they can still laugh and be merry! Turn your horses around, charioteer; our pleasure trip is ended; let us return to the palace. I have learned to fear sickness. My soul shuns pleasure and seems to close up like a flower deprived of light.”

      Wrapped in his painful thoughts, he returned to the palace.

      At the moment of supreme agony of soul, the great god יהוה‎ comforted his followers, as recorded in the good news relayed to us by the emissary John:

      29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

      30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

      31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

      32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

      33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

      Escape from suffering is enduring to the uttermost, all the while accepting the grace יהוה‎ won by blood in the garden by the oil press and by death at the crossroads of skulls and signifying that acceptance by an offering of good works unto him all the day long. That fear is encountered by the wayside despite Suddhodana or anyone else’s attempts to obscure or hide it is inescapable. That’s a feature of the journey, whether your following the eight way Aryan path or you pick up your cross and follow he that is mighty to save.

    16. PenGun Says:

      All right then.

      “Lo though I walk in the valley of death I will fear no evil because I’m the meanest son of a bitch in the valley.”

      Some of us need the Buddha.

    17. Death 6 Says:

      No one is the meanest SOB in the valley of death.

      Mike

    18. Jason In LA Says:

      “Lo though I walk in the valley of the **shadow** of death I will fear no evil…” Pengun, it may just be your comprehension, or lack thereof, that allows you to disparage the Christian faith. If Buddha works for you fine. But lets not pretend you know what you’re talking about when it comes to Christ. I can already tell you do not.

    19. PenGun Says:

      “But lets not pretend you know what you’re talking about when it comes to Christ. I can already tell you do not.”

      Awesome.

      “No one is the meanest SOB in the valley of death.”

      Actually as a follower of the Buddha, the valley is an old friend. A transition as it were.

    20. Lexington Green Says:

      I do not read PenGun as disparaging the Christian faith. He told us his early experience reading the Anglican Church’s Articles showed him, whether this perception is correct or not, overly focused on damnation of outsiders, and he recoiled from it. Remarkably, no less a Christian than the Pope made a similar point in a widely cited interview that just came out. The “saving love of Christ” is the message, and the moral laws are there to guide us toward that love.

      I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”

      This is closer to the Gospel message than the things that repelled PenGun as a young man.

      If he had been exposed to this type of Christianity, then he may have found the life of inner peace and contemplation which some find in Buddhism is also available in Catholicism.

    21. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      “He told us his early experience reading the Anglican Church’s Articles showed him, whether this perception is correct or not, overly focused on damnation of outsiders, and he recoiled from it.”

      I attended Catholic school when I was young. I was taught this as well and also recoiled. It was the first instance I remember of separating what I felt to be right and true from what I was being taught.

      On the other hand, science is a good teacher, and one of it’s first lessons is that what seems intuitively correct is not necessarily so. Much physics is counterintuitive and requires a lot of thought to grasp and understand. Sometimes you never really understand why, you just have to accept it is so.

      I believe in a creator. I have no evidence, I just feel that to be true. I believe our souls are eternal, else what is the purpose of life and the universe? I don’t accept nihilism. I reject it completely. It feels wrong on every level, and it’s followers seem to produce nothing but catastrophe and evil works. I believe in right and wrong and good and evil, but definitions of those things vary from person to person. So I find experience, both my own and historical, to be a useful guide. Will this line of action produce something good and useful, or the opposite? We all must make choices and live with the consequences. The problem is unforeseen and unintended consequences seem to multiply like hounds from hell despite our best intentions. On a positive note, my experience is that trying to do the right thing often works out best. Sometimes you need to reason your way, sometimes feel it, often it’s a combination of the two.