ALL YOU JEWS AND INDIANS JUST NEED TO SHUT THE HELL UP

A woman made the following statement in social media concerning the removal of Confederate statues and monuments:  “As Trump supporters would say: “You lost; get over it!” CSA thought their cause was noble, but enslaving individuals and treating them like property is never noble. ”

I’ve tried to ignore the staggering ignorance of such people, but today it finally broke the dam and I had to respond.

“Had the war really been about slavery, the Union would have freed their slaves before the war, rather than after it. There would have been no slaves in the District of Columbia at the start of the war.

“The Confederacy would not have promised manumission and full citizenship to any slaves who volunteered to serve in the army. Abolition and manumission had been a topic of discussion in the legislatures of most southern states for decades, and was brought up in every session of the Confederate congress.

“Fewer than 10% of all southern households owned slaves, and the vast majority of Confederate soldiers had never owned slaves.

“It has been put forward that poor and non-slave owning southerners supported the war so there would always be someone beneath them in the social structure, but it was a NORTHERN supreme court that ruled, in Dred Scott, that slaves were property, and therefore not even part of the social structure. Anyone who honestly believes that human beings would have endured what southern soldiers endured solely for some nebulous concept of status is beneath abysmally ignorant of the reality of war.

“How about if we remove all memorials to the Holocaust?  It was a long time ago, and the Jews lost. Shouldn’t they shut up and go along with the sanitizing of history? How about if we remove all monuments to or mention of Wounded Knee or the Trail of Tears, or Sand Creek, or Washita?  Those were a long time ago, and the Indians lost all of those battles and wars. Why don’t we tell them to shut up and stop their ridiculous insistence on remembrance?

“My personal favorite is why don’t we burn down all the public schools and colleges that have turned generations of Americans into mis-educated, thoughtless misanthropes like you?

“I truly hope that when the shooting starts again – which it will, because the left always starts shooting – you are caught in the open.”

DEO VINDICI, GRANDFATHERS. SEMPER FIDELIS

I have shared this before, but tonight it hits especially hard, probably because I have been so heart broken and infuriated over events in New Orleans, in particular, and in my nation, in general.

If any would know me better, watch this video of Jackson’s attack on the Federal flank at Chancellorsville, and please, please carefully read the text. This video is not about a reenactment or a movie. It is about our nation and the ravages of the scavengers who tear at her entrails.

There were more than 120 men with my family names on the roster of the Texas Brigade, which included the 18th Georgia infantry and later, the 3rd Arkansas infantry. The flag that is being slandered and demonized by ignorant peddlers of hate is the flag of my fathers. My soul is torn between the knowledge of the horrors that will attend a war, and the horrors that will attend further desecration of our ancestors.

Ponder the words of Malachi, chapter 4, verses 5 and 6:

“5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Deo Vindici. Semper Fidelis.

Rebsarge

IN HONOR OF MOTHERING

There is no aspect of home and family life that is not impacted by mothering.  Likewise, there is no aspect of mothering that is not touched by every other part of home and family life.  Here’s my salute to all y’all mothers.

Rebsarge

Happy Mother’s day to all of the hard-working, loving Moms out there. You are, literally, the fountainheads of our species, not just physically, but in every other way. Everything we have and are is a gift from God, and you, dear ladies, are the medium through which He has worked. That is not a small thing.

Happy Mother’s Day to you moms who have to be dads, too. It’s a rough row to hoe. Do your best, and don’t hold yourself accountable to standards that are not possible for you to meet. Everything that applies to other moms, as well as that which applies to dads also applies to you.

Happy Mother’s day to all the loving kids, without whom, there would be no Moms. Love your mothers, forgive them, for they are human, and hope to goodness that someday, you might be the parent of such all-knowing and perfect children as yourselves. Yes, that was sarcastic, but in a kind and nurturing way. You’ll understand it one of these days.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you dads out there, without whom, there would be no Moms. Do your job so that the mother of your children can do what she needs to do. If she has the support from you to be all that she can be (sorry, Army) you will be a huge part of the legacy the two of you will leave to your children.

Finally, happy Mother’s Day to all you dads who have to be moms. You are often so far out of your genetically-coded expertise and comfort zone it’s crazy. Hang tough. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Someday, your kids will bless your name.

FROM MY LIFE AS A WRITER

I’ve been a trainer, technical writer, and instructional designer in one capacity or another for nearly 40 years.  I’ve worked in basic manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing,, customer service, tech support, and Napoleonic infantry tactics, in settings from factories to offices to call centers to grassy fields and brush-choked gullies.  A recent conversation put me in mind of some things I’ve learned along the way that I can just about guarantee you’ll never hear in a class on writing or instructor training.

There probably aren’t many people still living who actually do that kind of work anymore, but in the off chance one of you long-suffering old warriors should stumble upon this, I hope it helps, or at least makes you smile.

Words mean things.  I was using that long before I heard Rush Limbaugh use it, and I got it from Leonard Piekoff in the early-80s.  It doesn’t matter what language we’re talking about; the words of that language mean things.  Actually, a word stands for a concept.

Okay.  Back up a little.  The human consciousness operates on different levels.  The first, lowest, or most basic level is that of sensory perceptions.  That’s where we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste something.  The bit of sensory information that is fed from our sense organs to our brain is called a “percept.”  Most percepts, by themselves, don’t amount to much, one notable exception being pain.  If this is the first time we’ve encountered this thing, that little bit of information is tossed on the table by the door of our minds and left there.  If we’ve encountered this before, or something like it, now we have two percepts, and those can be combined to form the next level of our awareness, a “percept.”  We go from being aware of “A” thing to being aware of “THAT” thing.

A percept is a combination of distinct percepts   (PER as in “PERception.”  PRE as in “PREvious,” or “Before.”)  A precept contains enough information to allow us to say, “Oh, that again,” the next time we encounter it.

When we get enough information on this thing that we need to be able to remember it, we give it a name, or a word, which will stand for that thing in our minds.  This collection of PREcepts tied together by a word is a CONcept.

From now on, whenever we encounter this thing, we have a name for it.  We can tell our friends about it.  Rather than listing all the distinct sensory features of the thing – size, color, texture, smell, etc. – we can just say, “That’s a skunk.”  So words stand for concepts. Without words, or language, Man’s conceptual consciousness could not function.  Would that be a problem?  Oh, my, yes!

Consider a computer.  We all know what a computer is because we’ve heard that word and seen it applied to a specific type of thing.  If we didn’t have that word, we’d have to list all the components of the thing:  resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, circuit boards, cables, soldier, smoke, etc.  (All electrical devices operate on smoke; when you let the smoke out of them, they no longer function.)  Our conceptual consciousness, enabled by language, allows us to contemplate or discuss truly enormous bodies of sensory data with a single word.  We can speak blithely of the Universe, or Mankind, or food, or anything else for which we have a word.  For example, consider the enormous amount of information referred to in the sentence, “This is the greatest food Mankind has discovered anywhere in the Universe.”

“A concept is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s) with their particular measurements omitted.”  [Ayn Rand, “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology”]   You can’t beat the classics.

Let’s reduce the scale a bit and talk about a ball.  Any ball has certain characteristics that make it a ball – “round” is the most essential, considering tennis balls, footballs, cannonballs, etc.  When we hear the word “ball,” we are able to visualize precisely to what the speaker is referring.  When we see a round object, we first identify it by the “GENUS” of its definition.  The genus is the larger group of things to which the object belongs – balls.  We can further identify it by the “SPECIES” of its definition.  The species is the features of this particular ball.  It’s a round ball (eliminating footballs) it’s red, (eliminating all other colors) it’s solid rubber (eliminating air-filled balls or those made of anything other than rubber) it’s three inches in diameter (eliminating all other sizes of balls, and pretty well nailing this one down.)

“Genus” is the group; “Species” is the individual.  Consider a brown horse.  “Horse” is the genus, brown is the species.  However, there can be many layers of species:  “large, bay, Clydesdale gelding.”  Don’t worry about remembering all this.  It works, I promise.

The really wonderful, and I would say, “Miraculous” thing about our conceptual consciousness is that it operates with almost unimaginable speed.  In fact, unless we have studied this stuff, we aren’t even aware of what’s happening.  When we hear “Red, rubber ball,” we don’t have to go through all that other sorting.  Our minds almost instantaneously go down the page, as it were, to find “ball,” then, “red,” then, “rubber,” and we’re done.

Concepts can be stacked, too.  For example, “Airplane” stands for a vast number of concepts, each referring to an individual part.  Generally, bigger or more technical words stand for more sub-concepts than do shorter or more basic words, and this, brothers and sisters, is the point of this essay!

If you are writing something that is to be read by a specific audience, you must have a pretty good idea of the audience’s vocabulary and general educational level.  For example, if you refer to a “Cantilevered buttress,” an architect or mechanical engineer would know exactly what you are talking about.  Someone with, say, a reading comprehension level of the 2nd half of the third grade, or for whom English is not their milk tongue, you just lost them.

I worked for a time as a technical writer and instructional designer for a huge international corporation.  Our site management brought in an outfit to test the comprehension level of the workforce, and it came out to be the 2nd half of the 3rd grade.  This average included management and engineering in the total, so you can imagine what the hourly workers on the factory floor were like.  Knowing that made a huge difference in my work.  I knew that if I said, “Adjust the X, Y, and Z axes to position the insertion holes directly under the head,” about one in 20 students would understand.  I had to use smaller words that stood for smaller concepts.  That instruction became: “Turn the X-positioning knob to move the table left or right so that the holes are about in front of or behind the head.  Then use the Y-positioning knob to move the table forward or backward so that the holes are about lined up with the head from left to right.  Use the positioning knobs to correct the position of the holes so they are directly under the head.”  Eventually, I realized that even this structure was too complex for many of my students, so I had to break it down even more, and include more illustrations.  I also had to break down any compound or complex sentences to simple sentences because commas just blew their little minds – and semi-colons were like quantum physics!

As you can see, the text of the more basic instruction is much longer than that of the more complex, or higher-level instruction, and that brings us to a trap in all this:  if you use too many words, the lower-functioning students can actually get lost in the verbiage – before they get to the end, they’ve forgotten where they started – and if you make it too basic, the higher-functioning students will be bored or insulted.  The only solution I found to this problem was to put students in classes with others of about the same ability.  Neither did I ever find a real formula, or any sort of rules for knowing how to present something.  If you are in such a situation, all I can suggest is that you start out at the most basic level possible and work your way up until you lose them, then back it off a bit.

Something else to be conscious of is slang and idiom.  In an effort to amuse and engage one very bright student in a large class, I referred to a component as “…that little booger.”  The ensuing epistemological carnage was truly a thing to behold, but it didn’t get my students trained.  A few words, in particular, that I learned to not use are “Once” and “Utilize.”  Both are perfectly functional words, but if you say, “Once you have finished this adjustment, go to the next,” you will confuse your ESL (English as a Second Language) students who understand “Once” to mean, “One time.”  Instead, use “After,” or “When you have finished….”

I once worked (See, there’s a totally different usage of “once!”) with an engineer who would write his manufacturing procedures, then give them to me to edit.  He invariably used the word “Utilize” instead of “Use,” and I invariably changed every instance to “Use.”  He’d send the procedure back to me with every “Use” red-lined, and demand that I change them back to “Utilize.”

In one of my classes on the operation of an X-Y plotter, one of my students would be doing fine, but at a certain point, she’d freeze up and be almost paralyzed.  After a few days of this, I sat down with her and, after considerable pampering and encouraging, got her to tell me what was going on.  She’d grown up on Java during the Japanese occupation, and had seen things no little girl ought to see.  Because this particular machine required operator input to make it do certain things, I’d been saying, “Now you can execute the program.”  This poor dear had a mental picture of “execute” that had never occurred to me!

Using very small words is not guaranteed to be successful, either.  In the middle of my explanation of how the X-Y plotter worked, one woman fell apart.  I asked her what in the world was wrong.  She tearfully wailed, “I can’t say big words like “X” and “Y!””

Learn to be conscious of the level of concepts you are using in your writing.  Get in the habit of being absolutely obsessive over consistency, that is, using the same word to refer to the same thing every time.  (When I worked for Verizon Wireless, I went through one of our training documents and found where one, particular word was used for three totally different concepts.  In that same document, I found a single concept for which four different words were used.)

Oh, and here’s something else that is often ignored:  parallel construction.  If you start by listing parts A, B, and C, don’t change to C, A, and B.  Always use the same order.  This is obviously critical if there is a sequence of events, but even if there isn’t such a sequence, don’t speak of A first in one paragraph, and B first in another.  (Another of Verizon Wireless’ documents, a programming instruction, had nine steps.  Step eight said, “Before beginning step three, you must….”  These documents were written by people with advanced degrees.  Humpf.)

PATTON’S WISDOM FOR TRUMP

Today, I participated in an on-air discussion about Donald Trump’s presidency.  The specific question was whether I was disappointed in him.  Apparently, some big city Yankee writer has claimed Trump’s base is turning against him, and we were talking about that.

Not one of the other participants expressed a level of disappointment that could be even marginally considered “…turning against him.”  For myself, I knew from the outset that he’d make some mistakes, but he’d get a lot more things right than wrong, and at this point (12 April, 2017)  I’d have to say that premise is holding up.  The things he’s gotten right are much bigger than the things he’s gotten wrong, in my opinion, so I’m still very much a Trumpisto.

If there is anything I really wish he’d do different, it’s his failure to wage jihad on the Obama holdovers in the government.  They are doing all they can to sabotage his presidency, and though they have been a trivial annoyance up until now, it’s possible one of them could come up with something significant.  I’d like to see every stinkin’ one of the bed-wetting traitors on the curb.

However, there is a historical precedent for what Trump is doing.  I don’t know if he’s really aware of it, or if he’s just that savvy.  Either could be the case.

In 1945, after the fall of NAZI Germany, General George Patton was in charge of the occupation government.  Almost all of the local and regional officials and bureaucrats in Germany were members of the NAZI party, but Patton didn’t remove them from office.  Now, the camps were closed, so these people weren’t gassing anybody or sending anybody off to a concentration camp.  What they were doing, though, was keeping civil government functioning, at least a little, all over Germany.  They were organizing food distribution, keeping the lights on, organizing the repair of roads, rails, and bridges, minding the jails, and all the jillion and one things bureaucrats are charged with doing.

Had Patton swept all of them out, civil order and function would have collapsed, and the people of Germany would have been in a much worse state than even the bombing offensive had left them.  (That is, they’d still be dealing with the effects of the offensive, which were unimaginable, but they wouldn’t have any civil organization or direction.  It would have been much worse even than it was.)

Patton was excoriated around the world as photos of the death camps and testimonies of survivors made their way into newspapers and magazines.  People wanted him to execute all NAZI’s, no matter how low-level or inoffensive.  Patton told them to buzz off because he knew what would happen.  (At the risk of engaging in cultural stereotyping, I’d like to point out the Teutonic knack for organization and efficiency.  There’s a joke at the end of this essay.)

To relate this to Trump’s situation, he has thousands of “party” members in hundreds of offices of the Federal Government.  If he were to sweep them all out, the government would cease to function altogether.  (Rod Serling voice: “Imagine, if you will, a world where that would be a bad thing.”)  Given the operational pace of his presidency to date, he just hasn’t had time to vet replacements for all of them.  He really hasn’t even had time to appoint a team to do that for him.  Look at the mess surrounding Michael Flynn, and he was pretty thoroughly vetted by Mike Pence.

I’ll bet you a cookie that as the Obamants become more bold, Trump will start weeding them out at an increasing rate.  As he replaces them with people loyal to the United States, rather than to a racist, fascist, damnyankee street punk, the rate of weeding out will accelerate.

THE JOKE – What’s the difference between Heaven and Hell?

In Heaven, the Irish are the cops, the English are the bureaucrats, the Germans are the engineers, the French are the lovers, and the Italians are the cooks.

In Hell, the Germans are the cops, the French are the bureaucrats, the English are the cooks, the Irish are the lovers, and the Italians are the engineers.

TO RIP THE LID OFF HELL

A good leader of a free people would encourage and edify generosity toward the poor and those who need help.  He would praise individuals and organizations that contributed to the relief of the poor.  He would encourage the representatives of the people to enact a clause in the tax code that would encourage generosity, and would encourage the states to do the same.

Note the use of the word, “Encourage.”  He would not order or encourage the people’s representatives to write law that would require individual generosity.  He would not use executive orders to force generosity.  He would not confuse the issue by telling the people that such coerced contribution is, in fact, generosity.  Force and encouragement are very different things.

This good leader would understand that charity is the motivation for generosity.  He would encourage the creation of wealth in the society so the people would have discretionary income with which to be generous.  He would encourage the poor who are able to work to do so, and would sponsor a tax code that would not be oppressive to them or to those possessing discretionary income.  He would praise, uplift, and sustain those who achieve the creation of wealth, and he would educate the people on the difference between wealth and money.

The good leader would enforce laws that prohibit graft and corruption, and any citizen, corporation, or politician who engaged in such behavior would be punished severely.

A statist leader would do none of those things.  He would demand and sign laws that would confiscate the wealth of some people so that it could be given to others.  He, or his agents in the government, would have sole authority to determine who is to be sacrificed and who is to benefit from that sacrifice.  He would establish brigades of bureaucrats and employees of the government to oversee the confiscation and redistribution of wealth, and he would never, ever mention to the people that the greater portion of their wealth is going to pay the wages of the brigades.  He would tell the people that the collectors and distributors are actually creating wealth, and that their labor is every bit as productive as that of any other worker.

If this leader knows the difference between wealth and money, he would certainly not let that secret get out. He would, instead, praise, uplift, and sustain Keynesian and collectivist professors and artists who contribute to the ignorance of the people.  He would use words like, “Selfish,” “Greedy,” “Privileged,” and “Rich”- that last pronounced with a sneer – to describe those who actually produce wealth, and encourage the demonization of such people.  He would speak of the majority of citizens as victims of the producers and foment distrust and even hate between employers and employees.  Though he may not use the Bolshevik terms, “Proletariat” and “Bourgeoisie,” the theme of his leadership would be precisely in keeping with such caste distinctions.

Of all his prevarications, the worst would be convincing the people that coerced contribution to the government’s welfare fund is actually moral because the thugs with the guns and the regulations are acting on behalf of the poor.  He and the professors would teach generations of teachers to teach the preposterous lie that volition is not required for morality.  He would be preparing future generations to accept whatever coercion future administrations might dream up on the premise that if it benefits some unnamed third party, it is morally justifiable.   At first, he and his thugs might have to keep secret the enormous wealth they are accumulating by skimming the contributions of  the people, but astonishingly soon, it wouldn’t matter; the people would become blind to the excesses of the government.  They would actually defend those who are looting their very sustenance because they have been taught for generations that people are stingy and greedy, and no government can call itself moral and just unless it levels its guns at the heads of the rich.

The statist leader would never permit anyone to point out that the line demarcating the rich from the poor creeps ever lower, or that the worst mistake a person could make is to become successful enough to put himself above that line.

Any political entity, whether an individual or a party, that claims the poor can only be cared for though the use of force to seize and redistribute wealth will come to the same end:  the self-immolation and virtual cannibalization of  the entire population.  It will create a living hell in which poverty and death are held up as the greatest, most moral attributes to which mankind might aspire.

I truly wish I had the power of expression to rip the lid off Hell and give you a peek inside.

ALTRUISM AS AN ABOMINATION, 2.0

  1. ALTRUISM VS. CHARITY

Liberals, Progressives, and other statists love to throw around the term, “Altruism.”  They, and probably most victims of public education, would define altruism as a concern for others, generosity, or charity.  They promote it as one of the most noble of traits, and claim the lack of it in the human race is all the justification they need to establish a system that forces people do be generous or charitable.  For example, this entry in the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary:  “Feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness”.

Stunningly enough, they are wrong.

The term was coined by August Comte around 1853.  It’s root is in the Latin “Alteri,” or “Alter,” meaning, “Other.”  As a philosophical principle it literally means “Otherism,” and means to live for the sake of others to the exclusion of ones’ self.

I’m going to quote some Scripture here, but if you’ll bear with me, I’ll derive the same conclusions from a non-religious perspective.  After all, if something is true, it should bear examination from either angle.  Oh, and I will use “man” to refer to all humans, of all races and genders.  It was standard usage for hundreds of years to use the masculine form when gender was not specified.  It was not exclusionary to women or children.  People used to be able to grasp such abstractions, and did so on a regular basis.  I absolutely refuse to soil my writing with he/she’s and his/hers’.  I mean no offense; it’s just the way I am.  (See “Self-Interest and the Master Race” at Rebsarge@wordpress.com)

Genesis, 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  Man was created as a being with a physical body that made him separate from all others of his kind.  Within that body was a rational mind, also a creation of God, and a part of being created in His image.  At the core of that rational faculty is the ability to choose – free agency, free will, or whatever you wish to call it.  Man’s ability to think and to decide on his course of action – how he would live his life – was the greatest gift God gave us in the beginning.  Without agency, there could be no such thing as morals, or even of right and wrong.  The purpose of life on this Earth is to prove, or test ourselves, to see if we will do what is necessary to return to the presence of God at the appointed time in post-mortal existence.  If we are not free to use our minds to direct our actions, and to use our bodies to act in accord with our thoughts, we are not living as our Father in Heaven intended.  In fact, we would be living precisely as that fallen angel, Satan, would have us live.

Now for the other perspective.  If one does not believe that God created Man, it works the same way.  Man evolved into a being with a physical body and a mind that functions on many levels, from sensory perception to the highest abstractions and imagination.  Furthermore, Man is a being of integrated mind and body, that is, the mind and body depend on each other to sustain life.  Without life, there is no question of existence, nature, or morality.  Man’s life as a proper human being depends on his being able to freely exercise his mind to decide on his course of action – how he would live his life.  Anything that interferes with man’s free will, whether his freedom to think or his freedom to act on his own conclusions, reduces man to some other species.  As a man, he is dead until his freedom is restored.  Such things as morality cannot exist if man does not live as man.

We have come through the Scriptures and by another path, and have arrived at the same point.  From here on, I will refer mostly to the Scriptural model, but that doesn’t mean I dismiss or depreciate the humanistic one.  Truth is truth, and it’s all a good thing. (1)

We all, male and female, have the same rational faculty and free will, and we are all in pursuit of the same thing.  In Genesis, 1:28, we find the first commandment God gave to humanity:  “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…”  However, in the Garden, their choices were limited.  There was only good, so there was no possibility of choosing good or evil, so they could not be proven, and could not attain exaltation.  Eve exercised her agency, though, and partook of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, setting the stage for the creation of Mankind, including us.  Out in the world, evil was very much present, so Adam and Eve were able to choose between good and evil, and the whole subject of morality came into the human lexicon.

Because we are cooped up in these individual bodies and our minds are, for the most part, isolated from the minds of others, we are solely responsible for our own salvation, or lack thereof.  No matter how much we love our spouses or our children, we cannot stand in their place at that last great judgement, as Tomlinson found out when he was trying to bluff his way into Hell:                                                                                                                                                  “O I had a love on earth,” said he, “that kissed me to my fall,                                                                             And if ye would call my love to me I know she would answer all.”                                                                      — “All that ye did in love forbid it shall be written fair,                                                                                          But now ye wait at Hell-Mouth Gate and not in Berkeley Square:                                                             Though we whistled your love from her bed to-night, I trow she would not run,                                      For the sin ye do by two and two ye must pay for one by one!” (2)

Because we are solely responsible for our own salvation, we must rely on our own rational faculties to plot our course through life.  We must do what we think is most important, that is; we must decide on our own values and then live according to them.  I’ll say that again:  every man and woman must decide, for themselves, what values they will serve in life.  To do otherwise is to abandon that agency with which we were blessed or developed through evolution.

The Savior, when asked which commandment was the greatest, replied that loving the Lord was the greatest, and the second was just as important:  “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…”  (3)

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni taught, “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth  forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him” (4)

Clearly, charity is extremely important and a great virtue, but consider what Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteh me nothing.” (5)

Self-sacrifice is not charity. Charity is love. The Bible Dictionary at LDS.ORG says, “The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. It is never used to denote alms or deeds of benevolence, although it may be a prompting motive.”

Charity must come from an individual’s free agency; it must be a choice.  If it is not a choice, it cannot be a virtue, and all choices come from the free exercise of our rational faculties, as provided by our Creator.

Charity is not “Otherism.”  Charity is not the denial of ourselves; it is recognizing ourselves in others – it is treating others as if they were ourselves.  If we deny ourselves or our values, how can we see ourselves in others?

Altruism is a corruption of a great principle, but it is, in itself, an abomination.  As long as people use the term in reference to genuine charity, it is merely a misuse of the word.  However, if one looks at the way all socialists attempt to force altruism on us, they clearly mean it in the real sense of the word – the denial of our own agency and the immolation of ourselves.

Don’t believe it?  Say to a Liberal, “I’m a very charitable person.  I support those charities of which I approve, and I take care of my family when they are in need.”  I guarantee that Liberal will say, “But you’re just taking care of what’s important to you!  That’s not altruism!  Altruism is taking care of people who don’t mean anything to you, or even of people you don’t like.”

I guarantee that, because I’ve had this very exchange dozens of times.  They will deny any virtue in taking care of your own values.  They say we must have statism (or whichever variant of collectivism they are espousing at the moment) in order to ensure that you take care of people they like, rather than those you like..  The only way they can establish true altruism is if they can force you to deny your own agency and values and serve their values.  Altruism is the denial of the sacred trust God placed in each of us when He gave us our agency.

That’s why, when Liberals tell you the Left cares about people, you can bet your bottom dollar they mean people other than you.

II          AGENCY AND GENEROSITY

Some might infer from the previous indictment of altruism that I see no value or virtue in generosity.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  However, the value and virtue in generosity is in its being voluntary and an act of charity, that is, an act of love for our fellow man.  Unless it is done freely, it’s not generosity or charity; it’s coercion or extortion.

Love is the highest plane of function of man’s consciousness, because it arises from every lower-level, or subordinate function.  It is a profoundly personal and private emotion – a response to the value we place on those we love.  As such, it is a product of our agency – of our freely functioning rational faculties.  It has been said that before one can say, “I love you,” one must say, “I.”

True altruism, as proclaimed by Socialists, would demand that we never utter that first person personal pronoun.  It would demand that we subvert every personal value and principle to the values and principles of someone else.  Altruism makes love and generosity impossible.  (I’ve never encountered a Socialist of any flavor who noticed that if the denial of self is a virtue, and the promotion of self a vice, the person to whom we would surrender our values is a degenerate for having values of his own.  In other words, by the principle of altruism, the most moral thing we could do would be sacrifice ourselves to degenerates.  As you can see from this, when one allows a contradiction into one’s philosophy, the entire universe is sucked into a whirlpool in a cesspool of self-destruction.)

The Scriptures are explicit in instructing us to take care of our families and close associates first, and to share the excess with the poor.  No one is required to sacrifice the care he gives to his family.  “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (6)  Everyone has heard the old proverb, “Charity begins at home,” and certainly love starts there, and generosity, as one of the works of love, does likewise.

Generosity is a wonderful thing, and most people, if left to their own devices, will be generous to those they care about.  The majority of people will be generous to strangers to the extent of their surplus.  Now, what economic system is best at producing surplus?

Ah.  That’s a topic for another day.

NOTES

 (1)    As a matter of “station identification,” I am obliged to state that I consider the Gospel and the Scriptures to be true.  As stated in the 8th Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, “[I] believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; [I] also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”  I went through a period early in my study when I considered the philosophies of Man to be the ultimate authority on truth.  If I read something in the Scriptures, and it matched what I’d learned earlier, I accepted it as true.  Today, though, I have a sure testimony of the validity of the Scriptures, and consider them to be the final arbiter of truth.  When I said, “Truth is truth,” and derived the same principles by both Scriptural and non-Scriptural paths, I did not mean to infer to any degree that the philosophies of Man are equal to or “just as good” as the Scriptures.

(2)     From the poem, “Tomlinson,” by Rudyard Kipling, 1892. Read the whole piece here:  https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/tomlinson.html

(3)    The New Testament,  Matthew 22: 36-39:                                                                            “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?                                                        37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all                     thy soul, and with all thy mind.                                                                                                      38 This is the first and great commandment.                                                                                      39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

(4)   The Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:47

(5)   The New Testament, Corinthians 13:3

(6)   The New Testament, 1 Timothy, 5:8

SELF-INTEREST AND THE MASTER RACE

This essay has been in the works for three years.  If you can get through it, you will see what an ordeal it is to delve into Jamesian Pragmatism and Progressivism.  I do honestly believe, though, that the careful and patient reader might find some insight into the Progressive mind.  It might help to set the stage if one were to watch the video of Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick’s performance of “White Rabbit.”

Go ask Alice.

[WAR]

Progressives look with revulsion on any system that involves people acting in self-interest.  Consider medicine, for example.  They want the government to control all health care because, under a capitalistic system, the doctors would be healing people just to make money.  Liberals can’t stand that, so they figure the government, if put in charge of everything, would not act in self-interest, or out of any desire for wealth.  They believe that is more pure and humane, and a guarantee of better service and greater charity.

Unless I’m mistaken, though, the government is made up of people from the same gene pool as the doctors.  If those people aren’t acting out of self-interest, what motivation could they possibly have to do what’s right, to do a good job, or to take care of anyone else?  If they are drawing a wage, they are most assuredly working for their own benefit as much as is the doctor under capitalism.  Are they supposed to be motivated purely by some charitable impulse?  Would they forego any wage?  Not likely.

Are we likely to be better cared for by someone who has no interest in our health, or by someone who expects to be paid to care for us?  If we get sick and die, does the bureaucrat stand to lose more than the doctor who will not have our business – or that of our friends and family – in the future?  If we are free to choose among many doctors in the interest of finding one we like and is competent, is not the capitalistic doctor motivated to do right by us?

Progressives decry the brute selfishness of humanity, and claim it is full justification for establishing a statist society in which the government has authority to force people to do right.  But, wait – If people are selfish brutes, what about the people in government?  Are they not made of the same stuff as the general population?

Progressives have two answers to that question, both of which lead to the same result.  The first sect of Progressivism holds that only those with advanced degrees are wise enough and good enough to throw off what the Scriptures call, “The Natural Man,” and rise to a higher evolutionary plane. (Not all Progressives see The Natural Man as a bad thing.  The Nazis thought Zarathustra was a fine role model, and the statists of the 18th and 19th centuries placed great stock in Rousseau’s “Noble Savage.”  It seems they only look down their noses at The Natural Man when it’s some man other than themselves.)

The second sect of Progressivism is more true to the origins of modern Liberalism in the philosophy of Pragmatism, authored by William James.  They subscribe, with great passion and commitment, to the concept of multiculturalism.  Now, at this point, there is no escaping a brief trip down a philosophical rat hole.  We’ll come out into the sunshine on the other side, but for now, please securely fasten the seatbelts on your sanity, ‘cause it’s about to get crazy as a pet coon.

I’m not sure when the debate over nature vs. nurture as applied to human beings began, but William James (1842-1910) would have come down very firmly on the nurture side.  He looked at the bewildering variety in human culture, and at how people from different cultures were willing to kill and die to prove their own cultures were better than any other.  He decided that, if there really were only one god, he would have made everyone the same, and there would be no chaos.  To James, it was obvious, then, that there were an infinite number of gods, each one controlling and jealously guarding his own little slice of the universe.  In fact, he said there is no “Universe,” but a “Multi-verse,” with infinite subsections, with each being the realm of its own god.

Since each multiverse was created without reference to any other, they are all different to one degree or another.  By “different,” I mean on a fundamental level.  In one multiverse, the creator may have set 2+2 to equal 4, but it may not be so in any other multiverse.  Each god populated his own multiverse with his own people, whose view of existence was unique according to the way he’d designed their minds and sensory apparatii. All of the actors within our native multiverses – all those things that determine how we view the world, other people, morality, art, physics, race, sex…. Everything – comprise our native culture.  We are all inescapably and eternally defined by our culture.  As the makeup of our very intelligence is determined by our culture, we cannot truly grasp the validity of any other culture.  It’s like a language we’ve never heard before; we just can’t understand.

Some gods, being more powerful than others, hogged more of the goodies for their own children.  (Ever heard the phrase, “Children of a Lesser God?”  And you thought I was making this crap up, didn’t you?)  Jealousy and want drive those children of the lesser gods to make war on the children of greater gods.  That, combined with the fact that no one can even recognize the humanity of anyone not of his own god, means eternal conflict among people.

Not all is lost, though.  Our cultures determine what sorts of work we are best suited for – farm kids make farmers, city kids make urbanites, etc… For every role in society, there is one, particular culture most suited to it, and for every culture, there is one role.  (Culture determines how we think and interact with the world, remember?  That means some people just flat can’t do certain types of work.)  As you can imagine, for a society to survive, everyone must be fitted into the role for which they were created; otherwise, there is more chaos.

How in the world, then, should people be assigned to those roles?  Well, it’s like this:  government is a profession, right?  Therefore, there must be one culture that best suits its members for government.  We must find those people and put them in charge.  Think about this, now:  if there is a culture that is suited, as a matter of its design and creation, to be in charge…. What was that phrase?  Oh, yes!   “The Master Race.”

It’s been tried before, if you recall.  Can there be any other conclusion to the premise that the cultural imperative is an unalterable absolute, and that it mandates every aspect of our personalities?

Let’s return for a moment to that first sect.  They are made superior by their professors.  Their professors were made superior by their professors, and so on in an infinite regression.  At some point in the ancient past, there was a first professor.  Since he, like the rest of Mankind, was a product of his culture, how could he have shaken off the intellectual chains to become a professor of  The True Enlightenment?  Well, I believe he would have had to come from a culture that suited him to become the master.  “Master Race?”  Weren’t we just here?

As you can see, though the two sects of Progressivism claim to be very different, they are, in the end, identical, and both are sick, twisted products of a demented mind.

The term “Multiculturalism” was not coined by James, but it aptly describes his epistemological principles.  It has been peddled to us as the cure for bigotry, racism, prejudice, and intolerance, but it is actually precisely the opposite.  It is the institutionalization of those things.  It holds that we can never understand anyone created by a different god – that is, of a different culture.  If two people find themselves in conflict, there are but three courses may take.

(1) They can agree to disagree and just walk away, never to deal with each other again.

(2)  One of them can just bow down and surrender to the other, because there can be no discussion or convincing.  (Not only can they not understand each other, but the cultural imperative precludes them changing their minds.)

(3) They can fight, winner take all.

Political Correctness is the operational principle of multiculturalism, and is every bit as insane and evil.

Now.  Where the hell was I?  Oh, yes.  Progressives, Liberals, and all other statists, believe, at some level, that they are children of a greater god – that they are the master race.  They believe they are not susceptible to the shortcomings and fallibilities of other, common mortals.  That is the only way they can justify telling us that because human nature is so depraved, our only salvation is to turn our lives over to other human beings.

More to come.

 

COMMON-SENSE GUN CONTROL IS STILL INSTITUTIONALIZED IDIOCY

(This is actually a re-post of an essay I wrote a few month ago.  Since then, the New Mexico Legislature has been besieged with two bills promoting the very “Universal background checks” I discussed.  In addition to requiring background checks for EVERY sale, even between private citizens, the law would require one for LOANING a gun to a friend for a hunt or a day at the range, as well as for giving a gun to a family member as a gift.  Even worse, assuming your friend passed the check so he could borrow your gun, he would have to run a check on YOU before returning the gun!

(Above and beyond the insanity I detail below, this would waste countless billions of dollars and hours of law enforcement resources that might otherwise be spent in actually pursuing criminals.  The Bloomberg groups, “Everytown for Gun Safety” and “Moms Demand Action” are the primary sponsors of the bills in NM.  These people are, quite literally Bloomberg’s political whores.)

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Having been involved in the fight for the 2nd Amendment for about 60 years, I think one of the most consistent laments of the anti-rights crowd has been a plea for “common-sense gun control.”  Very few of them have ever said just what they mean by that phrase, but occasionally one will slip up and actually bring to the table something can be discussed.  For the past decade or so, the most common suggestion has been to restrict the sale of firearms by private citizens.

 

CURRENT STATE

Any purchase of any firearm, other than “Class 3” arms – machine guns, true assault rifles, and “destructive devices” – can be consummated only after the buyer has passed an instant background check.  The system that accomplishes such checks is called the National Instant Check System, or NICS.  In practice, the buyer fills out an application, or form 4473, which can be accessed for your examination here:   https://www.atf.gov/firearms/applications-eform-4473.

When the form has been completed and signed, the dealer places a phone call to the NICS and recites selected information from the form.  The sale is either approved or denied, usually within a couple of minutes.  If it is approved, the buyer can walk out with the gun.  If denied, there is an appeal process, but the buyer can NOT walk out with the gun.  This process must be completed every time a person buys a gun, no matter how many guns they already own.  I have bought guns, and I have bought vegetables, and I can assure you, the former entails much more paperwork.  (This process applies to guns purchased on-line or through catalogs.)  Several myths shot in the head.

The NICS approval process does NOT INCLUDE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE GUN!  It is NOT a registration system!  A great many Americans think the 4473 registers the gun to the buyer, but it absolutely does not!  There is NO universal gun registration law in America!  A few states have started requiring registration of specific weapons, but for all practical purposes, there is NO GUN REGISTRATION IN THE UNITED STATES!  If Law Enforcement captures a weapon that has been used in a crime, they cannot simply pull up the 4473 and find out who bought it.  They can call the manufacturer for the name of the wholesaler, then call the wholesaler for the name of the store to which the gun was sold.  They can then go to the store and find out who bought the gun.  Then they can track down that person to see if he still owns the gun.  A HUGE myth shot in the head.

The law that established the NICS provided for the prosecution of felons who are caught by the system, but prosecutions are incredibly rare – one out of many thousands, in fact – so the Federal government does not even enforce the law of which it is so proud.

Sales of guns by private citizens are unregulated.  This is what the anti-rights crowd likes to call the “gun show loophole,” but it does not apply only to gun shows, and it does not apply to licensed dealers, at all.  If I am the legal owner – NOT THE REGISTERED OWNER!  – of a gun, and I decide to sell it, I am not required to run an NICS check on the buyer, and there is no form or paperwork of any kind.  If I am an unprincipled jerk, I can sell the gun to anybody I choose, whether they are underage or felons or addicts or terrorists.  Given the number of private sales, which is surely in the millions per year, the number of such sales that put guns in the hands of criminals or lunatics is miniscule.  The vast majority of people who sell guns privately make more than a causal effort to make sure the buyer is a decent human being. If the buyer happens to be in another city, I cannot legally ship the gun to him.  I have to take it to a dealer, who can ship it to another dealer, and THAT dealer must complete the NICS before delivering the gun to the buyer.  Another myth shot in the head.

If I pawn a gun, and redeem it, I must go through the NICS before walking out with the gun I already own, even if I passed the check when I originally purchased it.  Yes, pawn brokers are bound by the same laws as any other dealer.  Another myth shot in the head.

 

DESIRED STATE

The desired state (conceding for the moment that the left is not lying about wanting ONLY this “common sense” measure) is that there be NO un-regulated sales of guns by private citizens.  If I wanted to sell a gun to one of my shooting buddies, I’d have to run him through the NICS.  If I wanted to give a gun to my grandchild, I’d have to run them through the NICS.  Sounds great, right?  Let’s see how such a law could be enforced.

First, the NICS would have to be enlarged enormously.  We’ll have to appropriate money for that, but that’s trivial.  How would Law Enforcement know that I sold a gun?  Suppose I just sold it and never said anything.  Clearly, I’d be in violation, and if this law is work as advertised, that can’t happen, and this is where it gets real thick.

The government would have to have some means of knowing when a gun changed hands.  In order to know that, they’d have to know who owned it. That would mean universal registration of hundreds of millions of guns and their owners.  But wait!  Perhaps I won’t report my guns. How will they know?  They’ll have to come to my home.  Perhaps my neighbor doesn’t report a gun.  Is he failing to report, or does he simply not have a gun?  Well, they’ll have to inspect his house, too.

Do you see where this is going?  The federal government would have to physically inspect every home in the United States, including the homes of anti-rights liberals, the aged, the mentally disadvantaged, residents of inner-city warrens…  EVERY HOME IN AMERICA.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Then they’d have to know if I still have it.  That would require periodic inspections of the residences of hundreds of millions of suspected gun owners.  Really.  Can you think of any other way to verify possession?

When they have determined that I no longer have that gun in my possession, they’d have to know to whom I sold it, and when.  Then they’d have to query the NICS to make sure I ran the sale through the system, and that the sale was approved.  Then they’d have to go to the home of the new owner, verify possession, and register the gun to the new owner.

The process would then be repeated, with periodic inspections of the new owner’s home to make sure he hasn’t sold the gun illegally.  But wait!  There’s more!  What if I don’t report a sale, and called my friend to ask, “Hey, Joe, the Feds are coming to inspect my gun collection in a couple of days.  Can I borrow back that pistol I sold you until after the inspection?”

The only way to prevent that from happening is if the inspections were unscheduled and unannounced.  That would require – not suggest, but bloody well REQUIRE – tens of millions of inspectors, roaming the nation, randomly knocking on doors and demanding warrantless access to the homes of suspected gun owners.

Best of all, though, is that nowhere in any of this mess is there the slightest risk of governmental incompetence or graft, nor of any citizens saying, “No, thank you,” and politely shooting the damned inspectors.

In summary, enforcement of such a law would require universal, unannounced, warrantless searches of EVERY HOME IN AMERICA, INCLUDING THE HOMES OF LIBERALS!  That would require millions of new federal officers, constant recruitment of officers who get shot, life insurance payments to their dependents, disability payments for those who are just wounded, and Heaven knows what else.

Meanwhile, criminals would continue to run amok, criminal aliens would continue to bring heavy metal across the border, basement zip gun arsenals would continue to turn out bang sticks, and terrorists who don’t give a flying rat’s empennage for the law would continue to butcher our loved ones with abandon.

Seems like a stupid deal, to me.

BULLIES AND BULLYING

If we’re going to talk about bullies and bullying, let’s define our terms at the outset.   The Federal government, at stopbullying.gov, limits its definition to behavior among school aged children, but I submit that bullying can occur at any age.

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines a bully thus:  a blustering, browbeating person, especially :  one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable

Dictionary.com says the noun usage of “bully” means, “…a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.”  They add the verb usage to mean, “…to be loudly arrogant and overbearing.”

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program also limits its definition to school children.

My 1955 paper edition of the Oxford Universal defines a bully as, “…a person (or animal) who makes himself or herself a terror to the weak and defenseless.”

In this essay, I shall ignore those definitions that limit bullying to children, because bullies can be of any age, as can their victims.  Liberty Valance comes to mind.  I shall also add to the context bully states; may not a nation make itself a terror to weak and defenseless nations?

I was almost daily a victim of bullies from about the 6th grade until graduating from high school, and occasionally since then.  I have seen others be bullied, and went to war against a bully state.  I have tried a number of remedies to being bullied, and found none of them altogether satisfactory, but some have been more so than others.

I suppose bullies are motivated by a wide variety of factors, but the common denominator seems to be a desire to control others.  This can include taking from them material wealth, such as lunch money, toys, or other property. It can include taking from them their dignity, possibly in some twisted belief that it can be added to that of the bully, making him or her something more.  Some bullies are driven to exercise power over others, to render them powerless, to make them subservient, and to figuratively or literally enslave them.  Some of the bullies I’ve known seem to have bullied just for fun; they have taken pleasure from hurting or humiliating others.

I will leave the analysis of motivation to the psychologists and professors who have the time to fret with it, and are generally insulated from the subject so that they don’t have to worry about defending themselves while they fret.   The average victim of bullying, especially a child, has neither the time nor the security to ponder what is motivating his tormentors.  After all, if people with a list of college degrees can’t agree on an answer, what chance does little Tommy, or, for that matter, his Uncle Joe Lunchbucket have?  For the average person who finds themselves the victim of a bully, the motivation of the bully doesn’t mean squat.  Only two things are relevant to the victim:  what the bully is doing, and how to stop it.

There are relatively few possible courses of action available to the victim.  First, he can simply ignore the bully and carry on as best he can in the hope that boredom with his game or fatigue will make the torment stop.  This can happen, of course, but the victim may suffer significantly, including eventual maiming – physically or emotionally – or even death, and it can take years.

Second, the victim can try to avoid the bully, but that is not often possible, especially in the case of school children.  It is also almost certain that any change in venue would simply put the victim in the territory of another bully.  Running away is never the answer for more than a few minutes, and will always embolden or enrage the bully.

Third, the victim can fight back.  Given that most bullies have a gift for perceiving weakness or vulnerability in their victims, it would not be an even fight.  (“Fair fight,” is an obscene contradiction in terms invented by bullies and people who have never been bullied.)  To have any chance of winning, the victim must either find some significant force multiplier, such as a weapon or ambush, or ally himself with others and simply overwhelm the bully, who will probably have his own mob of sycophants.  In any case, a physical victory must be decisive and overwhelming; the bully must be beaten so badly that he will never come after the same victim again.  Obviously (at least to those who know violence) fighting back is fraught with many hazards, and in no way guarantees an outcome favorable to the bully’s victim.

In my experience, there are likewise very few things that can reform a bully.  Education or counselling, especially with the objective of developing a sense of empathy in the bully can be effective, but can take years, and is in no sense guaranteed.

Divine intervention, such as happened to Saul on the road to Damascus can certainly do the trick, but it is not for mortal Man to predict the will of God to the extent that one might rely on such intervention for protection from a predator.  A variation on this scenario is revealed in the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, who covenanted with God that they would never again raise a sword against their brethren, and buried their swords deep in the ground.  When the bullies came, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis knelt in the road before them and submitted their necks to the sword.  After killing many defenseless people, the bullies – some of them, that is – were sickened by the slaughter and ended it.

More often than not, according to The Scriptures, Heavenly Father’s intervention is in telling the victim to gird on his armor, take up his sword, and rely on Divine protection in the day of battle.  This brings us back to fighting the bully, and while there are many examples of this very sort of protection, it still involves courage, faith, and a willingness to wreak violence on the enemy.

A word now on pacifism, and the example of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis.  Pacifists are not against violence.  In fact, they rely on it as much as anyone else.  The difference is that pacifists do not engage in violence, themselves; rather, they count on someone else to do it for them.  If they are saved from the bullies, it is by violence committed on their behalf, either by God’s striking their enemies down, or by other men standing forth to do battle for them.  In the case of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, it was their countrymen and their own sons, those Stripling Warriors who had not made that covenant with God.

In the case of bully states, one cannot force them into counselling or therapy.  One might rely on Divine intervention, but it is more likely than not that one must get into the fight in order to invoke it.  Avoiding a bully state is not possible because one cannot move one’s own nation out of the way.  There truly is only one way to stop a bully state, and that is to defeat them in battle.  There are those who rail against going to war under any circumstances because of the risk of defeat.  To them I say what is the worst thing about defeat?  Is it not to remain in the very same state of victimhood we were in before?  Going to war does not guarantee victory.  It guarantees only a fighting chance.  Those who seek guarantees are ignorant of the nature of human violence.

There is a type of bullying that does not involve physical violence or intimidation.  It can take the form of verbal abuse, slander (especially online or in social media), shunning, exclusion, or isolation.  It can happen in marriage, too, in the form of criticism, ridicule, infidelity, or withholding affection or sex.  In this latter sense, women can be as ruthless and savage as men.  The law generally frowns on the use of violence against non-physical aggression, so fighting such a bully, while it may be effective in one sense, is likely to have severely undesirable legal and social ramifications.

I believe there is only one way to handle this sort of bullying, and that is in the education and fortification of our children and ourselves.  Given that it is utterly impossible to prevent this kind of behavior, our only course is to limit its effect.  We must teach our children that they are not the low, despicable creatures the bully would have them believe.  Teach them the difference between self-respect, which comes from within a person’s own character, and self-esteem, which must be validated by others.  (Self-esteem has been elevated to cult status, especially in our schools. It is the enabling factor in those forms of bullying that involve shunning, isolation, or exclusion.)  Our children must receive a constant stream of edification and strengthening from us if they are to avoid being victimized by this sort of bullying.  By teaching these principles, and inculcating this strength of will and character – literally, by teaching them to value their own individuality as an absolute – we will create a generation of adults who will be able to tell their would be tormentors to go fly a kite.

In summation, the anti-bullying campaigns, including education, counselling, and therapy, have their place, and we should most certainly continue to use them and develop news models that may be more effective.  However, I can imagine few things more obscene than telling someone who has been the victim of a bully over a period of time that he or she must endure until the education, counselling, and therapy can have their effect – if, indeed, they ever will, for bullies are as various as are their motivations; some are simply incorrigible, or of such an innately savage character that only the threat or the actual fact of a bullet in the brain will end their depredations.

It is highly desirable that we teach our children to not be bullies, but that is not enough.  We must teach them to never give an offense, but, at the same time, that they should not stand idly by and see the brutalization of themselves, their friends and family, their church, or their nation.  We must teach them that there are bullies in the world, and sooner or later we all meet them, if not on the school ground perhaps in the workplace, in the parking lot, on the way to church, or in the wide world of nations.  We must teach them that it is only by strength of will and force of arms that bullies may be defeated.  We must make them aware that the force required to defeat bullies must be enacted by someone, whether by the victim or a surrogate, whether an individual, organization, or authority, such as a principal or parent.