Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Speak Truth To ... What?

... or Joe Blow and His Observations

Joe Blow says it plain and simple, right at the top of this website: Making Comments Count -- This report is about observations and not about opinions. Opinions are mostly worthless. With that in mind, if you want to comment on something posted, please click on the "Comment" link at the end of the each post.

Just so no one misunderstands Joe adds the following a little further down the web page: More About Joe Blow -- Please be aware that the Joe Blow Report speaks for itself. You may or may not agree, but just remember, that is your issue. The Report is offered as a free gift to whomever desires to read it. Please accept it as such. The Report respects the rights of all individuals to be who and what they are. All the same there are consequences for what each individual does and does not do. If the Report stimulates a little thinking, it has fulfilled it's purpose.

Joe Blow fully understands that whatever is posted on the Internet or printed in newspapers or spoken on television or on the radio bears the responsibility for being PUBLIC property, albeit sometimes copyrighted. Let's hope that those Joe observes and reports about understand that as well. In other words, if you do not want to read or hear about someones observations, keep quiet! Or if you're going to stand up on a soapbox in a public place and spout off you'd better be ready for a rotten egg or two.

Now that's simple enough, right? He doesn't make many comments on other blogs, but when he does he follows the above criteria - no exceptions even when there's commentary that aggravates and disgusts . . . to put it mildly.

For the uninitiated, the dictionary defines "opinion" as follows:
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.
4. Law. the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
5. a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: to forfeit someone's good opinion.
6. a favorable estimate; esteem: I haven't much of an opinion of him. Unabridged (v 1.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

—Synonyms 1. persuasion, notion, idea, impression. Opinion, sentiment, view are terms for one's conclusion about something. An opinion is a belief or judgment that falls short of absolute conviction, certainty, or positive knowledge; it is a conclusion that certain facts, ideas, etc., are probably true or likely to prove so: political opinions; an opinion about art; In my opinion this is true. Sentiment (usually pl.) refers to a rather fixed conviction, usually based on feeling or emotion rather than reasoning: These are my sentiments. View is an estimate of something, an intellectual judgment, a critical survey based on a mental examination, particularly of a public matter: views on governmental planning.

Observe" (root of observation) is defined:
–verb (used with object)
1. to see, watch, perceive, or notice: He observed the passersby in the street.
2. to regard with attention, esp. so as to see or learn something: I want you to observe her reaction to the judge's question.
3. to watch, view, or note for a scientific, official, or other special purpose: to observe an eclipse.
4. to state by way of comment; remark: He observed frequently that clerks were not as courteous as they used to be.
5. to keep or maintain in one's action, conduct, etc.: You must observe quiet.
6. to obey, comply with, or conform to: to observe laws.
7. to show regard for by some appropriate procedure, ceremony, etc.: to observe Palm Sunday.
8. to perform duly or solemnize (ceremonies, rites, etc.).
9. to note or inspect closely for an omen or sign of future events.
–verb (used without object)
10. to notice.
11. to act as an observer.
12. to remark or comment (usually fol. by on or upon).

—Synonyms 2. note. Observe, witness imply paying strict attention to what one sees or perceives. Both are “continuative” in action. To observe is to mark or be attentive to something seen, heard, etc.; to consider carefully; to watch steadily: to observe the behavior of birds, a person's pronunciation. To witness, formerly to be present when something was happening, has added the idea of having observed with sufficient care to be able to give an account as evidence: to witness an accident. 4. mention, say. 6. follow, fulfill. 7. celebrate, keep.—Antonyms 1–3, 6–8. ignore.

Joe says, an opinion is conjured in the mind. Most opinions today are "faith-based" beliefs, and jaded emotional judgments, rarely touching upon reality. Observations require the personal responsibility of a cognizant witness. Opinions are influenced by personal likes and dislikes either of the subject, the object or both. A casual observation, on the other hand, could care less. Furthermore, opinions have more to do with lies whereas observations deal more with truth.

Truth is defined as:
1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true.
5. actuality or actual existence.
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
8. (often initial capital letter ) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9. agreement with a standard or original.
10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.
11. Archaic. fidelity or constancy.

---Synonyms: These nouns refer to the quality of being in accord with fact or reality. Truth is a comprehensive term that in all of its nuances implies accuracy and honesty: "We seek the truth, and will endure the consequences" (Charles Seymour). Veracity is adherence to the truth: "Veracity is the heart of morality" (Thomas H. Huxley). Verity often applies to an enduring or repeatedly demonstrated truth: "beliefs that were accepted as eternal verities" (James Harvey Robinson). Verisimilitude is the quality of having the appearance of truth or reality: "merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative" (W.S. Gilbert).

Regarding "truth" most Christian believers know about truth, right? "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14 NIV) A history of this man's life clearly demonstrates that those learned people, those arrogant, self-righteous, complicated and convoluted scholars that did not agree with him opined greatly about his "truth" or "observations."

As far as Joe Blow is concerned the following quote says it all about him and his observations, "Truth is a comprehensive term that in all of its nuances implies accuracy and honesty: "We seek the truth, and will endure the consequences" (Charles Seymour)."


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Does The US Constitution Matter?

Welcome to the New American Monarchy

Wikipedia begins its definition of the US Constitution adopted and ratified in 1787-1789 by saying: "The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America." The purpose of that Consitution, or so we were told, was to replace the supreme power of the English Monarchy. A despotic, corrupt supreme law that had and used that power to "jail civilians indefinitely."

Court: US Can Jail Civilians Indefinitely

A federal appeals court has ruled President Bush can order the indefinite jailing of civilians imprisoned in the United States. The five-to-four decision effectively reverses last year’s ruling that the administration cannot label US residents “enemy combatants” and jail them indefinitely without charge. The ruling came in the case of the only person still held as an enemy combatant on US soil. Ali al-Marri was arrested six years ago at his home in Peoria, Illinois, where he lived with his wife and five children. He was initially charged with credit card fraud and lying to federal agents. But in June 2003, President Bush declared him an enemy combatant and ordered him into military custody. He has spent the last four years in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in Charleston, South Carolina. Al-Marri’s attorney Jonathan Hafetz said, “This decision means the president can pick up any person in the country—citizen or legal resident—and lock them up for years without the most basic safeguard in the Constitution, the right to a criminal trial.”

You can read more about this here. Also, at the New York Times.

Lies and False Accusations Rule!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Does Patriotism Matter?

Are these people patriots or traitors?
McCain didn't vote.

What about these people listed on a local blog? Read "Roll Call vote on Dodd Amendment. Here's the good guys."
No mention of the bad guys, though. Are they stand up heroes or sell-out cowards?

Thomas Sowell's commentary in the Sunday, July 6, 2008 Eureka Reporter might shed some light on those representatives that believe the "end (always) justifies the means". I've included the whole article on this blog for obvious reasons even though Joe regards most of this kind of thinking right out of the dark ages. What he says is worth reading . . .

Thomas Sowell --
The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday, but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism “high-sounding nonsense.”

Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one’s country with “the idea of cosmopolitan duty.”

Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations’ banners of patriotism.

In France, after the First World War, the teachers’ unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.

Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called “bellicose” books to be banished from the schools.

French textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers’ unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.

The once epic story of the French soldiers’ heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun — French and German alike.

In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims — and just like victims in other nations’ armies.

Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children — as well as some of their classmates and teachers — broke down in tears.

In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country “cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors.” In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to “raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland.”

These were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.

Did it matter? Does patriotism matter?

France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter.

During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together.

Yet during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers’ union was told, “You are partially responsible for the defeat.”

Thomas Sowell is a nationally syndicated columnist and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Friday, July 4, 2008

What Value Words of Truth?

United States Declaration of Independence
1823 facsimile of the engrossed copy from Wikipedia

America's legitimate right to stand or exist as nation co-equal to all other nation's on the earth including its patriarchal adversary, England and its aristocratic ruling monarchy, was founded on the legal premise expounded in the Declaration of Independence. These men, the architects of this long lost Republic, argued their right to overthrow the rule of a despotic parent that refused to recognise their offspring's right to legitimate existence did so by invoking God's recognition. Hence, these words:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Those men not only spoke and wrote such words, they put their lives on the line for treason for making such a Declaration. They didn't hope nor offer hope in some angry, senile old man or some word-hack spouting sanctimonious ideas about hope and trust in vague promises of a new direction.

If you need someone to tell you what to do, how to do it and to speak for you, take some time and read the book by an American historian and political scientist, Howard Zinn published in 1980, A Peoples History of the United States. Herein lies the history of a free people that knew how to speak for themselves and how to act for themselves.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." These words became their truth.

All men may have been created equal, but very few act like they are, actually believe that equality is a self-evident truth, with the rare exception of the kind of people Mr. Zinn wrote about, perhaps. Joe Blow, like he says, is just a nobody. So, he celebrates the Fourth of July the only way he knows how to celebrate life, like nobody, but like any first-class citizen, he votes with his feet.

What value are your words of truth?