Friday, February 15, 2019

Regarding the friendly relationship and influences between progressives and fabians from progressingamerica.blogspot

I made a comment in my last posting regarding this, and one of the primary figures I wrote about was Margaret Sanger. H.G. Wells, a Fabian Socialist(who appears in the fabian window) wrote the introduction to her book Pivot of Civilization. In addition to that, Sanger references Fabian writings twice in the book. It's fairly well known that Sanger had an affair with Wells, but putting 2 + 2 together beyond this never seems to happen: (the following from the above link)

To avoid prosecution, Margaret fled the country to England under the assumed name, Bertha Watson. Once the ship entered international waters, Margaret ordered 100,000 copies of Family Limitation to be distributed. In that 16-page pamphlet, Sanger wrote about sex education, abortion and birth control, which included different types of contraceptive methods and instructions for their use.While in England, Sanger met several British radicals and feminists who helped her to justify the use of birth control. It was then that she met Havelock Ellis, a psychologist whose theories of female sexuality helped Sanger expand her arguments for birth control; arguing, for example, that a woman should be able to enjoy sexual relations without the worry of becoming pregnant.
The way this is written(and any other time I've ever seen this written) it comes off as just a coincidence. She just so happened to end up meeting all these un named radicals, by an off chance! By unnamed, I mean that very rarely is it ever mentioned that they're of the Fabian Society. It seems to make sense that Wells might have suggested she leave for England, and even more likely that he would've told her were to find them knowing the kind of things they could teach her.
Havelock Ellis(one of the Fabian Society's founders) would go on to be a regular contributor to Sanger's "Birth Control Review".
You don't have to look too far to find Fabian influence in/around the Whitehouse. In my last writing I cited Stuart Chase as an example of this, but there's so much more. Stuart Chase is who came up with the phrase "New Deal", and was a member of FDR's brains trust. Walter Lippmann, the father of modern journalism, was a member of the Fabian Society through the ISS/LID. Lippmann also had access to the White House, like Chase, having helped draft one of Wilson's most well known speeches:
At my request Cobb and Lippmann have compiled the following respecting your fourteen points.
John Dewey, the father of modern education was a fabian. From the NY Times:
He was active in organizations such as the New York Teachers Guild, the League for Industrial Democracy, the ...
The League for Industrial Democracy(LID) was the forerunner to SDS. "Industrial Democracy" is the title of one of the books written by one of the most well known Fabians, Sidney Webb. So perhaps you could say that LID is the League for Sydney Webb's ideals and/or writings. The LID was described this way in the Harvard Crimsonby a member of LID:
He likened the relationship between the LID and the Fabian Society to that between the ADA and the Harvard Liberal Union.
For someone like myself who is infinitely curious, I looked up this relationship. He's basically(slyly) admitting it. The ADA and the HLU (at least back then) were very friendly organizations who often times did things in conjunction. Not long after this, the two groups joined. But surrogate groups don't have to be so explicit to be active surrogates.
The forerunner to LID is the Intercollegiate Socialist Society(ISS) which was co-founded by Harry W Laidler, a fabian. Note that Laidler was the LID's executive director. Lippmann and Chase mentioned above, were both involved with the ISS/LID. According to a study of the LID in 1980:
The League for Industrial Democracy is the closest equivalent to the British Fabian Society in the history of American socialism.
Now, this guy tries to claim that the LID were dismal failures, which is easily disprovable, considering just three names: John Dewey, Walter Lippmann, and Stuart Chase. So members of the LID(forerunner ISS) would go on to completely remake American education, American journalism, and influence two presidencies by coming up with(the phrase) and facilitating the implementation of the New Deal.(as well as what was done in Woodrow Wilson's day) Not bad for a failed group. Yes, I look at the LID and ISS as the same group. So they changed their name. So what.
The ISS(and later LID) was founded by fabians, for fabians. In that article from 1980, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William English Walling, Upton Sinclair, and Jack London are all listed as founding members.(Don't forget about Laidler)
Gilman and Walling were both members of the "American Fabian League"(see Fabian Freeway page 178).
Gilman was a contributing editor to the publication of "American Fabian", under her married name, Charlotte Perkins Stetson.
Another interesting name on the list of editors to the "American Fabian" is Edward Bellamy, who long before the founding of the Fabian Society of America, enthralled Americans with his concept of "Nationalism". When Bellamy passed away, this is how he was eulogized:
In Bellamy, social science and imagination were combined at their best. He has given us a substantial revelation whose scientific deductions from economic phenomena are unassailable. In the work of speeding the light he has made the valued distinction between Nationalism and Socialism. Nations advance toward their destiny upon lines marked out by the temper of their peoples, the character of their institutions, the conditions of soil, climate, and surroundings. Consequently the forward movement must be by national rather than international pathways. Bellamy saw this clearly, and formulating his Socialism to a purely American applicability, named it Nationalism. What has been the result? We hear no more the philistine cry that Socialism is an alien product. The far-reaching influence of "Looking Backward" has given us a native development of this definite form of Socialism, and has made possible the realization of his dreams in the near future.
Sounds just like what Norman Thomas is rumored to have said. Thomas, who ran for president 6 times was a fabian socialist. He was co-director(1922) for the League for Industrial Democracy, and a frequent writer for them.
Another notable name would be one Felix Frankfurter, nominated to the Supreme Court by Franklin Roosevelt.
While we're at it, regarding members of the Supreme Court, Justice Hugo Black is well known to have been influenced by Paul Blanshard. Blanshard was yet another luminary of the LID.
Beyond specific names of higher-profile individuals(And I'm sure there's some I missed, others I just haven't come across yet), there's the influence of Fabian ideology upon various people. Friedrich Engels noted the effect that Fabian ideology had upon liberal minded people(this would apply to Sanger, at the beginning), as well as whole groups of young individuals exposed to it at the Rand School of Social Science, The Rand School was an attempt by the Fabians here in America to duplicate what they did with the London School of Economics in England.(Fabian Freeway, Bottom of page 196 to 198)
The Fabians even set up a whole colonies here in the US. This to me is one of the most fascinating aspects of all of this. Fabians have two icons, or logos if you will. The wolf in sheeps clothing(as seen on the fabian window) and the turtle. The turtle is often associated with them with the phrase "festina lente", which means "make haste, slowly"(this gets at the fabian ideology of the inevitability of gradualism), but the turtle slogan is "when I strike, I strike hard". Now, all leftists love their iconicism. You can see this with the Occupiers, and the abundance of communist imagery within their movement.
Fabians are identical in this respect, they love the turtle. So in New York(Manhattan), they chose Turtle Bay as the location for their little community. Wikipedia's page is of course sanitized, stating:
the neighborhood went into decay with crumbling tenement buildings. Much of it was restored in the 1920s, and a large communal garden was established.
Restored? That sounds interesting. They gloss over this as if it's nothing, a mere footnote. Hardly, there's a whole backstory to this "restoration" and the people who did it. The book Fabian Freeway opens itself up with chapter 1, exploring all that is Turtle Bay. I need not account more of Turtle Bay, as the book lays it all out just fine. But I do want to make a few notes about it's refounders.
Turtle Bay was re-founded by Prestonia Mann Martin and her husband. Her name seemed familiar to me, and unsurprisingly she's a descendent of Horace Mann, the earlier reformer of education who looked at children as "hostages to our cause".(Her obituary, below, points this family lineage out) That the Mann family went on to find itself among the ranks of Fabians here in the states is not surprising to me.
Prestonia Mann was editor of The American Fabian. In this April 6th, 1945 obit in the Winter Park Topics, the following is pointed out:
Under the name of Prestonia Mann Martin she gained international fame from her sociologal thesis, "Prohibiting Poverty," which proposed a remedy for periodical depressions by a division of labor and a distribution of the necessities of life under government regulation. Her proposal brought comment and a large measure of approval from leaders of thought all over the world. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt gave the book favorable comment in her public statements.
There's yet more of that Fabian influence. Right there into the Whitehouse. At some point the Martins' went to upstate New York to a small town called Keene, and founded a utopian experiment in communal living similar to Emerson's Brook Farm, also mentioned in the obit:
She attended the Concord School of Philosophy at Concord, Mass., and remembered well Ralph Waldo Emerson, imbibing much of the philosophy which went into the Brooke Farm experiment and later putting it into use at Summerbrook, Keene, N.Y., where she met and married John Martin in 1900.
The website for Adirondack Realty(who better to ask about local history, than the locals?) has a section labeled "History of the Town of Keene, New York", which opens this way:
Prestonia and John Martin had been drawn to Keene by Glenmore and their "Summerbrook" was adjacent to it. Her most famous guest was the Russian author Maxim Gorky, who, while staying at another Martin cottage, "Arisponet," nearby during the summer of 1906, wrote his novel "Mother." Gorky had arrived persona non grata in New York City and Prestonia, an intellectual extrovert, rescued his party with an invitation to her Adirondack home. Gorky's adopted son, Zeno Pechkoff, returned to this country and Glenmore on two occasions. "Summerbrook" is somewhat of a shrine to modern Russians and the subject of a major article in Soviet Life Magazine, April 1979. 1 (1.. Visiting The Gorky sites in USA, Gennadi Gerasinmov, Soviet Commentator)
And how did Mrs. Martin herself describe what they do at Summerbrook? She published a 10 page pamphlet for the place in 1896, stipulating various things:
The rules of Summer Brook are three: 1. Each person shall give two hours' daily manual labor to the service of the community (to be received in payment for room). 2. Each must be prepared to share with the community whatever intellectual wealth he may possess, to the extent of teaching one hour per day if desired. . 3 The living expenses are to be shared equally by all the members of the community.
Tha'ts on page 8. And here's their list of reading material: (page 9)
There will be a few moments' reading before each meal. "Plato's Republic," "The Fabian Essays," Ruskin's "Unto This Last," and Howell's "A Traveller From Altruria" are the books chosen for this year.
Now isn't that neat?
High and low, they needed ways to spread their ideological leanings, and they certainly appear to have been successful at getting the job done.
But before I finalize this I do need to point out that this is a two way street. I wrote thislast year, noting how Henry George was important in the makings of the Fabian Society. Henry George was an American. So as Georgist ideals spread throughout America and helped to bring American "reformers"(the forerunner to progressivism) closer to becoming the progressives they became at the end of the 19th/beginning of 20th century, it makes sense that American reformers/progressives would be open to the ideas of Fabians given their common lineage.
There's so much information here, it was at times hard to always keep the same pieces of information together and thus easier to deal with, but I wanted to make a strong case for the claim I'm making here. And also, it should be noted that I didn't directly call Sanger a Fabian. I point this out because at most other times I do directly apply the label. Some of these people may not have in the end been "card carrying Fabians" in the strictest sense, but if you are founding groups like the LID or very high within that group's ranks, if you're an editor for the "American Fabian", or some other such clearly distinguished role then what we're dealing with is a distinction without a difference. A communist is a communist for the things they believe and the actions that they take first and foremost, secondary in who they associate with. After that, that they never officially "held the card" becomes a forgettable side note. The same applies for a Fabian.

Worms Turning by JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER

And so now along comes Andy McCabe, former Number Two at the FBI, publicizing his new book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, on this Sunday’s CBS 60-Minutes show, confirming what I said on this blog two years ago — that the Deep State would try to run over the Golden Golem of Greatness with the 25th Amendment.
The specter of Mr. Trump entrained by the nuclear “football” — the briefcase with launch codes for World War Three — gave US Intel communitarians such a case of the heebie-jeebies that they first sought desperately to impede his election by unlawful means and, failing in that, concocted a fog of Russian collusion conspiracy to cover up all that and much more nastiness emanating from the Hillary Clinton orbit.
It’s been the opinion here at CFN that Mr. McCabe and a long list of DOJ / FBI / and Intel employees would eventually be summoned to grand juries on charges ranging from lying to their Internal Affairs colleagues all the way to sedition. Those worms now seem to be turning. Both house and senate committees investigating the Russia narrative declared that they turned up no evidence for it. And late this week, William Barr was confirmed as a new Attorney General, meaning the extreme case of bureaucratic constipation in that department may be resolving in a shitstorm of counter-revelations and prosecutions in what amounted to an attempted coup d’etat. A lot of the evidence for that is already public and overwhelming. It includes:
  • Using FBI counter-intelligence assets improperly and illegally.
  • Using fabricated “opposition research” provided by Mrs. Clinton to obtain warrants to spy on her election opponent, and failing to verify it as evidence (according to strict “Woods” procedures) submitted to FISA court judges.
  • Recruiting Britain’s MI6 to spy on US citizens as a work-around from US laws prohibiting US Intel from spying on Americans.
  • Setting up the notorious Trump Tower meeting to entrap Donald Trump Jr., using a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in the employ of Fusion GPS, Mrs. Clintons oppo research contractor.
  • Orchestrating leaks of secret FBI proceedings to the news media to feed a Russia collusion hysteria.
  • Malicious prosecutions by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and egregious political conflicts-of-interest among Mr. Mueller’s team of prosecutors.
  • Coverup of the Uranium One scheme facilitated by Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
  • A scheme to surreptitiously and illegally record conversations with Mr. Trump once he became president.
  • Conspiring to bury multiple inquires into illegal conduct of Mrs. Clinton, her employees and associates by failing to obtain evidence and allowing it to be destroyed.
  • Misconduct in office by former CIA chief John Brennan, former National Security Director James Clapper, former AG Loretta Lynch, and members of President Obama’s White House inner circle.
These matters and a lot more have deserved official attention that was bypassed during the peculiar DOJ regime of former AG Jeff Sessions — and now some light may be about to shine on them. The Trump “resistance” already seems demoralized by the collapse of the Russia collusion story, which had been the centerpiece of their impeachment hopes. Several reconstituted house committees under the new Democratic Party chairs, have pledged to keep mining that vein of fool’s gold to keep the hysteria alive long enough for the 2020 elections. But what will happen in the meantime as their enablers are dragged into courts of law to answer for their roguery? My guess is that it will drive the “resistance” to new depths of delusion and, eventually, derision, as its narrative cloak gets shredded in public testimony and their audacious mendacity is revealed. The heat from these future events may be so intense and disruptive that it will interfere with the 2020 election.

3 Basic Plyometric Exercises to Boost Mountain Bike Power By Matt Miller

For anyone who wants to be more dynamic and athletic on the mountain bike, strength training should be on the agenda. In January we wrote about five strength training moves that can make riders stronger, more powerful, and even more crash-resistant.
This time, we’ll take some of those a step further, and dive into plyometrics and power development. To get a perspective on how plyometrics can be used in any mountain biker’s fitness routine, I spoke with James Wilson, AKA, BikeJames. Wilson has worked with and developed fitness programs for mountain bike athletes for years. He has also been a guest on our podcast.

What are plyometrics?

Plyometrics refer to a type of power training that uses the stretch-shortening cycle. When muscles are stretched — like quadriceps bending into a squat — they increase in elastic energy that can be released in the shortening phase of the muscle, or the extension or jump phase of the squat.
The benefits of power-based exercises like plyometrics include an increased amount of power, but also better balance and reaction time, and may even reduce the potential for injury. Plyometrics can also increase bone density, which might be more important for cyclists than ever.
James Wilson notes that while plyometrics can be more useful for sports like mixed-martial arts, or basketball, where muscles are loaded and required to change direction more often than in mountain biking, they can also be useful for mountain bike athletes. Plyometrics can help athletes’ upper and lower bodies absorb sustained impacts like those on jump trails or downhill tracks, and develop power for hip-hinging moves like those on pump tracks or in a manual.

The moves

Wilson usually trains his mountain bike clients with three different plyometric exercises to develop quad power, hip power, and upper-body power. The vertical squat jump helps in standing, pedaling movements while a broad jump develops powerful hip muscles. Explosive pushups help train upper body muscles for technical bike handling.

Vertical/ squat jump

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To perform the squat jump, start in a squat position, with your hips pushed back and weight on your heels. Your knees should not be more forward than your toes as the bend should come from having your hips back. You’ll move up to jump, and shift weight from your heels to the ball of your feet, trying to jump as high as possible.
“The vertical jump is closer to the movement you use for standing pedaling,” says Wilson.
Landing the squat jump is almost like performing it in reverse. Try to land in a more mid-foot position and then roll back to your heels. Push your hips back, absorbing the movement for a soft landing. The point of improving your muscle reactivity is to move to the next jump as quickly as possible, so focus on absorbing the landing and exploding into the next jump.

Broad/ long jump

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The broad jump starts in the same position as the squat jump, but will be a forward movement, rather than a vertical one. Starting in the squat position, with your hips back, weight on your heels, and knees behind your toes, move your weight to the ball of your feet, and explode forward into a long jump.
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“The broad jump is actually a really good exercise for working on that explosive hip hinge movement you need for manualing, jumping, and the movements you need to drive the bike in front of you with your hips and not your back,” says Wilson.
On the landing, it’s best to land on the mid-foot and absorb the movement into your heels, then hips, and then shift forward again. Go onto the ball of your foot and explode into the next jump.

Explosive pushup

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Wilson notes that when people think of the plyometric pushup, most people think of exploding up and clapping in between each rep, but it doesn’t have to be that advanced.
Other options exist, like coming up into full extension, lifting a hand and tapping the opposite elbow. Then, lower yourself down and quickly explode back up and tap the opposite elbow. The move can be progressed by tapping the shoulder. This also improves overall stability.
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“You may never get to the point where you’re actually coming off of the ground, but you’re training the stretch-shortening cycle by handling the overload and accelerating more at the top. It’s also just a good way to work on upper body plyometric power.”

Implementation

Wilson recommends a few things first, before diving into plyos head first. You should be able to perform basic squat and pushup first before adding explosiveness. Spend time learning the basics, with proper form. Start with yourself in mind, and not what World Cup athletes are doing in the gym, if you’re not at that level. A solid warm up is also important.
“If you really want to work on plyometrics and power, you want to keep the level low. Usually you’d train plyometrics early in a workout, or right after the warm up. You don’t want to do it at the end when you’re really tired from your workout. You also want to keep the reps and sets pretty low. Keeping [these] exercises around three sets and five reps would be good.”
Wilson says to pay attention to the speed of your movements. The amortization phase, or the period between the stretching and shortening of the muscles is best when it’s shorter, since the muscles will produce more power. In other words, spend less time between the reps of a plyometric exercise. If someone spends too much time in the amortization phase, the energy dissipates as heat and is lost, according to the American Council on Exercise.
“When you stop moving as explosively, that’s when you want to stop doing the exercise. It’s the speed of the movement you really have to focus on,” he says. So, when fatigue sets on, and you can’t move as quickly, wrap up the workout.
It’s not necessary to work plyos frequently either to see the benefits. Wilson says that once a week is usually enough to see the benefits.
“A good workout in my mind is when you have your warmup, do some sort of power development, which plyometrics are a part of, do some strength training, do some cardio, and boom, get out of the gym so you can get on your bike and ride.”

Bad Quotes of Some Bad Presidents by Lawrence W. Reed

Bad Quotes of Some Bad Presidents
Presidents’ Day is just around the corner. Should we celebrate?
People who love liberty and live in a free society don’t bow down and worship politicians. We understand that politicians wield power, to be sure, but we also know they still put their pants on one leg at a time. As President Reagan once put it, “America is a nation that has a government, not the other way around.”
The best of America’s presidents worked to keep the peace and our liberties. They didn’t view the Constitution as public window-dressing while they undermined it inside the store. The worst ones expanded power in Washington, burdening future generations with dubious programs, bureaucracy, taxes, debt, and foreign adventurism. The truly good ones are few and far between.
So whoever it was who decided we should have a Presidents’ Day in February, I can assure you it wasn’t me. I’d prefer to celebrate an Entrepreneurs’ Day. Or an Inventors’ Day. Or, of course, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. If I had my way, we’d have a Capital Day too.
America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, regarded government employment with a healthy wariness. In a 1799 letter, he warned, “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.” Twelve years later in another letter, he said, “I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.”
Presidents’ Day, fortunately, is still welcomed by most Americans more as a day off work than a day to glorify presidents—even Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays were “consolidated” into the holiday in the first place. But there’s still too much presidential glorifying that goes on for my tastes. In the spirit of Jeffersonian skepticism, my way of noting the holiday this year is to offer five of the many bad things some bad presidents said.
Here you go, numbered but not ranked in any particular order:
Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of government is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of government, not the increase of it.
What’s wrong with that, you ask? Nothing! In fact, it’s superbly accurate and insightful. What puts it onto my “worst” list is who uttered it—Woodrow Wilson, my candidate for Worst President. He said it in September 1912 in New York, just weeks before he was elected with less than 42 percent of the popular vote in a four-way race (against Taft, Roosevelt, and Debs). Given what this “progressive” Machiavellian did during his eight years in office, he either didn’t mean what he said or he didn’t care enough to ever live up to it. Cynical pandering to get votes and then delivering something different ought to be a political sin, but sadly, it’s often taken as a sign that the culprit has “grown in office.”
He locked up dissidents right and left after he signed the Sedition Act of 1918.
Wilson grew government like bacteria in a petri dish. He helped give us the income tax and then took the top marginal rate from 10 percent to more than 70 percent. He played a role in the creation of America’s inflation-and-depression factory known as the Federal Reserve. He regimented the economy with a maze of controls during World War I, which he put us into despite a promise to keep us out of it. He locked up dissidents right and left after he signed the Sedition Act of 1918, making it punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years for a citizen to simply use “disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language” to describe the federal government or his war policies. He was also a racist, segregationist, eugenicist, and philanderer.
If he ever believed a word from that passage on liberty, he never demonstrated in deed the slightest evidence of it. A wonderful quote sullied by a lousy pol.
If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
Barack Obama not only said that, he meant it. It betrayed a deep-seated disdain for wealth-creating entrepreneurs that he enshrined in public policy. His administration piled on regulations often for the sake of it, not because they made economic sense. He was a state worshiper—a man who sought to put government in charge of just about everything no matter what the results were ever likely to be.
To Obama, government is an unqualified good, its mere presence a blessing to us all.
To Obama, government is an unqualified good, its mere presence a blessing to us all. It apparently never occurred to him to give wealth creators credit for overcoming all the growth-stifling bunk that government throws at them—including bad and expensive schools, dubious regulations and high taxes, and job-killing labor rules, for starters.
This quote was a horrific put-down of millions of honest, hard-working, risk-taking wealth creators—from a man whose dislike of business is likely fueled by envy, misinformation, and a lack of any business acumen of his own.
The government is us; we are the government, you and I.
Another so-called “progressive,” Theodore Roosevelt, spoke those words in 1902. Plenty of other people have said something similar, often as a way of endorsing representative government over, say, a dictatorship. It may sound innocuous, but it’s actually insidious.
One of the first things I ever read by the late Austrian School economist Murray Rothbard was a convincing refutation of this collectivist canard. Rothbard argued that government is a collection of individuals who, by virtue of the monopoly of legal power they possess, exert influence and control over other people. Some people consent to it; others do not. But let’s not make the mistake of assuming that just because we can elect our politicians, everything they subsequently do is “voluntary” on our part or that we’re all doing it to each other.
In the mind of a power-thirsty politician, “the government is us” mentality is a license to justify all sorts of mischief.
If you were drafted by the government and sent to Vietnam, you probably didn’t think you were the one doing the sending.
If a Martian landed in your backyard and declared, “Take me to your government,” you wouldn’t reply, “Oh, well here I am. What can I do for you?” More likely, you’d send him to Capitol Hill or the White House.
In the mind of a power-thirsty politician, “the government is us” mentality is a license to justify all sorts of mischief. In the mind of an obsequious citizen, it’s an excuse to acquiesce to whatever that politician wants to do to him.
Children are our greatest natural resource.
There’s another high-sounding, popular, but dangerous expression. Herbert Hoover said it almost a century ago.
Yes, children are great. We’ve all been one (and some people still are). But if you use “ours” to speak of children, I hope you’re referring to yours, not mine or anybody else’s.
The point is that children are not collectively owned. They are created by parents, who lovingly exercise a guardian relationship over these new human beings until they are of age to be independent adults. And they are not a “natural resource” to be mined or exploited or pushed around.
The idea that children are an amorphous blob to be deployed for “the greater good” has been used to justify the most awful collectivist disasters.
This is not a quibble. The idea that children are an amorphous blob to be deployed for “the greater good” has been used to justify the most awful collectivist disasters, from Hitler’s Germany to Stalin’s Soviet Union.
I’m sure Herbert Hoover didn’t mean it that way when he said “Children are our greatest natural resource,” but it would have been nice if someone had shouted, “Stop right there, Mr. President! My child belongs to no one but me, and someday he will belong only to himself. That’s what freedom is all about. Please don’t think of my child as your natural resource.”
It depends upon what the meaning of the word “is” is.
This duplicitous statement was Bill Clinton’s way of rationalizing his denial of a relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky in the face of evidence to the contrary. In hindsight, it’s both a defining moment and a representation of his eight years in the White House. He earned the nickname “Slick Willy” for good reason. He constantly parsed words not to clarify but to deceive.
Politics and the truth are not joined at the hip, much as we might wish they were.
Politics and the truth are not joined at the hip, much as we might wish they were. More often, their relationship is casual and self-serving. It’s one of the reasons so many people complain about politics and politicians, even as they contradict themselves by supporting more power for them both.
Which presidents tried hard to tell the truth? I don’t think Bill Clinton was among them.
I don’t intend here to demean all presidents or the presidency. I’ve written about the good ones, including my personal favorite, Grover Cleveland. But all have been mere mortals, foibles and flaws and all. I just don’t want to put anybody on a pedestal they don’t deserve, or to give credence to the worship of politics.
I find it refreshing that when Jefferson gave instructions of what should be put on the obelisk marking his gravesite, he explicitly excluded any mention of the presidency. His inscription reads simply:
Here was buried
Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom
& Father of the University of Virginia