In Christ All Things Hold Together

In perusing another article (Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church), to which I might proffer an opinion at another time; I was struck by the Evangelical culture wars. Rachel Held Evans’s op-ed, as to be expected in mainstream media, reflected the Evangelical left. Of the almost 10,000 comments, (I did not read all the comments. I still do have a life.) I choose this one by choirlady (August 24, 2014) to encapsulate most of the talking points of the Evangelical Right, and done fairly eloquently. (The handle choirlady seems like something from an SNL skit.) Continue reading “In Christ All Things Hold Together”

A Boss from Hell

Mr. Glenn Beck brought out the Vice President of Studio Operations to upbraid her publicly about several measures with a tinge of ecological concern to them, that were enacted. He resented the biodegradable “corn” spoons, the fluorescent light bulbs, water cooler and biodegradable cardboard recycling bins. You can see the episode here.1

Many of these ecologically-friendly products, that he speaks of, are of such quality and futility that they ought to be scorned. As for Global Warming (AGW); my biggest bugaboo is the lies and deceits that have been used to push this agenda. There is a politically charged environment within those supposedly scientifically disciplines that requires conformity to the AGW faith, by those who are supposed to be honest and impartial and scientific researchers. I will never give consideration of AGW again until they fire Mann and Jones at the IPCC first, in order to make some demonstration that they are serious about intellectual integrity.

So, I can appreciate Mr. Beck’s sentiments that “Global warming is a pile of crap.”

However, it is in his follow-up comments that turn me completely against such conservatives like Mr. Beck. And I do not understand why a true and self-respecting Evangelical, who actually believes their Bible, should have much to do with this ultra-conservative.

“If anyone does anything in this company because of global warming, they’re fired.”

Although said in all jest and frivolity. There is menace behind all the humour.

As a parent, and as much as it is possible; you do not go out of one’s way to deliberately discipline your child publicly. It is imprudent. All the child sees is the public shame that has been exacted upon him by his supposedly loving parent. The child gratingly resents it and forgets the lesson that is being taught. Even the Scriptures, when it comes to church discipline, first advocates private avenues before a public rebuke. So pulling the same public shaming on an employee such as Beck’s Vice President of Studio Operations is very much of similar bullying character.

As one can see from this blog, I am a theological conservative. I believe my Bible. And it speaks of liberty of conscience on secondary matters – Romans 14.

Mr. Beck makes a living out of castigating statists for amongst other things, violations of civil liberties and conscience. But how is he, in his private capacities any different. It would seem that Glenn Beck represents a faction which believes in merely replacing statist violations of free speech and conscience with corporatist violations. He is thereby just a hypocrite. And contrary to C.S. Lewis’ maxim, the robber barons can be very much as tyrannical as their statist counterpart.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

I am totally bamboozled that such a person can appeal to so many of my so-called Evangelical colleagues. True Christianity is not sociopolitical conservatism.


1.     Glenn Beck Program, Studio Treason, August 21, 2013, Accessed on September 3, 2013.

NSA and the Universality of the Nature of Humanity

One particular seminal idea that the American political heritage contributed to world civilization, (although it can also be found less convincingly in the British heritage) is the application of Calvinist pessimism about the nature of humanity to political theory. That pessimism was a cornerstone in the construct of checks and balances within government, between governments (federal and state) and between government and the larger society. The concept of checks and balances predated the Founding Fathers of the American Constitution in the varying colonial governments that had evolved in the prior centuries. That pessimism was a key to minimalist government (unlike the French Revolution) and constitutional limits to the potential scope of public power over private individuals and entities, noted in the Bill of Rights. Calvinistic pessimism differentiated the Enlightenment’s effects on American minds from those of continental Europe.

The Calvinist thesis differs from the underlying assumptions of Scholastic (originally Hellenist) thought; which held that certain categories of humanity, in whom reason prevailed, could be trusted. This latter belief, strong amongst secular liberal descendents, perceives evil as primarily a facet of ignorance and irrationality (i.e. Jefferson, Camus), to which credentialed education could largely ameliorate. Snowden’s lack of educational credentials constitutes a considerable element of the attempted denigration of Edward Snowden. These insults are not merely a result of credential and class snobbery. There prevails a belief that knowledge and intellect, or at least the credentialed proxy for having obtained knowledge and intellect, equals virtue and wisdom.

Radical Calvinist pessimism about the nature of humanity holds little sway in modern America; even amongst Evangelical/Protestants who largely see their ‘depravity’, as more one of mere isolated flaws rather than as radical and profound systemic evil in the person. Consequently, the ideological foundations and impetus for a true limited, minimalist and checks and balances government flounders. The secular liberal faction largely judges the Constitution to be an obsolete anachronism, which they seek to furtively circumvent. But even the conservative faction nowadays has reverted back to that ancient Hellenist perspective; in which an educated and credentialed elite can escape the baseness, vice, ignorance and irrationality that is all too evident amongst common rabble.

Because of their higher credentialed and class status, these elites are willing to give benefit of the doubt to their peers. Thereby, the so-called checks and balances that the elite class places upon itself is none too rigorous. They will admit that the constitution and its protections are violated with justification under the present or some other circumstances. However, so certain of their virtue, by virtue of their credentials, these elites believe and declare ‘trust us’ as the foundation by which they will not abuse these constitutional violations. Or they erect a Potemkin façade of checks and balances to ensure that these constitutional violations are violated without abuse.

A secretive FISA kangaroo court, which permits only one side (NSA) to present their applications without standard scrutiny provided by an adversarial system, executes these requests at a rate that rape, murder or assault victims could only salivate over (might not be applicable to the murdered). Consider this statistical evidence of a rubber stamp court.





















In light of the optics, one would have thought that some bright and bushy-tailed operative in the intelligence department would suggest presenting a number of so-ridiculous-an-application that such would have to be refused. In these motions, which were rejected; it would it appear that the FISA court was acting as true safeguard. So much for the psychological intelligence, insight and wit of Intelligence Departments! But it could be worse. Perhaps the NSA did present a number of these so-ridiculous-an-application applications. However, FISA judges just kept on approving them.

Alas, the country is supposed to depend on federal judges, who by virtue of their very credentials, must have “integrity” and would not approve something “that they feel is wrong”1. Their credentialed overlords, such as Eric Holder, might engage in mendacity. But these judges; they are supposedly immune to the common vices, folly and disingenuity of mankind.

As demonstrated in the Wall Street banker duplicity leading up to the financial panic of 2008/9 and again in the current corruption and mendacity of Washington bureaucrats and politicos, there is no genuine disciplinary action and punishment for those sufficiently high enough in the elite echelons. NSA Director Keith Alexander, Director of National Intelligence “least untruthful” James Clapper and Attorney General Eric Holder blatantly lie to Congress and the public without procedures for their indictment or termination. The elites are protecting the scoundrels within their incestuous ranks. So what type of check is one which promotes mendacity and corruption without legal, employment or social consequence?

Thus the politicos and bureaucrats pay Orwellian paean to check and balances government. A dissonance exists between purported claims and true reality. But the whole idea behind genuine checks and balances governance (and also peer review, which has also proven profoundly flawed) is that the political system does not depend wholeheartedly on the hope of individual integrity. Rather, as Ronald Reagan stated: “trust, but verify”.

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One of the reasons that I resented the mindset of my native country in my youth is this justification for excessive and unchecked power in the hands of authority. The mantra was that if one has nothing to hide, hasn’t done anything wrong; one has nothing to fear. I heard this drivel repeated in histrionic condescension by British Foreign Secretary William Hague to the BBC. It brought to mind some camp commander reassuring naked Jews as they were entering the showers at Auschwitz.

If you are a law abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear, nothing to fear about the British state or intelligence agencies, listening to the contents of your phone calls or anything like that.2

The repudiation of the presumption of virtue in authority in historical American political thought was a primary entry point to the appeal of the American civil religion for me. (I knew nothing of its Calvinist roots, having been reared in a nominally Christian home.)

But this repudiation has been largely lost in the mindset of most Americans. Excessive authority is being given to the coercive powers of the state on the basis of “trust me” or a fascistic naïveté in the virtue of those in authority. Insufficient and ersatz checks are being placed on this authority. The psychiatric system, for instance, is being used, to circumvent due process procedures and civic protections. And police organizations are alerted and eager to exploit this loophole, as in the case of Marine Brandon Baub.

And the protagorean arrogance (“I/we are the measure of all things”) of this clique of sociopolitical elites are myopically blind to their folly and vice; as they self-deal themselves undue and unchecked authority. Or their checks and balances, constituted amongst themselves, based on the myopia of their groupthink; is out of touch and scrutiny of the commoners or even the rest of the world.

“Measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves”3, these self-regarding elites do not particularly demonstrate themselves to be all that superior in intellect, knowledge, wisdom or virtue. There is the delicious irony of Edward Snowden; this so-called “grandiose narcissist” high school drop out, “who deserves to be in prison”, who ought to know his place.4 Well; this uneducated commoner, this 20-something slacker who came in from the cold5, plays a mean chess game; outwitting to date, the propaganda war set against him from the sociopolitical elite and their courtiers.

William F. Buckley Jr. retort “I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University” (or variants thereof), still retains its resonance. And while it is true that the dumbing down of the mind and culture and the coarsening of the heart has occurred amongst the commons, it is no less true amongst the elite. The substantive difference and danger is that the elites have unmitigated arrogance to impose their folly and vice upon all the rest.

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It was originally claimed that the omniscient surveillance state stopped about a dozen terrorist attacks in the last decade or so. Like a game of Chinese Whispers or the retelling of all Tall Tales, that number inflates. As of June 18, 2013, it has become 50 potential incidents in 12 or so years. And the evidence of these assertions by “least untruthful answer” Intelligence Bosses are beyond rational and empirical scrutiny by outsiders. The government declares it so. And thus it must be so. Legitimate doubts are raised as to the extent that the all-encompassing amassing of yesteryears phone calls and internet traffic were instrumental in thwarting such threats, in isolation and apart from other counter-espionage strategies, or even in initially alerting these agencies to potential threats.

As Conor Friedersdorf of Atlantic Monthly noted; the NSA might have better served the safety of Americans by guarding against a conspiracy of nefarious bathtubs. 6 One need ask whether the monies expended in creating this “architecture of oppression” is rationally cost-effective. Indeed, overdependence on empirical signal patterns of voice calls, emails and internet traffic, if that is all that these agencies actually investigated, is not likely to obscure psychological insight. Overwrought concentration on the mechanical can misdirect attention from the psychological. The Boston Marathon bombers seem case in point.

Furthermore, how effective is this signal pattern technology when it cannot even detect anomalies and potential threats by employees and contractors (“connect the dots”) within its own organization?

The marginal benefit of this omniscient surveillance “architecture of oppression” seems relatively minor. Indeed, I would argue and it has been intimated by civic officials themselves that voice and electronic surveillance may only be useful in protecting against the less savvy would-be terrorist; attacks which would not cause inordinate numbers of deaths (beyond the typical serial killer rampage) or cause psychological social scarring of the 9/11 sort. I used to be a point man for my corporate clients in monitoring the private CCTV cameras within their offices etc. However, even my clients admitted that such devices only served as deterrents for low-grade and none-too-intelligent intruders.

There is significant economic cost expended, probably not well spent. But we have genuine cause for alarm in the potential abuse of such ‘omniscient’ electronic information in an increasingly polarized society and an increasingly de facto authoritarian political structure.

The very hunt for salacious material on Edward Snowden by the Establishment and its courtiers in order to discredit him; by combing through the 800 comments by Snowden scattered across the Ars Technica forums since he was 17 (2001) for instance; furnishes the very evidence of the dangers that Snowden is alerting and declaiming. For good cause or for ill, it is human nature to seek dirt on one’s adversaries. And that pursuit will defy and circumvent static regulatory systems that are put in place. Does anyone think that Intelligence Agencies’ investigations about Snowden are not partially motivated by concerns for their own personal self-interests or the interests of the agencies from which they derive a livelihood? Even if there was not a justified reason to open a NSA file on an individual who is rustling up social or political trouble for these agencies; does anyone honestly think that the rules and regulations could not be bent and circumvented in order to acquire knowledge from the accumulation of electronic information to discredit that individual? Could not some of that knowledge be furtively leaked in a selective and disingenuous manner?

If zealous Democrats or Republicans are stationed, particularly in bulk, at one of the agencies’ stations or its contractors, are they any more immune from deprecating their political adversaries through the use and leakage of salacious, scandalous or even criminal phone call and internet records than they are at the IRS? Are the Intelligence Agencies, unlike all other government bureaucracies, only hiring angels? Evidently, they are not: attested by the very persons who justify the existence of massive accumulation of phone and data records at the NSA and then complain about the NSA hiring weirdos, slackers, drifters and drop-outs.

Is America immune from possible autocracy or the tyranny of one polarized sociopolitical faction utilizing electronic omniscience to discredit, harass, extort, silence and/or persecute their adversaries?

Yes. A society needs to protect against internal and external terrorist threats posed from without the government. But a society also needs to protect against internal threats posed from within the government. Who guards against the guardians? That was the unique contribution of the American political heritage that seems to have been lost.7 It is not only a choice between security and privacy. It is also a balancing act between security threats from outside government and from within government.






1.       Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), “Comments in House Intelligence Committee hearing with NSA Director Keith Alexander”, June 18, 2013.

2.       William Hague, “Interview on The Andrew Marr Show”, BBC One, June 9, 2013, Accessed on June 19, 2013.

3.       2 Corinthians 10:12

4.       Jeffrey Toobin, “Edward Snowden Is No Hero”, The New Yorker, June 10, 2013.

5.       Roger Simon, “The slacker who came in from the cold”, Politico, June 13, 2013, Accessed on June 15, 2013.”

6.       Conor Friedersdorf, “The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror”, The Atlantic Monthly, June 10, 2013, Accessed on June 19, 2013.

7.       The Roman Republic also distributed political power in order to prevent a reoccurrence of the Tarquin Kings (autocracy). However, their unwritten constitution came into being without a coherent philosophical framework. Other nations, particularly those of Northern and Western Europeans in which the Protestant Reformation made great impact, also constituted their politics with elements of checks and balances. However, the depth of distrust of unified government power has never reached the level as that in the United States; something that foreigners often and critically point out.

NSA and the Circling of the Wagons

In these weeks following the Snowden revelations, we are witnessing a coming together, a circling of wagons by the current American elites, both political operatives and pundits, regardless of political persuasion. This abrupt ad hoc unity contrasts with the all-too-familiar and perennial internecine schism that has predominated for decades. This unity, granting unmitigated justification for invasion of privacy and violation of Constitutional precepts, and which denounces and disparages Snowden for daring to confront this established consensus, defies an increasing and virulent opposition as the governed are temporarily stirred from their long somnolence with worthless baubles and silly trivialities.

Continue reading “NSA and the Circling of the Wagons”

Welcome to the USSA (Footnote 1)

From my earliest youth, I held excessive zeal for liberty. And thus, the Revolutionary Land of the Free to our south and the political principles by which such liberty was constructed, had always attracted me. I detested the faint residue of conservative Loyalist and Monarchist sentiment still persisting in the mid-1960s. It represented a mildly psychic oppression. During the 1967 Centennial Year, I sang with Bobby Gimby for the Queen as part of a ragtag children’s choir at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke. I recall thinking, at 9 years old, how much of a hypocrite I was, considering that I detested the pompous falsity and pretentious decorum of the Monarchy and Imperial British sentiment.

Canadian history was a bore. While national America was fashioned out of ideas in salons, national Canada was forged out of self-interests at a business meeting. This nation has failed to contribute any unique and useful political idea or perspective to world civilization. Thus, while I was never taken in by any civic religion to speak of in this hotel room, we call Canada; I must confess that the American civic religion held powerful sway (and blighted clarity of thought) until George W. Bush completely eviscerated any remaining delusions.

But the America of my dream had really suffered its death knell with the assassination of Lincoln and the rise of the first Gilded Age. It had hitherto been a nation, largely dedicated to the commonweal by consent; in which the common man deferred to no one, to the chagrin of European aristocratic observers. I am under no illusion that it was paradise on earth or that it was bereft of its own set of travesty and atrocity. However, it retained soul and vitality, amassing an inheritance of social capital that would take over a century to completely deplete. Ronald Reagan’s ‘City on a Hill’ represented that last gasp of nostalgia for an America that was.

Because what happens in the U.S. has such huge repercussions in the rest of the West, I recall opinionating in the mid-2000s that I would have impeached Bush Jr. for deception concerning entry into the Iraq War (2003). Even as sort-of-conservative-minded orthodox Evangelical, I recall arguing against a whole family of neo-Cons, social and small-c conservatives in the Christmas period of 2004/5 about the folly of that war. I asserted that the U.S. was entering into an Islamic version of Yugoslavia; ostensibly imposing liberal democracy upon people with an underlying ideology which is irreconcilable and existentially threatened by Western thought and institutions. The Americans would retreat with tails between their legs, leaving a fragile Iraqi government, presiding over a bloodily divided nation, waiting for the next Saddam Hussein to restore a coercive unity. Meanwhile, America would have lost complete moral authority; only able to keep Pax Americana by raw force alone; thereby requiring higher exactions of its own blood and treasure than when it is perceived the imperial power is governing, to some extent, for the benefit of all. That prediction is almost fully complete.

Nevertheless, as the lesser of two evils, I would still have voted for Bush in 2004.  There is something terribly wrong with this picture!

In the aftermath of his term, I concluded that George W. Bush had been the worst president since James Buchanan (1857-1861). And I expected that Obama would be worst still; back-to-back political calamities. But Obama has exceeded expectations on that count. For, if George Walker Bush was a buffoon; Barack Hussein Obama is a barbarian. Rather than James Buchanan, one must go back to the foreign English parliament serving King George III for comparison with Obama.

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The prudence of the Founding Fathers and the generations immediately preceding and following, noted threats on both sides of any narrow path or orbit. And thus they sought to maintain civil and social peace by balancing government against itself and balancing government against the medley of private interests, ideologies and factions within society.

Since then, one political party has since Woodrow Wilson completely repudiated the prudence of the Founding Fathers; believing in the goodness of humanity whose fault is occasionally intellectual incompetence. Thus, a large and encroaching state is pursued. And the arrogance of that faction is constantly imposed upon all others. The other political party has sought to return to the letter of the original Constitution, not realizing that it was merely a Montesquieun political device to balance the apparent social forces of their times. But concentration of private wealth/power becomes itself a tyrannical threat in a minimalist government. Thus, the changing dynamics of the 19th and 20th Century requires constant amending to reflect those altering realities.

But we dwell in an era of the simple-minded; who react to one threat in pendular and singular extremes; without concern for balance. Unmitigated security is pursued against the haphazard threats of largely private enemies; ignoring the insecurity against the person and nation, posed by unmitigated power of the state and state bureaucracies.

But large nations and civilizations do not fall, merely because of the loss of one battle or the collapse of tall buildings. The Roman city state with its Latin allies survived in cohesion, after ten years of Hannibal’s ravaging the Italian peninsula, while a much larger Empire had so rotted within, that barbarians with much smaller populations and resources finally swarmed it in the 5th Century.

Islamic terrorists might constitute a chaotic threat to individual safety. But they are not, in themselves, a threat to the survival of the nation. Indeed, they pose a much smaller threat to individual safety than the 15,000 murders each year or fatalities due to vehicular accidents. Get a grip people! The overreaching and increasing tyrannical power of the bureaucratic state, given much impetus in these last dozen years, is a far greater threat to individual safety and security and ultimately to the survival and welfare of the American nation.

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With wholesale recording of virtually every electronic transaction (voice, email, credit card, web, chat) in a society whose livelihood and lifestyle requires considerable interaction with a virtual world; one wonders what remaining unreasonable search and seizure provisions of the Constitution are left, which U.S. Administrations could violate.

Really! Modest encroachments to privacy, Mr. President! Such a suggestion can only be a product of a consummate comedian or truly defective mind. If this was a Third Amendment infraction (quartering of soldiers in private homes), a modest encroachment in Obama’s mind would be the right for soldiers to sleep naked in the same bed as the daughters of the household; as long as it didn’t involve penetration.

Dragnets of metadata can easily provide sufficient red flags for further fishing; especially in the disingenuity of interpretations of what constitutes threat. and surely, if it easy enough to shop around for a sympathetic and/or compliant judge to obtain a blanket general warrant, how hard should it be to get judicial approval to open the package of any flagged individual item.

We witness these public officials and their courtiers, dismissing the potential dangers against civil rights infractions, totalitarianism and tyranny as alarmist; just as they did in my youth in my country. I recall the mantra. “Surely, one has nothing to worry about if one hasn’t done anything wrong.” The problem with such drivel is that it presumes upon the virtue of the public guardians.

Vice is inherent and universal in humanity. The passing of a civil service exam, or hair-brained psychological profile tests or acceptance into public service does not transform that same private individual, prone to self-interest and vice, into paragons of virtue and wisdom. Indeed, as unscrupulous opportunists survey the sociopolitical landscape, they will be times when ‘public service’ serves as the best means for feathering their own nest; through the organs of government than apart from it; as the shrewd operators of the late Roman Empire can attest

It is ironic that the NSA and PRISM revelations followed so soon on the heels of the chilling surveillance and harassment of journalists; or the preferential EPA and IRS treatment of one sociopolitical faction over the other; or the egregious leakage of records of donators to the National Organization for Marriage by IRS officials in California during the Proposition 8 referendum, so that opponents could threaten the livelihoods of employer and employees who disagreed with them. This is the stuff that begets civil war!

So it is not merely about the potential of providing “All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama”2. Violations of constitutional protections are already presently exploited. The current administration might consider those who visit web sites about the Constitution, marriage or the history of English civil rights more of a threat to national security or the welfare of society and state. But perhaps a future administration, which represents the opposite sociopolitical faction, might deem those who frequent the porn and polyamory pages or donators to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood, to be more of a menace. Americans should be more concerned presently with the organs of the state apparatus being exploited as civic weapons in culture wars than with a theoretical tyranny.

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Last year (February 14, 2012), Canada had a similar concern crop up with the aborted attempt to pass the so-called “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act” (Bill C-30).

The bill would have granted authorities new powers to monitor and track the digital activities of Canadians in real-time, required service providers to log information about their customers and turn it over if requested, and made back door entrances mandatory allowing remote access of individuals’ electronic information, each without needing a warrant. Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show that the government desired to use the expanded powers in cases not involving criminality.3

Although, the legislation spoke nothing about pedophiles, the Harper government felt is useful to alarm their conservative base with this misdirection. We could “either stand with us or with the child pornographers”. However, I was part of that base; as is arch-conservative Lorne Gunter.

Politicians or police will talk themselves into the wisdom of using the same technology to find tax cheats, divorced parents falling behind on child support or even human-rights violators […] What if you’re a member of a faith that believes homosexuality is a sin and you send out emails arguing against gay marriage or gay adoption and you use language that is a little too strong? Or maybe you’re having your basement renovated and you boast to a friend that you’re avoiding the HST by paying cash — should that send off an alarm at the Canada Revenue Agency?4

In my youth, Conservatives were complicit conspirators with Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s War Measures Act of 1970; a legislative mallet to swat a relative fly. It made martyrs of those political prisoners imprisoned for many months without warrant or charge. It discredited the ideals of individual civil rights in Quebec, hitherto promoted by the federal authorities. And it led to the first separatist PQ government in 1976.

Bill C-30 was withdrawn after much opposition by all factions in this country. And thus, how strange and ironic that the so-called “Land of the Free” has now become the more oppressive; and my native country, which I felt had proved too dismissive of civil liberty, has a little more sensibility and backbone than I remember in my youth. It is not that Canada hasn’t also increasingly lost the important liberties to an all-encroaching state. It is just that the military-industrial complex of our southern neighbour has deteriorated all that much faster.

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The secular delusion that America is a city on a hill, beaming an example to the world, is exposed to have now become a fraud. The present folly that exists there points more toward a trajectory of the black hole of Calcutta; of extreme vitriolic polarization with the collapse of the ideological middle; of extreme economic disparity (with ensuing social, legal and political injustices) with the collapse of the middle class; of loss of economic opportunity, even economic growth as consequence; of an astonishingly incompetent and foolish fiscal and monetary policy which can only lead to another financial asset meltdown, albeit with no further ability to ameliorate; even to a currency crisis. Bush and Obama have indeed provided the infrastructure for future tyranny and destruction of a free civic polity. And real and substantive causes already exist, which give reason for such a totalitarian autocracy to emerge.

I have read many comments on U.S. message boards, which perceive that to correct this devolution toward the totalitarian, tyrannical surveillance state; it will require civil insurrection and bloodshed. Unlike their ancestors however, I don’t think there exists in America, the moral fiber and civic courage to seriously challenge the oligarchic sociopolitical priesthood of both Republican and Democratic parties and their benefactors. The muted opposition to the TSA depredations of physical modesty proved that case. And it would require a rational and coherent political philosophy, which attracted both mutually suspicious wings of the sociopolitical continuum. And most citizens…er subjects will, after being momentarily irritated from their stupor of silly trivialities and confronted by truth, will return to their porn, gaming and social media after voicing their half-hearted and perfunctory outrage.

And thus I lament for the loss of liberty; not only in the Land of the Free; but also for every other jurisdiction in the world. The arrogant hyenas of tyrannical busybodies will have defeated the Lioness. Everything from then on will just be a mopping operation.

Even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.5

And it cannot be lost on all those outside of American jurisdiction that Americans are only concerned about their own liberties, while the rest should be subject to their surveillance. Whenever, a dissident foreign critic was becoming too unwieldy to American interests, these officials could find a way to discredit or harass him/her by fair means or foul. I doubt that this xenophobic imperialist nation has even considered the blowback from that corollary consequence.




1.      With special thanks to a commentator with pseudonym akpat for the title, from article Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras, U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program, Washington Post, June 6, 2013, Accessed on June 9, 2013.

2.       Conor Friedersdorf, “All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama”, The Atlantic Monthly, June 7, 2013. Accessed on June 9, 2013.

3.       Wikipedia, Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, Accessed on June 9, 2013.

4.       Lorne Gunter, “Want to read my email, Vic Toews? Get a warrant”, The National Post, February 17, 2013, Accessed on June 9, 2013.

5.       Glenn Greenwald, “Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations” (transcript of interview)”, The Guardian, June 9, 2013, accessed on June 9, 2013.











Protagorean Arrogance

I often make reference to a stock phrase protagorean arrogance to describe feminist perspectives. The purpose is less to insult than to explain. The notion emanates from observation and excruciating personal experience; whereby one’s interlocutor is so locked up in their subjective mantras that no amount of valid reasoning or evidence can genuinely dislodge them from their pre-existing opinions, even one iota. However, the danger from such persons lurks in their tyrannical impulses, “sincerely exercised for the good of its victims” and “who torment us for our own good, [who] will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”.1 New York Mayor and plutocrat “Big Gulp” Bloomberg comes to mind. They are the enemies of liberty of conscience, the progenitors of ideological and social tyranny, and the begetters of civil wars, from family relationships up to civil societies. For, it is not in differences of opinion that most civic conflagration arises; but when one or all factions seek to impose their worldview and ethic/ethos upon all others.

Protagorean derives from the Greek sophist Protagoras of Abdera (490 – 420 B.C.), who is made famous by his utterance “Man is the measure of all things”.  This radical relativistic notion, that objective reality and the Good is determined by our epistemological ability to ascertain it, was seen in its time as leading to moral/legal chaos and societal disintegration. The astute will also surmise that the ultimate sociopolitical end result of such thought will be civil governance by arbitrary coercion of pure power instead of through consent. The autocracies of Alexander’s and the Roman Empire are artifacts one and two for the prosecutor for such conclusions.

It should not be thought that feminists are the only culprits of this disposition.

In this narcissistic, subjectivist age, the adage has morphed into I am the measure of all things. In a discourse of a generation back, the interlocutor who disagreed with you might declare a Kierkegaardian sentiment that what is true for you is not [necessarily] true for me. Nowadays, that same disagreeing interlocutor will tend to subscribe to the view that since what you say isn’t convincing to them; it is not true for you neither. Consequently, instead of acknowledging liberty of conscience differences of opinion, these interlocutors must coerce others to their way of conduct or thought.

Same-sex proponents operate in this way. It is not sufficient that they live their relationships and call them and others to call it whatever they please. Behind the movement is this intention to isolate and marginalize their ideological and sociopolitical adversaries and coerce these others to publicly concur with their politically correct cant through threat of subtle legal and socioeconomic reprisals.

However, the more insidious kind of protagorean arrogance is that which emanates without deliberate intent to deceive. Same-sex advocates probably know that they are pushing the envelope against liberty of conscience to the extent that they can get away with, until they meet rock hard resistance and push back. The evil of protagorean arrogance is that in the unwitting unknowing, these Lilliputian zealots lack any boundaries in violating the rights of others. They will not likely stand down.

I bear witness of this tyrannical impulse. A fifty-something grandmother constantly questions and countermands her daughter’s instructions and discipline of the daughter’s daughter in the presence of the latter. It would often take the opprobrium and intervention of the wider family to arrest this busybody from publicly undercutting the authority of the daughter. However, when that opprobrium and intervention was less present, the grandmother would resort to her old tricks. The matriarch’s self-righteous certainty trumps the rightful authority of others to govern their own lives and those of their wards.

Having been herself a mother at one time, one would have thought that the grandmother would have innate appreciation of a parent’s desire and right to steward their own child. And there are times, when the situation is of such severe nature and clearly pre-defined to warrant intervention. If however, every minutiae of difference of opinion becomes a federal issue, it indicates that the protagorean arrogance borders on both the lawless and the tyrannical.

This psychosocial phenomenon is highlighted to explain an astonishing lack of psychological insight by modern women; feminists in particular. Some have convinced themselves that the differences between the sexes are mere social constructs (Second Wave Feminists). Men really ought to be thinking like women. And if males don’t; from the protagorean vantage point of such women, it must derive from an ethical deficiency rather than a gender-based proclivity to approach existence from a different vantage point. Alternatively, there are the Third Wave Gender Nationalists, who acknowledge that differences in gender proclivities exist, but that the attributes of their side are superior to that of the other.

Thus, like Hitler’s Youth, they must indoctrinate and ideologically emasculate boys to the superiority of feminine traits even before they become men. They deem themselves alone as being competent enough to define and arbitrate the nature of masculinity; which often amounts to little more than servicing women’s every need and fetish, just like in their romantic novels. Such will deign to denigrate the masculinity in masculinity. As evidenced in the Slut Walks, such believe that they should be free to trample on the sensitivities of others and to encumbrance all others. Others must rearrange their lives so to accommodate these sluts alone. For, they alone are right. The cosmos is neither geocentric nor heliocentric. Nay. The cosmos orbits around their itsy bitsy opinions and interests.

And the lack of psychological insight is blinding them from perceiving the encroaching and overwhelming social counter-reaction by new generations of young males. While the obtuse Hanna Rosin is declaring a triumphalist feminine victory in “The End of Men”; I see a different dynamic, bubbling up from the ground up and terrifying to the status of women in the generations to come.

The pertinent point is the obliviousness in these women’s lack of psychological insight; the arrogance in this unreasoning stupidity. It doesn’t seem to occur to such persons that the real Truth is somewhere out there, to which they themselves are not likely to have ownership, to which they like all others must strive. Or that their gender counterparts might be a necessary counterbalance to the excesses of their gender proclivities; as would be the case of female proclivities mitigating male excesses.

©Copyright John Hutchinson


1C.S. Lewis, The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment, The Twentieth Century: An Australian Quarterly Review, 3(3), 1949, p 5-12.