Podcast #7: J.Q. Useless Guest Appearance on The Alembic Files

Portrait of en:Philip Freneau

Portrait of en:Philip Freneau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this third segment of “Poetic Perplexities: Emerging Visions of Global Empitre?”, a continuing series on The Alembic Files, J.Q. Useless joins A.L. Aric to explore the perplexing life and career of Philip Freneau, the late 18th/early 19th century poet, sea captain, journalist, newspaper editor and friend or associate of many of the founding fathers, including Madison and Jefferson.

Freneau, who is reputed among some literary critics as “the father of American poetry,” is of particular interest to the general subject matter of The Alembic Files because he is also purported to have been “the Anti-Federalist poet.” By examining the content of selected poems of Freneau in the context biographical information and the surrounding historical milieu, A.L. and J.Q. explore the notion that Freneau may have been something quite different.

Is it even accurate to characterize Freneau, an early sympathizer with the French Revolution, as an Anti-Federalist at all? If so, we are arguably looking at a form of Anti-Federalism very different  from what those who study The Anti-Federalist Papers are familiar with–especially given Freneau’s engagement with Jacobinism which, at the peak of the French Revolution, led to a powerful state regime that prefigures many of the characteristics of the totalitarian systems that emerged in the 20th century.

[PLAY/DOWNLOAD MP3]

Reading material:

http://thinkorbeeaten.com/007vyz/freneau.pdf

http://thinkorbeeaten.com/007vyz/departure.rtf

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The Point Collectivists Miss: The STATE Does Not Love You!

van croppedThis is a repost of something I wrote months ago in a more private forum after reading an article pointing to one of the biggest fallacies of collectivized healthcare: “When it Comes to End of Life Decisions, the State Does Not Love You.” I believe it bears repeating here because it’s an issue of timeless importance, so here is what I wrote:

Repeat after me: a collectivist State DOES NOT LOVE YOU and never will. Loving you is not the job of a State: it is the job of your God, your loved ones, and your self. The State will not and CAN not ever insert itself into that role and has no incentive whatsoever to do so. The attitude of a collectivist state toward the individual is NOT benevolent and arguably by definition cannot be so. Those who are naively placing their faith in a collectivist concept of healthcare managed by technocrats and bureaucrats are, at best, naive and, at worst, deeply deceived or deliberately disingenuous.

To wit: “In America, people have willingly bankrupted themselves to save beloved family members. Mammon becomes meaningless when an extra treatment might give your child or a young mother a few more days, weeks, or years of life. People have hearts and souls. They connect to others, especially to those in their families.

It’s very different in socialist states, where euthanasia is the name of the game, often without the patient’s, or her family’s, agreement. In England, thousands of terminally ill people were hastened to their deaths by the Liverpool Care Pathway. It was meant to be a national hospice program that provided palliative care to the terminally ill in their final days. What ended up happening, of course, when the National Health Service started running out of money is that thousands (even tens of thousands) of elderly patients who were terminally ill, but weren’t anywhere near death’s door, were hastened to their deaths. They had become too expensive or just too difficult to manage.”

Think it can’t happen here? Think again, and read the above quote again, and a third time if necessary. It has already happened in “the mother country” across the pond. So it can happen here just as easily too.

What applies in the realm of healthcare applies in any other realm in which one ends up trusting or depending upon a collective to meet any of your needs, whether it be healthcare, housing, education, or whatever. The principle people miss is this, and to me it’s a veritable postulate: the extent to which the State values and respects the individual is inversely proportional to the extent to which the individual is dependent upon the State to meet the basic needs of existence.

Once you become totally dependent–especially on a State that has entered a condition of constrained resources, as we are seeing now in much of Europe, you become in the eyes of the state not like a treasured child to be lovingly cared for, but quite the opposite: you become a liability. In other words, the inevitable, eventual outcome is that the State will come to view the individual as a useless eater. Soylent Green is people.

Barbarous Founders and Other Strange, Early Morning Insights

I’m an early riser nowadays. Or at least my alarm goes off pretty early, usually 4:00 or 4:30 a.m.

Portrait of George Washington.

Portrait of George Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On good days I’m up and about by 5:00. On less good days it’s more like 6:00, 6:30, 7:00. I’m usually out of the house somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 But earlier is better.

Why? For a variety of reasons, the main being, I have to admit, that I’m just plain SLOW in the morning.

But there are other reasons too. If I’m able to get up early enough, it’s an opportunity to take some time on my own to do some things that are hard to get to any other time–like Bible reading and prayer (both much less often than I should, unfortunately), blogging, doing research, and so on.

One thing I usually do, just as soon as my alarm goes off, is pop on my headphones and hop onto TuneIn radio on my smartphone to see whether anything interesting is happening on Coast to Coast AM. I listen to it on a California station that’s still playing the early hours of the show at the time I’m usually waking up here on the east coast. So when I want to, I can usually catch most of the show.

Yeah. I know. Coast to Coast is totally commercialized, co-opted entertainment, “controlled NON-opposition” at best, and an obfuscatory, disinformational distraction at worst. And most days it’s the usual UFO crap that I have little interest in, or the New Age crap from which I am utterly repulsed, not only for spiritual reasons but for intellectual reasons as well.

But that’s another story. The reason I listen is that at least a couple times each week they’ll have a guest on who’s worth listening too. And I also like the part-time hosts a lot better than I like Noory–like John Wells and even George Neff, who are much more up front in talking about matters of New World Order and creeping totalitarianism in the U.S. No, you’re not likely to hear things on Coast that you hear in the fringier corners of alternative talk radio, but sometimes that can be a good thing too.

So this morning was one of those mornings when there was an interesting guest on. It was Beirne Logan, talking about his new book: Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency. It sounds like a really good read, of a deep-history, “stuff they don’t teach you in high school or college” sort of ilk.

The one segment that really caught my attention and even gave me the heebie-jeebies was a discussion between Logan and Neff about how Washington wasn’t at all afraid, when he deemed it necessary, to engage in very brutal torture against enemy British soldiers the Americans had taken prisoner, partly because he know for certain that the British were sometimes doing the same thing to our guys. Washington apparently had to show that he would stop at nothing in the fight for his cause. And apparently he backed it up.

The heebie-jeebies moment actually came from an odd, disturbing historical tidbit (perhaps an unfortunate word choice, as you’ll soon see) that Neff brought up, almost out of the blue. He said he had heard stories of how Washington’s men would sometimes cut the skull of a British prisoner, pull out pieces of his brain, and hand the brain pieces to the prisoner while he was still alive.

Sickening, yes. But apparently the British did the same kind of thing too. We hear stories about how much more formal and rule-bound warfare was in those days, and that the Americans took advantage of that by using more guerrilla sorts of tactics. You’ve heard those stories about American troops making a surprise attack on a British brigade that was standing still, playing the ceremonial fife and drum, waiting for our guys to advance in a similarly formal manner.

But maybe all that was just fairy-tale grade-school textbook mythology anyway. If the formality and rules of engagement were still an issue, apparently there wasn’t an analogue in terms of how prisoners were to be treated–because atrocities were purportedly committed on both sides that would make Gitmo look like an amusement park.

Hearing that really got me thinking about that period of history from the perspective that, in the larger scheme of things, our founding fathers were arguably not that far removed from barbarism on certain levels. And yet they had the “enlightened” intellect to come up with something with the subtleties of the checks and balances in our Constitution.

But, somehow, when you put that together with the more barbarian elements, maybe it’s not so surprising that you can make a good argument that those checks and balances and rights and liberties built into the Constitution may in reality have just been window dressing on a document that created a consolidated power structure with the potential to evolve into a tyrannical monstrosity.

I’m not quite ready to draw firm conclusions, on either the vestigial barbarism angle or on the question of possible hidden agendas among the authors of the Constitution. What does become clear, however, when you face tidbits of history like these, is how little we really know about our history and about what the true state of mind was of our founders.

There are still more questions than answers. And the only thing I can say with any sense of near certainty is that it’s just more evidence that, indeed, what we were taught in school must not have been anything even close to the real deal.