Thursday, November 26, 2015
Monday, November 23, 2015
I was reading a work by Milton Friedman and came across this quote, which is a concise expression of the reason why modern progressive dogma is so dangerous:
The argument is not that it is literally impossible to reduce or eliminate specific instances of inequality, but that the very processes created to do so generate other inequalities, including dangerous inequalities of power caused by expanding the role of government....
A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
The main point of this book by Edward H. Bonekemper III should not be a surprise to anyone who's acquainted with the history of the Civil War. The author goes to great lengths to prove his thesis that Grant was a victorious general who didn't deserve the epithet as a butcher of men. Instead, Bonekemper argues that Grant deserves a high place among all generals throughout history for his ability to win.
To me, the thesis was obvious and the book provided no great revelations. Nor did it provide an extensive biography of Grant. Nor was it terribly lucid in dealing with the many, many commanders of the Civil War.
The book, however, did provide a fast-paced recounting of Grant's battles and did demonstrate why Grant really should be included in a list of great generals throughout history. While it provided sketchy outlines of Grant's tactics, it did clearly delineate his strategies in his western campaign, in taking Vicksburg, and in his ability to finally destroy Lee's army. I would have liked the author to have spent a bit more research and time in detailing Grant's tactics when covering each battle.
The best generals in history win the love of the men who follow them. Grant's men admired him and trusted him to make their efforts, and in many cases, their deaths, have meaning. I came away from the book with a better appreciation for Grant as a commander who time and again won the trust of those who served under him.
This is not a great book to really learn about the life of US Grant, nor is it a great introduction to the Civil War. However, if you are familiar with Civil War history, Bonekemper's book will add a new dimension to understanding Grant and add a new appreciation for Grant's ability to command.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
When I first started attending UCLA, I made a tour of the campus to find such things as the graduate library, the student union, and the big statue of the bear. Just outside of the student union, a black man in his thirties came over to me, acting like I was his long-lost best friend.
He said something to me that strikes me to this day. Extending his hand he said, "It's all right. You can shake the hand of a black man."
I remember that moment so well because it was the first time I realized that racism - real racism, not the fantasy of progressive agitators - was a two way street. The stranger in front of the student union assumed that because I was white, I would immediately assume him to be a threat or some such nonsense. It wasn't until he made reference to himself in such a disparaging way, that I had even thought to mistrust or misjudge him.
As it turned out, he was panhandling and wanted me to give him money. In LA, no panhandlers ever tell you directly that they want money. Instead they make up lies to make you feel sorry for them. In the case of this guy on campus, he gave me a story about raising money to fund some activist group or another. No, he was not legit.
Since that time, I've watched progressive dogma drive a wedge ever deeper into the black community, fomenting a greater hatred of others and disfranchising entire communities from mainstream America.
Within modern liberal dogma, class and race warfare must continue to be spread in order to justify an ever more expensive, powerful, and intrusive government. Like that man at UCLA, liberals always use shame and disdain for others to promote their panhandling agenda.