Category Archives: Politics

Belief and Proof

Something to think about

Question: From what we are seeing of the current American Government, its politics and the “officials” who populate that Leviathan, how sure can we be that the ideas that drive us to our beliefs are true? Is it possible our world-view is built from lies? How can we know if our entire belief-system was just fed to us from birth?

These are the fundamental questions of self-determination and if they don’t worry us deeply, then we aren’t even trying.

I think we can all agree that Americans are sold and buy everything from toilet paper to Presidents because of what we hear about them. What we hear about them is always propaganda/advertising if that information comes from them and their friends.

Propaganda/advertising was invented in the early 1930’s by Edward Bernays, Woodrow Wilson, the American Manufacturing Association. It’s used to control basic instincts in people and construct their beliefs and direct their behavior by — blah blah blah.[GOOGLE is your friend]

Here’s the point: In a world where lies can be profitable, it’s more important to know how to prove something is true or false than it is to have a wealth of knowledge. Like the old saying, “ The educated person knows how to find information, not remember it.”

This all boils down to trust and proof. If you can’t prove it you must trust what you are told. What could possibly go wrong there?

Unfortunately for American citizens, teaching critical reasoning skills to the “Great Unwashed” is not the goal of the Government and its propaganda/advertising machine. So, State schools teach “facts” but not the skills to prove those “facts” true or false.

At this moment, America is showing the world, again, the power in controlling the hearts and minds of the citizens. In this instance of the old propaganda/advertising formula, it wasn’t even necessary to have a credible, cohesive message for the voters to become President of the United States of America. All it took was a common-folk warning about “The Others”, who can not and should not be Us and the absolution for fearing and hating “Them”.

In a world where lies can be profitable, belief is disaster.

Am I Understanding This Correctly?

If I am understanding this correctly:  The Democrat Party rigged the primaries against a candidate who would have won the general Presidential election, if the primary election had not been rigged.   That doesn’t seem to bother the Democrats or the Justice Department.  In fact, the person who rigged the election process was given a position of importance in the campaign of the candidate that the rigging helped.

Even the stupid resent rigging elections, so who would vote for election-riggers?

It became obvious that one and maybe both candidates take money from sworn enemies of this country to give to other sworn enemies of this country to make wars so we can feed the Military Industrial Complex, which currently eats more than 50% of every dollar generated in America.

The shrinking middle class and working poor notice everything is against them, so they vote against everything.  They don’t understand that their jobs and lifestyles must die in this form of re-distributive economics, but they still want daddy to increase their allowances, just because they have been good sheep.   They never realize sheep are for shearing.




Information For Political Theory

I watched a young Japanese woman explain why she was studying martial arts in Japan. She explained that the knowledge and skills she gained from her studies of ancient self-defense gave her power and confidence and it made her unafraid. She said that kind of power and self-assurance made it very easy to be kind. Knowledge is power, the old saying goes. And the power that knowledge brings can make it easy to be kind. To that belief, I offer the following information:

The following sources come from Department of Politics Princeton University Reading List for the General Examination in Political Theory (revised October 2010, to take effect with general exams of October 2011.  MarksNotes found the literature.  Enjoy.

Ancient and medieval political theory

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War


Plato, Apology


Plato, Crito

Plato, Republic

Plato, Statesman

Plato, Laws

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics;

— use translate button

Aristotle, Politics

Cicero, On the Commonwealth [De Republica] ,

Cicero, Dream of Scipio

Cicero, On the Laws [De Legibus],

Cicero, On Duties [De Officiis]

Augustine, The City of God,

Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles,

Aquinas, De Regimine Principum

Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

Modern political theory

*Machiavelli, The Prince;

Machiavelli, The Discourses

Hobbes, Leviathan

Locke, First Treatise of Civil Government, Second Treatise of Civil Government;

Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration

Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws,

Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature,

Rousseau, Discourse on the Sciences and Arts;–%20First%20Discourse.pdf

Discourse on the Origin of Inequality;

Rousseau, On The Social Contract

Bentham, Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation,

Bentham, Nonsense Upon Stilts (in Bentham, Rights, Representation, and Reform, pp. 319-401)

Smith, The Wealth of Nations,

Jay, Madison, and Hamilton, The Federalist Papers,

Burke, Pre-Revolutionary Writings,

Kant, Idea, for a Universal History

Kant, What is Enlightenment?;

Kant, Conjectures on the Beginning of ‘Human History;

Kant, On the Common Saying: “That May Be Correct in Theory, but It Is Of No Use in Practice,


Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace:

Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals:

Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Marx, On the Jewish Question

Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel ‘s Philosophy of Right: Introduction;

Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844

Marx, The German Ideology, Part I

Marx, Manifesto of the Communist Party;

Marx, Capital

Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme

Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,

Marx, The Civil War in France

1.S. Mill, Utilitarianism

Mill, On Liberty

Mill, Considerations on Representative Government

Mill, The Subjection of Women

Mill, Principles of Political Economy,%20Principles%20of%20Political%20Economy.pdf

Nietzsche, On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals

Weber, The Profession and Vocation of Politics

Weber, Suffrage and Democracy in Germany

Weber, Parliament and Government in Germany under a New Political Order

Weber: Political Writings


These are some additional references:


The Federalist Papers: No. 10

The complete list:

Department of Politics Princeton University

Reading List for the General Examination in Political Theory (revised October 2010, to take effect with general exams of October 2011)

The examination will consist of three parts:  (I) Ancient and medieval, (II) Modern, and (III) Norms and concepts. Students will be asked to write on one question in each part chosen from two or more that will be offered trying to avoid excessive overlap of themes or theorists. Each essay will have equal weight in determining the exam grade.

This reading list is a guide to preparation for the exam. It is not a required syllabus: students are not expected to have read all of the works listed. Works by members of the Princeton faculty in political theory are omitted.

The reading list is divided into three sections corresponding to the three parts of the exam, plus an appendix on methodology in the study of political thought. But this division is only a convenience. Political theory is a single subject. Responses to questions in the historical parts of the exam will almost certainly benefit from a grasp of pertinent normative and analytical materials and essays on normative themes are likely to be strengthened by a critical understanding of canonical texts.

Parts I and II. The readings listed in the historical sections combine essential texts by canonical writers and secondary readings pertinent to each writer’s work. The list of canonical works reflects the faculty’s judgment of the works a student should command by the time of the general examination; it does not aspire to be comprehensive. The secondary readings aim to illustrate an array of perspectives in the recent scholarly literature. While no particular secondary readings are specifically required, it will be difficult to demonstrate knowledge of the primary thinkers listed without some appreciation of the major controversies about their works.

Ten thinkers in parts I and II are marked with an asterisk (*).  At least one (but perhaps only one) question in each of Parts I and II of the exam will be answerable with reference to one or more of the starred thinkers.  The other questions in those Parts may require answers referring either wholly or in part to some one or more of the unstarred thinkers.  Normally all of the questions in these parts can be answered with reference to writers on the full list, although from time to time a question may refer to other theorists or works studied in graduate seminars offered in the two years preceding the exam.

Those who would benefit from further study of the major texts are urged to take or audit the Politics 301/303 sequence, and (if taking them for credit) to take the corresponding graduate reading courses (Politics 701/703). Reading courses should be arranged with the instructor before the semester begins.

Part III. The readings listed are intended to represent a range of views and approaches to several basic concepts and normative doctrines found in contemporary political theory. Again, the list does not aim to be comprehensive. Although students are not expected to be conversant with all of the works listed, they should be familiar with the leading ideas and concerns in the contemporary literature under most of the subheadings.

Appendix.  In addition to studying the thinkers and concepts listed in the three main portions of the reading list students may find it helpful to do some reading about general issues of methodology in the study of political thought. The works listed in the Appendix represent several perspectives.

I. Ancient and medieval political theory
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, I; II; 1-50, 70-86; V, 84-1 15; VI [entire; not 1-32 only]; VII, 60-87 W. Robert Connor, Thucydides Steven Forde, The Ambition to Rude Raymond Geuss, Outside Ethics, ch.13 Gerald M. Mara, The Civic Conversations of Thucydides and Plato:  classical political philosophy and the limits of democracy S. Sara Monoson, Plato’s Democratic Entanglements, ch.3  Josiah Ober, Political Dissent in Democratic Athens, ch. 2

*Plato, Apology; Crito; Republic; Statesman; Laws, Stephanus sections 624-632, 641-650, 659-664, 690-695, 699-702, 704-705, 709-747, 752-780, 853-858, 861-864, 875, 961-969 Julia Annas, Introduction to Plato’s Republic Danielle Allen, Why Plato Wrote Allan Bloom, ‘Interpretive Essay’ in The Republic of Plato, ed. Bloom Christopher Bobonich, Plato’s Utopia Recast, ch. 5 J. Peter Euben, The Tragedy of Political Theory, chs 7, 8                                                  Terence Irwin, Plato’s Ethics, chs 1, 11-18, 20 Josiah Ober, Political Dissent in Democratic Athens, chs 1, 4 C.D.C. Reeve, Philosopher-Kings Malcolm Schofield, Plato, Political Philosophy Gregory Vlastos, Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher, and Platonic Studies, nos 5 and 6

*Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics; Politics John Cooper, Reason and Human Good in Aristotle Jill Frank, A Democracy of Distinction Richard Kraut, Aristotle: Political Philosophy Jonathan Lear, Aristotle: The Desire to Understand Stephen Salkever, Finding the Mean Arlene Saxonhouse, Fear of Diversity, Part III (chs 8, 9) Aristide Tessitore, Reading Aristotle’s Ethics Bernard Yack, The Problems of a Political Animal

Cicero, On the Commonwealth [De Republica], Bks I, entire; III, entire; VI, Dream of Scipio only; On the Laws [De Legibus], Bks I and II, entire; On Duties [De Officiis], entire Anthony Everitt, Cicero Bryan Garsten, Saving Persuasion, ch. 5 A.A. Long, ‘Cicero’s politics in De officiis [On Duties],’ in A. Laks and M. Schofield (eds), Justice and Generosity Malcolm Schofield, Saving the City, ch. 10 E. W. Steel, Cicero, Rhetoric, and Empire Neal Wood. Cicero‘s Social and Political Thought

Augustine, The City of God, Books II-V; VII, 1-11; XIV, 28; XV, 1-5; XIX, 4-22, 25-28; XX, 1-2; XXII, 1-8, 30 Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo Henry Chadwick, Augustine Herbert A. Deane, The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine Peter Garnsey, Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine, ch. 13 R.A. Markus, Saeculum: history and society in the theology of St. Augustine R. Martin, ‘The two cities in Augustine’s political philosophy,’ Journal of History of Ideas 33 (1972), 195-216 Reinhold Niebuhr, ‘Augustine’s Political Realism,’ in Christian Realism and Political Problems J. Rist, Augustine
Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, I:3, 4, 7, 8; II: 68; III: 2,3,25, 27, 32, 37, 48, 51, 53. 63, 64, 81; IV: 54, 76; De Regimine Principum 1-6, 12, 14, 15; Summa Theologiae I, qq. 2, 12, 20, 75, 79, 85, 92. 96, 98; I-II, qq. 3,5,21, 62, 81, 90-97 [Treatise on Law], 100, 105, 109; II-II, qq. 10. 11, 12, 40, 42, 57, 60, 64, 66, 69, 77, 78, 194, 110, 150, 152, 154; III, qu. 8; Supplement, qu. 52 (these selections can be found in St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics [Norton Critical Editions], ed. P. Sigmund).

J.H. Burns, ed., Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought J.P. Canning, A History of Medieval Political Thought 300-1450 (1996), ch. 3 A.P. d’Entreves, Natural Law John Finnis, Aquinas: Moral, Political, and Legal Theory Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump, eds. Cambridge Companion to Aquinas: esp. ch. by Sigmund     N. Kretzmann, A. Kenny, J. Pinborg, E. Stumb, eds, The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy: esp. chapters by Barnes, Dunbabin, Luscombe (both) and McGrade

II. Modern political theory
*Machiavelli, The Prince; The Discourses F. Gilbert, Machiavelli and Guicciardini: Politics and History in Sixteenth-Century Italy (1984 edn) Mark Hulliung, Citizen Machiavelli      Harvey Mansfield, Machiavelli ‘s Virtue Hannah Pitkin, Fortune is a Woman J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment Quentin Skinner, Machiavelli * Hobbes, Leviathan Jean Hampton, Hobbes and the Social Contract Tradition Noel Malcolm, Aspects of Hobbes Michael Oakeshott, ‘Introduction to Leviathan’ in Rationalism in Politics Quentin Skinner, Reason and Rhetoric, ch. 8; Visions of Politics, vol. 3; Hobbes and Republican Liberty  Leo Strauss, The Political Philosophy of Hobbes Richard Tuck, Hobbes and Philosophy and Government, 1572-1651

* Locke, First Treatise of Civil Government, §§1, 3, 23, 33, 40-48, 56, 58, 66, 86-87, 89-94; Second Treatise of Civil Government; A Letter Concerning Toleration Richard Ashcraft, Revolutionary Politics and Locke ‘s Two Treatises of Government John Dunn, The Political Thought of John Locke     Ruth Grant, John Locke ‘s Liberalism Peter Laslett, ‘Introduction’ to CUP edition of Two Treatises of Government A. John Simmons, The Lockean Theory of Rights; On the Edge of Anarchy; Moral Principles and Political Obligations, ch. on tacit consent James Tully, An Approach to Political Philosophy: Locke in Contexts       Jeremy Waldron, God, Locke, and Equality  —–,  The Right to Private Property, ch. 6 J. Horton and S. Mendus (eds) John Locke: A letter concerning toleration in focus Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, Bks 1-6; Bk 7 chs 1, 9. 15-17; Bk 8; Bk 9 chs 1-5; Bk 10 chs 1 – 11; Bk 11 chs 1-6; Bk 12, chs 1-4; Bk 14 chs 1-6, 9-10, 15; Bk 15; Bk 16, chs 1-4, 9-10; Bk 17; Bk 18 chs 1-17; Bk 19 chs 1-16, 27; Bk 20 chs 1-14, 23; Bk 21 chs 1-5, 20-23; Bk 23, chs 28-29; Bk 24, chs 1-8, 19-20; Bk 25 chs 1-2, 9-15; Bk 26, chs 1-3, 20-23; Bk 29, chs 1, 16, 19

H.E. Ellis, ‘Montesquieu’s Modern Politics: The Spirit of the Laws and the problem of modern monarchy in Old Regime France,’ History of Political Thought, 10 (1989), 665-700 Nannerl Keohane, Philosophy and the State in France: The Renaissance to the Enlightenment  Thomas Pangle, Montesquieu’s Philosophy of Liberalism Melvin Richter, ‘Comparative Political Analysis in Montesquieu and Tocqueville,’ Comparative Politics 1 (1969), 129-160 Judith Shklar, Montesquieu R. Shackelton, ed.. Essays on Montesquieu and the Enlightenment D. Carrithers, M. Mosher, and P. Rahe (eds), Montesquieu’s Science of Politics

Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, Book III. Parts I and II; ‘Of the Original Contract’ in Essays    Stephen Buckle, Natural Law and the Theory of Property: Grotius to Hume, ch.5 Duncan Forbes, Hume’s Philosophical Politics Knud Haakonssen, The Science of a Legislator: the Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith David Miller, Philosophy and Ideology in Hume’s Political Thought Frederick Whelan, Order and Artifice in Hume’s Political Philosophy Alexander Broadie, ed., Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment          R.H.Campell and A.S. Skinner (eds), The Origins and Nature of the Scottish Enlightenment

*Rousseau, Discourse on the Sciences and Arts; Discourse on the Origin of Inequality; On The Social Contract (recommended: Emile and The Government of Poland) Joshua Cohen, A Free Community of Equals N.J.H. Dent, Rousseau: An Introduction to his Psychological, Social, and Political Theory Arthur Melzer, The Natural Goodness of Man: On the System of Rousseau’s Thought Frederick Neuhouser, ‘Freedom, Dependence, and the General Will,’ Philosophical Review, 102 (1993), 363-395 and Rousseau’s Theodicy of Self-Love:  Evil, Rationality, and the Drive for Recognition Susan Okin, Women in Western Political Thought, pt. III Judith Shklar, Men and Citizens Jean Starobinski, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Transparency and Obstruction  Patrick Riley, ed., Cambridge Companion to Rousseau

Bentham, Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation, chs. 1-5, 10. 12-14, 17; Nonsense Upon Stilts (in Bentham, Rights, Representation, and Reform, pp. 319-401) Lea Campos Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed H.L.A. Hart, Essays on Bentham  Douglas G. Long, Bentham on Liberty Mary P. Mack, Jeremy Bentham Frederick Rosen. Jeremy Bentham and Representative Democracy  Nancy Rosenblum, Bentham ‘s Theory of the State Philip Schofield, Utility and Democracy: The Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham

Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Bk I chs. 1-3; Bk III chs. 1,4; Bk IV, chs.1-3, 5 (including the “Digression”), 7 (Part 3); Bk V chs. 1, 2 (Part I); The Theory of Moral Sentiments Samuel Fleischacker. On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion  Charles Griswold, Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment Knud Haakonssen, The Science of a Legislator: the Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith Albert Hirschman. The Passions and the Interests Istvan Hont and Michael Ignatieff, eds., Wealth and Virtue Istvan Hont, Jealousy of Trade (Cambridge, Mass., 2005), ‘Introduction’ and chs 5-6 Andrew Skinner and Thomas Wilson (eds) Essays on Adam Smith

Jay, Madison, and Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, nos 1, 10, 14-18, 37, 47-49, 51-57, 62-63, 70-71, 78, 84; The Anti-Federalist, ed. H. Storing, abridged M. Dry; Essays of ‘Brutus,’ nos 1-4 David Epstein, The Political Theory of the Federalist   Henry May, The Enlightenment in America Thomas Pangle, The Spirit of Modern Republicanism J. G. A. Pocock, ‘1776: The Revolution against Parliament,’ in Pocock (ed.), Three British Revolutions: 1641, 1688 and 1776, pp. 265-88 P. Rahe, Republics, Ancient and Modern, vol.3: Inventions of Prudence: Constituting the American Regime Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals H. J. Storing, What the Anti-Federalists were For  Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, chs 2, 12, 13, 15  Michael Zuckert, The Natural Rights Republic

Burke, Pre-Revolutionary Writings, ed. I. Harris; Reflections on the Revolution in France; Speech on Fox’s East India Bill; Speech in Opening the Impeachment of Warren Hastings (for Fox and Hastings speeches, see D. Bromwich, ed., On Empire, Liberty, and Reform; or J. Welsh and D. Fidler, eds, Empire and Community) David Bromwich, ‘Introduction’ to Burke, On Empire, Liberty, and Reform       James Conniff, The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke and the Politics of Progress   Conor Cruise O’Brien, The Great Melody J.G.A.Pocock, Politics, Language, and Time, ch. 6; Virtue, Commerce and History, ch. 10 Frederick Whelan, Edmund Burke and India Stephen K. White, Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics, and Aesthetics *Kant, Idea, for a Universal History; What is Enlightenment?; Conjectures on the Beginning of ‘Human History; ‘On the Common Saying: “That May Be Correct in Theory, but It Is Of No Use in Practice,” part II; Toward Perpetual Peace: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals; The Metaphysics of Morals: Preface, Introduction, ‘Doctrine of Right’: Introduction through §27, §§41-42, 43-62; ‘Doctrine of Virtue’: Preface, Introduction, §§4, 11, 12, 16-18, 19-22, 29-31, 34-35, 37-38, 47-48  Katrin Flikschuh, Kant and Modern Political Thought Leslie Mullholland, Kant’s System of Rights Sankar Muthu, Enlightenment against Empire  Onora O’Neill, Constructions of Reason, chs 1, 2 Allen D. Rosen, Kant’s Theory of Justice Arthur Ripstein, Force and Freedom Allen Wood, Kant’s Ethical Thought Mark Timmons, ed., Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals: Interpretive Essays Howard S. Williams, Kant’s Political Philosophy

*Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit: Preface; Introduction; Lordship and Bondage; Absolute Freedom and Terror; The Philosophy of Right Shlomo Avineri, Hegel’s Theory of the Modern State Frederick Neuhouser, Foundations of Hegel ‘s Social Theory    Z.A. Pelczynski, ed., The State and Civil Society Robert Pippin, Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations, chs 1, 4, 5  Charles Taylor, Hegel Allen Wood, Hegel ‘s Ethical Thought

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Intro.; Vol. 1: Part I, chs 3-5; Part II, chs 1-4, 6-10; Vol. II: Part I, chs 1-4, 8, 10, 13, 17, 20; Part II, chs 1-8, 11-15, 18, 20; Part III, chs 8, 9, 1 1. -13, 17, 19, 21, 22; Part IV, chs 1-8
George Armstrong Kelly, The Humane Comedy: Constant, Tocqueville, and French Liberalism       Jack Lively, Social and Political Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville Pierre Manent. Tocqueville and the Nature of Democracy L. Siedentop, Tocqueville, and ‘Two Liberal Traditions’ in A. Ryan, ed., The Idea of Freedom      Cheryl Welch, De Tocqueville Sheldon Wolin, Tocqueville Between Two Worlds

*Marx, ‘On the Jewish Question,’ Contribution to the Critique of Hegel ‘s Philosophy of Right: Introduction; Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844; The German Ideology, Part I; Manifesto of the Communist Party; Capital, selections from vols I and III; Critique of the Gotha Programme, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, The Civil War in France (excerpts in The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd edition, ed. Tucker) Shlomo Avineri, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx    Isaiah Berlin, ‘Historical Materialism,’ in Four Essays on Liberty    G.A. Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History Jon Elster, Making Sense of Marx Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism David Leopold, The Young Karl Marx  Steven Lukes, Marxism and Morality G. Stedman Jones, ‘Introduction’ to The Communist Manifesto, ed. G. Stedman Jones  Jonathan Wolff, Why Read Marx Today?   Allen W. Wood, Karl Marx

*J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism; On Liberty; Considerations on Representative Government; The Subjection of Women; Principles of Political Economy, 7th edition, Book IV, chs 6-7, Book V, chs 1, 11 F. R. Berger, Happiness, Justice and Freedom: The Moral and Political Philosophy of J.S. Mill         S. Collini, D. Winch, and J. Burrow, That Noble Science of Politics Susan Okin, Women in Western Political Thought, ch. 9 Andrew Pyle. ed., Liberty: Contemporary Responses to John Stuart Mill Alan Ryan, J.S. Mill John Skorupski, John Stuart Mill John Skorupski, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Mill C.L. Ten, Mill on Liberty, esp. ch. 2  Nadia Urbinati, Mill on Democracy   Dennis Thompson, John Stuart Mill and Representative Government Nietzsche, On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life; Beyond Good and Evil; Genealogy of Morals Steven Aschheim, The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany Peter Bergmann, Nietzsche: The Last Antipolitical German Alexander Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature Richard Schacht, ed., Nietzsche, Genealogy Morality; and Nietzsche’s Postmoralism    Tracy Strong, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration Michael Tanner, Nietzsche Raymond Geuss, ‘Nietzsche and genealogy’; ‘Kultur, Bildung, Geist’; and ‘Nietzsche and morality,’ all repr. in Geuss, Morality, Culture, and History  Brian Leiter, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Nietzsche on Morality
Weber, ‘The Profession and Vocation of Politics,’ ‘Suffrage and Democracy in Germany,’ and ‘Parliament and Government in Germany under a New Political Order,’ all in Weber: Political Writings, ed. P. Lassman and R. Speirs; ‘The Types of Legitimate Domination,’ in Max Weber: Economy and Society, ed. G. Roth and C. Wittich, vol. 1; ‘Economy and Law,’ in ibid., vol. 2 Peter Breiner, Max Weber and Democratic Politics
Wolfgang Mommsen, Max Weber and German Politics, 1890-1920 Chris Thornhill, ‘Max Weber’, in: Political Theory in Modern Germany Richard Bellamy, ‘Liberalism Disenchanted’, in: Liberalism and Modern Society Wilhelm Hennis, Max Weber: Essays in Reconstruction Lawrence Scaff, Fleeing the Iron Cage

III. Norms and concepts
1. Authority and political obligation Hannah Arendt, ‘What is Authority?,’ in Arendt, Between Past and Future Hugo Bedau, ed. Civil Disobedience in Focus (essays by Thoreau, King, Haksar, Raz, Greenawalt)   Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire, ch 6 John Rawls, A Theory of Justice  Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom J. Raz, ‘Introduction’ to Raz (ed.) Authority A. John Simmons, Moral Principles and Political Obligations; Justification and Legitimacy  Michael Walzer, Obligations    Max Weber, ‘Politics as a Vocation’, ‘Bureaucracy,’ ‘The Sociology of Charismatic Authority,’ in H. H. Gerth and C. W. Mills (eds) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, chs 4, 8-9 Robert Paul Wolff, In Defense of Anarchy

2. Constitutionalism and the rule of law   Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire; Freedom ‘s Law Jon Elster, ed., Democracy and Constitutionalism John Hart Ely, Democracy and Distrust: A Theory of Judicial Review F.A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty John Rawls, A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism Joseph Raz, The Authority of Law and Ethics and the Public Domain. ch. 17 Jeremy Waldron. Liberal Rights Jeremy Waldron, Law and Disagreement

3. Democracy

Joshua Cohen, Philosophy, Politics, and Democracy Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition Monica Brito Vieira and David Runciman, Representation  Robert Dahl, Democracy and its Critics Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy David Estlund, ed.. Democracy (papers by Christiano, Waldron. Cohen, Habermas. Miller)  David Estlund, Democratic Authority   Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson, Democracy and Disagreement Jurgen Habermas, Between Facts and Norms Bernard Manin, The Principles of Representative Government Hannah Pitkin. The Concept of Representation  Adam Przeworksi, ‘A Minimalist Conception of Democracy: A Defense,’ in I. Shapiro and C.   Hacker -Cordon (eds) Democracy’s Value John Rawls, A Theory of Justice John Rawls, Political Liberalism Carl Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy J.A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Part IV Iris M. Young, Democracy and Inclusion

4.  Freedom
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition Isaiah Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty  Patrick Devlin, The Enforcement of Morals  Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously Joel Feinberg, Rights, Justice and the Bounds of Liberty H.L.A. Hart, Law, Liberty, and Morality     G. C. MacCallum, ‘Negative and Positive Freedom,’ Phil. Rev. 76 (1967), 312-34, repr. in P. Laslett and    others, eds., Philosophy, Politics and Society, 4th series David Miller, ed., Liberty (esp. articles by Hayek, Arendt, MacCallum, Cohen, Taylor, Skinner)          Robert Nozick, Anarchy State and Utopia John Rawls, A Theory of Justice John Rawls, Political Liberalism Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom T. M. Scanlon, ‘A Theory of Freedom of Expression,’ Philosophy & Public Affairs 1 (1971)       Quentin Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism Jeremy Waldron, Liberal Rights
5. Global justice David Miller, On Nationality David Miller, National Responsibility and Global Justice Joshua Cohen, ‘Minimalism about Human Rights: the best we can hope for?’ Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (2004) 190-213 Thomas Nagel, ‘The Problem of Global Justice,’ Philosophy & Public Affairs 33 (2005) 113-47  Thomas Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights John Rawls, The Law of Peoples Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political Henry Shue, Basic Rights Yael Tamir. Liberal Nationalism       Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars

6. Identity, difference and pluralism Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutmann, Color Conscious Brian Barry, Culture and Equality Seyla Benhabib, et al., Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange Seyla Benhabib, ed., Democracy and Difference Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship David Miller, On Nationality Susan Okin, Justice, Gender and the Family Carole Pateman, The Sexual Contract Yael Tamir. Liberal Nationalism     Charles Taylor, ‘The Politics of Recognition,’ in A. Gutmann, ed., Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition Iris Marion Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference

7. Justice and equality Elizabeth Anderson, ‘What is the point of equality?,’ Ethics 109 (1999)  M. Clayton and A. Williams (eds) The Ideal of Equality (papers by: Nagel, Scanlon, Parfit) G.A.Cohen, ‘On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice,’ Ethics 99 (1989)              G.A. Cohen, Self-:Ownership, Freedom and Equality G.A. Cohen, Rescuing Justice and Equality
Ronald Dworkin, Sovereign Virtue Harry Frankfurt, ‘Equality as a Moral Ideal,’ Ethics, 1987 (or as repr. in his The Importance of What We Care About) Thomas Nagel, Equality and Partiality Robert Nozick, Anarchy State and Utopia Susan Okin. Justice, Gender and the Family John Rawls, A Theory of Justice John Rawls, Political Liberalism Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice     T. M. Scanlon, ‘Contractualism and Utilitarianism,’ in A. Sen and B. William, eds., Utilitarianism and    Beyond, or in Scanlon, The Difficulty of Toleration Amartya Sen, ‘Equality of What?’ in Sen, Choice, Welfare, and Measurement  Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice Bernard Williams, ‘The Idea of Equality,’ repr. in Williams, Problems of the Self  Iris Marion Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference

8. Power Brian Barry, Democracy, Power and Justice (essays on power) Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish    Michel Foucault, ‘Power, Right, Truth,’ in P. Pettit and R. Goodin (eds) A Companion to Political    Philosophy Albert Hirschmann, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Steven Lukes, Power: a radical view Steven Lukes, ed., Power Robert Nozick, ‘Coercion,’ in S. Morgenbesser and M. White (eds) Philosophy, Science and Method: Essays in Honor of Ernest Nagel     Max Weber, ‘Politics as a Vocation’ and ‘Bureaucracy,’ in H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills (eds) From Max Weber, chs 4, 8

9.  Public reason Seyla Benhabib, Situating the Self: Gender, Community, and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics  Joshua Cohen, ‘Truth and Public Reason,’ Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (2009) 2-42 Raymond Geuss, The Idea of a Critical Theory Jürgen Habermas, ‘Discourse Ethics: Notes on a Program of Philosophical Justification,’ in Habermas, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action Alasdair Maclntyre, After Virtue Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics John Rawls, Political Liberalism John Rawls, ‘The Idea of Public Reason Revisited,’ in The Law of Peoples Michael Walzer, The Company of Critics Bernard Williams, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Bernard Williams, In the Beginning Was the Deed

10. Rights Joel Feinberg, ‘The Nature and Value of Rights,’ repr. in Rights, Justice and the Bounds of Liberty      John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights W. N. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions Robert Nozick, Anarchy State and Utopia Henry Shue, Basic Rights Charles Taylor, ‘Atomism,’ in Taylor, Philosophical Papers, vol. 2 Jeremy Waldron, ed.. Rights, esp. Introduction, articles by Hart and MacDonald Jeremy Waldron, The Right to Private Property
(On rights, also consider works by Dworkin, Nozick, Rawls, Raz and Waldron under Freedom above.)
Appendix: Approaches to the study of political thought
Isaiah Berlin, ’Does Political Theory Still Exist?,’ Philosophy, Politics and Society, ed. P. Laslett and W.G.   Runciman, second series, repr. in Berlin, The Proper Study of Mankind William Connolly, ‘Essentially Contested Concepts in Politics,’ in The Terms of. Political Discourse  Michael Freeden, Ideologies and Political Theory John Rawls, Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy     Quentin Skinner, ‘Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas,’ History and Theory 8 (1969), 3-53, repr. in J. Tully, ed., Meaning and context: Quentin Skinner and his critics; revised version in Skinner, Visions of Politics, vol.1, with other relevant essays on method     Leo Strauss, ‘What is Political Philosophy?,’ ‘Persecution and the Art of Writing,’ repr. in What is Political Philosophy? James Tully, ed., Meaning and Context    Sheldon Wolin , ‘Political Theory as a Vocation,’ APSR 63 (1969) 1062-82, repr. in M. Fleisher, ed.,              Machiavelli and the Nature of Political Thought







It’s hard to be a Christian and an American- or a good one, anyway. The entire deck seems to be stacked against the faithful. Central tenets of Christianity build the foundation of this country and, out of respect, our Founding Fathers made sure Christians would remain free to worship as they wished. Almost everyone is Christian, but the government refuses to budge on the freedom for all religions idea. Government does some very UN-Christian things that Christians would not allow to be done in a Christian nation. But, America is not a Christian nation. It is an every-religion nation.

America, and all nations, would probably be better if they were Christian nations, but, alas, there is money attached to power and many would roll the dice on the afterlife for a good payday today. Real Christians, being Christians, can’t put up much of a fight, for the fear of acting UN-Christian. Their Christian brothers and sisters don’t seem to be worried about acting like Christians as long as they are sure of forgiveness for what every they do. It’s a dilemma.

Some Christians rationalize the inequity of the UN-Christian America by misreading 1 Peter 2:18-19. The passage tells, “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” Perhaps the most ignored passage ever written.

Peter wrote that passage somewhere around 65 AD. At that time in the Roman Empire, slaves were a class in Roman society. They were primarily captives of war, but the competent slaves worked in commerce and government. Go to 1 Peter 2:13 to see Peter’s meaning. He tells one group of people to “…act as free men” [1 Peter 2:16.] Then he addresses the next group, slaves.

In this instance, Peter was addressing Jews who were refusing to obey unbelieving masters. “Slaves” had a necessary place in Roman government. Peter was speaking to a group of people in his society. He was not talking about the relationship America has with her citizens. Neither was he talking about the institution of slavery. Slavery was a given.

It is good to bear up against injustice. It is good to be conscious of God. Just not because God is comfortable with you being a slave or a slave owner. Those are man-made evils.

This is a much easier conversation in America than it would be in most places in the world. I have plenty of time, and GOOGLE, to contemplate this issue. I am not dodging bullets or wondering why the government is starving my children. If I lived in, well, almost anywhere else, I would think Peter was working for the government.

There is another reason why 1 Peter 2:18-19 cannot apply to America’s relationship to her citizens, it is UN-Christian to support a government who is brutalizing its people. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Isaiah 49:25: God’s promise to Zion:

“For thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.”

Can good Christians do any less? Do Christians use 1 Peter 2:18-19 to ignore willful government abuses of the innocent?   Should good Christians ignore Peter and act against unjust governments?

The uncomfortable “What Would Jesus Do?” dilemma.

For the Party?

When I hear someone proudly reveal they are a Democrat, a Republican, a Tea Party-er, a Green, a New Wave Neo-Capitalist Social Reform Party person, or whatever, I sometimes hear the distant “Wha-Wha” of a muted trumpet and my mind gives me just a moment where my old friend Charlie Brown and I are back in school. There, we are so nurtured by youth our minds cannot care. There, ideas of nations and political parties are supplanted with notions of fun and warmth. There, we are sure about God and Country.  Then the moment is gone and I’m back in the middle of an American paradox being shared by varying degrees of zealots with no hint of the contradictions in their political positions. As the decibels rise, I wonder when and why they decided to stop being Americans.

I wonder if they are at least “Democrats for America”, “Republicans for America”, or “New Neo-Caps for America”? Are they at least hyphenated Americans? We can live with that. We are that. Or, are they only Republicans, Democrats, Independents — everything of James Madison’s nightmares — a building tyrannical majority? Is it even possible today, to be a Republican or a Democrat and still be a good old fashioned American?

I listen and wonder if “Party-Americans” realize that the very nature of their political affiliation is to work to marginalize and exclude other Americans’ ideas about how we can be a better country.

Political affiliations are exclusionary by nature. They are the source of political conflict. America is not at war with America. Political parties war with each other for the right by conquest to make America in their image for as long as they can convince the electorate that they are the correct Americans.

America, on the other hand, is an inclusive idea. We have built a once and often great nation from the scraps discarded by other older nations. We are the wretched refuse that finds our shores. And when we land, our assumed inclusion makes us great.

This manufactured political tension between and within political parties and the tension those politics bring to our nation, is our call to work. America’s greatness comes, in part, from the fact that we relish and never tire of the work needed to attune those opposite tensions of political affiliation and the inclusive American philosophy.

The current installment of American politics needs much work. It is a lot like the offense actually trying to hurt the defense. When the offense successfully undermines their willing allies and the team loses, should the offense celebrate? Not if they are an actual team with a common goal.

In America, the winning saboteurs throw black-tie affairs and invite no other Americans to the ball. At the end of the night they toast the America where anything is possible for the right people.

The quote below is 123 years old. In the last 123 years America added Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii to our already vast nation. All the problems that come with that much land and that many diverse people, was added as well. We cured, or at least dramatically slowed, invasive H Flu, chicken pox, malaria, measles, polio, small pox, and a long list more.   We have been in and out of wars and created some of the best music and art the world has ever enjoyed.   American advances in science truly rivals the intellectual wonders of the ancient Greek cosmologists. We have put our countrymen on the face of the moon and brought them home, and some of us simply live in space for long periods. How can it be possible that the same impediments to our country’s clearly expressed purpose exist today as they did 123 years ago?

From the Populist Party platform, issued at its convention in Omaha in 1892, which read in part:

“The conditions which surround us best justify our cooperation: we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling-places to prevent universal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly degenerating into European conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice, we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.”

There is a difference, in my opinion, between real Americans and party-Americans.

We can see the influence of Republicans and Democrats in the progress we have made on the issues described in 1892.

Have they really helped this country?

If They Learn, You Die

The following article is political satire. Its purpose is to show the breakdown of the Public Dialogue and the American political system. It is a collection of stereotypical examples of how the desire to win is greater than loyalty to country.

If They Learn, You Die

Occasionally I get asked to do projects for people. Recently I was asked by the local Republican party to do research into the most effective ways their party can persuade people to embrace the Republican party.


This was a challenging assignment for several reasons. Whatever document I produced had to meet specific Republican platform requirements.

I was reminded that I had to focus on the Republican philosophy as it relates to god, free speech, and strangely, sexual gender assignments and public restrooms. Whatever, that’s what I do, so I looked into their philosophy about God, free speech and sex.

The following document was my first submission to the party boss:


Republican Party Strategic Plan

 angry god


Try to steer clear of Jesus. The old testament God is more in line with current Republican ideology. Jesus only opens the door to conversations that include the people you are fighting against. No need to confuse your issues by trying to include inferior classes of people and the obvious god-haters. If you focus on the Old White Christian Men [OWCM] your base will be solid with the best Americans. Old testament thinking and OWCM is a powerful weapon. Learn to use it without remorse. After all, when god is one of you, you don’t really need to play fair.

Allow, of course, anyone who wants to be a Republican into the party, like your women folk and some people with colored skin. They are good for your mailers and such, but only give a very few of them positions of responsibility. Again for advertising purposes.

Make sure to explain forcefully that God does not like certain people, but god loves Republicans. That shows a personal relationship with god. The more people you can say our god hates, let’s call them, “the others”, the closer god will be to your party. If you do this all just right, the Republican Party can become the “Party of God” and American domination will be at your fingertips.

Although it is not the purpose of this document to chart your course for world domination, I should point out that every world dominator has had god as a sidekick. Words to the wise.

freespeech 2

Free speech

I suggest you use your free speech to try to stifle the free speech of your political opponents. I would use god to help you do that. The possibilities are endless. Consider the form of the argument you should use:

Republicans are the party of god

God says you are bad, Republicans are good

That’s a simplified form and not really logical, but it will work on your people. Give it some tweaking according to your specific hatred needs and, well you get the point.

Always remember that god is your tool. You will have exclusive use of god in your political pursuits, because those weak lefties think god belongs to everyone. You hear that term a lot from the left: Everyone, include them too, Constitution, everyone is supposed to be equal, Bill of Rights, bla, bla, bla, whine, whine, whine. You can absolutely destroy those bedwetters with properly applied god-hate. They will never see you coming.

I suggest you get yourselves into state and local legislatures. It’s cheaper to buy local politicians. You can own them for ball game tickets or a membership to the local country club. Give them small notoriety and then show them how to identify people who threaten your beliefs, then let the greed you feed and human nature take over.

We will all be trickling down as a result of the constructive application of god-hate.



The S word

Learn as much as you can about other people’s sex. Talk about sex, wonder about other people’s sex, ask pointed and inappropriate questions about other people’s sex and sex in general. Be sure to use god and the old testament to define disgusting sex and the very disgusting deviants that have sex for reasons other than procreation. Mention abomination and spilling seed as much as possible. Those terms are icky to your base and they can be used as trigger terms.

I’ll show you what I mean:

Think homosexual love.

Take a minute to compose yourself, we have work to do.

Sell god’s disgust and the fact that you are his sword. Do something to those abominations. Show how the godly can punish. Give your base a rally cry. Try this:

“God hates fags and loves Republicans”

Think bumper stickers and yard signs.


“God told us you should be a Republican”

OK a little long for a bumper sticker, but maybe letterhead? What about

“They call it Missionary position for a reason.”

Maybe for rock concerts or biker gangs.

You get the point. Sell the idea that it’s god and republicans against faggots, cross dressing communists and everyone that does not agree with you. Sell

It’s us and god against you.

In general, never, never be persuaded by logic or facts. They usually come from the ungodly with forked tongues. If you listen, the dark one will enter your mind and fill it with questions. We all know there is no godly value to questions. They are designed by infidels to corrupt our children and steal our women. Never, never allow your Republicans to question. If they learn, you die.





The Other Side of the Same Coin

The following article is political satire. Its purpose is to show the breakdown of the Public Dialogue and the American political system. It is a collection of stereotypical examples of how the desire to win is greater than loyalty to country.

The Other Side of the Same Coin

Occasionally I get asked to do projects for people. Recently I was asked by the local Democrat Party to do research into the most effective ways their party can persuade people to embrace the Democrat party.

democrats in congress

This was a challenging assignment for several reasons. Whatever document I produced had to meet specific Democrat platform requirements.

I was reminded that I had to focus on the Democrat philosophy as it relates to God, free speech, and strangely, sexual gender assignments and public restrooms. Whatever, that’s what I do, so I looked into their philosophy about God free speech and sex.

The following document was my first submission to the party boss:

 Democrat Party Strategic Plan

 hippie jesus


Invoke the name of the Lamb as though you have documentation that puts you and Jesus on a first name basis. Let it be known you talk all the time and he is so proud that Democrats are carrying on HIS divine plan here on earth. Then paint him as a very friendly, almost hippie like, perpetual forgiveness machine. Show America that Jesus is not mean and he will smile and wink at you as you leave a wake of destruction behind you all week long. His mild suggestion is only that you show up on Sunday and raise your hands to the roof of whatever building or tent you may be in. If that is too much trouble, Jesus will do the “Whenever two or more are gathered”, thing.

You want religion to be a warm and fuzzy blanket that people wrap themselves in when they are cold and vulnerable. Never say mean trigger words like

individual responsibility



personal success

and never say

Old Testament.

Just look at how unsettling those trigger words look in print! Imagine them bouncing around the society. Soon I will show you how to use the devastating PC multi-dimensional citizen enforced mosquito-like annoying intrusions into other people’s worlds. You will be amazed at what you can make inappropriate with my simple to follow 12-page plan. It’s on special this week.

With respect to the Old Testament, find as many contradictions in that ancient book as you possibly can, and sell those contradictions as sufficient reason that the mean [definitely not your Jesus] Old Testament God does not exist. Then in the same breath make it known that the Republicans worship the old testament God exclusively. While you are at this, let it be known that there are priests and pastors who have issues with the Old Testament but completely understand the New Testament and they can translate the words and thoughts of your now very proprietary, Jesus. That should paint those Republican bedwetters into a nice corner:

“Republicans offer nothing more than a bloody trail of hate from an insane God.”

Your new Party theme: The Old Testament is a curious document full of contradictions presided over by a very angry and, according to his own words, jealous God. That is exactly the kind of God those Republicans respect — the mean God. Because they are mean people.

 freespeech 2


Free Speech

It is absolutely imperative that you define and control allowable speech. You must develop the metaphors for hate speech so that you may build a box around your opponents.

Make this so: When Republicans speak, it is hateful. When Republicans speak, so much of what they say is inappropriate that it would be wise to assume the next thing a Republican says will be inappropriate. Angry speech from angry people because of an angry God. Think:

Jesus talks nice – Why don’t Republicans?




The idea here is to construct and spread variations on this theme:

“Democrats and Jesus like puppies, and I heard a Republican threaten to rub a puppy’s nose in some doo-doo and then that mean Republican definitely said’ “bad dog” more than once, in a very threatening tone of voice. We hope you are as shocked and appalled at the Republicans’ systemic and pervasive brutality to puppies, as we are.”

OK, that’s way too long for a bumper sticker or yard sign or even letterhead, we can clean it up later.

Here’s the important thing about free speech: If you control the narrative you can control the information that matters. In effect, you can determine the truth. Let’s take a second to think about this. It is the soul of your Party’s philosophy.

Political opinions are rooted in some very firm soil made up of moral concerns about right and wrong. This means people’s opinions are not just ideas, they are representations of their character and moral fiber. You are about to sell that Republicans are Old Testament thinkers. It is not likely you will change any Republican minds. What you can do is attack the same conversations the Republicans are concerned with, but offer solutions that are geared more towards self-interest than responsibility.

Most Americans are staggered by responsibilities. The demands of life and our responsibilities to citizenship are a full time job on top of our full time jobs. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, concerns about








These are the constant hummings in our minds — the background noise that stays with us, bothers us, makes us unsure and uncomfortable. We try to forget that any one of the 7 can take over the rest in an instant and then that annoying buzz can become cannon fire.

These are our plates up in the air. Sadly, we will keep these plates spinning for a lifetime, if we can – which can we afford to let fall?

Imagine a lifetime appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, spinning plates and listening to Coco Gegeo. Honest to God, close de box.

Work to explain that responsibility, that noise, those damn plates, as the imprisonment of the Republican ideology. They cause the noise. The fear, the uncertainty, they cause it all because they do not understand personal freedom.   There is your argument for life. They cannot defeat the need to blame.

As for yourselves, become a collection of self-interested individuals because your ideals are primarily self-interest. The more freedoms you, as a political party, offer individuals while at the same time promising them the collective benefits of a government, the more you can let other people’s self-interests strengthen you.

Personal freedoms, to as much excess as possible without throwing this country into a tailspin, is diametrically opposed to everything the Republicans stand for. It’s classic hedonism over Old Testament restraint. You can’t lose. When they say “Law and Order”, you will say,

“Angry people, angry God”.

When they say “Social Justice” or “Personal Responsibility” [they say that a lot, sigh] you will say,


Do you see where this can go? Do this just right and you can create an army of unknowable monsters who will scare people into becoming your future Democrats.


the s word 2

The S Word

Your course is pretty clear here. You have very few options. Since you are selling unencumbered freedoms, and that restrictions only come from angry people with an angry God, sex must be free and unencumbered.

Since the opposition is currently making inroads into state legislatures and funding political machines to pass further legislation in different states about who can pee where, I would suggest a counter-punch strategy. When the Freedom of Religion Movement is mentioned, remind everyone of the Constitution and recent Liberal Supreme Court Rulings that justify your way of life according to the teachings of Jesus.

To drive the egalitarian wedge even deeper between the teams of you and Jesus against the Republicans, mention everyone’s favorite cousin Ralphie, who is really a good kid, and artistic too, and he dresses so nice, very clean. And of course, never not mention angry people doing the bidding of their very angry, decidedly not egalitarian, God.


Currently you are in the middle of a slippery slope argument that can go either way. You must be careful that your self-interest fest does not degenerate into a pee-for-all. That would be unseemly and hard to sell in high schools, colleges, public restrooms… It’s too much. No pee-for-all’s; work for public expenditures for stalls instead of urinals and doors with locks. Be aware of the icky factor.

This situation could easily get out of control for you. Someone in the Republican Party made a good argument about swinging stuff in front of kids, and you are taking a hit. This is how you get out of that problem:

Sell the “well known fact” that Republicans don’t really have children, they have little goo stepping junior Republicans, who come with little white sheets. Once you get social media to confirm that Republicans do not actually love the things they are charged with instructing, and there is never hugging in a Republican household, you can get to work on selling America on the “fact” that Republicans only say the word “love” to get sex.   Not because they mean that, but because their women need to hear something nice to make new Republicans.

Remember to systematically mention how Republicans want babies to be born, but only because that keeps their women quiet. Reinforce the fact that they don’t care if the babies eat or get medical attention, as long as they get born.

We’ve covered a lot, let’s review the main points:

Jesus loves Democrats. He wants you to unleash his people from the chains still held by Republicans and their angry God. Democrats are free and you make other people free by letting them do pretty much what they want. Democrats give people freedom and, [and this is the great part], you make Republicans pay for the things that disgust them most. Taxes are for everyone!

Stop clapping. And stop singing that stupid song! What the hell is a Kumbayah? STOP THAT SINGING, WE HAVE WORK TO DO!

You must continue to work Republicans into a position where, if they complain about your programs for any reason, even legitimate reasons, you can say they are just angry Old White Christian Men. [OWCM]

Say that enough times and you will no longer need to respond to their points, even the good ones. You will have a sound advantage that can be used at every Republican gathering:

OWCM and their angry God / / OWCM and their angry God


Where’s the beef?

“Four legs good – Two legs bad”

“It’s always been those damn Jews, Faggots, and Commies.”

In no time at all the metaphor will be the message and the message will be the truth.


The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea



OK Trumpeters, you got it said, thank you. We enjoyed watching and most of what you said is absolutely true – to a degree. But, it’s time to get real.


Take everything you own and everything you hope to own and put it in a pile — then decide what kind of person you would like to manage your life’s work. Will you be looking for a responsible and proven manager, or will you look for a riverboat gambler to manage your world?

I think it’s time to start looking at America like it’s our business and we care

very much about how our possessions and our futures, are administered.

Everyone has had their say. It was fun tilting at rainbows or windmills – whatever –and creating some reality social media. We have all been part of a fine American tradition until now, but our house is a mess and it’s time to clean up. We won’t clean anything up by setting a bomb off in the middle of our stuff. Look around, our foundations are already weak from years of citizen neglect. Is this really the time to reap the whirlwind?

We may not like Hillary. Fine. You know who does like Hillary? Everyone running countries we do business with. None of those people have anything nice to say about Donald Trump. If you think things are bad now, try four years of international gridlock. That will look something like, “Buy your own crap, bigmouth.” — In several different languages. You just can’t, “bomb the “sh*t” out of someone to get them to buying your stuff.

Donald Trump sells his business acumen as his reason to run the world. Yet, every day we find out more about what a horrible businessman and human being he actually is. Why is he still a thing?

“The business president who can’t do business”

is not a winning bumper-sticker or a winning promise.

The Donald is not a subtle thinker, he is a bully and leverage-maker.  He enjoys the bankruptcy laws just a little too much and his sub-contractors in his dynasty building are mostly feeling cheated and worse for the relationship.  His negotiation skills are clear in the amazing number of times he’s been sued.

You can’t yell at a chessboard and expect to win. Winning at world diplomacy is much like chess in that, at the very least, it requires knowledge of the board and the players. In this case, who would be the logical choice in that important area of presidential responsibility?

Donald Trump and his followers have done an admirable job for America. We see ourselves in a better light because of his campaign. Now, it’s time to decide between the potentially crazy and the presumed cunning. Who do we want to control our pile of stuff and all the stuff we hope to add to us?

Our choice isn’t between the liar and the thief, our choice is between the talk and accomplished negotiations.

At the end of 4 years, which one of our two candidates will manage our pile of stuff —  better?























Chasing Shiny Things

Chasing Shiny Things

If you think Presidents lead the nation and can right our wrongs, then you don’t understand your country.

America has three branches of government: The Executive branch, the Legislative branch, and the Judicial branch. Each of these branches has certain powers, and each of these powers is limited, or checked, by another branch.

Our three branches of government are defined in our Constitution: The Legislative, composed of the House and Senate, is set up in Article 1. The Executive, composed of the President, Vice-President, and the Departments, is set up in Article 2. The Judicial branch, composed of the federal courts and the Supreme Court, is set up in Article 3.

Our Constitution gives Presidents the power to command the armed forces and almost exclusive power over foreign policy (though the Senate has to ratify any treaty and the Congress always has the power of the purse to influence foreign policy).  The President also nominates judges and justices and maintains the cabinet, but these powers do not, in and of themselves, seem very powerful.

Article 1 Section 2 defines the powers of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Congress can set taxes, can raise armies, declare war, suspend habeas corpus, impeach the President or judges, and can set laws touching the lives of every person in the nation.

Article 1 Section 3 defines the powers of the Judiciary.

Our Constitution carries in it a huge assumption:

That assumption is that the three branches would want to work together for the good of our country.

That is not America’s assumption today. Today, one branch of America, Congress, has decided to usurp the American idea for political partisanship.   They will not even discuss doing their job of vetting a potential Supreme Court Justice until after the current election, more than 8 months away.

As a general plan against us all, Congress has obstructed America’s business almost 1000 times in the last decade. The favorite tool of obstruction, the filibuster.

So, who yields the real power in America? Not the President. Presidents can’t shut down our Country on a whim. Presidents can’t redistribute our wealth to friends and they can’t tax us into submission. Only Congress can, will, and is destroying America. With our help, of course.

Almost 80% of congress is up for election this year. If we counted on social media to tell us about ourselves, we wouldn’t think that. We would think this government revolves around one person, a President.

Well America, presidents are only the shiny objects dangled in front of us to distract us from the real crimes of Congress. All members of this Congress will be reelected by more than a 90% ratio. When that happens, their first and only real job, beside stealing our country out from under us, is to find that next shiny object to dangle in front of the “great unwashed”.

Well done America.






Make America

I agree with Donald Trump. It’s time to

“Make America Great Again.”

To get that done, I suggest we get rid of Republicans and Democrats. If our citizens are going to have a chance to know and love America, the Democrats and the Republicans have to go –  along with their un-American ideas.

America (1)

This might take some work. The America I know is not described by partisan talking points. My America can’t be explained by elephants and asses. What I see is an America that is being passed back and forth by two hateful, divorced parents, who offer very little explanations for the changes in lifestyle we must endure when someone wins.

Let’s be clear, neither Republicans nor Democrats deserve my country, and if you are planning to give her to either side, then in my opinion, you will be a traitor and we will be enemies. I hope that’s clear to you talking point spitters and un-American followers of elephants and asses. If you identify as a Democrat or Republican, you don’t deserve America either.

I challenge the readers to take a minute and list your ideas about America, then compare them to your party’s platform. Compare what you write to the following quotes:

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” — Founding Father Samuel Adams

He didn’t say America needs Republicans or Democrats, he said Our Country will need experienced patriots.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” — President Ronald Reagan

What kind of country are we about to vote for? What will we tell our children when America loses because of our choices?

“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

Who are we loyal to when we promise to vote for whatever candidate our party throws at us?

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” — Edward Abbey

Will a patriot create a government or allow a government that will work against our country? How can we define our Congress other than a Parliament of whores and traitors. Will a patriot allow a political party to usurp our Constitution and abridge our agreed upon rights and privileges? Will a patriot put someone into the highest office in the land who promises to do exactly that? What patriots will elect an admitted usurper of our Constitution?

I think it’s time for us to make a decision. I realize we are expected to talk about Republican things and Democrat things, because those appear to be our choices. But, our country is suffering because of the things Republicans and Democrats are doing to us. Do we really want to join those clans?

I believe we can actually navigate around those political parties and be Americans again. We can take the best ideas our country has produced from our Constitution and from people in every political party, and use those ideas to simply be Americans. Granted we will have to leave the comfort of being told what to think by the people we are praying will actually fix our problems, but our national problems have only grown in my lifetime and I don’t expect Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be the first Republicans or Democrats to save us. We are all in this together, and I would like to be surrounded by Americans. The Democrats and the Republicans appear to be playing to win, not to build my country.

I will ask the readers again, to make your list about what America really stands for and compare your list to what the Republicans and the Democrats are telling you. I think it’s time for us to come together and be bigger than Republicans and Democrats.

I think we can make America.