Saturday, December 15, 2007

Distant Summer

When Bill and Hillary were living in Berkeley in 1971, a period described by the NY Sun The Clinton's Berkeley Summer of Love, American Digest's Gerard Vanderleun was coincidentally living 4 blocks away.

By 1971 I'd been around Berkeley and the Bay Area for some time. And I was there, living in a house on corner of Fulton and Ward streets not more than four blocks from the Derby Street apartment. If the Clintons ventured outside onto Telegraph Avenue at all we would have passed each other on the street, skulked around Cody's books, and had cappuccino at the Med. On this you can bet your stash of primo Afghan hash.



While every time and place is unique, Berkeley, 1971 was that rarer thing: storied, that is to say celebrated in popular memory, as in Pearl Harbor, December 7 1941. Everyone from out of such a time and place is compelled, like the Ancient Mariner, to tell his tale. And Gerard says:

And I am here to tell you that there was no such thing as an unstoned student activist/hippy living in that neighborhood at that time. It was non-stop sex, drugs, rock and roll, and activism. I know. I was there. And while I don't remember everything, I remember a lot. More than I should given the quantity, quality, and diversity of the drugs that were on the scene, on the street, and in the bodies of all of us at the time in that place. ...

So unless the Clintons were very, very unhip at the time.... and we have it on his own good authority that our sax playing, jive talking, hypercool ex-president is the hippest statesman in the world... unless they were very odd, then they were -- off and on -- very stoned.

Read the whole thing.

One of the things people know less about is how the echoes of the Summer of Love played out 8,000 miles west across the Pacific. I was at the time spending my weekends around the mudflats, high grass and shanties of a town called Taguig, hard by a huge lake across which the dominating peak of Mount Makiling bulked, a place about as different from Berekely as could be. And yet a surprising number of the things that Gerard mentions -- such as for example the music albums -- occupied exactly the same place in my memory as it does in his. I may not have been typical in this respect; one of my other hangouts was with a small group who seemed to be determined to participate in the Summer of Love at long distance. I can still remember coming in from the rain and hearing someone play the chords from Blind Faith that seemed to describe the entire time and place.

Come down off your throne
And leave your body alone
Somebody must change
You are the reason
I've been waiting so long
Somebody holds the key
Well, I'm near the end and I just ain't got the time
Well, I'm wasted and I can't find my way home

I didn't do any drugs at all; not out of virtue but out of a kind of vanity. I was the mystery man with my own special ju-ju; and felt that would vanish if I took a toke. So I stayed away from drugs (and never smoked a cigarette either) and kept the mystique. But I did play endless rounds of Killer, which was a game in which you tried to guess which member of the drinking circle had a slip of paper with "K" on it. And if you guessed wrong you knocked back some vodka. That game usually went downhill pretty fast. And then it was out into the rain to get back home to study -- if you could call it that, for university classes I attended. And as I looked back at the light streaming out the doorway, a doorway I know is gone now -- I'm sure Gerard -- and possibly Bill and Hillary -- can guess what lyrics were running through my head.

In the quiet silent seconds I turned off the light switch
And I came down to meet you in the half light the moon left
While a cluster of night jars sang some songs out of tune
A mantle of bright light shone down from a room

Ahead lay many things: the anti-Marcos underground, Harvard, family, career, the Belmont Club. Maybe there's still a little more to go.

56 Comments:

Blogger Teresita said...

W: So unless the Clintons were very, very unhip at the time.... and we have it on his own good authority that our sax playing, jive talking, hypercool ex-president is the hippest statesman in the world... unless they were very odd, then they were -- off and on -- very stoned.

I was there in 1968, but I don't remember much of it, because I was three. Later, in 1992, I voted for Ron Paul instead of Bill Clinton, because he said he didn't inhale, which means he wasted some good weed.

Seriously, who gives a crap about drug use in a candidate's youth? Do good now, and you are good.

12/15/2007 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jimbromski said...

Wretchard, next time you're in DC stop by my place and we'll play Zonk. I'll spot you the first five bong hits.

Excellent post.

12/15/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I got into San Fransisco just before Halloween in 1974, after riding a bus all night. So I call my time there "The Fall of Love."

I checked out some of the Hotels in the Downtown "Tenderloin" district. A room was like 55 bucks a month. Your roomies would be hard core druggies. At 58 bucks you've moved up market slightly, on account of the patrons had, like, an extra two bucks a month to spend on a bed, such as it was. But the folks staying there weren't interested in Atrium's and Coffee shops down in the lobby. They weren't even interested in a Lobby. I think it was a requirement that you'd done heroin for two years before you check in. Folks there didn't just looked stoned, they looked like they had fallen off the bus and skidded along the asphalt a ways. That was just the girls. And skinny! Princess Di could only dream of being so skinny.

If the proprietors bothered with drug test, they'd expect it to be positive. It was pass/fail: You fail, you pass.

I checked into the YMCA where I figured I wouldn't get raped. Listen, I was really tired, alright? And it was before that hit, informational song of the Late 70's. Besides, what's wrong with staying at the YMCA?

So I'm in bed taking an extended nap and the phone rings and the guy on the other end launches into, well, something like sweet talk, I guess. He says, "Jimmy, I'm going to come up there and I'm going to jump your bones and I'm gonna..." The descriptions got graphic. When there was a pause, I said, "You got the wrong number." So he confirms the number and I said, "Jimmy must have moved." Without telling this guy his new address, the nerve.

Later I went out for a walk. I was walking to Geary street, I think it was, where a theater put on a production of Richard III, I think it was. That's the play with the really lame villain. It was written by William Shakespeare -- lyrics by Steven Sondheim. Just kidding about Steven Sondheim. But if anyone can set "Now is the winter of our discontent" to a show tune with chorus girls, it's him. (And I am not suggesting that he hasn't.)

So I'm walking down the street and I see, right there on a corner, one of my best friends from Ohio. He's talking to a pimp and a couple of prostitutes. And they're all getting along famously. This pimp was really flamboyant in dress in manner. It's like he watched episodes of Kojak to get feel for how a pimp should look and act. He saw the big old hat and cape and said, "that's me!"

So even as I'm greeting my friend I'm thinking "hmm." I didn't tell him about the YMCA, I just thought "hmm."

My friend introduced me to the pimp and prostitutes and then we both went off to have a couple of beers. He's the son of Greek immigrants, and he got an accounting degree and went to work for the IRS. At the bar he tells me he's and undercover narc taking down a major drug ring. He wasn't worried I'd go down the street and tell the pimp he's a Federal agent. He was worried I'd tell his mother he's hanging out with pimps. And that was a danger, at least until I told him about me staying at YMCA (what's wrong with that?)

Well, that was the first twelve hours of the "Fall of Love" in San Fransisco.

12/15/2007 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I took some Owsley Purple Flats Acid scored in Hayward in the Bay area in the summer of 1967. I went overseas from Travis AFB in August,1968, came back in August 1969. I went back for a short stay in Oakland in the winter of 1971 ,drifted back through in 1973 in the midst of pcp induced psychosis, celebrated the bicentennial in an amphetamine haze on Fisherman's Wharf and never went back until four years ago where I saw the burnt out flotsom and jetsom of Woodstock Nation sleeping in urine pools on Market Street.Those were the days my friend. We thought they'd never end. Now we can only hope they're over. Obama was right about one thing. Those sixties conversations have been dangling for way too many decades.

12/15/2007 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger chris said...

in all the talk about obama's drug use, and hillary's involvement in the muck spreading, i haven't seen any mention of bill's cocaine habit. his brother roger *was* a drug dealer and *was* convicted. there are tapes of him talking about how bill had a nose like a "hoover" for the stuff. which is consistent with him having a damaged heart at a relatively early age. recent pictures look like he is near death.

12/15/2007 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

This guy says that's a spiritual sickness you're seeing.

12/15/2007 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I just got back from singing tenor in the choir of Mclean Bible Christmas Pagent. This is a big church. There's 3000 seat in the sanctuary. We had dueling drummers, brass, orchestra, smoking music all around. The pastor preached to all the spooks in the audience. The NIE has stung these cats. (The pastor mentioned that the bible records two rebellions against God. One by satan and one by adam. Their sin was that they wanted to sit on the throne of grace. I'll post the serman as soon as it goes online.)

It will be awhile before I'm calm enough to sleep.

It took me more than two decades to unlearn the lessons I learned at the local Mclean High School. Too much of everything is just enough. Whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger. All real effort is vanity.

Not till my 30's did I read Blake and discover that these life lessons come straight from His poem called the Proverbs of Hell.

I graduated from Mclean high school in 1971 listening to this.
Baba O'Riley
Maggie May
SANTANA Black Magic Woman
Jethro Tull - Aqualung (Live)
Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
wild world (Live-1971) Cat Stevens


I started singing in church choirs in recent years because I realized that decades later I still had the old stupid and evil lyrics going through my head.
Luke 11 (New International Version)
14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15But some of them said, "By Beelzebub,[g] the prince of demons, he is driving out demons." 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. 19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.

23"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.

24"When an evil[h] spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' 25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."

28He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

12/16/2007 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I spent that time across the Bay, where little Johnny Walker Lind spent his formative years.
Things were starting to unravel after the summer of love.
I highly recommend Dave Horowitz' book, "Radical Son" to all who have not yet read it to get a view of the disease from inside the Panther Party in Oakland, where he lost a friend to the murdering thugs regarded as Heroic figures by many in the Media.
As the editor of "Ramparts Magazine," he came in contact with almost all the guiding lights of the New Left. It is easy to see from his descriptions of these folks that today's left is a direct descendant of that era.

While I was not nearly as immersed as Dave, my girlfriend's mom was active in the "prison reform movement," and her house had the welcome Mat out for all sorts of misfits from the Streets of SF or San Quentin. One of the girls downstairs was dating a San Quentin Guard, to round out the scene.
When the Jackson Brothers blew the Judge's head off in the Marin county courthouse shootout, we decided we had experienced enough of this love, Marin County style, close up, and made plans to depart.

George Jackson's book still graced her mom's house, along with Huey Newton's and Cleaver's "Soul on Ice." (obviously before the days of ubiquitous Crack)
Pot and Politics

12/16/2007 02:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Ferlinghettis and the Philippines

Talaonga and San Antonio are much like Stinson and Bolinas:
on the water, off the beaten track, side by side, somewhat off the grid and slightly autonomous.
The first two are neighboring villages in the Philippines, separated from West Marin by nearly 7,000 miles of Pacific Ocean. Although it takes almost a full day of flying and a four hour drive on muddy roads past smoldering volcanoes to get there, Bolinas residents Lorenzo and Jing Ferlinghetti make the trip frequently, and lately, in the name of garbage.

Jing was born in Luzon and is one of nine children and the only one who lives in the United States. She moved here with a wealthy Philippines family about 20 years ago and met Lorenzo through another Bolinas man with a Philippine wife. They married in 1993 and took their first trip to the Philippines two years later. Jing hadn’t been home in nearly a decade.

“It was kind of shocking, she said, “It wasn’t the way it was [before], there was more pollution and triple the amount of people.”

For Lorenzo, it was a chance to explore snorkeling, a passion he first discovered on an epic trip he took when he was twelve with his father, eminent beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, along with Allen Ginsberg and Russian poet Andre Voznesenskii. They visited Fiji, Tahiti and Australia. In Sydney, Ginsburg invited several Aboriginal Australians to attend the gathering. They played didgeridoos on stage as he strummed the sitar. After the performance a rioters protested the presence of the native group, who at that time were not well respected by many white Australians.

12/16/2007 02:41:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Chris: in all the talk about obama's drug use, and hillary's involvement in the muck spreading, i haven't seen any mention of bill's cocaine habit.

That's because no one wants to open the door to George W. Bush's cocaine habit.

12/16/2007 03:13:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

We can only hope and pray for the day when neither the the name Clinton nor Bush shall purse a lip or pulsate a pixel.

12/16/2007 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger bombadil said...

Wretchard,

I grew up just south of Berkeley, and there has always been a lot of craziness in the Bay Area. Fortunately, I never participated.

In May 1971, my wife and I spent the night in Los Banos. We were visiting IRRI on our way to Pagsanan (sp?) falls. We may have passed each other.

Even if Hillary has been drug free all of her life, her postmodern focus on power instead of service would be a disaster for this nation if she were to become president.

12/16/2007 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Bombadil: Even if Hillary has been drug free all of her life, her postmodern focus on power instead of service would be a disaster for this nation if she were to become president.

Really.

Hillary Clinton traveled to more than 80 countries, going from barrios to rural villages to meetings with heads of state....she spearheaded the Clinton Administration's efforts to combat the global crisis of human trafficking. She persuaded the First Ladies of the Americas to use their collective power to eradicate measles and improve girls' education throughout the western Hemisphere. And she is widely credited with helping women in Kuwait finally win the right to vote...

12/16/2007 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

Really!

Addressing a Democratic fund-raiser yesterday, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., told wealthy supporters the government will need to take money away from them for the "common good."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39205

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_need

12/16/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

George: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need

Acts 2:44-45 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

12/16/2007 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

helluva of a post, Charles--esp re the Blake ref, and the lyrics from so much of the Love Music--makes one wonder why, exactly, so many of us boomers so blindly for so long a time followed what is now coming into focus as something best described as the Beast.

12/16/2007 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Those who did this:

Acts 2:44-45 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

needed a well-functioning market to sell their goods and disposed of the proceeds according their will. That's different from:

'And all whether they liked it or not were bound together, and had all their things regarded as common; and had their possessions and goods garnished, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.'

The first describes a voluntary act of charity, as exemplified by Francis of Assisi; the second describes what will be accomplished by tax collectors and revenue agents. Nobody 'had' to be a member of the church but everybody has to pay his taxes. Freedom and taxation are related subjects, but they are not equivalent.

12/16/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard: Nobody 'had' to be a member of the church but everybody has to pay his taxes.

I think we should create an "opt-out" scenario for people who don't want to pay taxes. They get to keep all their income, but they'll have to walk to the bank to get it, because they will have opted out of the privelege of driving on taxpayer-funded local roads. If their power lines go down in a windstorm they will have to get at the end of the line for repairs, and the utility company will send them a bill for their share of the repair. Their children can still attend the local schools, and dialing 911 will still work, but there will be a pay-as-you-go user fee for K-12 education, fire protection, police protection, and local library services.

12/16/2007 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

I think we should create an "opt-out" scenario for people who don't want to pay taxes.

We already have an "opt-out" scenario in the market. You don't want to watch a cable channel then you don't subscribe. In contrast, people in the Britain have to pay a BBC tax whether they watch the BBC or not. Not every utility is funded by taxes. I've got an opt out system on my power system. If I don't pay my electricity bill they'll cut me off. As to "They get to keep all their income, but they'll have to walk to the bank to get it, because they will have opted out of the privelege of driving on taxpayer-funded local roads," you're talking about illegal immigrants right?

12/16/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard: As to "They get to keep all their income, but they'll have to walk to the bank to get it, because they will have opted out of the privelege of driving on taxpayer-funded local roads," you're talking about illegal immigrants right?

You're dang right, W. Hillary Clinton stepped in a big pile of dog poop when she said she supported that drivers-licenses-for-illegals idea, and it's been downhill for her ever since. Don't get the idea that I'm hardcore left on every issue. I'm all about people obeying the law.

12/16/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The time may be approaching when the 'Prophet' Boomers cast their eyes internally.

AJ Strata's post The Implosion Of The Leftward Fever Swamps, Dems Mob Out Of Control seems to point toward Lefty Boomers adjusting fire closer to home.

Those 'Distant Summer' Leaders did not have a cadre of pragmatic – and, in some cases violent - GenXers to carry out their drives.

Now they do.

All over the social and political map.

Currently, much has been pointed outward, but things change.

We do live in interesting times, eh...

12/16/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

It took a long time before the idea that people "owned themselves" was firmly established. Before that some held that a man belonged to the tribe, the state or to a master. Some people still think that. But once you "own" yourself then you are free to trade your labor. Once all of your labor is given over to tax then we are right back to when a man belonged to somebody else. You can sometimes quit your job, but how do you quit belonging to a state?

As far as I know Christianity holds that only free acts are meaningful. We are ourselves so that we may give to others; but first we must be ourselves. And it makes good sense too because societies organized around freedom are much less oppressive than ones in which some kind of state rules all. They are objectively more Christian. The entire 20th century and its two monstrous wars were examples of why freedom and not totalitarianism is, for all its defects, the way to go.

If we forget this then we remember nothing.

12/16/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Don't forget the Black Panthers. They started in Oakland in 1965, but were on campuses all over the west coast by the early 70's. Compared to a bunch of raggedy spoon-ring-selling hippies, they were quite sexy with their black leather jackets and pockets full of cash from dealing dope and prostitution.

No one ever talks about them being in the Haight but surely they would have been there, since that's where the drugs and dumb white chicks who would sell their sex were.

Maybe Bill and HIllary were making the acquaintance of Bobby Seale, Huwey Newton and Angela Davis, who would have had some interesting political things to say to two budding politicians.

12/16/2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

I went to U.C. Berkeley as an undergraduate from 1974-76 (graduated in 1976). I missed Bill and Hillary by 4 years. In 1970, Berkeley was a very "hip" place to live in. They had the main People's Park riots in 1969 which was the tail end of the Free Speech Movement. That's probably why Bill and Hillary appeared in 1970 so they could participate in all that good fun. By the time I appeared in 1974, the sun had already set on Berkeley as a hotbed of radical unrest. The end of the Vietnam War pretty much pulled the plug on all of that nonsense.

I should mention that U.C. Berkeley has been and still is a first rate university. U.C. has the best library west of the Mississippi. The left wing political nonsense should be seen as a silly, largely irrelevant backdrop.

12/16/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Blogger NahnCee said:

"Maybe Bill and HIllary were making the acquaintance of Bobby Seale, Huwey Newton and Angela Davis..."

Many years ago, I saw Angela Davis give a lecture at U.C. Berkeley. She was a very skilled lecturer (good looking too). I saw her lecture the year after she ran as Vice President of the Communist Party. I think(?) she ran with Guss Hall as president. Now poor Angela is just a fat old black woman that almost no one hears about. Old age is a bitch...

12/16/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

My brother (from the UK)wangled a scholarship to Berkley in 1975 and I spent a month visiting the next year.

What I recall is the radical, seriously left-wing politics of everyone I met.

12/16/2007 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The left wing political nonsense should be seen as a silly, largely irrelevant backdrop.

Disagree in that the same players have now taken over academia, the State Department and the CIA, and are still espousing the same radical political nonsense, including the overthrow of the currently sitting administration.

The same players as were marching in the streets in Berkeley have shown the rest of the world how it's done, so that those tactics are also being used in Yurp, Australia and Canada in efforts to overthrow *those* democratically elected governments and replace them with a mongrel combination of socialism and marxism.

I don't see how you could possibly say that the student activists of the late 1960's and early 70's are irrelevant now.

12/16/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

"No one ever talks about them being in the Haight but surely they would have been there, since that's where the drugs and dumb white chicks who would sell their sex were."

Actually, the controlling criminal element in the Haight during those years were the Hell's Angels.

Panthers and other, as was said then, "spades" were strongly discouraged from operating in that area. One method of discouragement involved boats out into SF bay and chains and padlocks.

12/16/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Nice Liberation Theology take by Teresita. The church in Acts was one generation removed from the physical presence of Christ and lived accordingly in powerful loving community while being persecuted by Nero and Diocletian. Liberation theology is a dead sterile ideology propagated by Christless priests who were dupes for Che, Castro and Daniel Ortega. Christ died and rose again . Lenin's stiff dead carcass has been removed from Red Square at last report.
The Hillary- Panther tie is more than speculation . In law school at
Yale she participated on the defense team for the Panthers accused of the torture/ murder of Alex Rackley in New Haven.

12/16/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Actually, the controlling criminal element in the Haight during those years were the Hell's Angels.

Now there's an image I can get behind: Bill on a Harley, and HIllary clutching on for dear life behind him on the pillion mamma seat. She could campaign using "Vote for Harley Hillary".

If no one remembers them being stoned happy hippies at Grateful Dead concerts, then who the hell *were* they hanging around with?

12/16/2007 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

so many of us boomers so blindly for so long a time followed what is now coming into focus as something best described as the Beast.
////////////
And sadly, I learned one other lesson in high school that took me several unhappy decades to unlearn. You cannot petition the Lord with Prayer.
Jim Morrison The Doors - The Soft Parade

12/16/2007 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Charles, speaking of parades, I think it was here on Belmont, some while back, W had posted something about some left-wing theoretician (was it French Revolution era?) looking out his window at the murderous mobs in the streets, and saying something like, "Oh, look, look at my pretty parade".

12/16/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

buddy larsen: makes one wonder why, exactly, so many of us boomers so blindly for so long a time followed what is now coming into focus as something best described as the Beast.

This should come as absolutely no surprise considering what America’s youth have been taught for the last several decades. Boomers were one of the first generations to grow up completely immeresed in liberal academia's toxic brew of uncertainty and nebulous definitions.

It is impossible to overstate how damaging to young minds modern academia’s school of nihilist “thought” truly is. Let’s examine its "tenets": (Try to recall how many times you told the following.)

1. You can never know anything for sure.

2. There's no right or wrong, just shades of grey.

3. Truth is subjective.

4. Logic is conditional.

5. There are no absolutes.

6. Life is without meaning.

All of the above—now commonly held—"tenets" engender belief in a malevolent universe. They spawn pessimism, insecurity, cynicism and the ready dismissal of established norms. All of these behaviors are prerequisites for the subordination of less capable minds by those who seek to control them. Loosing an individual from the moorings of rational philosophy makes those cut adrift extremely vulnerable to programming of any sort. Cults and brainwashers are notorious for using such methods in recruiting new members or inducing political defections.

Let’s examine these modern “tenets” one by one:

You can never know anything for sure.

I’ve had people actually try to argue with me about how I can be so sure that the sun will rise tomorrow. My simple reply is that such debate is irrelevant because if the sun does not rise, all life will end and further dispute serves no valid purpose. Ayn Rand addresses this in her law of identity: A=A. Certain laws do hold with a degree of immutability whereby they can be accepted as absolute. The lack of surety bred up by this one supposition is amongst the most damaging of all to young minds.

There's no right or wrong, just shades of grey.

Whenever confronted with this utter nonsense simply ask, “When is rape permissible?” There are certain things in this world that are wrong and to think otherwise is indicates an unwholesome degree of moral flexibility. It fosters an ability to tolerate the intolerable. This particular “tenet” serves as a cornerstone of moral relativism and represents a core driver of Multiculturalism’s refusal to condemn even the most hideous of traditions.

Truth is subjective.

There can be no better way of undermining an individual’s personal convictions than by making truth circumstantial. Welcome to the brave new world of “truthiness”. When a person’s moral compass is demagnetized its poles become interchangeable and from thereon it’s all a downhill slide. Once you leave the mountaintop of moral clarity all perspective is lost and certainty perishes swiftly thereafter.

Logic is conditional.

This is how you strip the mind’s gearbox and destroy any transmission of meaningful reality. Critical analysis is impossible without the guideposts of logic. Once this guardian of intellect is slain any barbarian can crash the gates of reason. Constructive criticism and the assassination of ideas suddenly become indistinguishable. Deform this vital toolset and there is no way to repair the damage done by the preceding “tenets”.

There are no absolutes.

Tear out the moorings of mental discrimination and personal judgment becomes impossible. Witness the recent pejorative cast given to the word “discrimination”. Although wholly different in meaning, it is now demonized with the same negative connotations attributed to the word “prejudice”. Little value is held in the ability to discern between right and wrong. Especially so when the difference between right and wrong has already been denied. When people cannot make up their own minds the time is ripe for someone else to do it for them.

Life is without meaning.

Here is the grand finale for those who seek to subvert humanity and civilization. Eliminate a sense of individual purpose in life and blind obedience becomes—not just a welcome relief from crippling disorientation—but an easy descent into conformity and total lack of free thought. Communism sought to do this by alienating workers from their labor, product and compensation. Make a person’s work irrelevant to their daily living and life rapidly becomes meaningless. Have the result of human labor bear no direct relation to personal survival and existence loses its importance. Reward individuals in ways that have little connection to their efforts and soon they lose all contact with reality.

Authoritarian religions do this as well. They attempt to channel all human spirituality into a more narrow definition that serves only their own ends. True liberation of the mind represents a least desirable outcome. Life’s meaning can only be perceived within the limited confines of hidebound doctrine and not via an individual quest for uplift.

Now, combine all of these “tenets” together and you brew up an intellectual poison so toxic that there is little chance of escaping its fatal effects. The antidotes of reason, logic and morality have all been diluted into impotence and little more remains than being led to the slaughterhouse. Welcome to Htrae, the Bizarro World of Politically Correct thinking and Multiculturalism.

12/16/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gang? What Gang?
Liberals have such a difficult time explaining some things, as no matter how long they go on, they remain committed to ignoring the obvious.

"Our poor little sweet rich boys a Gang?
What nonsense!
"
(Even tho these sweeties had been assaulting innocent men and women since before they left high-school)
...yet the reporter prattles on for page after page, as if searching for some difficult to find needle in a haystack.

A gang in La Jolla?

Longtime locals laugh off the idea of the Bird Rock Bandits as a gang. They dismiss its half-dozen or so members simply as privileged bullies. "The La Jolla do-nothing club," as surfboard shaper Tim Bessell puts it.
Their families and friends also say the gangster tag is wrong -- but not for the same reasons. In interviews and in letters to the court, they describe the accused as gentle and caring boys who've been demonized by overzealous prosecutors.

"They are not a bunch of gang guys talking about whose knife is sharper," says Osuna's stepfather, Scott Wright. "They're just a group of guys having a good time."

The president of the Mormon church in San Diego concedes in his court letter that Cravens "has not been a model citizen." But Elmer Heap Jr., a former prosecutor and family friend, insists there is "a goodness in Seth. There are great qualities in him."
Same for House. The mother of his girlfriend, a straight-A student now in medical school, writes that "if he has any fault, it is that he is too good of a person."

Prosecutors were unmoved. Act like a gang, get treated like one. And they had ammunition. The four suspects had barely been fingerprinted when police received two dozen calls alleging that some of these same guys had been terrorizing the town for years.
Homicide detectives investigated, and in September a slew of assault, battery, intimidation and "gang enhancement" charges were added to the murder counts.
This meant prosecutors could introduce the earlier cases of alleged violence during trial to prove that the Bird Rock Bandits fit the legal definition of a gang and that its members should be subjected to stiffer sentences.
---
Lets hope Mom, and Ms Grosso see some measure of justice done.
--
The Perp, having already beaten up many innocent victims, including women.

12/16/2007 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One thing I forgot to add:
Once upon a time it was not considered honorable to "gang up" on single victim.
Shameful, even.
Luckily for us all, we have transcended Shame.

12/16/2007 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My favorite quote!

" But Elmer Heap Jr., a former prosecutor and family friend, insists there is "a goodness in Seth.
There are great qualities in him."
"

12/16/2007 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry, the article: Death in a seaside paradise

12/16/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

NahnCee said:

"I don't see how you could possibly say that the student activists of the late 1960's and early 70's are irrelevant now."

Many of those student activists are now relevant as staunch conservatives. Liberalism tends to be an error of youth. It's very tough for a active liberal to debate against an old ex-liberal conservative. The ex-liberal already knows the standard liberal narrative along with all of the snappy come-back responses.

Imagine a young moonbat trying to argue politics against Christopher Hitchens? It would be embarrassing to watch.

12/16/2007 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

More of the pretty parade (alongside news of the California fiscal crisis--wonder if they're related?).

Great post, zenster--of course, anyone who questions those tenets is merely a victim of that nifty notion "false consciousness" (see Antonio Gramsci's Long March through the culture).

12/16/2007 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Imagine a young moonbat trying to argue politics against Christopher Hitchens? It would be embarrassing to watch.

I have yet to see a moonbat, young or old, who was NOT an embarrassment to humanity. Hence the name "moonbat" as opposed to "adult" or "guru" or "shaman" or "friend".

12/16/2007 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

Zenster, I hope you don't mind if I repost your comment from this post at my site.

12/16/2007 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy,
"Villaraigosa" (I think that's his ex-wife's name) in a previous incarnation was an attorney FOR the Gangs!
Definitely a connection:
Arnold, looking at a 14 Billion Dollar deficit, to pile on top of all the additional bond-funded debt added since Grey's days, thinks now is the time to start a State Health-Care system! Many of their problems already stemming from training the populace that taking from others can be a way of life.
More and more earners are leaving the state, leaving it with a thin strip along the Coast of well-to-do folks, and an ever less well-equipped citizenry inland. LA Unified's graduation rate is now below 50%.

12/16/2007 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, would you say that California is, in character & spirit, weaker or stronger now than it was in 1957?

Would you say that fifty years of this 'state laboratory' is sufficient time to have yielded a conclusion on the merits of 'progressivism'?

12/16/2007 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Turns out, Tony Villar was not an attorney, but became President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and it was in that capacity that he fought FOR the Gangs.

"Villaraigosa eventually transferred to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he completed a bachelor's degree in history. Villaraigosa was a leader of MEChA at UCLA. At this time, he went by the name "Tony Villar", but began using "Antonio" in the 1980s.

After UCLA, Villaraigosa attended the People's College of Law (PCL), a non-ABA or State Bar accredited "community-run law school" in Los Angeles. Villaraigosa failed the California Bar Exam in each of four attempts, and thus remains unlicensed to practice law."

After PCL, he became a field representative/organizer with the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), where he made inroads with individuals that would help him make his move into politics, such as James M. Wood and Miguel Contreras, both deceased former Executive Treasurers of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Villaraigosa was also President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees

MEChA is often criticized by various groups; most often by conservative publications and writers such as National Review, which alleges that MEChA is a Hispanic nationalist organization tinged with racist and separatist views.
Also controversial is the phrase "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada," which is often translated "For the Race, everything, for those outside the Race, nothing".

A 1998 MEChA youth conference at California Polytechnic State University featured a printed program that introduced the school as “Cal Poly State Jewniversity.” The program also referred to New York as “Jew York.” When the Anti-Defamation League objected to the program, the university’s MEChA chapter issued a formal apology. MEChA has also been linked to La Voz de Aztlán (The Voice of Aztlan), a Chicano webzine that regularly publishes articles attacking Jews, Zionism, and Israel.

12/16/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

pangloss: Zenster, I hope you don't mind if I repost your comment from this post at my site.

I am deeply honored. Thank you for your regard of my work. Feel free to lift it where you deem appropriate. I trust you.

12/16/2007 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, if we confine ourselves to education, we can point to the fact that 50 years ago it ranked tops, or near the top, and now it hovers somewhere above the bottom, so I guess we would have to conclude that is a negative indicator.

The explosion in crime, of course ,would depend on the individual's value judgement concerning that statistic.

12/16/2007 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, circling back to Bill & Hill, I'd say that California has been pretty much run, both before and after the summer of '71, pretty much according to their ideals.

It's a shocking wonder that 'progressivism' is still in the arena of political ideas.

Is total catastrophic failure of an idea just more boojwah false conscious judgementalism?

12/16/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, certainly!

12/16/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Almost as silly as those La Jolla Police calling those nice boys "a Gang."

12/16/2007 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

LA Schools had a slight accounting problem in the millions of dollars, resulting in many teachers being overpaid, and many not being paid!
They are still trying to straighten that out. Some teachers even lost their homes!
---
LAUSD's image problem
The school district needs to focus on teaching students, not hiring more PR help.
The Los Angeles Unified School District feels misunderstood. Picked on by journalists who won't stop reporting on its payroll nightmare. (OK, there are other reasons it feels picked on, but that's the big one at the moment.)

Since January, thousands of employees have been underpaid or overpaid. The district says those who were overpaid need to return a total of $53 million, but those employees don't believe the district's figures and want hard proof before they yield one penny. At the same time, thousands of employees have been underpaid by $7 million. School officials promise to pay them what they're owed, but many of those employees don't believe the district either.

So what does the district do to correct the natural perception of its incompetence? Fix the problem? Nope. As first reported by our colleagues at the Daily News, it hires image consultants. It's paying Victor Abalos, a consultant for Supt. David L. Brewer, $178,000 for one year to restructure the district's PR department. It's also paying Michael Bustamante $90,000 for six months to focus on the payroll fiasco, and it has signed up the public relations firm Rogers Group as well. This, the paper reports, is on top of a six-person communications department with a $1.4-million budget. And they expect journalists not to pick on them?

Then again, why shouldn't the district hire image fixers? That's what the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did when reporters kept going on and on about its pederasty problem. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony moved swiftly to undo the damage -- to the church's image -- by hiring the crisis communications firm Sitrick and Co.

12/16/2007 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

LA Times seems to be growing a spine, of sorts.

12/16/2007 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That's a start--a BIG start.

12/16/2007 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

This is the serman that was preached at Mclean Bible this week end. Its the last in a series about who God is. When the web page comes up --look on the right side of the page for 12/16 the Pre-Eminence of God.

12/16/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Ananias and Sapphira experieced liberation theology first hand from Peter the Zapper in Acts 5:1-12.
"Great fear seized the church and all who heard about these events."

12/16/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Saint Seth's Family Speaks

A murder suspect's family speaks publicly for the first time about the death of 24-year-old surfer Emery Kauanui. Their son, Seth Cravens, is one of four men accused of killing him.
"He did not do what he's accused of doing. There's no doubt in my mind," said Seth's mother, Karen Cravens.
(all of the many witnesses were hallucinating)

Seth is the 13th of 14 children born to devout mormon parents, married for 47 years. In letters to the court, his mother says, "It was Seth's habit to give me a kiss and say, 'I love you' before going to bed."
(well, isn't that SPECIAL!)

Seth's sister, Sarah, describes her brother as someone with a very tender heart.

"He cares for people, for his friends and for his family," said Sarah. "He's not perfect, he's not the angel or the golden child by any stretch of the imagination. But he's not who has been depicted."

Others paint a darker picture. The owners of the Shack Bar and Grill tell FOX6 News that they banned Cravens and his friends for life after they started a fight in the establishment. And prosecutors say at least two people have filed police reports against the 21-year-old suspect.
(one was severely beaten while walking out to his car, another, a 16 year old girl, punched in the jaw and chest by Seth Cravens.)

"We have verifiable information that he in the past has inflicted substantial injury on other individuals in a group setting," stated Deputy District Attorney Genaro Ramirez.

12/17/2007 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"I think we should create an "opt-out" scenario for people who don't want to pay taxes. They get to keep all their income, but they'll have to walk to the bank to get it, because they will have opted out of the privelege of driving"

...and so forth

YES! Yes, PLEASE let's do that. I tried, and under current conditions and laws it's impossible. ESPECIALLY the bit about the power. Why am I paying a huge monthly bill if taxes are supposed to be covering that? I tried to secede from the grid. It can't be done. They won't let me put up a wind tower, there are regulations UP THE WAZOO about how and where you can set up solar panels, they're VERY unfriendly about someone who tries to use secondhand motor oil to heat their house, and they basically have you where they want you. Either pay up or freeze/starve/do without your curling iron.

NONE of the regulations I encountered made any sense to me. For the global warming maniacs, before you get too hard on people (at least in America) for not living a greener lifestyle, just try and live greener and doing it legally. I DARE you. THEN talk to me about how I should be "doing more".

And lest you argue that those are problems with my local/county/state government, let me preempt you by fully admitting that yes, it was mostly the county government that obstructed my efforts to be more independent. However, I took it upon myself to do a little checking. I had my folks and my brother-in-law check in their localities, far removed from mine. Similar restrictions were in force in both places. I checked with a few cyberspace and meatspace acquaintences in other states. Essentially the same story.

12/17/2007 11:33:00 AM  

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