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October 2017

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NFL Kneelers Don't Understand WHY the Anthem is Played

Just had this one published in The Daily Caller which you can find here or you can just keep reading…

NFL kneelers have started a firestorm regarding our National Anthem and article after article have discussed what the National Anthem means.  Although perhaps well intentioned, most of these discussions miss the main issue.

The issue is not what the National Anthem might mean to this or that individual but rather why the National Anthem, or in smaller settings the Pledge of Allegiance, is performed before public gatherings.  And that why is unity.

Before the city council meeting or before a town hall or even yes, before a sporting event the National Anthem is performed as a sign of unity.  Before we start debating this or that point, before we perhaps engage in heated debate, and yes before we go out on the field and try to beat the tar out of the other guy we pause for and acknowledge our collective unity.

The fighting can start after that but first comes a communal declaration that we are all one; unified as Americans.

This is why the NFL kneeling movement is so divisive.  The kneelers might think they are making a point about this or that injustice but viewed from the true meaning as to why the Anthem is played, they are directly challenging the unity of America.

They are making a declaration that they are not united with the rest as Americans; that we and they are not first and foremost Americans.

Whether this is their intent or not is irrelevant.  They seem to think that because a football game is about to start, we just happen to play the National Anthem.  The why seems to be lost on them.

For an individual the meaning of the National Anthem might vary greatly.  But regardless of how we might feel about the meaning, the why it is performed, generally by all in attendance, is very clear.

Standing and honoring the National Anthem isn’t about its meaning, it is about unity.  And not surprisingly, it is by its very nature disruptive when one actively protests during a brief period of collective unity.

Whatever these kneelers desire – and that seems to cover many disparate issues - attacking unity is never going to be a unifying event.  Just ain’t going to happen.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a USA-based 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.

NFL Kneelers - How About Standing For School Choice?

Just had this one published at The American Thinker which you can find here or you can just keep reading…

Hey NFL kneelers.  So you are upset far too many poor black and brown kids are getting screwed by “the system”?  Me too.  Although I am a person of pallor, in my business travels I’ve been to some of the toughest neighborhoods in this country.  I’ve seen the reality these kids face.  Far too many are literally screwed from the womb and other than a minuscule chance of making it to pro sports like you all have, the opportunity of a quality education is their one and only hope.

Yet the schools they are forced to attend are a national and moral disgrace.  Their young lives are being destroyed before they even have a chance.  What future awaits a 12 year old who has terrible reading, writing, math, and language skills? These kids aren’t stupid; they know and they act accordingly. 

If you want to end “police brutality” and various criminal system problems that plague young black men, end the driver of these behaviors which is rooted in this obscene failure of public K-12 education.

Do you know the average black kid graduates high school with what is in effect an 8th grade education?  Only 1 in 20 black students, 5% were rated college-ready in the four areas of English, reading, mathematics and science.  Do you think all of this this might affect their lives in a negative fashion?  Do you think this might only re-enforce racist beliefs?

Talk to one of your fellow super star athletics, 4 time Olympic gold medal winner and the star who almost single handedly made the new WNBA, Lisa Leslie.  She was the most heavily college recruited woman of all time.  She tells a heartbreaking story of her ordeal in passing college entrance exams.  She was one of the top students in her high school class yet she initially failed these exams.  As she notes, she’s not stupid it’s just that she was never even exposed to the words and thoughts on these tests. 

She also notes she was pissed off when this happened as she discovered just how badly the school system had failed her and thousands like her.  I’d guess many of you have had similar experiences.  This is called the bigotry of low expectations and it too helps damage far too many young lives.

Imagine what would have happened if a hundred years ago it was decided those Irish or Italian or whatever were just too dang stupid to learn proper English so they were taught a “dumbed down” version.  Do you think this might have impacted their ability to advance in society?  If this had happened it would have guaranteed they and their off-spring would still be occupying the lowest economic and social rung.

Yet how many of you can have a future in broadcasting and communication or do your poor language and speaking skills take you out of the running regardless of what intelligence and insights you might bring to the table?  The schools failed you and as you live every day, the damage goes on for a lifetime.

School choice is the only solution to it all.  The way to end unwanted police attention is to end the sad state of black criminal activities  and the way to end many of those is by giving these kids a chance at a better life through a quality education.

Few parents would voluntarily send their children to these schools if they had other options.  If parents were given control of all the money spent to educate their kids – in some sort of state-regulated environment of course - it would be a game changer.  And since the schools in the hood almost always spend far more than average, almost $30,000 per pupil in DC, for the first time in history poor parents would actually have MORE money to control than their rich suburban neighbors. 

Think of it, YOU could be the catalyst to make this happen.  Your actions could forever change the trajectory of young black and brown lives in this country.  You could take your place among the greatest Americans of all time.

Rather than taking a knee, how about raising your voices for school choice and to at least give these kids a chance at a better life?

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a USA-based 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.

Any guy who has to use his power over a woman to get laid is a loser... and it seems Harvey Weinstein is the Mayor of Wanker Town

Modern Conservatism is an Utter Failure

I just had this published in The Daily Caller which you can find here or you can just keep reading…

It is time to admit it; modern conservatism is almost a complete and utter failure.  The long march towards ever expanding and unrestrained government and the corresponding reductions in individual liberty show no sign of slowing.

In fact the best that might be said in defense of the modern conservative movement is think how bad it would be if they hadn’t been there.  This is little solace.

Yet the fact remains, other than communal ownership of assets, much of what the socialist and communist parties desired in 1900 has become reality in one form or another.

The universities have been almost completely lost and the intellectual rot is beginning to seep into even the hard sciences.  Public K-12 serves as indoctrination for the 50 million young minds that are forced to trudge along that assembly line of mediocracy.

And the most painful aspect of this hundred year butt-whuppin is on most issues the conservative position is the correct one; i.e. the facts overwhelmingly support the conservative thinking. 

Nobel Prize winner in economics, Friedrich Hayek's main lament at the end of his life was how little his ideas had been adopted and implemented in public policy.  Milton Freidman, another Nobel winner in economics and a genius by most accounts, has had how much influence in actual public policy and the design and implementation of the laws they create? 

Did they influence thought?  Without a doubt.  Were they generally right?  Again without a doubt.   But it sure seems little has actually been turned into reality.  The national Libertarian political party has existed for 46 years and its influence on actual policy/legislation has been next to zero.

Today’s conservative movement seems to employ a lot of folks in pretty cushy jobs, prints some magazines, hosts some websites, publishes various books, and puts on conferences until the cows come home – for those who don’t know, conferences and seminars can be big time money makers.  Sadly, its primary purpose seems to have become a self-propagating jobs program for those lucky, skilled, or connected enough to rise to the top. 

I guess someone needs to say these things but what about actual accomplishments?  What about spreading the cry of Liberty?  What about adherence to the Constitution?  What about learning the truth from The Road to Serfdom, Capitalism and Freedom, or for that matter The Fountain Head, and plotting our collective course with this in mind?  As even the Koch brothers have admitted, they have got a very poor return on their investments of hundreds of millions of dollars in trying to actually implement conservative/libertarian ideas into actual public policy.

Yet even many evolutionary psychologists will agree, much to their chagrin, “conservative” ideas and actions produce far more success than any alternative.  The real world operates on very conservative principles.  Look around you, the facts are overwhelming.

This is not to say broad swaths of the country don’t accept the truth of conservative thought.  They do but have found it difficult to find a remotely reliable political vehicle to put these beliefs into concrete action. 

What is truly frightening is that the facts all support a conservative/libertarian system yet in spite of all evidence we continue expanding upon political and governmental systems which have never worked long-term in the history of humans.

Think about it; the side that has logic, reason and facts on their side has been getting their butts kicked for over a century.  There must be a reason for this and it would seem the sooner we discover it, the better.  Not for anything as base as politics, but for the very real reason of helping us survive as a species and in the process protecting this wonderful home we call earth.

There are a number of contributing factors to this process.  First, organizations behave almost like a living entity once they are formed and thus will always fight to survive and grow.  Think of the school of a school of fish or the swarm of a hive of bees.  The school isn’t really a physical “thing”, it is just the composite of all the individual fish, yet it “lives” regardless of what may happen to any individual fish. 

Organizations are the same and this thing we call government is simply a very powerful non-profit organization and thus it behaves as such.  Note that it behaves this way almost independent of the individuals which make up the organization at any point in time.

As this organization lives it will of course attempt to capture at least one political party.  It would be almost unimaginable for this not to occur; this is the organization of governments and what do political parties fight to control?  Government.  In fact it will attempt to spread its influence across all political parties.  As certain as gravity.

Thus these incredibly powerful organizations we call government have a very real bias towards growth and expansion.  They also use their collective will to ensure at least one major political party is owned by them.  This is the reality we all face. 

But is this process sustainable for the long-term or does it grow and grow and grow until there is a catastrophic failure?  Self-correction doesn’t seem to be possible and as the last 100 years have shown, it is quite impervious to the reality on the ground.

Which brings us to the core, fundamental problem and that is one of paradigm.  Politics, in fact most of government and what used to be called the soft sciences operate on a paradigm of belief; a paradigm where one’s opinions actually matter in some real, physical sense.

As the last 100 years have shown, one can’t win an argument based within a paradigm of belief.  Everyone can have an opinion and thus what’s accepted as “true” is more based on the direction and intensity of the folks holding these views than any fundamental reality.

Hundreds of years ago The Scientific Revolution ended this type of childish thinking for what are now called the hard sciences.  The only way conservative thinking can end this hundred year butt-whuppin (and save the USA, our species, and the planet) is to quit fighting within this obviously false paradigm. 

A paradigm shift in its truest sense is what is required.  The same thinking and insights which drove The Scientific Revolution need to be now spread to all areas of our lives.  

When this occurs, the quest immediately switches to one of searching for the truth, regardless of where it leads, not pushing this or that conservative or liberal view-point.  We are not little gods and thus we don’t get to define the truth, but rather hopefully discover it.  Rather than attempting to force every event through your mental template (be it right, left or in-between), this rids oneself of the template.  

The conservative and libertarian folks out there can either embrace and help spread this new paradigm and watch things they know to be true flourish and spread across the land or they can continue their present, proven, losing strategy.  I hope my fellow Americans will step to the plate since I doubt we have another 100 years to get it right.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He also holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education. 

Confederate Statues are Just the Beginning

Just had this one published at The Daily Caller which you can find here or you can just keep reading ;-)

David Mamet, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright once noted “I look back on my liberal political beliefs with a sort of wonder - as another exercise in self-involvement - rewarding myself for some superiority I could not logically describe” 

At the age of 60 he meet first conservative thinker.  Upon closer examination he discovered that most conservative thoughts were based on real-world facts while “Liberalism is a religion. Its tenets cannot be proved, its capacity for waste and destruction demonstrated. But it affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little or no cost.”

Sadly, he captures the reality and emotional allure of modern liberalism.  You don’t have to defend your beliefs since those holding opposing beliefs aren’t just wrong, they are morally inferior.  This thus proves those holding the proper views must be morally superior.  It can logically be no other way.

Mamet’s “rewarding myself for some superiority…” and “affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little to no cost” is simply his attempt to capture the inherent “logic” of this bi-polar moral paradigm.  And it is truly cost-free.  All you must do to have this moral superiority is to think the right thoughts.  Or at least let others tell you what these right thoughts are and voilà, you are morally superior.

But for those true believers, it is not the right ideas which makes one morally superior but rather that holding these ideas is simply an outward expression of actually being physically morally superior.  It is in the blood.  Thus your very presence has with it a moral and “human” superiority; “you” at your most biological basis are superior.  Thus one would logically have to conclude that most of your beliefs and ideas are also morally superior, especially as reinforced by a large group of similar thinking people.

Even more, not only are you morally superior to most of your present day citizens, you are morally superior to all who have lived before you across the globe.  The logic of your position demands this be the case. 

  1. All who do not think the right thoughts (these being ipso facto evidence of the moral superiority which generates such thoughts) are morally inferior, thus proving your moral superiority.
  2. No one in the past remotely thought these right thoughts.
  3. Therefore everyone in the past is morally inferior and you are morally superior to all who have lived before.

Those who think the right thoughts are thus the pinnacle of human advancement!  That’s a pretty good return on a cost- and effort-free investment.  Think of it.  If you accept these thoughts you are the finest example of human-kind to ever walk the planet.  If this thinking is coherent in any fashion this must be the case.

This thinking must therefore drive one to practice Presentism.  This is “the application of current ideals and moral standards to interpret historical figures and their actions.”  Liberalism and the morally superior position upon which it rests demand it be so.  It can’t logically be any other way.

So if all who came before you are morally inferior then the entire past must be reexamined.  Right now it is Confederate statues but it will not remain so; it can’t.  Based upon its own logic this complete and total reexamination of history will find all those who came before as moral inferiors.

Obviously suppression of other ideas and even violence is not just called for but ethically sanctioned as the morally superior attempt to fight back against the forces of darkness.     

But where does it lead?  All tyrants believe themselves to be morally superior.  It can be no other way.  Some like Kim Jong-un take it a step further and reach again, the somewhat logical conclusion they are more god-like than human.  And they act accordingly. 

The further this thinking spreads, the more the pain that’s racing our way.  We too should act accordingly.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is also President and founder of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.EICEnterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world primarily through K-12 education.