“After me, the flood,’” is a French expression attributed to King Louis XV of France, the last King before Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded during the French Revolution in 1793. Louis knew that continuing excesses by the French leadership, royalty and the church, would lead to disaster, in his words, a flood. The flood came in the form of a bloody and extended revolution in 1789. Continuing excesses by our leadership, politicians and progressive true believers, will also lead to a disaster. The difference is that in France the French leaders suffered; in the US, the people will suffer.
That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode.
The biblical version is, “Because they sow the wind, they will reap the wind storm. The plant has no stalk and its bud yields no grain. Even if there’s a harvest, foreigners will gobble it up.” Tragically, those who are sowing the wind today are not going to reap the whirlwind. The consequences will fall on others, while the perpetrators prosper, deny any blame, and accuse others. I say tragically because if the perps could see even the possibility of negative consequences accruing to them, their cohorts or their political party, perhaps they would act differently.
What are the winds that are being sown? What is being done to create the flood? Three main things:
All done for personal and political gain by the perpetrators, with absolutely no concern about the terrible and lasting damage.
Before we can address these three areas and the depths of the damage that will be done to our nation, let’s take a look at what we need to do, to have, to be, in order to see what is happening, and to be a part of altering the dangerous path that we are on together. Ready?
Knowledge of history. It is indeed true that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Correctly attributed to both Edmund Burke, an Irish statesman and economist, 1729-1797, and George Santayana, originally Jorge Augustín Nicolás Ruiz De Santayana, a Spanish-American philosopher, poet, and humanist, 1863-1952. A simple example will prove this point. If you don’t remember that hot stoves burn, you will get burned on a regular basis. That’s an easy to grasp application of the need to understand history. Yes, experience is the best teacher, and we need to learn primarily from other people’s experiences. That’s why God invented books. And podcasts. Aside from the date, what do you know about the Magna Carta? Does the date 1066 ring a bell? What do you know about the origins of and lessons from the Civil War (the ultimate oxymoron), WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The Soviet Union, the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘60s, and the agendas and policies of the two major political parties today? With apologies to Ezra Pound and his 1934 classic, The ABC of Reading, this is the A-B (not even to C yet) of history.
Knowledge of simple logic, and I emphasize simple. We’ll start with understanding the concept that correlation is not causation. For example, about 300K Americans die in their sleep every year. Would any rational person connect those two and say that sleeping is dangerous? Of course not; the two are connected in time, but there is no causal connection. But we have tens of millions of people, including the media and many politicians, who observe that some minorities are arrested out of proportion to their share of the population, and immediately declare this to be proof of racism. They decided that not only was there a causal connection, but that it was a racist connection on the part of law enforcement. Their solution is to decriminalize the actions that lead to the disproportionate arrests. This is known as the ostrich approach to problem solving. If this kind of thinking can get any more twisted, it appears in academics. There is a growing number of educators and others who believe that if certain groups do less well on general academic tests and in specific subjects like math, that is also prima facie proof of racism. Again, the connection has to do with racism. Their solution here is to ignore testing and to delay offering math coursework until, I suppose, some sort of catchup can occur. Once again, the ostrich has his head in the sand. And once again, it does not change the lion’s lunch plans. Racism is not the cause of the disparate results in arrests, testing and math class. Accusations of racism exaggerate tensions and make it well nigh impossible to get to the real and needed solutions.
The second concept is that of asymptotes. An asymptote is a value that you can get closer and closer to, but never quite reach. For example, charting racial progress from slavery to today would look like an asymptotic graph (above); increasingly getting closer to the goal, but never reaching perfection, or as illustrated in the graph, never reaching zero. Remember the classic trick question about the frog on a log? Q. There is a frog sitting at one end of a 3’ log; he jumps half the distance toward the other end with each jump. How many jumps will it take for the frog to reach the end? A. He will never get there. Remember, he only jumps half the remaining distance each time, never the complete remaining distance. For the mathematically inclined, if you graph the frog’s progress, the graph would represent an asymptotic function. And a graph of racial progress, or any kind of social or economic progress, would look just like the frog’s. And the people desperately inventing terms like microaggression and misapplying terms like systemic to make the rapidly declining remaining distances look like they are enormous, intentionally unfair and require radical action are just that; desperate and, well, borderline evil. Along with the frog, we should be celebrating the wonderful progress we have made over time, not exaggerating and bemoaning the needed remaining improvements.
Current facts. See courtroom rules of evidence for how to define a fact. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Do you get that from CNN, Fox News, or the Wall Street Journal? No, but if you go to enough sources, news outlets and other places, you will be able to distill out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth for yourself. That will take time and effort, and there is no other choice. There is no single source that will do that for you; no, not one. All have biases.
That’s what we must learn, do and be as individuals and a society to have a reasonable chance to avoid the coming disasters; the flood, the whirlwind defined as: 1. Massive and burdensome debt left to our children and grandchildren. 2. A deliberate denigration and destruction of personal responsibility, replaced by taxpayer dependency and 3. A nation intentionally ripped apart by class, race and gender.
Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.