“Just Dave” 09/19/2021

“Just Dave” 09/19/2021

“Just Dave” 09/19/2021

Today, Dave is talking about the unvaccinated. The current epidemic is one of the unvaccinated. How come suddenly people would rather die on the battleground of stupidity than take an incredibly safe deterrent. Nothing is perfect, and that includes vaccines. Yet when tossing the dice the odds of surviving the vaccine far outweigh surviving COVID. How could anyone in their right mind want to take the chance of being paralyzed with drugs, have a tube shoved down their throat, a catheter shoved into your bladder, turned every hour so you don’t get bed sores? Now this isn’t going to be a two hour or two day affair. This could go on for months, until you die, or improve. If you die, most likely your last moments will be alone.  If you are lucky there may be a nurse there to hold your hand as you pass. So unnecessary.

Please, stop the silly nonsense and get vaccinated. Do it for yourself, your community, and the country.

KAILL McNEIL: ALTER-NARRATIVES 09/21/2021

Kaill McNeil: ALTER-NARRATIVES 09/21/2021

Kaill McNeill: ALTER-NARRATIVES 09/21/2021

A SENSE OF HISTORY

By Kaill McNeill

Not A Monolith

History can be a tricky thing. As complexed and nuanced as it is massive, existing roughly as long as humans have been self-aware. Given the depth and breadth of the subject matter, getting a handle on ‘sense’ history can be like nailing down Jell-O. Newtown knows many have tried. Because of this complexity, there has been a tendency to compress things into neat little boxes, monoliths of a sort. There is very little distinction made between the late-Georgian [1800-1837] and Victorian [1837-1901] periods in English history. The preference being to lump them into The 19th Century. Everyone from Jane Austen to Lord Byron referred to as ‘Victorian Authors’ despite both being in the ground by 1825, when George IV still had a good five years left on the clock.

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Kaill McNeil: Alter-Narratives 9/12/2021

Kaill McNeil: ALTER-NARRATIVES 9/12/2021

ALTER-NARRATIVES

BAD Company

By Kaill McNeil

Backstory

If you want to know what someone is going to do tomorrow, look at what they did yesterday. Same with corporations, which are really just collections of people. Don’t stop there;  the same goes for nations. Although the term nation no longer applies, the state of Texas thinks it is a nation independent of the federal government.

Once a Nation

Texas was for a time an independent republic after it gained independence from Mexico in 1839. Immediately Texas began clamoring to join the United States. On 12/29/1845 Texas gave up its independent republic status and became the 28th state of the United States of America. Sadly, on 03/02/1861 Texas after 15 years in the union decided it would join in armed rebellion against the United States of America.  As part of the Confederacy, Texas attempted to secede from the union for the purpose of perpetuating slavery within its borders.

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Kaill McNeil: Alter-Narratives 9/4/2021

Alter-Narratives

Today’s Topic: As Labor Day approaches, Let’s play an inter-generational game of Telephone with history and economics.

New Machines

By Kaill McNeil

Cycles and Shifts

History is a cycle of paradigm shifts. The reality of any era based  largely on context. Such a view goes a long way to explain how philosophies from centuries past still resonate. Particularly in diluted, misunderstood modern forms, like and inter-generational game of Telephone. As the new social media Cold War, between neo-Communism (as in China), and tenacious defenders of capitalism (such David Koch) will attest.

Without Understanding

In today’s warfare, keyboard warriors, often spill onto the streets, defending their chosen ideology, often without fully understanding it. Going by the rhetoric flying through the ether, bread-lines, gulags, Auschwitz, and the Berlin Wall have been erased from the record. Whereas the only kind of Capitalism that seems to currently exist is Laissez-Faire, guided by the Adam Smith’s imagined ‘Invisible Hand.’ effectively striking the contribution of any other economic theorists, not least John Maynard Keynes. It is notable that Keynes was a lone voice in the wilderness, arguing against the disastrous punitive measures levied on the Weimar Republic in 1919 at the end of World War I. Those punitive measure were in a large part resp0nsible for World War II a short twenty years later. Continue reading

Kaill McNeil Alter-Narratives 8/27/21

ALTER-NARRATIVES

By Kaill McNeil

When, if ever, is war a good thing?

 

What Is War Good For?

 

Ideal World

One hears a lot about a perfect world, even in the political arena. Much of progressive philosophy is based on it. Working on progressing society to the way they wish it could be. Conservatives, on the other hand, are more likely to see things in terms of cold, hard reality, while also having little to no imagination on bettering the lot of mankind. Somewhere between these two extremes are what could be called ‘moderates.’ Neither caught in the mire of human filth, or off with the fairies, these folks are more able to see the forest for the trees. Particularly when it comes to things like military engagement.

War, What Is It Good For?

“War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin,’” according to the song. Edwin Starr apparently keen to be speaking Japanese. A nearly sure outcome of the Japanese campaign of WWII if the U.S. had not entered into the war.  One of Japan’s major targets being the west coast of the United States. There might not be good wars, but there are necessary ones. A fact recent generations have lost sight of due to the baby boomer experience in Vietnam and the more recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which were more about political face saving.

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Kaill McNeil ALTER-NARRATIVES: Nation States

ALTER-NARRATIVES:

The U.S. experiment tried to unite a group of people living in a multitude of states,  separated by geography, economics, resources, ethnicity, and social issues into one united country. 

Nation States

By Kaill McNeil

Making A Nation

There are many ways to structure a nation. Some better than others, particularly according to one’s own priorities and preferences. More to the point, there are some that are more popular than others. Some coming to be phased out over the centuries. TO the point there are only a few nations based on such a system. America is one such nation.

Constituting A Country

One of the most popular basis on which to build a nation, is that of a constitution. In this way, America has very much followed the trend. Opting for a constitutional democratic republic. As opposed to a constitutional democracy found in much of the rest of the western world, from Canada to New Zealand (those Brits were busy). Both versions of government have their advantages, allowing for checks and balances.

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Kaill McNeil ALTER-NARRATIVES: “Maybe Logic”

ALTER-NARRATIVES:

Today’s Topic:  Each generation feels they have moved past all the stupidity of the past and are now on the perfect path. In just a few paragraphs KM dumps that theory. 

‘Maybe Logic,’ Maybe Not

By Kaill McNeil

What do we know?

Many people have a drive to know. Language itself a means to categories and comprehend objects, beings and concepts. Humanity has doubtless made great strives over the last few hundred years. Societies shifting, merging and changing by grand forces of politics and economy. Each generation certain they have it right. They’ve leaned from the mistakes from the past and everything has now been set right. Inarguably true much of the time but not always. Particularly when it comes to something like science.

Never Wrong

The notion that science is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is expressed almost exclusively by non-scientists. Tragically this is a misunderstanding of how the scientific method actually works. I’m no scientist myself, at least in terms of natural science, but I still have a basic understanding of empiricism. Empiricism is the core of the scientific method, which basically involves a process of trial and error, steeped in fancy technical jargon. The result of an experiment cannot be deemed wrong, because there is no way of knowing what is right. Hence the vital importance of replication. A hypothesis that has been tested and the test replicated with the same result can be said to be likely. Even in this case, however, most in the scientific sphere, would only go as far as to say it was “likely.”

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The Just Dave Show “Get the Vaccine”

The Just Dave Show “Get the Vaccine”

The “Just Dave Show” 

Dave is shooting from the hip

The Just Dave Show is focusing on vaccines today. The news is everywhere. The vaccine works in keeping people out of the hospital and getting seriously ill. So far 50% of the United States population has been totally vaccinated. Now the rest of you, listen up; get the damn vaccine. Stop the contrariness. People are dying for no reason. The surging pandemic is now of the unvaccinated. Dave today tries to make some sense of all of it.

Kaill McNeil ALTER-NARRATIVES: Misread

ALTER-NARRATIVES 

Today’s topic: Political texts,  from The Art of War, to Utopia, to The Communist Manifesto, have been grossly misunderstood. Often used in the opposite context to which they were written. 

Misread

By Kaill McNeil

Authorial Intent

Roland Barthes in his 1967 essay declared the author was dead. Unlike Nietzsche’s death-notice for God, Barthes was writing metaphorically. Referring to the primacy of authors’ intent when analyzing a work. The irony of him publishing this, and expecting to be taken seriously, clearly lost. Ignoring Barthes, which he invites, mistakes have been made. Key intents of major political texts, lost in interpretation. The opposite message, from that intended, entering the zeitgeist.

Violent Pacifist

An early victim of literalism, was The Art of War. Much like The Lottery the title belies the purpose of the writing. Far from a catalogue of gore, giving directions on how best to kill, it is a spiritual and political treatise, outlining how conflicts can be won with little fighting at all. Most of the methods detailed, involved alternatives to open war, using cunning, subterfuge, and politicking to get a desired result. Author, Sun Tzu, makes it plain that a commander who resorts to open combat has failed.

Good Intentions

Similar to Sun Tzu in terms of intention, as well as misinterpretation, was Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli was an Italian philosopher, politician and intellectual whose last name has come to mean everything sinister and underhanded. ‘Machiavellian’ is not a descriptor to which most aspire. It is an underserved reputation rooted in a single text. Published in 1532, The Prince was a genuine attempt to guide  new rulers. When The Prince  was published, Italy was less a single, united country, than a patchwork of semi-autonomous city-states. Far from being a manual on subterfuge and evil intent the text was written as a primer for upstart monarchs on the benefits of being even-handed and fair. If anything, Machiavelli was a moderate trying to keep the peace. His name more applicable to the likes of McGovern or Biden than Trump or Nixon.

Left Not Right

Equally misapplied, George Orwell’s worldview encompassed none of the elements the use of ‘Orwellian’ implies. Very much a fuzzy Liberal, with some unavoidably colonialist attitudes, Orwell’s primary concern was authoritarianism. Not the obvious and brutal authoritarianism of European fascism, embodied by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Spain, but the much more insidious one further east. Few authoritarian empires pulled a more successful con job than the Bolshevik leaders of the then Soviet Union. One that still has supporters today.

Heaven to Hell

While the Bolsheviks promised the underclass heaven, they were being loaded on trains to Hell, or to the Gulag, pot-eh-to pot-ah-to. Something laid out in scathing fashion in the pages of Animal Farm. The treacherous pigs a perfect metaphor for ordinary citizens who  continue to believe in a revolution that has been utterly and completely betrayed by those in  power.

1984

In his final novel Orwell describes a world where individuals are told to reject the evidence of their own  eyes and ears, where thinking for yourself  has become a crime.  1984, is thought by many to be anti-Nazi, despite the fact it specifically mentions a group called “The Proles”, uses international time (“the clocks were striking thirteen”) and describes intentional changes in language. The Russian of the Soviet Union and German of East Germany are markedly different from the Russian of the modern era, or the German of the West. This was just one of the reasons it took nearly 25 years for East Germany to reintegrate into the West after 1990. Also, in terms of naked symbolism, one of the tanks that roll by in the film version has a red, five-pointed star on the side. The biggest clue, though is in the name of the party. Simply  called The Party through most of the narrative, there is occasional mention of Ingsoc, or, English Socialists.

Utopia Never Was, And Never Will Be

Less popular now than the above texts, Thomas More’s Utopia has had more of an impact on western culture and philosophy than almost any other book. Published in 1516, under the reign of Henry VIII, Utopia is not what most think it is. The book was a short novel, not an essay, or treatise. It is a work of fiction, and what’s more, satire, poking fun at the ‘perfect society’ thinking of the Tudor era. Thomas More gave such believers their perfect society. Described in exquisite detail, and given a name that, in Latin, translates literally to ‘no place.’ Utopia does not exist, and that was More’s entire point.

Conclusion

It just proves that most people hear the title and assume they got the message. Sometimes it actually requires reading the text, or being smart enough to track the real meaning of the words you are reading. Hope to see you next week, until then,

Kaill McNeil