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Sean O'Reilly
President and CEO of the Auriga Distribution Group: Interested in ideas that work
President and CEO of the Auriga Distribution Group: Interested in ideas that work


Treason: “The crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.” Attempting to overthrow the duly elected government of United States in the person of the President of the United States is treason. There are members of the Democratic Party who have been attempting to depose Trump since day one. In America you accept the election results and get on with the business of living but the Democrats have invented something new: an illegitimate election based on the collective delusion that only Russian intervention could have convinced the American public to vote for Trump. This reminds me of the intellectual contortions the Catholic Church goes through in determining whether or not a marriage was validly confected. If the intent was not correct, then the marriage can be considered invalid. It is this kind of legal contortion that it is now being employed by some Democrats. They are trying to figure out a way to delegitimize the election and any set of dirty tricks will serve their purposes – real or imagined.

There are, sadly, a lot of people on the other side of the aisle who really and truly do not accept the idea that Trump won the election fairly. They may give intellectual assent to his win but in their heart of hearts they somehow feel like he cheated. This is not a carefully thought out position—it is just an irrational reaction to losing. What springs to mind—and please forgive the analogy—is the reaction of Caiaphas to Jesus. When Caiaphas accused Jesus of blasphemy and rends his garments it’s because he cannot understand what Jesus is trying to convey to him. It does not fit into Caiaphas’ world view that God could have a “son” or that God could be Three persons in One Nature. Therefore, the only conclusion that Caiaphas can come to—based on his entire world and theological view—is that Jesus is blaspheming.

Now, I in no way want to compare Trump to Jesus. This is merely an oblique comparison to raise the temperature of the opposition. The Democrats, like the Pharisees, are spending an inordinate amount of time resisting Trump. Rather than trying to figure out what he’s actually doing and why they’re simply opposed to him. Trump does not fit into their world view. He won by not playing the typical political game and those who play the game are really pissed that he ran circles around them. When Obama was elected the Republicans resisted him at every turn—this is the same drill over and over again, except the Republicans didn’t burn cars and break windows or assault people when Obama won. After a year of investigation, there is as far as I can see, no proof that there was any collusion between the Republicans and the Russians in regards to the election. There is no doubt that the Russians were meddling or attempting to meddle in the election but they’ve been doing that sort of stuff for 50 years. This is nothing new; it’s only that the Democrats bear some responsibility for this as they were behind disbanding the House on un-American Activities back in the 50’s and 60s due the excesses of Roy Cohen and Joe McCarthy. What is new is that the liberal media and the Democratic Party have embraced the idea of meddling and confabulated it with the idea of collusion —and to such a degree—that the two notions are no longer separable in the minds of partisans.

Let’s look at this from a completely different angle. What would happen to America if Trump builds a better wall than the one we already have? We will would still have plenty of immigration. It would just be legal . What would happen if we are able to have better relations with North Korea? Is the world going to be a safer or an unsafer place? What would happen if Trump gets another conservative on the Supreme Court? How terrible would it be for people to have to act in a more responsible manner if abortion were abolished? How terrible would it be if gay marriage were redrawn with the stipulation that gays could only form civil unions? Bypass the hysteria of the left. None of these things will make America materially or spiritually worse off. Every nation has to have borders and every nation has to have meaningful moral and legal definitions. The Democrats are taking us down the path of complete subjectivism—it’s all about how they feel.

The Founding Fathers attempted to set up a system that was not based on emotion but based on the understanding that human nature, generally speaking, leans in the wrong direction. The notion of moral virtue and moral vice seems completely missing from the Democratic Party—other than in relation to the environment and social justice. All intellectual endeavors require effort; all moral efforts require self-discipline. Everyone subscribes to the idea that intellectual virtue (even though they may not call it that) requires effort but moral effort in regards to sexuality has completely gone out the door—it’s a toilet function. In the liberal mindset what you do with your genitals has nothing to do with morality unless it involves maybe pederasty, incest or bestiality. This is in direct opposition to the Judeo-Christian and moral Greek tradition of the past 2000 years, which if I could put in (Putin) a kind of nut shell, would be that sublimation creates a moral ordering of the appetites by allowing the will to restrain impulse.

What I find absolutely hilarious is that the left can’t get enough of Stormy Daniels and it’s not because of what Trump might’ve done it’s only because he might’ve lied about it. What sort of moral superficiality is that? When the media focuses on the shooting of an alleged criminal, it’s never on the basis of the criminal exhibiting lack of self-control or good impulse management, it’s always about the police not exhibiting self-control, which is insane when a split second decision can mean either the policeman’s life or the criminal’s life. There are 18,000 or more murders a year in the US. This is beyond disgraceful and almost all of it can be traced to lack of impulse management. I would be willing to bet that in nearly every instance of homicide not one of the perps involved is engaged in any sort of engagement with the notion of moral virtue as it might relate to sexuality. The left is focused on gun control, which is in direct opposition to the commonsense idea that it is people with bad morals who kill people and possessing a gun in and of itself has nothing to do with this. The left cannot discuss this kind of morality because it has no clear lines as to what morality is. The proliferation of guns in the hands of the morally incompetent is a problem but why not talk about the real problem and not just guns which are merely accessories to the crime? The left will not go there because morality is really all of one cloth. In the absence of a clearly articulated morality all you have left are slogans. If you think about it, crime is the legal shadow of of a watered down morality. This is why the law must be based, if even only indirectly, on ontology.

The notion of sin is relevant here. A sin is an ontological offense against both God and man. Who among us is willing to cast the first stone? The Democrats remind me of the crowd that gathered to stone the adulterous woman. Jesus came upon them and started writing in the sand and the individual members of the crowd drifted away. No one knows what he wrote but it is suspected that he wrote the individual sins of the would be stoners on the ground. Who among the vast crowd of meat beaters, liars, homosexuals and fornicators in the media and Congress who are accusing Trump of misdeeds is without sin? Think of Anderson Cooper, the pampered, homosexual son of the Vanderbilts accusing Trump of treason. I mean really Anderson. Just be quiet.

How about cutting the duly elected president of the United States some slack? He is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but is doing some very interesting things in terms of trimming unnecessary regulations and rethinking what is really important, as opposed to the ideological gibberish that makes up party platforms on both the sides of the aisle and the markets are responding. I will take this any day over a president, who practically smacking his lips, announced (as Obama did) that America is no longer a Christian nation. It doesn’t matter whether not this is true, it’s just extremely bad form.

My mother, who is a Trump supporter, has asked me repeatedly, “why do they hate him so?” and I think the answer is that the liberal left has no coherent policy in regards to traditional morality (other than to ignore and vilify it) but they sense that Trump, for all his failings, leans in the direction of the truths articulated by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Yes, there is treason in the United States, and it comes from all those who are undermining the principles upon which this country was built. The real definition of treason (below) fits the Democratic Party which has attempted to take Trump out of office from the day he took office.

“The crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.”

Now of course the Liberals will come back and say that anyone who attempts to impose his will on the legislative and judicial branches is guilty of a kind of quasi-treason but this is just bullshit as the Presidency is, essentially, a power tool to keep things moving forward.

We should end this thread by adverting to the notion of tolerance and respect for the office of the Presidency. Give the man some breathing room and let him do the job he was elected to do.
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Is the Dunning-Kruger effect offered in good faith?

The problem with the presentation of the Dunning Kruger effect (see below) is the bias towards the kind of verification common to science. How would you define the cognitive ability of someone like Dr. Josef Mengele or modern abortion doctors? Clearly, these individuals possess a modicum of intellectual skill. Let's thrown in left-leaning lawyers who seek to disassociate cause from effect and you have an important distinction at work that the Dunning-Kruger effect barely touches: the distinction between moral and intellectual excellence or what used to be called virtue. Being intellectually competent is no guarantee of moral integrity or moral competence. Likewise, moral integrity is no substitute for intellectual excellence. Teddy Roosevelt used to say that "to educate a man in mind and not in morals was to educate a menace to society."

The morally and intellectually incompetent will not advert to their incompetence; instead they will disguise their ignorance in the language of atheistic science or ideology. In order for the the Dunning-Kruger effect to be used in good faith, it must be applied to both intellectual and moral excellence. The intellectual credentials of Supreme Court Justices for example are, no doubt, impeccable but those members who support a wide range of atheistic and liberal issues such as abortion and gay marriage may be demonstrating that the Dunning-Kruger effect is applicable to their moral sensibilities. We all suffer from some form of moral or intellectual limitation in the form of intellectual laziness or vice and viciousness. Adverting to our limitations is a universal duty that is not expunged by sloganeering or politically correct statements. The astonishing and selective moral outrage over recent high school shootings, for example, should be eclipsed in a rational culture by an outrage over the far greater number of students that are individually knifed and beaten, every year, at high schools all over the country. National crime statistics indicate, for example, that more people are killed with knives and blunt instruments than by guns. Nobody wants to talk about this due to the politically correct bugabo about racism. Guns and knives no more kill people than pens write bad stories. Clearly, those with bad morals or defective biology kill the innocent. When was that last time you heard anyone try to link bad behavior to the failure to curtail impulsive sexual activity?

There are those who would accuse Donald Trump of being a poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger effect but many of those who would make that assessment suffer from their own moral blindness. My favorite was one made recently by journalist and gay activist Anderson Cooper. He was busy claiming that people "used to go to jail" for the ostensible crimes of some members of the Trump administration. The proper response to this is so obvious, it need not be stated. The Russians have been undermining the American system since the 1930's. Does anyone remember why the House Committee of Unamerican Activities was started and silenced? The Russians have been experts at fake news for the past 80 years and now liberals are just discovering that the Russians are interfering in our political process? This is beyond being intellectually and morally clueless.

"In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude; without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

Conversely, highly competent individuals may erroneously assume that tasks easy for them to perform are also easy for other people to perform, or that other people will have a similar understanding of subjects that they themselves are well-versed in.

As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.

Original study
The psychological phenomenon of illusory superiority was identified as a form of cognitive bias in Kruger and Dunning's 1999 study "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments".

The identification derived from the cognitive bias evident in the criminal case of McArthur Wheeler, who robbed banks with his face covered with lemon juice, which he believed would make it invisible to the surveillance cameras. This belief was based on his misunderstanding of the chemical properties of lemon juice as an invisible ink.

Other investigations of the phenomenon, such as "Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence" (2003), indicate that much incorrect self-assessment of competence derives from the person's ignorance of a given activity's standards of performance. The pattern of overestimation of competence appeared in studies of reading comprehension, of the practice of medicine, of motor-vehicle operation, and of the playing of games such as chess and tennis.[4] Dunning and Kruger's research also indicates that training in a task, such as solving a logic puzzle, increases people's ability to accurately evaluate how good they are at it.

In Self-insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (2005), Dunning described the Dunning–Kruger effect as "the anosognosia of everyday life", referring to the condition in which a disabled person either denies or seems unaware of his or her disability. He stated: "If you're incompetent, you can't know you're incompetent ... The skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is."
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Programming and Metaphysics.

I recently had the pleasure of reading two books, which gave me some insights into programming, which I have become increasingly interested in because of the hierarchical and logical nature of the thinking employed to generate efficient and useful code. The results of excellent code are all about us and have changed human life for the better. Computer code requires both logical thinking and something else that is not well-defined by science. That something else might be loosely defined as intention with a focus on good results or excellence of affect/effect as it relates to logical and pre-defined categories.

The first book was The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold, which while a little dated, has a lot of great background information on how voltage works with logic gates and the background of the origin of programming. The second book I read was published by OReilly Media: 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts. The latter gives a very nice overview of process issues within programming.

I came across the following gem, which neatly and inadvertently summarizes many of the problems of the present age. In 97 Things… there is an article entitled, Read the Humanities, by Keith Braithwaite. He says: “People write software with people for people. It is a people business. Unfortunately, what is taught to programmers too often equips them very poorly to deal with people they work for and with.” He cites Wittgenstein’s, Philosophical Investigations: already we should be on our guard against misunderstanding when we “gather requirements.” Wittgenstein shows that our ability to understand one another at does not arise from shared definitions, it arises from a shared experience, from a form of life. Then the author goes on to cite Heidegger in saying that a tool becomes an invisible thing understood only in use. For users, tools only become objects of interest when they don’t work. He then goes on to say that Eleanor Rosch, “overturned the Aristotelian model of the categories by which we organize our understanding of the world. When programmers ask users about their desires for a system, we tend to ask for definitions built out of predicates...insofar as we insist on Aristotelian answers, we can’t ask users the right questions about the user’s world and will struggle to come to the common understanding we need.”

In my opinion, these statements are absolutely as true as they are false, without an understanding of the motor that runs the universe. The predicate of all categories is Existence, (not just energy which is a manifestation of Existence) which Aristotle and Aquinas understood very clearly. The categories are part of the philosophical language that enables us to interpret our experience. The vast wasteland of incomprehension between left and right, Republicans and Democrats is largely based on an inability to understand that shared categories of knowledge are what enable us not only to build science but also politics and morality. Science is not a shared experience without categories and neither is politics or morality. (Religion is also based on shared experience but that is another set of arguments.) What makes categories come alive is what we bring to them—the predicates of intention and utilities that we employ. A shared experience such as the Democrats’ collective revulsion at Trump is not an experience necessarily filtered by clearly defined moral categories but an emotional goo that has rational stamped on top of a great deal of irrationality. The duplicity of all politicians in not adverting to categories of goodness is exponentially increased by not having any standard for goodness at all. Trump is an immoral individual in his personal life but his parameters for efficiency in business are, in many instances, liberating.

The astonishing irrationality of the left in claiming that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity when 30 million have died from AIDs and millions of others die annually from heart disease and addiction bespeaks volumes about what categories are employed to facilitate or even to understand what goodness consists of. Now this is not to say that climate change or other potential problems could not kill millions or could not be real dangers in the future but the science employed utilizes categories that are exclusive to science. There is no shared experience of climate change through anything whatsoever but categories and definitions. There is, likewise, no shared experience of politics or morality through anything but definitions or categories—unless we are speaking of the emotions of the mob. Without a common language of categories and a consequent understanding what facilitates goodness in human beings, there is no commonality whatsoever. (Note how Democrats will sagely insist that the Electoral college is archaic, while not adverting to its original function to tamp down on mob democracy of the type that Dems specialize in.)

So, what I am getting at is that the failure to employ commonly accepted categories also creates a lack of structure to the commonality of experience. Categories are relative to our own “isness” and our commonality of experience is, in fact, largely colored by what categories we employ or don’t employ. One could even argue that it is our moral duty to employ categories. The denial of substance or the composition of matter and form is the first denial of category. Science has yet to come up with a better principle of material, formal, efficient or final organizational principles than form. The random or stochastic interaction of particles, producing the world as we know it, is probably the most unsatisfying piece of intellectual flim-flam as has ever been hoisted on humanity. It should be clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense that the world is organized into categories and that without substance you have a world that can’t even begin to understand goodness as it might relate to the soul. Goodness, as Socrates noted, is a function of the soul. Dispense with the soul and goodness is as random as the stochastic goo that science tells us the world consists of.

Aristotle’s categories:

Substances are unique in that they are independent. The other nine categories are “accidental.” These nine categories each depend on substances and can’t exist on their own, e.g. redness, double, smallness, etc. [Note that in Aristotle’s schema all substances are dependent upon Existence as the Unmoved Mover]
1. Substance (ousia, “essence” or “substance”). Substance is defined as that which neither can be predicated of anything nor be said to be in anything. Hence, this particular man or that particular tree are substances. Later in the text, Aristotle calls these particulars “primary substances”, to distinguish them from secondary substances, which are universals and can be predicated. Hence, Socrates is a primary substance, while man is a secondary substance. Man is predicated of Socrates, and therefore all that is predicated of man is predicated of Socrates.
2. Quantity (poson, “how much”). This is the extension of an object, and may be either discrete or continuous. Further, its parts may or may not have relative positions to each other. All medieval discussions about the nature of the continuum, of the infinite and the infinitely divisible, are a long footnote to this text. It is of great importance in the development of mathematical ideas in the medieval and late Scholastic period.
3. Quality (poion, “of what kind or quality”). This is a determination which characterizes the nature of an object.
4. Relation (pros ti, “toward something”). This is the way in which one object may be related to another.
5. Place (pou, “where”). Position in relation to the surrounding environment.
6. Time (pote, “when”). Position in relation to the course of events.
7. Position (keisthai, “to lie”). The examples Aristotle gives indicate that he meant a condition of rest resulting from an action: ‘Lying’, ‘sitting’. Thus position may be taken as the end point for the corresponding action. The term is, however, frequently taken to mean the relative position of the parts of an object (usually a living object), given that the position of the parts is inseparable from the state of rest implied.
8. State or habitus (echein, “to have”). The examples Aristotle gives indicate that he meant a condition of rest resulting from an affection (i.e. being acted on): ‘shod’, ‘armed’. The term is, however, frequently taken to mean the determination arising from the physical accoutrements of an object: one’s shoes, one’s arms, etc. Traditionally, this category is also called a habitus (from Latin habere, “to have”).
9. Action (poiein, “to make” or “to do”). The production of change in some other object.
10. Affection (paschein, “to suffer” or “to undergo”). The reception of change from some other object. It is also known as passivity. It is clear from the examples Aristotle gave for action and for affection that action is to affection as the active voice is to the passive. Thus for action he gave the example, ‘to lance’, ‘to cauterize’; for affection, ‘to be lanced’, ‘to be cauterized.’ The term is frequently misinterpreted to mean a kind of emotion or passion.

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Walter Lippmann, in his definitive work, The Public Philosophy, published in 1954 noted that: “Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society. It may, if it cannot be arrested and reversed, bring about the fall of the West.” Lippmann’s prophetic words are truer now than ever before. Government works best when it acts as a repository for truth, in its many forms, and creates a level playing field to reduce the undue influence of monetary and political interests at variance with the well-being of the public. A government that takes the position that there is no truth to be known or protected is, ultimately, slitting its own throat. Cited in Authority, Creativity and the Third Imperium.
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The tolerance of UBER and other TNCs by local municipalities is analogous to the sanctuary cities mentality i.e., what is perceived as being unfair is thought of as being higher than the law. I personally support what UBER is doing but the law is the law and prior to 2015 (before many states reserved the right to regulate TNCs under pressure from highly paid lawyers) local taxi ordinances were violated by various TNCs providing illegal taxi service. As a cab company owner, this represents an "administrative taking" of medallion values due to a failure of local authorities to enforce existing laws. What is even more reprehensible is that cab companies have to deal with a regulatory burden that the TNCs get to completely ignore. Now to those of you might want to express discontent over this characterization, the same holds true (if you think about it) for any law that is unfair. Abortion is a morally unfair law to the unborn but it is legal. Imagine if some local authorities decided that they would not allow abortions under any circumstance in their jurisdictions... Can you imagine the uproar from the Left? Imagine if a Chicago alderman decided that in his district there would be no gun control laws... You don't get to pick and choose which laws you will follow and which you won't in a Republic. The essence of the law is that it is binding. If you don't like a law you can protest it and get it changed but until it is changed it should be enforceable. The argument can be made that the law should be designed to serve the public but there are, in fact, many laws that don't serve the public as well as they should. America goes down a dangerous path when laws regarding free speech, for example, become subject to the moral or emotional outrage of those who don't understand either the dynamics of the law or morality. Words cannot mean whatever we want them to mean. Imagine if a chemist said to another chemist: "Your truth is not my truth." The science of chemistry would likely devolve into alchemy. Morality and law is no different. You don't get to have your truth, only your opinion and your right to demonstrate. The old argument that Plato raised between truth and what is actually subjective opinion, which may or may not reflect reality, reiterates the time-honored practice of subjugating the impulses of biology through some ordering principles. The intrusion of an enormous amount of emotional subjectivity into the objective order, via social media and a press more interested in controversy than reality doesn't bode well for the future of America. The Founders' Code or the ordering principles that guided the thinking of the Founding Fathers and led to the oldest living constitution on the planet may be found in
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Think about it. These are attributes of Bill Clinton
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"To lie in undisturbed calm, with nothing to rouse yourself toward, nothing to strive after, nothing to denounce or contend against, testing the firmness of your mind: that is not tranquility; it is enfeeblement"

- Seneca, Letters 67.14

#stoicism #tranquility  #happiness
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Except that he is full of shit. Those on the ground say otherwise
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Bentley Drivers Club Showcase at Blenheim Palace
For the first time at Blenheim Palace visitors are invited to the exclusive Bentley Drivers Club Showcase on 22nd May. This exciting motoring event celebrates the 80th anniversary of the inaugural run of the Bentley Drivers Club.

Over 100 Bentleys, from six different starting points across the UK, will be attending this very special showcase in the East Court of Blenheim Palace.

Bringing together passionate Bentley owners and motoring enthusiasts this is a spectacular event not to be missed.

The cars on display will range from the earliest 3 litre cars from the 1920s up to the current models of Bentley Motors. Several of the cars are past Concours winners and there will also be some with a significant race history. The Bentley Drivers Club will have an information display in East Court.

Visitors can enjoy the motoring spectacle at Blenheim Palace before enjoying an Afternoon Tea in the new Orangery Restaurant, available on this day from 2pm. Booking is recommended for Afternoon Tea.
Bentley Drivers Club Showcase
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