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About Constancio Asumen, Jr.

Mr. Asumen has most recently assumed the responsibilities of Chairman-of-the-Board for ACE LILACS, a budding startup venture in the marketplace of ideas. The list of previous vocations he had engaged in before this, includes being a farmer, fisherman, stevedore, national scholar, college professor, journeyman laborer, freelance scribe, typesetter, proofreader, systems analyst, software developer, cab driver, etc. He holds a masters degree in Mineral Science & Technology (1973, Kyoto University) with a major in Exploration Geophysics. Somewhat of the quintessential Ivy League under-achiever, he is an embodiment of the can-do attitude so prevalent amongst most first generation Americans. He is an ardent adherent to the tenet that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Mr. Asumen maintains a website here.

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Past Articles
Dissonant & Delusional: The Activist Ideologue
Obama’s Contempt: Vestige of His Incompetence
Green Technology: A Poverty of Philosophy
Global Warming: The Religion that Failed
Consensus Does Not a Science Make
Historical Parallels & Intersections
The Repugnant Obama Paradigm
The Myth of Moderate Islam
ObamaCare: How Lucky Can You Get?
Assimilation Overkill Begets Bigotry

Constancio Asumen, Jr.
Dissonant & Delusional: The Activist Ideologue
March 3, 2010

President Obama’s constant and endless lament that he inherited the problems in the country from the previous administration is yet another incontrovertible evidence of his contempt for and derision of the intelligence of the American people. Everybody knows that the term of the presidency is four years and there were 43 presidents before him. 


Not even George Washington, who first held the office, had a clean slate to work with. He had pre-existing conditions to dispose of to start governing. This was common knowledge long before the POTUS started his campaign. So what is the point of constantly reminding the populace that he inherited pre-existing conditions? He just wants to show the nation how little regard, let alone respect, Obama has for what the people know about their own country.


The abrasive arrogance as constantly showcased by President Obama—most recently at his Healthcare Summit—is a typical characteristic trait of a hardcore ideologue determined to impose his vision of how the country should be regardless of the means with which he accomplishes it. You cannot fault the President for being so consummately and thoroughly absorbed by his well rehearsed chutzpah. He is simply consumed by the greatness of his own transformational messianic powers as he preens himself pedantic of his teleprompter-spiced eloquence.


Recall that he ascended to the Oval Office on the strength of snake oil salesmanship. He told the nation he was the change they were waiting for and a majority of them bought his hot air, hook, line and sinker. He enjoined the nation, on Inauguration Day, to help him fundamentally remake America and at least 68% of America gave him a standing ovation.


Why then should President Obama, now that the leviathan of the Federal government is at his disposal, bother to listen to the hoi polloi on any subject, whatsoever? So doing would be a gross exercise in criminal imbecility, tantamount to an abrogation of leadership responsibility. It is therefore self-evident that when President Obama bristled  during the Healthcare Summit that (emphasis mine)


"...any time that a question is phrased as, "Does Washington know better,” I think we’re kind of tipping the scales a little bit there since we all know that everybody is angry at Washington...”


He wanted to convey that "Washington” means "George W. Bush,” the pre-existing condition he inherited.


Obama’s Political DNA

President Obama’s "snubbing allies like Britain, Israel, Poland and the Czech Republic” was not an attempt to placate America’s perceived traditional adversaries such as Putin’s Russia and the hardliner communists in China. Rather, consistent with the apologetics  blitzkrieg  unleashed  earlier by BHO starting with his groveling to the Arabs, in particular and the Muslim world in general, as obscenely exhibited in Cairo, it was merely showing his true political colors. Ditto his simultaneous askance at Israel and embrace of the Palestinians’ perennial claim to victimhood:


"...The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements...It is time for these settlements to stop.”


Nurtured for the better part of two decades in the Right Rev. Wright’s Black Liberation theology, Obama fundamentally hates, and is contrite of the West in general, and embarrassed and disdainful of the glorious and proud achievements of American power and exceptionalism, in particular.


That he ended up in the Oval Office is symptomatic of the political dyslexia that the country has sunk into, thanks to sustained assault on American educational institutions perpetrated by the so-called "Progressives.” Obama’s history of academic sojourn at Columbia, Harvard, and the University of Chicago and the documented embrace of Saul Alinsky as his mentor is an incontrovertible evidence of his Progressives pedigree.


The "Obama the intellectual” brand has been peddled persistently if casually in the literature. During his stint at the Harvard Law Review where, as Bradford Berenson would have it (emphasis added),


"...the environment...then was political in a borderline unhealthy way. It was quite intense.


"...Interestingly, race was at the forefront of the agenda. There were intense debates over affirmative action that sometimes got expressed through fights over tenure...”


Obama himself subtly but unequivocally, proclaimed his bona fides as an activist, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment, thus:


''But it's important that stories like mine aren't used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don't get a chance...''


In the realm of politics, Obama the intellectual gives room for Obama the activist. Factor in the influence of Saul Alinsky’s "Rules for Radicals” and we got ourselves a radical ideologue activist in the Oval Office looking after our welfare ("according to our needs,”) to the best he can deliver "according to his ability.”


In Defense of Intellectuals

In a column not too long ago, Thomas Sowell deplored the seeming lack of accountability that’s brought to bear on intellectuals for the ideas they espouse:


"If there is any lesson in the history of ideas, it is that good intentions tell you nothing about the actual consequences. But intellectuals who generate ideas do not have to pay the consequences.”


As my rejoinder, I commented (in an email): that intellectuals should not be blamed for their ideas. Ideas are the sine qua non of life and liberty. Or to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson’s locution, ideas are but their "own excuse for being.”  Besides, short of genocide, there is no effective way of curtailing ideas. Moreover, ideas are not necessarily saddled with intentions when they are originally conceived. 


It is for those audacious souls who take the ideas seriously, or interpret them in so many ways, who should be blamed for the consequences of their implementation. Ideas as such, no matter how sinister, do not harm anybody. Action does and is where any blame belongs and should get its due reckoning.


"Cogito ergo sum” [I think therefore I am] is probably the most potent, popular and famous of all the formulations in Rene Descartes’(1596–1650) Meditations on First Philosophy. I myself consider it the most basic of all ideas ever formulated.  Descartes himself considered it as the "first item of knowledge.” It certainly is one of my favorites.  But ideas are, ipso facto, inconsequential, to the extent that they remain just ideas. It is the translation of the ideas into sensuous, human praxis that produces results: useful, harmful, or otherwise indifferent.


To illustrate the point: Karl Marx did not harm a single soul, with the possible exception of some other researchers at the British Museum who might have been inconvenienced by his protracted presence in the place. It took a Lenin, a Stalin, a Mao, a Castro, a Che Guevarra, etc. to give the Marxian ideas their full measure of blood, tears, lives and misery. 


Karl Marx himself famously observed with more than a terse lament in Theses On Feuerbach, that


"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”


Dr. Sowell was kind enough to reply to my email as follows,


"But Marx and others specifically put forth their ideas as a spur to action, just as narcotics producers manufacture drugs to be used.” 


Indeed, all of Marx’s polemics were designed to incite action. But the analogy with narcotics manufacturer is rather tendentiously over-simplified. The narcotics manufacturer’s primary motivation is to generate revenue, if not profit. Whereas, propounding ideas into a coherent gestalt can very well be an intellectual’s ultimate goal in and of itself.


Thus, it took the activism and programmatic organizing skills of Vladimir Lenin to effect the change that made the difference. With his brilliant and timely pamphleteering, notably in "What Is to be Done” and "The April Theses,” he galvanized the discontent of the Russian populace against the lethargic obsolescence of the feudal aristocracy. This effectively gave him the leverage to transform the relations of production to his advantage. As a result, it enabled his regime to control the rules of engagements amongst the various class segments of Russian society.


Once Lenin was gone it required the amoral ruthless political opportunism of Joseph Stalin to consolidate the political leverage established by Lenin, via an unmitigated repression of the opposition, actual or suspected. Categorical ruthlessness was necessary because the rules of engagements were devoid of the will and consent of the individual citizens, so engaged.


It behooves to emphasize at this juncture that as long as the battle is joined in the realm of ideas, the Founding Principles as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are sufficiently strong and reliable to withstand the challenge of the "command and control” variety.


The deployment of a regime of czars, with 26 czardoms at last count, and counting, ". . . is an unprecedented power grab centralizing authority in the White House, outside congressional oversight and in violation of the Constitution.”  Moreover, as chronicled by The Wall Street Journal (emphasis added),


"...Barack Obama won his first election in 1996 by throwing all of his opponents off the ballot on technicalities.


"By clearing out the incumbent and the others in his first Democratic primary...[he] is embarrassed enough by what he did that he misrepresents it in the prologue of his political memoir..."


This clearly demonstrates that Obama is, to put it mildly and charitably, no stranger to the nexus of political subterfuge so effectively employed by both Lenin and Stalin against their rivals to pull off the Bolshevik revolution.  With such a home grown radical activist ideologue in the Oval Office there is no substitute for constant and astute vigilance, to preserve and defend the hallmarks of American exceptionalism we so nobly cherish.

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