Casey S. Schroeder

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Ten Reasons I Deserve Permission to Excel

A reason to be allowed to excel is distinct from a reason to be allowed to live.  Many are allowed to live, and only some are allowed to excel.  You may be allowed to live, even if you are symbolically dead.  To be allowed to excel, you need the traits to make your excelling worth it, not to this or that partisan group, but to the world.  You are bound to find resistance, nevertheless, from those who would like to place their partisan icon in your stead.  But in the only world I care to live, credit belongs where credit is due, so that is a presumption of the permission I seek to justify.

  1. Exposure to the world and its cultures, enough to erode my American Biases.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” – Mark Twain

The internet brings a wealth of information on foreign cultures, but there is no substitute for understanding how a culture operates than living in it.  That as it is, you cannot live in every culture, even for a time, but you nevertheless gain an appreciation for your own bias even with a few extended stays (provided you are not pretending to travel by staying at a resort!).  And frankly, understanding how ‘The Old World’ operates is crucial to understanding America and its goals, when it is on its proper course.

2. Intelligence and Exposure enough to mitigate History and it’s Ideas

It is only by having these properties that one can be allowed to contribute to the course of history and its ideas.  We often construe the internet as a free information share.  It is not entirely this.  There are subjects that remain protected to the point of never making it onto the web and others which, when leaked, get buried like needles under so much hay.  Add to this a certain religious commitment to ‘Empiricism’ as a safeguard against public opinions along an unapproved course, and you find yourself a solver of puzzles in order to both preserve the truth and save yourself from fatal misstep in making your own contributions.  This course of development in any independent person is long and treacherous.  Achieving it is no small feat.

3. Training in Conceptual Disciplines allowing for Understanding of New Ideas.

One cannot appreciate complex ideas – or the evidence for simple and elegant ones – without a grounding in logical, computational, and mathematical subjects.  The development of these skills is also a long course, and it is rarely made explicit for the student.  More frequently, they need to piece together the core of important ideas from the exposure they are given and their nose for what is important.  Often I find myself both fortunate for the exposure and proud of the work I have put in to consolidate what is important to retain.

4. Creativity

Having concluded by reason your own fundamentals, one can use them in a generative capacity, which when coupled with creativity, can result in great things.  I have a ‘creative streak’, I am well aware.  I cannot take full credit for that, but I can take credit for the fact that it has not resulted in my ruin and it has resulted in good works of art and letters within the bounds of ethics.  One needs to be able to loosen the reins and play along the edges, or progress will not be made.

5. Exposure to and appreciation of the Natural World.

The most significant factor in the development of my intuition regarding what is important was the great humility I have felt in the face of the Natural World.  People think of themselves and other people as more important than they are.  If people are ‘special’, it is for their capacity as caretakers of the natural world.  Exposure to nature’s grandeur puts in perspective one’s own existence.  It is less about you and us and them than many are in a position to appreciate.  To appreciate it, one needs to have exposure to the natural world and face it; face it without running for the cover of our petty comfortable battles on the internet and in our neighborhoods; face it without fear.

6. My sense of humor: A healthy irreverence without indignation.

Exposure to nature and its grandeur gives one a certain license for irreverence when confronted with the people’s squabbles.  You can believe me when I say ‘First World Problems’ are not all petty.  ‘First World Problems’ often are the very worst social problems in the world.  But what often is viewed as a problem faced by the people, in any culture, has drastically diminishing significance when put in relief – say – to the size, fertility, and diversity of our uninhabited oceans.  Taking a simple trip to the desert or hiking into the mountains, if one faces what they find without fear, one might just think the people’s problems are less significant than they really tend to believe…  It gives one a certain license to gently cut people down to size, and if one has a humor and wit, it is liberating.

7. My capacity as a representative citizen against notable odds.

The way I was raised was to not see people as of this or that ethnicity, this or that religion, this or that race.  I was raised to see them simply as individuals, capable of representing themselves.  It would be much later when I would come to see people play on these divisions to win favor with ‘their own’ and power over ‘others’.  It is in this way, however, that I am still a Catholic; in that I still have faith in this ethic, with which I was raised.  Some see this lack of ‘street smarts’ as fatal, this ‘naivete’ as something to destroy rather than protect, and for my own good.  I know enough now to understand it hasn’t always worked to my advantage, but I also understand that a certain blindness has protected me from being baited into any misconduct which could later be used against me.  In this reduced form, it really is an American ethic too.

8. Proven willingness to Stand Up for what is right.

I have spoken of standing up to the Medical Community and the risks involved in doing so.  I could have done nothing at all, but I did what was right, both for myself and others.  I am confident that people did not forget that moment, and it was important seven years later.  I won’t be afraid to do it again if it needs to be done.

9. Persistence

Somehow I have no quit.  I know how to battle attrition with discretion, but I have never grown so weary or miserable as to actually commit political suicide (as opposed to faking it to buy time).  “Don’t Ever, Ever Give Up” applies to this German American, just as it did with the British, despite the attempts to divide with Trump.

10. An understanding of what is important, as rooted in fundamentals.

I have noted that the ability to recognize what is and is not important as a condition supporting citizenship.  An understanding of what is important as rooted in fundamentals, moreover, allows for movement through the world on course to achieving important things, not simply as a reaction to what is and what is not important, but as a guiding influence.  Politically this stake is claimed with my book  In other areas of intellectual inquiry my education and work ethic have allowed me foundations from which to grow toward the good as well.

I hope I have in the course of my life done enough in the face of odds to warrant an opportunity.

Ten Reasons I Deserve to Live

I must suppose that I am not the first of the Literati to have it out with the Intelligentsia, and later feel they need to defend themselves from any pending mysterious circumstances during the time of a pandemic. I will say it is probably unusual to state the reasons for a pardon in bald public terms, without a formal challenge but for the alignment of circumstances – even if both political and medical.  Nevertheless, death only rarely shows up announced, and if he does, I want to be clear about what they will have to deal with when I am gone.

  1. A capacity to recognize what is and is not important.

There are many people who make a claim to understanding what is important.  Normally their list is incomplete at best, with catch-all appendages intended to cover their holiness.  But to have a claim on life as a good citizen, it is only necessary to be able to recognize what is and is not important, when you see it (in the course of an otherwise ‘normal’ life).  This more limited ability is enough for good citizenship – and is usually the height of what ordinary citizens are permitted to achieve anyhow – though too many fail in only this much.  I make a claim to having a good eye for the important.

2. A capacity for work and fulfilment of duties

If a person cannot show up for regular duties it is difficult to make a case for their citizenship should they otherwise be deemed an inconvenience.  A willingness to work, day-in-and-day-out is often the best argument for our immigrants as well.  For me, it is a point of pride that I show up everyday, whether it be in a formal work-for-pay capacity or otherwise.  It is also no mean feat for someone like me who is creative and can become quickly bored with the mundane, to turn their efforts into a routine, when they know a passion can strike and unexpectedly.  If one learns to channel that into their regularly scheduled efforts, they can be good citizens – and even become a force.

3. Living within the bounds of the law

People in the Western World still lived under the whims of Kings, well past the Magna Carta.  In parts of the world, people live under dictators today.  The people’s right to know ‘the rules of the game’ should never be taken for granted, and the obligation of citizens to play by those rules is a necessary condition on citizenship.  Living within the bounds of the law does not preclude social organizing or civil disobedience – and when the powerful game the laws in reaction to people’s movements, there is certainly more leniency.  It should also be remembered that powerful forces often prefer people to act outside the bounds of the law, not simply to prosecute them within the courts, but so they can later maintain ‘justice’ outside of the system, in the form of blackballing opportunity.  The rule of law, including justice within the law, is the people’s friend.

4. My intellectual indiscretions are not that bad

I admit it!  I got angry!  Still, the principle challenge to our medical system was correct: Treat The Sick.  I said it loud and clear, for many to hear, and in the time of a Pandemic it is more important than ever to hear it again and again, “Treat The Sick!  Treat The Sick!”  It is not an intellectual crime to suggest that the medical community is selective in who, what, and when they treat illness.  Yes, it does something to undermine a blind faith in the system, but I knew first hand that not everyone in the medical community treats the sick without first weighing, among other things, political factors. Thankfully the FBI itself has suggested such claims since my initial public statements on the matter in 2013 and my retelling of some events in in 2016. 

5. Practice in surviving those acting above the law

Aside from causing me immediate financial harm with a ‘whistle-blower’ label, a problem I have survived but not happily, I also credit the events in (4) with saving my life.  I was actually in line to be trampled under foot by the year 2020, but I turned the events in my life into pending collateral damage for my tormentors, should that happen.  My survival is not luck or grace of God, but skill developed from the necessity of being born into politics, to my chagrin.  If you are reading and understanding this article, you should be able to appreciate this point.  Not everyone needs this skill for a claim on life, but I do.

6. Intelligence enough to mitigate claims on The Truth

Along with recognizing what is and what is not important, it is important to be able to evaluate the veracity of claims without resorting to appeals or deference to authority.  This has never been more obvious than now, after Americans have been subjected to the last administration, sent to make a mockery of America (and especially German America) on the world stage, for the good of old power/money in a new guise.  This ability is important for the evaluation of history as much as it is important for the evaluation of news on social media.

7. Skills for Self-Reliance.

The ability to fish and cook for yourself are two highly under-appreciated skills.  These together with experience in the wilderness means that if you want or need, you can leave society and later come back.  In a modern age, this amounts to a threat as much as it is an appealing course of action.  No one wants to let you off the grid if they can help it, for they don’t know what they should expect when you return – that entails that life is easier for the self-reliant, wherever they are.

8. A capacity for Love and Care

A citizen without a capacity of love and care can do little for the world if not otherwise harnessed by those with this capacity.  Should one have this capacity, they should be allowed a life whose direction they themselves can manage, bringing with them the ability to first do no harm, and then make things better, wherever they go…

9. My weaknesses of character and health do not threaten my life or liberty, nor those of others.

We all have some weaknesses of character.  The important thing is that those weaknesses of character do not consume our life, either by serious and unforgivable misstep, or more commonly by consuming our thoughts and concerns, by preoccupation.  For some, even being too strict in regimen, too ‘correct’ in discourse, and too ‘perfect’ in the output of our work, can amount to a weakness of character.  Hidden behind this ‘perfection’ is often fear – a strong motivator but also a hidden weakness.  For my part, my sentiments for love have a capacity to cloud my judgement, but hope for love has allowed me to live through moments of near despair.  I have taken real shots at love only few and far between… and those days are at their end.

10. My current circumstances allow for a sustainable existence without radical change.

I am not a long shot to find stability in my life, and as a result I do not present a prima facie threat to the State and its institutions.  My stated opinions call for serious changes to world governance and American governance, but they do not entail upheaval of American Constitutional principle, and my battles are of an intellectual nature.  The only threat I pose is to those who actually hold American power over the under-represented American, and that power is not protected as part of American Constitutional principle – financial as that power is.

I think my case for life is good.  Now we will see if, despite four college degrees, this German American is put on eternal latrine duty… that is the world we live in.

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