Monday, August 30, 2004
"Protests" for a more powerful state
The turbulence and disruption planned for Republican delegates to their party's New York convention, has been well-planned and organized for over a year now, and the main thrust is directed from the usual suspects.
Along with "diverse crowds" you'll likely hear reference to "those who disagree with Bush's policies." When violence occurs, you'll be told it was the work of "anarchists." You won't hear who the so-called "anarchists" really are -- radical leftist groups who wish not to eliminate government (anarchy), but replace our constitutional government with the usual Marxist model authoritarian state.
Unlike protests of long ago, these postmodern closet tyrants now pay particular attention to milking the media and the legal system to "get their message out." Of course their message is not the sham concern for American troops in Iraq or "justice" that they proclaim. The ultimate object of their hatred (beyond the current President), is the open constitutional system that restrains the role of government and permits the personal pursuit of success. What the organizers of most of these groups ultimately want is obedience to a socialist political system. To be sure, a wide variety of idealists and (clueless) "progressive" followers will be among the mob, but make no mistake about who has planned and organized these so-called protests.
At this convention, there will also be a few counter protests by groups like BUREAUCRASH and PROTEST WARRIOR which will of course be called, "Bush supporters" (which is not what they are), if they are mentioned at all.
We can of course expect to hear the issue of war in Iraq takes center stage. For all their phony posturing, "peace and justice" were not issues for these people when the Baath party was torturing Iraqi citizens. Nor was it of interest to them when Marxist philosophy killed over 100,000,000 people in the last century. These deaths were eggs broken for the omelets of "equality and justice," the mantra we keep hearing from those who would gladly impose tyranny.
Real rebels don't support centralized state authority -- or seek to merely replace it with an even more powerful one.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
“Rebels” Who Hate America and (Other People’s) Freedom
On the wide spectrum of freedom to tyranny, a certain political persuasion tends to reserve its greatest derision for the open society and the free market of products and ideals exemplified by America’s constitutional system.
In the now cliché stands pervasively taken against America, point by point critiques ultimately come down to a single political gripe, a stand against the county’s -- relatively -- free economic system. America is the symbol of everything hated by those who love the authority of the state over the free and diverse choices of individual citizens. It is often noted by American Socialists who don’t like the U.S., that European socialists don’t like us. Of course, they don’t say “European socialists” they say “the French,” or “the Germans,” or – even more inaccurately – “the World!” When noting that those who despise the free market system happen to rebel against its most noted figurehead (the US), it’s about as profound as saying that Democrats don’t like Republicans – hardly an insightful observation. A European, Middle-Eastern, or Asian socialist who hates America is ultimately indistinguishable from the socialists in America itself (who by default happen to hate their own country).
The contemporary psuedo-rebel that takes to the streets to protest against the United States and capitalism in general, offers nothing more than a perennial rant on why citizens should submit to burocratic state authority. In their eyes, Adam Smith’s invisible hand “does nothing to help the poor, offers no safety net,” and “nurtures inequalities.” In response to these perceived crimes, we are told to submit to the visible fist of centralized socialist government authority – and this they call “revolution?”
On all levels of government, America has expended trillions of dollars toward overbearing and ineffective social-welfare schemes, and yet the illusion portrayed by critics is that somehow, no such money is addressed to these issues. (Such expenditures don’t even include the vast amounts donated privately to a host of charitable causes both domestic and global). Ultimately, what government has spent to feed such “social” programs has produced nothing but an unproductive and dependant class of wards and a ruling class of bureaucrats. In this regard, the results of such expenditure are no different from those found in other countries where collectivist schemes are fully entrenched.
In parts of Europe and Asia, such schemes have been made possible – more affordable – since, for decades, it was American taxpayers who bore the burden of these countries’ costly defense (from socialism’s more totalitarian kindred spirits).
With the ever increasing size and excess of modern government, one would think that socialist “rebels” would feel a sense of satisfaction at having achieved many of their goals yet, even in the most socialist of countries, the Left continually cries out for more taxes, more controls, and more laws and regulations to stifle the human spirit – and, for what? To prove their “compassion?” To reach the “true Communism” (absolute dictatorship) that Marx promised? In their eyes, the ruthless tyranny of Marx’s many clones have not been some aberration from the original plan, but the desired result, which is why such recurring sympathy is shown by the Left to the police states of North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam etc.
I have yet to meet anyone from the strident Left who would devote considerable sums of their own money, time, or energy to the causes they continually demand others (under the thumb of the State) address. The fact that they “care” so deeply for people they’ve never met is not a convincing argument to increase a cumbersome net of ineffective bureau-oppression.
The contrived façade of avant-garde rebel cultivated by pampered middle class intellectuals, just doesn’t seem to mesh with the fact that their true underlying love is for battalions of state ministry drones and for centralized State authority.
The real “rebels” among us are those who know the cup is more than half full, when fellow citizens can live, think, buy, sell, and trade freely without submission to the oppressive whims of “philosophers” and armchair tyrants. A true rebel loves freedom – for everyone.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
John Kerry, truth, untruths, and evasions
I should also add that Dr. Ray's site and accompanying links offer an excellent intellectual critique of the psychology of Leftist thought in general. He states a clear case for the serious and important conclusion that so called "Right Wing" authoritarian extremists are synonomous with "Left Wing." A true appraisal of political dichotomies will more accurately see the collectivist, nationalist, and statist on one end of the political spectrum and the traditional "conservative" (classical liberal) on the other. A true conservative opposes centralized authority and social coercion. The "race," the "people," or "the proletariat," are all mere abstractions to compel obedience to centralized power. The individual and free autonomous action are the polar opposite of any collectivist -- Nazi, Fascist, or Socialist.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
The Socialist Worldview -- Same as it ever was...
Business persons work for "profit" and entertainers work for, hmmm...?
Somehow it's okay to be rich selling songs, movies, or home runs, but not software or real estate.
The socialist vision -- same as it ever was.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Astrology and Politics
POLITICS, IDEOLOGIES, AND ASTRO-PSYCHOLOGY
Note: Reading articles from astrology magazines or overhearing astrological chart readings in coffee shops, one could get the impression that the planets somehow favor the Left-Wing political worldview – that a particular planetary alignment wants us to, “conserve energy,” or “redistribute wealth.” This is not the case. Planets and astrological “signs” don’t have a political agenda. They ultimately symbolize all possibilities in human temperament and worldview and can describe Capitalism, Socialism, and everything in between. The following essay takes exception to the all too common “New Age”/ Leftist sympathies that dominate interest in astrology. The bias expressed in the following essay is for free, open, and “materialistic” society. New Age space cadets and socialist closet authoritarians may not like what I have to say.
I’m not a vegetarian, I don't do yoga, and I'm usually the first to express skepticism or scorn regarding the latest New-Age fad. So it is that I’m almost embarrassed to admit taking an interest in the rather non-objective field of astrology, something I’ve studied for over 20 years now. I find astrology an interesting, and often accurate system for symbolizing the subtleties of human character. Whether correlations found by astrology are truly accurate are, of course, up to the observer.
There are schools of astrology that go far beyond the weekly Sun Sign clichés of newspapers and magazines. There are also many books available that probe the realms of philosophy and history within astrological contexts. Combining the ideas in such writings with my own observations over the years, I’ve found some curious correlations between astrological symbolism and certain ideals in political philosophy.
Beyond the “signs” familiar to most, the most revealing attributes depicted in astrology charts are found in the condition of “planets” in a chart. The Sun, Moon, and inner planets represent basic functions in the psyche -- ego energy, emotions, communications, relationships, etc. It is in the configurations between the planets beyond Mars that one sees ideological proclivities.
By themselves or in combination, the five planets beyond Mars symbolize a variety of sympathies. These inclinations can also be said to favor particular worldviews and, to a degree, political allegiances.
A brief summary of the “political” planets and their affinities are as follows:
Jupiter – Expansion, speculation, excess, extravagance, faith, tolerance, indulgence, adaptability, adventure, optimism, and unlimited options. The pursuit of “bigger and better.”
Saturn – Inhibition, caution, restraint, fear, control, denial, predictability, pessimism, gravity, and limitation. The pursuit of security, safety, and stability.
Uranus – Independence, rebellion, shock, unpredictability, excitement, disruption, scientific reasoning, and hyper-logic. The pursuit of change for the sake of change.
Neptune – Loss of individual ego boundaries, collectivism, sacrifice, idealism, escapism, sloth, dependency, confusion, un-worldliness, lack of discipline, subversion, deception, victim hood, mystical “reasoning,” and feeling. The pursuit of dreams and escape from reality.
Pluto – Primal, instinctual, compressed, obsessive, focused, and explosive power. The pursuit of catharsis.
Jupiter is coincidentally the dominant planet in the charts of the United States (July 4, 1776), Ronald Reagan, and George Bush. Jupiter is expansive, optimistic and adaptable; guided by faith, generosity, and tolerance. Jupiter is the ultimate astrological symbol of free and open society and the values that nurture such systems. A Jupiter society will be a prosperous and dynamic one.
As the appropriate symbol for the free market in general, Jupiter is also speculative, indulgent, optimistic, and willing to take risks to better circumstances. The entire outlook of classical liberalism can be seen more fully in the symbolic attributes of Jupiter when it is combined with the outer planet Uranus – symbol of the "Promethean" impulse of, innovation, autonomy, and defiance against the mob and centralized authority. So, where in astrological symbolism do we see classical liberalism’s opposite?
The planet Saturn is the diametrical opposite of Jupiter. Saturn is grim, inhibited, Stern, controlling and often harsh. Not surprisingly, it shows up prominently in the astrology charts of the following well known political ideologues: Adolph Hitler, Al-Zarqawi, Kim Jong Il, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Milosovic, Ceausescu, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and John Kerry, (to name but a few).
Obviously, John Kerry is no equal to Hitler but the strong placement of Saturn in his chart parallels a predictable dry and stoic manner as well as a strong and forceful need to control for the sheer sake of control.
It's not that Saturn is incapable of laughter or levity; it's just that its basic worldview is more serious and marked by a need to control events and people. Its manner is rigid regardless of the noble ends it may claim to strive for. In this regard, Saturn is prone to like a powerful centralized state authority if the subject feels it is his or her own ideals being imposed. A Saturn society will be stifling, grim, uptight, needy, and authoritarian.
Uranus, by itself, is electric and unpredictable. While always exhibiting a strong streak of independence and originality, other factors in the chart will determine if this is a good thing or not. A personal quality of rebelliousness does not mean one necessarily favors other people’s independence or freedom. A productive and tolerant expression of Uranus can be seen when Uranus is harmoniously combined with Jupiter in a particular chart. It is here that truly freedom-loving attributes are expressed within a context of tolerance and positive growth. Discordant ties to Uranus or the presence of negative Saturn aspects with Uranus can exhibit a reckless rebelliousness that is ultimately chaotic and destructive.
Where Jupiter with Uranus can be seen to describe free and open society, socialism correlates with prominent placements of Saturn and Neptune.
Neptune is romantic idealism and the loss of ego boundaries. By itself, it can be sensitive, artistic, and "compassionate." It can also be escapist and delusional. When it seeks power it does so through deception, subversion, and cries of victim hood. A person’s chart dominated by Neptune will often seek to show how “spiritual” they are while viewing the world around them as overly “materialistic.”
A mix of Neptune’s idealism and Saturn’s cold need for control is Socialism par excellence.
“I’m creating a better world. The Earth and all of humanity shall be as one. Do as I say now…or I’ll cry and say you’re oppressing a helpless victim.” When the collectivist ideologue actually attains power, they begin to implement rules and regulations to enhance and focus the power of state -- to “create a better world and secure future.”
A “selfish” free-marketeer is perhaps less altruistic or idealistic, but also less obsessive in authoritarian impulses than a contrived altruist. The mass exterminations, purges, and “re-education” programs of the last century had not been the legacy of businesspersons (Jupiter / Uranus), but “compassionate” idealists (Saturn / Neptune).
A discordant combination of Neptune and Saturn in an individual’s psyche will often demand that his or her dream world be made real. This isn’t a problem if it means the creation of a new painting style or musical composition. The fact that many “sensitive” Neptunian spirits in Drama and The Arts are often more disposed in their sympathies to collectivist schemes is one indication of the affinity between Neptunian idealism and collectivist political ideologies…anything but support for “materialism” and its political voice – Capitalism.
Pluto by itself is rather neutral in allegiance, though it will intensify other qualities seen in the birthchart considerably. Pluto adds a focused intensity that can be powerful or destructive, but in itself does not appear to sway one’s philosophy in any particular direction. It can probably be said that it does prod one to a sort of ruthless self-inquiry or urge to seek “the truth.” Its ultimate nature is that of power itself, which can feed any number of ideological agendas. Nietzsche had Pluto opposite the Sun in his birth chart, a particularly powerful aspect. It’s no surprise that both extreme Leftist and Nationalists have used his appraisals to justify their own “will to power.”
In the great conflict between philosophical conservatism and leftism, a point often overlooked is that the desire of the individual to be left alone to pursue their own path – genuine conservatism -- is ultimately a passive stance. This can hardly be said of the left's desire to increase and impose the authority of the state to enforce varying levels of collective order and obedience. It is the left (collectivism) that seeks to impose authority over others in this timeless exchange, and it’s the motivations of idealism that makes it so.
The previously stated correlations do not mean to imply that there's no such thing as "right-wing" authoritarianism. One should however realize that right-wing extremists are, in essence, idealistic and collectivist in their attitudes. Nazis, Fascists, and religious puritans are ultimately varying expressions of collectivism, at odds with all who favor individual freedom. Though Nazi and Fascist extremists have traditionally been called “right wing,” they’ve certainly never been sympathetic to truly free markets in products and ideas.1 They are notably fervent in their need to control a society’s economy as well as its citizen’s personal choices and lifestyles. Rants idealizing the needs of "the people,” "the Volksgemeinschaft,” "the race," or “the proletariat,” are essentially the same and reflect the collectivist/idealist perspective seen in Neptune’s astrological symbolism along with Saturn’s symbolism as the authoritarian part of the equation. Whether these planets appear strongly in Hitler's or Kim Jong Il's chart is of minor difference to one living in under such tyranny. A radical free-market libertarian represents the opposite of this collectivist -- saturnine -- need for controlled “utopia.” To accurately label a spectrum of political ideals would require replacing the traditional “Left/Right” dichotomy with one depicting degrees of individualism and tolerance vs. collectivist authoritarianism.
Uranus and Jupiter represent tendencies that are considerably worldlier in their symbolic nature when compared to Neptune and Saturn. They seek adventure, novelty, progress, and fun. They want to travel the world. Neptune wants to leave the world completely – or, with sufficient doses of Saturn, impose a new one.
Needless to say, there are complex variations in individual charts that may appear contradictory. When planets of opposite character are in conflict with one another the inner struggle typically manifests as a powerful “projection.” A person “sides” with one planet strongly while the other becomes the “enemy” of one’s values. In such cases, serious dissonance will occasionally show up as radical switches in view (i.e. radical communist to anti-communist). In rare cases one can reconcile dichotomous qualities to some degree, but one pole of the conflict will likely always be a source of irritation or obsessive concern. An example of conflicting attributes can be seen in Vice President Dick Chaney’s astrological chart, where both Jupiter and Saturn angle the Sun. I’ll let the reader’s personal bias interpret the possible attributes of that configuration.
The prominence of certain “Sun Signs” in an astrology chart adds further context to planetary configurations.
Both John Kerry and Noam Chomsky have Saturn lined up with the Sun in their birth charts. In both cases the Sun is in the relatively adaptable sign Sagittarius, thus mitigating some elements of dogmatism or inflexibility.2
On the less adaptable side of the astro-political spectrum is the "fixed-earth” sign Taurus, the most deliberate, persistent, and inflexible of the signs. To have the "Sun in Taurus" is certainly the least likely symbol of a wishy-washy changeable disposition. The "sign" itself is neither good or bad, of course. The world is surely a better place for having the persistence of Tony Blair or other Taurus’ like Harry Truman or Johannes Brahms.3 But, mix Sun in Taurus with more negative political obsessions (i.e. Saturn/Neptune), and you get some serious dogmatism and inflexibility, i.e. Robespierre, Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Che Guevara,4 and…Michael Moore (with the particularly harsh alignment of Saturn opposite the sun in Taurus). Such examples must in all fairness be taken with a "grain of salt,” of course. I wouldn't attempt to make my case in a political debate based on astrological coincidences, but some interesting correlations can be found for those who take interest in such things.5
Beyond individuals, a horoscope can also be made for a wedding, business, country, or any other institution. An astrological chart is ultimately a symbol of archetypal qualities in a moment of time. A person or event coming into existence (being “born”) is believed by astrologers to embody this moment’s qualities. Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany while Saturn was close to the same degree as the Sun – what’s called a “conjunction” in astrology. The Russian Communist Coup d’e`-tat (e.g. the establishment of the former Soviet Union) occurred as Saturn was at a discordant angle (90 degrees) to the Sun. In addition, both charts had Venus in Capricorn opposite Pluto (interestingly the same configuration is seen in Stalin’s and Al Capone’s chart). In an individual chart, the Pluto/Venus opposition can often describe someone obsessively controlling, specifically in the realm of interpersonal relationship. It can also indicate abusiveness, sadism, or violence. There’s no need to indicate how this may have manifest in the astrological charts of Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union.
Astrologically, George Bush’s birth chart indicates that he is not the contemporary embodiment of Hitler after all (as some have claimed). Yet, one of his bigger critics, Michael Moore, actually comes close to being so in basic temperament as well as astrological indicators of authoritarian dogmatism.
The caricatures conjured by astrological symbolism are revealing. Jupiter/Uranus is the consummate “cowboy” (America?), revered and disdained for its wild independence and folksy, spirited simplicity. Neptune/Saturn is admired and feared for its moralistic fervor and artsy sophistication. Although some idolize this personality type, my own biased image is of the smug and arrogant intellectual control freak that feels they know best how others should live. Those who admire such closet dictators see in them attributes deserving of leadership and positions of power. Needless to say, these same followers are not likely to appreciate the unsophisticated traits of “reckless” independent cowboys.
Ultimately, astrological symbolism applied to political philosophy tells us what we already know. Collectivist-authoritarians are motivated by a rigid need to control others and impose the yearnings of Romantic Idealism – utopia through force. Classical Liberalism (true “conservatism”) is motivated by an appreciation for individualism, adaptability, and freedom in the open market of products, values, and ideals.
The possibility that a given astrological configuration may indicate qualities of inflexibility or sympathy with collectivist creeds, does not mean we “should” support or surrender to revolution, Jihad, or any other fervent agenda.
The signs and planets of astrology don’t “take sides,” but they do seem to correlate with who chooses what side and why.
Additional related observations with example astrology charts can be found in more recent posts, here.
1. It must be noted that the very origin of the Left/Right label bears this out. References to Left/Right political allegiances originated during the French Revolution. The Left were the hard core Jacobin revolutionaries (akin to modern socialists). The so called “Right” were actually former revolutionaries themselves but were considerably more moderate and similar in their goals to the prime movers of America’s bourgeois revolution. In modern times, Mussolini was, for all practical purposes, a socialist with a long history of support for Marx’s ideals. It should also be noted that Nazi is the German name for “National Socialist German Worker’s Party.” Adopting elements of Nationalism, militarism, and racism has hardly mitigated the essentially Socialist / collectivist nature of Fascism that put it at odds with classical liberalism (capitalism).
2. In addition to their rather dry manner and lack of levity, there are numerous anecdotal accounts of both ideologues exhibiting smug and overbearing authority over underlings. John Kerry’s “I don’t fall down” account of a skiing mishap comes to mind, along with his rude chastisement of a bodyguard he claimed “made’ him fall.
3. It must be further stressed that those born under the sun sign Taurus are not automatically “dictators.” Again, there are numerous famous “Taurus’” in the arts and in every other field of endeavor. Without other mitigating indicators, the sign Taurus does tend to endow the personality with qualities of persistence, determination, and steadfast inflexibility. These attributes can, of course be expressed in numerous and positive ways. When other factors in the birth chart prone towards idealism and fervent need for power and control, the more negative attributes of the sign can appear with pronounced authority and dogmatism.
4. Che Guevara’s official birthday would make him a Gemini. A more thorough investigation indicates that his mother deliberately misstated the date to hide an issue of illegitimacy. It turns out that he actually was a Taurus like the other noted characters listed.
5. To gauge any astrology chart accurately one must synthesize both complimentary and conflicting aspects within it. An individual can of course have both Saturn and Jupiter strong in their chart and be neither a tyrant nor laissez-faire, free market thinker. Just the same, a person can have both Uranus and Neptune prominent in their chart and align themselves with neither capitalist nor socialist perspectives. Both tyrants and saints often have dominion over kingdoms no bigger than a household.
This essay is the intellectual property of Promethean Antagonist and may not be used without permission.
© Promethean Antagonist 2007
Monday, August 16, 2004
Moore Nonsense: The Triumph of the Shrill
Michael Moore, the contrived blue-collar Manhattan millionaire, has directed another popular screed -- Fahrenheit 9/11 -- reminding us that Bush is Hitler, Bush is stupid and, paradoxically, Bush is a genius at manipulating world events --for oil. A novel appraisal, indeed.
Since the audience of artists and intellectuals at the Cannes film festival gave Moore an unprecedented standing ovation, we must assume something profound and noteworthy in the film’s photographic technique, direction, and overall aesthetic greatness. Is it perhaps possible that this snobish crowd was actually expressing enthusiasm for Moore’s Left-wing politics more than a genuine appreciation for superior creative artistry?
Like myself, there are some people who probably miss the time when viewing a “documentary” meant an enriched understanding of the life of the Wild Sea Otter or sunspot cycles.
Most of us don't have the money or trendy support required to produce a Michael Moore style “accounting of facts.” Realistically, anyone could use film media convincingly to “prove” the depraved state of any country or political leader. Moore has chosen his home country and its current president to perpetuate the myth of America as evil incarnate.
Genuine deceptions, distortions, and fabrications aside, this Noam Chomsky in proletarian costume has ultimately produced nothing more than a personal rant on a popular theme. In the philosophical war now taking place between open, diverse, and dynamic society vs. authoritarian collectivism and Islamo-fascism, Moore, like most of us, has taken a side (how many of us are really “neutral” observers?).
According to Moore, “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'the enemy.' They are the Revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win.” There are no doubt many “simple-minded people” who are likely to be offended by such comments, particularly in view of the fact that Moore's favored “Minutemen” have killed young American soldiers (as well as numerous innocent Iraqi bystanders).
So, Michael Moore hates the country of his birth and consequently thrills others -- fellow leftists -- who despise it as well. Should we be impressed?
Of course Michael Moore woud tell us that he doesn’t “hate America,” but merely hates America’s history and its free market of products and values (Liberal Democratic Capitalism). He certainly hates conservatives and their fears regarding the excessive role of state interference in individual citizens lives. The fact that many American citizens agree with the current president in the importance of confronting Islamo-terrorism is certanly another key focus of Moore’s disdain.
The star of the Cannes film festival has now received his fifteen minutes of fame. He’s a hero to some, but why exactly is hatred for one's country of origin seen as heroic? I was born in Ohio, In Moore’s skewed world, I should feel guilty and seek to rid my country of the most successfull and dynamic system to have ever occurred in human history. Why is the legacy of numerous collectivist tyrannies, historical and contemporary, disregarded when measured to the shortcomings of an open society and the concept of self-government?
America’s founding fathers knew that, in an open society, when one extreme position exerts itself, a countervailing view will make a stand as well. This has begun to happen already in response to the ludicrous excesses of post 60’s Leftism.
There are now a host of Internet sites devoted to point-by-point analysis of just how far from objective reality Moore took his viewers in “Bowling for Columbine” and there are also now articles and blog sites which itemize the fabrications and deceptions in “Farenheit 9/11.” Already several private media endeavors seek to expose the fraudulence of Moore's rant. Most noteworthy, “Michael Moore Hates America” -- a counter documentary to Moore's bitter screeds.
When the full force of justice emerges and the lies of Michael Moore are widely exposed, the Left will gather around their angry icon and fall back to victim mode (a classic with them) shouting cries of censorship and Right-Wing Fascist backlash. The truth is, not everyone agrees with Moore and they certainly have a right to break through the leftist screen that bridles most college campuses, public schools, entertainment, and much of the mainstream media. For his part, Moore -- in typical authoritarian socialist style -- has threatened to sue anyone who dares “defame” him or his works (e.g. disagree with him).
Adding to his litanies against Bush and the vast Right-Wing conspiracy's attempts to lower taxes and limit government/socialist expansion, Moore now tells his fans in Europe that Americans in general are “stupid.” This, added to previous depictions of Americans as selfish, cruel, and violent. When I hear such bitter rants expressed by Moore and his followers, I always wonder what life would be like if they were “in charge.” Of course we know, because there's a long history of such world views put into practice. The history of “Revolutionaries,” from Robespierre to Pol Pot suggests that angry leftists aren't really quite as peaceful, loving, and tolerant as they like to pretend. If choosing between cleansing political purges or garish fast food franchises, more sober observers would likely choose McLifestyle and its patriotic President who still prays to a transcendant god.
Michael Moore has clearly reached his highest point. The truth regarding his past and greater insight regarding his motivations will likely become even more widespread. He’ll fade from his temporary throne of ego-centric dogmatism and the country he hates so much will still allow him his complaints while a fringe following of crackpot Leftists still pay him homage. Then he’ll be just another whining socialist millionaire – and, what’s so special about that?
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
For the love of terror…
Former Authoritarian Dictator of Iraq. Lorded over a totalitarian police state
Wealthy, pampered, Euro-educated leader of Islamo-Fascist terrorist network. Dedicated himself and his followers to the random killing of any and all Americans
Islamo-Fascist clerics who rule over the citizens of Iran with rigid dogma and violence
The un-elected lord of a virtual prison-state that demands absolute obedience. Has put the North Korean state into a stone-age level of existence. Threatens to develop and sell nuclear weapons to protect his “superior socialist system.”
Absolute dictator of a Marxist Caribbean gulag frozen into a 1950’s standard of living – also, to maintain a “superior socialist system.”
If these men could vote in America’s presidential election, whom do you think they would vote for?
Thursday, August 05, 2004
GAMES AND GIMMICKS IN THE GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
Periodically, one reads of a “teacher shortage” -- a need for more dedicated, enthusiastic educators. Many aspiring teachers find this puzzling. After expending considerable time, money, and effort jumping through the bureaucratic hoops of government monopoly education, teachers often find their talents unneeded by an institution that values lip service to gimmicks over expertise in academic disciplines. So it is that many teachers leave or never even begin a profession that they sincerely wished to contribute their talents to.
The standards espoused by those who dominate the government’s social engineering monopoly easily override an appreciation for a teacher’s knowledge and passion for a field of inquiry or their desire to share this enthusiasm with youth.
Perennially, the cries from Ed world to rectify the errors of their own making have been, “we need more money, we need more ‘certification’ for teachers, more ‘expert’ councilors and social workers,” and now, “more technology.” The truth is that all of these factors have increased dramatically over the past few decades and actually correlate with declines in quality and performance. The response: “Parents aren’t doing their part. ”
If parents are told, “your kids must go to our schools, you must pay for the programs and standards we decide upon, and your children will be taught the values and curriculum that we choose,” those parents are entitled to ask for something more than warehouses of politically correct sophistry. As bureaucratic institutions, it’s inevitable that schools have become, as any other government body, chaotic overpriced stockades which fail to accomplish their most basic purpose.
It is no wonder that the Ed establishment’s brigade of unions, college Ed Schools, and government bureaucracies is so consistently opposed to charter schools, vouchers, and home schooling. A system in which parents and their children freely choose their path to knowledge will inevitably stray from the government and it’s “expert’s” rules and standards. The government schools are a virtual monopoly, financed by force and demanding allegiance to philosophies most parents and students are sick of. Contrary to the Norman Rockwell-esque image they attempt to conjure, the government schools are not “community” centers, but factories for stamping out compliance to social theorists’ illusions of smiley-faced communes with compulsory membership.
…“Slavery was bad,… Aids is a bad disease,… The polar ice caps are melting…” Such pervasive lukewarm scholastic inquiry is called “critical thinking” by those in the industry. These lockstep rap sessions of “expressing yourself” have nothing to do with the enhancing of knowledge. The irony in all of this is that a student well versed in facts and substantive knowledge may someday cure aids, improve the enviroment, or prevent another low point in humanity’s moral condition. Of course such future scholars would be an “elite” in the schools of today. Superior individual achievement is seen as elitist by the drones of Ed school philosophy (“what about the kids left behind?”). The Ed-factory ideal is a mass of cooperative comrades, leveled to the vapid cartoonish simplicity of a Soviet peasant poster.
Unfortunately, even students and their parents have bought into much of the psycho-social nonsense proselytized by the Ed schools. “Josie’s a visual learner,” (she likes to watch TV), “Bobby’s a hands on learner,” (he masters abstract intellectual concepts best with a piece of clay). Seldom does one hear of “styles of learning” which involve reading, writing, taking notes, or mastering information. Something for everyone, and nothing for all.
Each year a brigade of educrat clones march into their classrooms telling themselves and their students that they are there to make learning “fun.” (To expect school to be work, to focus and engage the mind to the acquisition of new knowledge, wouldn’t be “fun.”) Conditioned students now arrive in classes expecting to be entertained, to pass the time quickly in an array of contrived games and gimmicks, disconnected and superficial. “Today we’re going to learn about the civil war, here’s a lump of clay, some popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue.” How “fun!” The model classroom of today is an MTV video of fragmented sensation gimmicks (“hands on learning.”), where kids are expected to “teach themselves,” and “learn how to learn.”
Today, the Ed bureaucracy’s ideal curriculum is one which dispenses fragments of disconnected sensation void of conceptual continuity; an Internet project here, a cut and paste poster project there, and of course the classic journal of one’s feelings. A smorgasbord of crumbs in a bland government cafeteria where no one is fed. Anyone who has ever truly mastered new knowledge knows it wasn’t “fun” by the same standards as play and leisure. Enjoyable, stimulating, and enriching yes, but ultimately the product of focused application and work.
Each year, new crusaders are sent into schools convinced that their Ed school nurtured philosophy is a radical departure from some imagined status quo of boring lectures and “mere facts.” Swamped in the mud of post-modern philosophies, many deny the very existence of knowledge or facts. “Let the kids teach the class.” “Learn how to learn.” So it is that bureaucrats with the passion of clipboards continue to perpetuate the real status quo of the “Progressive” tradition. From its beginnings, over eighty years ago, promoters and followers of Progressive Education have made no secret that their goal is not the transmission of knowledge but the modeling of “cooperative citizens,” and an elimination of “elitist” individualism and meritocracy (which they fear may be used toward the student’s own non-collective ends). Ironically, “elite” students will reach an elite end regardless of the system’s attempts at leveling, either through the efforts of educated parents, or their own passion, curiosity and application. The kids that are most hurt by the government mind factories are the very ones they claim to be most concerned about, minorities and the poor. Numbed by meaningless curriculums of games, gimmicks, and patronizing gestures of “multicultural awareness,” they leave schools robbed of the intellectual capital required to succeed in the real world.
When critics of government monopoly education state their case, they are not doing so out of some misguided sway from nobility. They are merely concerned that the next generation’s reservoir of knowledge is being horribly corrupted by a government bureaucracy whose only goal is socialization (and, lets face it, they’ve failed miserably on that account as well).
When interviewing for a career in teaching, one must explain “methods” in which one has made learning “fun,” “alternative techniques” to address “individual learning styles,” and awareness of a host of politically correct dogma to proselytize to students who often can barely write an effective paragraph. (This is called “basics plus more” amongst Ed-world’s drones).
Yes, there is a shortage of quality educators, but it’s not due to “selfish taxpayers,” “low pay,” or attempts to provide competitive alternatives to the government’s mandated social schemes. It’s the system itself, an entrenched clique of bland, bureaucratic Ed School clones whose goals as social workers overrides any desire or ability to guide young people through a substantive mastery of knowledge.
There are still many excellent teachers well versed in their fields. Their degrees are in Art, History, Biology, Mathematics, etc., not public administration, sociology, and “education.” They do not go to their classes as bull session moderators, “facilitators,” or crusaders of egalitarian justice. They merely take to their classrooms a passion for knowledge and a desire to share it with a youthful audience. They do this in spite of the system, not because of it, and they will have the opportunity to share their expertise when parents and students are afforded a genuine choice in what they can gain from schooling.
...(If you can’t read this, thank college Ed schools, teacher unions, and the government)
Monday, August 02, 2004
Give them their country back -- NOW!
Rich pampered hollywood drama majors and teacher's union drones "want [their] country back." ...and, "help is on the way"
...The Democrats have totally lost it.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
SOME SCANDALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
I fully realize that accusations of media bias often stem from subjective appraisals from both sides of the political spectrum.
I have to "subjectively" wonder however, why the recent circumstance involving Bill Clintons's former National Security Advisor -- "Sandy" Berger -- has received such little attention from many media sources.
Berger had apparently -- "inadvertently" -- removed highly classified security documents from the national archives relating to the current 9/11 commission's investigation, specifically relating to former President Clinton's responses to terrorist threats during the millenial celebrations.
The New York Times managed to bury the issue on page 16 in its own publication, and a brief Reuters article made an insignificant appearance in a few pages back in other big city newspapers. In some reports the issue of Republicans "leaking" information regarding the inquiry into Berger's actions was noted with greater significance than the questionable actions themselves.
Somehow, I can't imagine such a news item being so downplayed if Condeleeza Rice had been the one who had later "accidentally discarded some of the 'inadvertently [stolen]' documents."
If such arguably suspicious events occurred with any connection to the Bush administration, we'd be barraged with daily front page rants regarding "unanswered questions."
In similar style, most media outlets of late seem totally uninterested in noting any importance to current investigations into the UN's corrupt and scandal ridden "oil for food" program in Iraq. The oil voucher kickbacks to UN and European elites seems to also be an issue of little importance when the media can continue their critique of the real devil of our times -- George Bush.
There are of course worse instances of bias -- Fox News calls those who deliberately kill civilians in their hopes of imposing an Islamo-Fascist state, "Terrorists" (the nerve!).
I guess one person's biased reporting is another person's "freedom-fighter."