Friday, September 30, 2005
That's Why They Call Them Actors
Money is the Root of All...Ridiculous Socialist Obsessions
"...Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?..."
"...If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose-because it contains all the others-the fact that they were the people who created the phrase “to make money.” No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity-to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words “to make money” hold the essence of human morality..."
I don't really consider myself a "Randian" even though I agree with many of Ayn Rand's observations, particularly regarding the pervasive assaults made upon the individual by collectivism.
If you haven't yet, I strongly recommend, reading Francisco D'anconia's statements regarding money in Atlas Shrugged. Some excellent insight into the nature of money as it symbolizes the mental energy invested in it by competent individuals.
You'll notice in the comments after the link's post, someone who either didn't read the speech or still doesn't understand the very simple idea that a world of free and striving individuals is not a world of cruel citizens unwilling to help others. This is a classic phony myth that the left -- and more than a few religious nuts -- continues to conjure. It's based on their belief that people are essentially bad and "need" to be controlled, coerced, and "reeducated" to sacrifice to the altar of any leech who demands that a powerful state be erected to rob for them. In such a worldview, anyone who chooses to take responsibility for their own life and drive themselves toward success can only be evil "heartless" and cruel. In truth, most leftists don't have even a fragment of the "heart" they demand of others.
On a side note, notice that most "feminist" intellectuals teaching women's studies courses make little or no reference to one of the twentieth century's greatest female philosophers, Ayn Rand, or her novels (which are still among the list of best sellers). It turns out that she doesn't qualify as being a true woman, the same way Condoleezza Rice doesn't qualify as being a "true" black woman. Of course, the entire "multi-cultural" con scheme has nothing to do with culture or "multi-" anything. It's just another demand from leftland that everyone tow the party line.
Ayn Rand was a brilliant spokeswoman for the values of individuality, free commerce, and being left the hell alone by the phony brigade of authoritarian socialists and their concocted communal circus.
A Comic Commentary from Promethean Visions:
The truth about equality and justice.
Promethean Quote from The Promethean Observer:
"Creating the socialist state and a belief in Santa Claus are both idealistic, but with a belief in Santa Claus, nobody gets hurt."
Pop Hegemony And The Democratization Of Food, Entertainment, And Technology
(The following essay was originally posted at this site last year)
If you ask a socialist (hard core or, “lite”) if they think it would have been better if the Soviet Socialist police state had won the cold War, they’ll pause. They may not answer you. If they do, they’ll qualify any reluctant support they may have for freedom with, “But…”
Many on the left are disappointed that the socialist “experiment” in Russia failed, that a free economy (e.g. capitalism) won its battle with collectivist tyranny. Such authoritarians make no secret of their disdain for Coke, McDonald’s, Starbucks, or Microsoft. One could speculate that, if they could, they’d close down a kid’s lemonade stand to honor their hatred for free commerce. Remember, their ultimate hatred is for self-striving and human nature itself. Hatred of a free-market is virtually indistinguishable from a hatred of freedom in general (as economist Milton Friedman so insightfully observed).
The left’s polemic crusade against capitalism and America of course defaults to a bitter hatred for globalization – seen by them as nothing more than ‘cultural imperialism.”
America does, indeed, play a dominant role in spreading the attributes of open society – a widening diversity and availability of products, services, ideas, and cultural / artistic expression.
Decrying the supposed horrors of, “cultural hegemony” and “McWorld,” is an attempt to conjure a fictional crisis that isn’t there. While screeching the standard socialist whine that bland uniformity is engulfing the world, quite the opposite is actually taking place. (Remember, such criticisms are coming from the same clowns who actually believe “diversity” is something fostered from the imposed edicts of government clerks).
Go to any major world-city today and you will find a surging dynamism unseen in human history. The lights, colors, shapes, and sounds being mere symbols of the underlying energy of human creativity unleashed; beautiful architecture, products, ideas, and aesthetics from around the world, low cost food, transportation, and entertainment. While some note the signs that say McDonald’s, they seem to miss the one’s that say Toshiba or Renault. While some see, The Gap, they miss the fact that everyone around them is wearing a variety of garb in a variety of styles from different times and places. Look around you – poor, rich, and middle class, all alive in a way unseen before our time. As you watch people walking about with cell phones, digital cameras, and I-pods, you may realize that those old comic book sci-fi images of an imaginary future have actually fully materialized, cars looking more like space ships, gliding on delicate ribbons of modern engineering design. Did this all come about from some unseen vibrancy in the plans of socialist bureaucrats? – Hardly. The US and the system which honors the creativity of free society has been the prime catalyst to this new world. If all this is “hegemony” then hegemony is hardly a just target for complaint.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Fabrications Beyond Their Expiration Date
The left is taking the Katrina ball and running with it -- still.
The phony "racism" charge is still being played off as a legitimate story in the mainstream media along with the left’s perennial rant about poverty (two show trials for the price of one).
I wonder how things would have fared if a catastrophe on the scale of Katrina had struck the Euro-Arab slums of Paris or Berlin? Deaths from Katrina haven’t reached anywhere near the number of senior citizen's deaths in France’s summer heat wave of 2003 -- 'must have been "ageism". In the German media (link to German media watchdog, Davids Mediankritik), a "free press" seems only able to provide an anti-U.S. leftist "perspective" on any issue, and things are no different regarding America's natural disasters -- accusations of racism from a country that...(well, you remember...).
I’m not sure how a city -- New Orleans -- of almost 70% black citizens, with a black mayor, and a Democrat governor (voted in by 90% of the black vote), could have become a "victim of racism." Maybe things would have been different if Jesse Jackson was mayor and Al Sharpton had been governor. In New Orleans, the state of events before, during, and after Katrina, clearly indicates that local incompetence and corruption are equal opportunity employers. In a place where most of the police force walked off their jobs during a natural disaster one has to wonder what the guiding principals of character are there -- and why that didn't happen in neighboring states.
Lets use a similar formula of logic that some used regarding the fewer white people who suffered from a national disaster in a predominantly black city; I don’t know what the population of Asians was in New Orleans but it appears that their numbers are few amongst the victims (or they’re limited in PR “spokespersons”). Unrelated to the Hurricane, Asians tend to have the highest test scores of any group as well, so their racist conspiracy is clearly working out as planned. Maybe Asians as a group should be punished for their work ethic and close family ties? Perhaps black "spokespersons" (not meaning, of course, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter Williams, Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, etc.) could encourage black youth to not only not act white but also, not act Asian since Asians, as a group, seem to have a successful formula for dealing with life well in a free society. (Perhaps because many of them have come from societies that are not free).
Race is not the valid issue in the Katrina story but perhaps culture is (?). Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean seem to do as well as most other immigrants but haven't come to America with the sense of entitlement that decades of government dependency programs have fostered upon some native citizens.
The results of Katrina aren't about skin color or ethnic origins, but they may be about some people’s “content [or lack] of character.” The issue definitely demonstrates the inexhaustible capacity of media and their selected "spokespersons" to wave the flag of race, "class," and victimhood (since they won't likely ever be waving the flag of the country they live in).
When a widely expected earthquake strikes San Francisco, I'm sure a few "gay men, women, and transgendered spokespersons" will see some dubious coincidences in responses to that natural disaster.
It's amazing the number of excuses the left can conjure to impose the authority of their beloved bureau-state.
A Comic Commentary from Promethean Visions
Promethean Quote from The Promethean Observer :
“The difference between a pack animal and a socialist is that a pack animal is less dangerous to those around it.
The Astrology of Saturn ; Authority and Control in the Horoscopes of Tyranny
Discordant Angles of Saturn to the Sun in the birth charts of authoritarians. Excuse the poor resolution of these charts (clicking on them to enlarge will help somewhat). I realize that the images will be virtually meaningless to most readers anyway unless they have an understanding of astrology and astrological chart symbolism. I've highlighted "aspects" (angles) between the Sun and the planet Saturn in the individuals and institutions shown and I've described the significance of the symbolism in such aspects in the essay below.
(...That's right, I've included Noam Chomsky on the same page with Nazi Germany).
Additional astrological Charts where the planet Saturn is in a discordant angle to the Sun.
I’ve posted essays at this site before regarding astrological correlations with certain political tendencies (and here). As before, I must apologize for what, to some, must be a rather bizarre topic from one so opposed to the schemes of mystics. Indeed, I prefer science textbooks over the Bible, Koran, or The Communist Manifesto (another essentially “spiritual” tract, ultimately).
Those who have taken an interest in astrology do so from a variety of angles. Admittedly, most of these angles are swamped with mysticism and “new age’ thinking – something I find rather annoying.
I’ve studied astrology for years and have been able to form some of my own conclusions regarding correlations between certain temperaments and tendencies and the time and location of one’s birth.
My point in this essay is not to convince readers of astrology’s validity. I have no passions regarding whether or not others take interest in my hobby or not. I actually find, all too often, that those who share this one interest of mine do not share my perspectives on virtually everything else. There are more than a few followers of astrology who are Romantic Idealists (and by definition, leftists) in their thinking, clearly indicating that the appraisal of horoscopes is a subject open to some degree of interpretation.
In my previous essays on astrology, I touched on the dominance of the planet Saturn in the astrology charts of dictators and essentially authoritarian institutions. I’m going to elaborate upon this concept here with the added evidence of the example “charts” (horoscopes) above.
To those unfamiliar with the symbols used in astrology I will merely point out that the symbol for Saturn is the “h” shaped symbol with intersecting cross.
Saturn is “in” everyone’s horoscope somewhere, by virtue of the fact that it’s always in the sky. There are positive influence of the planet (I stress that "influences" is being used here symbolically – there is no actual “cause and effect” at work, but a mere “synchronicity” of time and pattern).
Well placed or benign placements of Saturn in one’s astrology chart can symbolize a capacity for practical achievement, realism, and organization. In the most esoteric sense, Saturn relates to the very concept of reality as crystallization of form – the skeleton of things, it thus “rules” (has affinity to) structures, form, resistance, and endurance. Its opposite is complete chaos and dissolution.
There is nothing in reality that does not I some way crystallize as form however transient or elusive – a localized decrease in entropy.
A well placed Saturn in an individual or institution’s horoscope is not careless, not overly idealistic, or irresponsible. Of course other factors will determine just how helpful, extreme, or perversely the concept is taken.
I have only pictured a few notable charts above where Saturn is not “well-placed.” In the examples, Saturn is overly emphasized; typically in discordant angles to the Sun (although it’s negative influence with other astronomical bodies can often be equally disruptive). I’ve highlighted such discordant angles in the above charts (realizing that most readers will not recognize the layout or variety of symbols in the charts). When considering the horoscopes in their entirely, characters like Noam Chomsky are not meant to be seen as equals to Nazi Germany or Fidel Castro. Of course we don’t know how they’d act if they had absolute power in a non-democratic context – their dominant Saturns offer more than a clue to me. Things like, "being soft-spoken" tell us nothing about how they would actually rule over (or punish) some citizens if they had the power to do so.
I find it particularly interesting that Fidel Castro and his protégé, Hugo Chavez both have the particularly harsh “square” (90 degree angle) of Saturn to the Sun in the same “sign” – Leo. The already harsh and controlling attributes of Saturn with this sign will take on an added dramatic and egotistical flair. Both socialist demagogues are noted for their lengthily (hours) speeches and flamboyant rants. Chavez’s chart tells me that he will strive for total control and when he gets it he will be ruthless and oppressive – like his mentor – regardless of the usual bogus talk of concern for the poor. It might also be added that he will see a reign beyond Venezuela’s borders as his destined right (he’s as much as implied this already on more than one occasion). Of course he will have the full sympathy and support of many in Hollywood, academia, and journalism during future "wars of liberation."
You’ll notice that I’ve included the U.N. charter in the examples pictured. This does not mean that the U.N. is the same as Nazi Germany (also pictured). It does mean that both institutions will have a particularly strong “desire” to accumulate and focus power and to seek absolute control of “their surroundings.” Note also that when free society confronts dictatorship, the U.N. is "neutral."
There are numerous charts “missing” from the above example horoscopes because there are other similarly malefic aspects that can occur in a chart other than those of Saturn. While Hitler doesn’t have Saturn negatively aspecting the Sun in his chart (the limited and consistent aspect I’m describing in this essay) he does have the planet in a prominent position at the top of the chart and squaring (90 degrees) both Venus and Mars, and those are only half the problems in this tyrant's horoscope.
The Chinese Communist Party (which can also accurately be called, “the Chinese government”) was “born” with Pluto, Mars, and the Sun lined up together, which in some ways can be seen as worse than the Saturn issues I’ve described through most of this essay. This is an extremely violent and coercive combination and is hardly mitigated by increasing trade in consumer goods.
Joseph Stalin was a Capricorn with Pluto opposite his Venus in that same sign (the sign Capricorn has some general affinity to the symbolism of Saturn). The Venus / Pluto opposition in his chart is identical to the one for the founding of Nazi Germany (and, curiously, the chart of Al Capone – a notably violent guy). None of these astrological factors are conducive to tolerance, good will, or compromise. They are all symbolic of harsh, cruel, and oppressive tyranny.
While two of Bin Laden’s pals are included in my example charts above (both having the characteristic harsh angles of Saturn to the Sun), I haven’t included Bin Laden himself because the accuracy of his birth date is unreliable.
Some, or perhaps most, of the charts I’ve reproduced here are people or institutions with definite “ideals,” some overtly authoritarian, some vaguely utopian with the usual statist mock concern for “the people” or “the oppressed” (ironically).
There are some “conservatives” with strong Saturn placements (i.e. Newt Gingrich) but as I had stated in my last essay regarding astrology and politics; truly libertarian free-market “classical liberals” are bound to have a strong placement of Saturn’s symbolic opposite, Jupiter. Some may hate to be reminded that both Ronald Reagan and George Bush are examples of this chart indicator of optimism, tolerance, and expansive freedom and open commerce.
Those familiar with astrological symbolism may argue as to my choices in the examples above but I think I can accurately state that anyone strongly favoring a free, tolerant, pluralistic, and open society will not have harsh placements of Saturn in their astrology chart. Conversely, and regardless of “progressive” talking points, anyone having a rigid desire for dominance and control and a preference for powerful centralized political authority will inevitably have a prominent discordant Saturn aspect in their chart. For what its worth, Hillary Clinton has Pluto, Mars, and Saturn squaring Venus and Mercury in her chart. That’s one seriously mean combination (of course anyone with a degree of perceptiveness can see the qualities symbolized without the need of a horoscope – the attributes can be seen on her face).
I always felt that Jane Fonda had a rough edge to her and recently looked up the astrological indicators in her chart – Saturn squaring the Sun (like clockwork) – no wonder she so admired Ho Chi Minh (another Saturn square Sun person).
Not all characters with these nasty astrological indicators will be overtly dangerous. Some will merely make speeches or “documentary” films (Chomsky and Michael Moore) denouncing the people and institutions who have the power they themselves wish they had – “to make a better world”. Some will actually attain the absolute authority they crave over others lives and if they do, the society they rule over will not be free, democratic, or pleasant to live in (ask the people of Venezuela in a few years).
I’ve found most -- but, certainly not all -- who take interest in astrology to be left of center politically. I have no doubt that their response to what I’ve written here would be to interpret things in a softer light for people like Hugo Chavez and, particularly, Noam Chomsky but, the symbolism is quite consistent. They know what I know; a badly placed Saturn is an indicator of a control freak who can be, and usually is, downright ruthless and mean-spirited. The fact that these very same people are the ones who constantly state concerns for “justice,” or “helping the oppressed” is not convincing from the standpoint of an astrology chart, …or common sense observation.
Monday, September 19, 2005
The Culture of Dependence Brings No Support in Times of Crisis
from Moonbat Central:
"...Nothing warps human nature like the belief in “being owed” combined by the feeling, left by paltry welfare payments, that the debt “owed” is never paid. Thousands of welfare recipients are used to having everything given to them–albeit in insufficient quantity to be satisfying. Thousands have no concept of working for wages, much less building a business. These same thousands rightfully look at the police and politicians as corrupt. In this twisted existence, the idea of initiative and work does not exist. From their distorted view of the world, looting in the midst of disaster and shooting at rescue helicopters makes perfect sense..."
These comments might be seen as the "old arguments" of conservatives regarding the futility and dishonesty of the paternalistic welfare state (the Franco-Saxon model of distributed destitution and trained helplessness) but the consistency of their accuracy over time hardly diminishes their poignancy. This is not about "lacking compassion," its about the natural degradation that occurs when the parent/state "helps" people by merely making them a herd of grazing cattle in farms of socialist bureaucracy.
...A good article with honest and timeless points on human nature held captive by phony ideology masquerading as altruism.
Mini-Rants and Observations...
There are more extravagant essays in the works for this site but getting them from hand-written notes to keyboard is a chore I'm, admittedly, a bit slow at performing. The longer writings to come include another, more in depth, description of the planet Saturn and its symbolism in the astrology charts of the cruel and ruthless. I realize this may not sound interesting (or believable) to some or fit the usual template of this blog, but I think you'll find the coincidence of certain astrological configurations with the psychology of tyrants rather curious. I'm also refining my somewhat autobiographical observations regarding the American public school system and the pathetic "philosophies" that dominate the college Ed schools that teach future teachers.
For now; Some brief and random observations :
The concept, "selfishness" has been horribly twisted in our time by a crowd that has made the actual concept both a paradox and art form.
A number of examples can be made to define an obvious lack of consideration one may exhibit toward others. I think most would agree that a person deliberately pushing aside someone in a burning building is selfish. On a lighter note, cutting in front of someone in a line can be reasonably argued to be an act of selfishness. I personally think that anyone who demands that others be made responsible for their own errors in judgment is a bit worthy of the accusation as well.
What puzzles me most in the evolution in meaning of the word selfish is the success that the left has had in pinning the label on anyone who is productive and successful. If one chooses to educate themselves, if one is wise, assertive, practical, or inventive, they may become wealthy and successful, especially if they produce an idea, product, or service that others wish to freely purchase. Why is this a problem? What exactly is "selfish" about success, whether it be an individual, group, or country?
Of course part of the semantic myth in defining one who is selfish has been to assume that anyone who is successful (or, "rich") could only have reached such a position by deception, cruelty, or diabolical cunning -- they could have only "taken" their successful status from someone else. The implication of this old standard of socialist delusion is that every day Bill Gates becomes richer, I become poorer through some kind of mystical cause and effect relationship. In truth, no such economic relationship exists.
From my own experience, the irony in all of this is that those who often speak most of "the need to share" or the virtues of altruism are some of the most spoiled -- and genuinely selfish -- people one will ever meet.
To some clouded minds, it will always be a mark of selfishness to use one's mind and will to better one's circumstance -- and a mark of innocence to want to steal another's good fortune.
Selfishness is in the eye of the beholder and some of those eyes merely covet the lives of others, hardly noble -- or lacking in selfishness.
One of the things I admittedly see as a weakness in the character of the current president, is his willingness to, rather passively, take the nonsense that's regularly dished out at him by his critics. It's certainly good protocol for a president to say he -- or a future she -- is partly "responsible" when the federal bureaucracy fails to act effectively. "The buck stops here" is a good sound-bite for any leader to make, especially when they've done something wrong. While there may be some reasonable criticisms made against Bush's response to the Katrina disaster, he ultimately did everything he was supposed to do in such a situation. The local and state politicians did virtually nothing they were supposed to do ('hear any of them claiming their share of "responsibility?").
Along with his bowing to unjust criticisms, I don't think the virtual blank check of mega-bucks Bush is signing off for Katrina is necessarily a wise move. In the future, we can surely expect every state or town with a problem to use this as a precedent for instant federal "assistance." It's neither mean-spirited nor lacking in compassion to note that individuals, localities, and states, along with the federal government, all have responsibilities in times of crisis. State and local governments have their own considerable stash of ever increasing confiscated funds, which they recklessly skim, spend, and waste with all the fervor that their bigger brothers in Washington are noted for.
The Democrats will surely go along with every Katrina related spending program and then later bitch about "Bush's lack of concern" (while also complaining about his spending). They'll also play up the "need to end [or reverse] the tax cuts."
The Bush tax cuts are economically sound actions that have helped the country rebound from the last recession. Of course the very idea of actually cutting spending will be unheard of in the halls of congress (regardless of political party). I don't need (or wish to take the time) to itemize examples, but anyone with a vague awareness of what kind of nonsense the government spends billions of dollars on knows the federal budget can be cut considerably without so much as making a dent in acts of "compassion" or "helping those in need."
A friend recently asked what Ronald Reagan would have said in response to this latest call for more "federal support" in a time of need.
I think Reagan would have said something along the lines of the following:
"Each branch of government was designed by our founders with the interests of a free people in mind. Separation of powers and the distribution of powers between the states and the federal government were not some mere afterthoughts in our country's design but are the very essence of how free society functions. While disasters can compel us to make exceptions, we must never stray far from the course that our founders designed with their considerable wisdom and foresight. Assistance will be given in this time of need, a blank check will not. Each level of government, along with the private sector, will contribute what is required, but no level of government will be permitted to renounce their own responsibilities in times of local crisis. Being in need of help and being helpless is not the same thing. The founding document of our republic was not called a 'declaration of independence' for nothing. The spirit of independence was not just that of one government breaking its chains from another but individual citizens breaking free from the very concept of government itself. A free people are not a dependant people and a helping hand is not one that pushes those aided into positions of greater weakness or helplessness."
An excellent point made at Riding Sun.
In a few days, September 24th to be exact, a rabble of Jacobins will descend upon Washington D.C. in the guise of an "anti war" protest. Every nut case from Hollywood will no doubt be on the scene along with all the regular professional "revolutionaries." The media, as usual, will edit out the banners with Che Guevara's face along with the ever popular hammer and sickle motif that graces all of these gatherings of the middle class rebelling against itself.
The media will present the events as a cross section of moderate "voices" who disagree with "Bush's War" (which was voted for by most members of the United States Congress). Rest assured that the leadership and organizers of this protest of "moderates" will be the usual groups from the Stalinist left. A.N.S.W.E.R. and like minded organizations are supporters of the North Korean dictatorship, Al Queda, and any ruthless dictatorial philosophy that opposes the United States. Many within the leadership of this protest are hard core authoritarians to whom the Iraq War is a mere rallying point. It goes without saying that like Bin Laden and Castro, they hate George Bush. They also hate the United States and every attribute of free society. One can almost certainly expect that this aspect of the protest will not be noted by the mainstream press. This is not because most journalists are communist or even necessarily adore dictators; they simply hate George Bush and his action of removing Saddam Hussein from power. With this all-encompassing template, they will do anything to undermine the current effort to establish democratic government in the Middle East. (Actually, more than a few probably actually do like Che Guevara also).
Conservatives by nature are not pack animals -- they are not collectivists. It's usually difficult to mobilize large groups of conservative or moderates into "collective" action.
Fortunately, during this Jacobin whine-fest, there will be some organized groups that will take a stand in defense of The President's policies, the soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country and its principles in general.
If you despise the Marxist, Communist, Leftist, Authoritarian Collectivist mob, (as I do) by all means throw some support to the "counter-revolutionaries."
Claude's cool rebel flat...
"…The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surely curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
-- Robert Heinlein
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I Thought The "Great Satan's" Religion Was Money?
"The Christian religion is America's religion, and is not allowed here."
Ironically, the Christian religion was brought to Vietnam by the nation that colonized it; France. Although Christianity played a dominant role in American history -- as it did in European civilization -- it is hardly "America's religion." To the contrary, the state and those who rally to its cause (the left) have been quite active of late in efforts to diminish Christianity's role in public life (of course, Islam gets a pass).
I have to remind readers that this writer is not a Christian, or even vaguely religious for that matter but, I have to consider that one religion's (Marxism) disdain for another does not offer an impressive guiding principal for governing.
The Vietnamese people are natural born capitalists which means, by nature, in matters of faith they can believe in any or no religion. Many Vietnamese who came to America with nothing are now wealthy and successful (after having risked their lives to escape their own homeland -- colonized by German authoritarian intellectual philosophy).
The best thing the Vietnamese government can do is give up their allegiance to that old-time religion imported from Europe (Marxism) and then "wither away" the way the state is supposed to do according to Marx.
"America's religion"...give me a break...
Adjusting to Someone Else's Commands
This is my response to all those pathetic idiots (I'm sure you've met them too) who tell us that we need an, "attitude adjustment" (you "need" to agree with them). They tend to carry clipboards the way a baby holds a blanket for security. I hear the phrase less frequently now only because it's been replaced with variations on the "need to cooperate" -- again, to agree with them.
Katrina and Poly-Spin
While the left is hammering away the usual dogma that Katrina raises all sorts of “issues relating to class, race, and poverty,” I think it raises only two issues, the incompetence of government and the inexhaustible capacity for socialists to milk any event for the purposes of creating a bigger and more powerful central state authority.
When it’s all said and done and partisan committee investigations are presented through the usual channels of poly-spin (“poly” referring to both politics and the multi-sided nature of its distortion), the “conclusions” of the media, government, and bureaucracy will be that “government failed – give us more government and more money to continue its failings.”
Dollars and Common Political Sense
Incredible as this dollar value is (the human loss is something beyond numbers), America actually has $100,000,000,000, and that number will barely make a dent in the U.S. economy as a whole -- why? Because American economic dynamism is a result of its having had, for quite some time now, a free and open (capitalist) economy with limited government and the rule of law.
A disaster of such scale as Katrina striking a country based on Marxist principals would be more than a setback. Cuba, North Korea, or Vietnam being victims of such a catastrophe would be in complete ruin (all it takes is a couple of floods to put North Korea on the permanent receiving end of extorted "aid"). Even China, with its new reliance on market forces, would be in a tailspin after a disaster of Katrina's proportions (average income there is still a tiny fraction of what the common American middle class person makes annually). Communist countries would be wiped out...finished, because they're poor...and they're poor because they're lorded over by an authoritarian political party and radical political ideology.
...The things some people will risk or sacrifice to hold their grip on a bogus ideology is beyond comprehension.
Intellectuals and the Coincidence of Political Affiliation
Contemporary society is comprised of diverse groups; laborers, technocrats, farmers, clerks, intellectuals, etc. They generally have different interests and, accordingly, tend toward certain characteristic perspectives. Among these perspectives is often a certain bias in philosophical affiliations as well. Among intellectuals, there are ones who are right wing, left wing, and even occasionally, “center,” but in our own time, there is a clear tendency for most to be, “left of center,” if not extremely left of center.
It would probably be reasonable to describe intellectuals as people who direct considerable attention to, “things of the mind,” this supposes an interest in philosophy, the arts, and ideas in general. It would be odd indeed to find a person drawn to philosophy (a “love of knowledge”) and they not show interest in issues regarding human society and politics. It’s probably safe to say that most intellectuals take more than a passing interest in political matters.
Throughout history we find intellectuals of both moderate and extreme political belief spanning the political spectrum. There were Nazi intellectuals, Communist intellectuals, and there are free-market intellectuals. So why is it that in our own time, in the west, intellectuals are more often than not, allies of Leftism? What distinguishes a leftist intellectual from a right-wing one? First we must realize that both philosophies, in their extremes, are statist in nature; they wish to establish an order where others are forced to conform to the intellectual’s “plan” – collectivism. Neither Communist nor Nazi will be found to argue the superior value of a free and open society of autonomous citizens. Both sides of the extreme Right/Left false dichotomy feel the need to impose the template of central authority upon all aspects of society.
It is surely more than coincidence that we find “right” and “left” intellectuals in agreement on a variety of matters, particularly in their attitudes toward Capitalism, which they both see as corrupt, decadent, and “unjust.” It is equally no coincidence that most left-wing intellectuals today are found to side with far right Islamo-fascism in its current war on free society.
A most insightful critique of this paradox can be found in a work by Eric Hoffer, (best known for his book, The True Believer). In his book, The Ordeal of Change, Hoffer addresses the unique nature of Leftism’s popularity among intellectuals -- in America in particular.
Hoffer’s book (now out of print) contains some insightful commentary on the nature of the intellectuals in modern western society, the things that motivate them, and the flawed leftist ideals they tend to rally around.
One of the issues that Hoffer addresses skillfully is the nature of management in Capitalist society vs. Socialist society.
”To the eternal workingman management is substantially the same whether it is made up of profit seekers, idealists, technicians, or bureaucrats. The allegiance of the manager is to the task and the results. However noble his motives, he cannot help [but view] the workers as a means to an end. He will always try to get the utmost out of them; and it matters not whether he does it for the sake of profit, for a holy cause, or for the sheer principle of efficiency….
…Any doctrine that preaches the oneness of management and labor – whether it stresses their unity in a party, class, race, nation, or even religion – can be used to turn the worker into a compliant instrument in the hands of management. Both Communism and Fascism postulate the oneness of management and labor, and both are devices for the extraction of maximum performance from an underpaid labor force…
…Seen from this point of view, the nationalization of the means of production is more a threat than a promise. For we shall be bossed and managed by someone, no matter who owns the means of production – and we can have no defenses against those who can tell us in all truth that we, the workers, own everything in sight and they, our taskmasters, are driving us for our own good. The battle between Socialism and Capitalism is to a large extent a battle between bosses, and it is legitimate to size up the dedicated Socialist as a potential boss.
One needs not call to mind the example of Communist Russia to realize that the idealist has the making of a most formidable taskmaster.” (The Ordeal of Change, Pgs. 64-65)
In addition to Hoffer’s insightful appraisals of "management," his inquiry -- a concise 120 pages -- dissects the reasons why contemporary intellectuals tend to be Leftist in their sympathies and more so, why they so despise the United States in particular. In other countries, such extremist elites are often openly nationalistic, if not adoring of their own state’s authority – why should this be?
Through stealth and guile, the movers and shakers of leftist polemic have sought to transform America slowly and by degree into the socialist model of mega-government. The dilemma for them has been the nation's natural tendency to continually recoil back to its true nature as a haven for individualist thought and free and open commerce – no place for a social planning intellectual to feel at home, to be sure.
In France, a totalitarian adoring Jean Paul Sartre was held in high esteem by both the state and its citizenry. Where are the admired intellectual heroes of America? Noam Chomsky is a fringe political charlatan at best, esteemed by a thin sliver of self-absorbed intellectual wannabes.
America’s genuine hero figures are entrepreneurs, sports figures, and entertainers (with an occasional astronaut thrown in for novelty). Seen as evidence of shallow value standards by the arrogant Euro-chic, Americans have directed their admiration to people like Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg. France has Jean Baudrillard and a dead literary quack named Derrida
The average American “worker” -- proletarian interests aside -- would probably pass on the opportunity for leisure conversation with a French “thinker.” In fact, most would have more in common with a billionaire software mogul or pop film director.
Don’t think that the irony of this circumstance is lost on the celebrity wannabes of the academy. In essence, most Americans see intellectuals for what they are, mere scholastic entertainers – albeit considerably less entertaining than most pop figures.
Intellectual brilliance is, of course, a good thing, but that bitter and transparent undercurrent of wanting to rule and wanting to “plan” (other’s lives) has fortunately been rejected by simple citizens, just as John Kerry and (indirectly) Michael Moore were rejected in the last election.
Most intellectuals today don’t like America because they don’t like bourgeois society in general, or the capitalist system that allows such society to flourish. As long as Americans shower attention, admiration, and power upon entrepreneurs, media personalities, and the like, the intellectuals will resent the system that has placed them (the intellectuals) into such an irrelevant status.
It’s hardly a surprise that most intellectuals today are so allied with the forces of collectivist philosophy and the manifest bureau state. They would hate to have it pointed out to them, but their allegiance is motivated primarily by the attribute they despise most in free capitalist society -- individual self-interest.
It’s no wonder that, recently, we find the Left so defensive, if not outright supportive, of Fascist Muslim terrorists. It’s not so much that they approve of Burka dress codes and fatwas as simply sharing a hatred for America and its values. It turns out that typical American values fail to promote submission to the intellectual’s self-perceived greatness.
It’s no coincidence that most intellectuals today are kindered spirits of the far Left’s cause, just as it is no coincidence that most of the bloodbaths and oppression of the last century occurred under their watch.
“Thinkers” should think, and leave the rest of us alone to live as we choose.
Hollywood has become a mere venue for rich individuals and corporations (the entertainment industry) to bitch about other rich individuals and corporations (every other free market expression of products, services, and ideas).
Friday, September 09, 2005
Politics is Funny!
Conservatives and libertarians (non-socialists) want to confront the truth -- they are not "politically correct." By default they are often "funny" -- much more so than the dour, angst filled puritans of left-land. Leftists are typically tedious and overly self-serious in their desire to be seen as champions of "justice" (a self-deluded con if there ever was one) -- and, they're boring.
The phrases, "You're not one bit funny!," and "some things just aren't funny!," are likely uttered more by those with a left-of-center worldview than someone who "calls it as they see it." Some things aren’t funny, but saying that just sounds stupid, unless one is trying to prove they reside on some moral pedestal.
With this in mind, check out The People's Cube and their "not one bit funny" (e.g. really funny) take on a Democrats' possible responses to Hurricane Katrina.
I Thought Government Had Outlawed Natural Disasters…?
…Weren’t hurricanes legislated out of existence? What about tornadoes...divorces, loss of one’s job, or hangnails?
To read some of the nonsense currently seen in the media regarding hurricane Katrina, you'd think that the government -- and Bush specifically -- failed to apprehend an offending criminal before it hit shore.
Everyone knows the state is supposed to protect us from; …everything! And we of course all know that if Bush and the U.S. Congress had voted for the Kyoto treaty, Katrina would have never happened. (Yes, I’m being – appropriately -- sarcastic).
In reality, even the most rabid anti-Bush meteorologist in search of more grant money would admit that, if the Kyoto treaty were enacted by every nation, we might -- maybe -- see less than a degree in average global temperature change…in the next hundred years or so. “Kyoto” is just another international punish wealth and success scam. Any practical benefit to come from it, let alone having a role in stopping Hurricanes, is virtually zero, but that's another story.
Why didn't Bush prevent chaos in New Orleans? -- too busy devoting his time to Halliburton and capitalist oppression, no doubt. One of the most ridiculous myths the media tried to promote initially was that, somehow, troops being in Iraq prevented adequate support in the storm’s aftermath – nice try. I’m sure the next media strategy will be to work Bush’s Supreme Court nominee into the mix somehow – “Climatologists Consider Possibility That Storm God Angry With Bush Supreme Court Nominee…And Troops Being In Iraq.” ..."Far right wing extremists have tried to defend the president by denying the existence of a storm god, but this man says..."
It’s certainly reasonable to expect the overstuffed coffers of the federal treasury to go to work during large scale catastrophes but, placing one’s hopes in the reliability of the state is bound to leave one disappointed.
I’ve heard from a reliable source, who'd been actively involved in issues regarding the levees in New Orleans, that the bureaucracy just never signed off on releasing funds for the project – since the 1960’s! Like terror attacks, such a catastrophic event has been an ongoing threat over several presidential administrations, not to mention the responsibility of numerous officials in local and state governments (who, one would hope, would have more awareness of the things that concerned their own jurisdictions).
Somehow, I really don't think that John Kerry, had he been elected, would have pondered the issue of levee upgrades in New Orleans or the possibility that a particularly powerful hurricane may strike (as they often did in past cycles)--Such things just aren't part of the president's daily job description which is why local and state governments are supposed to have their acts together when it comes to such preventative measures.
It’s possible that an asteroid could strike the earth and extinguish all life. If it happened, we could be certain that the dying words of some would involve questions as to why more attention wasn't devoted to that danger (an easy question to ask after the fact). The truth is, life presents an infinite number of risks and dangers to individuals, countries, and the world as a whole. I haven't yet figured out a way to guarantee my own safety from death, relationship upheaval, or stubbed toes, but I’m awake enough to know that I probably can’t count much on the local (or unlocal) bureaucrat to really be much help in times of need. Maybe they'll come through, maybe they won't, just don't have expectations that are too high.
Bush's response was probably what we could've expected from any president; noting the availability of federal support, appropriating emergency funds, and telling the bureaucratic channels of government to “do their thing,” augmenting the efforts of state and local governments as they request assistance. Of course some channels didn't "do their thing" quickly or effectively enough to avert the continuing tragedy (particularly at the state and local level).
Considering the wide area and extent of destruction, I think it's a miracle that government at any level has been able to get any grip at all on the calamity even this soon. Coming to the aid of hundreds of thousands of people who have instantly lost their homes and jobs (and, in many cases, family members) surely isn't an easy thing to coordinate, let alone initiate on a few days notice, though I’m sure there were numerous “plans” at all levels of government, worked out in hundreds of unread bureau pages.
As for the media's macabre excitement over looting and untended corpses, again, we're talking about an extremely wide area with hundreds of thousands of people. The more severe flaws of incompetence and negligence in restoring order are worthy of inquiry, appraisal, and punishment (the entire FEMA bureaucracy comes to mind), but are hardly things that wouldn't occur in other times or places under similar levels of catastrophe -- quite recently, there was no FEMA. Aside from more budget drain, there appears to be little difference between having such a bureau or not.
Something I call, spontaneous archetypal variation occurs naturally, everywhere. Take a large enough area and a large enough number of people, and all variations and extremes will inevitably occur. As I write this, some people around America and the world are experiencing periods of bliss and others, utter horror. While theft, violence, and chaos was occurring in some areas hit by the disaster, it wasn't occurring in others. Of course, one can guess which side became the most newsworthy.
We're now constantly hearing from the predictable news venues that most of the victims of the disaster are black, in an area where 67 percent of the population is black -- go figure. Maybe Bush should have got those school buses moving to evacuate before the storm since the mayor of New Orleans overlooked the issue (he’s black, so his motivation was more likely incompetence than racism). Also, though it may be a right-wing conspiratorial trick, the news footage that I keep seeing shows a significant number of white and black volunteers aiding white and black victims. Instead of being an example of "racism" I think it more accurately demonstrates how far the country has come in race relations in the historically short time of a few decades but, if this more optimistic view were widely accepted, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, & Co. would be out of jobs in the race mongers sect of leftist political polemic.
In Katrina’s aftermath, adding “racism” to the concocted mix of leftist favorites (along with Iraq, gun control, global warming, and “Bush is bad”), has just been another means to milk the disaster for all its political worth. I personally don't think we can say that Sharpton or Jesse Jackson have ultimately been a lot of help -- have they ever been? Meanwhile, several news outlets made a point of telling us that the Secretary of State was in New York watching a play during the disaster (remember Condoleezza Rice isn’t a “real” black because she’s not left wing in her views, and everyone knows that black people are only allowed to share the views of a 19th century German economic philosopher). I wonder if Jesse Jackson had sex during the period of Katrina’s aftermath. That’s got to be as bad as watching a play. Then again, he’s a “black spokesman” whereas Rice is merely Secretary of State. I hope Clarence Thomas wasn't enjoying himself too much. Madeleine Albright would have surely been in a week long period of mourning and her boss, Bill Clinton would have likely told Monica to cool it for at least a week.
Most of the local governments in the region affected by Katrina are dominated by black Democrat politicians yet we are supposed to believe their negligence and lack of planning and foresight were acts of white “racism.” Don’t tell Sharpton and company, but the “racism” charge just isn’t holding a lot of weight anymore. Too many people of different races, many of them blacks from the Caribbean, have come to the U.S. with nothing and done quite well for themselves. One has to at least wonder why so many of them keep wanting to come to a place where we are told they'll be denied opportunity. If race issue peddlers like Sharpton and Jackson weren’t perennially sparking fervor over contrived issues, people might just move on with their lives, but no, they still think it’s 1850, or maybe even Jews are still building pyramids for Pharaohs (actually, both con men are a bit too anti-Semitic to consider the last fantasy).
As in my last post; a call to all "compassionate progressives" and anyone else out there. There’s still time to help, in between your complaints about Bush, racism, and global warming. Forget about how "evil" money is for a few days and send some to a greatly needed cause.
More "Corporate Greed"
It turns out that socialism’s greatest nemesis – corporations – are contributing considerably to relief efforts related in the aftermath of Katrina. The Cynical Left will of course attribute such actions to the benefit of “tax write-offs” (if that were the case…so what?). Ultimately, they make such donations because…they can! In the socialist dream world of punitive attacks upon wealth, no such funds would ever exist in the first place. We’d have to take our chances relying on the “new [sacrificial] man” raised on phony politically correct reeducation. A country of "equally" poor people is little help to anyone. I’ll go with the rich corporations and their voluntary efforts any day.
It Takes A Village Of Humans To Warm A Globe
There were clearly too many cars driving around 50,000 years ago. Environmental justice can now be served by rolling back global warming temperatures to the “natural” levels of the last great ice age. To fully “return to natures plan” we can even clone a few wooly mammoths and send Native Americans back to Asia (across the frozen land bridge they were thought to have migrated to the Americas across before the last great period of "global warming."). The fact that Ohio will be covered in a massive sheet of ice will have to be overlooked for the sake of a higher need -- unchanging nature.
Neal Boortz on Katrina:
"I have now reviewed a copy of the State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan. This 45-page document says that 'The Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plan is intended to provide a framework within which the parishes can coordinate their actions with State government in order to deal with a catastrophic hurricane.' "
"Here are some of the items I found in this operations plan:"
"The evacuation plan states that 'Local transportation resources should be marshaled and public transportation plans implemented as needed. Announce the location of staging areas for people who need transportation. Public transportation will concentrate on moving people from the staging areas to safety in host parishes with priority given to people with special needs.' It also says that the Governor will 'Mobilize State transportation resources to aid in the evacuation of people who have mobility and/or health problems. Deploy to support risk area parishes.' "
"It certainly looks like it was the responsibility of the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans to make sure that people, and that includes poor people, were evacuated. It didn't happen. So ... it's Bush's fault?"
An excellent concise appraisal of the current nonsense of poly-spin, by Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times (Definitely not to be confused with the Washington Post):
The Temporary Downfall
I recently saw the movie, "[Hitler -- The] Downfall." I've read a few books that covered these moments of history and I must say the movie brought the characters and events to life in a truly profound way. The actor who played the National Socialist nut case, captured every nuance of his character. It was odd, but in seeing so precise a depiction of Hitler I didn’t see the resemblance in character to George Bush so often pointed out by international socialists. I couldn't help but note, as I've done before, that the "brains" behind the Third Reich were artists, philosophers, and even a self-styled “writer/poet” (Joseph Goebbels). Carrying out their "plan" was a host of bureau boot-lickers and, of course, "the people" (that old collectivist abstraction so loved by socialists of any stripe – National or International).
The left keeps telling us that our worst enemies are those who create, market, and sell ideas, products, and services.
I personally think the real triad from hell consists of philosophers, politicians, and bureaucrats. Their "downfall" from power is, unfortunately, temporary and their rise all to recurring.
A Promethean quote from The Promethean Observer:
“Any compromise between good and evil only hurts the good and helps the evil.”
-- Ayn Rand (John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged)
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Put Your “Compassion” Where Your Mouth Is
The tragedy of natural disaster strikes another country, something worthy of considerable empathy regardless of location.
Unfortunately, the professional political opportunists are already at it -- global warming, the Iraq conflict, gun control… Name a talking point and some will find cause to use a tragedy to twist the knife. It’s all Bush’s fault of course, if Kerry or Che Guevara were president, the Hurricane would have never even happened in the first place, and if it did the chaos of random thousands in an area of complete devastation would miraculously return to normal within days. To be sure, some serious buro-incompetence showed its face and, “Things could have been done differently.” I might note that building a major city below sea level in the regular path of hurricanes isn’t an ideal condition in the first place, but there are major cities in potential disaster zones all over the world. I just wouldn’t be so quick to expect flawless response when such an event occurs in such a location. For the really bad negligence, some buro-heads should definitely roll. As for the President himself, I’m not sure what exactly he was supposed to do beyond signing off on funds and putting the bureaucracy in motion. It seems that outside of New Orleans, the massive areas affected have dealt with events remarkably well under the unique circumstances.
The evil “cowboy” from Texas has now steered the country through two rather cataclysmic events and somehow kept things rather intact for most of the country. I hope the history books are more honest in their appraisals of the guy than most “commentators” are today.
At this point, several countries and leaders, normally friendly, hostile, or otherwise, have offered their sympathy and assistance, something American citizens should fully appreciate (I can’t speak for them, but I’m going to guess that they do appreciate the support regardless of where it comes from).
Actions speak louder than words and I’m not so sure that some individuals from the “justice and compassion” crowd are pillars of support in such times. I have no statistics which prove or disprove the actual assistance given is such times by various political persuasions. In the U.S., I’d guess that Republicans and Democrats are likely putting their money and time where there mouth is to relatively equal degrees. It’s merely anecdotal, but I’ve personally found that the more radical demagogues are the least likely to come through when genuine emergencies occur. In past calamities, I’ve heard the usual rants about America’s fault or nature's “punishment for our greed” (a rant one can hear from both fundamentalist religious nuts as well as the hard left). Among those who regularly spout the Jacobin party line, I haven’t known many who actually come through with actual donations in such times. Being so busy spouting the usual tirade regarding other’s “greed” and other’s “responsibilities” I don’t think it would occur to many of them to actually fork over some of their own discretionary cash – let alone time – to real people in need. I think it would be bad form to actually ask the leftists I know if they’ve contributed anything to the current natural disaster (let alone others that have occurred in recent years), but what I know of them I’m going to guess that they’ve given nothing. The “poor and oppressed” are abstractions to them; talking points to prove to themselves that they’re on the correct side of things. A victim of a natural disaster doesn’t qualify – a Hurricane or Tsunami’s destruction is more easily tolerated than a corporate executive’s wealth.
The sects from the Eco-left in general love -- so we are told -- nature. It’s only when supposed connections between free society and nature's less idyllic actions can be conjured that the darker aspects of nature may be noted. Of course, natural disasters have been occurring since the birth of the planet and even in our limited time frame their frequency or intensity are still cyclical factors beyond the control of foundation grants and recommendations to stifle economic development in the hated country of choice.
Actions do speak louder than words. Some ideologues are typically more full of words (and other things) than the genuine will to sacrifice to the degree they demand of others.
Now’s your chance; all you “progressive” authoritarian statists and Islamo-fascist sympathizers, fork up some cash. “Sacrifice” (your favorite word?) that new Che T-shirt, Audio-slave CD, or Michael Moore DVD collectors set and contribute to something worthy – for a change.
p.s. I’m just an English teacher, but you can surely match my meager $115.00 donation to the American Red Cross or some other institution that does more than merely conjure villans to explain the misfortunes of others. (…and, yes, my own contributions have been made in the past when other countries were the victims of natural calamity).
It’s strange what passes as good to some people. To merely utter general support for “the poor and oppressed” can gain enormous points for all types of power seeking scoundrels. Communist dictators destroy whole societies, thwart human progress, and – always – kill lots of people (enslavement to the state being mere icing on their cake), but somehow, from some people, they get a pass. If you’re Che, Castro, Mao, even Stalin, all you need to do is say (words speak louder than actions) the magic words; something to the effect that you “care” about “the poor and oppressed” (P&OP?). Of course, seizing money and property from others and rationing some of the crumbs will always help to press the point, and even convince a few of the less perceptive (which will often include a good portion of intellectuals of course). Somehow merely offering lip-service to the cause of P&OP will give some a blank check to organize firing squads, send people from their homes, intrude upon family ties, induce famines, and erect prison states that destroy every last remnant of free and open information, discussion, or disagreement.
Everyone knows dictatorship is bad and bloodbaths and purges are horrible but, say its for “the poor and oppressed” and you get a free ride from every phony spoiled brat with a trust fund, hip CD collection, or reputation as a popular movie actor or director.
So, by all means, show you “care” about people you have nothing in common with. By all means donate money, time, and spirit to the causes you can scream loudest about. Go for it. Knock yourself out but…please have some decency, and leave acceptance and adulation for dictators out of your phony tirade.