Friday, March 28, 2008
Relativism in a Time of War -- Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A Few Random Observations
Why is it that those who bring up and critique America's involvement in the Vietnam War never manage to even briefly note that France had actually colonized the country and fought to keep it before America's gradual entry into the conflict?
I am often told that, "Some people don't want to be free."
...but, shouldn't they at least be free enough to make that decision without some pampered (and free) spoiled brat speaking for them?
...Hating Bush is boring...
An "illegal war" is certainly terrible. Who wants a war that's not approved by lawyers.
A legal war is obviously the only way to go and would be much nicer. Remember, when having a war, only use the tried and true method of lawyer approved ® war.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Nietzsche and The Nazis
"The Nazis knew what they stood for...do we?"
A very chilling question which ends a very interesting lecture I just watched.
It could probably be said that, in Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy there is something for everyone. Thus the wide respect and support by Nazis and many a left wing fanatic. But, how different are Nazis and left wing radicals -- duh. (Hint, both despise capitalism and free open societies).
I just finished watching Stephen Hick's excellent lecture regarding Nietzche and The Nazis.
Hick's is an Objectivist, a follower of Ayn Rand, and what he has to say about both National Socialism (Nazism) and the grand prophet of much of post-modern thought is profound to say the least.
I won't be so foolish as to even imply that Nietzsche didn't have enormous insight or that some of what he said was of value to anyone who is looking for answers, but...
In the final analysis, what Nietzsche "revealed" and unleashed (intellectually) upon the 20th century was ultimately "no way to run a house" (or society).
The idiots who chastise conservative/free-market philosophy and label it "Nazi" are not only lacking in historical knowledge, they're weak in the capacity to look into the mirror at their own totalitarian instincts.
Conservatives are used to being called "Nazis" by many a fervent Jacobin, but honest appraisal will find that Hitler's values and goals more clearly match those of any garden variety socialist than the local citizen who calls for lower taxes and defense of individual liberty.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
A Promethean Enterprise...Go to the Moon
I've always loved space travel. Rockets are cool too (as a means of reaching space, obviously). I was fortunate enough as a child to have seen three launches from the Kennedy Space center; Apollo 16, Apollo 17, and the Apollo/Soyuz joint mission. Seeing Apollo 17's night launch from the space center grounds (about 4 miles away) was, without question, one of the most impressive things I've seen in my life. The "sound" is nothing like one hears on TV or in video clips. It literally sounds like popcorn being made and magnified to the intensity of an earthquake -- a very visceral multi-sensory experience.
Before witnessing these launches, I was able to tour an area fairly close to the launch pad the day before. It definitely gave me the impression that thier goal was not to simply "stage a fake event" as some in the conspiracy crowd like to imagine. There are many who now insist that America's moon missions were just another conspiratorial con-game akin to an imaginary "Bush inspired 9/11 scam." What utter idiots.
Of course, if Russia had been first to reach the moon during the "space race" I'm sure many a leftist would be okay with that, minus the "faked"/conspiracy charge. God, aint' it awful when America does something cool. What's a resentful leftist to do?
I was quite the fan of the entire process of space flight when younger and become fairly learned in the methods, materials, and procedures used to accomplish such goals. With what I know and have seen, I'm reasonably convinced that when Americans walked on the moon...they actually walked on the moon. Who knew what the great socialist "experiment" (Soviet Russia) was doing at the time since you never heard about it till two weeks after it occured -- if it was successful. Common Soviet citizens certainly weren't watching launches from four miles away or attending tours of the buliding where space vehicles were assembled.
Check these You Tube video clips of some launches. A Saturn Five Rocket with it's payload was 36 stories tall and 33 feet wide at its base. The closeups you see in the video offer a hint as to the incredible power of the thing. Pieces of ice, some the size of futons, can be seen falling off the surface of the vehicle. Beneath it, unseen, is a wedge that is 4 stories high and covered in a layer of concrete and millions of pounds of water (to deflect the heat and thrust) -- both the water and concrete are boiled away during the launch sequence.
The Base of a Saturn Five Rocket during launch.
Apollo 11 launch.
Apollo 17 -- night launch.
Impressive stuff...I think.
Evening Ware To Make A Socialist Proud
Many probably don't remember this television advertisement for Wendy's from long ago. I always thought it witty but, upon finding it on You Tube, was thrilled to now realize its awesome impact as a piece of very accurate and effective political commentary on the differences between a capitalist and socialist society.
I realize that the former Soviet Union was a full-blown "socialist experiment" and pushed the limits of the socialist worldview to one of its more extreme ends but, in the end it can accurately be said that socialism in general is not "pro-choice" on anything.
'An awesome polemic on the absurdity of the lefts' vision.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The Leftist Sneer
Sorry, this is basically a "gripe" piece. I realize that I've said these things many times before, but each time I try, I just can't seem to find the right words to convey how much the following attribute of leftist politics and personality just plain pisses me off. Almost more than the philosophy itself, the way it's consistently conveyed is beyond pathetic. Leftists would probably be more convincing and effective if they'd just drop the arrogance thing. A leftist revealing their hatred for humanity in general and certain classes of people in particular just can't be concealed by bogus claims of concern for "people."
We who believe in individual freedom often receive the sneer -- the body language and smug look of disbelief that one would dare hold an opinion or world view that differs from the stale socialist template that dictates much opinion in the world today.
During encounters with those who favor the socialist world view, I'm always amazed how someone can insult my country (the United States) and my personal views with fervor and gross distortion but, somehow, I'm not allowed to dare challenge their unfounded appraisals and accusations. If I state my case at all – a response of shock and horror. If I state my case or defend my position well, I've noticed that the anger and disgust seems to build exponentially from this side of political philosophy that tolerates no opposition. In such exchanges, the scornful look I describe is akin to the look I remember getting in primary school when I used a swear word in front of some prissy little twerp (sorry, it was usually a girl, though in older years, men on the left seem to have oddly adopted the same manner – 'must be that "metro-sexual" thing). "You're not nice, you used a bad word! / You're an evil fascist, you don't agree with the socialist vision!"
What thoroughly amazes me about this phenomena is that when I'm typically stating my case, the view I speak for is so not mean-spirited, bad, or in any way morally wrong. I simply argue my points with supporting facts defending libertarian principals and, like clockwork,...the leftist sneer -- the haughty "my shit don't stink" look that symbolically accuses you of every crime in the universe while they look down from their lofty realm of absolute righteousness. Remember, they're "open-minded, tolerant of diversity, and [they] understand other points of view " (with a typical bias for the "views"of dictators and authoritarian philosophies). In reality, excepting their little niche on the political spectrum, they're not open-minded or tolerant of diverse views, and they definitely seem to be incapable of seeing the value of civilized democratic society as being something worth defending.
Add to this a more recent development; many "moderates" or less interested types have now developed a similar perspective and manner. The left's talking points are now so mainstream that such "moderates" often talk like any 60's style faux rebel – thoroughly committed to nothing but absolutely opposed to anything decent or sound. Is it any wonder that now, merely calling for reduced state authority in peoples' personal lives is so often described as "right wing extremism" – tax reductions "is Hitler."
To acknowledge that there is good and evil in the world, or even gradients of evil is to elicit the left's face of scorn. Behind all their sophistication and posing of being above it all – "beyond good and evil" – lies an all too transparent sympathy for evil, if for no other reason than feigned rebellion against a pampered "materialist" upbringing.
I have yet to fully understand why a simple belief in the goodness of representative government and a defense of individual freedom in its confrontation with the perennial totalitarian mindset should be looked upon with such disdain.
Racist, fascists, communists, and genocidal maniacs can be found throughout the pages of history and dwell with us today in increasing strength, but nothing gets some people worked up more than someone merely taking a stand for limited constitutional government with a high degree of personal autonomy. To hold such "truths as self-evident" is anathema to the cause of post-modern relativism and socialist collectivism so dear to the hearts of resentful control freaks and rebel posers the world over. And, they'll let you know with a genuine mean-spiritedness, lack of dignity and tolerance, and of course...a sneer.
I still don't quite get why any sane person would become so insulting for another's perceived crime of merely defending the values of personal freedom.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The Anti-Promethean News; Views From the Left to Enlighten (Greatest Hits in Philosophical Derangement from Leftland)
'A brief hiatus. I'll leave this up a week or so before my next posting
1. “There is no Terrorist Threat” (Michael Moore actually said that);
If someone screaming “Ala a Akbar” tries to kill you, your family, or fellow citizens, its not because they’re part of a fanatical religious sect and political ideology. It’s because of misunderstood root causes like poverty and imperialism. This is also why peasants in Guatemala scream “Ala a Akbar” and try to kill random people.
2. A jet almost fully loaded with fuel and flying at maximum speed will do little damage to a skyscraper constructed of thin aluminum exo-structure. That’s why a mysterious “pod” is required to be visible beneath such a plane if one hopes to kill 3000 of one’s fellow citizens – to start an unpopular war and get oil. (To be further convincing, remember to not get said oil).
3. During the Vietnam war, Jane Fonda went to the totalitarian enemy’s country and posed behind the Soviet anti-aircraft guns that regularly shot down U.S. pilots – she wasn’t tried for treason and she was and remains wealthy and – to some – influential. …None the less, the U.S. stifles free speech and is, in fact, a fascist dictatorship.
4. America is a decadent immoral country and Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, and Hollywood in general will continue to make movies that prove it. Also, though both are opposed to violence, when they make a film, they're kind of into the concept – for "art" of course.
5. Politicians, lawyers, and bureaucrats – although you may have never met them personally -- care about you very much. But, you can only expect their continued help and assistance if you give them more power, give them more money, and help to make more of them. You will be happier when you learn to obey – ‘group hug, now goddammit!
7. Americans must learn to cooperate ® more…and such cooperation should be in accordance with a socialist government’s decrees. Love your fellow numbers!
8. The Earth’s temperature is becoming more moderate and average and weather will soon bore us into extinction “as a species” (as opposed to extinction as just plain folks).
9. The Earth is cooling and we’re all going to freeze our asses off in June. The Earth is warming and we’re all going to roast in February. It’s better that farmers thrive In Iowa and not Greenland or Siberia.
10. Bush is Hitler. He once owned a baseball team to conjure an image of passive simplicity to cover his true nature as a bloodthirsty tyrant and orchestrator of mass murder. He knew that he could secure power, fame, respect, admiration, and historical greatness by offending leftists through his plots to remove fascist dictators from power.
11. Bush is Hitler, part II: Anyone who agrees with Bush, such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair or former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, are mere puppets of Bush – and they are thus not Hitler.
12.Bush is Hitler, part III; Bush is a fool who can’t think or speak effectively but possesses secret powers to mesmerize others into doing his will (this includes United States congress' members of both parties who voted to remove Saddam Hussein from power if he refused to adequately prove he had stopped production and planing of mass-destruction weapon programs.
13. Stop the genocide! …But, if a Muslim leader calls for the elimination of Israel – one free pass (because they’re "Zionists!"). Also, there was no holocaust.
14. The communists of various countries in the past century really didn’t kill, imprison, or enslave over 100,000,000 people to build an egalitarian paradise. The only people who kill tens of thousands or millions of people are businessmen, people who go to Christian Churches on Sunday, or viewers of Fox News.
15. Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, et al. are heroes being persecuted for speaking the truth or for having their work mandatory reading or viewing in classrooms throughout the United States. Their wealth and influence is incidental and not worthy of consideration in debate on the issue of media variety in a free society. Their status is the result of being silenced.
16. If you have a degree in literature, womans’ studies, or transgender eco-feminist anti-imperialist studies (or if you play a guitar well) you are extra smart and we should do what you tell us to do. Those who disagree or like America, free society, and individuality are fascists extreme ultra-right wing imperialists and must be reeducated for the common good (inc.).
17. America should be “multi-lateral” and cooperate with our “friends” (they can still be considered friends even if they hate us and will our demise). Considering our own security, prosperity, and cultural vitality is not an option – though we should help our enemies to advance their position (the Carter Doctrine).
18. It makes perfect sense for a middle class person who went to a good college and who owns a nice home, nice car and furniture, who owns investments, who owns the latest in technical gadgetry, and who has traveled around the world, to despise a free market system and to hate "materialism." It also makes perfect sense that such well-off people should wish that others who have the same things in greater quantity have it confiscated from them. Really, this makes perfect sense!
19. The government is bad...but we need a stronger, larger, and more centralized government because free and independent citizens are worse (especially if they are wealthy or disagree with the truthT.M.).
20. People should be allowed to do what they choose as long as they do what they are told by politicians, bureaucrats, and intellectual armchair philosophers.
21. Although most radical socialist s are at least middle class (if not outright wealthy), their status and life condition allows them to identify particularly with the poor and downtrodden.
22. Hitler is Bush. Adolf Hitler was actually a moderate Republican who opposed dictatorships and sought to foster the development of freely elected governments. The National Socialists' hatred of capitalism was a clever disguise to hide the fact that they really liked capitalism.
23. Bush secretly stopped the highly effective Kyoto treaty...while he was governor of Texas. Mysteriously, he was able to do this as the U.S congress voted unanimously against Kyoto...under President Clinton.
24. Though global average temperature has increased less than one degree over the last 100 years, the Kyoto treaty could potentially reverse this trend and possibly reduce average global temperature less than one degree during the next 100 years. The fact that it further channels authority and sovereignty from individuals and nations to international bureaucrats is of no concern. Also, the Wizard of Oz really is a wizard.
25. Bush is Genghis Khan. He sometimes rides a horse.
26. While the U.S. unemployment rate is consistently about half that of France's, socialist policies in France are a more effective way of dealing with unemployment.
27. Che Guevara really was a great statesman. This is clearly proved by the fact that his face appears on many T-shirts (and, summary executions are okay if the people killed include small shop-keepers, farmers, and assorted "counter-revolutionaries").
28. You sometimes have to break some eggs to make an omelet. But, who cares about omelets really, lets just break some eggs!
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Is It The End of Civilization?
...An overly dramatic and rather grim and cynical question, no doubt. I usually prefer a more optimistic appraisal of world affairs but I also can't help but note a recurring theme I've heard often from many that causes me to fear the worst.
Just the other day I heard it again, this time from a very respectable and well-educated person (slightly left of center); the stale mantra that there really is no "good" or "bad" side in the pages of history. Even "Hitler was acting for what he felt was best for 'his people'." This insight, he explained, was gleaned from his studies at an American liberal arts college (he stressed the fact that it hadn't occurred to him before this "higher education" epiphany).
This "perspective," so commonly inculcated upon college students, is something I can honestly say I've grown sick of. It manifests in academia and pop culture in a thousand guises and forums.
I know that from an abstract and transcendent position no one can really say that God or the universe favors free, open, and diverse societies over imposed totalitarian systems but, do we really want mental masturbation defending our friends and families from Fascists, Nazis, Communists, and various Totalitarian-Lite enterprises?
It has become the default position of many that the current U.S. president (who will be gone in less than a year) is the incarnation of evil but Kim Jong Il, the governments of Iran and China, and Al Qaeda represent just another view, no worse than ours and perhaps more justified than our own.
Pathetic... The world isn't a University-town coffee shop. It isn't a Hollywood movie (i.e. Directed by George Clooney). It isn't a Noam Chomsky internet chat room. In real life the self-loathing of open societies is going to get us killed or at least eliminate the social, cultural, political, and technical progress of centuries.
We in the west (I include those countries, like Japan, that have adopted western democratic values) have adopted systems that permit a high degree of tolerance for diverse viewpoints and lifestyles – we don't stone women to death for "offending" some theocratic power freak's obsessions and we don't imprison someone for being an "enemy of the people" because they've simply called for free elections.
The west and the societies we've developed are full of flaws and often don't live up to the very standards we hold as ideals. Maybe we aren't even good. But, if Hitler, communist dictators, and Islamo-fascists are thought to be no worse than us, what exactly is our plan of action when they seek our destruction?
The generation that lived through the Great Depression and WWII has sometimes been called "the Greatest Generation." So what should we call those generations who have followed it? Those who respond to genuine evil with sound-bites from liberal arts professors or Hollywood actors. Those who don't even think that free and open society is worth "fighting for," or at least supporting in spirit?
Entire generations have now been reared on the philosophy of surrender to, and sometimes outright support for, evil because they've micro-critiqued the concept out of existence. Many who at least recognize evil's existence can only find it in our own "materialism" and "selfishness" while giving the benefit of a doubt to the most ruthless distopian schemes.
During the recent motion picture academy awards, many participants wore orange ribbons to show their solidarity and support for terrorist captives at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. They're certainly above demonstrating any "solidarity" with people beheaded, stoned to death, or enslaved by the world's trendy fascist revival. I wonder if Al Qaeda and associates, at their video-taped beheading ceremonies, will start wearing ribbons to show their solidarity with oppressed Hollywood millionaires and pampered spoiled brats who would serve up their own children's freedom to make a point in a philosophy debate.
Is civilization – free, open, diverse, and prosperous – worth defending, or is it doomed by the lazy and pathetic who think real life is a mere competition in sophisticated thought...where no one gets hurt?
The relativist, in a time when distinctions between good and evil are growing clearer, isn't exactly doing the civilized world any favors.