Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wealthy Capitalists Movie Makers...who hate capitalism
Reason TV captures the issue well.
Living in Interesting Times
I seldom involve myself in the time-consuming and angst producing debate that occurs on message boards and comment sections after timely articles. It just doesn't seem worth the time or effort – I mean, so what if someone far away is among the millions who disagrees with you? Are you really going to change his or her mind? (Very doubtful). And since I'm fairly well informed and like the concept of individual freedom first and foremost, I'm not likely to be convinced that maybe the government is a bit too small and needs to be placed into the hands of unelected bureaucrats a little more. So, call me stubborn or inflexible like almost everyone else, on the issues of the day I'm likely to be pretty consistent. “Islam is really a religion of peace” and “most Muslims have no desire to see their belief spread (through violence if necessary)” -- you've got to be kidding me (!). I get that often espoused idea that most Muslims are themselves not violent, but the fact that they're fine letting the more fervent wings of their cult “do the heavy lifting” doesn't in my eyes see them as being just like the local Christian church down the street. Of course, folks in some Muslim dominated suburbs in the capitols of Europe have a better perspective on just how adaptable and freedom loving Mohammad’s warrior cult is . In America the size of the Muslim population (relatively small) affords them the luxury as a debate subject worthy of defense by many “progressives” (while they continue their perennial attack on anything capitalist, Christian, western, or American).
On "immigration," I'm one of the many people who can see the obvious; that people sneaking into a country and sucking it's resources dry while bringing a net rise in violence is not “immigration.”
Such issues are debated daily in the world's press, coffee shops, schools, and of course on line.
Against my better judgment of time constraints I recently took the time and got pulled into a back and fourth debate on these issues (something I try to avoid at all costs).
Obviously I won't hint as to who or in what context the exchange took place as that wouldn't be fair to the individual I debated these issues with. I realized, however that all the writing I had done would be useful as a post on this blog thus allowing me to first, get another post up (my posting here is rather scant lately) and also, to layout some of my basic views on things – which is what this blog is all about anyway (an exercise in personal complaint agreeable to or disdained by others...depending on the observer). I'm sure the person I “debated” is a nice enough fellow but his views (clearly intelligent and well-informed) were just too darn cliche' for me. I've heard it all before crouched in the same cloak of being “reasonable” and nice. (The only reason I'm not posting the other person's comments is because I don't have his permission to do so and If I were to get his permission than it would only be fair to then continue a time-consuming back and fourth debate – something I have no time for). I realize that most of what I write in this regard is also “cliche'” from the standpoint of those who daily defend the “religion of peace” in it's noble goals of world Jihad, and the illegal flow of migrants across America's boarders in the name of “immigration.”
So, fairly unedited, I cut and paste my last response in a debate on some important topics of the day:
Like anyone who takes passionate interest in such things, I thought of all the things I'd write in response but realized it's rather impossible under current time constraints. I seldom participate in message board and website comment sections even though I really would like to, and such back and fourths really don't accomplish much aside from honing one's debate style.
If you wish to respond again, please do so but don't be offended If I leave you with the “last word” on the issues. I've got to get back to more mundane matters.
I'm sure, like me, you discuss these very issues almost daily. I've concluded that, in the end, most politically charged viewpoints are ultimately not based on facts regardless of how many facts or anecdotes one may be able to bring to a topic. Most people claim that after they've examined the facts they arrived at a particular conclusion but I think that's nonsense. I no longer claim that to be the case when expressing my own views. It's a rare person indeed who confronts an issue without a predisposition to a stance. It's after that more visceral appraisal is formed that one typically seeks or compiles facts “proving” they are on the right side of a debate. I'm not saying it doesn't happen or that you are not among those rare people who literally have no opinion until they've exhausted all facts available on all sides. If you're like most -- and like me -- you've got a niche on the political spectrum (realizing that there are different styles of political spectrums that gauge different things) and most of the facts you encounter coincidentally back up the world view you had before you found them.
If a person believes in the primacy of the individual over various collective affiliations It's logical that a million and one issues will be appraised in a particular way. If a person views “society” or “the people” as having greater significance, a host of questions are bound to be approached in a predictable style. And, of course there are things like “nature vs. nurture.” It's unlikely that one will hear a person say, “I'm a vegetarian, feminist who teaches yoga and I supported George Bush and Tony Blair in their decision to invade Iraq.” It would be equally bizarre to hear one say, “I worked hard to forge a financially sound position in life and I'm proud of the achievements I've made and wish to keep as much of my earned wealth for me and my family but...I hope the government passes some more regulations over capitalist war-mongers.” I wouldn't say such things would never happen but they're highly unlikely given that there are temperaments and circumstance that predispose us to a certain behavior and belief. There's a kind of cluster of like ideals that are archetypal in nature and usually manifest in predictable attitudes. Because of that, I prefer to “debate” the basic issues and not the fine points or transient topical matters. One's position on those stems from the more basic orientation.
I used to tell my high school American history students that if they believed America was an oppressive racist country, they're right and they can find numerous example to prove it. If they believed that America and its citizens are basically good and a just people who have created a civilization remarkable for it's diversity, pluralism, and achievements and that most Americans are not racist...they too are right and can find plenty of facts to back them up. People tend to just choose a side and run with it. In spite of this, I hardly believe in relativism (thus I think Papal decrees from 500 years ago and Sariah law as practiced now are not moral equivalents).
I have no problem with anyone honest enough to come right out and say they don't like America's political or economic system and prefer a more ordered society that favors global institutions and strong centralized government authority. Some people think Che Guevara was a hero (even though he hated rock music and homosexuals and persecuted both). As the antithesis of the typical leftist take on things, I take no shame in supporting the values of American constitutional government and the values of individual striving, self-motivated creativity, buying and selling, or believing as one chooses with as little interference from the state as possible. I don't think that the fact Jefferson owned slaves somehow makes the Declaration of independence or first amendment irrelevant or the fact that European explorers invading native lands centuries ago justifies letting anyone waltz into the country undocumented in the year 2010. Most (I don't know of an exception but there probably are a few) countries seem to agree on this one. The open boarders that some defend are just not something widely embraced – anywhere. I definitely don't believe that those who favor a powerful state distribution system are somehow more “compassionate” because they believe in spending other people's money or that they are morally and intellectually superior because they can find reasons to defend dictatorships over our own flawed but reasonably open system.
No one can prove that I should submit my individual values and life choices to the dictates of government bureaucracy and someone else's blueprint “for a better world” and I can't prove that I should be left alone. None the less, I choose to be left alone (to make my associations and contributions based upon my own values unbridled by the coercion of state imposed ideologies).
Protest was once called the sincerest form of patriotism...until “tea-baggers” started doing the protesting. Now protest can only mean one is racist...as if top-heavy statist ideals would be openly embraced if a light skinned person proposed them.
Islam may once again hope to resurrect great cities of learning (again after aggressive defeat of those cities and placing non-believers – in the “prophet” businessman/warrior Mohammad – in second class status) but there is little we hear from even moderate Muslims that indicates their satisfaction with anyone in the “non-believer” camp. The very people who espouse concern for feminism and gay rights are mysteriously not only silent but openly defensive of the Islamic inspired regimes that stone or execute people for expressing freely what so many American's take for granted. People who are very concerned about how Christians have behaved through history should at least have a fleeting suspicion of any other religion that harbors very rigid ideals on how others should live.
It seems that now the same people who cried “censorship” when people chose not to buy Dixie Chicks Cd's are completely okay with the idea of death threats dictating what art or cartoons are permitted – that won't “offend” Islam.
Visigoth warriors and migrants occupied the Iberian peninsula centuries ago. Should the citizens of Spain now see that as justification for letting anyone become permanent residents of their country and drawing upon it's tax-funded services today without going through any process of formal immigration? If they would call for official documentation of new residents would that make them nativist racists “full of hate?” (not your words, but the phrase often stated when the issues is addressed by those who can't understand why anyone would oppose a free-for-all system of migration law). Would you let anyone into your home to stay without at least knowing who they are and what their background is (a legal immigration process)? Responses to the obvious absurdity of current Illegal migrant activity that simply note colonial aggression hundreds of years ago sounds great in a coffee shop but has little value in addressing the serious problems currently affecting many of America's local and state governments. I just don't buy the “argument” that we should make citizens of anyone skillful or lucky enough to sneak into the country because Christopher Columbus was able to pull it off. If this was a standard for policy decision, I could rob banks because other people have done so and gotten away with it.
The idiot pastor who wishes to burn Korans will of course be used as an example of America's intolerance in spite of the fact that virtually everyone looks upon him with scorn. These are the same people who look at a nut-case killer of an abortion doctor as indicative of the Christian / conservative world view. If such a person was found to have watched FOX News or read a book by Ann Coulter, they and their “connection” would be a major news topic for weeks. The guy that threatened the staff at the Discovery Channel recently was a devotee of Al Gore and clearly had extremist environmental views. He fell off the radar rather quick if you ask me...what's up with that?
Ultimately I wouldn't be too concerned about liberal sentiments not having an impact. If it's a mega-state the left wants, they've got it ten times over. We're hardly in great danger of cutting D.C. and it's programs down to size. Prior to the mid 90's the Democrats controlled the house of representatives for four decades. That was taken in stride. When Republicans gain control as they briefly did in the mid 90's it will no doubt again be viewed as the result of “angry white males.” After all, how could anyone simply be for less taxes, less government, or a more positive appraisal of one's country unless they were just plain evil racists (and of course – horror of all horrors – white or male)? The left (in a general sense) currently hold control of both houses of congress, and the executive branch (which is now huge with it's massive edict declaring bureaus and “czars” etc.). Aside from the much maligned Fox News, the dominant media in the country is left of center (I'd be rolling my eyes up if one claimed the contrary -- of course Marxists find anything right of Mao Zedong to be “right wing”). Colleges, public schools, movies, and TV shows all tell us that we essentially are a bad country that needs to be transformed into a weak apologetic bureau-enterprise. Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky are required reading to the captive audience of many college and high school classes and we're still made to believe that public education is somehow reinforcing the authority of “the man” (“the man” is always a wealthy white male...therefore, the current president is not “the man”).
Maybe “progressives” will get their wish. Maybe anyone who wants to sneak across the boarder will be made instant citizens. Maybe the “flag of Islam will fly over the nations capital.” Now, wouldn't those be improvements over a diverse, pluralistic constitutional republic with a high per-capita income and chains of fast food restaurants (our dreaded “materialism”).
There are a million sites on the web that span the spectrum and convey the same things you and I have expressed. Don't assume that anyone who is a conservative or libertarian (similar to conservatives in regard to economic issues) is automatically, ill-informed, ignorant, racist, mean-spirited, or otherwise unqualified to take a valid stand on today's issues. I know you didn't say that but it is often the case that the conservative viewpoint is treated as something basically invalid and unworthy of addressing (and some wonder why conservative books are now best sellers and the left can't pull off talk radio no matter how many millions George Soros or Hollywood producers put into it). Conservatives (one must remember that like the left, there is a range within that general label) can only be addressed and depicted in such negative ways for so long until they start making it a point to vote in every election. 'Bad move on the “progressives” part (suicidal actually in the upcoming election).
Saturday, September 18, 2010
For Those Who -- Still -- Don't Get It
"Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals--that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government--that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens’ protection against the government."
-- Ayn Rand
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
This is what I like to see in an executive position.
I'd love to see this guy be the one to undo the Obama socialist "revolution" and get back on track being a secure, prosperous, dynamic capitalist society.
Screw the "Yes we can" nonsense.