Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Cults and Politics

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I was a member of a cult, back in the 70s and early 80s. I understand how the cult mentality works. There are many cults, some more subtle than others. Don’t be too sure that you are not a member.

I left the hippie commune cult in 1984. It took awhile longer to leave the left, liberal, progressive cult. One way that you can tell a cult is, if you stray at all from the cult orthodoxy, you are risking your connections to friends and family.

I’m a conservative. If I disagree with my very few conservative friends and relations, about abortion, or the various wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc., or economic policy, or evolution, or the public school system, or Michelle Bachmann, or gay marriage, it is not a problem. My friendship or relationship is not on the line. These are gnarly subjects about which sincere, intelligent people can disagree. There is no conservative party line about any of these subjects. Conservatives believe in individualism, argument, and civility. That at least has been my experience.

On the other hand, if I disagree about any such subject with my liberal, lefty friends, of whom I have very many more than conservatives, I am very quickly brought face to face with excommunication, the loss of contact with people I love, and a decidedly cultish consciousness with which I am all too familiar. Blood is quickly up.

For example, I got into a discussion, with lefty friends, about Republican-promulgated laws that require a photo id in order to vote. This seems like a good idea to me. Anyone who is here legally can get a photo id, poor or rich, smart or stupid. You need a photo id to fly on an airplane, rent a car, get a job, get a driver’s license, cash a check, use a credit card, open a bank account, or rent an apartment. But if you have to show one in order to vote, that is voter suppression? How can anyone who is not captivated by a cult mentality believe such a thing?

There are exceptions. I do have lefty friends willing to tolerate my apostasy, just because we like each other too much to allow such nonsense to come between us.

I can’t help thinking about how it was when I was living in the unnamed cult. I shut up so good that I censored my own thoughts. Whenever the voice of common sense reared its ugly head, I dismissed it as doubt, proof of my unworthiness. Now, out here in the real world, I am sometimes being asked to once again practice self censorship in order to maintain my personal, family, and business relationships.

Ordinary people, like myself, sometimes have political opinions, sometimes don’t, but, either way, they don’t matter. How you raise your kids, conduct your business, deal with your relatives, socialize with your friends, has absolutely nothing to do with what you think about Obama, or John Maynard Keynes, or the various wars we are currently engaged in, or the health care system, or public employee unions, or the debt crisis, or abortion, or gun control, or any other such “issues”, except to the extent you need to have the correct opinions in order to maintain your relationships.

No matter what you say at parties, no matter how you vote, your politics is irrelevant. It is how you live your life that matters. I know so many people who are conservatives in their own lives, how they raise their children, manage their finances, etc., and yet are far left liberals in their politics. I don’t know anyone who is the other way around. People who are conservative in their politics, are, like most liberals, also conservative in their personal lives, out here in reality.

I believe that, to the best of my ability, as a citizen of this republic, I have a responsibility to be informed about history, especially the history of the United States of America, about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, about the political history and rhetoric of the Democratic and Republican parties, about what is really going on in the world, politically, economically, philosophically, militarily. But, I can’t help thinking that my obsession with these things is not really that different from an obsession with sports as pursued by most apolitical American men, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I know that not everyone takes that responsibility seriously, and they are not, nor should they be, required to do so. The more that do, the better off we all are, I think, I believe, as U.S. citizens, and as citizens of all the other nations of the world that depend, to one degree or another, on the U.S.A.

If we allow our political opinions to be determined by desire for acceptance in personal, familial, or economic society, or we just don’t really have independent, thoughtful political opinions, we are abrogating our responsibility as citizens of our nation and the world of nations. That is the real threat to democracy.

My Current Peeves

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

They are not pets, they’re just peeves.

The obligatory trashing of the Reverend Terry Jones, routinely and relentlessly demonized as an ignorant, fanatic, attention whore, guilty of murder, for burning a Koran (note the respectful capitalization. I’m even covering my own ass.) What about exhibitions of works of art insulting Jesus, Christianity, and conventional decency in general, subsidized, involuntarily, with my money? Are all of the people involved in such events, fanatic, ignorant attention whores? Not if you read the New York Times, or any other mainstream media outlet. At least Pastor Jones purchased the Koran and the matches with his own money.

To maintain good relations with my wife, whom I love, I always tune in to Brooks and Shields on Friday nights on the PBS News Hour (more of my money!). “Honey, your favorite wimpy ex-conservative is on.” Tonight Shields was on vacation and they had on some Democratic woman to replace him. She and David talked at some length about the Republican rider to the emergency budget bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. In the entire discussion, neither of them said one single word about why Planned Parenthood should be funded by the federal government, or, conversely, why Planned Parenthood should not be funded with my tax money. Not a single word about the merits of the issue. It was entirely about the politics, i.e., whose base was being pandered to by whom. Who Cares!? How about what is right? That’s what I care about. I think that’s what most people care about.

The same old, excrutiatingly predictable demagoguery of the Democratic party regarding Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. It will kill women and starve old people and deprive the nation’s children. The truth is that the Ryan budget continues to increase government spending and borrowing, just not quite as fast as the Obama budget.

If this kind of politics works for the Democrats, democracy itself is in peril. I am an optimist. I don’t think it will work. The people of this nation, not all that long ago, offered up 360,222 of their lives to preserve the union and end slavery. In that confrontation, the Democrats supported the 258,000 who lost their lives defending slavery and the right of secession. Such moments of national truth come up every so often. This is another one. I pray that the Republican spirit of Abraham Lincoln, as in times past, will prevail against the modern incarnation of the delusional, criminal spirit of the Democratic Party.

WickedLeaks

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

I’ve been following this whole wikileaks thing pretty closely, on the web and on TV, and I have yet to see or hear anyone make this point. What is to prevent Julian Assange, a guy with a crazy, anarchist agenda, what is to prevent him from slipping a few cables of his own into the 250,000 supposedly leaked documents?

Who vouches for the authenticity of this massive amount of electronic, easily altered, material? Is the New York Times just taking Assange’s word for it?

It’s the corruption, stupid

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

The deficit, the spending, earmarks, taxes, entitlements, Obamacare, the TSA. These are all important issues, but underlying everything is the corruption. Our government is for sale to the highest bidder. The government is a gate that must sooner or later be passed through, if you really want to get ahead. Even Bill Gates finally realized he was going to have to start spending a bunch of dough in DC if he wanted all those anti-trust vexations to go away.

If you are the Disney Corporation, you need to allocate millions of dollars to political campaigns to make sure that the copyright on Mickey Mouse is extended indefinitely. When the deadline approaches, money is applied, legislation is passed, and copyright is extended.

If you are the UAW, you need to allocate millions of dollars to political campaigns to make sure that the government takes over General Motors in a pseudo bankruptcy that abrogates bond holders’ legal rights in order to protect and enrich the union.

Bush’s Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff now has a security consulting agency, The Chertoff Group. One of their clients manufactures the scanner machines that are now being deployed at airports across the country. These machines are expensive. Not to mention the maintenance contracts.

If you cheat on your taxes and are appointed to a high government position, and are thus exposed, you just have to pay what you stole and all is forgiven. If you are an ordinary citizen, you go to jail, or at least have to pay large penalties. Charlie Rangel, after committing fraud and tax evasion, will receive a letter of reprimand. No doubt Maxine Waters will receive a similar punishment for using her position to maintain the value of her husband’s bank holdings.

The very existence of farm subsidies, the CPB, the NEA (education), the NEA (arts) is corruption in action.

This is just scratching the surface. Government is corrupt, at all levels. Of course this is not new. It has always been so, and, I reckon, always will be. It is in the nature of government to be corrupt. There is no competiion to eliminate government programs that are inefficient and counter-productive. There is no competition, no creative destruction in government. There are only constituencies that never die, consituencies that are created and maintained by the government agencies and programs that serve them.

There is no solution to government corruption. It can only be minimized by minimizing the size of government. The smaller the government, the less corruption. The less revenue going to the government, the less they can steal. The less power of the government, the less need to placate it.

Unattended, the inevitable trajectory of government is to grow larger and more powerful. That is what it will do, that is what it has done, until (maybe) now. The near future of our republic will tell whether or not it is possible to shrink government.

But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.

— Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

Democracy Finals

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

It’s simple. In fact it’s so simple, you don’t even need an advanced degree from Harvard (or Yale or Princeton), like George W. Bush and Paul Krugman have. It’s something that every sane householder on Earth knows. Even John Maynard Keynes understood it. Over the long run, even the medium run, expenditures have to, on average, at most, equal revenues. It’s even better if you can save a little. In good times, save. In bad times, dip into the savings if you have to. That is real Keynesianism.

The current Keynesians in the government have forgotten the part about saving for a rainy day. They think that Keynesianism means borrowing like crazy when times are good, and borrowing lots more when times are bad. You would think that even a Nobel prize winner in economics could see the flaw in this particular line of economic “reasoning”.

We haven’t listened to common sense. We’ve listened to the uncommon sense of credentialed intellectuals who assured us that piling up debt and never paying it off, was OK as long as it was the government that was doing it. We, the people, may be stupid. That is what Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, and the Washington establishment apparently believe. But eventually, even as stupid as we are, we just can’t help but notice, it is no longer possible to hide the fact, that WE are broke.

We are a rich nation, a rich world, wealthy beyond the most extravagant dreams of our past selves. Paying off this debt will (would) not be that difficult. Raise the retirement age a little. Do a little means testing, not much, for entitlements like social security and medicare. Get a handle on wasteful defense spending. Get rid of totally unnecessary government departments and programs like the NEA, PBS, DEA, farm subsidies, corporate welfare, etc. It’s not that hard. If it were a household or a small business in trouble trying to figure out what was necessary and what wasn’t, it would be obvious.

This is really a test of the very idea of democracy. If a people are lucky enough to have a democracy, the politicians will try to get elected by promising to give free stuff to the electorate. Voters will then presumably vote for whoever promises the most stuff. The free stuff is then provided by using the collective credit of the demos to borrow money until, as Margaret Thatcher put it, we run out of other people’s money.

That’s where we are now. Democracy is in the dock. Either we succeed in voting to pay off our debts, or we go bankrupt. If we fail to vote for fiscal sanity, or if it turns out that our votes do not matter, then democracy will have been proven to be a false god.

God, the Devil, and the Upcoming Election

Friday, October 29th, 2010

The maxim, “To each according to his need, from each according to his ability”, may be the most evil spell ever incanted. Norman Mailer once said that Marijuana is the Devil’s grace. Maybe, maybe not, but this pronouncement, this Marxist fundament, is the Devil’s Golden Rule.

The real Golden Rule, for those who may have forgotten, states, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” The first rule, the basis of Marxism, is enforceable by the State. The Golden Rule, the basis of Christianity, is enforceable only by the free will of the individual who chooses to freely follow it.

That is the difference. And that is what this election, and the 2012 election, is all about. What is the ultimate source of wealth and charity? The omniscient state? Or the unfettered creative energy of the individual exercising his or her God-given free will?

9/11

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Fuck all those jihad motherfuckers and the millions of assholes who supported them, applauded them, and apologized for them, including the President’s spiritual mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

The dominant white Anglo-Saxon-European culture does everything it can to encourage pride and solidarity among all peoples who do not share the scarlet rune that the evil white European people have self-emblazoned on their own foreheads. The only culture that is forbidden to have pride and confidence in itself is the one whose members are born white. In other words, the culture most ashamed of itself is the one most responsible for the preponderance of progress: cultural, political, economic, spiritual, that has ever occurred in the history of the human race.

I’m all for race-mixing. I believe, along with Martin Luther King, whose politics I otherwise deplore, that a man (or woman) should be judged by the content of his or her character, not by the color of their skin. I applaud that sentiment. I agree with Chris Rock that the new standard of beauty includes a little bit of black/white race mixing. Most white people do. Halle Berry may ignore the white mother who raised her, and exalt the black father who abandoned her, like Barack Obama, but us white folks love her anyway, and accord her our highest honor, the Oscar. White Americans are the least racist, most universally tolerant people who have ever walked the Earth, one of the many reasons that I take pride in my own White Anglo-Saxon heritage.

But Islam isn’t about race. Anybody can submit to Allah, via Mohammad, and comply with the mandates of the Koran concerning jihad against Jews and infidels. There is no discrimiation here, as long as women do what they are told, and, Allah forbid, nobody changes their mind and tries to leave. For that the penalty is death.

There are thousands of mosques in Christendom. Many of them are funded by wahabbist extremists in Saudi Arabia. Many of them, here in the U.S., Europe, and Great Britain, have served as recruitment centers and weapons caches for Islamic terrorists. If you object to the establishment of one of these mosques, as many have here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, you are branded an ignorant Islamaphobe. If officials in Saudi Arabia burn Bibles and forbid churches and require head scarves, they are just being true to their cultural imperatives, which we have no right to question.

There are many now who consider it a virtue that Christendom no longer takes pride in its culture and heritage. Maybe it is, in some kind of pacifist, guilt-laden, suicidal good way. We have been dominant for awhile now. It is gracious of us to be so self deprecating. The problem is that we are, and have been for some time, at war with a very confident, murderous ideology that intends to kill and enslave us. Good manners are not going to cut it.

Typical Muslim Reaction to an Act of Free Speech

Friday, September 10th, 2010

that hasn’t even happened yet.

Typical Muslim Reaction to an Act of Free Speech

Progressivism

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

This whole “Progressive” agenda is so wrong, so unbelievably wrong, so insanely wrong, so counter to common sense and human nature. I know that Obama is unpopular, and that’s a good thing, but there are still 44% who approve of his performance. How can that be? What are they thinking? Why isn’t it 18%? Do 44% of the American people believe in these liberal principles?

1. To solve the financial collapse caused by too much borrowing and spending, at every level, from the personal to Wall Street to the municipal to the State to the Federal, the solution is more borrowing and spending. At every level.

2. The more that people are taken care of by the government, the better off they are, and the better people they are.

3. The best way to educate our children is to expose them to only one point of view, the correct point of view, the liberal point of view.

4. If the U.S. were not so mean and intolerant and greedy and war-like, the rest of the world would love us.

5. The Constitution has all kinds of limitations that have not kept up with the modern world, and must therefore be disregarded. The 10th Amendment, for example, has been completely ignored, as it should be, by the Supreme Court for decades, including by the current supposedly “conservative” Court, and that should continue.

6. The reason all the state, local, and national governments in the world are bankrupt is because rich people aren’t paying their fair share.

7. The environment is being destroyed! We are all gonna die! Why won’t they listen!

8. 70% of the American people are racist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, nativist, ignorant, unenlightened unfortunates who need guidance.

I could go on, but I just don’t have the heart. What is wrong with these people?

Moderate Fascism

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Suppose you were born into a particular religion. Your parents, relatives, and everyone you knew was also a member of the same religion. As you grew up, practicing the rituals and observances of your faith, you gradually learned that the practices and beliefs of your religion included, among other things, the following:

Denouncing your religion and converting to some other religion was punishable by death.

The penalty for adultery was to be stoned to death.

Homosexuality was a crime punishable by death.

Members of other religions were infidels to be killed or subjugated.

Let’s suppose also that you are an American citizen, living in Minneapolis, or somewhere, the child of immigrants. You attend public schools, get your degree at the state University, go to work for Cisco as a network engineer, or start your own business. How would you feel about this religion you grew up with?

As an adult American citizen, you are not personally subject to any of these beliefs and practices. You are protected from them by the Constitution and by the history, traditions, and culture of the United States, unless of course you are a helpless teenage girl, living in a ghetto of fellow religionists, with old-fashioned parents who don’t like you dating those infidel boys. In that case, your life might be in danger.

There are limits to what can be sanely tolerated in the name of multiculturalism and diversity. Calling something holy doesn’t make it so. There is pushing and there is shoving, but, in the end, it is the responsibility of every individual to arrive at his or her own judgment of what is true.