Sunday, November 20, 2016

FreeCon ... How Free Are We?

Get your scorecards out, my friends!

Let's start scoring bad political ideas and bad political actions.

With the self-righteous media in America finally surrendering to academic Marxism, and with Leftists forcefully lecturing their bankrupt moralities to the rest of us Americans, and with the Right electing a guy who says he wants to cripple free speech and free trade, I thought it might be time for a qualitative assessment of just how coercive certain political ideas and policies really are or could be -- on both the right and left.

Let's end the smugness and self-righteousness of the politicians and elitists by declaring in concrete terms, with a Number, just how dangerous they and their ideas are.

All political thought and action can be measured in the societal realm by the amount of coercion they use or seek to use against individuals and businesses. Are they freedom-oriented or are they not? Every government policy affects someone! A Leftist insisting on the forceful funding of the arts or a Rightist seeking to forcefully ban abortions both seek coercion against individuals.

There can be no self-righteousness on either's part for the above coercive policies -- for forcing some people to do what they don't wish to do with their own money, or for preventing others from doing what they wish to do with their own body.

But how bad are those particular policies? How coercive is each one on individual rights? How much do they violate freedoms?

Perhaps we can attempt to measure this. Perhaps we can measure the amount of coercion of these two proposals and all other political policies and political ideas on a Freedom Condition scale.


FreeCon would give qualitative measure, on a scale of 1 to 5, to the amount of coercion being used or sought to be used against individuals via political policies and ideas -- with FreeCon 1 being total control of an individual's (or business's) action in a certain scenario, and FreeCon 5 being total freedom of action in a certain scenario.

This would give at least a general sense of just how coercive and dangerous some ideas are, so that we can carry that sense with us in conversation, judgment and political action. For example:

"Obama's executive action on punishing energy businesses via stifling pollution controls is FreeCon 3. It still honors the businesses' rights to run their own businesses somewhat, but violates property rights to a large degree and limits maximum production and other alternatives that may be essential for growth and prosperity. And it raises the price of energy for consumers."

The discussion just on the energy scenario could last for days, of course, with hundreds of facts determining a proper FreeCon number, pertaining to the violation of the right to property.

Because of the variables involved, there will not always be agreement on the FreeCon scaling on any particular political policy or idea, but the discussion helps give clarity to the concrete facts surrounding the idea, and the eventual FreeCon scaling itself.

FreeCon can also be used to give a general assessment of a country or the world, much like DefCon does in its realm of imminent threat to the U.S.

For example, a FreeCon 4.5 might've been given to a nearly-regulation-free America (with almost no taxes) in the 1890s. But with the weight of Progressive intrusion over the last 120 years, we might now give a FreeCon 3 or FreeCon 2.5 assessment concerning loss of rights, loss of freedom.

An overall assessment would include such areas as free speech, gun ownership, unbridled capitalism, taxation, property ownership, stifling fees and permissions, immigration/emigration, etc.

We could even give FreeCons to Supreme Court decisions, to media outlets, to particular reporters, to entertainers (Dicaprio gets FreeCon 2), to businessmen (Soros gets same as Dicaprio), to family members (hmm), to other countries, to politicians, to movements, to religions, to activists, etc.

Objectivists understand that the right to one's life, body and property is absolute, based on the fact that we are rational, volitional animals who must have that right (the freedom) in society in order to act in accordance with our own minds and values to be happy and productive. Governments and their policies cannot rightfully interfere with our right.

Government's only job is to protect individual rights -- to protect freedom. Anything else is intrusive, taking it below FreeCon 5.

All assessment on FreeCon assumes this objective fact about reality, humans and freedom. It assumes that humans have a complete right to their life, body and property -- so any political idea or policy that would violate that right in any way would bring us below the ideal of FreeCon 5.

Let the assessments begin!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Where's the REAL Aaron Burr When You Need Him?

In case you've been on the non-planet Pluto for the last 18 hours, my friend, there's been yet another leftist protest.

This time the protestors were dressed up -- on Broadway. Yep. Yep. They consisted of boorish audience members who actually booed another audience member, who had his daughter and nephew with him to enjoy the wonderful play Hamilton.

No, it's true. It happened.

The audience member who was booed was then lectured to by the cast of the play after the play was over, as the audience member was trying to exit with his daughter and nephew.

If you've never heard of such a thing happening and find this altogether unsettling, please be patient. There's more. Yes, yes, I'll let you know who the audience member was in a moment. Yes, yes, his daughter and nephew are alright.

The Hamilton actor who did the lecturing -- let's call him Fake Aaron Burr -- insinuated that the audience member was a bigoted, narrow-minded, elitist, Earth-hating, rights-hating, racist pig who would hopefully be less of all those horrible things because he saw their great play.

Please stop laughing, it's true. I swear it. It's not a hoax. Yes, of course, only a leftist could call somebody despicable and then offer him hope of not being despicable because he was offered the opportunity to see the grand leftists perform. Yep, you just can't make that shit up.

I'll let you judge for yourself. Here's what Fake Aaron Burr said:
We, sir, we are the diverse America, who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. ... But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.
Whoa, my friend, I don't think I've heard you use those words in a while. Please calm down. OK, you can stop throwing things now. Yes, of course I agree. Yes, of course it's condescending and insulting and pretentious and, ahem, fucking presumptuous. Yes, I know, I know, you just don't DO something like that to a person, ANY person, out for a nice relaxing evening of art and entertainment -- with his daughter and nephew, no less.

But that's what leftists do, right? They block our highways and roads and force us to listen to their tantrums and waste our time in our cars -- away from our loved ones or our jobs or the emergency room or wherever.

They just can't leave us alone!

They riot over elections but can't tell us why they're rioting, and they demand to be heard, even though they don't know what they want to say. They've got emotions, you know!

They tell us that we must work so they can have free college.

They tell us they must have safe spaces if we say anything back.

They and their representatives turn hard-working Americans into slaves of the welfare state.

They define people by race and class and disabilities -- and then call us the bigots and racists.

They have no understanding of what inalienable rights are -- to one's own body, property, money and time. But they will lecture about those rights to the soon-to-be second-most-powerful person in the world.

Oh, yes yes, I'm sorry. The name of the audience member was Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. No, he didn't say anything when Fake Aaron Burr lectured him. He just left with his daughter and nephew.

Yeah, me too. It's too bad that Mike Pence wasn't the REAL Aaron Burr.

Now that would've been a show worth watching!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The New Untouchables

You remember the famous group of federal agents in 1930s-America who got the nickname "The Untouchables" -- because their integrity was beyond reproach, untouched by threats or the bribes of criminals.

They refused to be influenced by anything but the facts, which they acted on with force and conviction.

(Ponder incredulously on that for a moment.)

They did their job -- with élan.

Not so in modern America.

Federal officials and judges now wear lace panties while nibbling on the crumbs of Marie Antoinette.

The officials meet secretly with The Grey Eminence aboard planes. The officials pretend that years of egregious criminal misconduct was just a "golly-gee-whiz" lapse. The judges give a winking, grinning thumbs-up to unpardonable laws that force free people to buy medical insurance.

American officials are no longer protectors -- no longer The Untouchables.

The politicians are The New Untouchables -- in the Banana Republic formerly known as The United States of America.

The once-separate beds of government are now the King's incestuous mattress, with the feds and judges lying happily at the feet of the royalty.

"I will gladly meet with you aboard your private plane and be your wife's pit-bull for injustice and racism."

"Meet with me and I will pretend to interrogate you and then let you go free. As a bonus, of course, I'll pretend to not remember anything you said. When you are queen, please remember your humble servant as FBI chief."

"You can rely on me, Mr. President, to ensure that your legacy of forcing citizens to pony up is secure in this courtroom."

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their ilk are solely without integrity and utterly without souls. Their bidding is the demand of hoi polloi officials. It is expected.

For The New Untouchables, the law is what they say it is, at best, and simply a nuisance, at worst.

Executive orders come from on-high, or, when testifying before Congress, they plead the 5th while polishing their nails, rolling their eyes and planning lunch with the Trotskys or the environmentalist Jetset.

The snicker is their raison d'être.

They are royalty to the millennial narcissists they've fostered on the public dime through 12 years of brain-altering "education".

They refuse to salute the brave security personnel who defend them daily -- though they will occasionally tell these defenders to "fuck off" and expect the defenders to be grateful to have briefly captured the eye of Caesar.

The erstwhile Untouchables are now The Undesirables. Comey and Roberts, like all sycophants, are universally detested, even by their own.

The politicians and "elites" whom The Undesirables get off the hook use them and despise them because, well, they are politicians and elitists -- and they love nothing but themselves. The New Untouchables respect only those who are professional gamers -- of the system.

The public doesn't like The Undesirables because the one job we give them to do -- ensure justice -- is clearly unimportant to them. It is, evidently, an undesirable job, whose only benefit is its intoxicating proximity to power.

Integrity is absent.

One gets the sense that these two punks -- Comey and Roberts -- cross their fingers behind their backs when they promise. You know, things like "I do solemnly swear (fingers crossed) that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies ... blah blah blah."

"Yes, yes, yes, foreign and domestic, blah blah blah, move on, move on, move on! Let's get this overwith. I've got a luncheon with the Clintons, and Hillary does NOT like it when I'm late."

The Undesirables are criminals. They intentionally undermine the constitution they yawningly swore to uphold upon entering office. They should be in prison.

Sound extreme?

"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue."

The "moderation" of Comey and Roberts isn't just a lack of virtue. It's treasonous. Roberts makes slaves of Americans, and Comey clears the path to the presidency of one of the most detestable and dangerous individuals in America. Each violated his oath, endangering our liberty. Let them cross fingers in prison.

The Undesirables have mastered one thing, though -- the straight face. Both of these men and their ilk get in front of cameras and show not a speck of shame about their criminal, sycophantic behavior.

What, do FBI directors and judges undergo a rigorous "straight-face" job-training program?

Maybe. Or it could be that they just learn well from their heroes -- The New Untouchables.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Francisco's Money Speech (Yawn)

The brilliant philosopher Ayn Rand was NOT a brilliant dramatist, often using set-up scenes to elaborate on her perfect philosophy of Objectivism -- to the detriment of flow and drama.

Romantic literature should move mellifluously, quickly, graphically, realistically, stylistically -- not have endless descriptions (Hugo and Faulkner) endless explanations (Dostoevsky) or endless speeches (Rand).

Concocted speeches may be somewhat interesting the first time you read a novel, but the rational reader will simply skip such speeches (if not the first time they read the novel, at least upon second reading) because it is simply preaching to the choir. We don't need to be told the meaning of money because we already know it, and the speech interferes with a fictional, experiential movement of character development, drama and suspense.

The Francisco D'Anconia "money speech" (brilliant for a book on capitalism) is just one example (the 70-page Galt "radio speech" being the worst example in literature of didactic drama-death).

With that said, here's one example of how the money speech could've gone down to add drama and flow -- and still get the point across:

(Man on stairs at party monologuing loudly on how money is allegedly the root of all evil. He is surrounded by fawners. Francisco and scores of others are on the floor below.)

(As man says the phrase "money is the root of all evil" ...)

Francisco (loudly with hilarity): Ha!

(Everyone looks at Francisco smiling and now sipping his martini)

Man (snidely): Did you have something you wanted to say?

F (acting a bit surprised): Well, yes, I suppose so. YOU, sir, are the root of all evil.

M (laughing and looking at those nearby): I am the root of all evil?! Ha! And how is that, pray tell?! (friends near him self-consciously laughing with him).

F (looking around the room with a slight smirk): How many of you burn your paychecks when you get them?

(Everybody shaking heads and laughing at the rhetorical question. Room is abuzz. Even some men and women on the stairs are smiling. Francisco waits for the room to quiet down as he sips his martini with a smile again.)

F: That paycheck. ... YOUR paycheck, my friends ... represents YOUR hard work? The company you work for traded THEIR money for YOUR hard work. That money is your life-sweat, your pride in your ability and productivity. You can now pridefully take that hard-earned money and go buy products produced by other prideful, hard-working people ... to help you and your loved ones live well. ... And this idiot (Francisco nods his head toward the Man without looking at him) tells you that that is evil. (Man's face turns serious and a shade of red)

M (eyes glaring, almost stuttering): I'm not ...

F: Look at him, folks. Look how he lurches at me. (men nearby hold man in place to keep him from running down the stairs)

M: NOBODY talks to me that way! I'll ...

F (looking around and nodding in the man's direction again): THAT ... is evil! Any man who says that our hard work, the thing we should be most proud of in our lives, is the root of all evil. ... His mind-hating irrationality is the root of all evil. ... There's some irony for ya, huh?"

(Man breaks free and catapults down the stairs toward Francisco, who calmly turns to the beautiful lady to his right)

F: Would you please hold this (martini) for a moment, love?

(lady, caught in whirlwind of action, absent-mindedly grabs glass and holds it exactly in place)

(Down the stairs, the man charges Francisco at full speed. People near Francisco move away, except for stricken lady, in Statue of Liberty pose.)

M: You son of a bitch capitalist ...!

(As the man nears Francisco, Francisco calmly and quickly takes a step to his left and launches a fist at the man's jaw, halting the man's momentum in mid-stride and sending him to the floor unconscious. Gasps are heard as everyone stares at the bloodied man. Francisco thanks the women to his right, takes the clear glass. He lifts the bubbling martini high, gazes at it longingly and sips again.)

F: Yes, my friends, money is good.

(People smile and laugh and raise their glasses and sip.)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kids have rights, so what's a parent to do?

The American writer/thinker Ayn Rand was the first person in history to finally understand and explain what human rights are:

A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)  
The Virtue of Selfishness, page 93

When Rand says "man", she means "humans" (all people), not just men, of course. Rand correctly said that people automatically have rights upon birth on page 58 of The Voice of Reason.

And here (all people):
Since Man has inalienable individual rights, this means that the same rights are held, individually, by every man, by all men, at all times. Therefore, the rights of one man cannot and must not violate the rights of another. -- 
The Ayn Rand Column, page 84

She also correctly discovered that ALL humans have rights because they possess the mind's faculty of reason (unlike lower animals):

The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life.
For the New Intellectual, page 182

Her point in saying that all humans automatically have rights is that humans don't have to prove they are rational to have rights; they have rights by the simple fact that they are rational animals.

This same argument applies to infants and other children of all ages. Whether a human is capable at any given moment to exercise their rationality is of no consequence concerning rights. They STILL have those rights, whether they are comatose, an invalid, crippled, knocked out, asleep or just born.
(To read my blog entry on comatose adults and children's rights, please READ HERE)

Having a caretaker to help them with their lives does not obviate their individual rights. And the caretaker does not take on any position of absolute authority in relation to the person requiring care, outside of the implied or explicit "authorization" to act for them in a way that is objectively constructive (a way that would mimic the their own objective acts if they were capable).

The parental status is ONLY the caretaker status -- the caretaker of rights and safety. The caretaker guards the child until the child becomes better at running his/her own life through "self-generated" thought and action, until the child can determine what goals (values) he or she wishes to pursue, including information (education), careers, morality, hobbies, play, etc.

It is not the job of the caretaker (parent) to decide for the child what they "should' do: education, careers, morality, hobbies, play, etc. It is not the job of the caretaker to "direct" the child towards the caretaker's values: education, careers, morality, hobbies, play, etc.

As a caretaker of rights, the parent will ensure that the baby/child understands that rights are a two-way street: that nobody can coerce them (use force agains them unless they use force first) and that they can't coerce others. Staying on top of this ALWAYS is vital for a caretaker. Children should be treated in the exact same manner as we treat other adults, with complete and utter respect always for their rights.

All of the above is fundamental to a parent/child relationship based on rights. There are other aspects of being a caretaker that are very good for children but not obligatory:

1) Surrounding the child with things that are potentially interesting, so they can get to know their world better and faster, thereby making choices more easily on what they want to do.
2) Being involved and interested in their lives (which you should since you HAD them) and having terrific conversations.
3) Expressing yourself always, including your judgments of people.
4) Being a great role model by having an exciting career, being moral always, being entirely open with your thoughts and judgments, showing your affection, being emotional when you are emotional, being properly selfish always so that they see that your life means everything to you.

When we honor our children's rights for self-determination, parenting (care taking) is a piece of cake. They run their own lives. They never have a reason to rebel (there's no "authority" to rebel against). They are astoundingly moral, creative and self-motivated because they've seen your example and they know they are in full charge of their lives.

Then our children become our great friends.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

School's Out FOREVER

School is a waste of time.
Oops. Let me rephrase that.
School is a COMPLETE waste of time.
There, that's better.
I don't mean just "primary" schools and "secondary" schools. I mean ALL schools, including colleges.
Rhetorical-question alert!
Does it REALLY take 12 years for kids to learn the basics of life: math, reading, writing?
Does it really take four or six or eight years to learn to be a surgeon or lawyer or architect or engineer or programmer or astronomer or chemist or fashion designer or journalist or WHATEVER?
Kids learn to read and write and do math in less than a year. I've seen it happen with my own child and dozens of other "homeschooled" children.
The rest of the crap they teach in school is just, well, CRAP.
Sociology? Really? Crap.
Social science? Really? Crap.
History? Snooze. Really? Crap (to most all kids).
Science? Really? Not necessary for those NOT going into science and a waste of time for those who can consume ten times the needed information at home in their own pink lounge chair.
"High" math? Really? Please read answer immediately above.
Literature? Really? A complete bore to virtually all kids for several reasons. They simply aren't interested. Or they haven't lived enough life yet to understand Shakespeare or Austin or Dumas or L.M. Montgomery or whomever -- AND they can read on their own time whatever they might want in the, yep you guessed it, the pink lounge chair.
And college? Don't get me going on that! OK, I'm already going, yes, I admit it.
Most of what you learn in college is not even CONNECTED to your primary career path. (well-known fact, of course). Waste!
And the stuff that IS connected you could easily learn much quicker and better in an apprenticeship -- which brings me to where we SHOULD be in this world, concerning learning.
All careers are essentially trades -- or "crafts," however you want to say it. All work is crafting. All work, outside of maybe a few intellectual jobs like psychologist and a few other "mental" careers, is hands-on. And the best way to learn is with your hands and your eyes and other senses.
The information you need outside of this hands-on learning is so little, you can learn it at night in your free time in, you guessed it again, your pink lounge chair -- even psychology (watching tapes, studying cognitive analysis, etc.)
At this point, many of you have just two words for me. ... No, not THOSE two words. These two words: Prove it!
OK, here goes.
Journalist: I got a college degree in mass communication (I know, I know, I'm embarrassed, too), with a specialty in journalism. I learned EVERYTHING I need to know about journalism by working at the college newspaper -- everything except some simple libel information, which basically boiled down to the following: you can't slander a politician because they put themselves in official "public" roles, but you better not say false things about private people or your ass is in trouble.
Programmer: all information used to be in books and is now on the Internet (let's call this the Internet Rule). There are some 12-year-olds making millions of dollars right now after teaching THEMSELVES programming and creating programs worth, yeah, millions.
(Let me stop here for a moment to say that careers could easily start at 13 or 14 years of age in a free society, unencumbered by "schooling." Kids who are homeschooled or unschooled usually learn quickly what they like to do, since they are not in a "school" wasting their time and trying to be obedient to the common core dictators.)
Chemistry: all substances, formulas and theories. Easily understood via Internet Rule.
Literature: all books and analyses. Easily accessible via Internet Rule.
History: all books and analyses and opposing opinions. Easily accessible via Internet Rule (By the way, it is hogwash to say that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana, who penned that ridiculous phrase, didn't understand that one need only know the proper role of government -- to prevent and prosecute the initiation of force against another human -- to not "repeat" history.)
Architect: books, pictures, design, math, theories, calculus. See Internet Rule. (Google has a free starter architect computer program for beginners and intermediates that is KILLER!)
Surgeon: information on the body and medicines, watching it done, practicing under supervision, etc.  Doogie should NOT be just fiction!
Pilot: information on air dynamics, plane makeup, watching professional in person, practicing in front of professional until proficient.
Need I go on? Please say NO!
The only science, the only INFORMATION, that absolutely everyone needs to be happy and have a happy and productive career can also be done in private: objective philosophy.
Rational (fact-based) philosophy guides everything we do because it is the broadest science and encapsulates every thought and action and emotion we have, since it has to do with the fundamentals of life: metaphysics (nature of universe), nature of humans (rational), epistemology (how rationality works), morality (virtues necessary for achieving things on way to happiness), and politics (proper role of government in a setting where two or more people are present).
My daughter is learning objective philosophy the way she taught herself to read and write and do math: by watching, listening, doing, judging, asking questions, evaluating (all outside of a "class"). She's beginning to consciously place the principals she's learned in the front of her mind, organizing thoughts and action from once-scattered ideas. That's the way it's done OUTSIDE OF CLASSES.
If you learned anything from this post, you did it OUTSIDE of a classroom -- and maybe in a pink lounge chair.
School's out!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Sound and Fury of Human Shadows

Sometimes I have a month of work and personal interaction with people whom only Shakespeare can sum up:
For these people, "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Ah yes, so Shakespeare had idiots! "Sound and fury, signifying nothing." Yummy.
Three weeks ago I had to fire a relative who lied to our customers and didn't do his job -- and then he yelled at ME! HE was upset! Why? Who the fuck knows. He was innocent, by damn. He went into a litany of furious charges against me (none true) in which he simply transformed reality to his own liking -- and then he BELIEVED the new reality he'd just created.
It was almost like a thief, caught red-handed, saying: "Hey, dude, why are you looking at me like that. I just put my hand in your back pocket, but I didn't steal your wallet. Yeah, your wallet's in my hand, but I didn't do it. I don't know how it got there. Oh, yeah, I remember, YOU put it in my hand. Why the fuck did you put your wallet in my hand?!"
Surreal. Sound. Fury. Shadows.
Reading Shakespeare, I realize that altering reality to one's own purposes is nothing new, and the sound and fury are nothing new.
Two weeks ago, a friend called me up and accused me of not being friendly anymore at a business meeting we were at that morning. I didn't know what he was talking about. He said that when he saw me, when we hugged, the hug wasn't real. Told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He wouldn't have it. He started yelling on the phone, out of nowhere. When I asked him for facts, he said, "Oh, facts, yeah, David, you're all about the facts. You ALWAYS have to be right!"
I said bye and hung up. He tried to call back with more sound and fury and more of his reality-altering monologues. I finally answered the phone and said, "Look, if "bye" is too short of a goodbye for you, let's try this: Fuck you."
He hung up. I drank a glass of wine.
Four days ago, my almost-11-year-old daughter was at her friends' house. A babysitter was at the house for the 3 year old who was there, but the babysitter was not sitting for my daughter. The babysitter starts telling my daughter and two other older kids what to do and not do, out of nowhere. My daughter told the babysitter she wasn't doing anything the sitter said. Sitter got furious and told the parents of the 3 year old that if my daughter came to their house, the sitter wouldn't sit for them when that happened. (That babysitter got fired the next day by my friends.)
When I called the sitter and asked for her view of the events that happened, she changed her story several times and got so furious at my calm questions that she screamed, "I don't want to talk about this anymore! If your daughter comes over, I won't be around! She makes me nervous!"
The sitter is 19 years old, an idiot telling tales, full of sound and fury.
Yesterday, in a big conference meeting, I had to fire my company's marketing group in New York City for lack of performance. The group's CEO denied the lack of performance, despite my laying out the facts of the nonperformance. She then went on a several-minute tirade accusing everyone in my company and outside my company for the faults that were hers. At several points, she blatantly lied in front of several people whom she should've known knew the truth, but it didn't stop her from lying anyway. Reality was what she made it. She threatened a lawsuit against our company for alleged breach of contract, while I was firing her for breach of contract. She demanded payment for nonperformance.
Sound, fury, shadow, tales.
All the above reminds me of a quote by Ayn Rand in her 1974 essay, Selfishness Without the Self, in which she says that the person who has no solid sense of self "finds ... reality a meaningless term. His metaphysics consists in the chronic feeling that life, somehow, is a conspiracy of people and things against him, and he will walk over corpses -- in order to assert himself? No, in order to hide (or fill) the nagging inner vacuum left by his aborted self."
Shakespeare gives us his singular images, and Rand explains it.
The popular metaphor for such people is zombies, but I like Shakespeare's shadows. They are empty, dark, even ominous in their unpredictability.
And they are loud!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The priest at his human feast

One reason I can't take most christians seriously on their "faith" is that I know they simply don't read the bible and have no real idea that it says that plants existed before the sun, that dudes surfed in whale's mouths, that their "god" drowned everybody on Earth (yes, babies, too) except for eight lucky people, and that virgins were ravaged with alacrity. It seems to cause christians no pangs to know that the "virgin" Mary was ravaged by "god" before her husband Joseph consummated their marriage with his corporeal penis.
Perhaps christians know many of these "highlights" but simply don't think about them much. As the wonderfully eloquent and witty Robert Ingersoll said about 150 years ago: To read the bible is to giggle. And christians aren't giggling.
Damn Ingersoll for saying that before ME!
Which brings me to the people who actually READ the bible. The shamans, the magic men -- known in common parlance as "preachers."
If you don't go to church, you know them by their job six days a week: thinking of cute things to put on signs in front of their churches: "If you need to talk to someone, put god on speed-dial"; "a friend in need is a friend in need of god"; "the Sermon on the Mount is for those stuck in a valley"; "the bell tolls for the belles and the beasts." Ouch!
Shamans are not Shakespeares. Here, I must quote Ingersoll again, who said: I'll take Hamlet over all the religious sayings, quotes and books every written or said.
Hallelujah, Bob!
The life of a priest is a bazaar thing really. His life is built around a book filled with a thousand contradictions and thousands of violations of reality. Leprosy is not cured with a tough of a finger, and when we die, we decompose, and the universe is 13 billion years across, not a shell (firmament) a few miles up (as the ancient bible writers thought).
The priests know all this and must commit their minds to, basically, saying, "Shit, I need to get paid, so I have to try to make sense of all this shit to my flock, who's going to be here in 10 minutes!"
Those are the "honest" ones, the ones who have some sense that the bible is primitive BS. These "honest" ones try to modernize and have "gigabyte" meetings, replete with a coffee bar so the youth can have their mochas and lattes. It ain't about the bible; it's about the caffeine. But who's asking?
The dishonest priests (but I repeat myself) REALLY believe the bible. When Jesus says that he has not come to change "one iota" of the previous (Moses) laws and then proceeds to change ALL those laws, the dishonest priests turn a blind eye -- and then find a clever way to explain this contradiction to their sheep.
The dishonest priests are pretty damn good salesmen, if their engorged parking lots are any indication. On Easter Sunday, with a straight face, they say that jesus has risen. Their flock screams hallelujah. They smile and weep. Then they all have lunch and lattes.
The priesthood is not about honesty or information. It is about power, like politics -- the power over people. It's a heady thing, I'm sure, to look out on a thousand faces and see rapture and attentiveness, while you fill their minds with giggly bile.
But what does such evasion on an unimaginable scale do to a man, a priest? How does a mind deal with the thousands of contradictions of reality replete in the bible on a daily basis, while the rest of us are living real lives? What HAPPENS to such a mind?
It becomes the grinning monster. The shaman of old. The personification of cognitive dissonance. A twisted, distorted, special case of insanity attempting hourly, daily to fight back the rational mind that is screaming: "Get out, get out, get out of here! Go LIVE"
That's why when you see priests at the store or on TV, they have that ethereal, far-off, fake-smiley look on their face -- like they are secretly having your kittens tortured while you shop.
You cannot read daily that an alleged god blithely wiped out entire villages of men, women and children for his alleged "chosen ones" without annihilating your own good judgment of the fact that that alleged god is a murderer of the highest order.
You cannot read that the vast majority of human beings, according to jesus, will endure an eternity of torment and excruciating pain in "the undiscovered country" simply because they won't "worship" and "have faith in" jesus -- without, again, suspending your own better judgment as the fairness of such malevolence.
Let's not even mention the fact that ANY being would wish to be worshiped. Talk about low self-esteem!
These "men of the cloth" have sold their minds to a boundless ugliness, and they attempt to convince others every week to do the same. They prey on the most precious thing we humans have: the mind. They are far worse than pedophiles, who seek only the body of the young.
They feast on humans, the human mind.
They are the modern-day monsters.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"O" told you not to pick your nose while driving!

In Harry Potter, there is a certain very bad man who cannot be called by his name. He is called "He who cannot be named."
We have the same sort of "he who cannot be named" in the Oval Office of the White House. And he is NOT happy with American drivers and what they are costing his insurance extravaganza.
Let's call him "O".
O led the light brigade many years ago on banning texting while driving and has successfully killed more Americans with such laws because those Americans were (surprise) holding their phones down while texting (so police wouldn't see them) and couldn't see the road. Result? More crashes. More deaths. Fewer people needing insurance because they were dead. O's many other edicts have been just as successful, such as forcing Americans to buy his health insurance so Americans could pay a lot more for fixing their bodies. Very successful.
O also decided it was time for America to be the Sesame Street of the world and make everyone, including very bad countries, have fun and be happy with us in the new Sesame world. Result? More terrorism. Russia invades another country. Iran builds nuclear weapons. Afghanistan falls. Iraq devolves into chaos. Israel is all alone against the murderers. Syria slaughters at whim. North Korea threatens Japan and even America.
Again, O has been highly successful in his foreign policy. Fewer people in the world means lower insurance costs.
So, with so many successes behind him, O is considering new bans while you are driving. You will soon not be able to do the following:
1) Sneeze (you have to close your eyes)
2) Adjust your radio (music makes you too happy anyway)
3) Fart (you usually lift one butt cheek to allow proper expunging, and THAT is dangerous)
4) Pick your nose (remember, TWO CLEAN HANDS on the wheel)
5) Look at a pretty woman or handsome man on side of road (first of all, that is simply OBJECTIFYING the opposite sex, and second of all, EYES ON THE ROAD)
6) Blinking (see EYES ON THE ROAD above)
7) Talking (talking means you are not PAYING ATTENTION, and, plus, you may be talking about how much more you're having to pay for health insurance)
8) Singing (what, you think you're WHITNEY FUCKING HOUSTON?!)
9) Yelling at kids (even though O thinks this is generally a good thing, yelling means your mouth is open, and when your mouth is open, your eyes squint, and THAT IS DANGEROUS)
10) Smoking (though O is a smoker and smokes in his taxpayer-provided, bullet-proof limo, your smoking will cost his health-insurance plan shit-tons, and the smoke could make you sneeze, and THAT is not acceptable)
11) Eating (obviously, this will make you fat and cost the health insurance plan MORE money, and that greasy drumstick could cause your hands to slip off the steering wheel and your car may hit a squinty-eyed liberal who votes for him)
12) Everything else (O couldn't think of anything else right now, so he invoked an alteration on the 10th Amendment to the Constitution)
Happy trails!

No news is good news

Planes crash, bridges collapse, thieves steal, Jesse Jackson drools, murderers murder, schools enslave children who feed on each other, unions sleep, presidents rob and smile, natural disasters wipe out villages and take down electricity, the earth warms and cools, fat people don't like to be called fat people, news "anchors" (readers) look VERY serious, weather happens, houses burn down, people text while driving, teenagers have sex (lots of it, sacre bleu!), some businessmen are crooks, terrorists terrorize, Russia invades, liberals confiscate and smile, conservatives secretly watch porn because they've banned it and hate it, politicians lie and smile.
It's called the news. Been happening this way, in one form or another (Caesar didn't have planes, but Jesse Jackson was drooling 2,000 years ago), for thousands of years. The chaos didn't begin when news readers took to the TV with 4.6 pounds of makeup.
I haven't watched the news for over 10 years. I would, if the lovely reader ladies went topless, but then I wouldn't be watching the NEWS.
The news takes away from the good life, from living. Doesn't teach us much of anything -- not the way it is done nowadays. As Don Henley says, "Get the widow on the set, we've got dirty laundry." Dirty laundry ain't fun to watch.
I'd rather be watching a good movie or TV series, or talking with someone, or drinking wine and reading, or playing with my daughter, or planning out some business strategy, or, frankly, watching grass grow.
If you already know what's right and wrong (morality, politics, liberty, productivity, thinking), then the news is a parade of dunces and denizens in real time -- the same ones they had 2,000 years ago, except with different names and bodies.
No news is good news.