Sunday, December 20, 2009
During my business's hard times this last year, I was surviving and paying bills, but the credit card companies greatly reduced the limits on the cards while greatly increasing the interest rates -- at the very time that I needed capital to survive and weather the severe downturn, which was brought on by collusion between the card companies' banks and the federal government. When I professionally addressed each card company about the deleterious effects of their actions on my company's accounts, they each said they had no choice, even though I'd been a diligent card member with each company for anywhere from 5 to 12 years and made each tens of thousands in interest.
I moved out of my four-bedroom home and am now living in a home half the size with my daughter. Though I continue to help my franchisees with my real estate company, I have branched out into three other businesses that are still some time away from making me more money than just survival cash.
But I am determined to never use credit cards again as long as I live. I will do as my father did: buy with cash or not buy at all. I will not make a credit card company one more cent of interest as long as I live. I also will not buy a home or a car unless I can do so with cash because I do not wish to make one penny of interest money for the banks that screwed me, my business and many friends' businesses and lives. I see no way around having a bank account, unfortunately, and just stockpiling cash at home because one generally must have an account to pay bills, and it is too dangerous to keep cash at home, so I must, for the time being, allow my bank to make interest by investing my meager money in my bank account, but I will look for alternatives in the near future and have a few ideas.
I would hope that my fellow Americans would do the same and live simply by a debit card, drawing only upon cash already in an account, thereby strangling the credit-card companies and the lobbyists that suck the dicks of Congressmen.
It is a wonderful feeling to be free of the monsters. I also got rid of my health-insurance company 14 months ago and have saved $6,000 by doing so and staying fit. If Congress wishes to attempt to make me buy insurance, I will sue. I wish my fellow Americans would join me in a class action against such barbarism.
Cash or credit?
To hell with credit card companies, banks and health insurers. To hell with them all!!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Peggy Noonan’s column on “The Adam Lambert Problem” was poignant and reminiscent of scores of similar conversations I’ve had with friends for the last 20 years concerning the trailer-trashing of America – in which the vapid, the unctuously ignorant, the Narcissist, the moral relativist are given “reality shows,” front stage at awards ceremonies and a chair in the Oval Office.
Within 50 years, we’ve gone from uptight Puritanism to filthy, angry decadence. In between, we passed up high-spirited, benevolent, enlightened fun and thoughtful circumspection that would be devoid of the faults at each end of the spectrum.
Instead of “you’re welcome" or “you bet,” we now hear “no problem,” with the implication that your presence *is* a problem that has allegedly be risen above.
Vampires are the new Cary Grants and Harrison Fords. Mature (sophisticated thoughts and emotions) movies are relegated to arts theaters and surely never gain titanic revenues. Teleprompters supplant eloquence. Music is about anger, gutter sexuality and ennui (where have you gone, Shirelles?). Happy is un-vogue and schmaltzy. Happy endings are “simplistic” and “trite” and not “Oscar-worthy.” Body mutilation and slovenly apparel adorn lackluster expression. Earning great wealth no longer signifies merit and success, but instead moral turpitude.
It would be facile to point a finger solely at what’s called “public education” and its dummying-down of kids. Something came first, and that *something* is progressivism and its concomitant: skepticism of human efficacy, happiness and self-responsibility. That skepticism largely began with Plato (believing this world and ourselves unreal), runs through religions, passed through Emmanuel Kant and infiltrated modern universities.
The antidote is a diminutive Russian émigré, who first stood upon the shores of America in her 20s during America’s Roaring Twenties. Her name was Ayn Rand, and her philosophy, Objectivism, honored personal achievement, efficacy, self-determination and happiness. We’ll not see the end of the Kanye Wests and the Adam Lamberts in modern America until Ms. Rand’s ideas permeate our culture – and TV executives then understand that filth is not the American (or human) way.
Friday, December 18, 2009
The number of women who have come forward now numbers 14 -- which equals the number of major tournaments Mr. Woods has won in his 13-year pro career. Nice symmetry, that.
I had planned for this blog entry to be another of ridicule and humor, but the Woods saga has now entered the realm of The Twilight Zone. This guy's a seriously disturbed human being, a serial bigamist, a promiscuous of historical proportion, a tragic Greek figure, a sick man
The sickness he has forced upon himself now makes him the object of abject pity and disgust. If he had allowed himself one dishonesty to his wife and family and the business world, it would've showed a mind not capable of keeping focus momentarily, especially if he reconciled himself with that lapse and corrected it. We could've easily forgiven and wished him best once he got right with all of the above and himself.
But to regularly bed other women for years of marriage represents something so monstrous and so ethereally disembodied that one can only recoil in incredulity. It shows such a Leviathan disconnect with one's values and those one values that you seriously have to speculate as to the sanity of the individual. In each instance, he had to willfully block from his mind his wife, his children, his business promises, his charity and all whom he cared about and feigned honesty with. And then he had to live with it by suppressing all to his subconscious, which eats away at self-esteem and pride like parasitic wasp eggs inside young, live caterpillars.
In retrospect, as I've said before, one can see in Mr. Woods' behavior over the years the elusiveness, the ethereal traits, the personal distance, the robotic responses, the smug demeanor, the unctuous moralizing, the supercilious walk down the 18th fairway, the temper tantrums and verbal lashings, for what they are: the tangible products of a sickness, perhaps some pathology. He is Raskolnikov, but not seemingly the full fatalist or futilist or, of course, murderer.
I remember many hundreds of times being riveted by the above traits and wondering what must be inside the man's head, and thinking to myself: "I don't think HE knows what's inside his head." One can, indeed, extrapolate from evidence, but had I mentioned that something disturbing lay inside, people would've thought ME insane. "He's just got a lot of responsibilities," I would've been told. And, in fact, that was often said by TV and print commentators who tried to sum up Woods' distant demeanor. Of course, Jack Nicklaus and Michael Jordan had equal pressure and maintained healthy psyches and genuinely jolly spirits.
I, myself, have been within two feet of Mr. Woods many times as he has stridently loped between the crowd ropes in an affected, defensive fog with a look of some inner terror, as if being chased by some unseen Cheat Death. His demeanor in such times has been rationalized as "concentration," but it so apparently more than that, some distant inner-world of dread and misery.
Tiger woods was raised specifically to play golf, from the age of two, by his father. He was paraded before the world on the Mike Douglas Show at the age of two, carrying a tiny golf bag over his shoulders. It used to be a sweet moment caught on film that people gushed over. It now looks macabre, surreal, oppressive, exasperating. He was controlled a good deal by an overbearing father, like many of us, but Mr. Woods did not make the time to get away from the public eye to get his shit together; he did not TAKE the time to get his shit together. He has been on the path of destiny, manifest destiny -- his father's path first, like Mozart's. Are we ever to know if such children would choose such a path if given the opportunity? No. Greatness is nothing if it is not one's chosen path.
Mr. Wood's evangelical podium has been the 18th Green. It is my fond hope that he takes plenty of time now to seek out psychological help away from the madding crowd and find in him who he is. If I see such a man emerge, I will shed tears of joy, and he may become my new Jack Nicklaus or Michael Jordan. Godspeed.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
President Obama’s teleprompter expressed outrage today at the Philippine volcano Mayon for spewing vast amounts of ash into the atmosphere, calling the exhaust “a reckless disregard for our planet, an unconscionable act that will lead to catastrophic global warming, and an obvious attempt to embarrass me, the president’s teleprompter.” (We here at All the News that’s Fit to Give You Fits don’t give you quotes and end-quotes; we just change our voice or do double-double fingers (DDFs))
Noting the timing of Mayon’s exhaust, the president’s teleprompter then addressed the volcano directly: “Look. Let me be clear. You will not undermine our brave attempts in Copenhagen to suffocate businesses worldwide and to raise taxes on all citizens who bring prosperity to all through capitalism and make more than they should make.”
The head of the European Union’s climate control, Stavros Dimas (yes, that’s his real name), immediately announced sanctions against the volcano and called for $2 billion in fines against Mayon for, he said, “obviously pointing its middle finger at us in a cloud that rose 10,000 meters into the air above the volcano. Nobody points their middle finger at US! Have you not seen what we have done to Microsoft for doing what it wants with its own private property?!”
Upon release of the news of the threat by Stavros Dimas (yes, that’s his real name), Mayon, the volcano, and the surrounding territory shook terribly, knocking people and farm animals off their feet. Some volcanologists called the ground-shaking a mere chuckle, while others termed it a full belly-laugh.
Volcanologists then raised the “alert level” on the volcano overnight to two steps below major eruption, which is one step below “pretty god-awful eruption.” Volcanologists claim they are no relation to the Vulcan, Mr. Spock of Star Trek. The claim appears to be true, as you can see by their pointy heads, not ears, in the picture at left … or right … or wherever the hell it is. (picture)
But the volcanologists bear a remarkable resemblance to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, George Clooney and consensus-ologists who call themselves scientists, as you can see in THIS picture (picture).
After release of the news of Mayon’s giant belching, hackers around the world noticed a uniform increase in secret emails among consensus-ologists who call themselves scientists. The subject title on the most popular email thread was “We’ll rape that son-of-a-bitch skeptical volcano, and she will like it.”
One noted consensus-ologist who calls himself a scientist in London later apologized for the subject line, saying, “We obviously should’ve used the gender-neutral “it” instead of “she.”
Mayon, the volcano, did not return comment, but the ground shook terribly.
(That’s your update with All the News That’s Fit to Give You Fits. As always, please remember that edible underwear made of dark chocolate is good for your heart.)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The slouching centurions of the greedy-needy haunt passages into grocery stores, department stores and malls. The shibboleth for a smile of worthiness and guilt-free passage is money. Lots of money renders special status and a you-are-most-worthy thanks from the Dickensian sergeants.
I usually have little sympathy for my fellow Americans and their Quasimodo hump of altruism, but even I feel for these poor souls who must keep eyes street-ward upon approaching the jingling centurions with their hawkeyes of reproach. It's a pathetic scene to watch every day. How many of these citizens have already given to St. Jude's or the cleft-palates or the skin-and-bones of Africa at the local Wal-Mart or Kroger, and then they come upon yet another conscience-spur jingle?
The poor citizens must be thinking: "I already GAVE at another store. I wish you knew that. Maybe I should tell you I already gave. No, that would be selfish. I must give again. OK, I'll give again. Damn, how many times do I have to give. I wish they would just go away. No, that's selfish. I shouldn't think such thoughts. ... Maybe I'll do my shopping after midnight or online." When grocery stores have two entrances, guess which path is least taken?
I'm thankful to myself and Ayn Rand for who I am and my selfishness and guilt-free mind. I give only to The Ayn Rand Institute. When we (me, the Institute and other Objectivists) win freedom again, I might just drop a couple of bucks in the St. Jude can or help an innovative school charity. Hell, I'll be so fricking happy with my newfound freedom, I might even spend a few bills for Obamao's euthanasia.
Monday, December 14, 2009
They want to ensure that you have fewer nice things to buy because they wish to strangle the people who make them: businesses. They announce what kind of lightbulbs they will let you buy. They wish to make you feel guilty for anything anti-green, including driving your car, running your mower, cutting down a tree, burning wood in your fireplace, keeping your thermostat too high, taking too many plane trips, not buying "green-sensitive" products. They will not let you buy food that they have not approved, even if you think it's better for you.
They will not let you take drugs that they don't approve of. They will not let you take your own life, if you wish. They will not let you pass on your hard-earned money to your loved ones if you earned too much. They demand that you "recycle" certain trash. They demand that you take batteries, oil and other products to far-off centers for "proper" disposal. They will not let you own your own mailbox or put a letter in a neighbor's mailbox (I got upbraided and mildly threatened recently for doing this by a mailman).
They will not let you own a gun unless they says it's OK. They will not let you kill lower animals unless they say it's OK. They will not let you buy fireworks or alcohol unless it is at an approved establishment. They will not let you do hard drugs.
Your children must wear a helmet when on a bicycle. You must wear a seatbelt in your car and "click it or ticket" (isn't that cute?). You cannot add on to your house or build your own house without a half-dozen government types telling you, "Hmm, well, OK, but be careful that you follow code and get a 'licensed' contractor." You cannot get licensed in virtually any practice without a government stamp of authenticity. You cannot have an open container of alcohol in your car, even if you haven't taken a sip.
You must have a concentration-camp number (called "Social Security") affixed to your birth, name and blood. You can't walk around naked if you feel like it (Eck, PENISES and VAGINAS!). You cannot have your children out during "school hours" unless you are a "legitimate" homeschooler. You cannot teach your children what you wish. You cannot cut down certain trees without permission. You cannot bury your pets or your relatives in the back yard for loving proximity. You must have your vehicle "registered" by the state. You must have your vehicle's exhaust checked by the state's minions. You must have a "driver's license" issued by the state. You must show this license at "checkpoints."
You must pay bribes (aka taxes) to the state or be sent to prison to be raped. You cannot withdraw or deposit more than $6,000 at a time or be flagged by the state. You must give your bribes to farmers, foreigners, drug addicts, people without houses, people without food, people with too many babies, people who are sick, people who are crippled, people who are old, people who are young, people without enough clothing, businesses who are too big to fail, businesses who are big at failure, people who own "clunkers."
You must pay tolls on roads long past being paid for. You must suffer through road construction taking four times the free-market time to repair or build. You must get insurance on your car even if you are a safe driver. You cannot start a business unless you have a license. You cannot have a business in your home unless you get a license. You cannot sell fruit at a fruit stand unless you get a license.
You must endure the politician's smile and handshake while he states profoundly that all of the above is for your own good. You cannot live an hour of your life without doing something that the politician tells you're not supposed to do or want to do. You must keep all or most of these rules in your head during every moment of your day to avoid fines, jail or prison. You now live under Big Brother. He is here. He is everywhere.
America is now for the bums.
And it is a bummer.
Life should be free, not risk-free. It should be ebullient, effervescent, self-determining, free of outside oversight, free to make mistakes, free to not make mistakes. Free of any thought whatsoever of improper influence or rules. Free of any sense of oppression or immoral punishment.
How I long for the land of the free. Our fellow ignorant citizens demand the politicians we now have. They are bumming down America. One of these days, we're gonna have to put a stop to it. And it may not be pretty, but we'll throw the bums out.
I allow some mystics (they refer to themselves as "Christians") to become friends on Facebook because they have been generally nice to me and have some values I share. But sometimes they forget themselves and ask me to join some mystic endeavor in a foggy-rotten universe of "discussion." This time it was "intelligent design."
And so it happened this a.m. on my fourth sip of coffee while reading emails. Had the defendant caught me just two sips earlier, he would've heard nothing more than muted swearing from a night-befuddled brain. Alas, his message found me on or after my third sip as my mind gains clock-speed. He was tried and convicted in a court of facts via a Facebook message that referred, in moments, to zombies and mystics and pristine sips of coffee and never-never-little-Johnny-are-you-to-do-that-again.
The mystic did, however, awaken the Fact Giant and stirred FG's previous ruminations upon the subject of the living dead among us reality mongers. And so goes the following:
In the beginning, swirling dead birthed life,
Tiny beings alight on edged knife.
All is to win, and this is all -- a world,
Fuming, venting, a DNA unfurled.
Then it comes! Whence, yet still, we do not know,
A wiggle tail and a spangled torso.
In dark shallows, a billioned great spawn,
A meteor, a raging sun, then gone.
And yet, not gone, a few, yes, they the strong,
Stay, remain, survive anew, fast and long.
We, their virile progeny, though unlike,
We, the human, from chimps and trilobite.
How far is father time is length in change,
For the world is stage we now rearrange.
Some is for good, even so, some for naught,
Rational life is fight for is and ought.
"No it is not!" say low creatures of mind,
"We are but insects to divine divine."
The trilobite laughs and the chimp chuckles,
"Who's this new fool who on death suckles?
"Did we not give life, for we had no choice?
"Did we not give you a mind to rejoice?
"Your greatest poet, we did not believe,
"When he proclaimed, 'What fools these mortals be.'
"We have but little choice now than to see,
"That many of you become us and we.
"Bit by bit, we marched forward in time, space,
"Yet you go backward, you, the human race.
"To rejoin your brethren in bloody toil.
"Rather, please listen, we must be your foil.
"Don't be us, and think not of things not so,
"Know what you are, and more, know what you know.
"It is what it is; it ain't what it ain't.
"You have brain, but we offer no complaint.
"You have senses, as we did and we do.
"But you have sensibility sinew.
"Please refrain from things not seen, felt or heard.
"You are alpha-omega, the mind-bird.
"If worship you must, then here's what to do:
"Get a mirror, yes, and see, it is you."
Sunday, December 13, 2009
But what if you got a job as a, say, computer programmer at a business and didn't know the first thing about computer programming? What if you were able to somehow hide this fact for years while by, perhaps, having someone else do it or by some other shenanigan?
As so we have Tiger Woods. What he sold to the companies that used him for their advertisements was reputation, his moral bearing and confidence, as well as his expertise on the golf course. He had the last of these three things, but he has been living a lie for years now regarding the first two. He has sold himself in interviews, at charity events, on the golf course, in advertisements, and in person as a man of rectitude, morality, certitude, self-esteem, pride, honesty, independence.
But he is a fraud. And he has defrauded some of the biggest companies in the world: Accenture, Nike, Gillette and more. He was defrauding them when he was kissing other women and during every minute that he was sticking his penis in these other women and writing them text messages to cover up the fact that his penis had been in them.
I've watched this man's prickly (ahem) demeanor in hundreds of interviews (yes, I love golf) and been aghast at his chilly (a la Obamao) facade, his clammy metaphorical handshake with the camera, his icy look, his condescension. Until now, I thought he was just an asshole. But it turns out the whole package, the whole I'm-fucking-Tiger-and-you-cretins-are-NOT shit was just that: shit.
I've been trying to figure out whether this fraud has an obligation to set the record straight with those of us who've watched him for 13 years trounce the golf world and perform his sterile magician's trick up on afterward. My conclusion is that, yes, he does have an obligation since by taking up the microphone, you are implicitly selling yourself to those listening and watching. If what you were selling in wholly inaccurate, then you have an apology to make, a sincere apology to make. And we will decide whether that apology is sufficient to warrant our further interest.
The unfortunate companies that were defrauded by this man are now abandoning him faster than you can say fire hydrant. But they should do more. They should sue him. They won't because of "public reputation" and probably because of "black" pressure groups.
Oh, did you hear the one about why a golf ball is not like Tiger's Cadillac? With a golf ball, you hit a wood first.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But I'm about to move on to something that is being touted as having 48 times the Omega 3s of fish oil: Krill oil. Krill are the tiny crustaceans that whales and other sea animals feed on in abundance. Krill feed on algae and phytoplankton, sources of immense nutrient compounds. Krill are the most abundant organism on Earth, by body mass amount: 510 million tons just in the north Pacific. I've been doing research on krill recently and will be buying krill-oil capsules today to incorporate them into my diet.
Like fish oil, krill oil is high in Omega 3s -- much higher. And more important, krill oil's ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s is much greater, meaning you get a more potent form of the "good" omega compared with the "bad" omega fatty acid. Moreover, krill oil is almost bereft of mercury and other poisons because krill are near the bottom of the food chain (unlike salmon and cod), as well as living in deep-cold-sea habitats with very little poisons.
Krill are terrific for your liver, your joints, PMS symptoms, inflammation reduction, free-radical extermination, digestion, and much more. If you want to find out more, check out established Internet sites. Here are a few to start with:
A good article on understanding krill.
This site contains studies of krill oil on mice and other animals.
Pop a couple of krill-oil pills a day, my friends, and enjoy your health.
Oh yeah, and don't forget to exercise! :)
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I told her I'd been reading my paper after I got up, and she said (with a smirk) that I was now not allowed to read my paper again for 100 years "when people are dead."
Well, of course, I protested much about these new restrictions and began to "cry." She quickly revised that forecast because The Good Queen (a frequent companion of hers these last couple of weeks) had decided that I, indeed, could read my newspaper anytime and write about what I read. And, to boot, The Good Queen had decided to reward me with a new white computer "with, um, lots of buttons and lots of games and sticky things on it so you can put your computer on a wall and miles and miles of cords to you can play on it anywhere."
I, of course, was happy with my new gift, and Livy and I "played" on the computer and explored it for a good while.
Livy then informed me that The Good Queen had bestowed upon Livy's friend Ethan a lollipop bigger than space along with a ladder to climb to the top of the lollipop and that it would take Ethan and Livy and the rest of us at least TWO DAYS to lick it all up.
The Good Queen then peremptorily revised the amount of time I was allowed to "play" on my computer to just "the day before people die in 100 years."
"Oh, I said," astounded by this new revelation. "What am to do on that last day, my love?"
"Play!" she giggled.
Virgin Galactic plans tourist flights starting in 2011 with its revolutionary SpaceflightTwo. When you visit the site, check out the "Overview" link. After that, click on the "Safety" link and see how these geniuses have made a product that will go into space easily and virtually danger free. The ideas are so ingenious and so simple, it boggles the mind that NASA hasn't discovered them with tens of billions of dollars in government funding. Also, check out the videos. Remember to close your jaw after watching.
The original cost of the space flights will be $200,000 for a seat (up to six passengers at first). But by the end of the next decade, this price will no doubt fall into the tens of thousands and perhaps even the thousands.
This kind of explorational capitalist venture is indicative of what we Americans would've had in this country decades ago if the citizens had not wanted the politicians to pilfer and rob us of our fortunes, which could be used for extraordinary venture capitalism. My hat is off and I bow to Richard Branson and Dick Rutan for their remarkable courage and creativity and selfishness in the making of SpaceShipTwo!
Oh, I almost forgot. While you're at their wonderful site, be sure not to forget to click on "Booking." I'll be up there within the decade. Will you join me?
Ha, that's chicken feed! Thieves in the U.S. Congress and White House stole $1 trillion this year without breaking a sweat -- and then they walked through their underground tunnels to their Mercedes Benz.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The irony of a very-Christian politician who has accepted bailout cash and agrees on many welfare programs writing on Rand is humorous, but, again, we have a leading indicator of just how popular Rand has become in virtually every circle of intellectuals and governments.
The first part of the article is quite sympathetic to Rand and pretty darn accurate. Sanford expresses the usual caveats about the alleged "coldness" of Rand's ideas and such, but, altogether, it's a great piece for Objectivists to brag over.
Indeed. There's no crying in sports! It's a SPORT! It's supposed to be about doing your darnedest and having fun doing it. It's not supposed to be about winning. I know that's a cliche, but, like all cliches, it's true. Sports give you a chance to test your physical acumen. The opponents provide a foil for that test. Winning can be a metaphor for having done your best, having plumbed your ability and done well.
And so, yesterday, we had the spectacle of quarterback Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators weeping quite publicly for millions to see as his Gators lost to Alabama 32-13 in a romp. There's no crying in football!
The thing that makes the Tebow spectacle even more shameful is his very public demonstration of his Christianity -- his implicit demeanor that his football success is linked directly to his mysticism and to the hand of a god being upon him. As I said in another blog post recently, Tebow wears a New Testament passage under his eyes in each game. During the Alabama game, it was John: 16:33. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Did Tebow "take heart"? Did Tebow "have peace"? Did Tebow really believe that shit he spattered beneath his eyes? Is Tebow a hypocrite? Is Tebow like all other Christians, believing they are anointed and cared for and looked after and most important in the universe? Do they *really* believe?
I'll tell you why Tebow was crying: He assumed destiny sat upon him. He was confused by an outcome that was supposed to be preordained. He narcissistically believed his will (allegedly buttressed by his god-prop) was all that was needed to win. He placed all importance on winning, not playing, in a bid to show the alleged manifest destiny of him they call Tebow.
It all crashed. Tebow will, no doubt, confess his "human weakness." Bank on it. He will disingenuously proclaim the hubris of all mankind -- not particularly himself (Christians love to popularly indict when they fuck up).
All of this is to say that when I see a sports player whimper, I shake my head in exasperation. But the unctuous Tebow instead incited in me revulsion, detestation, contempt. His life is a charade of do-gooderism, of altruistic self-promotion, of better-than-thou hubris. Talk of him is messianic.
But there are two bright spots in this dark shadow. (1) At the sports bar where I watched Alabama humble Florida's Tebow, my friend Aquinas and I heard one patron shout: "Yeah, cry like a baby, Tebow!" (2) A popular photo in newspapers this morning showed Tebow wiping away tears below his eyes, seemingly wiping off the John passage. The metaphor was delicious.
Yes, it's good to see that all Americans are not fooled all the time.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
For their subconscious mind, the other person's words and actions represent themselves generally as "Is this person truly confident about his rectitude?" or "Are this person's actions and words as hard as the big rock in the back yard, as hard as the reality around me, as sure as the cause and effect in the world?"
"Confidence" is a tangible intangible. It's one of those "I know it when I see it" things in other people. Even the smooth shyster's subtle bluster reveals itself ever so slightly to a kid and to adults as sort of fake confidence via melodrama or shifty eyes or stentorian style or lack of ease in expression.
Being primal animals that are also rational, children are constantly searching for things that break, testing boundaries for weakness that can be exploited. It is a natural thing for them with the world around them, and it is used on the people in their lives. When weakness is found, it is exploited. It is survival -- survival of the fittest. It takes a confident, sure hand in a parent to guide the child in such situations, when necessary, to ensure the the exploitation is moral or that it shouldn't occur for objective reasons. This is one of the primary responsibilities of parents until the burgeoning rationality of the child learns to live in a society of people by objective standards, by objective principles that foster self-esteem and efficacy.
It is also necessary for parents to attempt to be objective all the time and correct any of their own irrationality immediately upon seeing it or upon getting a sense (feeling) that irrationality may be involved. It is, of course, necessary primarily for the adult to be happy, but the secondary benefit is being able to raise a happy, confident child that will be a beloved confidant for the years to come.
If you try to act confident but aren't, you're in trouble deep. The bullshit detector will sniff it out in an instant, and then the labyrinthine battle for power positioning will begin -- and the child will eventually win because you are out of control and will revert to further irrationalities to buttress the original irrationality in an attempt to regain control. I've seen this countless times with friends and acquaintances and their kids. It is horrifying to watch the vicious circle they get trapped in. It is upsetting to see the raw emotions aimed at a loved one with designs of hurting. It is depressing to see a child subconsciously understand that his parent hasn't a clue, and the child must attempt to tackle a big, complex, often-dangerous and cruel world all by himself. He often doesn't know this consciously, but he feels it, and the anxiety is palpable and visible to the rest of us.
As Objectivists know, the only way to be confident is to learn how to be rational all the time, to have a thorough understanding of how your mind works, to integrate a rigorous morality, to stay focused on values each hour of the day, and to universally implement all of the above in every minute of your life. Then, what you say and HOW you say it will tell your child, any child, any adult, that you are confident about reality, you mean business, you understand your business, you can explain your business, you are rigid but benevolent, you are strict but fair, and you are a moral hard rock of existence that cannot be broken, and therefore you are trustworthy and a person with whom your child can share thoughts, emotions and life without worry of retribution, senseless violence or putdowns, confusion, or any kind of injustice.
Any other method or path is woefully lacking -- and will lead to unhappiness in your life and your poor child's life, too. If you don't live by rational absolutes, many things will go absolutely wrong. If you achieve absolute certainty about what is right and live it, things will be just fine -- very fine indeed.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Good stuff! I gotta say I'm starting to get excited that some of the media and some notable people are finally speaking out against alleged global warming crap. It's taken WAY too long. Hopefully, it'll be in time to prevent Cap and Trade.
If Ayn Rand were alive today, she would chuckle at the clichéd attempt by Heather Wllhelm (“Is Ayn Rand Bad for the Market?”) to characterize Ms. Rand as “angry” and “vulgar,” as well as Ms. Wilhelm’s attempt to build a strawman of alleged sympathizers (Libertarians and a reverend, for Pete’s sake) in order to have those same “sympathizers” give voice to Ms. Wilhelm’s own immoral altruism.
As Ms. Wilhelm must know, Ms. Rand loathed alleged free-market conservatives and allegedly liberty-oriented Libertarians precisely because they claimed to love free markets but were actually wolves in sheep’s clothing for redistributionist statism and “bleeding-heart” Libertarianism – both of which taking the focus off of individual happiness and hegemony and placing it on strangers’ happiness and welfare.
Ms. Rand’s appropriate ire toward conservatism was primarily for their mysticism (the God thing). Her ire toward Libertarians was a result of her correctly realizing that Libertarians espoused “liberty” without giving it proper justification before a candid (rational) world: i.e. You must first prove the nature of humans (rational); then must determine what rational animals must do to survive and prosper (explicitly discover and define rational morality and values for guidance); then you must determine what type of government best allows such self-determination (unabridged laissez-faire capitalism). Without these principles firmly set in place, a country cannot build and validate a perfect, full-proof (rational) constitution – and therein lies the major fault of the whimsical Libertarians and their erratic and childish “liberty” pronouncements.
As to the infamous “anger” accusations, wouldn’t any rational mind be angry at America’s 20th-century Marxist movement of “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”? I, and most Objectivists, love Ms. Rand’s anger. It’s the pusillanimity of “sympathizers” such as Mr. Wilhelm that we find humorous – and vulgar.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
And yet ...
"He's been extremely important for Christians, as a sort of role model of how you want to live your faith and not be embarrassed." So says Eddie Gilley, director of UF's Baptist Collegiate Ministries, echoing the thoughts of thousands (if not millions) of other Christians around the country (and world).
Tebow is the most visible Christian fanatic in college (or any) sports in recent memory. He wears the ominipresent "John 3:16" in white print on his black light-relector patch below his eyes in most games, often changing cited scripture for other games. More than 93 million people Googled "John 3:16" after the BCS championship last season when they saw Tebow wear the famous passage.
"He is so brave," says Gators fan JoAnn Tyer of Green Cove Springs, FL, who herself wears eye-black "Phil 4:13" to many games. "How many other people would stand up and let people know what they believe in?" Tyer says.
Tebow, like all fanatics such as Barry Bonds (who would laughably point to heaven after hitting home runs) and others who feel the alleged hand of a god on their play-by-play, is the quintessential Christian narcissistic megalomaniac who thinks it is all about him and that some ethereal being somehow not only gives a shit about him but has singled him out for greatness and to allegedly ensure that others are great, too. (coat-tail spiritualism)
"It's almost like selflessness is a cool thing (now) -- kids realizing to give back -- and if you can brighten someone's day, you do it," says Florida coach Urban Meyer of Tebow's influence on his brethren and college football and the world. Meyer joins millions of others who glow when discussing Tebow's strict off-season regimen: helping poor kids in the Philippines become mystical -- that is, find the alleged god.
This spiritual monster who plays quarterback is a throwback to Victorian times, when such lunacy and "spiritual" obsession was the norm. He makes a mockery of just plain hard work being the end all, being the *only* thing you can be thankful for, being the only thing others can congratulate you for and emulate you for, being the thing that makes us human, that makes us better than the lower animals.
Tim Tebow is another deluded representative of the Age of Mysticism that we still find ourselves steeped in. He and his irrational, trenchant peers of today and times past will be forgotten one day. But today, men like me who represent rationality and objective justice must hear of a great quarterback on the field being a man that directs people toward oblivion off the field -- and receives even higher praise for it.
I'll second that. I have some friendly acquaintances who are unfortunately riding the edge of zero in their accounts, and each one of them had to learn a new lesson when dealing with banks: a debit card can be overdrawn, resulting in the issuing bank charging up to $35 for each debit transaction that is "overdrawn."
The reason these folks got caught unaware was that they thought a debit card could not go past zero, so they figured that they would be declined at the grocery store if it edged over what they had in their accounts. Nope. The wily banks have found this territory to be a rich fountain of newfound cash.
One person I know in Texas got 5 separate overdrawn $35 charges within hours of each other on small purchases by his bank. He'd had a bill he'd forgotten he'd paid months earlier that finally hit his account, leaving him with a couple hundred dollars less than he thought he had, so he made small purchases for lunch and other things, and all of them ended up giving the bank a $35 tip.
Now, as my dear readers know, I am for accountability and realize that these people have a responsibility to read the fine print when they join a bank. But! But when rules flout common sense and are instituted to fleece customers, then the banks should pay big. In this case, newspapers should run daily pieces on this scam, and customers should refuse to do business with these banks or just go cash on everything. "Cash or credit?" ... "Cash, of course. I HATE banks!"
Most of us Americans are already disgusted by the financial institutions' being in cahoots with the government in the real estate fraud and the consequent theft of a trillion dollars from us citizens so the institutions wouldn't fail, as they should have. This is just one more blight by these bastards that makes me want to take the sons-a-bitches by the collars and ...
Of course, you read it here first months ago that that would happen. The loathesome Rank of America (called Bank of America in some circles) has now decided to pay back the $45 billion in loot to the Feds so it can set its own pay standards and finally attract top talent to make it profitable.
The recent news reveals much about the coercive pay-cap farce:
1) The job of top company officers is highly complex and deserving of equally high pay (see this article for an academic, but correct, take on the matter)
2) Government (and its fascist contributors) cannot objectively determine complexity and proper pay scales
3) Restricting objective pay standards precipitates "CEO flight" to companies with objective standards, thereby destroying the companies ruled by fascists
4) The Leftists will not learn from this mistake, just as they did not learn from history when implementing their fascist rules (Nazi Germany, The Great Depression, Soviet Union, all other fascist/socialists countries)
In fact, as we speak, the Lefties are no doubt preparing broadsides against Rank of America for paying back the loot so that it can pay "irresponsible sums of cash" to its new corporate chieftains.
And so it goes in Obamerica!
Daniel Henninger’s column on “Climategate: Science Is Dying” was brilliant at revealing post-modernism’s ideological destruction of science.
But a point missing from Mr. Henninger’s columns is this: We already knew this was happening. Journalists, for years, could’ve extrapolated that this was happening by the sounds of silence from the so-called skeptics. Moreover, we’ve had revelations in some print, such as this:
In its July 16, 2007, edition, the Washington Times, reported that Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), sent an ominous message to Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, which read: "Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, held hearings on the matter. Following the hearings, the senator sent letters to agencies asking them to "reconsider their membership in ACORE. Www.capmag.com has reported extensively on this subject.
My question to objective journalists is this: Why haven’t they pursued this matter in an “All the President’s Men” fashion? There’s clearly been a cover-up, intimidation, distortion of facts, rejection of facts, etc., for years.
Modern journalists must not just point a finger at the fraudulent science and scientists; they must also point a finger at themselves in this woeful matter, and protect us, the public, in a manner that is not commensurate with cowardly scientists.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
It was good to see the Journal’s glib rebuke of the global-warming “consensus” scientists’ meek attempts to downplay the recent publication of scandalous emails, and it’s been good to finally hear major periodicals finally give airplay to the fact that a “consensus” may have been rigged.
But this is all too little (and hopefully not too late). There has been entirely too little airing of the so-called “skeptics” and their hundreds of peer-reviewed articles over the last decade that have refuted alleged anthropocentric warming of the Earth. There have been few articles revealing the hoax in inconvenient, methodical detail, as has been done by the Australian scientist Ian Plimer and scores of other reputable scientists who’ve exposed the following:
Water vapor causes 95% of Earth’s warming, and the vapor is caused by the sun’s rays, and there is a direct correlation between solar cycles and Earth warming. CO2 itself is a trace gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, making up a very tiny 0.038% of the atmosphere (with slight seasonal variations), and the human-emission portion of that 0.038 is small. CO2 is virtually negligible as a warming gas. Contrary to the bucolics of Al Gore, one inconvenient fact that has been given airtime is that CO2 increases after Earth warms, not before, as he devoutly professed for years, as well as in his infamous video while speaking stentorian-style upon his embattled forklift. There are dozens of other natural causes of warming, including Earth wobble, galactic position of solar system, methane levels and much more.
It has been clear for some time that CO2, therefore, has been a red herring – a political red herring – and that scientists are not immune to politics and government incentivizing. This late revelation by some savvy hackers should be a lesson to the Fourth Estate to keep an objective eye, go boldly where no one has gone before and put an end to Leftist (or Rightist) schemes before they get a chance to embroil and bribe suspect scientists with similar ulterior motives.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Contrary to “progressive” propaganda for 150 years, the only Robber Barons in history have been governments. They are the coercive force, the monopoly and regulatory power, behind all confiscation of property, money and time of citizens. They are the Mafioso hooligans with an official police force behind all corrupt private endeavors by corporations to secure a captive audience (literally) and allegedly assured profits.
Without immoral government, no business could legally confiscate private property – and none would employ “lobbyists.” They are, figuratively, the Mephistopheles of big business and are an omnipresent temptation for immoral businessmen, including the railroad tycoons of 19th century America (with James J. Hill of the Great Northern Railway being one eminent exception).
Now Big Pharma, as the Journal points out, has joined the hooligans of Congress and the White House in a deal with the Robber Baron devil. Yes, Big Pharma will gets its comeuppance. But by then, innocent, healthy, responsible Americans will have suffered the indignity of another coercive collusion that amounts to grand larceny and an abridgement of individual liberty.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Journal’s Nov. 19 stories on corporate “social responsibility” made me want to Google for companies engaging in such irresponsible “responsibility” and refuse to do business with them.
The one-and-only responsibility any company has is to make profits. It is to make and offer a quality product that consumers value so much that consumers wish to withdraw funds from their checking accounts to acquire that product. Such actions enrich the company, its employees, its shareholders and the lives of its happy consumers. *That* is “corporate responsibility.” Engaging in such corporate work and doing it honestly are the only ethical responsibilities any corporation has.
Any other activity (including unethical “social responsibility”) is an immoral diversion away from productivity, thereby reducing competitiveness, proper focus and quality – and it is an attempt to assuage guilt in our altruism-gone-rogue culture, in which giving good service and product is allegedly not the equal of the sordid “giving back.”
It is high time that the moralistic vipers of altruism and political correctness stand down – and for corporate leaders to stand up for the highest achievement in human life: hard work.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
James Collins had me worried in his “What Would Jane Do” essay on Jane Austen’s moralizing. But it turns out Mr. Collins (not the one in Pride & Prejudice, of course) has sense and sensibility.
Mr. Collins’ visit down the tree-lined memory lane of Austen’s works was delightful for those of us who virtually worship Ms. Austen and her insight, perfumed elegance, sensitivity, morality and sensibilities. Her works are romantic and the best representations of high-mindedness, with characters speaking their inspired thoughts eloquently in honor of themselves and their interlocutors. Her novels are a sublime tapestry of expressed self-knowledge and dramas unfolding into further self-knowledge.
My only contention with Mr. Collins’ views is that a reader cannot use Ms. Austen (or any author) as a guide for morality. Novels are *representations* of morality. You either connect with them or you don’t, depending upon your own morality. I, for example, am an Objectivist (philosophy of Ayn Rand) and believe that humans can rationally run their own lives and give ultimate honor to others who do the same. In Austen’s novels, I find that honor between the best characters, and I see these characters correcting their false pride and prejudice or mistaken consumption of false mores, thereby achieving happiness. Ms. Austen’s morality, therefore, reflects my own. I do not learn from her. But I do worship her for representing the best in humans and savor her well-earned moments of moral encompassing.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
With all the mealy-mouthed CEOs and politicians at large today, it was refreshing to read the spirited language of U.S. Chamber chief Tom Donohue in Kimberley Strassel’s interview. But, oh, how I wish he were a true capitalist.
Having not followed all of the Chamber’s actions closely over the last two years, I was unaware that it had backed the so-called “stimulus,” the “bailout” funds, the auto “bailouts,” and the Cash for Clunkers debacle. Moreover, Mr. Donohue says the Chamber supports cap-and-trade legislation.
Consider me horrified. As a business owner and proponent of laissez-faire capitalism, I’m frankly stunned that an organization which purportedly represents the interests of 3 million businesses across America would favor massive redistributionist schemes aimed at stealing money from individual citizens and small businesses and handing the loot over to the biggest businesses and politicians!
And then Mr. Donohue has the temerity to say, “We want to encourage and promote … the free enterprise system with free capital markets and free trade and the ability to fail and fall right on your ass and get up and do it again!” (italics added)
Uhuh. Got any ocean-front property in Kansas, Mr. Donohue?
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
When the ever-polite and diplomatic Peggy Noonan calls the leaders of America stupid, we have crossed a threshold.
Ms. Noonan is right, of course – though she is, ironically, being polite again. These so-called leaders are, instead, willfully and consciously ignorant of what is right and, more important, what individual rights are.
They have high-education degrees but chose to buy into the power-lust “progressivism” and coercive altruism of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and every other leader in American politics, to some degree, in the 20th and 21st century. They turned their noses up at Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Locke, Aristotle, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand. They think, like all skeptics of human nature such as Thomas Hobbes, that citizens and their businesses must be strictly controlled, that those who earn lots of money on merit and education must be sacrificed to those who don’t, that a government made up of humans is somehow more moral than those it monitors and suppresses.
And the result is everything Ms. Noonan alluded to: confiscatory taxation, redistribution, oppressive regulation and purposely vague legislation that puts businesses and people at the mercy of corrupt lawyers and bureaucrats. It gets to a point, as Ms. Noonan said of her businessman, where we hard workers and owners of businesses and wealth seekers do, indeed, want to quit – or “Go Galt,” in reference to the hero in Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” in which the great thinkers and businessmen chose to “stop the motor of the world” because they tired of rapacious government.
If the citizens and leaders of this once-great country do not inform themselves soon on what is right, that day will come. And none too soon for this boy from Texas.
Be that as it may, I'll just take a moment to salute the best newspaper (and its staff and progenitors) for the highest quality journalism the world has known. Salute!