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Repairman

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Everything posted by Repairman

  1. Thank for burning this, Harrison Danneskjold! I had watched it back when there was a series that ran on for many hours, and the material used for imagery was always spot on, and even humorous. For whatever reasons, the guy who made this, (I think it was xCowboy?) he had some issues with Youtube, so it's not available now. He may be working on a new version, but this is so good, it's worth watching over.
  2. Simply, dark moods happen. As with anyone experiencing periods of deep introspect, it's personal. But, as it relates to the arts, certain music is appropriate in such moments. Some authors are more appropriate. When I read Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, it is helpful to find a virtual friend in shared experience. Nietzsche, as I understand him, was a guide to those who recognize the more frustrating aspects of modern life. His "man going under" is the man who is only able to rise above man, to becoming the "superman." Well, if one is going to be exhausted or depressed as times, one may as well rise above it stronger for the experience. I think there is a great body of works in our times that channel the introspective individual downward, but not necessarily guide him back to focus on any constructive purpose. I'm too old to appreciate Goth culture, but I understand the appeal. I only hope for the sake of such individuals who stare into the abyss that they find the strength to rise again. That's why I read Ayn Rand.
  3. The question you pose is the critical question of whether or not we have an authentic Pax Americana, versus an imperial order, one not only keeping our allies safe, but also keeping domestic tranquility. When America was more or less isolated from foreign entanglements, there were enough Americans willing to join in with the duties of national defense as needed with changing circumstances. Voluntarism does not necessarily have to be an altruistic concept. When there is sufficient evidence to alarm a free people to action, free men have proven to have the wits, will, and strength to resist the external forces that might otherwise enslave them. America is no longer the isolated nation of rural communities it once was 150 years ago. We're a global colossus. It's a thankless job, upholding worldwide order. I charge the American public schools with failure to properly explain the past. Children are not being taught that the United States were established as a secular government, with a Jeffersonian firewall between church and state. The principles for which it stands are abstractions left to the student to figure out for themselves. The apparent results are not an understanding of facts, rather they are popular notions, such as that America was founded on slavery, or that it was always a Christian nation. Fifty years ago, I doubt that there would have been 2% of the American civilian population that would openly admit to being atheist. Things are different now. Atheism isn't exactly an organization, and our military is largely comprised of second, third, and fourth generations of volunteers, whose parents served. While I've not met any, I imagine there are some of these generational warriors who've spent some time figuring out deeper philosophical concepts for themselves. It was once said, "there are no atheists in the foxholes;" things are different now. There was resistance to integrating blacks into the ranks back in the 1950s. I've heard soldiers complain about women in ranks in the 1980s. But in spite of a series of DoD Directives designed to promote diversity and inclusion, there remains a much stronger network of support for Christianity among service men and women, and their families. Among these people are those who so intensely distrust institutions that offend them that they breed domestic terrorists that might blow up a federal building out of shear spite. They view multiculturalism, so venerated by Democrats, as an affront to their faith. Republicans exploit this with their connections to wealthy supporters of dominion theology. I think the DoD missed an opportunity decades ago to indoctrinate a more secular culture, one based on the secular values of the Founders. But then, it seems that a tiny minority of Americans have the slightest interest in US history. It wasn't very helpful that Southern public schools for generations taught a version of US history very sympathetic to the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy." The civics and social studies I remember emphasized the process of creating more legislation, and the great leaps forward taken by progressive leaders. And now, the argument in education is that American history began in 1619, when the trans-Atlantic slave trade came to our shores. These are civilian decisions that will not end well. They confuse people as to the true concept of liberty upon which our nation was born. But, if the public schools are incapable of understanding this, how will future generations? The prime solution is to break with national conservatism, and win the argument for secular rule of law. Either way, we get the government we deserve.
  4. I don't think I would say anyone is resurrecting medieval economic systems. I would say that new systems are being devised with the emphasis on commanding the heights of major industries, emphasis on industrialization. There were no major industries back then. Subsistence farming by serfs could never sustain the populations we have today. And our farmers have it pretty good. The top-down hierarchical use of force is definitely the same. Modern state dominated economic systems bare this similarity to Medieval Europe: Neither respects the natural rights of the individual. Doug Morris is mostly right about his comparison of medieval guides to modern unions. He used good examples of professions that use a ranking of scale to prevent those non-members from driving down rates, as the guilds did. The guilds were general agreements among craftsmen, artisans, and merchants. They served a fairly constructive purpose, in that, commoners had few rights, if any. They fixed prices, and governed the ranking of apprenticeship, to journeyman, to master. They organized rudimentary pension systems, and other benefits for members. Unlike our present day unions, where poor performers are protected from loosing their jobs, the skilled medieval worker either maintained his reputation or he starved. Merchants were generally hated by people then, similar to our times, as they were the "capitalists" of their time. It was less likely then that the government (the local aristocracy) would interfere with a mason, cooper, or blacksmith, as they held value greater than your average commoner or serf. Incidentally, the most common bankers then were Jews, as the Catholic Church forbade the charging of usury. Jews had no such prohibition, and as everyone know, Jews were less popular then than our modern bankers. Comparing all of this to communism, Marx designed specific formulations for the state operated economy with little margin for free market principles. With the exception of guilds, medieval economies were governed largely by free market principles, in spite of the fact that Adam Smith had not explained them to anyone. They had little choice. It was literally feast or famine without our modern industrial output. Bare in mind, pure communism was never achieved; socialism was the system intended to transition from capitalism to the ultimate goal of communism. Another irony about Marx: He claimed that history was driven by the class-struggle between the aristocracy and the lowly common classes, never giving much consideration that one day, the acolytes of is faith would create their own "aristocracy" in the form of the Communism Party. Comparing feudalism to fascism, without any Marxist formulation for setting wages and prices, the situation would be roughly the same as a socialist state, although private ownership of the means of production is permitted, until someone in the Party isn't happy. In any of these systems, the government had/has the power, if not the right, to take whatever their greedy little hearts desired, until their fiefdoms became so weak that the higher-ups intervened, and eventually someone else would have reign over the particular operation. In the medieval state, a more powerful ruler would invade the weaker neighboring property, as real estate was the best guarantee of taxes, food production, and prestige. And it happens in modern times, too, e.g. Russia invades Ukraine. In our industrial age, a poor performer may be rewarded, as they were in the Soviet Union. There, when a vital industry performed poorly, that meant more resources were needed to boost that industry's performance. Small wonder that system didn't work. But our governments, local, state, and national, often do the very same thing. If you don't use up the previously allocated budget for the year, your department will receive less from the budget in the following year. The medieval craftsman was much more motivated to perform than modern public union workers. In our private industries, contracts determine wages and prices. Back in Days of Old, the lesser local feudal lords would battle it out, and as long as the reigning king or queen received the required tribute, and that was what they might call, "collective bargaining." So, I think it's a comparison worthy of consideration, but the major distinction between then and now is the motive beliefs that stand as the theological/ideological underpinnings of their respective authority. The European Middle Ages imposed rule by the mystics of the mind, that is, the Catholic Church stressed the belief that man is a spiritual being with a sinful body. The Pope granted his approval to kings and queens, and left the details to the locals. In our industrialized and secular age, temple-priest are anachronisms; we have public schools and popular culture to thank for influencing the masses. Modern statists impose rule by the mystics of muscle, stressing the belief that man's body is a physical property of the state, of value only when in the service of his fellow man. In both cases, the individual had/has few rights, if any. Are we standing at the threshold of a new dark age, or have we already fallen into the abyss?
  5. whYNot, I thought it worth the time to further explain my earlier statements regarding the "radical Christian conservative agenda," and the reasons why I believe their position of power in mainstream politics gives them an advantage. The position of power, of which I write, is the armed forces of the United States. Ultimately, in any violent power struggle, the ones with the greater might decide what is right. The American armed forces are an institution that has grown, shrank, repeated this cycle following every war, and, since December 7th, 1941, emerged to become the most dominant and potentially destructive force the world has ever known. I am grateful for this fact, grateful that random probability permits me to live within these borders, secure from external threats, and grateful to the men and women who service in my nation's uniform. However, I find it troubling to learn of the aggressive indoctrination of American servicemen and women, pressured by dominion theology. Dominion theology is supported by Christian leaders with designs to establish biblical law. There is historical context that explains the indoctrination of US servicemen and women. I'll try to be brief: The shaping of American military force in the aftermath of 1945 has radically changed, as it has taken on the role of securing more than our national borders. It secures an American empire. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, along with the Department of Defense perceived a lack of cohesion, a unifying ideology that would fire the imagination of men to fight to ultimate victory against the atheistic communists. It was also a time of racial integration. Spiritual leaders, such as Rev Billy Graham and Bishop Fulton Sheen, were rising stars of a religious awakening in the 1950s. The solution was to draft new codes of behavior for US servicemen, based on Bible-teachings. As this newly created ideology of Bible-based nationalism spread into the civilian realm of public schools, a minority of parents objected to religious indoctrination of their children at the expense of their tax dollars. This and the many other political movements of the 1960s ignited our present-day culture war. American service men and women come from every diverse identity group you can think of, and the transition to full integration of some of these "people of diversity" has been problematic, to say the least. Without exception, everyone either in or formerly in the Service I've spoken to in recent years is Christian. Parents of men serving tend to be Christian. I've not spoken with any who are completely comfortable with the cultural changes imposed by civilian leaders upon men in service. Herein, I believe, is the compression-point of a major problem. Whether civilian or those sworn to protect civilians, these inductees to Christ's army are very likely to turn on any collective their commanders identify as the "Army of Satan." I support my local police. But one day, they may not be sufficient to suppress the sort of uprisings we saw last summer, and many summer prior. In a Christian police state, under martial law, with all of the myriad of digital surveillance methods at our government's disposal, a free-thinker would be as welcomed as a rattlesnake. And likely to be disposed of with equal haste. Luke 19:27, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
  6. The numbers suggest a trend of fewer people identifying themselves as religious in America. However, those with strong Christian faith (mainly Protestant), are reacting to the decline of Christianity. They are in rebellion. They have good reason to distrust the mainstream media. They are mostly white working families with children, longing for the security that their parents promised them, if only they would study hard in school and work hard. I share their sentiments, although I can be realistic enough to see that we are witnessing the decline of white Christian America. At the risk of seeming deterministic, I stop short of any fatalism. Mine was one of those towns that caught fire this past summer. Jacob Blake was shot less than two miles from my home. I've seen first hand the results of these "peaceful protests," the social justice warriors, chanting, "No Justice; No Peace!" Eleven million dollars of municipal property damage later, the only thing that's changed is that otherwise sensible local merchants have particleboard covering the windows of their businesses, adorned with "BLM," and other platitudes of "unity," (presumed unity with the marauders who pillaged and, in some cases, looted their livelihoods.) A life-long student of history, I had to wonder if the Jews would have adorned their broken windows with swastikas and posters of Hitler after the Kristal Nacht. Both Trump and Biden visited for photo-ops, as if that made any difference. But Biden struck me the most, by pandering to the delusional Left, clearly sympathizing with the mob, those "peaceful protesters," and a man wanted for sexual assault charges, shot seven times after the police failed to subdue him by other means. I talked with shop-owners who defended their property from behind the glass doors of their stores, bearing arms, while another evacuated his inventory of used cars to safe locations. If it can happen in my town, it can happen in any town in America. And the mainstream media will respond by promoting the idea that the answer is to "de-fund the police." As for the national conservative movement, their position of power in mainstream politics gives them an advantage, while their lack of authentic ideological argument erodes their "moral high-ground." So well stated in the article you presented, blind fealty to God and country have drown out any well-reasoned argument for reviving the founding values of liberty in America. I have no statistics to support the causes of right-wing mob violence, but it is evidently happening. I suspect that it's in part related to economic changes happening over the past forty years. Many have been stripped of their security, and someone has to be held to blame. When frightened ignorant people are desperate, the pitch-forks and torches come out. Trump used those pitch-forks and torches in an extremely cynical way, and told them, "We love you." I don't know who is included in his show of love, but it ain't me. I am among those caught in between the crossfire. I refuse to take sides with either irrational collectives, and remain steadfast to my individualism. Damn them all, and if I'm martyred for my isolated position, then, "give me liberty, or give me death."
  7. I read the article. It's great. I've been witnessing this transition toward integrating Church and state for years. Back in the day, I was willing to ignore it. I considered the evil of a leftist/socialist agenda to be the greater threat to American prosperity and stability. The left-wing agenda continues to be a monstrous threat. In 1980 and 84, I cast my votes to Ronald Reagan, believing that his support from the Moral Majority would not escalate to the threat to individualism and reason that it is today. The radical Christian conservative agenda now stands as large and menacing as a rival monster, eye to eye with the mystic monster of the Left. For this reason, I have abandoned my support for nearly all Republicans who exploits Christian value voters. My rejection of Trump doesn't mean that I support Biden. I vote with my conscience, and any third party candidate that presents no threat to individual liberty is fine by me. I show up at the polls, the respectable candidates have not. The American crisis of confidence has only radicalized the semi-literate electorate, playing on their fear and other emotions. Obama was a perfect example. I think very important issues were addressed in the past four years; some of Trump's policies were helpful. Some of his suggestions, (particularly his muted criticism against revisionist history in public schools), may yet have long term positive results. But overall, the recklessness of his language and management, his open displays of intimidation, his preference for authoritarian world leaders, I think the good does not outweigh the bad. It's quite unfortunate. Some good might come from all of this. I can only wait and see.
  8. I don't think it's necessary to repress yourself in the pursuit of anything rational. If there is a "function of nihilistic" art, I'm not entirely sure I can answer that; I can only speak for myself. Nihilism and/or realism in bold artistic statements of human imperfect gives me a sense of connection with the outraged and frustrated others, as so many of us feel in moments of alienation. I find it's something that can help me to explore or sink to the depths of my own darker moods with music or other "culture for misfits" that reflects some sort of macabre aesthetic, or noir realism. Dark moods are a part of life. Dark moods won't guide your life, unless you allow them. Rationality can be inspired through art as well, however, art that inspires rationality and heroism is rare in these desperate times, so you have to seek it. My observations have been that some people only consume the sort of culture that inspires darkness and meaninglessness. They immerse themselves in it. It's always a matter of choice. Rising from out of the depth of darkness, to live again, is very rational.
  9. In my opinion, the train-wreck illustrates the ultimate consequences of evasion, negation, and the sense of duty on the part of the common worker who knows no better than to follow orders.
  10. "The famous image of Aunt Jemima was based on the real image of Nancy Green, who was known as a magnificent cook, an attractive woman of outgoing nature and friendly personality, an original painting of which sold for $9,030 at MastroNet. The painting was rendered by A. B. Frost, who is now well known as one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration.[13]" This quote is from the Wikipedia article covering the life of Nancy Green, the original celebrity personality representing the soon to be discontinued brand, known as, Aunt Jemima. I hope there is common ground among the other contributors to this thread regarding the nature of the decision of the Quaker Oats company. Their decision is a meaningless gesture pandering to the Social Justice Warriors, who will, no doubt, glow with pride for their valiant campaign to retire poor Aunt Jemima. Quaker Oats can breathe easier now. But, I can't truly cooperate with any sort of boycott of Quaker Oats products, as I can't remember the last time I've purchased any. Pancakes and syrup are a little too rich for my breakfast diet. This has all been somewhat educational; I was unfamiliar with the story of Nancy Green, until yesterday. I have been aware of the very controversial "mammy stereotype," or archetype, which every you prefer. According to the available resources, Nancy Green made a success from her personality, as well as her apparent abundance of other virtues. Whether or not one might approve of her persona, it served her well, as it served the needs of industry marketing of a fine product. She was born a slave, but she chose to be the person she became, with the help of free enterprise. She was not forced to cook pancakes; she was a free woman. I don't know how much money she made, but she didn't die in poverty, as far too many other African-Americans of her generation did. I think it would be reasonable to promote awareness of her life story, as well as other early-twentieth century African-American celebrities and entrepreneurs. Regardless of the means of her success, Nancy Green deserves some credit for not only achieving the American dream, but for her efforts in promoting the dream to others. I stand by my position that it seems pathetic, silly, and wasteful to try to persuade others to believe in the heinous nature of a harmless logo. The heinous nature of racism will never be properly understood, when SJWs waste their 15 minutes of fame trying to harpoon red herrings such, "plausible" racism found in marketing logos. How will the conversation be taken seriously as this goes on? The mammy-image of Aunt Jemima had been revised for years, but some people will take offense at anything. You can remove the image of every human, anthropomorphic animal, vegetable and/or extraterrestrial alien from children's cereal boxes, and it won't make a damn bit of difference in progress toward changing the justice system. If you'll indulge me a slippery-slope argument, we may all be satisfied, if not thrilled, when the food products available arrive in plain beige containers, marked, Brands X, Y, and Z, after all mascots have been deemed unlawful. And the only place you'll find a representational image of slave-holder George Washington will be the statue on display in Trafalgar Square. And that's about all I have to say about that. Eioul, go ahead and pick all of the nits from my statement you want until your heart's content.
  11. The best I can describe your argument is that it is weak. I asked for proof, i.e., evidence that Aunt Jemima is a negative stereotype, and you respond with a satirical magazine article, the cover of a book of someone else's opinion, and your own subjective reiterations of the superiority of your claims. Weak, at best. Will you not at least concede that Nancy Green, the bases of the Aunt Jemima character, actually was once a living human being?
  12. The Onion article also points out the absurdity of your case.
  13. How does Aunt Jemima qualify as a racial stereotype? One could just as easily say Redd Foxx was a racial stereotype. What is so offensive about Aunt Jemima, that is, objectively, what proof have you?
  14. I've got to admit, it's a bit confusing. It wasn't that long ago that critics of modern advertising hurled complaints about the overexposure of wafer-thin Caucasian women, usually blondes, as the ideal feminine image for the purpose of marketing consumer goods and services. They insisted that more African-American women with more "realistic" proportions and deeper skin-tones need to be represented in advertising. What ever happened to that? I'm 6' 6", and I've been called "Jolly Green Giant" on more than one occasion. Maybe I'll initiate a movement to remove that guy from the shelves. While I'm not unsympathetic to folks who want to make changes, removing the image of an underappreciated success, such as Aunt Jemima, is a mistake and lowers the dignity of the more serious discussion. Success stories are hard to come by; wouldn't it be better to learn more from her biography, instead of air-brushing her out of history and continue the rhetoric that there is no such thing as "the American Dream"?
  15. Anyone expecting of the governments of the world, or the gatekeepers of popular culture to swing toward condemnation of the current cultural trend will be disappointed. Expecting any organization to engage in a counter-movement to the current culture will result in disappointment. Anyone spending time or money on any organization that claims to wage such a counter-movement will likely find they have wasted their time and/or money. My only recommendation is to support the very few innovators producing cultural products that reinforce Objectivists points of view. There are producers of movies, music, literature, graphic novels, Youtube videos, alternative school systems, and many forms of popular culture that persuade individual opinions. There are public speakers who may not have any idea what Objectivism is, and yet they convey some of the ideas valued in Objectivism. The situation is not hopeless, but it will require a proverbial sea-change of popular culture to counter act the current cultural norms. I don't know how far things will get, but my approach has always been to take control of those matters in one's own life, and worry less about providing proper direction for a disoriented mob. Am I a bystander in the decline of Western Civilization? I will leave that for others to decide, if they wish. But if I really want to make a contribution to progress toward a more rational society, I would become one of those innovators of new and rational ideas, and find a way to market/distribute those ideas.
  16. Dadmonson, with regards to debate, first, it helps to think through your interlocutor's argument. Ask yourself, "what are the most likely counterpoints." For example: Trial lawyers are allowed to preview their opponent's deposition. You don't have that advantage, so you will need to plan ahead. Second, do some research into the hierarchy of an argument. Learn to recognize logical fallacies. Third, don't be disappointed by your inability to persuade. You may not be aware of the full impression you make on some people, and you may have caused your opponents to confront an element of truth for them to work out for themselves. I don't rank myself too highly as a debater. I don't find too many people worthy of my time.
  17. It''s never too late, my friend. I hadn't discover Ayn Rand until I was 46. But it wasn't life-changing, so much as it was a re-defining of semantic concepts, such as "sacrifice," and "the common good." True rational selfishness needs clarity, and Objectivism provides that sense of clarity.
  18. Welcome to the forum, Giemel, Your experience seems similar to my own. Reading through the many posts, you will find that there are as many differing views contesting to be the most rational point of view. I wouldn't worry too much about trying to identify as Objectivist, as I would see it more as an aspiration, rather than an identity. Most people I've discussed ideas with have never heard of Ayn Rand, let alone any philosophical school of thought. Most people are religious and anti-intellectual. There's little you can do about it. In conversation, I usually identify as "rational egoist," if that's any help to you. If they wish to know more, they need to listen, or it's their loss. In any case, it's a comfort to know our ranks are growing.
  19. Unless I'm mistaken, the culprit guilty of authoring the idea of "justified warfare" in Christianity was Saint Augustine (Augustine of Hippo). His writings are not included in the New Testament, but Western theology takes Augustine pretty seriously.
  20. What is it that you're hoping I'll post? I'm content to observe the discourse, and make my judgements. Or am I not allowed to judge?
  21. Human, you seem to see things as they are, without considering an optimistic vision of the way things could be. While I commend you for your grasp of the predicament facing Western Civilization, your emphasis on the multitudes of collectivist irrationality, my best counter-argument is that until the worst outcome is manifest, the best within each of us must continue the struggle to achieve the best outcome, by whatever definition you hold as the standard of the "best overcome." And so it is true. We make the best use of our freedom to exchange information, to innovate or engineer, and to create our own enterprises. I recommend to you to try to disregard the masses and their collectivist agenda. When conditions allow, argue the best case for reason to those who know only how to follow. Perhaps they may find new leaders one day. You may never "convert" some people, but if one individual begins to doubt his/her beliefs, you might make them aware of the fact that there are alternatives to mainstream myopia. Objectivism celebrates the great achievements of capitalism, and other movements advocating personal prosperity, constructive purpose, and entrepreneurial success are gaining popularity. Using our freedom of communication, you could create a video exposing the absurdity of the socialist agenda. This is a very important question: A regular cycle of history, or a Second Dark Age??? So many modern nation-states have experienced the pains of reforming runaway socialist economic systems. If we learn anything from it, I'm fairly confident that the USA will not have to endure the worst privations that have resulted in the failure of other economic systems. If they're unaware of the causes, they will only continue to treat the symptoms. It sure would be a shame, and it'll be wild ride to the bottom. Either way, the men of the mind may go on strike for a period, but eventually a few of them will emerge, and the arch of history marches on.
  22. Human, please, forgive me for not reading the entire commentary of your pessimism regarding human nature. That being said, I'd like to address your basic inquiry: Speaking strictly for myself, and not as an "expert" on the studies of Objectivism, my optimism is based on the fact that the human race persists. It's as simple as that. Or, I could offer more, and point out that between 1949 through to 1991, the shadow of nuclear annihilation presented the very real possibility of ended humanity, or to say that least, civilization as we know it. Rationality may not displace the less desirable aspects of human nature in a single generation. I've witnessed progress, and yet, as you, I can't easily shake off the pessimism that irrational people seem to gravitate to places of power, sometimes very dangerous power. If judged by the improving standards of living for more and more of the global population, there is much cause for hope. Given that the same technologies that improve human life can be used to reduce our liberties, or even enslave us, we have ever greater reason to be vigilant and engaged in the confrontation of those that wield great power. Man's greatest nature, that which makes him distinct from the animals, is his ability to reason. And so long as we have the freedom to reason, hope springs eternal.
  23. I couldn't help but to notice this was the first day in months that the word, "impeachment" wasn't mention on NPR.
  24. And your very pointed question is: ????? Are sure it's not a very pointless question?
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