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Everything posted by Wotan

  1. No need to apologize! I get this from a lot of people. I'm just frustrated that I run across this "preaching to the choir" phrase so frequently -- even tho' I seem to write in a provocative and fiery manner. I'm evidently unaware of a big part of the nature of my style of writing.
  2. You make many good points and ask many good questions. My mini-article somewhat presumptuously considers communism to be gov't ownership of the economy; and fascism to be gov't control of the society. Generally, communism is tyranny via direct gov't ownership; and fascism is tyranny via indirect gov't control. Both, of course, amount to the same thing. Now, my implied and indirect definition of fascism is loosely correct by current standards -- but there are many different plausible alternative interpretations (such as definitions involving militarism, racism, nationalism, etc.). I just wanted two strong terms of insult to characterize America's current dismal welfare state. I wanted to shock people into thinking different. I don't know if it's considered legit by the current Objectivist community, but I would label the recent behavior by New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg of trying to penalize or ban smoking, trans fat, Four Loko, K2/Spice, large sugary sodas, etc. as fascism. I'm curious to hear if my use of the term is helpful here and above, or if it's misleading and off-putting to people of decent quality and education.
  3. Nice review, Edward Cline! Prof. John Lewis's book is amazingly good and important -- albeit a bit slow-paced and redundant. He says: To win a war, the good guys must militarily and intellectually defeat the bad guys. Tell the aggressors afterward that they were evil, and that the past war was their fault, and that if they don't change their beliefs they will be militarily crushed again. Better yet, their occupation will never end. They have no choice but to submit -- they must admit their guilt, apologize, and then clearly and openly change their militarist beliefs and ways. Has America and the West done this to the evil aggressor Islam in our current War on Jihadism? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! We don't even dare name the enemy -- which is the philosophy of Islam or Jihad. Thus while we might be able to militarily hold off the loathsome muzzies in our absurdly self-hating "War on Terror," intellectually we will never defeat them. So "the long war" will go on essentially forever. As a side note, but one which is still important: In analyzing the various seven wars, Lewis is wrong to not acknowledge or comprehend that the North was the aggressor in the US Civil War, and the South had every right to peaceably secede. He's also wrong to not acknowledge or comprehend that America is fundamentally in the wrong in Iraq and Afghanistan: We are expending copious blood and treasure to prop up evil, loathsome, barbarian, socialist, shariaist, anti-American, popularly-rejected dictatorships in both nations.
  4. Maybe I stated it softly, but I said America was a "massively" communist and fascist nation -- not a totally or utterly communist and fascist one. Economically, America has considerable capitalist aspects; socio-personally, America has considerable libertarian aspects. FAR the most interesting and disturbing thing about your comment, SapereAude, is that you consider me to be "preaching to the choir" -- while I'm simultaneously contradicting the choir considerably. I get his ALL the time. I consider myself to be an intellectual radical, innovator, and creator who is forever advancing new ideas (such as shockingly claiming America is communist and fascist!). And yet you and almost everyone considers me to be forever preaching to the choir (including using that identical phrase). I'm baffled. While it's true that I'm not preaching to the mass man or the average Joe (who I hate), I'm very much trying to improve and uplift the choir -- not tell them the same old stuff in the same old way.
  5. It seems accurate and useful to note that, politically speaking, America has both elements. Which one would you have me leave out?
  6. The United States is a massively communist and fascist nation. Some of America's main political establishments are: (1) Social Security -- which is communism, (2) Medicare -- which is communism, (3) Medicaid -- which is communism, (4) unemployment insurance, food stamps, housing subsidies, and multitudinous other types of government charity -- which is communism, (5) government roads -- which is communism, and (6) government schools -- which is communism. In addition to these individual-attacking, freedom-destroying, economic schemes and scams, America also has: (7) drug criminalization -- which is fascism, (8) prostitution criminalization -- which is fascism, (9) many types of gambling criminalization -- which is fascism, and (10) censorship of broadcast obscenity on radio and t'v' -- which is fascism. Now, the United States admittedly does enjoy some political liberty -- does have some capitalist and libertarian elements. In economics, America has private, non-government industries like oil, gas, coal, farming, ranching, cars and trucks, most of personal housing, most of business buildings, restaurants, clubs, bars, clothing, shoes, movies, sports, almost all radio, almost all t'v', computer hardware, computer software, etc. So the capitalist sector of America -- albeit hideously regulated, stunted, and demented -- still lives in America. Moreover, in American social and personal lives, much behavior is freely-chosen and private. The people of the United States are politically free to choose their own job, housing, transportation, entertainment, friends, lovers, philosophy, religion, politics, food, dress, music, art, exercise, manners, attitude, clubs, groups, parties, sexuality, and speech. So the libertarian sector of America -- albeit hideously regulated, stunted, and demented -- still lives in America. And yet, the ten evil institutions listed above are central to the American nation and its way of life. These tyrannical aspects of the people and government degrade America's quality of life considerably. The level of popular energy, dynamism, satisfaction, happiness, greatness, hope, and spirit is very inferior to what it could be. And it's worth noting that most of these totalitarian programs and laws did not exist a century ago. As for those that did -- such as collectivist roads and schools, and restrictions on prostitution and gambling -- they cost far less than today, and had far less influence on American lifestyles. In the end, the Stalinist and Hitlerian political institutions cited above pervert the society, debauch the culture, and ravage the American civilization. They need to be terminated immediately. America today is a massively communist and fascist nation -- and that needs to change.
  7. Total indignation for you. Total fury for me. Slugman is a monster. And he knows he's a monster.
  8. Ron Paul should have answered that first question by saying, "I'm an advocate of libertarianism in politics, capitalism in economics -- and liberty in general. Paul Krugman is an advocate of slavery in politics, socialism in economics -- and tyranny in general. I like Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, while Krugman likes Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. I want everyone to be free, rich, and happy; Krugman wants Big Brother to enslave and impoverish us all, and make our lives an infinite hell." It's sad that Congressman Paul immediately starts off with trivia -- and doesn't focus on essentials, as I did above. I think he lacks both the ability and the desire to stick to the central political/economic/sociological issues. Paul is psychologically and spiritually weak, in my opinion. This whole debate could have been a magnificent and truly enjoyable Clash of the Titans. Instead, it's merely boring and annoying. And it's INFINITELY frustrating. Paul needs to study philosophy more -- starting with Rand. But also Locke, Smith, Voltaire, and Jefferson. And certainly the economic giants Von Mises and Hayek. Marx, Lenin, Mao, Keynes, Galbraith, Stiglitz, and Krugman are the anti-human, pro-slavery, economic scum of he earth -- but you wouldn't know it to witness this lame, useless, hopeless debate!
  9. I only started reading this book. But so far, so good. Krauss seems quite honest, brave, and high-integrity. And despite discussing the Big Issues -- including in ways most powerful Objectivist leaders will not be able to match, I imagine -- he's still modulated, well-controlled, modest, and prudent of language. Most highly rational people will enjoy all this -- but not me, since I'm a natural firebrand!
  10. All these damn interesting and provocative comments from Lawrence Kraus, and no one has anything to say? Disappointing!
  11. A careful 30% excerpt from the preface from Lawrence Kraus's January 2012 book A Universe From Nothing: ...I am not sympathetic to the conviction that creation requires a creator, which is at the basis of all of the world’s religions. Every day beautiful and miraculous objects suddenly appear, from snowflakes on a cold winter morning to vibrant rainbows after a late-afternoon summer shower. Yet no one but the most ardent fundamentalists would suggest that each and every such object is lovingly and painstakingly and, most important, purposefully created by a divine intelligence... Ultimately, many thoughtful people are driven to the apparent need for First Cause, as Plato, Aquinas, or the modern Roman Catholic Church might put it, and thereby to suppose some divine being: a creator of all that there is, and all that there ever will be, someone or something eternal and everywhere. Nevertheless, the declaration of a First Cause still leaves open the question, “Who created the creator?” After all, what is the difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one?... The universe is the way it is, whether we like it or not. The existence or nonexistence of a creator is independent of our desires. A world without God or purpose may seem harsh or pointless, but that alone doesn’t require God to actually exist. For more than two thousand years, the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” has been presented as a challenge to the proposition that our universe—which contains the vast complex of stars, galaxies, humans, and who knows what else—might have arisen without design, intent, or purpose. While this is usually framed as a philosophical or religious question, it is first and foremost a question about the natural world, and so the appropriate place to try and resolve it, first and foremost, is with science.... Before going further, I want to devote a few words to the notion of “nothing”—a topic that I will return to at some length later. For I have learned that, when discussing this question in public forums, nothing upsets the philosophers and theologians who disagree with me more than the notion that I, as a scientist, do not truly understand “nothing.” (I am tempted to retort here that theologians are experts at nothing.) “Nothing,” they insist, is not any of the things I discuss. Nothing is “nonbeing,” in some vague and ill-defined sense. This reminds me of my own efforts to define “intelligent design” when I first began debating with creationists, of which, it became clear, there is no clear definition, except to say what it isn’t. “Intelligent design” is simply a unifying umbrella for opposing evolution. Similarly, some philosophers and many theologians define and redefine “nothing” as not being any of the versions of nothing that scientists currently describe. But therein, in my opinion, lies the intellectual bankruptcy of much of theology and some of modern philosophy. For surely “nothing” is every bit as physical as “something,” especially if it is to be defined as the “absence of something.” It then behooves us to understand precisely the physical nature of both these quantities. And without science, any definition is just words.... ...cience is changing the playing field in ways that make people uncomfortable. Of course, that is one of the purposes of science (one might have said “natural philosophy” in Socratic times). Lack of comfort means we are on the threshold of new insights. Surely, invoking “God” to avoid difficult questions of “how” is merely intellectually lazy. After all, if there were no potential for creation, then God couldn’t have created anything. It would be semantic hocus-pocus to assert that the potentially infinite regression is avoided because God exists outside nature and, therefore, the “potential” for existence itself is not a part of the nothingness from which existence arose. ...When it comes to understanding how our universe evolves, religion and theology have been at best irrelevant. They often muddy the waters, for example, by focusing on questions of nothingness without providing any definition of the term based on empirical evidence... Science has been effective at furthering our understanding of nature because the scientific ethos is based on three key principles: (1) follow the evidence wherever it leads; (2) if one has a theory, one needs to be willing to try to prove it wrong as much as one tries to prove that it is right; (3) the ultimate arbiter of truth is experiment, not the comfort one derives from one’s a priori beliefs, nor the beauty or elegance one ascribes to one’s theoretical models. ...The tapestry that science weaves in describing the evolution of our universe is far richer and far more fascinating than any revelatory images or imaginative stories that humans have concocted. Nature comes up with surprises that far exceed those that the human imagination can generate. . The true inspiration for this book comes not so much from a desire to dispel myths or attack beliefs, as from my desire to celebrate knowledge and, along with it, the absolutely surprising and fascinating universe that ours has turned out to be. The direct genesis of this book hearkens back to October of 2009, when I delivered a lecture in Los Angeles with the same title. Much to my surprise, the YouTube video of the lecture, made available by the Richard Dawkins Foundation, has since become something of a sensation, with nearly a million viewings as of this writing, and numerous copies of parts of it being used by both the atheist and theist communities in their debates....
  12. Thanks! I think my logic here is close to unimpeachable!
  13. Truth is true. Rationality is rational. Science is scientific. Philosophy is philosophical. Virtue is virtuous. Beauty is beautiful. Pleasure is pleasurable. And so on. To live your life guided toward rationality, filled with virtue, animated by beauty, and aimed at pleasure is almost unfailingly rational, virtuous, beautiful, and pleasurable. To reject reason, morality, greatness, and happiness, as goals and ideals, is almost invariably unreasonable, immoral, base, and miserable. Life without truth, rationality, science, philosophy, virtue, beauty, and pleasure is evil incarnate. It destroys virtually all of your greatness and happiness.
  14. I'm glad Peikoff recanted. This guy is pretty ham-handed in his thinking aloud, and overall seems like a bit of a nitwit. He isn't very deft or insightful in his thinking. But at least he finally revised his formerly bone-headed analysis.
  15. Revenge is good. It's your duty to punish those who unjustly hurt you. It's a sacred moral obligation. You're self-hating, self-destroying, and evil if you don't seek, and successfully obtain, revenge against the bad guys. And, yes, you should enjoy it while you make your victims suffer. But make sure it's just -- not excessive, mean, or cruel.
  16. Wotan

    Ayn's theme

    For the record, I think the images did fly by too fast, the spoken words were too hard to understand, and the theme -- as expressed by the images and lyrics -- wasn't sufficiently coherent. But...I appreciate the time, effort, originality and creativity involved in making a music video such as this. It will live on long after the impotent words of most of the critics have died out. Anyone who doesn't like this pro-Rand video should consider making a better one!
  17. Wotan

    Ayn's theme

    2 "likes", 3 "dislikes", and up to 100 people or so who watched, but were too cowardly to attach their name to a vote.
  18. I don't think that was the point the skit was making. I thought they were mocking ethnic double-standards and hypocrisy. That doesn't change the fact that NONE of the writers were racist, and NONE were using the term "chink" in a racist manner, and NONE of their slimy critics -- for all their deliberate hatefulness and injustice -- even claims as much.
  19. Wotan

    Ayn's theme

    Massively creative and inventive video. Thought-provoking, atmospheric, powerful, and evocative. Outstanding!
  20. Suppose I wrote a sports story stating: "Jeremy Lin is admittedly good at shooting, driving, passing, and rebounding. But he's weak when it comes to defense and turn-overs. These are two flies in his soup." Would people be justified and correct in assuming I was referencing won ton soup, and thus I was implying that he and all other Chinese people should stick to working in Chinese take-out restaurants -- the only things these people are any good at? Perhaps also the "fly in the soup" expression legitimately indicates I think of the Chinese as "coolies" who should all be enslaved, while I further support a worldwide dictatorship led by a new Hitler. Perhaps such is the proper interpretation of my harmless, unthinking, "fly in the soup" metaphor, according to the politically correct monsters who rule our world, and who we should all appease, and passively submit to.
  21. The ESPN headline writer stated specifically on the day that he was fired: "I wasn't trying to be clever or punny." The idea that someone might take offense to it simply didn't occur to him. No one that I've read disputes this.
  22. I watched it today on Hulu.com and it was very funny. Also fairly brave and not at all PC. Still... Punishing those "chink in the armor" guys was a grave injustice, and I'm surprised and disappointed anyone here even disputes this. Firing and suspending those guys was raw evil. Today's "toleration" champions are real vermin. They claim to be promoting virtue, brotherhood, and progress -- but they're really authoritarians and enemies of free discussion. They want us to walk on delicate eggshells as we talk and live. They're about as fascist and hatefully, malicously intolerant as you can get. Most of today's politically correct, multicultural, diverse, inclusive, sensitive, democratic, peaceful advocates and activists are so morally low they might as well join up with some Islamic religious police or Orwell's Thought Police.
  23. SNL is just going along with the mindless and PC crowd. But I've been following this story closely. And I'm still baffled. Not a single media report that I've read or heard has said (in effect): "The writer or speaker was trying to make a joke -- but now realizes it was in bad taste." Not a single critic that I've read or heard has said (in effect): "The writer or speaker was being clever and making a pun -- but now sees that it was offensive." The claim that is being made -- however indirectly and dishonestly, with much moral intimidation -- is that "chink in the armor" is a racist espression. But all the linguistic evidence I'm aware of indicates it's an anodyne figure of speech. Not every use of the word "chink" refers to the Chinese. So why punish someone for an accidental and non-malicious bigoted expression -- when it isn't even a bigoted expression? What could be more evil? The hatefulnes and malevolence of our world today amazes and depresses me. I guess Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan rule the planet. They are our moral ideals.
  24. How is it obvious? The writer himself, and all the media reports, state explicitly that it was accidental. No-one denies this. No-one claims that he was trying to be clever or make a pun. I live in New York, and I've heard that that meaningless figure of speech was used in discussing Jeremy Lin at least three times prominently by major New York media personalities. All were accidental. So why should the innocent be punished? I've used that expression many times myself -- well before I've heard of Jeremy Lin. Am I also a racist, years and decades after the fact? I also think people are missing the point here. The implicit claim from the politically correct, multicultural, sensitive, diverse, inclusive, democratic, equalitarian, fascist Thought Police is that the phrase "chink in the armor" is itself a slur because it's derived from the degoratory meaning of "chink" (as in Chinese). That's simply untrue. No dictionary or book of etymology corroborates that claim.
  25. All the news accounts that I've read stated clearly that it wasn't a pun. In certain usages "chink" is an ethnic slur; "chink in the armor" is a familiar expression which never is.
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