World Domination Update
“Porcupining for the Fjords”
vol. VIII, iss. iii
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness”
of the Moment: “If you think
that sounds paranoid, try listing the exceptions.”—Nigel Kennedy. [technically, in context this was about a nuance
of symphonic politics, but admittedly this statement applies to lots of things...]
Secret Word of the Day: ambivalent
Site of the Week: WWJD (What Would Jesus Drive?)
Barbecue Sauce of the Month: Sonoran Sam’s Savory Saguaro Sauce
In this issue:
· An Anti-Kerry Rant
· Catholic Politics
· An Ayn Rand Rebuttal
· Fuller Than What?!?
· More Pauline Control
· Ask Evil Matt
· Hedgehog Humor
With less than a month to go before the “transition of sovereignty” in Iraq—and the ensuing no-holds-barred civil war that will doubtless ensue the day after, I can do little more than shake my head sadly at a situation that more and more looks like a bad Three Stooges rerun.
Now that the world has seen the prison pictures from Abu Ghraib and expressed their outrage at just how tiny the average Iraqi penis is, probably the most common question popping into everyone’s mind (apart from just how far up the chain of command this scandal stretches) is “where the hell are we getting our soldiers from?” Apparently the same place that we got our military leadership: from that fallow field gleaning of genius generals who said we would need half as many troops as we should have sent in to take and hold Iraq, that the native populace would roll out the red carpet for us, herald us as liberators, and that everything would be just peachy.
Yeah yeah yeah, and the check is in the mail, and I won’t spap in your mouth, either.
Obviously, it’s easy enough to bitch about this in hind-sight, but of course I was all saying this back before our tanks even rolled in: the only people experiencing shock and awe were those of us with a little bit of military understanding and a lot more brain cells than the Joint Chiefs-Of-Staff planners, including our obviously non-omniscient Commander in Chief.
Likewise, bitching about Bush has really become too easy; if you need a wry chuckle on the subject, all that needs to be done is read the latest headlines about Gluteus Wippus Braindeadus, and the material just writes itself.
That said, I guess I’ll give the Dubya subject a rest for the moment and glance at the alternatives available for replacing him on the first Thursday in November. Or rather, and more accurately, the alternative, singular, as realistically speaking there is only one...
Having studied the polls and propaganda for some time now, over and over the main selling point for Senator John Kerry seem to be three words: “He’s not Bush.”
Sorry, but that’s just the wrong attitude, because it is possible to do worse than GWB. Sharpton, Kucinich, and Nader, for example. The “Anybody but Bush in ’04” nihilism that is rampant among the Democrats—and pretty much everybody else to the left of Rush Limbaugh—scares the hell out of me. Remember: a little over a hundred years ago, the Russians wondered if anything could be worse than the Romanovs, and that nihilistic initiative gave the world seventy-five years of Soviet horror.
Personally, I find Kerry about as exciting as stale toast, though in his defense I suspect his campaign managers are to blame for that. After all, eight years ago most people thought Bob Dole was about as exciting as a piece of petrified wood, only to find out the day after the election that the man actually had a keen sense of humor. Be that as it may, let’s take a critical look at the man who is effectively the only alternative to four more years of Dubya Domination.
Kerry has often gone to pains to point out his presidential role model: John F. Kennedy. Of course, the comparisons are painfully superficially there: both were senators from Massachusetts, both served in the navy on plastic patrol boats, both are Roman Catholic (more on that in a minute), and, amazingly, both even share the same initials.
Extending Kerry’s logic, I guess we should expect the Kerry administration to do a half-assed invasion of Cuba, have lots of extra-marital affairs, and ultimately get Oswalded in Texas by some “lone nut.”
As Senator Lloyd Bensten once said, “Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.”
Then again, that’s probably a good thing, because I’m not a big fan of JFK, either...
Anyway, apparently the best the Bush Boiler Room cronies can come up with for anti-Kerry propaganda is that he “flip-flops” on issues. A few (of the many) examples of this:
Kerry enlisted in the Navy to serve in Vietnam, and after his discharge joined a ‘veterans against the war’ organization;
Kerry voted for the Patriot Act, and now opposes it;
Kerry voted to go to war in Iraq, and now opposes it.
That is the best the Bush Brigade can do? I did thirty seconds of net surfing and found more compelling reasons to be wary of the man, but of course you won’t hear Bush mention them because these reasons have to do with him and GWB seeing eye to eye on a number of issues. The environment is a good example: like Bush, Kerry is against the Kyoto Protocol, and Kerry seems to think that most of the global warming should be blamed on third world nations rather than on ourselves. Likewise, he voted for HR 1904, which was Bush’s plan to thin out the nation’s obviously too-dense forests.
I could give some other examples of Kerry’s campaign platform that sits sickeningly in my stomach, but will pass that for the moment due to space considerations.
There’s just something about Kerry that rubs me the wrong way, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. So, as an anti-Kerry litmus test, I actually emailed several friends of mine who still support Bush, and asked them this simple question: “what don’t you like about Kerry?” I was sincere in this inquiry, and genuinely curious to see what they would say. Only two responded, and their answers were:
First point I think there is a lot of BOTOX on that face that should be investigated…
Next point with all these Bush conspiracy theories out if half of them are true then great because there is no evidence of such deceptions, I pose the thought would rather have a president who can’t screw an intern and get away with it or the current president who must be a Genius to be doing all of this deceptive stuff.
Third point….the only thing the American government does right is R&D …Kerry has voted against the majority of those bills the last 30 years.
Kerry will not treat terrorism like the tumor on humanity that it is….It needs to be cut out like cancer tumor, taking good tissue with it then nuke the patient to an inch of its life. If humanity does not take this rout the Darkages could be upon us once again in the 1000 year cycle of repression humanity likes to enjoy periodically.
I will think about this some more…..
One other note on Iraq
A foreign government tried to murder the former President of the United States this should be the only grounds for the war. The former president and all of congress should have been removed from office for not declaring war sooner on Iraq.
It'd be hard to list all the reasons I oppose Kerry without making the list too long. Most of the reasons I dislike Kerry are for the policy positions he shares with most other of today's self-styled liberals. But since you're looking for items that pertain uniquely to Kerry I'll stick to those, even though they are the smallest of the problems I have with him.
I guess one of the most prominent of his personal negative aspects is his haughtiness. Watching him speak, even to his supporters, one gets the feeling that he doesn't hold even his own fellow liberals in high regard. He seems to have the attitude of a snooty schoolmaster chastising a youngster. Joe Biden also has an air of superiority about him but at least he smiles as he delivers his sermons. Biden always seems to be thinking, "See how smart I am? Isn't what I just said really good? Aren't you as impressed with me as I am? Please understand what I'm saying and be impressed with me." WIth Kerry, it seems that he doesn't really care whether his audience likes him or not. He likes him, and that's all that really counts. He doesn't seem to like his followers, he merely needs them -- for now.
Another point relating to this sentence: This may be related to his choice of wives. Both of his wives are/were extremely wealthy. Now it's possible that he just happened to fall in love with extremely wealthy women twice in a row. But if my belief in his using people is correct, his choice of wives could be more of the same. I could forgive him for not liking liberals (heh, heh), but there's something really cold and mean about a man who marries for money alone.
Another of Kerry's distasteful traits is his constant calling of attention to his "heroic" military service. Contrast him with Bob Dole. Dole spent months in an army hospital close to death yet he never called attention to his service or his wounds during his campaign. True heroes don't brag. False heroes do nothing but brag. I would not be surprised if the records of Kerry's "wounds" will show them to be either minor, non-battle related, or worse. Kerry's constant calling of attention to his own "heroics" is especially galling coming as it does from someone who called all his fellow servicemen "war criminals."
My biggest problems with Kerry are his liberal policy positions on just about anything. It seems that the liberal stance is the opposite of whatever any conservative says, or the opposite of whatever is good for America's security and well-being (which is pretty much the same thing). Hopefully I'll finish up those thoughts and get them to you some other time.
Hope I've been helpful. If there's any other liberals you'd like me to say bad stuff about, please don't hesitate to ask. In the meantime, if I think of any other Kerry stuff I'll let you know.
At that, shade shakes his head sadly. Except for a few generalized blanket categorizations as ‘ultra-liberal politics,’ which admittedly I tend to be against, these were more in the nature of attacks on character than campaign platforms, and that only holds so much weight with me. General George Patton, for example, had a nasty personality, but was an excellent general. At least when he wasn’t slapping shell-shocked soldiers around...
Then again, Gene-ius, my friend who responded with the first retort, missed what is probably my greatest concern about Kerry: his Catholicism. Alas, Gene-ius himself is Papist, so I guess it’s up to me to broach this dark topic...
A Quick Commentary on Catholic Candidacy
First, a disclaimer:
This is not intended to be an anti-Catholic rant per sé. Granted, it’s no secret that I have a lot of problems with the Catholic Church’s history and especially its doctrinal interpretations, but that also applies to other Christian groups such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and pretty much any Literalist/Phundamentalist institution. I dislike any religion that discourages its followers from practicing the Holy Grail of Branch Floridianism, THINKING FOR YOURSELF! The Catholic Church is certainly guilty of that: any dissention within their ranks (ie: thinking for yourself, as opposed to following the flock flow) is dealt with harshly, either via excommunication on an individual level, or inquisition/invasion/crusade on a mass cultural one. Hell, they even had an List of Forbidden Books (the infamous Index Librorum Prohibitorum) that they told you not to read lest you imperil your mortal soul, which was still officially in effect until 1966. So much for thinking for yourself. Now there are certainly worse groups out there (if “worse” is the word I’m looking for) than the Roman Catholic church, and please recall that I reserved the ignoble title of “the most dangerous form of Christianity” for Calvinism.
That said, the general implication of having a Catholic president is, in my humble opinion, one that is a cause of valid concern, and should correctly be addressed, or at least considered before you pop the chad with that candidate’s name on it. In case it’s not obvious why, let me explain.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church is the Pope (unless, of course, you’re one of those conspiratorial types that thinks the Jesuits are the real power running the Throne of Peter.) Every Catholic essentially swears allegiance to the Pope, and is by definition bound to whatever decisions that Pope and his 200-odd predecessors (and trust me, some of them have been very odd) have come up with in the past 2,000 years.
Birth control is a good example. Catholic doctrine, as exemplified in the 1968 encyclical Humana Vitae, condemns all forms of birth control, from abortion to condoms to any form of estrogen pill to vasectomies, as being against the “be fruitful and multiply” clause of Genesis. Technically, then, to be a good Catholic, any President of that persuasion would have to do his dandiest to outlaw all forms of birth control, or else he is risking his soul.
I could toss out other examples, such as the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to the death penalty and homosexuality, but hopefully the point has been made. If a president is taking his cues from Rome, can he be truly said to be representing the will of the American people?
The obvious response to this is to say that such fears would apply to any president with even an iota of religious devotion. Jimmy Carter is a good recent example. Carter was an ordained Baptist minister, and even during his presidential tenure would take Sundays off to teach Sunday School to little kids in the Oval Office. His religious beliefs certainly shaped his foreign policy, with the Israel/Egypt Peace Accord being a good example. One could also argue that George W. Bush is also at least partly guided by his own personal theology. A practicing Methodist, while governor of Texas he proclaimed June 10th as “Jesus Day” and allegedly reads the Bible on a daily basis. Whether he understands it is another matter, even after Dick Cheney explains it to him, and of course it is often suggested that he only found God at Yale while lying on a bathroom floor with a heart-rate of 300 bpm.
So my point that I am conceding is that it is technically not fair to single out Catholic candidates for scrutiny in terms of religious agendas, as this should be applied to every person running for office. However, since the Catholic Church has a much more inflexible mentality and it’s own demonstrable World Domination agenda, anybody of that persuasion seeking public office should be considered in light of it.
That said, let’s look at the people who have Roman Catholic backgrounds that have sought the highest office.
Next, a quick historical digression
There have, to my knowledge, been only two Catholic candidates for President thus far: Al Smith, and John Kennedy. While the latter is a household name, the former is relegated to the dustbins of forgotten history. A quick study may be in order.
Smith was the Democratic candidate in 1928, and by the majority of accounts I found was a likeable guy with some decent ideas. Although he was raised a Catholic, he was a nominal practitioner at best. When confronted with the charge that he would be taking his orders from Rome, his reply was “I never heard of those bulls and encyclicals and books.”
So much for knowing your own faith.
Still, the Republicans had a field day with this issue. A popular joke of the time: there was a secret vault in the basement of the Vatican, and if one stands on the Potomac on a quiet, windless day, you can hear them digging a tunnel under the Atlantic over to Washington D.C. Perhaps not surprisingly, Protestants from within his own party also seemed to have as issue with his religion, mostly from southern phundamentalist/bible-belt states, and four of those states refused to nominate Smith during the Democratic convention.
To his credit, Smith’s opponent, a Quaker named Herbert Hoover, never once raised the issue of religion during the election. Perhaps he didn’t need to; the anti-Papist propaganda machine was in full swing with charges that Smith, who opposed Prohibition, stood for “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.”
As you can guess, the election was a landslide for Hoover. The popular vote: 21 million to 15 million; the electoral vote: 444 to 81. At that time it was the biggest landslide spanking in electoral history, though four years later FDR outdid the stats by trouncing Hoover. Amazingly, Smith’s home state of New York voted against Smith, and it was also the first time since the Civil War that several southern states broke ranks with the Democrats and went Republican.
Another popular joke at the time: the day after the election, Smith called the Vatican with a simple message: “Stop packing.”
I think most people will agree that Al Smith got the shit end of the stick in that election as a result of an unjust anti-Catholic smear campaign. The anti-Papal paranoia that submarined Smith was silly, but it still happened. Would Smith have made a good president? Impossible to say, of course, though in comparison to the disaster that Hoover turned out to be, it’s hard to see how he could have been worse. Would he have been a Papal puppet? Admittedly possible, but quite unlikely.
By comparison, let’s look at the other Catholic who actually did make it to office: John F. Kennedy.
JFK was a very visible Catholic, though obviously he was selective in what he chose to follow in terms of doctrine. There is no question that he ignored, indeed flagrantly flaunted, the Sixth Commandment.
It has recently come to light that clan patriarch Joseph Kennedy, who was the American representative to the coronation of Pope Pius XII, had plans to enhance the Vatican relationship with the White House if his son should get elected. Evidence has recently emerged where Joseph wrote to the Vatican’s top lay administrator, Count Enrico Galeazzi, offering to act as liaison between Rome and the Oval Office. This excerpt, from 1958, is a good example:
“I think that if there is anything you want me to do, you could let me know and I will contact him [CIA Director and practicing Catholic/Knight of Malta Allen Dulles]. He is very aware of the fact that Jack may be the next president and while he has always been very friendly to me, I think that he is more than ever anxious to please.”
Well, there goes the separation between Church and State.
That said, let’s get back to the current state of things with Kerry.
"As John Kennedy said very clearly, I will be a president who happens to be Catholic, not a Catholic president."
Obviously, the Vatican has taken issue with that attitude. As one unnamed official told Time Magazine, “people in Rome are becoming more and more aware that there’s a problem with John Kerry, and a potential scandal with his apparent profession of his Catholic faith and some of his stances, particularly abortion.”
In the Time article, Kerry replied “I don’t tell Church officials what to do and Church officials shouldn’t tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life.” However, this isn’t the practice as it stands. Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley has said that Catholic politicians who don’t vote along Church lines “shouldn’t dare come to Communion.” Likewise, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke told Kerry that, given his current political views, he should absent himself from Communion.
Perhaps equally disturbing, suspiciously unnamed “Vatican officials” are starting to say that it is a matter of Faith that Catholics should vote according to the Roman orthodoxy on issues, and could be considered exempt from salvation within the Church if they do otherwise. After all, God knows how you vote.
Now as near as I can tell, Kerry is relatively sincere about his faith, and even takes time out on the campaign trail each Sunday to attend Mass. However, it is obvious that he is somewhat selective in his adoption of Church policy, and there is no question that he is under a lot of pressure from Catholic Dogma Guardians to follow the flock more stringently.
And since, from his own subjective stance, his soul—as well as that of every Catholic voter—is technically on the line if he doesn’t, that’s a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, we’ll just have to wait and see how this unfolds.
Still, it bothers the hell out of me that once again the Vatican is being hypocritical at this: they bristle at any perceived government interference in how they run their Church, but obviously have no problem telling government officials what their policies should be, or how voters constituents should vote.
Of course, having ranted on as such about this issue now, I can surely expect a visit from...
...meanwhile, moving on to other matters...
All of y’all should give a hearty howdy-do to the newest trooper in our own fold, Ol’ Boy joins us from New Jersey, and this summer will be setting up a Branch Floridian Base Camp up in Canada before migrating back to the Floridian homeland. Perhaps not surprisingly, he’ll most likely be at Pine Island, home of the original Koresh.
Still Waiting for Weberman (aka An Attempted Accolade)
After my relatively recent completion of The Weberman Job, I felt the need to ping the infamous author with a comment to the effect that I had actually read the totality of the damned thing.
Still no word from Weberman about that, and my best guess is that A.J. either deleted my email as perceived spam, or suspected it was a CIA infiltration attempt. However, a couple of kindred spirits have alternately suggested that the delay is due to Herr Webermensch taking the time to first read my site in its entirety as a return courtesy. Anyone who has spent more than sixty seconds surfing the Cyber-Compound knows that this is a chore in and of itself, but for those that missed this, here are the stats by way of comparison:
web pages: 28
web pages: 236
Now since it took me about five months to make it “cover to cover” through Weberman’s brutal piece of warped conspiracy lore, one would think that it would take a similar period for A.J. to consume the contents of our own exhaustive archive; maybe a month or two less due to the smaller size of my site; plus he could opt to skip the fiction samplers, Koresh sermons, and other crap I have randomly posted over the past eight-plus years (even though they may contain numerous continuity clues to the Branch Floridian scheme of things.)
But wait! According to Weberman’s own words:
Fortunately, like former CIA Plans Director Richard Mervin Bissell, I can “race through a memo, holding each new page at the bottom between two fingers, scanning, flipping every few seconds, gulping the entire contents.”
So 1,700-odd pages should have proven no problem for our intrepid conspiracist, who should have been done with my site—novels and all—by now.
Too bad. Since I had given myself an award for making my way through The Weberman Manifesto, I had planned to create one for him in like.
As a matter of fact, I have done this anyway.
So, for those of you foolish enough to actually read the 1,700+ pages of crap and babbling of saint, shade, and Evil Matt have posted since our octavial inception, we now offer an “I survived the Cyber-Compound” award graphic, suitable for posting on your own page.
Legitimate only, please, and you may be quizzed on the fact to prove you actually did indeed read everything.
Our recent victory in the Crusade for Extra Cheese is being retaliated upon by those evil, Cheeseless fiends at Gumby’s Pizza. I have been getting an average of 5 emails a day from obvious Gumby shills; I think the high point was 55 at once back in late March or early May. Each of these little nuggets of love had a virus file attached. They’re simple to spot: they’ve discovered fifteen Branch addresses and just spam the crap out of them, each marked ! urgent in Outlook and have a small file attachment. Half the time they forget to change their return address, and it is clearly marked (whatever)@gumbyspizza.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or one of their other “actual” emails.
So far I’ve been able to easily avoid activating any of these landmine attachments, and Flaming Faggot is helping me run a dns check on these so we can see what our options are. I would think at the very least intentionally spamming someone with a virus is against any isp policy, so perhaps we can further crimp their style and shut them down on-line as well as in-store.
Another Gumby Redux
This may not be the only problem Gumby’s has on its plate. I recently received email from the sig-oth of a Gumby’s employee haplessly caught in the grinding gears of this evil pizza machine:
So here's the jist. The store my fiance works at had to close down in December due to a flood that was (I wish it had been) no fault of Gumby's. The store just re-opened today. Over the course of the past 3 1/2 months corporate has been promising all this money to returning employees to keep them on staff and not to file for umemployment or look for work. First, it was "Just make time sheets for 20-30 hrs for these employees. Then it turned to just mgmt. Then the whole thing was suspended. Kinda. They were telling mgmt to keep sending the timesheets. Only this time they were just sitting on the funds that they had promised to pay out, while telling these people not to worry, that the store would be opening soon. In March, they were told to go on unemployment because corporate didn't know when the store would open due to red tape with the buildings mgmt co. Then, after 2 weeks of unemployment, they decided to open the store.
Now, they are working on a skeleton crew of new hires and very few original employees. HAHA!!!! Some of the old employees are thinking of going to the labor board and the newspapers about all this crap. If that happens I don't think, at least this Gumby's, would be able to survive the windfall.
I am still actively investigating the matter, details as they arise.
I am also actively investigating Gumby’s financial statements. I, for one, am curious to see what color ink their ledgers are written in, and how much those numbers have risen (or hopefully dropped) in the past few years. I was under the impression that Gumby’s Pizza was a public company that offered stock, but I have been unable to find any of their 10-K’s posted on the SEC’s EDGAR website.
...while on the subject of Gumby’s...
(or, that thumping sound you hear is the beating of a dead horse)
One other email (which didn’t have a virus) caught my attention, and is worth reprinting verbatim:
I'm a former employee of 2 1/2 years. I can't type worth shit or I would write letter that would make your heads spin like linda blair. I'm talking about gm's encouraging employees to steal from customers. i'm talking about drug use right out in the open (some of us are in recovery) and you guys are bitchin' about cheese.look you want to get back at gumby's...don't buy there crap they disquise as food order from another corportation.the only pleople important to gumby's are washington, lincoln, hamilton, jefferson. i know you'll do the right thing
Y’know, folks, that letter just speaks for itself on so many levels, and underscores much of what I’ve been saying about Scumby’s all along...
an actual unsolicited rebuttal
defending Ayn Rand...
i was going to set the email subject to "tossed salad with ranch dressing on the side", but decided you might delete it thinking it was spam.;) anyways...
i stumbled into your site threw yayhooray.com thread and stayed a while to read some of your diatribes.
these are some contentions with your rand piece.
rand: "reality exists as an objective absolute facts are facts, independent of mans feelings, wishes, hopes or fears."
your rebuttal: "bullshit. all 'facts' are subject to subjective interpretation."
however, her statement doesn't speak of man's interpretation of facts, but simple that facts do exist objectively. it appears to me that your questioning whether it may be proven something exists outside of one's conscious. which is an interesting argument, but a different one none the less.
rand: "reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by mans senses) is mans only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival."
your rebuttal: "Our only means of survival?!? I guess shes never heard of instinct."
rand stated "basic" (not only) means of survival, but your point would hold for "guide to action". one would assume that by action she meant the execution of plan, not relying on autonomic reactions.
you said: "There is also a subtle, insidious undertone between the lines when her philosophy is expressed: if you dont agree with this, you are a fool."
ahah, in ' the romantic manifesto' (p.73) she states "I can not stand Tolstoy, and reading him was the most boring literary duty i ever had to preform, his philosophy and his sense of life are not merely mistaken, but evil, and yet, on a purely literary viewpoint, on his own terms, i have to evaluate him as a good writer."
i actually have a disdain for rand. i think she is a cold bitch to the point that i have a pet hypotheses that she is functioning autist. she is completely incapable of understanding love in a semi-human manner.
ohh yeah, and the no right clicking thing is annoying! no
one wants to steal your hedgehog pictures or whatever is is you're so
desperately trying to protect!
First thanks for the Subject Line concern; otherwise and most likely my Norton Anti-Virus would have seen the word “ranch” and figured that it was some sort of virus. Such is the nastiness of ranch dressing...
Anyway, ah, yes, YayHooray. Last I knew, back around November or December, Chris PapaSadist had submarined the system by removing the original threads — the one about the gay bishop where he blatantly plagiarizes me, and a subsequent piece by some YHer linking to my piece and ridiculing him for it. I gather somehow they’ve either been restored, or someone has started another “I hate PapaSpackle” blog. Apparently that’s a popular pass-time on that board, and I don’t doubt why. Whatever the case, glad you decided to scope out my side of the story, and ‘stay a while to read some of my diatribes.’
Now, let’s address the points you post about my hatred of Ayn Rand.
her statement doesn't speak of man's interpretation of facts, but simple that facts do exist objectively.
Do they? There’s a philosophical school of thought that contends against that called ‘Logical Positivism.’ Rand was staunchly opposed to it, of course. My understanding was, a typical exchange with her on the matter would be “prove I exist”, and her response would be “where would you like me to send my response to?”
Anyway, proving a “fact” exists is a nasty logic loop that gets nowhere fast; if you’ve ever had conversations where you try to either define or prove “truth,” “reality” or “nothing/zero” then you know what I mean, but maybe not. Personally, I don’t think “facts” (whatever that is) objectively exist in any “provable” sense. Most, if not all “facts” should more correctly be called “game rules.” The closest you can say is that something is conditionally factual, and can ultimately be broken down and/or disproven on some level to reveal their conditionality.
it appears to me that your questioning whether it may be proven something exists outside of one's conscious. which is an interesting argument, but a different one none the less.
To me, they are related topics.I’ve written extensively on this subject on my site, and I would rather not rehash the argument—especially since it would require at least one lengthy digression into semantics, and I doubt you would find my position convincing anyway.
rand stated "basic" (not only) means of survival, but your point would hold for "guide to action". one would assume that by action she meant the execution of a plan, not relying on autonomic reactions.
Mea culpa on the ‘basic’ vs. ‘only’ blunder, but you correctly point out that my counterargument applies to her other points in the same paragraph. While working out a response to clarify this, I have realized a number of other problems with her rationale on this, including unclear definitions of “our” (ie: human beings only, or any sentient being—therefore broaching the question, what is ‘sentience’?) and an equally fuzzy distinction between ‘autonomic reaction’ vs. ‘plan of action.’ Whatever the case, I still feel that she doesn’t have a good grasp on the distinction between conscious action (caused by reason) and unconscious action (caused by instinct), or at least she did a piss-poor job of wording her point.
However, I’m not sure how I can explain myself on this whole subject, and to be honest, am actually less sure of my position. Maybe I’ll muse on it a while and get back to it, but for now it’s probably just best to tentatively concede the point.
ahah, in ' the romantic manifesto' (p.73) she states "I can not stand Tolstoy, and reading him was the most boring literary duty i ever had to preform, his philosophy and his sense of life are not merely mistaken, but evil, and yet, on a purely literary viewpoint, on his own terms, i have to evaluate him as a good writer."
I can only hope you looked that up and dont have it memorized...
Her critique of Tolstoy ironically sums up my own feelings about her, except for the last sentence: on a purely literary viewpoint, in her own terms, I have to evaluate her as a bad writer.
It took her 700+ pages in both Fountainhead and Shrugged to make her point. Although I haven’t suffered through Shrugged, it’s my understanding that towards the end, Galt gets hold of a radio transmitter and makes a long broadcast that goes on for 50+ pages where Rand basically recaps every philosophical point brought up in the book thus far. I guess this is just in case readers somehow missed the point up until then. Sticks in my mind that Roark did the same thing at his opening statement at the trial “climax” in Fountainhead: babble for 10 pages or so, rehashing the basic points throughout the book.
|i actually have a disdain for rand. i think she is a cold bitch to the point that i have a pet hypotheses that she is functioning autist. she is completely incapable of understanding love in a semi-human manner.|
Y’know, I’m glad to hear you say that. My own pet theory is that she was a sociopath, which dovetails quite nicely with your own observations about her.
Given your admittance for disdain for Rand, I am not sure how to view your e-pistle: are you playing Devil’s Advocate, or is this more a case of “if you’re going to hate her, at least understand what you are hating.” Either way, I actually approve of what you have done. Because of this exchange, I feel that I have a better understanding for her Objectivist mentality, and having reevaluated it in this light, I find my opinions unchanged, except perhaps having them intensified in my dislike for both her and her personal philosophy.
ohh yeah, and the no right clicking thing is annoying! no one wants to steal your hedgehog pictures or whatever is is you're so desperately trying to protect!
As a final note, I will parody Rand and do a long-winded Galt-like recap of the obvious here.
I freely admit: Rand does make some valid points in her philosophy, such as ‘live for yourself, not for others.’ However, I figured that out before I was a teenager, and didn’t need a long, rambling narrative to reinforce the concept. I’m a subjectivist, she’s an objectivist, so she and I are starting on opposite teams at opposite ends of the playing field. Also, I at least think I’m open-minded enough to consider her viewpoint before rejecting it, which is a flexibility I find lacking in both her and her philosophical flunkies.
I remember reading some survey in Time or Newsweek about 10 years ago, where people were surveyed about what book has had the most influence on their life. After The Bible, Shrugged and Fountainhead came in at #’s 2 and 3 respectively. I have to wonder at what demographic they were sampling for that. Like I said, if you hadn’t figured out on your own most of what she says in her works by the time you hit puberty... Whatever. If these people have had some sort of epiphany reading this stuff, then more power to ’em, and I mean that sincerely.
I still stand on my statements, though: she has at best a firm grasp of the obvious, her philosophical worldview has what I consider to be a number of fundamental flaws, and her prose style is horrid.
But if you like it, good for you. Like I said: unlike her, I’m pretty flexible.
...and now, getting back on track with World Domination commentary...
The Bucky Grunch
Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) was with little question one of the true universal/renaissance men of the 20th Century. Globally known as “Bucky,” Fuller’s achievements spanned both cerebral hemispheres by making acclaimed accomplishments in math, architecture, design science, philosophy, and even some decent poetry. Contributions of his that caught on were the geodesic dome, a molecule officially known as the Buckminsterfullerene (but commonly called “the Bucky Ball”), and some advanced geometric concepts that have proven crucial to organic chemistry once technology caught up to make its implementation practical. One of his creations that failed to take hold (for conspiratorial reasons that should seem obvious) was a 3-wheeled car that could outmaneuver anything and get 30 miles to the gallon. A champion of lateral thinking, he kept company with some of the other top minds of the past century, including Robert Anton Wilson and composer John Cage; indeed Fuller was present when Cage created and premiered his “prepared piano.”
Covering Bucky’s contributions with any justice would easily fill up this entire update, and indeed a number of websites are devoted to just that. For those curious, a good starting point is the excellent F.A.Q. found here. For now, I’m actually most interested in his work as a social scientist.
At first, it would be easy enough to dismiss Bucky’s views on global interaction as the benign rantings someone who was somewhat naïve and hopelessly optimistic, but to his credit he acknowledged that he was describing the “idyllic” rather than the “actual” situation. Ever the idealist, he developed the positive “World Game” (as opposed to the negative “War Game” which is currently in practice) where people attempt to solve the problems of “Spaceship Earth” (another term he coined); players win when they make a breakthrough of some type, such as eliminating poverty with a practical solution. He believed that all the world’s problems were solvable, such as feeding the hungry and eliminating wars, but also recognized that the application of these solutions was not going to happen in the current climate of control. Bucky examined this climate of control in a groundbreaking book of his, GRUNCH of Giants.
Grossly oversimplified, Bucky’s thesis was that various groups he dubbed MMAO collectively controlled the globe and deliberately foiled most positive progress as a means of continuing their control over us all. MMAO stands for Machiavelli, Mafia, Atoms, and Oil, essentially bankers, organized crime, and energy cartels. In researching this, Bucky actually attempted to identify by name these various groups, but was usually unable to track them down further than numbered Swiss accounts.
MMAO implemented its overlordship through a practice Bucky dubbed LAWCAP, or LAWyer-run CAPitalism. He also referred to the system as GRUNCH, or GRoss UNiversal Cash Heist. Essentially, MMAO uses LAWCAP/GRUNCH to limit and/or regulate progressive growth by only allowing advances which it feels are in its economic interests. Fuller traces much of the LAWCAP mentality to the writings of 18th Century economist Thomas Malthus, who “proved” (in his mind and to the satisfaction of then-current MMAOists) that population rates will always increase faster than resources and thus there will be a struggle to monopolize these resources. This sets up a situation for those whose ambition and greed are inversely proportional to their humanitarian concerns to manipulate the system through “ignorance, fear, greed, and zoning laws,” thus locking 99% of of the populace into stagnant poverty and misery while the remaining 1% sit atop the social pyramid and reap the benefits of everyone else’s woe. Bucky points out that Malthus’s concepts are fundamentally flawed because he wrote before the full impact of the industrial revolution could be recognized. It is now possible (in theory, anyway) to “do more with less,” and although populations are increasing steadily, technology (were it to be focused correctly) increases at an even higher rate, so if design science were properly implemented and resources distributed more effectively and humanely, the majority of problems could and indeed would be resolved.
Like I said, this is the “ideal,” and I think that most people will agree with it in principal. Whether it will actually transfer from being a ‘grand concept’ to an ‘actual reality’ is a different question, of course, especially with the MMAO reluctant to give up their stranglehold on the global situation.
In light of the last, Bucky frequently referred to MMAO as The Great Pirates, in that they hijacked society and made sure that all developments and progress were in areas best suited to continuing their control. This was accomplished a long, long time ago, and one reason the Great Pirates have maintained this control is that society has at this point known nothing else and thus fails to realize that things could actually be better than they currently are.
In other words, Buckminster Fuller conceived of the Brain Police on his own, but lacking the Zappa repertoire chose to name them in his own vocabulary.
...meanwhile, from secular conspiracies to spiritual...
saint is still on sabbatical up at Sadburns Theological College in Arkham, Massachusetts, but was kind enough to mail me a tape of one of his lectures, which, with a little consensual revision, has been turned into:
Do all things without grumbling or questioning.
This little verse is yet another prima facie proof that Paul was a Brain Police agent. Simply put and paraphrased, ‘obey your orders blindly; don’t think for yourself, just be meek little sheep and do what you are told.’
I’m surprised that there isn’t a Greek onomatopoeia for a “Baaaaaaa” in earliest textual witnesses.
Paul has been pretty consistent about this view. Granted, this isn’t as bad as the infamous Romans 13:1-5 passage where he tells his flock that disobeying your ruler is analogous to disobeying God (unenlightened Update readers are referred to my previous sermon on this) but the Philippians passage is more of the same of that bad, bitter pill, and is doubtless thrown out just in case any First Century Christian lemmings missed the message previously.
In previous epistles, Paul has given orders for readers to meekly follow the perceived chain of command: slaves obey your masters (Colossians 3:22, etc.), wives obey your husbands (Ephesians 5:22, etc), children obey your parents (Ephesians 6:1 etc.), ad nauseum, but here he feels the need to reinforce the message with a blanket statement that one should always obey all orders, no matter what they are, and one should do so blindly without “grumbling or questioning.”
For those wondering at the translation of this, the original Greek is:
panta poieit cwrisV goggusmwn kai dailogismwn
The key terms here:
goggusmwn = grumble, complain
dailogismwn = debate, dispute, argue
Paul had touched upon the subject of grumbling against orders in 1st Corinthians 10:9-10 (drawing upon the experience of the Jews in the Wilderness in Numbers 16:14, 49): “We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.”
In other words, if you gripe about the orders you have been given, Satan (“The Destroyer”) is going to get you! Best to hedge your bet and just shut up and obey.
The injunction against questioning authority is a bit trickier, but much more Pauline. Again, it can be boiled down to don’t argue, just do it!
Apparently, what “it” is is irrelevant: it does not matter how absurd your orders are, just be a good little boyscout and get on with it. Paul reminds us, in a previous epistle, what happens to those who don’t follow orders: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (2nd Thessalonians 1:8). Of course, it is crucial to remember in light of the last that here Paul obviously means his own interpretation of what that Gospel (literally, ‘good news’) of our Lord Jesus is. Kindly recall:
Even if an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we (ie: I, Paul) preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you have received (from me) let him be accursed.
It is interesting to consider, by the way, that by the parameters of the above injunction/curse, the original twelve apostles were accursed, because it is well-documented that they (especially James the Lord’s brother) were directly at odds with Paul about just what that gospel was; check out my commentary on James for details.
Still, all this all dovetails quite nicely with the Pauline control conspiracy: do what I tell you to do, do it without complaining or questioning, or else Satan’s going to get you!
Can you say “control mechanism” boys and girls?
Obviously, this is all just an opinion, so take it with a Lot’s-wife-sized pillar of salt. It is possible to view the Philippian passage positively. Easily the most sickeningly sweet example of that can be found here, where the anonymous author goes to extraordinary lengths to sugar-coat this exceedingly bitter pill of subjugation into something “positive.” If you’re one of those “feel good Christians” who want to pretend (or desperately needs to believe) that The Check Is In The Mail, give it a go. Otherwise, read it at your own discretion, as it may cause diabetes.
However, I think the piece is proof of just how insidious Philippians 2:14 is: even though the verse is demonstrably a control command, the anonymous author of the above-referenced piece has worked some admittedly impressive mental acrobatics to accept it as wonderful, without grumbling or questioning. In other words, whoever wrote it has the Pauline choke chain imbedded so tight into his brain that he doesn’t even feel the tug of the pseudo-apostolic master yanking him along the path to cerebral slavery.
Take it from saint, and don’t be that guy.
Feel free to .
shade’s Philippian peshar
Although the Epistle to Philippi glaringly fails the 2nd Thessalonian 3:17 authenticity test, Pauline authorship is otherwise uncontested.
This does not mean that the letter is not without problems.
Notably, the letter is very disjointed, strongly suggesting that multiple letters were edited together. Polycarp, for example, wrote in his own letter to the Philippians that he was aware of Paul having sent several letters to the community, so it is possible that a couple of these were chopped together into the form we currently have it. At least one can be demonstrated, the most glaring (especially evident in the original Greek) being the abrupt transition in tone and content between verses 3:1 and 3:2.
Personally, I find the arguments inconclusive, as Paul tended to ramble quite a bit.
Then again, so do I.
Philippians has one unusual facet to it that is not noticeable to the casual reader unless intense comparison is done with the rest of the Pauline corpus: it is the only letter extant where Paul is not chastising the community he writes to for doing something he thinks is wrong.
Ask Evil Matt
The Evil One fields your queries, as channeled by Sister Ob’dewlla ‘X’.
Q: What's the line out of Shakespeare, "if I were a man, I'd rip his heart out and eat it in the marketplace!"?
A: [Beatrice:] “Is ’a not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered,
scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O that I were a man! What?
Bear her in hand
until they come to take hands, and then with public accusation, uncover’d
slander, unmitigated rancour—O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart
in the market place.”—Much
Ado About Nothing, Act 4, Scene 1
Q: Ok evil Matt, I have
a pressing question to which I can find no answer. I find theories, suggestions and ideas but no conclusive
evidence to support an answer to my question. In 1936 a man by the name of Edward Leedskalnin bought 10 acres
of land near Homestead Florida (right in your old back yard). With nothing more than his fourth grade education,
a facination with magnets and magnetism and tools that he created himself using parts salvaged from a scrap
yard, he proceeded to sculpt over 1,100 tons of coral stone and create what is now called Coral Castle. He
physically moved over 30 tons of that stone including the erection (heh heh, he said erection) of a nine ton
gate which pivoted perfectly on the axle bearing of an old truck, a feat which modern engineers have said they
could not duplicate. Also it is important to consider the fact that this man moved and sculpted all this stone
by himself. My question to you, oh evil one, is how was Edward Leedskalnin able move all this stone without any
real tools, lifts or levers? A: I
have actually been to Coral Castle,
back in the mid-to-late ’70s, and remember it well. Strange place, but you already knew that. A
lot of astrology there: pillars with crescent moons atop them, and I remember
some type of “throne” that you could sit in (which I did) and being told that some sort of
astronomical event was visible from it—something
like a star rising between the points of one of the crescent pillars at some
specific time of the year. That said, a popular theory for how
Leedskalnin made his little shrine to his “sweet sixteen” involves UFOs, and I also remember the guide saying that there had been a
number of sightings of “strange lights” in the sky during Ed’s tenure there. Obviously, greater minds than mine have wrestled with the
mystery of how ol’ boy did this, but all of them were looking for answers in
the wrong place. The solution has been in the open for quite some time,
assuming someone does a Google cache search. Click here. Q:
Q: Ok evil Matt, I have a pressing question to which I can find no answer. I find theories, suggestions and ideas but no conclusive evidence to support an answer to my question. In 1936 a man by the name of Edward Leedskalnin bought 10 acres of land near Homestead Florida (right in your old back yard). With nothing more than his fourth grade education, a facination with magnets and magnetism and tools that he created himself using parts salvaged from a scrap yard, he proceeded to sculpt over 1,100 tons of coral stone and create what is now called Coral Castle. He physically moved over 30 tons of that stone including the erection (heh heh, he said erection) of a nine ton gate which pivoted perfectly on the axle bearing of an old truck, a feat which modern engineers have said they could not duplicate. Also it is important to consider the fact that this man moved and sculpted all this stone by himself. My question to you, oh evil one, is how was Edward Leedskalnin able move all this stone without any real tools, lifts or levers?
A: I have actually been to Coral Castle, back in the mid-to-late ’70s, and remember it well. Strange place, but you already knew that. A lot of astrology there: pillars with crescent moons atop them, and I remember some type of “throne” that you could sit in (which I did) and being told that some sort of astronomical event was visible from it—something like a star rising between the points of one of the crescent pillars at some specific time of the year. That said, a popular theory for how Leedskalnin made his little shrine to his “sweet sixteen” involves UFOs, and I also remember the guide saying that there had been a number of sightings of “strange lights” in the sky during Ed’s tenure there.
Obviously, greater minds than mine have wrestled with the mystery of how ol’ boy did this, but all of them were looking for answers in the wrong place. The solution has been in the open for quite some time, assuming someone does a Google cache search. Click here.
A: None, because:
it’s no accident that it “burned out”—that was the FBI cutting power prior to a no-knock entry;
the damned thing is obviously booby-trapped;
who wants to know?!?
Got a question? .
The Hedgehog Corner
By Harriet the Hedgehog
Lastly, a bit of light-hearted hedgehog humor, passed on via FireSkunk:
That’s it for now, folks; and y’all know the drill:
Trust no one
and Always keep your lighter handy!
back to the archive