Tuesday, November 29, 2005
That reasoning is alive and thriving in the United States of America today. Bush lied. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Bush manipulated the intelligence to force us into a war. None of these things are true yet you would be hard pressed to find media reports to the contrary. The mainstream media promotes the mantra of the repetitive, indeed they are the repeaters, just as the mass media was in Brave New World. People believe the media, after all, they have access to information that no one else knows, right? And it is their job to inform us of the truth, right?
The truth has become something other than the truth. Today's truth is on an individual level. We have personal truths now. My truth may be different than yours. It's all good. It's also all bullshit!
How ridiculous a notion that there is such a thing as personal truth. Because you see something differently than I do does not mean that we are both correct in what we believe and that truth can be divvied up, a little bit here and there, and we can each have our own little piece of truth that is far different than reality. That's absurd. There is only one truth!
The world is a place of black and white. Stating that the sun sets in the east and rises in the west, no matter how matter times you repeat it, does not change the simple truth that the sun sets in the west and rises in the east. It does not set in the east for some and in the west for others. One cannot look at the truth in any other way except as the truth. The only truth. No matter what you believe to be true. Most everyone thought the world was flat before Columbus. It was considered the truth. But just because people believe it as the truth didn't make it so.
Every politician, every intelligence agency, every nation that looked at the intelligence about the weapons capabilities in Iraq came to the same conclusion, that there were WMDs in Iraq and that they would be used somewhere, sometime. It was Bill Clinton's stated policy for regime change in Iraq. There was mass consensus that Iraq with Saddam running the show, was a definite and immediate threat to the stability of the modern world. At one point in time, there was no doubt about this truth.
It is only after the fact, when it became politically expedient for all of the Bush haters in the country, that the process of repeating a lie over and over again to make it become the new truth began. The only reason for this contemptible action that I can see is for political advantage, power, the ability to remain a privileged politician for as long as humanly possible, no matter what they have to do to achieve it.
Politicians like this are nothing more than prostitutes for power. While in Brave New World, it was a state-run media campaign that blared out the new truths over loudspeakers and televisions placed throughout the city, in today's world the media is not controlled by the state at all. But that fact would be difficult to surmise if you were looking at this country from without. Such as, how the terrorists look at us.
From an outside point of view, it appears as if the voice of the media is also the voice of the government. Truly it is the liberal politicians receiving most of the media praise and attention and they are all too happy, both the media and the politicians, to have such a perfect marriage of ideas and such a loud voice to blast out those ideas.
Conservatives in this country, perhaps by their very nature, do not engage in much name-calling or outright rebuttals to ludicrous, idiotic rantings of the liberal politicians or media. Conservatives don't play the personal truth game very well. They also do not organize very well. This leaves conservative as perfect targets for group-hugging liberals who desire to mold the world into their version of Utopia. Can't we all just get along?
The media always looks for ratings and tends to ignore stories that aren't sensational enough. Look at any coverage of a major catastrophe, such as hurricane Katrina, and it becomes obvious that sensationalism in reporting is the norm for today's journalists. The truth is simply not important. Ratings are.
And that's the way it has become for our politicians. Ratings, or votes, trump the truth every time. And that is a sad state of affairs for such a great country!
Say it with me, "The truth is not changeable. The truth is not changeable. The truth is not changeable." Only 42,597 repetitions to go. :<)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
For some reason Dennis Hastert, a normally rational Speaker of the House, has decided to cave in to pressure and have hearings with the oil companies about the recent windfall profits they enjoyed. The call is out for Congress to coerce Big Oil to return some of their windfall profits to the people. When Congress speaks like that, they sound like a Fascist government. How dare they think they have any right whatsoever to tell any company how to use its profits! Is this a first step in nationalizing oil in this country?
Mr. Hastert has shown support for the FairTax Plan as has been introduced, H.R. 25, by Congressman John Linder from Georgia for the past several years. The bill has never received even so much as a hearing in Congress yet. But let the media pounce upon the oil companies for earning record profits and suddenly he bows down to pressure and sticks his nose into someone else's business. Get out of there!
Why doesn't Mr. Hastert exert his influence and force a hearing on the FairTax which could solve so many of the problems in our country instead of calling in Big Oil and hounding them over their ability to run a profitable business? At least, let's have a civil discussion about the issue.
Government cannot run a large corporation effectively. Hell, they can't even run the government effectively. Why does anyone want them running the oil business? What gives them the right, I know they have the power, to demand a private business donate some of its' profits to "the less fortunate" to help with their heating bills? Would you want them telling you as a private business owner how you must spend some of your profits?
Let's say you run a small, two-person consulting business. Usually your profits are enough to pay your bills, maintain your business and grow it somewhat and provides a comfortable income for you and, let's say, your wife. Suddenly you receive lots of business, due to whatever reason, could be income tax time, heehee, and your profits go up tenfold. For a short period of time. Whose decision should it be on how to invest or spend the resulting larger than normal share of profits? There's no question, you! How is this any different than big oil?
If you've ever read the novel "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, you will see a parallel here. In fact, you will see parallels in all sorts of situations where government has placed itself between a business and its customers. Government thinks it can mandate something to happen and it will magically happen. And it always seems to think it knows best. It doesn't. Government knows less about business than business knows about government. I think a large business could operate our country much more effectively than government. And most certainly better than government could run any business.
If we continue to allow government to stick its nose into the business of business, we will be on a fast path to the destruction of our society. In fact, it is not just that we, the American public, simply allow the government to get involved in the business of business, but rather a large segment of our under-educated population demands such action. Just look at the outrage over the seemingly slow response to Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The public is demanding government intervention in our business and government is only too eager to be the helpful big brother. Why? Money and power.
Look out everybody. There is an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for. It may come true." If we don't take responsibility for ourselves and our actions and demand that government back off and get out of our everyday lives, we will get exactly what we wished for and it won't be what we think we're getting.
The only thing I wish for concerning government is that there be less of it every day. Granted, we still live in the freest, richest, most diverse, accepting country in the world but that status is not granted forever. Liberty takes effort, lots of effort. And I see precious little effort these days of anyone trying to restore freedoms we've given up, of repealing laws and red tape and bureaucracies, and of taking more responsibilities upon ourselves, where it should be. All I ever see is another call for more government intervention. How would we feel if our children acted this way to us as parents?
People are supposed to grow and become self-sufficient and make their own mistakes and reap their own rewards. We are supposed to be a society of ants, working diligently to prepare for the coming winter we know will soon be upon us and be prepared for most eventualities. Instead we are fast becoming a society of grasshoppers, playing and cavorting carelessly until winter comes and the good ants will have to bail us out. Sooner or later, we will have not enough ants and far too many grasshoppers. And our cozy little society of handouts will crumble to its knees.
I hope I don't live long enough to see that day.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Stinginess : a lack of generosity; a general unwillingness to part with money.
Selfishness is evil and if you are a selfish person, you are an evil person. So our present society would have us believe. A serious concern for your own welfare is grounds for being called an evil, heartless bastard. A general unwillingness to part with your own hard-earned money garners you the "stingy" title and places you in a category with dastardly misers like Scrooge or Silas Marner. Who comes up with this crap?
A person works hard to support himself and his family, to provide for their basic needs in the present and for the future, minds his own business affairs, treats everyone with respect, pays his bills and his taxes and causes no one or no government agency any undue burden. He is a fair man and he treats other fairly but he drives a hard bargain and is always looking out for the best purchase for his money. In all respects he is an outstanding citizen yet he wishes to pass the wealth that he has earned through his lifetime and his own efforts on to his children and for that he is branded a selfish, stingy man for even having this desire. It is not enough that he takes care of himself and his own and is only trying to reward his kin with the fruits of his labor. No, he should be forced to share those fruits with others who have been less fortunate in producing any fruit. And the government is all too ready to be the entity that distributes those fruits to people who have not earned them.
Isn't it nice that we have such a wonderful, benevolent government so willing to relieve the "haves" of their stuff so that the "have nots" can get more stuff and be more like the "haves". Until the "have nots" burn through the stuff of the "haves" and once again become the "have nots". Check out some of the stories about the evacuees spending their $2000 checks on gambling, drinking and drugs. I'm curious as to the mind set of these have nots. If one is receiving charity, are these people not being selfish in their own right? Can someone who is a "have not" actually be selfish? Absolutely and I think their selfishness is much more detrimental to themselves and to society than any other.
Ask no quarter, give no quarter. Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Learn how to fish. I know how to fish and I am doing quite nicely. I have made good and bad choices in my life but I ask no quarter from anyone. I choose to be generous in my own time and to whom I desire. I would call myself a "have". I didn't start out as one but I have become one through my own efforts. I prefer to have what is mine and to leave the have nots to their own resources. What say you? They have no resources? It's a pity.
Anyone who has developed the attitude that life owes them something is not worthy of my help. Other people may feel free to help these folks but leave me out of it. That means government help as well because the government has no stuff of their own, they take it from all of us. I don't want my government helping the have nots either with my money. Of course, I have no say in this matter, however. Why is a government agency more able to decide where my help should go than I am. I want to be selfish sometimes but I cannot be because the damn government is always stepping up in my place and giving away this or that to people over which I have no say.
Why do people think that government is the best decider of what charity is beneficial and who should be helped? Government is a big drain on all of us and anytime they get involved with wealth distribution, it becomes a red tape fiasco fraught with fraud and inane regulations. I want to be selfish with what I give to the government. I can't do that either. The appetite of politicians is so large that they need each and every one of us who actually produce wealth of some kind to take from to support their kind generosity.
You see, government is not selfish and is not stingy. The government will help whoever they feel like whenever they feel like it however they feel like because they have all of the producers to draw from in their endless quest to be compassionate to everyone less fortunate than those who are productive. It is so easy to be helpful and generous with someone else's money. And for some reason our government feels like it has a whole passle of people it needs to be generous toward.
I believe that if everyone of us were a bit more selfish and strove harder to take care of ourselves and our families that our nation would be a much stronger and more stable place to live. When I hear evacuees worrying about how long their free hotel rooms will last, I get bothered. When I hear South Floridians complaining that government water and ice didn't arrive fast enough, I get angry. Everyone who lives in Florida should be selfish enough to take care of their own needs before a hurricane situation arrives. We cannot be dependent on government to rescue us from everything. Just as we cannot live with and be taken care of by our parents for a lifetime, we also cannot expect government to come our help in every situation. We need to fend and think for ourselves.
So whenever I hear talk about someone being selfish or stingy anymore, I tend to cringe. We should always be thinking of our own personal interests first before anything or anyone else. We cannot be of any use to anyone else if we are not cared for in the first place. Listen to an airline flight attendant describing how to use the drop-down breathing masks in case of emergency. They say to situate the mask on yourself first before assisting your child or anyone else. The reason is obvious, you will not be able to help anyone else if you are not able to help yourself first. What a principle! Why can't we carry that forward into everyday life?
In reality, I am a very generous person with my resources, but I am picky about who I am generous toward. I think that is my business. I earn my way in society, I have the right to choose the people I want to help in some way. I believe that giving of yourself is a noble gesture and earns you many good karma points on the scale of good and bad. But giving means just that, giving, willingly and without coercion. When someone else gets in the way of that act, it ceases to be charity. A government cannot be generous because generosity to some requires payment from someone else.
A government also cannot be selfish, because it has no self to be aware of or to be pleasured. But governments are made up of do-gooder types who "feel", not think, that a government must be compassionate and not offend anyone and help everyone who has less than others and just go around doing good deeds every day. The only problem is, government can only use its people's wealth. The compassionate people making these generous decisions are using their emotions to make decisions that are entirely illogical but they sure "feel" good about them and therefore must be justified.
Give me the selfish man anyday especially when it comes to government rule. I can rest assured that a selfish man will be a prepared man and a logical man. I like the creative side of my brain but I think the logical side is truly more practical and useful in daily life. Egoism is actually a practical matter and has far more upside than idealism. Certainly there is room in this world for both. But in the matter of governing, selfishness is the preferred method.
Just my dime for the day,