"Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people."" -- Andre Dubus, American short story writer, essayist, and autobiographer
By admin on Thu 16 of July, 2009 11:25 MDT

Sanctimony to the right of me, sanctimony to the left of me.... yuck

When I went to college (Cornell) I was surrounded by political correctness. My natural inclination is towards being a liberal. I think a lot of the socialist programs truly work better than our current system and I think that it's possible, if we structure things correctly, to keep government out of our private lives. But when I went to college the brain-dead, hysterical political correctness was SO over the top that I had to quit politics. I remembered the 60's and early 70's before liberalism got so slogan laden. And this knee jerk obedience to party dogma was NOT my definition of liberalism.

Camille Paglia said it best--

"What is most disgusting about current political correctness on campus is that its proponents have managed to convince their students and the media that they are authentic Sixties radicals. The idea is preposterous. Political correctness, with its fascist speech codes and puritanical sexual regulations, is a travesty of Sixties progressive values."(Vamps & Tramps pg 118)

Many people felt as I did (and many others just reacted with "I'll do anything with my vote if it will make these damned liberals shut the ---- up"). The democratic movement fell to a Republican Party that, at first, was filled with interesting ideas and moderate people.

Then the Republican politicians realized they could get a guaranteed majority if they allied with the born-again, fundamentalist movement (all you had to do was say "Jesus saves" and- viola- you had millions of more votes with little effort). Unfortunately this alliance resulted in the Republicans going the same way that the Democrats had gone before. Brainless, fundamentalist dogma screamed at top volume with no intellectual curiosity to add the perspective of reason. So the Republican movement crumbled in the same way the 60's liberal movement crumbled.

Then Obama came on the scene-- a man with not much experience but an intensely rational, brilliant guy with deep rooted humanist instincts to keep him kind. Halle-friggin'-lujah. It seemed like the Democratic Party had been reborn as a group of careful rational humanists. It seemed too good to be true.

Alas-- it WAS too good to be true. I just looked at the Huffington Post and read the comments reacting to Obama's annoucement that he's doing some logging in public forests. A few lone foresters tried to express the fact that thinning the woods responsibly is good ecological stewardship. But they were drowned out by a mass of screaming "leftists"- each one intent on proving that he was cool because he strongly espoused to rigid politically correct dogma. Each one totally uneducated about forestry but each one delighted to prove his or her "left-ness".

Well ****. Things haven't changed at all. The left wingers are just as sanctimonious, vitriolic, and uninformed as the Christian Reich. How could I have been so naive as to think otherwise?

By admin on Sat 04 of July, 2009 08:27 MDT

A July 4th Birthday Present for America-- Sarah Palin Has Stepped Down

Sarah Palin- that living breathing advertisement of the fact that the Republican Party needs an overhaul- is stepping down as governor of Alaska. This comes as a delightful surprise.

A while ago Rush Limbaugh said, "You know Sarah Palin has power because the left is so afraid of her". No Rush. We aren't afraid of her. We're afraid of her astounding incompetence and afraid of what she represents: the rejection of secular, impartial government based on logic and fairness. Republicans have distrusted the intelligencia for a long time. This is understandable because the intelligencia is as brainlessly, dogmatically left wing as the Christian Reich is right wing.. Unfortunately there's a large segment of Republicans out there that has taken this distrust a step further and now distrusts intelligence itself. They look at Sarah Palin and think, "Wow, a superstitious, backwoods bimbo. No intelligence there-- it's safe. Let's vote for her". That mentality is prevalent enough that it could actually lead to having a President Palin with her finger on the nuclear button. We need to be careful.

Obviously, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with this current story. Either a horrendous scandal is about to unfold or Palin is clearing her schedule in anticipation of a 2012 presidential bid. I find the idea of President Palin scary as shit. Her "spiritually inspired" political philosophy is very similar to George W Bush's. In essence, she's the natural next step along the path that brought us to George Bush. Just as America voted for Bush, it could also vote for her.

Yesterday while listening to CSPAN I heard some lady with a heavy southern accent say, "Sarah Palin's education is on a par with Obama's and both were equally qualified for the presidency." Oh really?

Okay, let's look at the facts... after switching colleges five times Palin finally settled down at the university of Idaho to get a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism. The other colleges she attended for a term or two were

* Hawaii Pacific University (Fall 1982),

* North Idaho College (Spring 1983 & Fall 1983),

* University of Idaho (Fall 1984 - Spring 1985),

* Matanuska-Susitna College (Fall 1985) and

* University of Idaho (Spring 1986, Fall 1986 and Spring 1987 )

Now let's look at Obama's education
Barack Obama attended Occidental College for two years, then got his B.A. from Columbia University. He later got his law degree from Harvard Law School where he became president of the Harvard Law Review- first african American in history to hold that post. He graduated magna cum laude. He went on to become a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.

The woman on CSPAN made a blanket statement that these two educational records were equal and no one corrected her, or provided the facts so the audience could judge for themselves. CSPAN, rendered mute by it's political correctness, just stepped back and lets her comment stand. She "Really Believes" what she's saying and we need to respect her "Beliefs".

It's time for us to drop our Politically Correct respect for "The Beliefs of Others" and occasionally stoop to the dirty pool of actually inserting a FACT into our political discourse. If we don't we're going to end up with President Palin.

By admin on Wed 01 of July, 2009 18:00 MDT

He's Smart Enough, Good enough, and dog gone it the people like him

By admin on Mon 29 of June, 2009 11:26 MDT

Should We Treat The Obama Family The Same Way The Libs treated the Palins?

Response to question on LiberalForum.com: Should We Treat The Obama Family The Same Way The Libs treated the Palins family?

Let's see. If...

1) Michelle turns out to belong to a radical political organization that wants Illinois to secede
2) Michelle's mother turns out to be a drug dealer
3) One of his kids messes with the brakes on a school bus for fun and joins the military to avoid prison
4) The other kid gets knocked up and drops out of highschool while her parents brag about their parenting techniques
5) Obama hires a witchdoctor to purge himself of demons so he has more political success

... then yeah, we'll treat Obama's family like Palin's family.

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 14:10 MDT

A Busy Week

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 13:28 MDT

Cloning

In some ways creating a clone seems similar to planting seeds. In both cases, we aren't creating life. We're just manipulating environmental conditions to make life happen at a certain time. When people say cloning is evil because life should only be created naturally I visualize a hunter-gatherer from 10,000 years ago saying "agriculture is evil because God didn't make the seed fall there". Cloning isn't creating life. It's just creating a biological vehicle that transports life around our physical world. We don't have to worry about creating life-- we can't do it. We never will be able to do it.

I have some Hindu friends who disapprove of cloning because they think both bodies will be inhabited by the same soul-- or at least, both bodies will inherit the same karma. This doesn't make sense to me either. Maternal twins don't (in the Hindu tradition) have the same karma. A clone is just an identical twin born at a different time.

From a Neopagan standpoint: Why wouldn't the Father and the Mother put a spirit in a clone? The Father and Mother are infinitely creative. If the conditions for life to occur exist, life will occur.

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 13:20 MDT

why did agricultural civilization evolve after this last Ice Age instead of another one?

Last night I attended a seminar on Ice Ages (a "science for the masses" social event in my community). It discussed the various astronomical cycles which generate Ice Ages, the effects of the weight of the ice on various land masses, etc. For this thread the pertinent facts are that the last Ice Age ended about 10,000-8,000 years ago and we are currently in a warmer period which will last thousands of more years. There have been similar warm inter-glacial periods like this before.

Reading archeology articles over the past couple years I've learned that "civilization" in South America started independently from "civilization" in Mesopotamia and at about the same time. By civilization I mean that the concepts of agriculture and farming, permanent settlements with buildings and that sort of thing.

My thoughts:
How remarkable that civilization should start simultaneously in two separate places! To me it suggests that there's something within the human psyche that generates a structured society if you have decent weather for 100 generations. If, for example, we had an Ice Age tomorrow and civilization somehow broke down and disappeared, it would inevitably come back after 100 non-ice generations because that's what our species does. It's natural in the same way that a bird's building a nest is natural. Since humans can learn from the previous generation we can have generational nesting instincts that extend over time.

Another example of what I'm trying to say would be, if you took a few feral children (basically hunter-gatherers) and put them together on an earth-like planet, there would inevitably be a civilization on that planet 100 generations later.

This theory (that creating civilizations is natural for us) seems logical in light of the data. I mean... agriculture starting in two totally unrelated places at once? How can that be coincidence? But one huge problem with the theory is that there have been other extended inter-glacial periods between previous ice ages since the evolution of homo sapiens and from what I know there is no evidence that civilization evolved during those 100 generation warm phases?

So getting down to my questions:
Is there any archeological evidence that civilizations evolved between previous ice ages and was later obliterated by ice?
Could human artifacts survive an Ice Age?
If civilization didn't evolve before, why did it evolve simultaneously in two different places this time around?

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 13:14 MDT

The Internet: Our Wild West

The internet is what the American West was in 1850. A huge expanse of new territory that has yet to be regulated, with all sorts of weird people moving in. Like the American west, it is only a matter of time before society's censors orient themselves and start imposing fences. They will impose their obnoxious censorship all over and cyberspace will become controlled by the same self-appointed Moral Authorities who control the rest of our lives. We should just be glad we have the chance to enjoy the chaos of this huge unregulated space now, before the Censors step in.

Lots of generations never have ANY uncharted space to play in. American cowboys had the 19th century American West. We have cyberspace. We're lucky.

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 13:08 MDT

"I have a right to do what I want and everyone else in the world also has a right to do what I want"

I don't understand why people can't grasp the fact that what you do in bed is private. The same people who want to outlaw gay marriage are the people who are irate over any sort of gun control. So... how many guns you have in your closet is none of the government's business but what you do with your lover is a national crisis?

People have lost the concept of fairness: your friends AND your enemies must have EXACTLY the same rights as you. No more and no less.

The idiotic translation of this into "I have a right to do what I want and everyone else in the world also has a right to do what I want" is so lame. I can't believe people utter such self involved crap. It's like They can't step outside themselves to visualize impartial justice for all.

I've always thought that the ability to step outside yourself and picture what other people are thinking began developing around two or three when children start attributing personalities to dolls and toys. So where did the disconnect begin with some people? I think the belief that "I do what I want- You do what I want" constitutes equal rights goes beyond politics and is a psychological maladjustment. To me it seems like an ugly twisting of basic psychological development. Something akin to ADHD or OCD. I'm bipolar myself BTW and I'm not trying to insult people with psychiatric issues. It's just that being able to comprehend that other people have a right to not be like you is SO fundamental.

Sometimes I wonder why I get so heated up about gay rights issues when I myself and all my family are straight. I guess it strikes me as the ultimate example of people being incapable of fairness. They think they have a right to monitor your sex life? If they can monitor that, then we have no personal privacy at all.

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 13:01 MDT

Ron Paul: Weird Guy

responding to a post on the forum Unexplained Mysteries

"Just look at the following Ron Paul has gained over just the last few months. More and more people want to go back to the basics, cut goverment into a fraction of what it is. Put the power of creating currency back to the people. Bring back the troops and quit trying to make the world our empire. Its a small light of hope, but it is slowly growing. I doubt it will be enough to stop the coruption, but I for one will rage against the dieing of the light."

Ron Paul seems a bit odd to me but I can certainly understand people's being attracted to Libertarianism. These are people who don't want the Left OR the Right messing with their private lives.

One of the things that bothers me with Ron Paul is that he's too theoretical. He doesn't consider that moving from what we have now to Libertarianism is going to take a lot of intermediate steps. In some cases things have been pulled so far off their normal path by one group of extremists or the other that simply discontinuing governmental control isn't enough.

It's like if you're fishing and you catch a fish and then as you're taking the hook out you decide you don't want to fish anymore. One reaction is to just drop the fish on the ground and walk away. Okay, you've stopped fishing. But IMHO a better reaction is to put the fish you're holding back in the water before you walk away.

We've messed with people's lives and just walking away (the Ron Paul approach) isn't enough. We've got to clean up our mess. And that's awkward because cleaning those kind of messes doesn't happen in Libertarian governments.

------

By admin on Fri 26 of June, 2009 12:51 MDT

"help for people struggling with homosexuality"- yuck

first posted on Unexplained Mysteries

Well, I avoided the temptation to respond to the " Help for people struggling with homosexuality, " thread with:

Help for people struggling with homosexuality: find a decent,

kind gay lover and get laid.

I don't understand why people can't grasp the fact that what you do in bed is private. The same people who want to outlaw gay marriage are the people who are irate over any sort of gun control. So... how many guns you have in your closet is none of the government's business but what you do with your lover is a national crisis?

People have lost the concept of fairness: your friends AND your enemies must have EXACTLY the same rights as you. No more and no less.

The idiotic translation of this into "I have a right to do what I want and everyone else in the world also has a right to do what I want" is so lame. I can't believe people utter such self involved crap. It's like They can't step outside themselves to visualize impartial justice for all.

I've always thought that the ability to step outside yourself and picture what other people are thinking began developing around two or three when children start attributing personalities to dolls and toys. So where did the disconnect begin with some people? I think the belief that "I do what I want- You do what I want" constitutes equal rights goes beyond politics and is a psychological maladjustment. To me it seems like an ugly twisting of basic psychological development. Something akin to ADHD or OCD. I'm bipolar myself BTW and I'm not trying to insult people with psychiatric issues. It's just that being able to comprehend that other people have a right to not be like you is so fundamental.

Sometimes I wonder why I get so heated up about gay rights issues when I myself and all my family are straight. I guess it strikes me as the ultimate example of people being incapable of fairness. They think they have a right to monitor your sex life? If they can monitor that, then we have no personal privacy at all.