Monthly Archives: February 2011

Movies for New Agers: Inception

What is the most resilient parasite? An Idea.

The Academy Awards are this weekend. Now given that Nolan has twice been robbed of directing Oscars for directing two of the greatest films of the past decade (
Dark Knight and Inception) I don’t hold too much hope that this near completely irrelevant award show will have the good sense to admit the basic truth that Inception was unquestionably the greatest film of the year (okay maybe not unquestionably, I can see how an argument for The King’s Speech or The Town might work, but I still think Inception is superior hands down).
Reality is that the Academy is probably going to show it continues to be out of its mind and give the Best Picture award to something like
The Social Network (who in their right mind would want to watch a movie about Facebook?).

However, Inception is not just a great movie in its own right; it is also a wonderful film that demonstrates many of the themes and ideas of New Age belief. Now I’m not sure Chris Nolan is actually sympathetic to the ideas of New Age thought; nor am I saying that the movie is arguing that these ideas are true—however, whatever Nolan’s intent, the film does allow for several ideas of New Age belief to be understood in a deeper, or at least more understandable, way.

Where to start?

“Dreams feel real while we’re in them.”
One of the first ways this movie demonstrates New Age principles so well is in its portrayal of what we perceive to be reality to be an illusion, a dream. And not just any dream but a dream with layers. What New Age thought realizes that many other beliefs systems do not is that the afterlife is as much a dream as this world is. The cycle of karma and reincarnation is going constantly between two different levels of the dream, neither one the reality we will embrace when we reach enlightenment, but both appearing quite real when we are in them. This constant cycle of never being able to escape the dream and its intoxicating nature is shown again and again in Inception. In the group of men who come to Yusef every day to dream because “The Dream has become their reality”; in the nature of Cobb’s totem, a top that never stops spinning symbolizing this constant cycle that never ends; in the shade of Mal’s call to stay in limbo because “you don’t believe in one reality anymore” the temptation to stay in the dream and how hard it is to separate ourselves from its Siren’s call is shown in Inception as a perfect parallel to New Age belief.

The nature of the illusion of the dream

Inception also does a wonderful job of showing what the nature of the illusionary world is. Not only does the film do an excellent job of pointing out the fluid nature of time and our perception of it (see the video above). Time is in the mind like everything else, and our perception of it can be just as fluid. Also there is the fact that it shows that the time spent in reality is negligible to the time in the illusion. “Who would want to be stuck in a dream for ten years?” Remind me how long ago the big bang was? Inception also starts with the basic premise that New Age belief, along with most eastern philosophies would agree with that, “pain is in the mind.” Everything is in the mind. Because it is ideas that create and form the world of the illusion.

“The smallest seed of an idea can grow to define or destroy you”

Ideas are what create and drive the world. The physical is probably the least important thing in life. It is ideas that are the prime factor, and this is shown quite well in Inception. We move forward or don’t by the force of our own ideas. And like Cobb’s projection of Mal, we often put our own worst obstacles in front of ourselves and have no one to blame but ourselves. It is our ideas that need to change and not our physical condition. The movie shows us that we are the ones who create our own prisons through Mal’s decision to remain in limbo, “She had locked something always something deep inside her a truth she had once known but choose to forget. Limbo became her reality” but it further shows us that we are the only ones who can truly free ourselves, notice that in Inception the idea while it can be suggested to the character of Fischer must come from himself if it is to become rooted in his mind. But Inception also shows how ideas, especially those left at that bottom level of limbo (i.e. for a New Ager the physical world) affect our ability to move out of it—Cobb could not move on before he dealt with his issues with Mal in limbo, and no one is reaching Enlightenment until they deal with their issues here on this planet.

The Labyrinth of the mind and Ariadne’s thread

But luckily Inception shows the way out of limbo which is strangely similar to the way out of the prison we have created for ourselves in real life. While the dream of Inception is intoxicating and filled with deep personal issues, the character of Ariadne (named after the mythological character who led Theseus out of the labyrinth and then married the god of spiritual understanding) tells Cobb “Your guilt defines her. It empowers her…if we are going to succeed in this you have to forgive yourself. “An interesting parallel to a New Ager is the lack of forgiveness and guilt and fear is what keeps us from achieving Enlightenment. But even Cobb knew a spark of this truth himself as he was obsessed with a song entitled “No I have no regrets” (the song they use to time their kick out of the dream, also that is the translation of the lyric we always hear in the film). He knows, just as we need to learn that it is regrets that tie us to that bottom level and it is regrets that prevent us from living in the real world. And it is through happiness and forgiveness that we give up our regrets, or a Cobb states, “Positive emotion trumps negative emotion any time. We all yearn for reconciliation, catharsis.”

So the question now only remains will you let go of your regrets, forgive and love?
“Do you want to take a leap of faith, or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?” And you may complain that death seems to be the way out in Inception keeping in mind that death has always been a metaphor for killing our lowest and darkest fears that hold us back.

And on a final note. The pitch went down and it wobbled.

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Filed under Inception, New Age, New Age Movies

Another Friday Reading Selection

With Unions Follow the Money
Are they overpaid?
Yes. Yes they are. And they’re a bunch of goddamn whiners to boot. (What 29 year old complains they can’t get a home loan? Nobody can get a home loan right now. Grow up!) BTW I live in Phoenix, one of the cheaper areas in the country to live in and every cost of living calculator I could find said it was slightly cheaper to live in Wisconsin, so keep that in mind when these people are bitching about their $46,000 a year and obscene benefits being not enough.

Krugman’s Third World Fantasy—because it’s always fun to point out the Paul Krugman is Lord and High King of the Idiots.
One Chart that Tells You Everything You Need to Know about State and Local Government Pay
End ‘last in, first out’ teacher layoffs. Any time Michelle Rhee has something to say, we should all listen.

Reckless Spending

And in the same vein

More stuff on how much Wisconsin teachers suck.

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What’s wrong with this paragraph

So I was reading an article today on how polarized Congress is today an d I came across the following paragraph:
“For only the second time since 1982, when NJ began calculating the ratings in their current form, every Senate Democrat compiled a voting record more liberal than every Senate Republican—and every Senate Republican compiled a voting record more conservative than every Senate Democrat. Even Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, the most conservative Democrat in the rankings, produced an overall voting record slightly to the left of the most moderate Republicans last year: Ohio’s George Voinovich and Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. The Senate had been that divided only once before, in 1999.”

So if you’re on the outlier side of Democratic party you’re a “conservative” the opposite being “liberal” –but if you’re on the outlier of the GOP you’re “moderate,” the opposite of moderate being “extremist.” Seldom do I see media bias so blatant as this.

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Books for Conservatives—Parliament of Whores

“Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.”—P.J. O’Rourke

P.J. is probably the greatest political satirist of this generation (likely to go down in history with the likes of Jonathan Swift and H.L. Menken for his biting wit). And while all of his book will probably be recommended by me at some point (well most of them, you can skip Holidays in Hell) there is probably none better than Parliament of Whores. I would argue that it is one of the most well written books on the topic of government, and one of the few that remains timeless in its observations. It should be required reading in every high school government course, and it is an absolute must read for conservatives.

Granted, it was written back in the early 1990’s so you might think things have changed in government since then (after all back then people were unhappy with crappy Bush economy and the less than spectacular war in Iraq so they turned to smooth talking charlatan liberals…okay nothing has changed) but it’s still remarkably relevant.

O’Rourke analyzes almost every major aspect of government. The stirring rhetoric and philosophy of our founding documents—and points out most of the charges against George III can also be accurately (if not more egregiously) applied to our own government. The stultifying boredom of the election process. The illogical nature and bizarreness of each of the three branches of government. And, of course, a clear look at how truly insane the bureaucracy is which culminates in this charming observations about the Department of Agriculture:

“I spent two and a half years examining the American political process. All that time I was looking for a straightforward issue. But everything I investigated – election campaigns, the budget, lawmaking, the court system, bureaucracy, social policy – turned out to be more complicated than I had thought. There were always angles I hadn’t considered, aspects I hadn’t weighed, complexities I’d never dreamed of. Until I got to agriculture. Here at last is a simple problem with a simple solution. Drag the omnibus farm bill behind the barn, and kill it with an ax.”

O’Rourke is one of the few authors who can balance humor and reason in perfect measure and never let either one stray too far.

His insights into the nature and pointlessness of government is and probably always will be a relevant observation on our own Parliament of Whores.

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Filed under Books for Conservatives, Conservative

Everybody needs to return to sanity or Get your priorities straight

Everybody needs to return to sanity or Get your priorities straight.It is now utterly apparent to me that everyone is going insane. How is this different than normal? Well usually everybody is just stupid, but recent events are pushing this way beyond stupidity.

On the liberal side… how about legislators running away because they know they’re going to lose, or the union protests with their Marxist overtones. My personal favorite in all of this is I’m seeing many of these libs chant “power to the people” even though the majority of the people in Wisconsin: 1.)Voted in the conservatives who want to strip unions of their unethical right to bully and 2.) Support the governor and the legislature in following through on this…so apparently to liberals “the people” only mean people who vote for democrats. So, they’re crazy.

But I want to point out absolute insanity on the right more than on the left today. Last week I saw on a friend’s blog that a Republican in Georgia is trying to pass a bill to investigate if miscarriages are legitimate or actually abortions and prosecute offenders…if that left you going “huh?” you’re not alone. But I thought, hey, it must be one crazy legislator in Georgia. But then my wacky state, Arizona, is trying to have a bill passed that will outlaw abortions based on race and/or gender. And how exactly are we going to enforce that? Arizona can do some wacky things, but usually there’s method to the madness (like the current bill that denies citizenship to the children of illegals…they knew it was unconstitutional when they passed it, they’re trying to force this to go to the Supreme Court so the court can change its interpretation on the 14th Amendment, because, let’s be honest here, we all admit that when the 14th was written nobody in Congress or any of the states intended it to be used in this way). But there’s no method to this, just madness. And then there’s the fact that quite a few states are pushing for laws that are going to ask to see Obama’s birth certificate before they put him on the ballot…really guys? I mean yes it’s quite justifiable to loathe this man’s very existence (I personally can’t wait for the trial on charges of treason), but come on, is this the best we can do in opposition?

Clearly the right is going insane. This insanity is based on an inability to get their priorities straight (actually the right in this sense may always have been insane). Yeah let’s worry about abortion because we don’t have major foreign policy issues and major economic issues. Those apparently aren’t the biggest things to worry about, no let’s worry about abortion. How can anyone be this out of their mind? States should be worrying about slashing their budgets, cutting the fat, making their regulations attractive to business and suing the federal government over healthcare. All economic issues. After that states should be concerned with education standards and this growing illegal immigrant problem. Maybe ten thousand points after this abortion might be a relevant issue to debate, maybe but not likely. (Of course the left is just as insane on this issue as they’re bitching to no end about the government ending federal funding to Planned Parenthood as if doing so will outlaw abortion…are there no private donors for Planned Parenthood? Is this really the issue to go to the mat over? Federal funding of what should be a private institution not beholden to the government in any way?) For the federal government all those issues above plus, oh I don’t know, maybe something involving foreign policy….perhaps sending a carrier group to the waters around Israel to remind the Iranians to watch their step. And maybe we could decide to actually fight a war and at the same time rebuild Afghanistan…or just leave. At this point I’m okay with either, but this standing in the middle crap and not picking one of those two is just pointless. But guess what, for the federal government, abortion (aside from cutting spending in that area, as all useless expenditures should be cut) is also something where down there on the list of things to get around to, really far down there.

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Laws the GOP should pass #14: What to do with the Department of Education?

So teachers have been in the news a lot this week. Primarily because union hacks in Wisconsin who like to call themselves teachers are bitching that their $100,000+ compensation just isn’t enough. Problem is that these union members aren’t teachers. They’d like to call themselves teachers but in reality they’re self-deluded hacks. How do I know they’re not teachers? One, teachers teach. It’s a calling for a real teacher—yeah, they’d love more money but what concerns them most is teaching—therefore no teacher would abandon their students to protest their salary being cut. The second reason I know they’re not teachers is because Wisconsin schools, especially those in Milwaukie are some of the worst performing schools in the nation. Teaching is what teachers do, and if they’re not teaching, I’m not sure what they are, but they’re not teachers.

A side effect of this has been a return to the oft repeated claim that teachers are not paid enough. This is a fine sentiment, if and only if teachers actually did their work…which most of them are not doing. I remember a Barry Goldwater quote: “We can all agree that good teachers are not paid enough and bad teachers are paid too much”… except that nowadays the unions and the far left do not want to distinguish between good and bad teachers and just wants to give everyone a massive taxpayer funded salary.

So what does this have to do with the Department of Education? Well, quite frankly while I might be tempted to say that everyone in the Department of Education should be given a pink slip, a bill for all the tax-payer money they’ve wasted since their creation, and a “don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out”. I will admit it could theoretically serve a valid federal function. (Yes I do believe that there are things the federal government should do).

Federal Law 1.
The first of these is to create a national teaching certificate. The amount of hoops a teacher has to jump through is currently insane and change from state to state. Here’s what you need to be a teacher:
1. A Bachelor’s Degree in your field of study.
2. Pass a subject knowledge test
3. Have a minor in Education (Child and developmental psychology, lesson planning, classroom management/discipline theory, history of education).
4. An FBI background check
5. A TB test (and maybe make sure the teachers are up on their vaccinations).
And if you want, make it a provisional certificate that must be signed off by a supervisor after five years of teaching for a life time certificate. Teaching is not something that needs constant classes—yes, teachers should keep up on educational research, and maybe if we didn’t have to go to constant and worthless “professional development” seminars on our own dime we could afford a subscription to professional magazines. Really teaching isn’t a profession that can be taught. You either are or are not a teacher. Even without training a good teacher can command a classroom and convey knowledge and wisdom. Even with years of training, a Ph.D. in Education and their subject matter, a bad teacher will still be unable to control a classroom or convey the slightest bit of factual information. Teaching is an art. And as with all arts, artists are born not made. (This is one of the easiest ways to spot a bad teacher; they first and foremost want to tell you what degrees they have…it’s because they have no skill at actually teaching to brag about).
Creating a basic federal teaching credential will remove much of the power the teachers’ unions have at driving away people who actually want to work.

Federal Law 2
Ban the teachers’ unions and replace it with merit based pay. If pay is merit based you don’t need unions to fight for your pay. (Also you can’t claim to be a professional and claim to need a union). If pay is merit based, as has previously been argued for and always shot down by—want to take a guess—the teachers’ union, then teachers could theoretically make upwards of $120,000 after you include benefits, which is really good pay. And hey, if crappy teachers are only making $10,000 a year (well quite frankly I’ve met teachers who that would be far too much for the joke that is their services).

Now you might be correct in saying the federal government can’t force a state or local district to move to merit based pay with a salary scheduled based purely and only on a 5 year average of your test scores. But what the federal government can do is make every single federal dime (for any and every federal program…if states want to bow down to the ultimate evil that is teachers’ unions and save the federal government a few dollars in spending, I can live with that too, and hey we’ll all know which states to avoid). Granted it sounds a little extreme, but this is something that needs to not just happen now, now, now, but actually sometime around a hundred years ago so I’m tired of waiting—the teachers’ unions need to be destroyed. Their destruction needs be put ahead of the destruction of Al-Qaida, they’re that destructive.

These salary schedules should be based on a five year average of test scores because we all have had that class that just won’t learn…although if all teachers are being held accountable this might happen less and less. For a pathetic 50% pass rate (or 0% growth from the previous year, because if you got losers you shouldn’t be completely blamed for having to do the previous year’s teacher) you should probably get about $25K a year (and a warning that if you don’t improve you’ll be tossed out to the street) and if you can get 100% pass rate (or 35% growth from the previous year) I think $120K is more than fair. You might complain that if every teacher could do that then we’ll be spending more than we do now, which might be true, but as everyone will now be competent and educated I think our economy will be in better shape and our welfare programs will be needed less. Now the exact salaries should be differentiated by individual states/districts because $30K in a city is certainly a lot less than $30K in the barbs, and even less than $30K in the country (so cost of living does need to be accounted for).

Also principal and superintendent salaries need to be capped. While they are a sadly needed portion of the infrastructure of a school, they are currently obscenely overpaid. Their salaries as well should be tied to test scores (and probably at best should never go about 150% of the highest paid teacher…of course the usually general incompetence I’ve seen in these areas probably should put that more in 110% range). And again I’ll grant this is states’ rights issues, but all 50 states need to be pushed to do this.

Granted good teachers aren’t in it for the money. But they might push themselves a little harder if they were rewarded for their good work. And they certainly would work even harder if the idiot with their meaningless Ph.D. and 20 years overpriced salary wasn’t paid more for doing inferior work.

Federal law 3 (This one is necessary because without it the 2nd part makes no sense).
Testing. You know how that joke of a law “No Child Left Behind” established testing, and it was a good thing because not everyone had to meet a minimum standard. (And trust me I have seen an actual effect where even the bad schools are now trying to meet some standard. The worst now would try at least raise standards enough to not be shut down. However, trying and succeeding are two different things). Well, the problem is each state was allowed to come up with its own tests. So we’re going to judge you on the test you make up for yourself. Anybody want to guess how many states watered down their tests? Hint: the number is between 49 and 51.

The federal government needs to come up with standards for every grade level that are to be administered in every state. (I have no idea of how we’re going to establish standards for the arts and PE, and yes there will have to be some wiggle room for special ed…but I’m a general idea person, not a detail person, I trust someone can come up with something if we actually moved forward in this direction). The tests need to be the same for every state, be difficult, and be set to a list of standards that make sense (ever read some states educational standards? Some of them read like stereo instructions or make no logical sense).

Now, some will claim that testing is ruining education. First keep in mind that education sucked long before “No Child” so I don’t think that’s it. It makes a nice talking point, but there is no proof for it yet. Now you may claim that testing hasn’t raised scores either. Which I have anecdotal evidence to disprove, but more importantly, until you put in real tests (which we don’t have yet) you can’t tell whether or not standards and testing are working.

Further, I might add, any decent teacher views standards as the low bar you have to meet. You then add on to that bare minimum standard. Any teacher that has trouble meeting any of the standards I’ve seen is quite frankly beyond inept. And this complaint about standards and testing hampering teachers is a talking point without substance. But please prove me wrong on that one, I’m willing to admit one or two states out there may have gone the other way of insanity and put standards that no human could reach (I’m willing to admit the possibility, just haven’t seen it)…and besides shouldn’t goals and standards be something to strive for , shouldn’t they be really high.

In the end these are about the only things I can think of that a relevant Department of Education could do. All of its other truly useless divisions need to be scrapped. Even though they’re a small portion of the budget, it’s a waste of money.


Filed under Education, Laws the GOP should pass, Teacher's Union, Teaching

Law of the week.

I know, I know the law of the week is supposed to be up on Monday. I’ll have it up tomorrow and it will be a rather long one. Sorry.

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Weekly Meditation

For this week I would like to continue last week’s meditation of daily clearing the mind for five minutes. Fairly simple. In addition to five minutes of nothing, you should take another five minutes to visualize your dream life. The dream job. The dream house. The dream relationship. The dream vacation. Everything in every detail you can imagine. All five senses and your emotional state toward those things you want. And then follow that again with another five minutes of nothing.

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Democrats in Wisconsin are corrupt cowards

If you have been paying attention to the news you know that Wisconsin is about to do something very, very good. It’s about to strip unions of their unethical, unconstitutional, and soon to be beautifully illegal, ability to strong arm bargaining power and force contracts no insane person would accept if they were not legally required to follow such insanity. And lest we not forget that the three biggest unions alone donated $170 million dollars to the Democrats in the last elections alone. It’s a nice little system, Democrats make laws giving unions fiat power over negotiations, and unions pay to have Democrats keep their seats with the money they bilk from corporations. And the public gets the bill in taxes for public employee salaries and in higher costs from the private sector. Crony capitalism is bad…crony socialism is worse.

But now Wisconsin is set to strip unions of some of their powers (although it’s still going to be a closed shop state, so no one in Wisconsin yet has the liberty to opt out of a union…a major infringement on the right to pursue happiness). So all the unions are rushing the state. 1,100 teachers called in sick and shut down a school. Cleary these teachers don’t give a rat’s ass about their students, only their ill gotten pay check. Personally I say fire all these teachers, strip them of their teaching credentials and blacklist them. They clearly do not care about their students, and thus clearly are not fit to be in a classroom. These are the scum we saw so clearly presented in all their incompetence in “Waiting for Superman” and they need to go. These are the ones who could not do, so they thought they would teach.

The same goes for the rest of these useless excuses we call public employees who are boycotting in the state capital.

Notice that while the state capital is filled with protesters, I have yet to see a single quote from any article on this subject that came in support of the unions from someone who was not in a union—i.e., the public is in support of stripping these losers of their hostage negotiating tactics.
And you know that there is no rational argument against stripping the unions of their powers, because Democrats of the legislature of Wisconsin have done what cowards who have no rational argument behind them can only do. They ran. They left the state. Rather than make an argument, rather than stand with the protestors, they will stop the vote by running away. If the vote is that clearly in favor of passage, could it be that this is what the public wanted, that they wanted budgets balanced and sanity restored to negotiations; that they wanted the corrupt system of union bullying to be put in its place where the tax payer is put first and not the public servant. Democrats like talking about the power of the people and the people’s voice…unless, you know, it happens to disagree with them.

Whether or not the Democratic members of the Wisconsin Senate will stand reelection next time round or not, it does not change the fact that they are corrupt, they are clearly siding with corrupt organizations against the Wisconsin public, and that they are cowards for not even trying to engage in debate (civil or otherwise). In other words, they’re Democrats.

For another perspective follow the below links. (You need to look at them in order)

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Filed under Evils of Liberalism, Teacher's Union, Unions, Waiting For Superman

Democrat lying reaches new heights.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) a Democrat leaning polling firm has released a new poll saying most Republicans are birthers. This would be a truly sad fact if it were a fact…however just some basic studies of polling will tell you that PPP isn’t the most reliable of sources. First it’s funded by the Democratic Party and has a track record of skewing their data.

The next part is that PPP on their website likes to tout that they were one of the most accurate firms in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal. They even have a scanned portion of the paper in there to show that. One has to wonder why they scanned the little graph in and not, you know, linked a whole article. I don’t have access to WSJ archives, but I’ll bet you anything that the whole report was a bit more complex and less complimentary of PPP. Also even in their cherry picked chart it says they were the 2nd most accurate in 7 states. 7. 7 out of 50. That’s 14% if you used a calculator, but I’m sure if PPP did a poll most of the people they asked would say it’s closer to like 50%.

Oh and when I click over to it becomes even more interesting. They only poll registered voters (i.e. they don’t know how to work up a model for likely voters) and the last general poll they released said that the Democrats would keep or gain seats in House. Way to call that one guys!

Oh and if you still have a slight belief that this poll might be accurate, it also says that Mike Huckabee is the leading candidate for Republicans, which I haven’t heard anything close to that in any recent poll.

Now I have no doubt that most birthers are in the Republican Party right now, and that all of them are idiots. But 51% of Republicans? That sounds more like propaganda trying to portray any opposition to the President as being based on racism and stupidity and not, you know, on that fact that he’s incompetent and his ideas are insane.

I could be wrong, but this particular poll is not making me lose what little hope I had left for the party.

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Life is Not Fair! Deal with it.

So this truly moronic line (seriously it’s getting to a point where I can’t refer to this man without a string of profanity laced insults, he is really that dumb) came out of Obama’s mouth during his interview with Bill O’Reilly:

“What is absolutely true is I think in this country, there’s no reason why, if you get sick you should go bankrupt. The notion that that’s a radical principle, I don’t think the majority of people would agree with you.”

There is no reason why if you get sick you should go bankrupt? No reason? First let me deal with his crappy word choice before I give you a reason. Most people when they get sick don’t go bankrupt. Hell most of us when we get sick don’t even go to the doctor. So it’s not getting sick, it’s getting life threatening illnesses that could drive you bankrupt. Also not everyone who gets cancer or another life threatening illness goes bankrupt, even under the old system. So to be accurate what he should have said is:

“What is absolutely true is I think in this country, there’s no reason why, if you get a life threatening illness you may go bankrupt.” Now that I’ve corrected this idiots’ word choice to be factually accurate, let me deal with his idiot logic. No reason at all? You, the President of the United States can’t think of a reason? None at all? How about, life’s not fair.

Life is not fair. It throws things at you that you, in this lifetime, have done nothing to deserve and there is no way to combat it. It’s nobody’s fault. Now if you are a New Ager like me you might comfort yourself with the belief that everything happens for a reason, and everything is an opportunity to learn (and that there may be some multi-life karma in there too), but whether my spiritual beliefs are true or not…life isn’t fair.

It never has been fair. It never will be fair. Nothing we can do can or ever will change the very nature of this universe that it isn’t fair.

But it can be just in terms of how humans deal with each other.

I would like to ask Obama: Is there any just reason why I and the rest of America should go bankrupt and give up our liberties to choose what we want to buy or not to buy just because someone else can’t accept the fact that they’re going to die? Is it just that I must pay for their treatments which are necessary because either they: A.) not live a lifestyle which would have prevented them from getting this disease or B.) just drew the short end of the stick. Now a lot of you are going to complain about part A, that I’m insensitive or blaming the victim…no, not really. The biggest killers are heart disease (caused a lot by unhealthy living) and infection (more often than not caused by being old, they were going to die one way or another)…however the biggest cost for medical payments are cancer, which is either genetic (i.e. nobody’s fault) or brought on my unhealthy living (if you’re obese you’re at a much higher risk) and degenerative diseases (genetics) and occasionally long term issues like diabetes (most cases of which are completely preventable). Nowhere in this list did I see anything I caused. Why do I have to pay?

I’ll make you a deal, I’ll treat my dying (and by extension my life) with a little dignity, not waste everything I have on trying to prevent that which cannot be prevented, I’ll live life rather than simply try to prevent death, and I won’t ask anyone else to pay a dime (not even my children if I ever have them). For this, don’t ask me to pay for the fact that the only time you’ve valued living is when faced with death and thus are willing to throw boatloads of money away for procedures and treatments that will only delay the inevitable.

Now granted there are many people out there who have long term diseases that aren’t fatal, that cost a lot, and that get crappy expensive insurance or can’t get insurance…but that’s probably due to the fact that the government enforces state monopolies for insurance companies…and because they have insane regulations that force drug companies to charge outrageous prices to make enough to pay for research and still have a profit (and they are entitled to profit)…and because the lack of Tort reform creates obscene insurance premiums for doctors which they in turn pass onto their patients. (Oh there’s Medicaid and Medicare fraud, and the costs illegals place on the system) None of which was addressed by ObamaCare…only stealing from me was addressed in that petty excuse for a bill. Certainly isn’t fair (which it will never be) or just (which it could be if we didn’t have morons in Washington).

Oh but there was a second part to his statement:
“The notion that that’s a radical principle, I don’t think the majority of people would agree with you.”

Obama, you moron, it doesn’t matter if a lot of people agree with me or not, because truth and right have nothing to do with a popularity contest, but it is an incredibly radical notion to suggest that stealing from me is better than fixing a broken system. It is extremely radical to redefine the function of government from protection from outside forces to nanny state. It is obscenely radical to say you have the right to force me to buy things whether I want them or not. They are all radical notions. And you would know that Mr. President if you had a single brain cell focused on anything other than how cool you think you are.

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Laws Republicans Should Pass #13: Trains!

Obama wants to spend some $53 Billion on high speed trains! Obama is clearly mad…but you would know that if you looked at his budget.

We have more debt than the country could literally pay off in a year even if we focused on nothing but debt! And he wants to tack on another $53 Billion. Granted at this point $53 Billion is chump change, but when our attitude should be taking a machete to the budget adding to it is not the answer.

But the argument from Obama and his ilk goes something like this: high speed rail is better for the environment. Building it will create jobs. It will increase economic activity. It will lower our dependence on oil. It will lower shipping prices, and thus benefit the economy even more. There are more arguments, but you get the idea. High speed trains are not only cool; they’re good for the economy.

I agree completely. So if they’re good for the economy that means there is money to be made. And if there is money to be made then there are private investors to be found.
So why don’t private investors invest in high speed rail? Well…
1. Government regulation will stop any private endeavor in its tracks.
2. Right now any new investment will be taxed to death by the socialist-in-chief if he has his way.
3. No system can be productive if unions are allowed to dictate as they currently are in the rail industry.

So I have a compromise for Obama. Let;s pass a bill that will destroy all the useless red tape, require open shops for the rail industry, and for the icing on the cake, any investment into high speed rail will not be taxable—the initial investment will be treated like a donation to charity and tax deductible, the capital gain and dividends will not be taxed for, let’s say, 20 years. I think you would easily find the investment money then…and with those incentives if nobody wants to invest, it probably wasn’t an industry that would have done anything in the first place.
Now liberals will object to lots of things about my proposal. They’ll have objections to shoving their Democratic Party Fundraising arm known as the unions out. Like I care. Union leaders and members should be grateful we don’t try the lot for treason for what they’ve done to this country.

Others will complain that by exempting the investment from taxes I’m not concerned with the debt either. This objection doesn’t quite me a prima facie case for logic but I’ll deal with anyway. Yes we might take in a little less revenue on the front end, but all those construction workers laying rail are getting paid (taxable income) and buying things (sales tax) and they’re placing orders to steal foundries and companies that make high speed trains (dear God let there be some other company other than GE for this) and those companies have to pay more people and invest more…and you know how the cycle of this logic works.

I love trains. Most economic conservatives love trains (we’ve all read Atlas Shrugged a little too much). We’re not opposed to high speed trains. But there is a way to have high speed rail that works (the private sector) and a way to have a system that costs a lot, doesn’t work, doesn’t run on time, and has a high chance of killing you (government run Amtrack).

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Multiculturalism is dead.

German Chancellor Merkel: Multiculturalism is dead.

British Prime Minister Cameron: Multiculturalism is dead.

French President Sarkozy: Multiculturalism is dead.

These three countries tend to agree on nothing. When two them agree on anything you tend to get a world war with the third. When all three of them agree you’re generally talking about self-evident, incontrovertible truths like 2+2=4, the sun rises in the east and the fact that multiculturalism is dead.

Oh and the former head of Australia and Spain agree. As does prominent Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

But what does it mean that multiculturalism is dead?

Does it mean we should all be isolationists and no longer look to anything but the few things our own particular culture has produced for wisdom and accomplishment? No. These heads of state are too intelligent to make such a preposterous assertion, even though that’s what I’m sure most of the left will try to spin this as. But that still doesn’t tell us what it does mean…

To say multiculturalism is dead means that people from the world over can’t say they want the blessing and advantages of the free westernized world, with all its economic and personal success, and not adopt the culture that created those advantages. You can’t move to Germany, England, France or even the United States and not adopt the culture.

It means that these advantages and advances do not come from the mere luck of the draw in terms of geography (after all Africa has more resources than any other continent and is dirt poor), from accidents in history (history tells us that history is made by those who make a choice not by random happenstance) or just because your ancestors made some really good inventions and you’re riding the wave (remind me again what happened to Babylon, Persia, Egypt and Rome…oh that’s right the wave never lasts). It means that a country is great because of the culture it has which creates greatness, not in spite of it.

Yes I am saying that certain cultures are unequivocally superior to others.

For instance, any culture that treats women as less than human: Inferior. Unquestionably, unmistakably, undeniably inferior. Go on, tell me that a culture that treats women like dirt is of equal value to one that respects women as equals to men. Go on, I really want to hear some liberal sacrifice one value to defend another. Some other qualifications that mean your culture should be thrown into the dust bin of history: placing faith above reason (although placing reason above faith might be just as stupid, they both have their fields and shouldn’t step on each other’s toes), not valuing the individual, and not honoring the rule of law.

Does that mean western civilization is perfect? No. Hell no. It has things we can, need to, and will eventually improve upon. It just isn’t completely shit for brains. Does that mean a culture is either on one side or the other? No. In the 1800’s the culture of India was far superior to others in many respects, but when it came to throwing living women onto their husbands’ funeral pyres they were clearly inferior to much of the world (and thank you Britain for getting rid of that, one cheer for colonialism). Conversely 1800’s Britain has some of the most advanced legal protections for the individual in the world, but were clearly inferior in their colonialistic policies of trying to rule everybody (two boo’s for colonialism). Over here in America until the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments we had just as much bad going for us as good.

But it does mean that while you don’t need to shed everything of the culture you came from, you do need to leave a lot behind because it was that culture that made the place you left a hellhole. People need to adopt the language of the country they are moving to. They need to adopt the laws and legal traditions and leave their old laws behind. They need adopt the toleration for difference that the west has developed, the toleration that says ‘over here we make fun of everybody, no one, no topic, no group is sacrosanct.’ And if you can’t adopt the freedoms that make the west great and, well, free…then don’t come here. We’re not going to force our culture on you if you stay in your own country…but don’t buy our goods, ask for our help, and come to our countries and then say that your culture is superior. (Oh, and don’t try to blow us up either, we get awfully touchy about that sort of thing and will force democracy down your throat if you threaten our survival, otherwise we simply don’t care). (Oh, and try not to kill your own people, the west doesn’t have a great track record of defending the oppressed, but we’re getting better.)

And dare we forget that western civilization has a long tradition of reciprocation (especially the America version of civilization): adopt the best of our society and we’ll incorporate the best of yours into our overall structure (ask anyone of German, Italian or Irish descent, and within another generation or two you’ll notice a much heavier Asian influence in American culture—which is a good thing). But it’s the new comers that have to make the first move…like doing little things like coming here legally (or at least with a really good persecution story…and, to our friends to the south, just because your country is hell but could be fixed if you tried is not a good persecution story), learn the language (nothing brings people together like a common tongue, and nothing drives them apart like not being able to communicate), don’t insist on you ass backward misogynist religious traditions being written in our legal system, love dogs. You know, the little things.

Multiculturalism is dead. Many cultures have things to learn from. But that does not mean the freedoms, values, and liberties of western classical liberalism are not superior to anything and everything that has come before. They are superior and to not admit this little fact is a bit of insanity. You can’t defend every civilization as being perfectly equal in value unless you’re an idiot or President of the United States (but I repeat myself). You don’t have adopt what I consider to be superior traditions….but don’t come to a place ask for all its blessings and not want any of the culture that created those blessings.

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Weekly Meditation

Nothing complex this week. Literally. The meditation for the week is take 1-5 minutes every day and sit down and not think of anything or at least focus on one simple image in your mind. Nothing else. Nothing. Slow breathing, slow heartbeat, no movement. If you can get to 20 minutes of nothingness (without falling asleep) great. But 1-5 minutes minimum. Do this at least once a day.

We think too much sometimes. To think we occasionally need to consciously clear everything out and reboot the system. We can’t think straight unless we clear the system, we cannot meditate and reach depth until we first are calm.

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Atlas Shrugged the Movie!!!! April 15th!!!

Okay, so Ayn Rand was not Shakespeare. And her philosophy has some major flaws (about as many as her style). However, for all her issues, Atlas Shrugged will always hold a special place in my heart. While I can critique the characterization of John Galt, Dagny Taggart or Hank Rearden for being too cold or purely logical at times, their core of their philosophy does hold many truths.
Which is why I’m excited about this.

I love that it comes out on April 15th. And I would like to thank Barrack Obama. If it weren’t for your fascist/socialist policies which are straight out of Atlas this movie would probably never have gotten out of it’s 50 year development hell.

However I’m just worried that this won’t catch on enough for them to make parts 2 and 3.


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