Category Archives: Reading Suggestions

Highlights from the week

An oddly dull week for news…a good portion of it is more or less recapping a lot of things we already know, but it still had some interesting did bits..

Dirty Sex & Politics looking at Patriotism, just in time for Memorial Day. 

I love Paul Krugman. He shows just how dumb liberal ideas are. Like seriously saying that we should fake an alien invasion to justify even MORE stimulus (because the only reason the last 2 trillion didn’t work is that it just wasn’t enough). Sane people, however, realize that when you have to pull out the plot of Watchmen to justify your idiot schemes that is generally a clue that the idea is idiotic.

The Obama Administration has declared war on the very concept of religion, luckily religion isn’t taking this lying down.

Thankfully someone is willing to point out that experience at Bain is exactly the kind of thing that prepares you for the presidency

News to warm the cockles of the heart: Has Debbie Wasserman Schultz worn out her welcome with Obama?

And in case you needed proof that Obama claiming to have spent less than other presidents was a pile of horseshit.

Or maybe you should have a look at how everybody but Obama and his fellow lovers of tyranny the world over think that cutting the military is a truly insane idea.

Romney on Education

…right on the heels of a more than justified law suit is filed against the teacher’s union to break their unethical and illegal power.

Even the libertarians at Reason understand business making profit is good for everybody.

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Weekly Reading 5/18

There is simply too much information out there and not enough time to blog on it…so I’m going to try to get back into releasing a weekly list of the best articles you should take a look at

The truth about Romney, Bain Capital, and steel.
Vampire Capitalism? Please by Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ

JPMorgan proves we don’t need more regulation by David Harsanyi

Is Too Much Familiarity Bad For Creativity? By Sam McNerney
Apparently being over educated is actually bad for your brain…you know what conservatives have known for years about the useless intelligentsia.
Dirty Sex & Politics on What a Jackass Chuck Schumer is. Facebook Status: Screwed By Schumer

SEIU UNION BOSSES MAY MAKE LAX THE MOST DANGEROUS AIRPORT IN AMERICA by Don Loos, Breitbart.com
I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you. To think that unions are a danger to American security. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Keep your personal opinions out of my bedroom. By the Snark Who Hunts Back
The Snark’s take on Obama’s less than thrilling stand on gay marriage.

How much taxes are paid by the poor, middle class and rich 
A helpful way to look at how the rich aren’t paying their fair share. Did you know that that the top 10% only pay 55% of taxes (this counts all taxes at all levels) the cheap bastards.

Arthur Brooks makes the case for the morality of capitalism. 

You know that surplus last month that liberals are all giddy about? Complete fiction. 

The libertarians are getting dumber and dumber…it’s sad really…they’re apparently so far gone by this point they’re arguing for a Mitt Romney/Ron Paul ticket. My personal favorite is where they go over the downsides of Ron in the #2 spot…but somehow forget to list “he’s a mentally unstable, anti-Semitic, isolantionsist, psychopath.”

FoxNews came out with w a poll this week that shows Obama up by 7 points.  Fun little fact, and why registered voter polls are worthless, if you compare it to the last FoxNews poll  you would actually find that Romney has had no statistically significant change in most of the demographics except two. His number among those 65 and older are up by 11 points and his numbers among those younger than 35 are down by 20 points. In other words, he’s doing better among the people who always vote and doing worse among the people who never make it onto the list in a likely voter poll because they don’t vote in large numbers. I don’t think Romney has anything to fear.

And finally, I felt the need to share this picture (thanks to the Snark for showing it to me)

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Books for Conservatives: Adler’s “Ten Philosophical Mistakes”

So someone I think is an idiot recommended that I read Robert Nozick’s book Anarchy, State, and Utopia.  Now my expectations weren’t high, as I said the person who recommended is in my informed opinion an idiot’s idiot, but I’m willing to look at other arguments…and the title alone really lowered my expectations.  Sadly my expectations were not low enough.  The preface to the book suggested that Nozick provided the intellectual basis for modern libertarianism…and I can now see why I think most modern libertarians are utterly impossible to deal with.  The short version is that Nozick takes Kant’s hideously flawed ethics and tries to shoehorn them into justifying limited government.  Now an intelligent person (i.e. someone who doesn’t spend their life in academia) might understand implicitly (even if they don’t always articulate it as such) that just looking at means is stupid…and they also tend to understand that just looking at ends is stupid.  Ends and means must be taken together and to focus on one to the exclusion of the others is preposterous at best.  I initially resisted the temptation to hurl the book into the trash even though the entire foundation of Nozick’s arguments were trash piled on trash…but by the halfway mark I couldn’t stand the terrible logic anymore, threw the book away as no one should be subjected to that claptrap and turned back to an old favorite of mine which I haven’t read since college: Mortimer Adler’s Ten Philosophical Mistakes.

 

The book sets out to describe where most of modern philosophy made its mistakes when breaking from classical realism (From Plato and Aristotle to Aquinas).  Adler, one of the most well spoken philosophers of the 20th century, although a bit dry, always does an excellent job in explaining why things are the way they are.  I will someday get around to most of his major books on philosophy, but let me give you a brief overview. Adler was known as the philosopher for the everyman. Not because his ideas were simple or plebian but because he recognized the massive importance of correct philosophical ideas in everyday life and tried to state the complex idea in terms that someone who is not a philosophy major can readily grasp.  Not to say that this makes the books he writes on par with the simplicity of Dr. Seuss, Harry Potter or Obama’s understanding of, well, anything…but he does put it in as simple but still precise terms as he can and he tries to give examples that are readily accessible.  As you can guess this makes him really unpopular with the intelligentsia who like to pretend that philosophy or an understanding of it isn’t something for the average person and thus spend an obscene amount of time trying to obfuscate any understanding of it under mountains of jargon

The under appreciated philosopher of the 20th Century

 

The problem, especially with this book is that the errors made by many of the philosophers in the modern age are very technical and more often in the metaphysical or epistemological area. Don’t yawn.  The reason why this is important is that those little technical errors compound into massive cracks in ethical thought and politics and in turn have a disastrous effect on our lives.  And because of this it is important to understand the mistake, what the correct opinion is and why.

 

Now I’m going to go over a brief summary of these ten categories of mistakes, but understand, yes my justification of why certain ideas are right and others wrong is going to be lacking…go read the book if you want the full justification.

First category:  “Consciousness and Its Objects” Adler deals with the mistakes of Locke, Descartes, Hume, and Kant, skepticism, solipsism, and subjectivism.  In dealing with our ability to use our minds, these philosophers made the gross mistake of driving too deep a wedge between our minds and the outside world.  Skeptics claim we can’t be sure if what we’re experiencing and the solipsists claim that we don’t actually experience in the outside world and really just experience in our minds with no connection to the outside world.  It may seem stupid to go over a category that seems so common sense…but the problem is that the attack on the correct idea–that your mind perceives a world that exists outside of your mind and that the things in our minds (ideas, sense, memories, imagined ideas and things, conceptions, other objects of thought) and the two are very related—is a more common problem than you think.  Ever have someone tell you “Well, you can’t know that” or “well that’s your opinion” after you state an article of fact.  It may seem like a rather esoteric issue, but in fact it is the root of many problems in ethics, politics, psychology, and human existence. *

 

David Hume comes out looking like the idiot he was in this book...

Second Category: “The Intellect and the Senses.”  If you thought the last one was esoteric, this one is even more so.  Common sense and reason tell us that there is a difference between our thoughts and our senses.  One is informed by the other, but they are not the same thing.  And you would think it would take a real moron to mistake the two.  Well, let me introduce you to Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkley, David Hume who basically thought they were one in the same…and Plato, Descartes, Kant and Hegel who thought that they had little to nothing to do with each other.  The reason this becomes a problem is that it begins to degrade the nature of language (I’ll spare you the steps on how this works, trust me this is what Adler points out)…and that this is also a basis for the arguments of crackpots who think that humans are not superior to animals. So if PETA has ever annoyed you, you can blame this logical error as being part of that problem.

 

Third Category: “Words and Meaning”.  Locke seemed to argue that words are useless in communicating ideas (one wonders why he wrote so much) and Hobbes and Russell seemed to think words can only be about real things and that reference to non-tangible things is to be just speaking gibberish (if you can’t touch or see it, it’s not real).  Common sense may immediately dismiss these preposterous ideas, but if you’ve ever gotten into an argument of semantics with a moron who thinks they know more than you do (when they don’t) you may begin to understand why this issue might become relevant.

 

Fourth Category: “Knowledge and Opinion.”  You know something when you believe something to be true, you have a reason to believe it is true, and it is true.  You could teach a child that 2+2=5…but they couldn’t know that 2+2=5 because it’s not true…similarly a child can repeat the phrase 2+2=4 but until they understand why that is, they don’t have knowledge.  Without reason and truth it is merely opinion.  And in common usage of the term knowledge we can know things we have evidence and reason for even if we don’t know it in the same way with the same absolute certainty of arithmetic.  For instance, I know that capitalism within a Classically Liberal society is better than any other system yet conceived, and I have mountain of evidence, logic and reason to back this up…although if you wanted to be really strict it is merely highly justified opinion…but for the common philosophic usage of the word, I know this for a fact. I’m guessing again this seems pretty obvious…but let me introduce you to David Hume who thinks you can’t know anything beyond math and since nothing can be known you can’t even really have justified opinions and thus all ideas are equally unfounded…oh there’s Immanuel Kant who tried to get around this by filling our mind with an out of the box operating system he calls a priori knowledge.  Adler takes several pages to really dig into the stupidity of Kant’s lacking understanding of how we know things, but let me share with you my favorite passage from the whole book:

Kant, justifiably, comes out even worse than Hume

“How anyone in the twentieth century can take Kant’s transcendental philosophy seriously is baffling, even though it may always remain admirable in certain respects as an extraordinarily elaborate and ingenious intellectual invention.”

Which has to be one of the best back handed compliments I’ve ever read.

Why do Hume and Kant lead to such problems with their inability to know anything about knowing?  Well because in one way or another it leads to destroying the value of scientific falsifiability and reasoned argument and reduces all knowledge to nothingness…which leads to a complete abdication of personal responsibility to know the truth of things.  Look at any organization that requires mindless following (Nazism, Communism, the Democratic National Committee, Islamofacism, numerous individual churches) and all the problems they create to see why this is an important issue to understand.

 

Fifth Category: “Moral Value.”  Hedonists (Epicurus, Mill) ethical skeptics (Hume, Russell, Ayer) and wacky deontological Kant get beat up in this.  The hedonists fail to make the important distinction between wants and needs and mistake the former for the latter.  Skeptics, deriving from the earlier mistakes believe foolishly that you can’t make any meaningful statements about ethics and so whatever is popular at the time goes (see the lack of ethics is sociology departments, multiculturalism, and ignoring the barbarism and oppression of women in Islam…not to mention backing a lot of evil in the recent history of the world by governments). And what evil isn’t backed by the skeptics usually can look to Kant and his categorical imperative which Adler states “is an empty recommendation.”  From the detached and survey nature of the book Adler simply states proper ethics is “We ought to desire whatever is really good for us and nothing else” and work toward that true good…but he points you to Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics for more details.

 

Sixth Category: “Happiness and Contentment”  Tied heavy to the last chapter is the true good in life: Happiness.  And happiness is collection of virtues in action not just material contentment as utilitarians like Mill and Dewey might mistake it as (or you know the current government).  And while not a very common mistake Adler as tears apart the Stoics (and Kant) who didn’t understand that while doing the right thing is very important, you also have to succeed some of the time to actually be happy

 

Seventh Category:”Freedom of choice.”  You have free will and anyone who says otherwise (determinists and scientists, those who say that there is only the physical world) have no reasonable grounding for their beliefs.  Although while your will is free, it is informed by the outside world, nature and nurture.  This one is actually important to understand because you wouldn’t believe how often I am seeing arguments that people are mere victims of their computer like minds and its programming, with no will of their own…and it shouldn’t take long to figure out what kind of government that will lead to.

 
Eighth Category: “Human Nature.”  The fact that this book was written in the early 80’s didn’t allow Adler to be familiar with the term multiculturalism, but he was shooting down the stupidity of that dumb idea long before it took hold. Human beings are human beings and their nature does not change by race, culture, time, or upbringing and this means that rights are the same and inalienable for everyone, they do not change for any other group.  Also, he tears apart those ideas of PETA in raising animals to the value of humans.

Ninth Category: “Human Society”.  In this section, Adler takes aim at Rosseau, Hobbes and Locke for their arguments about the state of nature.  His argument is that these three treat the state of nature as if it was a historical reality and not a thought experiment.  To be honest I’ve never heard anyone take this extreme stance (but I will admit I’m more familiar with Locke than the other two…but I also admit that academia is an odd place and easily see this chapter coming out of an argument with some professor at the University of Chicago where Adler taught.  He argues, as would any historian or anthropologist that society and government have grown over time because humans are naturally social creatures.  He then attacks anarchists who believe that mankind can ever be molded into a being that doesn’t need society, like Marx’s communist utopia.

Tenth Category: “Human Existence.”  This chapter really required a full understanding of the previous chapters to go into any detail…and since I wanted to keep this blog “manageable” (at least by my long winded standards)…so let me just say Adler maintains life has a purpose and meaning.

 

Again I realize I’ve glossed over a lot, but I highly recommend this book to anyone who deals with any kind of discussion of ideas (politics and religion especially), understanding the underlying premises that Adler goes over is infinitely important.  Adler is not as simplistic as Rand who makes a good primer in philosophy, but lacks practicality and depth, but nor is he as dry as the works of his beloved Aristotle or Aquinas.  He’s dry but not so much that it’s almost unreadable for pleasure, he has meat on the bones of his philosophy, and while a few decades out of date it is still modern enough that the languages used doesn’t suffer from the kind of gap you get with a lot of the older philosophers.  Oh, and he’s right ninety-nine times out a hundred.  Really you should read this book.

 

Now let me counter some obvious and addle brain responses I expect to get because I’ve reminded people that there is an excellent attack on all the BS philosophers so beloved by the Ivory Tower…

(1)“Adler isn’t respected by philosophers!”  Well, the philosophers you read must never have mentioned in their worthless tomes that popularity doesn’t equal truth.  All that matters is if the argument is a reasoned one and conclusion is true or not.  If every philosophy professor in the world said Adler (and by extension Aristotle and Aquinas, since Adler is more about reiterating the correct philosophies of others and adapting them to modern issues than coming up with his own ideas) was an idiot, it still wouldn’t prove that he was wrong, only truth and reason would do that.  (Now please don’t think that I think everything Adler said is true, he’s human, he’s wrong sometimes, but when compared to Descartes, Hume, Berkley, Foucault, Satre, James, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Marx…you get the idea, he’s on a far more solid grounding of reason.)

(2)“Well you didn’t disprove (such and such philosopher] and their statement of [such and such bullshit] in your blog.  Thus you’re wrong.”   It’s a book review, it’s 200 pages long, of course I can’t get into specifics.

(3)“Well Adler didn’t disprove…”  Yes he did, you didn’t read the book.

(4)“I did read the book and he didn’t…” actually he did, see page…

(5)“I did read the book and he didn’t…” You’re right he didin’t. He did tear out all of the idea that that specific point is based on though which kind of makes tearing that point apart silly and redundant.

(6) “You didn’t accurately describe [such and such BS philopher’s] ideas correctly”  Probably not.  Do you get the concept of a book review or a blog?  If I made this a 200 page discussion why not just post all of Alder’s book?

(7) “Adler’s biased”…you mean he has a reasoned opinion and while he admits that there is grey in the world will not back down from self-evident truths because there is also black and white in the universe. Yes, in that case he is biased…Although you might then like his 1,000 page tome “The Great Ideas” where he actually discusses all of these philosophers and their ideas quite dispassionately.

(8) “I did read it and I don’t agree with anything he had to say!”  Why are you telling me this?  Like I care.  Don’t listen to my book reviews if you dislike them so much.  Really I don’t understand people who keep coming back to be infuriated because they disagree with me and want to express their displeasure.  I can understand trying to keep up with people you disagree with so that you can consider new idea…but I just don’t get the childish need seek out and bully those you disagree with.

 

*There is some important hair splitting to be done here in relationship to my views as New Ager, and if I get any requests, I’ll go into that…but (1) I can see where you might see some contradictions between this point and New Age belief that I would agree would constitute a prima facie case against my spiritual beliefs (2) I have considered them and I believe that while there is a prima facie case to be made it does not hold up under scrutiny.

**On another side note you may want to watch Lost before reading Adler’s book…otherwise you may have a knee jerk reaction into hating half the cast from day one…and I really love Hume on Lost.

 

 

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Books for Conservatives: Demonic by Ann Coulter

So I just finished reading Ann Coulter’s Demonic.  It follows the same enjoyable pattern that all her books do, including the flaws.

Ann Coulter articles are about 40% facts and 60% sarcasm and satire. For conservatives who actually know how to read we have no trouble separating one from the other.  For liberals who do not know how to separate sarcasm from fact her writing just drives them nuts, and we enjoy laughing at how they’re getting upset over nothing.   She refers to herself as a “polemicist,” that should tell you right away that most of what she says isn’t to be taken completely seriously.

Now her books fall into two categories.  The first is her collections of articles from the last year or two (a practice I fully intend to follow…and given how much I seem to write on a daily basis for this blog, I should have no trouble getting a book out of the last two years of writing…said volume will of course be published after “Republicans and Reincarnation” hits the bestseller list and not a moment before).  The second kind of book she writes are her more serious topic books, Slander, Treason, Godless, and of course Demonic.  As with these books the formula is more 70% facts and 30% sarcasm.  As usual just about everything she says has numerous citations and references so it becomes very easy to see that everything she says is factually accurate, except of course for the sarcasm.  All the books follow a well thought-out pattern.  Coulter lays down a central thesis.  In the case of Demonic it is that the liberal masses are ruled by the psychology of mob rule.  Here she quotes heavily from classic psychology and sociology texts on the way mobs work (and fail to think) tying each and every point that makes a mob a mob to the way the modern liberal movement works.  She then goes over this historical nature of the phenomenon.  In Treason she went back to WWII and worked her way up to the present looking at ways liberals consistently undermined this country.  In Demonic she goes all the way back to the French Revolution and looks at how the mob rule destroyed the nation.  Now, I would like to think I’m a better reader than the average person when it comes to history, but even I picked up quite a few new points I never knew about the French Revolution.  Namely in how sick it was!  This only had to add to my general dislike of the French.

After the historical side however, as with all of her books, she launches into modern examples of the phenomenon she is describing.  For Demonic this involves looking at how mobs go by slogans not depth, are driven by emotion not reason, hold blatantly contradictory ideas, are violent, base, and vulgar and always without question and exception destructive to the society they infest.  The first third of the book proves this.  After that, if you’ve followed the news, her examples while to the point and excellent, get a little repetitive as she is just brining in evidence that you’re already familiar with and have already made the connection to her thesis without her help.  The problem is that she is laying out a case for the opposition (who will never read the book) and preaching to the choir (who already knows all of this).  But there is her sarcasm, and the joy of that will get you another 20%-30% of the way through the book.  But by the time you hit two-thirds of the way through you’re just skimming looking for the flippant remarks.  This is the problem I find with all Coulter books—the case gets so repetitive that is becomes pointless to read.  I realize she’s writing for her critics, for whom no amount of proof will make them stop, but she makes sure that their denials are farcical when she has so much evidence against.  (It’s like watching the O.J. trial, after the first week we all knew he was guilty, but someone how the jury never got that fact.)

 

Overall I would say read the book, but if you can, borrow it from a friend, as I’m not sure if the repetition at the end is worth the full cover price unless you’re a fan of Coulter’s vinegar prose.  If you’re familiar with Ann’s work you can wait for the soft cover.  If you’re not familiar with it, but conservative, borrow it from someone.  If you’re a liberal and have the guts to truly challenge your beliefs (and mature enough not to try and throw her flippant sarcasm back at me for proof of how she is wrong) then I would challenge you to read it and tell where, in the serious parts, she is wrong.

 

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Reading Suggestion: Obama, the Veg-O-Matic President. Act Now!

Act Now! And with this terrible legislation you get soaring debt, rampant inflation, and if you call within the next 10 minutes total economic collapse! Operators are standing by!

This is the kind of wit that I am humbled by….

Read all of Bill Frezza’s article at RealClearMarkets.com

Did you catch Barack Obama’s This-Is-Not-A-Stimulus infomercial just before the NFL season kicked off last week? Were you amazed at how the wunderkind once hailed as the greatest orator of his generation has been reduced to a TV pitch man for a product that is so tired it can no longer be called by name?

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Books for Conservatives: Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

So as I try to get through the 11 (Perhaps 12? I don’t know if the new book is as philosophical as the rest yet) book series that is Goodkind’s Sword of Truth in as short a time as possible I come to the fifth book, Soul of the Fire.

The book itself is more toned down than the previous volumes in the series. There are no major battles between armies, and few even between individuals. As a whole the thing reads more like a political thriller than epic fantasy as our heroes Richard and Kahlan try and convince the Kingdom of Anderith to join their D’haran Empire (the people dedicated to freedom, choice, capitalism, and individual rights) instead of siding with the invading Imperial Order of Emperor Jagang (the people dedicated to savagery, communism, genocide, dehumanization of the individual, and slavery…you know like socialist government in history). Strangely enough this is a difficult choice for the people of Anderith. Oh and Richard has to deal with the problem that magic is disappearing from the world. So there’s that problem too.
And while the story is exciting as is, as always, the theme, the Wizard’s Fifth Rule, that raises the Sword of Truth books above mere epic fantasy.

The Wizard’s Fifth Rule is:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

Further elaboration in the book states,

“People will lie to deceive you from what they truly mean to do. Watching the actions they take will prove their true intentions.”

This is a lesson that society has very sadly, and very dangerously forgotten. What people say and what they are, are often two different things. This is true of all levels of our lives. The friend who says they’re always there for you, but never is; the boss who says he has your back, when he does everything he can to undermine you; but nowhere is this more an important fact of live than in politics. Politicians are the poster children for the violation of this rule.
Politicians will say one thing and then do another.  This is not a shock.  Yet the way people the world over, it is more than apparent that people listen more to the words and the campaign slogans more than the actions of the politicians they are voting for.  This would be a good time to remember the Wizard’s First Rule: People are Stupid.  (The Second and Third Rules also seem to be in play here as well).  But while there is the obvious contradictions between words and actions suggested in on the first reading of this law that we should all pay attention to there is something more here.  There is the long term view suggested by the rule: “Watching the actions they take” actions, plural, are what need to be watched.  Why?  Because sometimes the most villainous of people will perform some actions that are in line with their words only to cover their long term goals.  It’s their true intentions that you have to look for, to look for the intent behind the actions.  That can sound a little paranoid, but it doesn’t need to be as you just have to look at the whole career of any politician to see if there is an obvious pattern of lying and corruption.

As this rule deals more with personal actions over a period of time, it requires that my examples focus more on a single individual than on a more general concept.
Case in point John McCain. A so called Maverick. He says he’s a conservative but his key piece of legislation is McCain-Feingold a piece of legislation that limits the first amendment right of the average person while only allowing for an increase in the rights of big money special interest to create and fund multiple PACs. A Maverick literally to this day owned by alcohol special interests and who was involved in the Keating Five scandal back in the 80’s (he took millions of dollars in campaign contributions to tell regulators to back off of a corrupt S&L). Mind what he does not what he says.  A man of such high character that he divorces the wife who waited for him while he was sitting in a prison for the first rich floozy who came along. Yes this is a man whom we should all support. He’s in the pocket of special interest, takes bribes from them, influences regulators and passes laws for them and cheats on his wife. Indeed this is a man who lives up to the image of character and principle that he presents in every single commercial. Such deep abiding principles that his position on how to deal with illegal immigration seems to change with the ocean tides. “Watching the actions they take will prove their true intentions.” Not to mention such acts as supporting the cowardly withdrawal from Somalia without first trying to defeat the warlords there. At the same time he argued to supply Kaddafi with weapons through the early 2000’s but then back the genocidal butchers who oppose Kaddafi, thus giving moral support to the worst president in history. “Deeds will betray a lie.”  And dare we forget that he let every single one of his campaign people go out and blame his VP choice for why he failed. As a politician there has not been a single thing this man has done that even remotely shows intelligence, character, ethics or even human decency. In his personal life leaving his first wife is bad, the idiot of a daughter he raised is even worse. There is nothing to like, admire, or even tolerate about this man.  But then again maybe they saw what this country failed to see, a bleeding heart liberal that will always support evil whenever he finds it.

But he says he’s a Maverick. He’s says he fights for the common people [while limiting their rights]. He says he stands for conservative values [while having never supported a single one]. He says he is worthy of bearing the Republican mantle, while supporting not a single one of its supposed principles (there are a lot of weak willed liberals in the Republican party, but none worse than McCain). A Maverick (who will do anything to gain the praise of the liberal press…he’d even sell his soul, if he had one).

I go off on him because he actually got the Republican nomination (and to go off on Obama’s hypocrisy would just be too easy). The same people who are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” in the Tea Party are the same ones who voted for this degenerate excuse for a homosapien. And they may say they didn’t vote for McCain in the primary…well fine then they voted for Romney who did nothing to portray himself as a conservative or Huckabee a liberal on economics and lunatic on religion (the worst both worlds). And people wonder why I have my doubt about the long term success of the Tea Party for bringing about conservative values (however any comments about the Tea Party being racist are beyond ridiculous.

Why? Because they believe what he said, not what he had done.

Liberals are just as bad. They heard “hope” and “change” and voted for the dimwit over a woman whom, while I don’t agree with everything she does, had a track record for results and you knew where she stood.

The moderate are the worst. The ones who say Obama ran as a moderate. Are you kidding? Just because he said he was a moderate, give me one act, just one that would suggest such a thing.

The problem is that, because of Wizard’s First Rule, people listen to what people say.

Of course the worst is when you have a mixture of results. I am going to go to the most extreme example to make a point, not because I don’t have more moderate examples.

Adolf Hitler. He gave Germany a solid economy. He gave Germany a well built infrastructure that stands to this day (even after being bombed to hell). He gave people jobs, a purpose, and a passion for life. This is the worst example of the Fifth Rule the person who provides results with his words…but at what cost? In “Soul of the Fire” it’s a control of the lives of a kingdom for a generation…with Hitler it was only at the cost of enslaving entire ethnic groups (followed by killing them) and invading and butchering every surround country. A small price to pay for economic stability….or so the German people deluded themselves into thinking. In personal charity the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing, but in politics the two cannot be separated.

Venezuela supports Hugo Chavez because he gives them cheap gas, to hell if it’s at the cost of their freedom. Bolivia supports socialist Evo Morales because he doesn’t take a large salary, to hell if he’s destroying what little economy the country had. Russia supports Putin because he reminds them of when they had a myth that they were a strong and relevant country, to hell if it’s at the cost of all the freedoms they wanted. America supported Obama because he promised them stuff, to hell if he can’t deliver.

In each of these cases they may say or do thing that say they are honorable people who are doing what is right…but to look at the consequences in each case reveals nothing but destruction and chaos.  Whether it’s intentional or just incompetent doesn’t matter, people, and especially politicians, need to back up their words with action and results, nothing else matters.

Actions and their results are the only thing that matter when judging a person, and especially a politician. Yes there are exceedingly few examples of people we can point to who always do the right thing for the right reason, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about such things.

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McCain needs to go

One of my favorite bloggers “Dirty Sex & Politics” has a wonderful post on what a worthless SOB John McCain is.  Apparently the RINO not only was one of Obama’s chief defenders in getting rid of Gaddafi, he was also  one of the biggest backers to arm Khaddafi with lots and lots of weapons.  (McCain apparently was so stupid he didn’t realize that the some 50 ways to spell Qaddafi in English does not mean they are different people.)  Fair warning the blog isn’t G-rated.

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Books for New Agers: Temple Of The Winds by Terry Goodkind


And so we come to the fourth book of the Sword of Truth Series. Wait weren’t the other books “Books for Conservatives”? Yes, yes they were, but the theme of this book more suits a spiritual lesson than a political one.

First, of course, my very brief synopsis that tries not give out spoilers for the whole series but still makes it seem like a book you should read. In this volume Richard and Kahlan have to deal with Emperor Jagang’s first major move against their kingdom: the releasing of a deadly plague that threatens to kill everyone in their kingdom. And the only way to stop it is to betray one another. It really sucks to be the hero sometimes.

But it is this threat of betrayal that leads directly into the book’s main theme, the Wizard’s Fourth Rule:
There is magic in sincere forgiveness; in the forgiveness you give, but more so in the forgiveness you receive.

(Yes, there is a reason this is getting published on the same day as this week’s meditation).

The Sword of Truth Series is based quite heavily on Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy (this will become really evident when we get to the 9th rule which it takes word for word from Atlas Shrugged) but in many ways Goodkind has created a philosophy somewhat superior to Rand’s beliefs in these books. Rand is famous for saying that there are only two ways to deal with people, through reason and through force. This sadly completely ignores the third way people interact with each other—through love. And it’s moments like this that show Goodkind knows much more than Rand.

As I suggested in the meditation for the week, forgiveness helps you out. Not forgiving someone for something often takes far more energy, far more time, far more effort in our lives than forgiving them and moving on. And it’s very refreshing to let it go and not carry that around anymore. In fact it’s almost cliché to list the psychological benefits to forgiving people even if you don’t tell them you have forgiven them, whereas holding onto grudges creates long term health problems from the constant stress. But more than the physical benefits, it is the spiritual benefits that this rule provides that are more important.

Whatever religious tradition you follow, there is likely a theme of forgiveness, of letting go of the past and moving on. The reason for this is that within every rational religious tradition is the idea that there is something of the divine within us. We sometimes do not live up to that, but forgiveness is the recognition that the divine within us is more important and more lasting than any mistake. Forgiveness lets you ignore the dark part of our lives and admit that those times are temporary and already past, that what exists now is only that part of the divine.

Forgive. Not necessarily forget, someone may screw up to the point where you can no longer trust them, but you can still forgive them even if you never trust them again. But you do need to sincerely forgive those around you because it is the only way to see yourself as something better than a collection of your mistakes, which we all have made. We probably all fall short of perfection in living up to this rule, but that doesn’t mean we should give up in trying to live up to it. Just forgive yourself the moments where you were not your best and move on.

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The poor are getting richer!


hmmm…I think I read this in a book somewhere too..which book was that…oh yeah! Republicans and Reincarnation

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A week of retrospectives

In honor of Republicans and Reincarnation being published I thought it would be a good time to take a break from new blogs (also because how many times can I talk about the budget before you slit your wrist) and go back over some of the best blogs in the last 2 years of this blog.

Obviously if something major happens that requires a blog but most things (like the budget and the terrorist acts in Oslo) require some time develop well thought-out responses and not just knee jerk reactions.

This will also be a good chance to bring some new readers in and welcome in the new format at WordPress.

So any favorites you want me to bring to the forefront?

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Republicans and Reincarnation is for sale!!!!

It’s for sale.

Republicans and Reincarnation: The Conscience of A New Age Conservative is finally for sale!!

You should buy a copy. Or three. One for you. One for your best friend whom you want to have one of the best books of the 21st century. And one just because you never know when you’ll need a back up copy.

Buy it at my publisher AuthorHouse

Barnes & Noble

Amazon  (although they apparently are not selling the Kindle version just yet, but they should have it up soon).  

Prices for the book are lower at my publisher, prices for the Nook at B&N is lower than the price at my publisher.  (Royalties are higher from my publisher, so you know where my bias lies).

Feel free to write a review or two…Feel free to mention it to every carbon based life-form you know…feel free to forward information to any member of the media you know.

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Another Round of Friday Reading

So here are some highlight from the week that you make have missed with all the coverage of Osama and Obama not spiking the football while going to Ground Zero.

Andrew Klavan On Conservatism in American Fiction.
This one is a bit long, but if you have 40 minutes to listen to the lecture I would suggest you do. I don’t agree with everything he says (I think he give too much credit to 20th century writers as being worth a damn) but he have to love statements like “Ayn Rand is a wonderful philosopher, a terrible novelist, but a wonderful philosopher.”

Seven Reason to Oppose Higher Taxes. Title says it all.

Teachers push Marxist Agenda. Wow. Wow. I love how they use they suggest critical thought leads to Marxism with a straight face. For the rest of us who are, I don’t, sane, Marxism and critical thought are diametrically opposed. Anyone still think we don’t need to fire a shitload of teachers in this country?

Our Kind of Class Warfare by P.J. O’Rourke. Always have and always will love the

San Francisco wants to outlaw circumcision. You know it was bad enough when it was the wacky Christian right that wanted to tell us what we can do with our genitals…now the Anti-Semitic left is getting in on the fun…yes I do believe this is being motivated by the Anti-Semitism that permeates the left (just look at Obama’s willingness to sell out Israel at any turn). Up next in the city by the bay: All Jews will have to wear stars on their clothes.

Thomas Sowell on the Economy.

Most sane people know that when two or three Arab terrorist organizations get together it’s just means that it’s going to be a bad day in Israel. But for Jimmy Carter, this country’s most famous Anti-Semite, it’s a good day.

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Books for Conservatives, Capitalism, Economics, Reading Suggestions, Teacher's Union

A small request for research help

I am working on a blog involving the relationship between reason and faith. What I am looking for right now is quotes from the world’s holy books (Bible, Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gia) for quotes praise the use of reason. Now most of the Eastern texts are shorter and can be read quickly without having to skim, but The Bible and The Koran are quite thick tomes and trying to reread them in their entirety right now will be a bit of a chore and I fear I might miss something. So if you, my friends, know any quotes from any of these books that praise the use of reason/logic/common sense/intelligence could you please post them in the comment box for me. Only if you can think of something off the top of your head, I’m not asking you to waste any time on this. Thank you.

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Friday Reading

It’s been a good week for news and opinion articles even if I haven’t been at my best for posting.

Obama’s Moral Concession to Evil by Peter Wehner. The title is kind of a no-brainer to anyone who’s been watching the news for the last three years but it’s a good article.

‘Waiting for Superman’ Exposes Human Cost of Collective Bargaining on America’s Schoolchildren by John Nolte

Democracy Virus Has Dictators Fretting by Erich Follath

Why bad teachers survive. This just looks at how bad the system is in Illinois (remind me what idiot President came from there?) but trust me if unions exist in any state it is this hard.

Socialist Mantra Hidden in Grade School Chants by Mike Opelka. I’ll grant that there is nothing here to describe how much of this offensive product they’re selling, but just the fact that they think they can get away with this idiot drivel is frightening.

Why is the Associated Press Pushing to Make Names of Gun Owners Public? By Greg Gutfeld

Goldman Sachs Model Evokes Blood-Sucking Leeches by Caroline Baum. More on why the liberal vision of economics is just wrong.

To Surly, With Love: Are Teacher’s Overpaid

‘Waiting for Superman’: Our Children Should Be A Priority Not the ‘Collective Bargaining’ That Harms Them by Dana Commandatore. I love the idea of having everyone in America see this film…and I agree if everyone did see “Waiting for Superman” people would be taking to the streets shouting for union blood.

More fun showing Paul Krugman is an idiot….And Wisconsin teachers unions maybe racist depending on how you want to interpret the data.

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Friday reading…

Most of the media coverage this week has been on Egypt, and I think most of it is pointless discussion until we find out who is going to be on top when the dust settles…but here are some of the other interesting tidbits from this week…

Oh, dear lord. Obama thinks he’s Reagan.

Hope that the Republican Party will be giving up its concern for meaningless social issues (after all it appears only the John Birch Society, Jim DeMint, and Sarah Palin are not catching on).

Reaganomics: What We Learned by Arthur B. Laffer

Why the Muslim Brotherhood should scare you

A look at that helpful thing called government regulation

A look at so-called Islamophobia

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