Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Leftists blame "society" for their own personal problems
Comment from Australia
IN the sodden northern winter of 1766 the Scottish essayist David Hume - surely one of the most sweet-tempered and agreeable of men - sallied across to Calais to transport the notorious Jean-Jacques Rousseau to the safety of the British Isles. Like many scholars since, Hume had a weakness for the glamorous authors of audacious theories. If shallow thinkers undershot the mark of truth, he reckoned, and abstruse theorists overshot it, the abstruse ones had at least the merit of "providing something that is new".
Poor Hume had occasion to repent his intellectual enthusiasm at his leisure. Pretty soon he discovered his guest to be the very archetype of that distinctive philosophical figure, the radical misanthrope. It was Rousseau, after all, who first combined that burning and sincere love of the people in general with a thoroughgoing detestation of all human beings in the particular; and whose vaulting hopes for some distant imagined future were matched only by his dissatisfaction with every single detail of the present. As Hume put it, Rousseau's extreme sensibility led him to experience pain far more keenly than pleasure: "He is like a man stripped not only of his clothes, but of his skin." And all this grand miserableness of temper transferred itself - as in philosophers it so often does - into a perfectly formulated world philosophy of grand miserableness.
Rousseau was happy only under persecution and he was endlessly ingenious in creating it. Hume's discreet attempts at financial generosity were read by Rousseau, inevitably, as humiliations; his efforts at securing Rousseau an income were read as treachery. When Hume rescued Rousseau's letters, Rousseau accused him of steaming them open.
Soon Rousseau's grand paranoia had woven together these imaginary petty betrayals into the cloth of his own grand theory of the world, in which the torrent of modern life rushes inexorably down the course of atomisation, fragmentation, selfishness and deceit.
If, as Hume suggested, a good deal of philosophy is merely the personality of the author laid over the landscape of the world, we have more than our share of miniature Rousseaus fluttering about us today.
It's to them that we owe the fashionable philosophy - recently given a kind of royal appointment by the Prime Minister - that the entire course of contemporary economic life runs, Rousseau-like, down the path of inexorable privatisation, marketisation, individualism and selfishness.
According to this view the only possible deliverer from this melancholy fate is that great contemporary equivalent of the 18th century's enlightened monarch, our very own Frederick the Great, the nation-building state.
Of course contemporary philosophers and political theorists are no less paradoxical than their 18th-century forebears. And in the otherwise polite and civilised corridors of academe you may sometimes discover - a real shock, this - that those who most zealously put their faith into the hands of grand impersonal entities, in their theories, may happen in life to be the most fissiparous, idiosyncratic and solitary of individuals. Indeed, in some cases it's hard to resist the intuition that the two impulses may be connected: sometimes we seek to cure the wounds in our own heart by diagnosing and resolving the ills of society...
Hume wasn't a romantic acolyte of market economics. (But then which serious political thinker ever was?) He did, however, accurately anticipate the moral liberation that modern economic relations might bring.
He also understood how little these relations relied on the stock of innate human goodness, the same stock in which, paradoxically, the misanthrope Rousseau purported to place so much faith. Once his scarifying encounter with the great friend of mankind was over, Hume recovered his native equanimity and returned to worldlier speculations. Who knows, perhaps our would-be philosophers might now do the same.
The media downplay or ignore what does not suit them (again)
An email below from Dick McDonald of the Ownership Society Institute. The institute wants Americans to be able to INVEST their payroll taxes instead of giving the money to the Feds to waste
Two million people go to Washington DC to protest universal health care reform and their out-of-control Congress on Saturday and on Sunday Morning’s Meet the Press the protest isn’t even mentioned. As it was the largest protest in American history you now have positive proof that our media is not just biased but criminally complicit in failing to carry out the duties our Constitution gave them to report the facts not their political bias (by omission).
What galls me is two Republicans being interviewed claimed that they agreed with 80% of the HR 3200 plan. They remained silent while the Democrats said to them “You don’t have a plan” and “You can’t be for nothing, you have to be for something.” Well folks NO WE DON’T. We are not for their plan or any part of it as written. We don’t believe the President when he says he won’t add one dime to the deficit when his own government budget office says it will add over $2 trillion.
We already have a medical system that provides free health care to the elderly (Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid) and those programs promise $49 trillion in benefits that have not been funded. Congress has no earthly idea how it plans t pay for those promises. We only have a $14 trillion economy and it is overspending $2 trillion this year. Obama wants us to add tens of trillions more right when our economy is in the tank and can’t pay this year’s bills. Is he nuts? Is he in some alternative universe – because he surely isn’t on the planet Earth.
Folks our enemy is not just Obama or the Democrats, it is socialism – the economic philosophy of lazy intellectuals and delusional utopians. They insist that money grows on trees and all we need to do is pick it off and spread it around to other lazy people. Well life doesn’t work that way. Our tree is already bare.
A compassionate people presently tolerate the confiscation of 15% of their lifetime income in return for no nest egg – the Social Security/Medicare fraud. The people have to wake up to the fact that 15% would be better employed in funding our growth and job creation so we could personally afford an affluent retirement and best old-age health care.
China retaliates against U.S. tariffs on tires: “China said Sunday it would launch an anti-dumping investigation into U.S. sales of chicken and auto products, a move apparently in response to Washington’s decision to impose punitive sanctions on Chinese tire imports late last week. China’s Ministry of Commerce said it was starting proceedings after having received complaints that U.S. products were being sold in China at below-market prices, according to reports. The ministry has denied that the actions against U.S. producers are a form of protectionism.”
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman hails China's one-party autocracy: "The dwindling number of readers of the New York Times were treated Wednesday to a column by Thomas Friedman extolling China's "one-party autocracy," which, he told us, "is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people." China's leaders, he reported, are "boosting gasoline prices" and "overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power." All, of course, in the cause of reducing carbon emissions, which so many luminaries assure us are bound to produce global warming and environmental catastrophe. As Jonah Goldberg, author of the scholarly best-seller "Liberal Fascism" notes, "This is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s." Mussolini, we were told then, made the trains run on time. He drained the Pontine marshes. He got things done while Americans, with their chaotic democratic politics, dithered."
Enough to Make Your Blood Boil: "Chris Edwards, the Cato Institute's top maven on federal budget issues, has just published a highly revealing article on federal pay scales that will make most people's blood boil -- except, of course, for federal bureaucrats who are too busy dozing off in their easy chairs to read anything other than the occasional comic page and the union news raise reviews. You see, it turns out that Washington's pointy-headed, bottom-feeding bureaucrats -- whose sole job it is to run up everyone else's taxes by saddling us all with oppressive regulations and endless reams of red tape -- get paid on average $30,000 a year more than those of you who actually work for a living and produce a useful product. That's right: while you’re out working your butt off to make a barely livable wage (which is then taxed down to the poverty level), a bunch of bumptious bureaucrats in Washington are living the high life on the money siphoned out of your paycheck to keep them fat and happy.
CO: Abortion opponents try for no-exception ban: “There’s nothing subtle about the sales pitch by abortion opponents who are gathering signatures at the Colorado State Fair for a ballot measure that would give legal rights to fertilized embryos. ‘Would you like to sign a petition to stop abortion?’ asks Keith Mason, head of suburban Denver’s Personhood USA. Mason and a corps of volunteers gathered thousands of signatures during the two-week fair to have Colorado’s constitution define people from ‘the beginning of biological development of a human being.’”
Are the Brownies to become brownie shirts?: "Obama is determined to use your children to force your compliance with his policies. Totalitarian government have long known that the best way to penetrate the privacy and sanctity of family/home is to have an embedded agent who eagerly acts as an enforcement arm of the state … even against family members. Do not be lulled by the innocuous nature of Obama’s recent address to school children. No one know what he would have said in the absence of the amazing and heartening cries of protest that came from parents and some educators. We do know how much he backpedalled on the prerelease etc. For example, the original ‘homework’ assignment was for every public school child in America to write an essay/letter on how he or she could help the President achieve his goals.”
Low key method of getting information out of terrorists: "The CIA shared with George W. Bush’s Justice Department the details of how an interrogation strategy — with an emphasis on forced nudity and physical abuse — could train prisoners in ‘learned helplessness’ and demonstrate ‘the complete control of Americans.’ The 19-page document, entitled ‘Background Paper on CIA’s Combined Use of Interrogation Techniques’ and dated Dec. 30, 2004, contains repeated references to keeping suspected al-Qaeda captives — called ‘high-value detainees’ or HVDs — naked as part of the strategy for breaking down their resistance.”
On respecting the presidency: “After one senator shouted out ‘liar’ during President Obama’s speech to Congress the other evening, one of Mr. Obama’s cheerleaders at The New York Times intoned gravely that even if one disapproves of a given office holder, one ought to show respect for the office. Well, not really, not any more... the office may well be a good idea but when it is filled with crooks, respecting it is no longer possible or desirable."
Cost per head: "Did you know you’ve shelled out $10,000 to bail out banks, auto companies and the rest of the too-big-to-fail businesses? That’s money taken away from your retirement account or your kids’ college education fund. Money that could have paid for a family vacation, a new car, new appliances, remodeling your home — hey it’s your greenbacks and your damn business how you spend it. Right? Are you kidding, you poor, gullible thing? You have no idea what’s good for you. But don’t worry, Uncle Sam does.”
Bowing to the global tax bullies: "Do you think the Internal Revenue Service should have the right to share your tax information with foreign governments — even ones run by thugs and those that engage in human rights abuses and/or suppress freedom in their countries? A meeting was held in Mexico City last week under the auspices of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose implicit goal is to create a global high-tax cartel. It claims to be in favor of transparency and global economic growth. However, as with many domestic and international government organizations, the OECD’s actions are often contrary to its words.”
No bickering or thinking: Just do it: "When the president says he welcomes substantive new ideas, he means that if you have the nerve to offer any ideas — as Whole Foods’ CEO, John Mackey, did in The Wall Street Journal last month — his allies will attempt to destroy your business and reputation. And when the president says he welcomes bipartisanship, what he means is that he hasn’t met with a single Republican on the issue since April — despite numerous requests and two separate House bills chock-full of ideas. When this president says he is a deal-making centrist and will stand up to his own party, he means he will rebuff progressives on a complete straw man, such as a ’single-payer’ plan (a plan he supported at one time), which has been a non-starter in any iteration of health care reform this year.”
Maine outlaws “distracted” driving: “Motorists, drop those cellphones. And lose the laptops, bag the Big Macs, and nix the newspapers and roadmaps while you’re behind the wheel. It’s now against the law to drive while distracted in Maine. More than a dozen states have passed laws making texting while driving illegal, and some states and cities have outlawed use of cell phones while driving. A bill in Congress would force states to ban texting or e-mailing or lose 25 percent of their annual federal highway funding. Maine legislators, however, reasoned that accidents can result from a number of distractions not just limited to handheld communication devices. Roughly 12,000 crashes in Maine each year — about a third of the total crashes in the state — stem from some kind of driver distraction, said Lt. Chris Grotton, who helped to develop Maine’s new law.”
Another British computer bungle: "Hundreds of convicted terrorists from the Ulster Troubles are ‘virtually invisible’ to police in the rest of Britain because of a computer glitch. The Police National Computer is not linked to the criminal database in Northern Ireland, meaning that the criminal records of many serious figures from the province’s past, now living in England, Scotland and Wales, are not available to police officers. Counter-terrorism sources say that in light of the upsurge in terrorist activity in Northern Ireland, including the Real IRA murders of two soldiers and the discovery of a series of unexploded bombs, there are mounting security concerns about the situation.”
Britain: Clamour grows for heroin on the NHS: "A group of government-appointed drug experts will call for a nationwide network of ’shooting galleries’ to provide injectable heroin for hardened drug addicts across the country. A pioneering trial programme prescribing heroin to long-term addicts has shown ‘major benefits’ in cutting crime and reducing street sales of drugs. … The prescription of heroin to hardened addicts is one of the most controversial in medicine. Giving addicts drugs such as heroin on a maintenance basis, rather than weaning them off them, turns existing policy on its head and presents a challenge to ministers.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:38 AM