Saturday, October 21, 2017

Obligatory, 10.20.19

Originally posted yesterday, updated today,
10.21.17:

The review of the review is now posted, or shall I say, unchanged!  I amazed myself sometimes.  After all these years, this review seems dead on as it was when I first wrote it.

Damn, I'm good.

the original post follows:

Got my new infusion of data.  Now I am back in the saddle again.

While away, I have be re-reading a few things that I have read before.  A review of a review, if you will.  More on that later, as I have a lot more reading to do.

Been puttering about the trailer, fixing things that are broken.  I can do only so much at a time, and then I must stop.  I am somewhat limited, you know.

Anyway, my broken recliner is now fixed.  But I won't press my luck with my repair.  It will only be used as a chair for now on. I am very glad to have it back, all the same.

The broken microwave could be next.  But I had better make sure that it is just the microwave, not something in the trailer itself.  It is nightmarish to consider that I may have an electrical problem in this trailer.  I don't think so at the moment, but it is never a bad idea to be really sure.

This morn, I have been catching up on the news.  Could it be that the phony Russian story is about to boomerang on the Dems?  The GOP is too dumb to figure out something like this.  When they aren't too dumb, then they are too wussified to do anything about it, if the wildest stories turn out to be true.

Anyway, it could all be just more dog and pony from the politicians.  It is probably best not to trust any of them.



The GOP asked for Trump, now that they've got him, he's a "problem"

Originally posted 5.3.16, updated on,

10.21.17:

George W. Bush gave a speech recently, which was a reminder to me that he once said that "nationalism is a threat to America."   The latest speech is widely hailed left-wing circles as a shot across the bow to Trump.

The above quote seemed to be one of Bush's malapropisms at the time.  How can a nation be a threat to itself?  Of course that is possible if sanity is lost.  But isn't lost just because a person or nation seeks its own self-interests as opposed to working as if those didn't matter--- or, was  even shall we say, "indecent".

Odd also that the rule of law must now be tossed aside for the sake of getting along with each other.

Also, what happened to a former president just keeping their pie holes shut while the new president gets settled in?   Bush did it for Obama, but now that is all over with, I suppose.  Obama cannot keep his own pie hole shut either.  The old rules only apply when the old ways aren't challenged.

What struck me odd at the time was how Bush was seen as so off the charts then, but now he is being quoted by the left.  He really wasn't much different than they were and are.  But politics is rarely about the truth anyway.  It seems that approval of Bush is "in" now.  Approval of Trump is definitely "out".


the original post follows:

First of all, how did the GOP ask for Trump?  It is because of open borders/ trade policies.  Of all the objections to Trump, this one is the most cogent.  It isn't because of what Cruz accuses Trump of being, a Democrat in disguise.  The GOP isn't challenging Obama's Big Government Agenda.  This isn't the reason at all.  Nor is it social policy.  They oppose Trump more than they opposed homosexual marriage.  It isn't Trump's tax proposals.  These are straight down the line GOP fare.  It isn't his alleged rudeness, his opponents are just as insulting.   No, it is open borders/ trade.  It cannot be anything else.

With open borders/ trade policies, you inevitably change the electorate.  One way or another, there is going to be a disruptive candidate.  Although Trump is accused of being liberal, he is actually a reactionary, if the current meme is correct- only downtrodden, former middle class whites support him.  ( Sanders is the disruptive candidate on the Democrat side.)

But it may be deeper than that.  As the formerly Christian nation, an Obama assertion, has risen up to challenge the globalist elite of both parties, it becomes a matter of justice.  Note how Trump continually talks about fairness in the process.  This is a reflection of the betrayal many Americans feel with respect to how their government operates.  The elite in both parties do not oppose the Muslim president nearly as much as the reactionary Trump.  They will do anything to stop Trump, including cheating.  Preventing him from speaking is another tactic.  Violence is not far from the possibilities if Trump's popularity continues and carries him too far. 

Whatever happened to the freedom that once was taken for granted?   The elite are indifferent to that, if anything, they are hostile to it.  Why wouldn't patriotic Americans rise up against an occupying army of politicians and bureaucrats who do not share their traditionalist views?  In all this, the GOP has done little, and as Trump arrives on the scene, they resist.  What's going on here?  As the GOP has claimed the mantle of defending traditional America, why would they resist the very man who says he will do it?  The GOP's passivity in this regard invites a man like Trump to make them put up or shut up.  It looks like they do not want to claim that mantle any more.  Otherwise, they would embrace Trump.  If anything, they would really like it if Trump would shut up.

The GOP has asked for Trump because they have pretended to be the bulwark of the nation, and have not delivered on that promise.  Now that Trump promises to deliver, he's a "problem".




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Atlas Shrugged II ( film ) --- review

Originally posted 7.18.13, updated,

10.18.17

From the book, "Why Things Are Falling Apart", a quote:

"...the unbridled pursuit of self-interest will magically lead to an optimum economy and society."

Or, "no man is an island".  That may sound socialistic, but socialism is also flawed for the same reason.  "Nobody does the right thing".


The original post follows:


Most likely you have heard of the saying "don't shoot the messenger" for bad news.  The story goes like this: the King didn't like the message, so he shoots the messenger.  Well, to sum it up shortly about this movie, don't shoot the message because of the messenger.  The message has a good point, however, it is the way it was delivered in the movie was not so good.

I wanted to like this movie, you see.  Our world is a lot like what this movie was supposed to be about.  Our world, meaning the US, is falling apart at the seams.  Shifting back to the movie, this aforementioned world was supposed to be falling apart because John Galt was "stopping the engine of the world" with a capitalistic strike.  Atlas was shrugging because of the unrealistic demands of a socialistic government was crushing him with burdens that were killing him.  Atlas was the force that made everything work, his absence meant the world must fall apart.  Atlas was saving himself and letting the world sink into ruin.  He relinquished any responsibility for its demise and put his own needs ahead of the others.  In other words, the world can go to hell.  The individual comes first.

I liked that concept when I first read the book.  I have come to a different opinion today.

Trouble is with this concept, I have come to believe that that's pretty much why we are in the mess we are in.  Here's why:  There has to be a sense of self not only in an individual, but in the group in which he belongs.  Man cannot just live for himself.  For if he does, his world will cease to exist.  What better way to describe what is happening to the West and the US these days.  It's every man for living for himself and himself alone.  This is true even when it may seem otherwise.  Even if it is vehemently denied by those who practice socialism.

Once again, that doesn't mean that the message is all bad.  For there is a philosophical underpinning to individualism, as depicted by Rand's philosophy, that will allow a society to exist as a society.  That society based upon the concept of free exchange.  It eschews compulsion of the collective in favor of a free exchange of values-for-values from individuals.  Such a society could exist as such, but does not exist today in the West or in the USA.  For the rather extreme individualism is what leads to such phenomena as same-sex marriage and abortion.  Society must procreate in order to survive the end of a generation.  In the kind of society that we have now, the individual will not want to do that for he must give up something of himself for that to occur.  Thus, the society dies out.

When John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural, "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country", he was expressing the obligation of the individual to his community.  That sense of obligation is very tenuous in our culture now.  Perhaps a lot of it died in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, that part of the message, if it exists, gets lost in this flawed presentation.  It is assumed to occur by itself with Rand's philosophy, evidently.  This notion of what it takes to make a nation wasn't developed in the movie nearly enough, so you really don't know if there is an adequate explanation for how that can occur.

The movie also has other perhaps more obvious flaws.  I really didn't believe that actors nor the plot.  If the world is falling apart, then why do so many things seem to work so well?  Sure, there are things that fall apart, but you don't see this affecting overall conditions like you know they must in order to accept the premises.  Your suspension of belief just doesn't get suspended enough.  Not to mention that some of the actors just were not good enough.  For example, I didn't believe the performance of the guy that Jim Taggart ( Dagny's brother ) hires to take Dagny's place when she decides to go on leave.  He couldn't pull off the character.  Besides that, I really didn't like that lack of continuity from the first film.  Too many new actors and actresses.

There should have been a ton of artistic license in this movie in order to make it work.  Instead, it sticks too closely to the book while the book is way out of date.  For example, there aren't many passenger railroads today in the US.  There were when the book was released in the fifties.  That pretty much makes it implausible, and then you have another failure in your suspension of disbelief.  That problem could have been solved by just making the movie follow the book a lot more loosely and perhaps that would have allowed the message to survive.

But the message gets killed by a flawed movie and that's a shame.




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Money madness drives the evil we see

Originally posted 7.2.16, updated,

10.17.17:

Well, one thing has changed, and that is that ISIS is getting their butts kicked.  But they did take credit for Vegas.  So, maybe they aren't getting their butts kicked, after all.

the original post follows:

It has long been a source of perplexity to me as to why this blog doesn't get traction.  All too often, people will judge the value of things by the popularity of it.  Consequently, without the pageviews, people may conclude there is little of value here.

If you look around and notice a few things, some of these websites seem to jump through hoops in order to get pageviews.  But why do this?  Pageview counts are the new Nielsen ratings:  they will command higher premiums from advertisers.  Thus it is a mad pursuit of pageviews, upon which they get paid.

Instead of pageviews, how about truth?  If truth is unpleasant, well, that might hurt pageviews.  We can't have unpleasant truths bothering people so they won't return to your website.

People want to be entertained, too.  They will like a bruising fight between people, even though they will say that they don't like the political fights in Congress.  That's what the polls say.  Let's come together, the polls seem to say, but the eyeballs reward the fights.  It is the eyeballs on the screen that gets the money, and thus gets all the attention.  If anybody says, hey we can solve this problem, well that just doesn't get the attention.  It isn't entertaining enough.  Like the song says--- "crap is king".  Entertainment is big business, you know.  You get crap because that is what you pay attention to.  They are giving you what you want, whether you acknowledge that or not, it is the truth of the matter.

Ah, the truth!  If only that DID matter.  It doesn't seem to matter anymore.  More important to get those ratings because that's where the money is.

This blog is about truth, but it doesn't get ratings.  People prefer the crap after all.

So, you people wonder why our society is falling apart.  Those who say the country is in good shape will say the stock market is doing well.  But what about ISIS?  ISIS must be good for business, since they sure don't want to actually do anything about it.  If they did want to do something about ISIS, they would endeavor to find the truth, but the truth is bad for pageviews, and bad for business.  So the last thing they want to do is to find the truth behind ISIS.  The stock market is doing well, so let's not worry about ISIS.

It is no long a source of confusion to me why this blog doesn't do well.  Nobody wants the truth.   They reward the crap with pageviews.  You can complain all you want about crap, but if it is money that you worship, you will never get anything else but crap.  Solutions to problems require some understanding of truth, not the denial of it.  The denial of truth is what brings the crap.  If you don't want crap, stop rewarding it with your eyeballs.

This blog doesn't take money.  But it won't do any good unless people pay attention to it.  But there's nothing you can do while crap is still king.  The crap is brought to you by the friendly sponsors.  Have a good day.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Quick Review of Why Things Are Falling Apart

Originally posted 2.13.13, updated on,
10.16.17:

A re-visit of this post, which is almost five years old.   It impresses me with how good a job I did with the review.  That is to say, after studying the book a bit more closely, I cannot say that my review changes much.

An addition that I want to make with respect to what to do about it:  a lot of this right v. left stuff is what is holding us back.  This is what the powers-that-be use to keep us in check.

The people need to wise up to the political class, and start demanding answers.  But isn't that what this original post said?  Isn't that what the book says ( if you read it)?



the original post follows

For one thing, it is a long title.  I've been referring to this a "the book" in a series of blog posts thus far on this topic.  Just suffice it to say that the book is mostly about why things are falling apart.  The "what to do about it" is but one section out of six.

Most of the book is a hard read for me because I tend to want to remain optimistic about things as they are.  The book's main message flies right into the face of that.  According to this book, things are not going to stay as they are for much longer.

I began with the notion that I agreed that things are falling apart.  The book confirms that and much more- which to my chagrin, is not necessarily what I really wanted to believe.  What I wanted to believe, and still do, despite this book, is that we can work out our problems.  The thing that is missing is the will to do so.

The book isn't really political, but there is some political stuff in it.  Does it tend towards the right or towards the left?  Actually, neither.  However, those on the left may think the book is aimed directly at them.  In a way, it is.  That's because the dominant paradigm today is big government liberalism initiated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his New Deal.  But it may be noted that a lot of so-called conservative Republicans tend to like their big government too, and are therefore wedded to this paradigm as well.  The book also goes after capitalism, but does not extol socialism nor communism.  To the contrary, it is critical of these systems as well.

 The book's solutions tend in the Club of Rome, Limits to Growth genre.  That won't work with the modern day real conservatives who believe in limited government and economic growth.  I count myself as one of these, but not whole-heartedly so.  I would tend to agree that growth for growth's sake isn't the way to go.  But to eschew all growth and accept sharp limits is not my cup of tea either.

Yet, some of his ideas are plain old common sense, which I've heard is not held in high esteem amongst some on the left or the elite in general.  I agree, they don't seem to have much common sense.  The difference is that they are actually proud of that, which shows all the more how cock-eyed they are.  This book hits them squarely in the groin, but it also hits everybody else squarely in the groin.

He gives short shrift to technological solutions.  He seems to deny that these will prove to be helpful in the long run.  I disagree.  I think there are technologies that could help but are being blocked by the same self-interested elite that he is so often critical of in this book.

On the whole, it is an excellent read.  It will challenge you to the maximum.  If you are one of those people who sneer at common sense or believe in your ideology like it is a religion or something, you will not like this book.  You may even hate it.  But that may be the crux of the problem.  People have to realize that there's a problem here, and denying it won't help us solve it.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Phil Collins: Don't care anymore


Running out of data again.  This is posted using free wifi. 

Heard this song on the radio yesterday.  What if everybody thought like this?  All the time, I mean.

Or maybe we are there already.  Listen how people talk.