Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“S-Hole” Countries

January 19, 2018

Trump allegedly made some derogatory remarks about “s-hole countries.”  Since then, the press has ran with it like a 10 year-old who has learned a new curse word.  There was even a congress critter who feigned tears in pretend outrage.

You know, if they raised taxes to support acting lessons for politicians, I’d probably agree to it.  At least then they wouldn’t suck at everything.

The news has been screaming that Trump is a racist, and this statement is offered as evidence.  It is a funny argument:

  1.  Trump never said anything about the people or the culture of these countries.  He merely referred to some countries as “s-holes.”  This could be due to pollution, political unrest, or any number of reasons.
  2. If people are leaving these countries, there is something undesirable that is causing people to leave.

Interestingly, nobody bats and eyelash when they show the dreadful conditions of some of these countries on the television.  Nobody seems to consider extreme poverty, war, pollution, and disease part of these cultures, and yet when someone says, “hey, this is an s-hole” he is accused of being racist and attacking a culture.

I’ll address immigration another time.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

*I forgot to hit the ‘Submit’ button on this post yesterday!*

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The Danger of the Psychiatric Evaluation

January 11, 2018

There has been some talk in recent weeks of the 25th amendment and what it might mean to President Trump.  For those of you who are not familiar with the 25th amendment, it states:

“In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”

There are talking heads on the television that would love to use this amendment as a means of removing Trump from office, stating that his “mental health issues” have made him unfit for the office of president.  Therefore, under the 25th amendment he can be removed.

While I agree that a president should be removed from office if they are incapacitated and unable to perform their duties, I caution against using this amendment lightly.  The liberals, still bitter from their year old election loss, would love to have a psychologist or team of psychologists pronounce Trump mentally incapacitated.

This places far too much power into the hands of “experts” and not enough into the hands of the average person.

This is all a thinly-veiled appeal to authority.   If our presidents can be removed from office by a special interest group (such as a panel of psychologists), why vote?  If the final say rests on “experts” rather than the people, let’s not pretend there’s a republic.  Do away with the vote, and we’ll let the “experts” pick for us.

As is typical with elitist liberals, they declare themselves experts in a field, then try to use it to gain a political advantage.  Rather than allowing for a vote, they would rather place the important decisions of the country into the hands of a few “experts.”

Thanks, but no thanks.  I’d rather have a president with an itchy Twitter finger than to be ruled by “experts.”

Thank you for reading my post.

 

Why #MeToo is a Waste of Time

October 20, 2017

Recently, the hashtag #MeToo has been cycling around social media.  The idea behind this hashtag is for women to come forward and discuss their stories of sexual harassment.

The problem is, sexual harassment is pretty vague.  According to The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is stated as,

“It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.”

Sounds clear right?  You can’t fire your secretary for turning down your advances, according to the law.

The problem is the package deal that is wrapped up in the sexual harassment.  To be found guilty of sexual harassment, the only proof is that someone else felt uncomfortable.

Obviously, rape, sexual assault, and so on are a violation of individual rights, and the perpetrators should be dealt with harshly by the law.   However, lumped into this same category is everything from rapists to a single catcalling construction worker.

Instead of recognizing that there is a long distance between an unwanted comment and rape, we are expected to swallow, as one package deal, that everyone who has received a catcall or an unwanted comment is a victim equal to a rapist victim.  And, that everyone who has laughed at a sexist joke, or went in for a kiss and got rejected, or whatever is now on par with a rapist.

The end result of this is to treat every man as though he was a rapist.  Furthermore, it is to teach every man that they are no better than a rapist, for every single (straight) man has glanced too long at a woman, or made a stray comment, and are now guilty of rape.

It’s the danger of a package deal.

 

The State of Education

February 10, 2017

At the local, state and federal levels, I think everyone in education is freaking out over the new president.  Between the executive orders and the budget cuts, the fear is that many programs are on the chopping block.

There are so many little grants to help the students, and some of them actually do.
Some of the programs benefit students, but is that important?

It is a little calloused, I realize, but I have been watching the waste in the schools for some time.  One school buys all of the students back packs filled with school supplies each school year.  At first glance, this seems like a great idea.  Students who may come from financially disadvantaged homes will now have school supplies at no cost. Yet, by week 2, the pencils are all broken, the paper turned to spit wads, and the  calculators missing.  The backpacks end up being left in the hallways.  By week 3, it’s all gone.

I have been a tutor for quite some time.  As a tutor, I can hep the students on their math homework.  Instead, most kids don’t bother to ask for help.  They don’t keep their old tests to study what was missed, they often skip their homework.

The best thing about these budget cuts is that students will have to learn to be more independent and responsible for their own education.

Students will have to keep track of their pencil, or they won’t have one.  Students will need to learn to take advantage of the opportunities they get- as they will have fewer of them.

 

Inauguration

January 20, 2017

I have no idea what to make of the next four years.  All I know is that this has been the ugliest election cycle I have ever seen.  I can’t bear to go on Facebook and see
what my friends have to say about each other.

Everyone is so wound up and hostile towards each other.

I don’t know what is next.

Lousy Comedians

October 14, 2016

I went to a comedy night tonight, supposedly the best female comedian in New York.

I found her dull.

I’m not one to be offended, though she tried her best.  Every other word was “f” this or that.  All of her jokes were predictable and racist.  I’m not offended- it just wasn’t funny.

This comedian relied on 1) using foul language in the same way a 10 year old does when he’s learned a new naughty word, 2) constantly plugging that she’s doing a movie with Robert DeNiro, and 3) constantly referring to herself as funny, and people who don’t laugh as up tight and scared to laugh.

This comedian is unimportant, but perhaps a sign of what has become of the art of comedy.  As well respected of a comedian as this person is, it goes to show that comedy is pretty much some shock value nonsense and worn out jokes.

Anyway, I am not going to work through all of the philosophy of this, but I am tired from from a mediocre performace.

Thank you for reading my post.

The Albuquerque Riots -Just a Rerun

May 28, 2016

As many of you know, Donald Trump spoke in Albuquerque earlier this week.  Outside a “protest” took the form of rioting and setting fires.  Not all protestors were involved or supported these actions, but plenty did.  A quick scan among my Facebook “friends” showed varying degrees of support for these actions.

But where have I seen this before?

Today, I was reading the next chapter in Capitalism:  The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand, and it all made sense.  In this collection of essays and speeches, there is one titled, The Cashing-In:  The Student “Rebellion” that sums up what is happening.  The Student “Rebellion” took place on the UC Berkley campus in the 1960’s, concerning students’ rights and free speech on campus (which included soliciting funds for the Vietcong).  However, what these students were advocating was not free speech, but the “freedom” to speak whatever they wanted regardless of who owned the land.   (Rand, 295) This particular situation was a little bit muddier, as the land was state-owned property.  However, the protesters’ message was clear.

The implications of this are huge. Don’t like interracial couples?  Feel free to protest in their bedrooms.  After all, how dare them try to block your free speech?  This is what happens when we throw away property rights in the false name of “free speech.”

In the middle of this essay, Ayn Rand highlights a few of the points this “rebellion” was actually about, philosophically, and then we’ll compare it to the Trump protest:

“…there is no justification, in a civilized society, for the kind of mass civil disobedience that involves the violation of the rights of others–regardless of whether the demonstrators’ goal is good or evil.  The end does not justify the means.  No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others.”  (Rand, 291).

“The forcible occupation [sit-ins] of another man’s property or the obstruction of a public thoroughfare is so blatant a violation of rights that an attempt to justify it becomes an abrogation of morality.  An individual has no right to do a “sit-in” in the home or office of a person he disagrees with–and he does not acquire such a  right by joining a gang.  Rights are not a matter of numbers–and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.”  (Rand, 291)

Another goal is, “To facilitate the acceptance of force, the Berkley rebels attempted to establish a special distinction between force and violence:  force, they claimed explicitly, is a proper form of social action, but violence is not.  Their definition of the terms was as follows:  coercion by means of a literal physical contact is “violence” and is reprehensible; any other way of violating rights is merely “force” and is a legitimate, peaceful method of dealing with opponents.”  (Rand, 292).  “The theoretical purpose of that grotesque absurdity is to establish a moral inversion:  to make the initiation of force moral, and the resistance to force immoral–and thus to obliterate the right of self-defense.”  (Rand, 292-293).

Just a few statements that I agree with, and we’ll apply them to the next Trump protest to see how many of them are violated.

Rand, Ayn.  Capitalism:  The Unknown Ideal.  Signet, New York, 1966.

Non-Objective Writing

April 15, 2016

I have had the misfortune of reading Virginia Woolf and James Joyce this past week for an sophomore level English Literature class.

First, let me state that I am NOT in favor of censorship, as James Joyce’s work was censored at one time, and I am totally opposed to that.

Unfortunately, as a proponent for free speech, sometimes I am left to defend the vilest folks.  Instead, tonight, I will briefly discuss how much I hate non-objective writing, not from the point of view of banning it, but from the problems in reading it.

James Joyce’s Ulysses has one section titled, Penelope.  It is an eight-page, vulgar, run-on sentence.  This is regarded as an amazing literary masterpiece.

I’m not offended by vulgarity.  I’m a former night-shift truck stop cashier.  However, Joyce rambles on like a 12 year old who learned a new set of dirty words or found a new porn magazine.

I’m not offended by bad writing.  However, Joyce has one run-on sentence. FOR EIGHT PAGES.

Literary critics like Joyce because they believe that if they, “can’t understand it, it must be deep.”   This allows all manner of nonsense to be passed off as art.  By that definition, a drunk mumbles an unintelligible phrase, and it will pass as art.

By denying the connection between reality and art, the lazy artist can demand the same treatment as the productive, objective artist.  He or she can puke on a canvas and demand that it be treated as Mona Lisa, and if you don’t see the connection, it must be deep.

I read James Joyce in an anthology that also contained such works as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Compare these two, and you’ll see that one is art, and one is garbage.

Thank you for reading my post.

The Link Between Provincial Attitudes and Tribalism

January 29, 2016

Currently, there is a lot of support for “buying locally” and that “local” is somehow synonymous with “moral.”  There are city-wide campaigns in some areas to “shop local” or cries to, “save our small town.”

Do you wonder why your teenage boys fight?  In gangs, over girls?  You’ve taught them that the entire world ends at the city or county line.  There is no word outside of the little box called, “local.”  Without seeing the world as a large place, full of possibilities, is it hard to imagine our young folks fighting over small pieces of ghetto territory?

I will not post the link, for fear of political retaliation, but one small college town newspaper recently featured an editorial concerning candidates for the new university president.  The search committee narrowed down the applicant pool to a few candidates, but did not include one of the current school administrators.  This editorial stated that one of the biggest qualifications was this administrator’s birth city and current location- both of which were the same town as the college.  His hometown should be the qualification for his  presidency, that over the skills and experince of the other candiidates!

In reality, simply purchasing something because it was generated locally, or hiring someone because he or she lives in the area is a disgusting form of tribalism.  These types of advertising campaigns and government programs are used to substitute an imaginary moral with a value. They rely on the consumer to overlook the product itself and instead look at where the product was made.  A well-made, value-added product would not need to rely on such claims. These claims can only made by an inferior producer, with only a few notable exceptions- locally grown produce, for example, implies that it is fresher than produce brought in from another place.

To choose (or not choose) an employee or a product based on non-essentials, such as race, gender, or family history is a poor way to do business.  These things are not important to the quality of the product, or the value added.  Also, these non-essentials are not under the control of the person seling the product.  Buying from members of your “tribe” simply because they are members of your tribe is tribalism. Refusing to buy because the seller is not a member of your tribe is also tribalism.

To choose (or not choose) an employee or a product based on philosophical grounds is not a choice that stems from the quality of the product or the value added.  However, because the money you spent on the product or employee is inconsistent with the value system or may be used to actively destroy a set of values you uphold, it could be in your interest to make this choice.  Therefore, a boycott can be a moral reason for not choosing a product or employee.  Because this choice to buy or not buy is based on the choices of the seller is NOT tribalism.

So then, what about the case of “buying local” or “hiring local?”  A local product or individual is not a matter of choice- a person is born where he or she is born, and he or she has no say in the matter.  The circumstances to which a person spends their childhood is often mandated by parents, including the location of their home. Imagine the absurdity of hiring only folks that grew up in a single parent household!  Yet, somehow, when we “hire locally” we are stating that the circumstances one is born into are far more important than the value of the product!  This is clearly tribalism in its ugliest, most concealed from.

Next time you see a “shop local” sign, think back to the true meaning of these signs. “Buy from our tribe, only.”  You can replace the text in your mind with, “Only shop at white-owned stores” or “Don’t buy from the Jews” if you prefer, as these signs all mean the same thing.

Thank you for reading my post.

Why Do We Need to Expand National Service?

June 26, 2013


Just as the draft is a violation of my moral rights (mainly the right to decide whether I support the cause of war and choose to fight in it), so is a “service draft”, where I am required to pick a cause and work.

In a war, if an army does not have enough support from enough individuals to support voluntary enlistment, the politicians should reconsider going to war.

If one of these “service” projects can’t gain enough support from enough individuals, its failure should not fall on the backs of the American taxpayer, or a young American’s back.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost