Monday, January 30, 2012

Whitewater and its people suck (by anon)

I’m sorry but this town + its people have absolutely nothing worthwhile to offer (drinking notwithstanding) since you can do that anywhere.  Here are my reasons:

The cuisine here is nothing short of cheap garbagio. In fact, this I would say is the college to go if you want to learn how to cook. What? You are going throw Rosa’s pizza, and the Tokyo restaurant at me? Are you kidding me? That is all Whitewater has to offer? There is no upscale or nice sit-down restaurant . The majority of the shitty food is either fast-food or what is known as something semi-above like Subway or Culvers. No wonder why people are gaining weight here. The food is not nutritious and is low in quality and Esker just is not going to cut it as they think Italian beef is just cut-up hamburger meet with banana peppers DISGUSTING!

The movie theater is so very seedy. I wouldn’t pay five dollars to go there next time. The sound system is outdated, and the seats are so uncomfortable that I could not sit still at all.

What type of leisure activities or sites of attraction does Whitewater have to offer? It is quite pathetic. Whitewater has a center for tourism in the downtown area. What is its function in the community? What can they possibly do? Whitewater is the absence of tourism; I think if Wisconsin wants to save money they should weed out do for nothing jobs like this since surely the heads of these offices are being subsidized by the government.

The post office of Whitewater is quite possibly one of the absolute  worst mail distributing centers I’ve ever been to. I’ve been harassed several times by the front-desk clerks. They told me they could not weigh my packages since I need to buy one of the scales they sell for a lucrative sum of $40. The lady (let’s call her tattooed hag bitchface) would not let me mail my package since I had a small hole in it. I said this was fine and I asked to use some of their mailing tape so I could patch the “small and insignificant hole.” She told me I could not use them as that was for strictly priority mail. I would have to spend more money just to use their “special tape.” I said ok. I spotted some scotch tape near the desk and politely asked if I could barrow that. She said no! I asked her why is it that whenever I come in she always gives me a hard time. Then to my astonishment, she even told me “She was a bitch.” To which I replied I was thinking of another word.

Last but not least, the college kids at this University are some of the most rude, obnoxious, egotistical, and any other vice I could think of. For example,  there was this kid that I asked if he was in my Linear Algebra class and he said no when clearly he was. He was being a jackass for no reason.  I overheard some ditsy girls talking about their sex-life openly and then proceeding to announce that they kicked out an “ugly dude” at the party and  proceeded to laugh about it!

Last but not least, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The problem is not the teaching actually. The environment is what makes this school insufferable. Most of the college populous are going to college for the wrong reasons. Maybe this is more widespread than just whitewater. However, the people I encounter are so one-dimensional that I cannot start a conversation with them at all and ever. I do not want to talk about the Green  Bay Packers, how much you drank last night, your sex life, etc…. it’s like the people who are friends are really friends with themselves. It reminds me of the t.v. show “king of the Hill,” where they are just standing in front of the fence and drinking and talking about nothing intelligent or of importance really. I really mean it. Chances are, if I run onto you on campus I will immediately hate you.

Anyone else want to add to this list? This is what stands out so far for me. I’m sure there are at least 20 more reasons that are eluding me at the moment.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How many ways can I say the same thing? (by anon)

Let's see how many different ways I can say the same thing

1. If by living forever we mean a feeling of timelessness we must get used to living in the present.

-Ludwig Wittgenstein

2. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

-Jesus Christ

3. Try to worry about the here and now, the future will take care of itself somehow.

-"Life in One Day"

4. The past is just memories; the future is just what we expect to happen. There really is only now.

-I forgot who said that one, actually

Do you get the point? Live in the present. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is always coming but never comes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

OMG!

THE CRITICALLY PISSED BLOG WANTS YOUR POSTS FOR THE NEW SEMESTER!  Make this collective effort, well...you know, collective.

Has something ever bothered you on campus?  Ever pissed off at your teachers, university policies, politicians, media, the general public, or an "ism"?? Ever wanted to try out a new idea without anyone knowing who you are?  Want to play devil's advocate?  If so, this blog is for you!  Write about that which you want to write about and send it to us at The Critically Pissed (criticallypissed@gmail.com).  All submissions will be posted ANONYMOUSLY, unless expressly desired otherwise.

The only requirement is that each post be a “reasoned” post.  No bald rants.  We want reasoned rants so that your views can try to persuade one to agree with you.  And if people don't agree with you, well...they'll probably tell you why in the comments!

The hope is that this kind of “critically pissed” forum can be a venting place for critical thought as well as a possible place to start changing the way people think about things.

SEND YOUR POSTS TO: criticallypissed@gmail.com

- All posts will be anonymous, but you can create a catchy alias if you want :)
- Word limit: greater than 100 words
- Come up with a title for your post (or else we will).
- Leave particular people’s names out of your posts, unless you believe they are really needed.
- Make sure you are giving REASONS for your view.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ron Paul is a goon - yeah, take that you blind followers! (by twistersister)


I don't get Ron Paul.

Actually, scratch that: I don't understand the considerable support he has from the young, internet-savvy crowd that I tend to hang around.  

I won't even touch the fact that many of his policies are incredibly nonviable on a political level, the allegations of racism, or that he apparently thinks the south was the "right" side of the Civil War (seriously, I won't touch them.  Look them up and judge for yourselves; I don't want to be accused of intentionally coloring your opinions for my own dastardly purposes or whatever.  I mean, I totally just did that by mentioning them at all, but yeah.  Whatever, get over it).

No, the Ron Paul policy that sticks out to me is his stance on same-sex marriage (which is of course a whole lot better than that of his "competition," most of whom are far, far too blusteringly insane for me to even bother criticizing!).  His stance, in short, is that "the states should decide."  

This strikes me as a really serious and blatant sidestepping of an important issue, but for some reason it doesn't get too much attention.  Why?  Like, I know people who verifiably support same-sex marriage, and either don't notice or don't care that Ron Paul essentially believes that taking rights away from homosexuals is fine so long as his government of choice is the one that's doing it.

What strikes me hardest about this is the sheer mindlessness of it.  It's like Paul isn't interested in actually making direct contributions to the country's present well-being... just in promoting an ideal.  And considering how documentedly unelectable he's been throughout the years, that's kind of a "duh"-- many of the people who throw their weight behind Ron Paul are less interested in the Ron Paul gestalt than they are in the philosophy he represents.  But that doesn't explain the people who are legitimately interested in seeing Ron Paul become president.  Why have I read Facebook comments from intelligent people who explicit dismiss accusations of Paul's racism as "not important" (but not "untrue")?  Why does any intelligent, socially-conscious person think of him as an even remotely desirable candidate?

Anyone?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Voluntary Human Extinction Movement…you can’t make this shit up (by anon)




When I first found out about this “movement,” the first thing that popped into my mind was a reworded version of John Lennon’s Imagine song – “Imagine there’s no people.  It’s easy if you try.  Only dirt below us.  Above us, only more dirt.”  Ok, I need to work on that, but it sure does capture what VHEMT is about.  Read their blurp.

*******
Q: What is the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement?

VHEMT (pronounced vehement) is a movement not an organization. It’s a movement advanced by people who care about life on planet Earth. We’re not just a bunch of misanthropes and anti-social, Malthusian misfits, taking morbid delight whenever disaster strikes humans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Voluntary human extinction is the humanitarian alternative to human disasters.

We don’t carry on about how the human race has shown itself to be a greedy, amoral parasite on the once-healthy face of this planet. That type of negativity offers no solution to the inexorable horrors which human activity is causing.

Rather, The Movement presents an encouraging alternative to the callous exploitation and wholesale destruction of Earth’s ecology.

As VHEMT Volunteers know, the hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: Homo sapiens... us.  Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom.

When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Nature’s “experiments” have done throughout the eons.

It’s going to take all of us going. (http://www.vhemt.org/)
*******

I can’t help laughing.  These people really are serious, though they recognize that people could find this humorous (and they’re okay with that).  If I understand them right (and I haven’t read extensively on them), they advocate for the voluntary extinction of the human species so that Earth can rejuvenate and Nature can go about its business without our pesky interference.  It is more moral for us to “off” ourselves for the sake of all the other life forms than for us to remain here at the possible expense of those life forms.

If I may be so bold, this is just plain stupid.  First, their argument is supposed to be a moral argument.  Fine.  But what kind?  It could be a utilitarian argument (act utilitarianism to be exact), which would run like: the act of exterminating the human race would bring about the greatest good for the greatest number of living things.  But this is highly contentious.  How does one calculate greatest good in a manner like this?  Humans are a part of many ecosystems such that with our absence many species would suffer.  Hamsters would go extinct pretty quickly and other domesticated breeds and livestock would be in for a brutal hurting.  The food chain system would go haywire.  Yes, many species would benefit from our disappearance (like predators), but whether this counts as the greatest good is hard to know.  And that’s the point.  We just do not know whether offing ourselves would really bring about the greatest good.  So I don’t buy that approach if that’s what they’re thinking.

They could be giving a moral argument for natural states.  That would go: it is morally better to have a natural state of existence on earth than unnatural.  Humans create unnatural conditions and interferences of life.  Therefore, it is morally better to get rid of humans to preserve nature.  I actually think this is more what they are thinking (or maybe they are giving versions of both arguments).  Nevertheless, this argument is bad for the simple reason that humans are as much a part of nature as anything else.  It is quite the big leap to assume that humans are somehow outside of nature injecting unnatural conditions into the natural state of being.  The last I checked, my body is made out of the same kind of organic slop as any other biological creature or plant on the planet.  It would be an arbitrary accusation to call us or our actions unnatural.  We might not make the smartest decisions with our reproductive capabilities, our technology, and our resources, but we are thoroughly natural.

But my second reason why VHEMT is stupid is that moral and value distinctions only make sense in the presence of humans.  There is no right or wrong, good or bad, without humans because we are the ones coming up with those concepts.  If we were to extinguish ourselves, there would no longer be “better” or “worse.”  There would just be what is.  But these VHEMT people are saying that the world would be a better place without humans.  Yet, quite literally, this is impossible.  Without humans, the world could not be “better” for there would be no value giver.  For there to be a value judgment, there must be humans. 

“But couldn’t one project value into the future and give a counterfactual, saying that if people were to go extinct, Earth would be a better place?  We would still be here projecting our value judgments into the future such that we can legitimately speculate about value even without our future existence.”  I accept that that makes sense as stated.  But that response does not handle the practical consequence that when the last human dies off, so does moral and value distinctions.  We can speculate about future morals and future values without humanity all we want, but when it comes to the moment when there is no more humanity, that is when all morality and value end.  Thus, it is pointless to speak meaningfully in any practical sense of the world being a better place without humanity.

Ugh.  I’ve gone on long enough.  I hope this makes sense.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Senators, say NO to SOPA! (by anon)

This is a letter [anon] recently sent to Wisconsin senators Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson.

Senator Kohl, I urge you to vote against PIPA and SOPA. The intent of these bills is to protect copyrights owned by the entertainment industry and stop piracy, yes?

Please see entertainment as consumers, not its makers, view it. Music, films, television programs, and other forms of media expression are now so prevalent that they become entwined in the very fabric of our culture. To most citizens, pop songs and movie quotes are not just entertainment, they can become ideals that remain applicable well outside of the context of entertainment. With the passing of Protect-IP, whole sites could be taken down for just one infringing link. This becomes increasingly problematic for social networking and self-expression websites (such as Facebook or Youtube). Media surrounds us in such a dense way, that it becomes unnecessarily difficult to avoid referencing any copyrighted material in social interactions over cyberspace. If I'm going to make a video of myself, am I expected to take down any posters or paraphernalia of copyrighted material I possess? What about audio? Am I expected to not include meaningful quotes from my favorite film? As for music, people can live their lives singing tunes to themselves or having a song stuck in their head as a daily occurrence; PIPA and SOPA support the notion that this natural tendency must be censored when dealing with matters of the internet.

Stopping piracy is a noble cause, I agree, but PIPA and SOPA are not a proper means to that end. The--call them--side effects of the bills far outweigh the benefits.

To conclude, I will use a case example of Star Wars. Have you heard of the recent documentary film, The People vs. George Lucas? In this film, the question is raised, "when a work of media becomes so accepted by a culture, does anyone really own it anymore?" This is the nature of media in our current culture. Not a day--in your real world, daily life--can go by when you do not interact with some form of copyrighted media; this holds true for the internet as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who is the government to tell us what to do? (by anon)

I don't mind someone acting in their own best interest. I'm upset that other people assume they possess the right to run the world in the way they seem fit, imposing their subjectivity on the masses. Is not the only necessary purpose of government to maintain peace? Thanks, government, for law enforcement. I think Thomas Hobbes has it right. 

However, there is a incredibly fundamental fine line that is crossed with every new irrelevant law that is passed to orchestrate the opinions of the few, to govern the masses. Law enforcement consistently crosses a fine line between liberty and safety. It's a zero sum game. Our law system should be in place for strictly mutual purposes, to prevent one from harming another. To maintain the social contract. Any laws created for an alternate purpose are idealistic, and fundamentally infringe upon our liberty. Why do we exchange freedom for an attempt to prevent others from harming themselves? Why is government doing anything other than maintaining the social contract? 

The moment the system that we created dipped its hands into any form of distributing wealth, it crossed a line. If I want to support the unemployed, elderly, or sick, perhaps I will donate to a charity. No, I don't support paying a tax towards whatever our government sees fit to spend it on. I'd like to pay for roads, firefighters, postal service, and people to keep us *safe*. But, are not incentive driven businesses, governed by competition, the best way to take care of all of that? But a law implies an absolute truth. It's no place for opinions. 

The founding fathers of our country had thought a lot of these things through when they wrote up the blueprint for our nation. It's our fault that we got severely off track and added everything that we did. If they came back and took a look at what we are doing today, I'm sure they would be pretty pissed too.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Truth in the media…lost (by anon)


Watch this clip of trusted CNN news anchor Soledad O’Brien interviewing Jodi Kantor about her new book, The Obamas.


video


What do you think?  No.  Here’s a better question, what did you learn?  One thing is for sure – you learned NOTHING about the book.  What we get is O’Brien interpreting Kantor as smearing Michelle Obama in her book and repeatedly going after Kantor to support her interpretation when it is not clear that O’Brien is right, at all.  In fact, Kantor remarkably keeps her cool and sounds to be quite rational in the face of a perturbed O’Brien.  We do learn that O’Brien read very little of the book except for a few lines that her team probably marked up for her, and that she took a grossly uncharitable view of the author’s work.  If we want to talk about objective reporting or interviewing, that was piss poor.

Kantor comes off well in the interview, but if there is anything we have learned from our past is that good oration and composure doesn’t equal truth.  Kantor may be truthfully recounting why she said those things about Michelle Obama, her evidence, and how the book progressively views Michelle Obama in a more and more favorable light, but frankly, I have no way of knowing if they are really right.  This is the first time I have heard of Jodi Kantor, so I’m not going to let my truth meter hit 100% based on one interview without even reading the book.

This is but one instance where the media utterly fails us.  My guess is that many who might have watched that clip when it originally aired came off having a negative opinion of Kantor’s book.  They probably got a negative opinion without a shred of any good evidence – just a badly assuming O’Brien.

The good thing is that the bias in this instance was pretty blatant, and so many hopefully saw it for what it was (even though the negativity probably still stuck in your head anyway).  The bad thing is that we don’t know how often we may be buying other instances of media bias when they are done with more finesse.

Maybe I just pulled a fast one on you.

The point: the only way to get good information is to do your homework.  Check the sources.  Don’t ever take what a media personality says at face value.  Become media literate.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

High heels are SILLY (by Kissanthemum)


The whole "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" thing has been coming up a lot for me lately.  Probably my favorite example of this is the existence of high heels.  Through all of our "modern wisdom" and self-awareness, it's still a popular and accepted part of our culture to cause long term damage to one's health and body in the sole name of aesthetic beauty.  It's not even like, "just old people" or whatever, either.  I know young, intelligent, relatively "cutting edge" women who wear high heels, and while I'm not suggesting that they do it purely because of some patriarchal conspiracy (that's only part of the reason!), it's nonetheless very comparable to outmoded fashions like corsets (whose closest descendent is the extant cultural obsession with female thinness) and footbinding--both of which we openly laugh about today.
So high heels are a legitimately important issue, and I don't want to say anything that diminishes the fact that I want them eradicated from this earth.  But there's a bigger picture here: never has it been more apparent to me that the cultural "advancements" we make are largely illusory.  High heels are probably one of the tamer illustrations of this; compare them to the apologetics we saw in times of slavery, which are, with minor twists here and there, now being used to restrict the rights of gay people.  
For centuries, we've seen that every time the reigning dogmatists are forced to concede that violent video games are probably about as big a deal as comic books used to be, or that stem cell research is really really super important and good, they simply find a new (awful and indefensible) pet cause to hole up with for a few years, decades, centuries.  Alarmist nonsense will not end with the final legalization of marijuana.  In coming decades, there will certainly be massive technological paradigm shifts that current denizens of the "information age" will be every bit as out-of-touch with and ill-equipped to responsibly maintain as today's old, white, SOPA-supporting morons are of the Internet. 
Don't misunderstand: cultural advancements in and of themselves are real!  And they're pretty awesome!  But it's hard not to feel that the long-term fairness and openness of people has changed very little throughout history.  Slavery being abolished was a great thing, but it didn't fundamentally change bigots, apologists, or the apathetic.  Neither will federally-recognized same-sex marriage.  
Of course, the legitimately loving, clever, understanding people of the world aren't going anywhere, either.  I simply no longer believe that those types of people have historically increased in number or proportion merely because we have a black president, or that society so happened to eventually allow women the right to vote.  There's a sort of "stupidity equilibrium" in place here, and nothing less than a fundamental rewrite of "human nature," or--if we're lucky-- unprecedented institutional change could possibly upset.
High heels are silly.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On honesty (by anon)

Well my friends, it was a rough fall semester for me. 18 credits and 13.5 hours a week was just too much, and it was enough to send me to a psychiatric hospital for a week over break. They don't let you out of there until you learn something, and I would like to share with you some of what I learned...

"There once was a woman who told her husband what she thought he wanted to hear. She told him she was happy when she wasn't. She told him she liked his friends when she didn't. She tried to figure out what he wanted so she could do it for him. She felt hurt when he didn't do the same for her. She felt he should also try to read her mind and do what she wanted without her having to express it. She was scared to tell him how she really felt.

However, her pain and resentment grew so much she couldn't stand it any longer, so she told him her true feelings. He was so used to hearing her lies that he called her a liar when she told the truth. Now she knew how much she had hurt herself by trying to please him at the cost of her own honesty and needs.

Honesty is necessary for a good relationship with anyone. When we lie to ourselves we cannot tell the truth to others. By being honest, we open our doors to others, we trust them with our true feelings, and they love us for who we really are."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I got violently yelled at today by a Scott Walker supporter (by anon)



I canvassed today for Scott Walker recall signatures.  I hit about 100 homes.  Many were not home, and of those who were home some signed, some had already signed, and some refused.  Overwhelmingly, people were polite, even those who had Scott Walker lawn signs front-and-center in their yards.  Yes, I knocked on those doors too.
However, there was this one white guy.  He was polite at first as his ~4 year old daughter hung on his leg.  He refused to sign and told me that he really appreciated what Walker has been doing.  He said that it was about time someone was correcting the problems here.  I thanked him for his time and made that I was going to leave.  He then engaged.  He asked why I felt Walker deserved to be recalled.  I responded that my primary concern was his severe cuts to education funds, that we need to invest in our children’s education rather than diminish it.  I motioned to his daughter and said that we need to make sure our children grow up to think well.
He then embarked on a monologue about how bad teacher’s unions are.  Interrupting him after many minutes of listening patiently, I acknowledged that there can be drawbacks to unions, but that my primary concern again is with the severe cuts Walker is making to public education.   These are unnecessary cuts given the relative stability of our state budget, the cuts will hurt the quality of our education across the board, the cuts will affect who will get a college education as tuition rates have to rise, and there is no reason why Walker has to go after education specifically on a continual basis (shouldn’t everyone share the pain [even though this is an unnecessary pain]?).
So, yeah, he didn’t like that much.  Starting to get redder in the face, he said that I was simply wrong.  To paraphrase, though I think it is a direct quote, “Wrong, wrong, wrong!  That’s what you are.  You don’t know what you’re talking about!”  Still keeping my patient face, I acknowledged that he doesn’t have to agree with me.  And then I said that part of the reason why I don’t like Walker aside from the education stuff is that he has made the political climate in Wisconsin divisive.  I asked him if he thought saying that I was wrong the way he said it was a good way to help our conversation.  I noted that that just puts the other person on the defensive and that communication will usually break down.  He sort of acknowledged that, but followed up with, “But that’s what you are.  Wrong!”
Sorry for the play-by-play, but here is where it escalated.  He then wanted to talk about the union stuff again, to which I replied politely that I really should be going and that I will neither convince him to change his mind nor will he change mine.  Then in front of his daughter who was still lurking he nodded and yelled,
Him: Get off my porch!  Get the fuck off my porch!
Me: What? (in disbelief)
Him: You heard me!  Get the fuck off my porch!  Get the fuck off my property!
Me: Are you serious?  Do you realize how rude you are being?
Him: LEAVE NOW!  GO!  FUCK OFF!  NEVER COME BACK!
I left.  I had been trying to leave the past 7 min of the 7.5 min I had been there.  Everything in me wanted to yell back at him and say that it is people like him that are bringing down America (regardless of political affiliation!).  But I played my role of polite canvasser.  I got a little satisfaction when I got two signatures from the house next to his.
Here’s my argument: if you want to converse with someone in hopes of persuading the person to your position or at least getting the person to be sympathetic to your position, there are certain unspoken rules to abide by.  Be polite.  Be respectful.  Do not yell.  This guy violated these rules by a wide margin.  Thus, he neither persuaded me nor did he get me to be even slightly sympathetic to his view.  While his intention may never have been to persuade me (he might have just wanted to piss me off from the start – that’s my guess), he only succeeded in entrenching me further in my beliefs, which only hurts his overall project.
The moral: you don’t gain anything by being an asshole in argumentation.  You will always come off as the loser.  Learn to argue effectively and responsibly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, and Evil Greed: Objectivist Capitalism (by anon)


Objectivist economics is simple to understand: let the capitalists produce!  Part of the philosophy behind this is that capitalists fulfill the true potential of humanity – that of producing what one is led to produce out of rational selfishness.  To produce what one truly wants to produce is the height of being human.  Production is the origin of value itself.  Thus, capitalism, believed by Objectivists, is the consummate economic system that allows humanity to shine and bring forth rational value into our landscape.

However, if something hinders the free reign of capitalism, it is a mark against the rational value of humanity, and is thus something bad.  That is why Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivist thought, was against any kind of economic regulation.  In a 1959 interview, here was this interchange with Mike Wallace:

“Wallace: And you believe that there should be no right by the government to tax. You believe there should be no such thing as unemployment compensation, regulation during times of stress.

Rand: That’s right. I am opposed to all forms of control. I am for an absolute, laissez-faire, free, unregulated economy.”

For Rand, market regulation was evil, and that sums up the basic theme of her most famous book (a torturous read), Atlas Shrugged.  Market regulation was for the weak, socially-minded government bureaucrats, not the strong, confident capitalists.

This is the same position of Ron Paul, who is one of the most strident followers of Ayn Rand in politics (Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and Clarence Thomas would also be included here).  It is important to talk about this because not only is Ron Paul finally making a name for himself in the current GOP primaries, but Ron Paul’s politics are now riddled throughout most of the GOP in some form or another – which is to say that Ayn Rand’s philosophy has found a home with Republicans.  Ron Paul happens to be her biggest mouthpiece at the moment.

This is the problem.  Ayn Rand thought of humanity as a fairytale.  First, she envisioned her ideal capitalists as these men with powerful visions to create what they thought was beautiful in the face of those weak-willed buffoons who couldn’t distinguish between their heads and their asses.  These capitalists were the height of rationality, and when they were allowed to enact their rationality and production, the true good was unleashed.  They were able to produce without infringing upon anyone else.  And, second, if EVERYONE would follow their rational self-interests and produce according to their rational desires, everyone would live harmoniously in a new-founded utopia.  Since there is supposed to be only ONE rationality and ONE value system according to Objectivism, if everyone plugged in to this unity under the capitalist spirit, it would be like heaven on earth.  Everything and everyone would function in just the right way, like the way a solved puzzle is composed of many pieces fitting just the right way.

But all of that is a problem because of one base trait of humanity: greed.  Rand wants to solve the “greed” problem by claiming that capitalists shouldn’t operate according to bald selfishness, but rather rational selfishness.  But no one ever told them that!  And even if they were told that, they wouldn’t listen.  It’s time for a reality check!  Capitalists strive for one thing – more and more money.  That is why new businesses come to life, and the old one’s die because they fail to keep earning money.  Capitalists are not out to save the poor, heal the sick, or tend to the helpless.  They want money.  They want money for what they produce.  The value is not in the product itself, but in the price one can get for it.  And once one gets a taste of money, one wants more.  That’s the seed of greed.  That’s the growth of capitalism.  Thus, if capitalism is left unchecked, make way for unprecedented greed – we can call it “evil greed” because it will take over everything if it can regardless of whom it eats up.  This is the reason why Karl Marx said that capitalism would eventually destroy itself.

Therefore, Randian economics is bad economics that would probably send us into a depression if enacted.  But this is precisely what Ron Paul wants to do!  This is why this MUST be talked about.  Paul, in accordance with Rand, wants capitalism to flourish completely unfettered.  He wants no regulations whatsoever.  Nevermind that already-enacted gross deregulation was one of the primary factors precipitating the 2008 financial collapse, Paul wants the government to contract so much that it would be powerless to monitor and correct for the greedy excesses of Wall Street and big business.  The rich would become gods and the rest of us their servants.  Thus, let me be clear: Ron Paul’s Objectivist economics spells D-A-N-G-E-R.  If you have any sympathy whatsoever with the Occupy Wall Street movement, you’ll steer clear of endorsing Ron Paul.

I know there are many who like Ron Paul.  He has an attractive foreign policy for progressives – he wants to pull our troops out of every foreign land.  He has an attractive domestic policy for conservatives – he wants limited government and no income tax.  He is supposed to be a champion of freedom as a “libertarian.”  But for what might be good in Ron Paul, it is overshadowed by his naïve economics and Randian philosophy that selfishness is the ultimate value to uphold.  That value, formed in a completely deregulated capitalist society, would send us back to the dark ages.

To be honest, I don’t worry much about Ron Paul because he acts too much like a crazy grandfather for mainstream America to buy into him.  I worry much more about his son, Rand Paul, and the Wisconsin Congressman, Paul Ryan, who are much better looking and better spoken than Ron Paul.  2016 is going to be really scary if either of them runs for president.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Playing with a dead baby: Rick Santorum is disgusting (by anon)


Rick Santorum, one of the Republican presidential candidates, is disgusting on moral grounds.  Aside from fashioning his whole political campaign around being against homosexuality (which itself is morally questionable – Santorum’s campaign, not homosexuality), Santorum has made some morally repugnant decisions that should lead to his political demise.  He has shown that his decision-making skills are untrustworthy.  While I am sure there are more than just two decisions of his that are disgusting, here are two:

In 2005, the Washington Post reported:

Upon their son’s death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen’s parents’ home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass.”

Yes.  Rick Santorum brought home his dead baby and played with it.  I realize that his intent was for his family to spend time with the baby as if it was a real, living person and a part of the family.  They wanted their other children to understand that the baby was not an abstraction.  But the baby was dead.  Not really sick.  Dead.  And so this act strikes me as grossly morbid.  Playing with the dead does not honor life; it shows a demented view of life.  This is bizarre behavior that shows questionable thinking. 

The second decision is the very fact that Santorum is running for president, which requires many months on the campaign trail away from his family.  You see, Santorum’s youngest daughter (age 3) could die at any moment because she is afflicted with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that kills about 9 out of 10 children affected by it before and during birth.  And then only 1 and 10 who make it past birth make it to their first birthday.  That makes “Bella” something of an outlier, but Santorum himself said that her life span is “always measured in days and weeks.”  He realizes that she could die at any time.

They why is he campaigning and opting to not spend that precious time with her?  This is a question many are asking of Santorum (in case you are thinking I’m alone in this).  Many have called on Santorum to drop out of the presidential race because of his family obligations.  However, Santorum strongly believes that he should stay on the campaign trail.  He said at the Defenders of Freedom event in November, “Yet here I am... because I feel like I wouldn’t be a good dad if I wasn’t out here fighting for a country that would see the dignity in her [Bella] and every other child.”

If Bella dies while he is campaigning (and if he wins the GOP nomination, which is his goal, it would be another year more on the campaign trail), I would like to know whether he felt he dignified her life.  I’d like to know whether he felt like he was being a good dad.  IMHO, this is another morally questionable decision Santorum has made.  If you love your child as Santorum says he does, you don’t decide to spend tons of uninterrupted time away from your child for such a long shot job prospect.  The cost isn’t worth it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I cannot stand Santorum for basically everything he believes.  But if he were to be president, I would at least like him to have good, morally sound thinking skills.  The above two tidbits count against Santorum having those skills.

I’m just shocked that Santorum has gotten this far.  Our country is doomed.