Meanwhile, on BizarrO world....

Bosch Fawstin's picture
Submitted by Bosch Fawstin on Fri, 2009-07-03 15:49


( categories: )

Too quick on the draw Linz...

Robert's picture

I was in the process of editing that when your reply locked me out! Sticking out tongue

Observe:

"There's a ticklish question to answer right there. Since the victories won in the 60s and 70s by MLK etc. every level of US government is obliged to screw citizens equally - at least when it's doing it overtly. There have been instances where individual govt employees have been racist. But I can't see systematic institutional racism myself. What I see is a government that is screwing all of its citizens.

Even surreptitious discrimination against African Americans is difficult to diagnose IMHO. Often the damage done is a by-product of policies that African Americans themselves have supported via their support of corrupt and statist politicians. Rent control, the minimum wage, and public schooling are classic examples. Of course these are detrimental to every poor person, but African Americans are very well served by their lobbyists and so its easy to ignore the existence of slums occupied by folks of other colors and creeds if you only rely on the MSM for your information.

For example: run away inflation (a tax that will hit poor-people especially hard as they have little to no wiggle room in their weekly discretionary budget to absorb the reduction in buying power) is a problem lying in ambush in the near future. This thanks in large part to the idiotic monetary policy of Barrack Obama and he has massively exacerbated a problem started by Bush et. al. Those who support such policies are going to get what they asked for, good and hard. And the cause isn't racism, it's evasion of reality (i.e. you can't make wealth by printing money).

Note that I'm talking about institutional racism here. Apart from shunning individuals whom I consider racist and pointing out the stupidity of it all; racism by individuals is not my business provided it neither picks pockets nor breaks legs. Even if I could control the thoughts and emotions in other people, I wouldn't want to."

That'd be ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

When the government is screwing African Americans serupticiously

"Surreptitiously," dear! Eye

Have blacks got something to complain about?

Robert's picture

There's a ticklish question right there. Since the victories won in the 60s and 70s by MLK etc. every level of US government is obliged to screw citizens equally - at least when it's doing it overtly.

When the government is screwing African Americans serupticiously the story is different. Often the damage done is a by-product of policies that African Americans themselves have supported via their support of corrupt and statist politicians. Rent control, the minimum wage, and public schooling are classic examples. Of course these are detrimental to every poor person, but African Americans are very well served by their lobbyists and so its easy to ignore the existence of slums occupied by folks of other colors and creeds if you only rely on the MSM for your information.

Run away inflation (a tax that will hit poor-people especially hard as they have little to no wiggle room in their weekly discretionary budget to absorb the reduction in buying power) is a problem lying in ambush in the near future. This thanks in large part to the idiotic monetary policy of Barrack Obama which has massively exacerbated a problem started by Bush et. al. In large measure, those who supported these policies are going to get what they asked for, good and hard. And that isn't racism. That's the consequences of evading reality.

Note that I'm talking about institutional racism here. Apart from shunning individuals whom I consider racist and pointing out the stupidity of it all; racism by individuals is not my business provided it neither picks pockets nor breaks legs. Even if I could control the thoughts and emotions in other people, I wouldn't want to.

Ipse Dixit, judging on the basis of thinness of skin

William Scott Scherk's picture

Jeff Perren:

My statements were made wholly out of wooly-minded, blinkered ignorance, despite all the evidence and reasoning I cited. I need another 40 before I can form a reasonable conclusion. Mea culpa...

If I had accused you of wooly-minded, blinkered ignorance or stated that your 40 years were worth nothing at all, perhaps the pearl-clutching would be appropriate. Perhaps the pearl-clutching would be appropriate if you had laid out a fair bit of evidence and analysis and reasoning to support your assertion about white on black racism -- and if I had ignored that lavish spread. But you didn't lay out such analysis -- you used some kind of panoptic personal authority to assert that racism was not much of an issue anymore for any but those dang blacks, and you implied that these folks were misguided and annoying to make much of whatever racial discrimination survived in America today. Much ado about nothing much, darklings. Get over your black selves.

I am sure you are proud that your country has elected a black executive, has thoroughly dismantled the racialist legal machine that once undergirded black/white relations in law. You celebrate that American culture has many top-ranking stars who are black. These are great landmarks and symbols indeed. Things indeed have changed from the days of segregation. I just challenge the lingering flavour of your remarks -- that blacks have nothing to complain about today. That's the impression I got. If that wasn't your intention, great.

No doubt you will agree that an important part of critical thinking is to look closely at one's own arguments: "Hmmm. I am going to look for evidence that disconfirms my thesis; I am going to challenge my own settled conclusions."

The Sizzle of 'Racist' charges

You might also agree with me, Jeff, that a charge of 'racism' carries a heavy voltage, an ugly sizzle, and that a charge of racism must be proved in each case, not merely asserted, and not tossed around lightly. I wish Charles had been a whole lot less inclined to lay specific charges on Marcus, Scott, Sandi. I am sure it is way too late to apologize, the atmosphere has been poisoned, both by wild charges and ugly responses and extremely unappealing 'fat boi' slurs.

************************

End Times

Regarding the forthcoming Millennium Project State of the Future report, Jeff, what is my assignment?

It looks to be the usual sort of quango report as the previous twelve editions. As a 6,700 page set of scenarios, it's probably a great hideous boring read, but it is by no means a scientific document. You want I should comment on its contents site unseen? Since Jonathan Owen's reduction of the opus into scare quotes is typical for this genre of science reporting, I would generally just pass by the story (though I read his report in full).

But I tell you what, Jeff, I will condemn th forthcoming report in the name of Objectivism. I will condemn all its thousands of pages, its every futurist scenario, its every warning, its every caveat and its every bit of speculation. I will condemn its authors, its sponsors and its contributors. I will condemn the entire enterprise, all 2,700 experts, and all the many folks who contributed to its appearance. No more expert reports! Objectivists of the right stripe agree completely, in every respect, that all talk of man-made global warming is a hoax. In the name of Rand, smoke-stacks, Reardon Metal, skyscrapers and industrial might and glory, I must deplore and reject all talk of catastophic climate change tied to CO₂ increases. Party line states all scientists who are concerned at global warming are deluded, frauds, or whores.

sigh . . . Now can I get my sticker for Correct Thinking, please?

Obama == Mussolini

As to regarding Obama as similar to Mussolini, if you can find a significant difference in policy - significant by the standard of what it implies for the future of individual liberty in America - between those of Obama today and Il Duce circa 1925, I'll reconsider my position.

That's nice, Jeff. You charge me with the task of disproving your contention that Obama is a Fascist who wants to create a Fascist state in the US a la Mussolini.

No thanks.

It's your job to make a case that Obama seeks an authoritarian, militarized, anti-democratic nightmare for America, brother. It's your job to make the case for similarity, that Obama runs or seeks squadristi volunteers to break strikes and beat and intimidate political opponents; you will also need to detail Obama's version of the Fascist Grand Council, its Acerbo Law, find a parallel to the secret police, assassinations, seizure of power, the institution of the death penalty for political offences, the rule by iron fist in the glove of a dictator.

Get on with it, then. Show us also how how Obama, being much of a sort as Mussolini, would have been Mussolini's ally, indeed, being so much like Mussolini, with the same goals and the same kind of politics, would have joined the Axis in World War II. would have fought for Franco, for Salazar, would have been behind Mosley . . .

Johah Goldberg, in his interesting book, does not make out FDR to have been as much a fascist like Mussolini or as Obama. If this parallel had been true, of course, then FDR secretly was an ally of Mussolini. That FDR was a patriot and a ruthless prosecutor of war against fascism would have been just a dream. FDR would have been secretly quite happy with the Japanese fascists . . . but the whole arc of "Liberal Fascism" was not to make crude comparisions between Benito and Barack.

Another word for stoopid

Certainly Goldberg borrowed the black lustre of 'fascism' and added it to 'liberal' to make some heavy points and to break the common connection between 'conservative' and 'fascism.' It was a smart move and strongly argued. As he says, "people can't let go of fascism as a morally loaded term for evil. " Like him or not, Goldberg aims at roping socialism, fascism and communism to the left, as political/religious principles that are a dangerous part of politics. But what he doesn't do in his polemic is make direct personal equations. To do so would fatally undercut his argument and make him look like a nutter.

Here's Goldberg: "I don't say that contemporary liberalism is the direct heir of Nazism or Italian fascism. I say it's informed by it. It's like its grandniece. It's related, they're in the same family, they share a lot of genetic traits, but they're not the same thing."

Like I said before, directly comparing/equating Bush to a Hitler, is stupid, dullardly, extreme. Comparing Obama directly to Mussolini is equally demented, extreme, kooky. Goldberg doesn't do that, he's too smart a polemic voice for the right.

The whole problem, Jeff, is that one can pick out a parallel, or two, or more, by cherry-picking for confirming instances and correspondences and resemblances, and excluding vast swathes of contrary items. The parallel instances do not define the whole or make a very good basis for an equation. Why stick yourself with the consequences of a basic error? Are you actually thinking you will find support beyond the conservative fringe for the Obama == Mussolini trope? I doubt it. I suspect most non-Birchers would look at you like you were a nut.

Objecti-fascism

As for Objectivism's practical definition of Fascism, I refer to 'The Fascist New Frontier,' in which Rand compares pre-election Nazi campaign slogans to pre-election campaign slogans from Kennedy, compares speeches by Nazi leaders to speeches by Democrats or bureaucrats. Rand warned Americans against the sky falling in and the end of life as we know it should Kennedy be elected. So that is hardly helpful as a guide to reality.

Clutching of pearls

I remind you that mockery may be amusing, and is a worthwhile supplement when ridiculing evil or just plain foolishness, but it's no substitute for a substantial argument that doesn't distort the opponent's position.

More pearl-clutching . . . I don't distort your position on Mussolini/Obama/Fascist. It's a crazy enough position without any gloss. Spitting up half-chewed bits of Jonah Goldberg is hardly likely to convince anyone not already deranged by Obama fear. Jeff, if you think that there is even a smidgen of 'face validity' to the Obama == Fascist Mussolini monster trope, have at 'er.


WSS

P.S. Some Personal Data

Jeff Perren's picture

By the way, William, I lived in some pretty rough areas in New York and New Jersey (from '80-'82 and '86-'88) and I never once heard a white person use that racial epithet (or any similar one) the entire time, even in private conversation. That includes dealing with a great many Jews on Wall Street, a group of individuals not exactly known historically for their fondness for blacks. Ditto, everywhere else I've lived over the past 25 years.

I never claimed that there are no racists in the U.S., nor that white racism against blacks doesn't exist. It most certainly does. There are half-insane fools like Imus that slip in public from time to time (and usually get fired for it; gee how casually accepting of racism is that, eh?). I said only that it wasn't "widespread, endemic, or institutional."

Please address my actual position; not your caricature of it.

Talk of End Times

Jeff Perren's picture

Your criticisms, Mr. Scherk seem highly selective. Odd I never hear you chastising GW alarmists for such 'end times' (i.e. apocalyptic) nonsense such as this.

From Marcus' GWS thread:

"Independent

The planet's future: Climate change 'will cause civilisation to collapse'

Authoritative new study sets out a grim vision of shortages and violence – but amid all the gloom, there is some hope too

By Jonathan Owen

Sunday, 12 July 2009

An effort on the scale of the Apollo mission that sent men to the Moon is needed if humanity is to have a fighting chance of surviving the ravages of climate change. The stakes are high, as, without sustainable growth, "billions of people will be condemned to poverty and much of civilisation will collapse".

This is the stark warning from the biggest single report to look at the future of the planet – obtained by The Independent on Sunday ahead of its official publication next month. Backed by a diverse range of leading organisations such as Unesco, the World Bank, the US army and the Rockefeller Foundation, the 2009 State of the Future report runs to 6,700 pages and draws on contributions from 2,700 experts around the globe. Its findings are described by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, as providing "invaluable insights into the future for the United Nations, its member states, and civil society."

Are you equally prepared to ridicule this form of 'extremism'? And is "the middle" always right?

As to regarding Obama as similar to Mussolini, if you can find a significant difference in policy - significant by the standard of what it implies for the future of individual liberty in America - between those of Obama today and Il Duce circa 1925, I'll reconsider my position. I grant you that Obama is not so militaristic and Italy of the 1920s is not the same as the U.S. today in many important respects. But the issue isn't what Obama will succeed with, but where he wants to go. Have you read Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism (where he describes the "fascism with a smiley face" of the sort we face today)? Do you even know what the word "fascism" means, as used (correctly, for the most part, in my view) by Randians?

I remind you that mockery may be amusing, and is a worthwhile supplement when ridiculing evil or just plain foolishness, but it's no substitute for a substantial argument that doesn't distort the opponent's position.

A Thought Experiment, and Some Facts

Jeff Perren's picture

Of course, William, 40 years of observation and reading and thinking count for nothing. My statements were made wholly out of wooly-minded, blinkered ignorance, despite all the evidence and reasoning I cited. I need another 40 before I can form a reasonable conclusion. Mea culpa...

Let's try a thought experiment to sharpen the proper epistemological procedure for debates such as these.

Forget the issue of racism for a moment. Suppose someone were to assert: "violence is very prevalent in the world today."

How are we to assess that statement? One of the first questions to ask is: "Compared to what?"

Is America (or Canada, if you want) as violent as the San Francisco of Star Trek 500 years hence? How does it rank compared to, say: the London of 650AD or Somalia today? Is it more or less violent than Helsinki in 2009?

Given that crime statistics vary so widely from city to city in the U.S. alone you have a daunting task ahead to make such a generalization even about the U.S. What are the odds that an average person living in, say, New York, will meet violence in a given 25 year period versus that same period and person living in Spokane?

Lack of measurement invariably leads to 'extreme' and unverifiable statements of just the sort you claim to abhor.

Like any decent person I abhor those attitudes and actions in history such as occurred during the training of the Tuskagee airmen, heroes all in my view. But that was nearly 70 years ago. (See the recent PBS documentary: Flyboys.) As you point out we've come a long way since 1965, already almost 45 years distant, or more than a generation.

Returning to the original subject...

Whom do you think forms the huge audiences today for such individuals as Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey? (Take a look at the audiences.) Who is one of the most popular and respected political/economic columnists of the past 30 years? (Thomas Sowell) Who is the chairman of American Express? Who is sitting on the Supreme Court today (after being vehemently opposed by progressives like you)? Who was elected last November, and by a wide margin?

William

atlascott's picture

"Why wasn't it End Times when Johnson ushered in Great Society, when Medicare or Medicaid was established, when domestic surveillance was instituted, when prescription drug benefits were extended, when your deficit ballooned due to Iraq, when other elements of your government's over-reach were put into place? What is it you compare today to -- what halcyon days of your earlier life experience? What places and what times? Do you really despair that the only possible outcome of Obama is a Fascist-style autocracy? That's what I can't get my head around, Scott. It looks like some hysterics here actually live in fear of the End Times."

The programs and decisions your mention were steps down a road we should have never embarked upon.

There are those who fix "the beginning of the end" as the creation of the Fed, or any other number of events. I don't have a single date or event for you. I do not really think in terms of one event that of itself transformed America, right then and there. It see it as a process and a progression. Hyperbole is fine with me when warning folks about what their decisions might mean, and where the aggregate of those decisions lead. If things go wrong, we KNOW where they lead--a ditch, with a bullet wound in the head.

This much I will make clear. I think creation of the Fed was a mistake, taking us off the gold standard was a mistake, Federal income tax and pre-collection of taxes--these, for me, as I currently understand history, did alot to increase the power and size of government and laid the foundation for large increases in the future. The New Deal and expansion of Federal power via the Commerce Clause were also massive. Because government wielded more power, it incentivized private business using money to sway government, and so corruption in government grew, became commonplace, and we are left with political parties that aren't too different--each wants "their people" in power so they get access to the massive federal budget and the graft from big business.

I did not mean to suggest that America, right now, is a third world country. Just that it soon may be if we continue down this path.

When I saw a boy, we were taught that hard work and developing your abilities were values. I do not like the cultural direction of "reality TV" and gangsta hip hop heroes.
When I was a boy, my father, a truck driver, was able to afford a two-flat in a working class neighborhood to house his wife and three kids. The house was about one year's salary. People of my generation struggle to afford a condominium which represents two to three times a good yearly salary--or more. A single income could sustain a family. Now, families struggle with two incomes.
My father could legally own a gun, and I cannot.
I pay more and higher taxes at my age than my father did.
The government's size, cost, control, and ability to exercise unsupervised power is vastly greater now than when my father was my age.
On the other hand, white on black racism has been reduced dramatically since then, though other kinds of racism continue and is largely ignored, and in some cases, praised as genius or as social justice. We have a half-African, half-white President, and women are more enfranchised. So there is progress with regard to the notion that content of character rather than gender or ethnicity makes more difference.

I don't know about halcyon days, but one would be foolish not to note the trends, no?

William, why are you so certain that Congress will cede its emergency powers? And that government will divest its ownership of formerly private corporations?

"Do you really despair that the only possible outcome of Obama is a Fascist-style autocracy?"

Not at all. I was more concerned about fascism under continued Republican control. I think that we are more likely to slide into a run-of-the-mill European socialist country at best, and a third world dictatorship at worst. This assumes that President Obama gets his way, and is able to implement his policies. If he is obstructed, then perhaps there will be less damage, but merely obstructing someone does little good in moving matters in the right direction. It doesn't have to be this way--it is about the choices we (Americans) make.

THis is all I have time for now, maybe I will come back to it.

Seeming trifles

William Scott Scherk's picture

Scott, you write of me: You seem to place Congress's actions and President Obama's initiatives in the category of trifle.

Well, that's a poor reading of my opinions, frankly. I do not consider these things trifles . . .

I ridicule wacky, extremist, kooky talk. John Birch society, Freemen talk, "just study the words of Benito Mussolini, whom Obama highly resembles" talk. Objecting to Obama in a principled, passionate and concerted way is all to the good, as I wrote below. Struggling to roll back or prevent further extensions to state power, welfare programs or other big government extrusions is what your political system is all about.

You write of America that it is a different place, not a good place, but "a third-world, economically depressed land where breeding, reality television and government programs are the cornerstones of the average American."

I don't recognize this. I guess you do, somehow. I guess you look around Chicago and area and see people, um, breeding, and all the signs of a third-world economy, and everyone waiting on streetcorners for handouts. I know 'breeding' is not a prime Objectivist activity, but it's kind of a standard behaviour for most people, . And third world economies are light-years away from Chicago. Even the poorest area of Chicago is a fully-functioning first world area. As for 'economically depressed,' well, the whole world is in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in many many years. There is trouble and economic heartache across many lands.

I understand that an Objectivist abhors and rejects any government program whatsoever that doesn't derive directly from military defence, police and courts, so that's not particularly remarkable. It's just when 'End Times' rhetoric takes over that I lose the thread.

Why wasn't it End Times when Johnson ushered in Great Society, when Medicare or Medicaid was established, when domestic surveillance was instituted, when prescription drug benefits were extended, when your deficit ballooned due to Iraq, when other elements of your government's over-reach were put into place? What is it you compare today to -- what halcyon days of your earlier life experience? What places and what times? Do you really despair that the only possible outcome of Obama is a Fascist-style autocracy? That's what I can't get my head around, Scott. It looks like some hysterics here actually live in fear of the End Times.

I am also curious about an earlier statement you made, asking me if I supported a "domestic security force." What did you mean? What are you talking about?


WSS

Not much white on black racism . . .

William Scott Scherk's picture

Jeff Perren suggests that racism is a rare thing in the US. He says that nobody but blacks seem to care much about racism these days. He even pitches a number of those blacks who care -- 50-75%.

I don't much like the word racism as it stands -- or at least using it exclusively to refer to the disdain and outright contempt one group can have for another. It doesn't have the punch of the words bigotry, prejudice, nor does it suggest the hurtful actions that linger within living memory. It doesn't convey the personal sting of dehumanizing stereotypes or other covert and overt stigmas. I doubt that there is a word in Jeff's lexicon that can carry the hurtful weight of 'nigger' when applied to him . . .

I wonder about the black friends of Jeff Perren. He estimates that 3 out of 4 of his black friends (or at least blacks he has met) care about racism. I wonder what the conversations were like between Jeff and these people, and with his black friends. I wonder if he got to hear from their mouths the stories of exclusion, contempt, bigotry, intolerance and prejudice that informed their opinions.

America has come a long long way from 1965, from the era of lynchings and redlining and separate facilities and professional exclusions and the easy setting aside of blacks, sure. Has it reached the beginning of the end of racism? Probably. Are race relations smooth and prejudice entirely a thing of the past? That's not so certain.

It's great that Jeff is educated and racially-blind, that he moves in enlightened circles who don't mouth bigotry against blacks, that he takes a positive tone.

But Jeff, shouldn't you check your own premises before you dismiss Charles' claim that racism still exists in the world for black people? Shouldn't you be doing your own homework to make sure that your general impressions of rosy racial relations is correct?

Looks like CNN is going to premiere a second edition of their popular Black in America presentations, later this month.


WSS

White on Black Racism? Not so much.

Jeff Perren's picture

"the racism that is still so prevalent in the world" [Charles Lester]

You must live in a very unusual neighborhood. I've been all over the U.S. and, while I admit there are small pockets of troglodytes in many places, there has been no widespread, endemic, or institutional racism of whites towards those of "African descent" in this country for over 25 years, which based on your photo I judge to be more than half your lifetime, suggesting you have little to beef about.

Is anybody "of color" denied a job, entrance to college, a home purchase, or even a friend on that basis these days? No doubt, it happens, but very rarely from what I've seen and I've been over most of the country over the past 50 years. I've met an extremely large number of people of most races from New York to LA, San Fran to San Diego, Atlanta to Spokane, Kansas City to Simi Valley and few but a percentage of blacks seem to care much about that today. How large a percentage, I'm not sure but based on the last election I'd say probably 50-75%. I could be wrong about that number, though. It could be much smaller, which would only support my case even further.

Outside the U.S. - which is consistent with your statement "in the world" of course - the situation may be different, but (at least outside Japan or the Middle East), I doubt it.

Can you substantiate your claim? Can you share any studies on the subject? What does Pew or Rasmussen or Gallup report? What is your personal experience?

Of course, if you count the reverse racism (which is still racism, of course) that is prevalent throughout the U.S., in the form of job and college discrimination against Caucasians and Asians, particularly males, then your claim is correct. But I don't think that's what you meant.

The next exciting contribution

atlascott's picture

to Lester's exciting corpus of work here on SOLO.

At least it seems that you have retracted your charge of racism or racist thinking against Marcus.

I guess, for the record, I should deny you puerile and unsupported charges and name calling.

Evasive "Chunky Boi"

iGod's picture

"But just to reiterate that I do not think that you are on this site in good faith, and that your behavior so far has been pretty poor."

I am not here with any kind of "faith"; FACTS will suffice nicely.

"So to reiterate, and clarify, nothing I have written on this thread is directed to you or in response to you, and you may in the future assume that to be the case unless I directly address you."

When did I give you the impression that I thought your statements were directed at me. I don't care who the comments were addressed to, I was only trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, "in good faith" that you are something other than a bigot and bully who hates the idea of black people addressing the racism that is still so prevalent in the world. Sorry for trying.

"Responding to you in an attempt to connect on the conceptual level is not worth my time, based upon your performances so far. I am even refusing to respond to your straw man."

Dummy, I created no "straw man;" I questioned a marshmallow man, that's too soft and pudgy to substantiate his claims, cite any examples, and relies on other bigots' validation, by words unspoken.

"I am VERY busy and have to use my free time carefully," *crunches on potato chips* "and I do not derive any value from exchanges with you."

I am sure you don't. Value to you is accepting your dogma, and/or giving you another twinkie to wrap your chubby little fingers around.

You one stupid, stupid, redneck, bigot, ugly, philosophically impotent, cowardly, asshole... Munch on! Chunky Boi.

I will answer you, this once, Mr. Lester

atlascott's picture

But just to reiterate that I do not think that you are on this site in good faith, and that your behavior so far has been pretty poor.

So to reiterate, and clarify, nothing I have written on this thread is directed to you or in response to you, and you may in the future assume that to be the case unless I directly address you.

Responding to you in an attempt to connect on the conceptual level is not worth my time, based upon your performances so far. I am even refusing to respond to your straw man.

I am VERY busy and have to use my free time carefully, and I do not derive any value from exchanges with you.

Where is the "due"?

iGod's picture

"Everything else has been a movement towards collectivism and away from individualism. Even the Civil Rights Movement has been transformed by the Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's into a perpetuation of racism for profit, racism as political capital, racism as a barrier against individualism."

Please give an example of Al Sharpton doing this. I totally agree about Jesse, so don't mention any of his thousands and thousands of instances. However, in the case of Al Sharpton, I have seen nothing wrong with speaking out on behalf of those who aren't too good at representing themselves in cases of abuse.

For example: Don Imus calls women of achievement "nappy headed hoes." Why--if you would say so--was Al Sharpton wrong to have anything to say? Just curious. How is the "perpetuation of racism" rather than pointing racism out? Don Imus is not racist for saying such a thing about women whom he knew nothing about, other than they had won a sporting event; calling them "nappy-headed hoes," but (if you would agree) Al Sharpton IS racist for pointing out that Don made the remark? In other words, a prosecutor in a criminal case should be jailed for pointing out what the criminal did?

Please help me to see what you mean.

Criticism where due

atlascott's picture

Anyway, it was not just "Lefties" who objected to "Cheney's evul plans to make the US a national security police state."

You seem to place Congress's actions and President Obama's initiatives in the category of trifle. As if any government transgression will be reversed in due course, and America will continue--or not.

But the history of our government in the last hundred years is increases in size and cost, increasing infringements on liberty and increased entitlements, usually justified by "emergencies."

I am trying to think of an example where emergency taxes were refunded and abolished, or when emergency expansion of government powers were abolished...

I would say that probably the only positive government action in the last 100 years was forced by people--the Civil Rights Movement and Civil Rights Act and other such laws. To get there, though, what the Commerce Clause has become ensures Federal control in every corner of our lives.

Everything else has been a movement towards collectivism and away from individualism. Even the Civil Rights Movement has been transformed by the Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's into a perpetuation of racism for profit, racism as political capital, racism as a barrier against individualism.

For someone like me, who holds the premise that man requires freedom and choice in deciding how to live his life, this is a disturbing pattern. If you do not hold that premise, then it isn't.

If you hold a premise that all of these details are trifles, much ado about nothing, and that men will continue to live, work, fight, love and die regardless of politics and whether there is a public library or not, I can see how you would find humor in what must appear to you to be hysteria.

Long distances are covered by even short, insignificant-seeming steps. America is a different place, and is becoming a different place, faster and faster. Not a good place, not a strong, self-sufficient land of opportunity, but a third-world, economically depressed land where breeding, reality television and government programs are the cornerstones of the average American.

If you agree with none of that, then it makes clear to me why you seem to take so little of this seriously at all.

Man can make man's life on earth a paradise or a hell. We know this. Speaking up when we are headed in the wrong direction seems to be the proper course.

WSS

iGod's picture

YOU DA' MAN!!!

I have been scouring the pages of this website looking for my kind of dood, and you seem to be him!

"Although the darkness in upon them, although the AntiChrist has settled his bony ass on the throne of death, although all the signs in the sky portend doom and shackles and pain and hideousness, Objectivists do little but rant. The fourteen varieties of Objectivists can't even get their shit together to convene a "The Danger is Bigger than Barbara Branden" conference."

This is the classic of classics, and you are absolutely RIGHT!

What can we/should we be doing to organize?

Executive Responsibilities

Jeff Perren's picture

"I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."
- Barrack Hussein Obama

Right. I'm sure I read that in the Constitution somewhere in the sections outlining the Executive Branch. No?

This is just more of the standard progressive mentality that thinks social engineering by ethics is an appropriate activity of government. It also provides more, albeit indirect, evidence of why Obama is among the worst of a very bad lot of Oval Office occupants; he is a much more consistent collectivist/statist and in this case his horrendous premises extends moral support to a group that largely either supports or turns a blind eye to the jihadist enemy we've been fighting for several years. Truly despicable.

BizarrO America

Sandi's picture

"I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."
- Barrack Hussein Obama

Indeed

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Haha, except that Canadians have a weird penchant for jumping the 49th parallel for treatment.

And you don't hear of Americans going to Canada for treatment.

My Dad was once told he had indigestion and prescribed antacid tablets. For chest pains and shortness of breath. He and Mum went to America for a few weeks' holiday. Dad's symptoms worsened, and he was taken to a hospital in San Diego. Blocked arteries, which I, not a doctor, had suggested myself. Quadruple bypass within 24 hours. Fortunately he'd taken out insurance, which paid for the lot. Had he not gone on holiday and been *accurately* diagnosed in NZ, he'd have gone on a waiting list and died.

Oh, you betcha

Ross Elliot's picture

"I do support the Canadian system -- for Canadians. I do hope that you Americans can come up with a system that offers universal coverage to your citizens. It's a unexceptional feature of all of the rest of the industrialized First World."

Haha, except that Canadians have a weird penchant for jumping the 49th parallel for treatment.

Didn't Steve Martin star in a movie called The Scherk?

Hi Sharon, how was your nap?

William Scott Scherk's picture

Sharon, you got the note, I see.

What do you think is more awful, though -- a Socialist . . . or SATAN?



WSS

Mr. Scherk is a leftie, a

sharon's picture

Mr. Scherk is a leftie, a socialist? Shit, that explains a lot.

Questions from Scott

William Scott Scherk's picture

Scott, I have answered a whack of questions from Michael Moeller on another thread devoted to Obama's policies and their "significant threat to liberty." Let's not rehash it here. He asked me about nationalizion (GM/Chrysler buyout), nationalized healthcare, and a few others: interrogation, 'Fairness Doctrine,' debt/stimulus, economic czars, cap 'n' trade, and Gitmo policies.

You can hop in there with any followups to my answers if you like, though I am done on Gitmo. Have a look at Michael's original article and my first answers to see where he and I start from.

I understand that there will be and must be and should be opposition to Obama. It's not only built into your system (and ours in Canada) -- it is absolutely necessary to the function of democracy. In a free society such opposition will be at times principled and rigorous, at other times sloppy, demented, extreme and stupid. That's just the way people are. Remember those on the left who ranted about Cheney's evul plans to make the US a national security police state?

You ask about "a large, paternalistic, all-seeing, all-knowing and all-controlling government that knows better than you?" This inflates rhetoric to its breaking point. Who here does want this sketchy nightmare, Scott? Who really does?

You ask if I support nationalizing industries, if I support nationalized healthcare, if I support a domestic security force. I don't know what these loose terms mean to you. By nationalizing industries, I suppose you mean the 60% of GM and 10% of Chrysler that your government now owns. I don't think the US government intends to hold onto the GM stake. I don't think they want to hold on to stakes in banking entities. Bailouts and cash-for-control schemes on Wall Street will not last forever. Remember that the derivatives markets were as ripe as 45 trillion dollars at their height, dwarfing government. Once the financial industries gain back their health, I fully expect the US will divest.

By nationalized healthcare, you may mean either the end result of the reforms in Congress, or you may mean a system like Canada's.
I do support the Canadian system -- for Canadians. I do hope that you Americans can come up with a system that offers universal coverage to your citizens. It's a unexceptional feature of all of the rest of the industrialized First World.

Given your history, there is not a chance of a 'nationalized' single-payer system in the USA, however. I can see some kind of extension of Medicaid and Medicare to those millions who don't have insurance, or some kind of mandate.

I understand a principled rejection (on Objectivist grounds) to any state-supported health care whatsoever, of course. If you can't support a public post office or national parks, how could you ever support any kind of state medicine? So, if Medicare is a hellish statist nightmare fascist power grab that already starves doctors and destroys individual rights, of course you can't support any extension.

But, take a breath. If the US ushers in some kind of universal coverage, does this turn your country into a fascist/communist slave pen?

As for the "domestic security force," what do you mean by this? Homeland Security? FBI? Secret Service? National Guard? What am I missing?

It is when rational, reasoned, passionate and principled rejection of Obama goes off into the wingnut sphere that I laugh. Look at Butterbaugh's murky and misplaced one-liner about Obama spending his Fourth in boogeyman Russia. Or Lindsay's Benito Obamadinejad slogans. These are laugable and stupid, just as stupid as would be calling Bush by some variant of Hitler's name or calling Cheney by some variant of Stalin, Beria or whatever. Loony. As loony as those nutcases who believe the US is building FEMA camps to incarcerate millions of conservative patriots.

Challenging stupid remarks might make me Lindsay's hated jester, but hardly makes me an enemy of reason.



WSS

William

atlascott's picture

"Seriously, I find funny and sad the full-on conniptions that Obama engenders."

So you support nationalizing industry?
Nationalized healthcare?
A domestic security force?

You do not see any problems with his approach? You do not see illness in the economy rather than recovery promised in 2010?

Republicans helped usher in our economic problems, and have no answer for leading us out.

But Obama's plans are a really bad idea.

Do you support a large, paternalistic, all-seeing, all-knowing and all-controlling government that knows better than you?

Obama seems to want to take us in that direction, and is taking real steps to do so. Do you like this, sir?

Scott

Scherk

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Lindsay, you are so predictable.

I'm flattered.

And as fresh as freedom itself. It's you who are tired, Scherk. You and your moth-eaten apologetics for statism. Most of history you've had things your way. All we are saying is give freedom a chance. Vibrant, youthful, not-yet-fully-tried freedom.

And as I've had repeated occasion to point out, if all the O-schisms were resolved, you'd have no reason for being. They are what makes you get out of bed in the evening. Why, you can even manage to trot them out on a thread about your poster-boy Obamadinejad. On a site, actually, that allows all factions to come on board and slug it out if they want.

A mature (as opposed to tired) approach to schisms accepts that they're part of the human condition. Some are nothing more than personality clashes, some are ideological, some are varying mixtures of both. They are a feature of every belief system. How many varieties of your own favoured political doctrine, socialism, are there, after all, Comrade Scherk? And if you were being candid here you'd acknowledge that O-Lying is not part of an O-schism or an O-anything. Your buddies there will tell you themselves they are not Objectivists.

The one thing I would agree with you about is the useless apathy and inertia of most Objectivists. But you can't tar me with that brush. And you've no idea where I'm going to end up.

Trinity Broadcasting System End of Days Special

William Scott Scherk's picture

Lindsay, you are so predictable.

What I find sad about the Chicken Little Ohmigod the Horror Objectivists is that they do fuck all about the unimaginable nightmare they are living through, besides posting to fringe websites and attending religionaut whack-job tea parties (as well as clucking along with the cranks like Beck and Limbaugh).

Although the darkness in upon them, although the AntiChrist has settled his bony ass on the throne of death, although all the signs in the sky portend doom and shackles and pain and hideousness, Objectivists do little but rant. The fourteen varieties of Objectivists can't even get their shit together to convene a "The Danger is Bigger than Barbara Branden" conference. They can't get their shit together to patch up the crazy splits between people who are otherwise united in their loathing for Monster Usurper Scary Black Ohmigod. It is stupid. All of you, all down the line, from the walled compound at Mount Ari, to the gated precincts of Noodlefood, to the cesspool of Objectivist Living, you all are speaking the same language of alarm and horror and frustration. In all the little Objectivish chicken-coops.

Seriously, I find funny and sad the full-on conniptions that Obama engenders. The only thing crazier are the Rapture Movement maniacs. Something in the Objectivist holy books must have foreseen this state of affairs.

You are tired, Lindsay. Your slogans are tired. Everything you touch falls apart. Go have a vacation. Move to America, get a Green Card, run for office.



WSS

Comrade Scherk

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Sarcasm doesn't make it not so. We know you scherk off to Obamadinejad's Bailout Bolshevism and Nanny Statism; some of us lament the passing of America.

BTW, "... the Russians are jittery about US power in the world being ascendent [sic] under a popular Democrat..." is wrong. Haven't you noticed—they all laugh at him.

Odd, but not Bizarre

William Scott Scherk's picture

Steve Butterbaugh asks: Don't you find it odd that on the weekend of July 4th, America's national birthday, our President, master of symbols, and the First Lady are in Russia, most associated with communism?

Your president and his wife are scheduled to land in Moscow on Monday afternoon. Close enough to the weekend for some.

Pretty scary for America, though, that a US president would meet with the Soviets Russians. Don't believe the nonsense about reducing nukes or repairing the strained relationship between the two countries. That's just window-dressing. And don't believe that the Russians are jittery about US power in the world being ascendent under a popular Democrat. And don't swallow any of that BS about necessary business between the two countries. They are all commies anyhow, and are glad to see a crypto-commie/fascist in power in the US.

Believe your worst fears and the most frightening symbols. That way, if Obarmageddon and Obamapocalyse doesn't actually happen, if the US somehow staggers its way through the next few years, you will feel a little bit better.

But otherwise, yeah -- Objectivists know what's happening. Americans are living through the most horrifying end-times scenario it is possible to imagine. Man the lifeboats. Women and children first.



WSS

Not odd

atlascott's picture

Completely consistent for someone who has disdain for America's history and culture, and a poor understanding of what July 4th signifies for many the world over.

Don't you find it odd that

steve b's picture

Don't you find it odd that on the weekend of July 4th, America's national birthday, our President, master of symbols, and the First Lady are in Russia, most associated with communism?

Bosch

Leonid's picture

Good one, but sad. Did you really enjoy to draw it?

clever

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Clever political cartoon! Smiling

Excellent Bosch

Sandi's picture

"The Communists’ chief purpose is to destroy every form of independence—independent work, independent action, independent property, independent thought, an independent mind, or an independent man. Conformity, alikeness, servility, submission and obedience are necessary to establish a Communist slave-state."

Ayn Rand

Oh...

Ross Elliot's picture

...very good.

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Marcus's picture

Good one Bosch.

See:
http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

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