NO WAY IN NO WAY OUT (SILLS AND SMITH): ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE

51omOu6uGcL._SL500_AA280_Article by PJ Cornell.

Syndicated from the Asterisked Music Journal.

Assessment: 9.0 out of 10.

Bottom line up front: Imagine yourself somewhere in Canada. There’s snow on the ground. It’s dark. It’s cold. As you walk down the ice-laden road, you see a bar nestled amidst the pines. The lights inside flicker a warm glow out onto the frozen ground below. As you approach, you hear a band playing. The music is as warm and inviting as the weather outside is cold and harsh. You step into the bar. The band’s drummer gives you a smile and a nod as you approach the bar. You order a whiskey on the rocks. The drink is cold, but sweet, and warms you as it goes down. You let the fire on the hearth, your stiff drink, and the full sound of the band wash over you until you’re relaxed from head to toe.

Highlights: The best part of this album is that it is so stylistically expansive. There’s something for everybody: metal, post-hippie jams, country, adult alternative, and good old alternative rock. This band’s sound is very thick, and the songs have good trajectory. Would it be Different is a Pink Floydesque favorite of mine. Lot’s of complex harmonies, good use of vocal technique, and amazing guitar solos. Melancholy World is another really good one; it’s a very upbeat, yet emotionally complex song with a beat that anyone can get behind, and guitar solos that make your soul ache. I Can’t Reach You is a good bluesy jam. In Pain, they demonstrate their artistic versatility by busting out a straight-up numetal anthem which is strangely consistent with the feel of the rest of the album. These Ghosts is a dreamlike song with a country feel.

Criticisms: My only real criticism is that, in some of their songs, they would do well to space out the lyrics a little more. It occasionally seems that they try to compress too many words into a short space. They would do well to use shorter poems, or else give their song a little more space to breathe. They’re choruses are usually the highlights of their songs; for example, in I’m Right Here, their verses are little too wordy, but the chorus: “I’m right heeeeeeeere, I’m right heeeeeeeere….” gives me chills every time.

Conclusion: This is an excellent album, overall. The more you listen to it, the more you like it. This album is better than their first one, a worthy effort in its own right (review pending) and I think the next one will be even better. I look forward to hearing it.

AN UNFORTUNATE ENCOUNTER WITH OBJECTIVIST DR. DIANA HSIEH

0Article by Mark I Rasskazov, editor in chief.

UPDATE (2347 26 MARCH 2013): I offered the olive branch to Dr. Hsieh, but it seems we have irreconcilable differences.  Such is life.  We all live in glass houses.  Those who throw stones at mine tend to find it’s made of thicker glass than most.

TENTATIVE RETRACTION (1717 15 MARCH 2013): Dr. Hsieh has explained her response, and it seems reasonable, so my comments about her character may be false.  Also, her lack of comments may be more a function of the fact that her attention is taken elsewhere, than a reflection on her personality.  My comments about her career; some scholars pursue academics; others pursue activism.  Perhaps she is the latter.  My comments about the nature of Objectivism, I stand by; I’ve read most of the main items written by Ayn Rand, and have given them a lot of thought.  My comments about Rand’s personality, I stand by; I’ve met a lot of elderly Russian women, and based on video clips, her writing style, and accounts about her behavior, I would say that she was very much a Russian woman of her time and place in many ways.

NOTE: This is a tough love piece.  I am not down on Objectivists in general like so many out there are.  If there are Objectivists reading this, please have the intellectual courage to read it in its entirety and judge it objectively.

Dr. Diana Hsieh is one of the top figures within the current Objectivist movement.  My perception is that there’s Dr. Leonard Peikoff, Dr. Yaron Brooke, and Dr. Diana Hsieh — in that order.  She’s pretty high up on the Objectivist totem pole.

Now, I like Objectivism as a philosophy.  I don’t agree with it 100% — but I would say that I do agree with it about 90%.  Their politics are usually on point.  Their ethics are usually very close to the truth (if a little narrow, at times).  Their epistemological system is nearly flawless — although I have not encountered any Objectivist writings on cognitive philosophy.  The fundamentals of their metaphysics are sound (things are what they are), with the exception that they don’t seem to have a satisfactory answer to the mind-dualism problem.  Their Aesthetic is like a shot-gun blast — not very subtle, and not very accurate, but it gets the job done (their conclusions are on the right track, although they need to take a closer look at their premises in this field).

All of that having been said, I did encounter Dr. Hsieh online, and I am sorry to say it did not go well.

Now, Dr. Hsieh has a radio show podcast, and she has a blog.  I visited her blog, «Noodlefood.»  What I find interesting is that, whereas she is very prominent in the world of Objectivism, and whereas her blog has over 6,000 posts, intellectual interactions on her site are very sparse.  I commented on her second most recent blog post.  There are 8 posts between that one and the next one with any comments (2 comments — one of them hers — on that one; followed by two more posts with empty comment sections).  Now, the value of a blog’s content is not necessarily measured in the number of comments it generates, however, if a blog has been around as long and as prolifically as that one has, one would expect a little more interest in the content.

To give you an idea, this WordPress powered online newspaper and philosophy forum (the TDJ, that is), which has been around for about month gets comments almost every post, now; sometimes 6-7 comments per post.  Compared to Dr. Hsieh, I am a nobody.  How am I able to generate so much more interest in my writings than she is?

That’s not the only thing.

On her blog, she’s always asking for handouts; «tip your philosopher,» etc., whereas, I don’t see any advertising on her site.  Now, I am not, in principle, opposed to asking for donations, but I would expect a proponent of Capitalism to be just a little more savvy.  Why would she ask for donations?  She’s a prominent Objectivist.  It’s embarrassing!  How about providing a product for peoples’ money instead of trying to guilt them into donations?  WWJGD (What Would John Galt Do)?  I’m betting he’d sell t-shirts, coffee mugs, and books, and get sponsors — not grovel and guilt-trip for donations.  Jussayin.

Now, here is how she describes herself on her site:

«Dr. Diana Hsieh is a philosopher specializing in practical ethics. She received her Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. Her dissertation argued that Thomas Nagel’s «problem of moral luck» can be resolved by an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility. She began podcasting in 2009, then webcasting in 2010. She switched to internet radio in 2012.

Diana blogs at NoodleFood and podcasts at NoodleCast. Her other active projects include Explore Atlas Shrugged, Modern Paleo, and OList.com. She also contributes to Front Range Objectivism, the Coalition for Secular Government, and Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine. Diana lives with her husband Paul Hsieh and a small menagerie of beasts in Sedalia, Colorado.»

No books?  No teaching career?  Her major accomplishment as a philosopher is a dissertation about another philosopher’s work?  Kinda thin resume, considering her status in the Objectivist world.

This is Dr. Diana Hsieh.  Now, all of this having been said, I don’t judge someone on the basis of tokens of accomplishment — the substance of one’s work matters far more than the generation of tokens of accomplishment, and I did not make any premature judgments about this person prior to talking to her — in fact, I was hoping to establish a friendly, collegial relationship with her — I do not ascribe to the philosophy of Objectivism, but I do have a lot of respect for it.  I am an «Objectivist sympathizer,»  As Dr. Peikoff has put it, in the past.  However, while I approached her with an open mind, hoping for a meeting of the minds, I say all of this to point out that an accomplished thinker will usually have more to show for himself/herself than what has been described above.

The exchange that took place between us can be seen here, and is republished below:

Rasskazivats (me): Huh!  I published an article by Barbara Cornell about a «regretful parent» myself, recently: [http://transegoism.us/snake-mom].  Cheers!

Diana Hsieh: Playing (annoying) music automatically on opening a web page?!? AUGH. I can’t imagine any better way to drive people away from a web site.

NOTE: It is in poor taste to address someone you’ve never even spoke to before, and who is approaching you in a friendly, professional manner in this way.  However, rather express offense at this, I chose to remain friendly and professional by providing her with an alternate means of reading my content, without having to endure the «annoying» music on my site.

Rasskazivats: Here’s my RSS feed: [http://transegoism.us/feed/].

Dr. Hsieh has not condescended to resume our conversation.  The only thing I can figure is that she is offended that I did not immediately apologize to her for not running my site in such a way that she finds tasteful, and immediately complying with her tastes.  Now, that music was created by a good friend of mine.  I enjoy it.  I’ve received compliments elsewhere about it.  Beyond that, if it really were in bad taste to have music playing automatically, there’s a right way and a wrong way to bring that up.  Insulting me at a first encounter when I am projecting a friendly demeanor, is the wrong way.  I didn’t ask her what she thought about my site, yet I did provide her with a music-free alternative — and for the record, my month old site seems to be doing substantially better than hers.  With a personality as charming as her’s I can’t imagine why.

NOTE: A passage from The Fountainhead comes to mind; when Peter Keating asks Howard Roark for advice on his work, Roark, at first, balks, and says something to the effect of «Why would you even ask for my advice?»  Dr. Hsieh, with respect, I did not ask for your advice.

Which brings me to another point — Ayn Rand was a brilliant philosopher, but a flawed person.  Her main fault (so far as I can tell from reading about her) was that she was an extremely abrasive person.  Now, people seem to think that her abrasiveness is somehow a necessary function of her philosophy.  Her personality surely influenced the presentation of her work, although I think it has little to do with the content.  What most people don’t understand is that abrasiveness is a personality trait that is very common among Russian women — particularly women of her age (women who survived one or both of the world wars, and/or the Russian civil war).  People view her personality as being an integral aspect of her beliefs, whereas it has more to do with the Russian culture (which is not at all Objectivist, by and large) than with the belief system she created.  Yet, unfortunately, she managed to impress the worst aspects of her personality upon everyone who was associated with her — to a lesser or greater extent.

Dr. Hsieh, I find it to be a sign of weakness that you have failed to develop your own personality and have adopted the worst aspects of Rand’s character.

I am disappointed.

TDJ SING-ALONG: MAMA ECONOMY — THE ECONOMY EXPLAINED (TAYZONDAY AND LINDSEYSTOMP)

Editorial by Mark I Rasskazov.

This song is part of a series, which I periodically update (when I feel like it), which I call the «TDJ SING-ALONG;» a series of commentaries about songs I find appealing, and which help me illustrate the Transegoist ideology.  Sing along if you know the words!

This particular installment was brought to my attention by PJ Cornell (contributor; writes music reviews on this site), who was made aware of it by one Christopher Sperandio; Transegoist sympathizer and enigmatic New York socialite.  It is a delightful, Barenaked Ladiesesque little tune with some incredibly brilliant, insightful, and densely informative lyrics.

Tay-Zonday-Mama-Economy

TAYZONDAY & LINDSEYSTOMP — MAMA ECONOMY: THE ECONOMY EXPLAINED

Are you confused about the US economy?  Well have no fear!  I’m going to explain the American economy right now:

The dollar: just think of it like a promise from the government;
But the value of the dollar has to be there to be relevant.
The value of the dollar comes from China and Iran (!)
When they put their cash reserves in a U.S. dollar plan;

(Yep!  China and Iran.  How ’bout that?)

They buy treasury bonds from the Federal Reserve.
We say “we owe you extra money ’cause you gave us some of yours.”
And that’s a big part of the National Debt:
All the interest that we haven’t paid to China quite yet;

(Consider: how are we to ever pay off interest on «loans» that are taken out on the US Dollar itself?!  This is a scam.  It’s self-perpetuating debt.)

And a hundred other countries ’cause we’re such a good investment
The whole world gives us money; we say “Hey we’ll pay you interest!”
This is how money is created from air: bank bailouts, federal budgets;
Money isn’t really there!

(We’re suckers — and, ultimately, so is anyone who invests in the dollar.  The banking cartels are scamming the entire world.)

It’s an I.O.U., remember dollars are a promise; when you borrow from a bank,
It’s not from other depositors; the money for your loan gets created on the spot.
Then they put it in your name,
Gamble on your life and body.

(I’m roulette number 23/Red.  You?)

But if you lose your job then you were a bad bet.
(Whoops!)
If a million lose their jobs, then we have a recession
(Hello?)
Here’s the dirty secret: your labor’s too expensive!
(Compared to the Chinese?  You bet!!)
Wall Street wants you spending money but they never want to pay you.
(Redistribution, anyone?!)

In your life cash and credit: they are very different things.
(Usually you use one or the other, I’ve noticed.)
But your credit’s someone else’s cash once it leaves your name.
(I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.)
This is why money is debt, and your debt is good for Wall Street prosperity,
(Gravy, baby!)
And economic growth since the 1970s Is consumers getting credit without wages increasing.
(If you really want to get your mind boggled, look at how much these banks can lend out per dollar in cash reserves.)

So when they talk about the housing crisis they never say we need to lower housing prices;
We need better devices to afford high prices;
(Wait a sec…how did the stock market crash to begin with, again?)
Meaning higher debt — lower interest; ’cause you’re underpaid to begin with.
(Don’t worry; keep borrowing!)
That’s the cycle we’re in; we don’t understand, so all we can do is question:
(One would hope.)

Mama economy make me understand
All the numbers why Daddy’s on a welfare plan?
Turnin’ thirty, forty, fifty — gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up, but the jobs disappear.

Because wages barely grew for 40 years: when you buy stuff,
They delay the cost of ownership
.
You can’t afford it, so they make it to depend
On endless small transactions which is more like renting.  

(What does your life lease for?)

You pay more for printer ink than you do for gold,
(Get refillable cartridges or pay out the @$$.)
And more for bottled water than you do for oil.
(Get a ProPur — it’s better for you than bottled water, anyway.)
Razor blades are made to oxidate, (!)
So you’re forever in debt to them just to shave.
(Whatever happened to straight razors?)

It’s a type of socialism called «market socialism.»
(Calling it like it is!)
The best designed product meets a need and doesn’t last.
(«Best» is a point of view, really.)
We subsidize waste with landfills and holidays like Earth Day,
Teachin’ kids: «recycle please.»

(Oh, the irony.)

Kids won’t learn in school we live one worldview;
(YOU VIL ZINK VAT VE ZAY!)
 Neoliberal economics in all of our politics.
(Neoliberalism!  Like Classical Liberalism, except, um, not at all like Classical Liberalism…It’s new and improved!!)
They don’t ask why corporations are human citizens,
(In point of fact, I don’t remember that coming up in class at all.  Do you?)
Or why grandma pays more taxes ’cause she lacks stock dividends.
(Granny’s gonna have to take one for the team.  And by «team,» I mean Mr. Rockefeller.)

Or why private bankers print the public money, (!!)
Or why democracy is broken: ‘cause their leaders won’t be cutting
Loopholes or subsidies for constituent industries,
(Constituent industries.  Geezus.)
Putting legislative bodies in a deep freeze.
(Fire your congressman; he doesn’t work for you.)

So the Ph.Ds and the G.E.D.s cry with Ayn Rand down at the temp agency,
Sayin’ “We believed in meritocracy, but there’s more to the story – someone answer me!»

Ingenious couple of lines, here at the end.  He invokes Ayn Rand.  If you don’t know who that is, you need to figure it out immediately (click the link attached to the name to get started).  She is the most controversial figure in the history of philosophy, and the controversy has no sign of doing anything other than getting more intense.  The thing is, she has been the most compelling proponent of Free Market Capitalism in the history of the world, clarifying it’s ethical aspects much further than any philosopher before her — and she integrated it into her comprehensive philosophy, called «Objectivism.»

Here’s the thing: her detractors (and many of her more ignorant supporters) associate her with the current US economic system, and commit a genetic fallacy, lumping her ideas with the multitude of injustices built into our economic system, whereas, if you read her book, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, she, along with some other Objectivist authors (including, at the time, Alan Greenspan — no longer an Objectivist in good standing) more or less jumped up and down with their hair on fire about the dangers of the private fiat system that, she, even then, was able to see would destroy private wealth in America.

Consider the gall of the anti-free market crowd who have helped set up the market-socialist system, and then blame it on Ayn Rand when things go sour.  Incredible.

Ayn Rand crying at the Temp Agency.  Simply brilliant.

Wake up and understand that you are living in a system designed to destroy your wealth so that you become dependent on the government.

FLAVAROOM: THE CROATIAN TIGRESS

425455_397317286951594_1707773970_nMusic review by PJ Cornell.

Syndicated from the Asterisked Music Journal.

Assessment: 9.5 out of 10.

Bottom line up front: I love a good blues band. This is an exceptional blues-fusion band. The harmonic language is complex. The rhythm section is delightfully sophisticated. The vocals and solos are assertive, powerful, polished — rhythmically and harmonically complex, yet perfectly accessible and expressive. The feel is aggressively beautiful and dripping with class.

Highlights: These songs are subtly chromatic, and the harmonic textures are surprisingly varied, yet cogent — perfectly integrated with the rhythmic language. The vocalist is a virtuoso. These people are pros. I challenge you to try to listen to their songs and not get up and dance. I predict you will fail. Their hooks are beyond excellent. Their melodies tend to transition suddenly and seamlessly from being notey and dense to being smooth, simple, and plaintive. Their songs are complex while sounding simple, and the performance is flawless. Their best song, in my opinion, is Walking Down the Stream. Opens with a classic hook in the rhythm guitar, complemented with a sparse, laconic piano hook and warm bass hook. The genius of the melody is that it is assertively on beat — but sounds off beat against the jungle of hooks below it.

Criticisms: The only criticism I have of these guys, is that their sound builds on top of paths that have been explored before. I cannot think of any band that does it better, but they aren’t the first to do it. Don’t let that cause you to overlook them, though. This is some of the best blues I’ve heard in quite a while.

Conclusion: Amazing band with a gorgeous, complex sound. Listening to them is like eating Godiva in a hot tub. Utterly indulgent.

PHILOSOPHY FORUMS’ PHOBIA OF ORIGINAL THOUGHT

2656043491_86083bceffEditorial by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.

I’m getting pretty tired of my comments being deleted «for being of low quality,» on the Philosophy Forums website, which is catch-all for «I just don’t like what you have to say.»  So I think it’s time to start documenting when I’m being silenced.  They have the right to act upon their phobia of original thought on their site, and I have the right to point it out when it happens.  I’m going start doing exactly that.

On Atticus II’s post entitled «Consciousness,» he writes:

«The concept is that there is a state of being aware, an awareness of being. Consciousness.  What we know about the brain is that it has developed through a long environmental and social struggle, to anticipate the future, maximize return on effort and minimize the risk and costs.  Why do people associate consciousness with a sense of self when it is more likely that the state and sense of arousal and alertness is predicted to be a necessity for our survival and to avoid our human stupidity?  If I look in the mirror there’s a face I recognize as my own, consciousness has no mirror and no concept of self or authenticity to begin with so how can it extract identity from actions, thoughts and emotions? How can it be self-awareness if it has no recognizable features?  Consciousness has an ecocentric basis even though it can be manipulated to seem egocentric, in any way people choose.»

I responded:

«I experience values, which manifest intentionality.  I take this to be evidence of the existence of my self.»

Is it a treatise?  No.  It is simple and succinct.  But it is also relevant and cogent.  It is not «of low quality.»

This post was deleted by the admin user, «Ying» for being «of low quality.»

This is the eighth comment of mine that has been deleted so far.  I do feel that I am being singled out, and I will be keeping a running tally of every comment of mine that is deleted from now on.

I enjoy making new friends — but failing that, I love a good fight, provided I have a good cause.  And this is is an excellent cause.

PHILOSOPHY FORUMS: THE DRAMA CONTINUES

drama_masksArticle by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.

My last article was running kind of long, so I’ve decided it’s time to create a fresh article to follow up on the ongoing conversation taking place about my introduction of Transegoism to the «Philosophy Forums» website.  A lot of interesting points have been brought up there.

In spite of the Philosophy Forums admins best efforts to bury my post (short of deleting it outright), the traffic on the post is still going strong (they’ve attempted to bury it by reclassifying my post from «General Philosophy,» to «Philosophyesque Disscussions,» which has the effect of, firstly, insinuating that Transegoism is quasi-philosophy — an interesting take, given that they chose to do this after I substantially put them on their intellectual butts in open debate, and, more importantly, causes it to not show up on the «New Posts» thread — the most important portion of the website, which keeps track of ongoing conversations).  It took them a while, but a couple of well informed and refreshingly mentally stable readers have actually succeeded in finding my post; so maybe I’ll stick around for the time being.

This update is as of 0943 11 MARCH 2013.

Petrokotoiphas: Mark, you get me horny. Wanna have sex (I’m not on welfare)?

Mark: How nice of you to offer. No thanks.

NOTE: In an online context, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether someone is proffering a compliment or just being a «troll.»  When dealing with someone you’ve never spoken to before, it’s usually best to maintain a respectful demeanor until the person’s intentions become a little more clear.

Atticus II: Heidegger would remind some here that history is key to a sense of being. The US & UK Governments have already tried out sterilizing mentally ill people.  The holocaust and final solution are mentioned as if you know the Jewish questions they had, you don’t.  I like the idea of working hard for what you get, this and my attention for effort led me to cycle and walk everywhere and never drive a car because I preferred moving under my own steam. Driving and walking get us to two different places.

Athis: Good point.  Heidegger was a good buddy of the Nazis too.  Transegoism is a fancy term for sociopathic narcissism.

Mark (me): I like people; because I like people, I don’t like parasites.  You clearly do like parasites.  Why do you hate people?

NOTE: I am employing the «Either Or» fallacy as a tactic, because I feel it’s the only appropriate response to this person’s fallacy-ridden non-arguments (in this particular instance, Athis has committed a Straw Man fallacy and a Genetic Fallacy — it is not the case that I am a Nazi, as I do not ascribe to their socio-economic ideology, and it is not the case that because they sterilized people, that sterilization is therefore inappropriate for welfare recipients).

Jorndoe: And with a touch of fascism? Elitism?

Mark: Really? It’s «elitist» to insist that it’s not OK to be a parasite?

Jorndoe: Who’s stopping you from going to live on a deserted island or putting together a space station, where you can implement your political ideology? You might even get followers.

Mark: I’m not Richard Branson (unfortunately), and America was supposed to be the place for people like me.

Atticus II (in response to Athis’ comment about Heidegger being a Nazi sympathizer): Meaning what? You think only Germany develops fascist nationalist tendencies? You think the scientists of Operation Paperclip were all about making cures and world peace?  You seem horrified at the idea of Transegoism when there are worse things going on; democracies that claim to defend liberty when they fight freedom in every continent and spin you a line to offset the enormity of their crimes.  Regime change wherever it suits them. Secret courts and an abandonment of human rights…these seem very much like the predictions Mark made a few posts ago, no?  Some people here aren’t thinkers but are bleaters and half-witted critics with a need for a sense of belonging, gripping tightly to false ideas about the worthiness of your own societies.

NOTE: Amen, brother.

Mark: Well said.  I don’t advocate sterilizing the mentally ill, and I’m not a eugenicist. Look, it doesn’t take a genius to see that our situation is untenable, and will collapse within 1 or 2 generations at the current rate.  What do you think we should do about it?

Atticus II: Mark, my post was not to question your ideas of sterilization but to remind Athis that our freedom-loving democracies have been there and done that.  I do think there is a looming problem with work versus welfare; whether sterilization is the best solution — this is not yet clear. It certainly reflects things in the UK; two doors away, a girl lives on benefits (don’t think she’s ever worked).  She has three kids from three different fathers and no stable relationship right now. I pay tax and I would love to live in some places round the UK but I can’t because of work and the high cost of housing. People on benefits can live there no problem, so why should I subsidize for them what I can’t afford for myself?  I’m not a girl so I don’t know how easy it is to drop a sprog but I don’t think women do it with the kids’ best interests in mind a lot of the time. My buddy just had another kid; he was going to leave his wife and thinks she got pregnant on purpose.  What is the value of a life?  Is it that a baby can save a marriage?

Mark: Brother, I feel for you. Things aren’t quite that bad in the US yet, but in about 10-20 years we’ll be there if we don’t do something drastic. Already, the welfare crowd sports phones and cars that the working class can’t afford, and are better able to afford groceries; you don’t hear about it in the US media, but there is a growing sense of resentment against welfare recipients. I wouldn’t be surprised if the American people eventually started to take matters into their own hands.  We are being killed by the sense of entitlement; and the tragic thing is that most of the welfare crowd isn’t even capable of understanding that government benefits have to be paid for by people who produce, and that they don’t spring magically from the government’s rear end.

Athis (in response to Atticus II): I don’t support the criminal activities of the democracies you allude to.  Why would you think that pointing out the profound evil of Transegoism implies I support destabilisations [destabilizations] & regime change etc.  A most peculiar conclusion to jump to. Indeed your entire post is a litany of non sequiturs.

Atticus II: It all depends what you read in to things, Athis.  You do support them by going along with them or letting them lead you to the kind of chaos they choose.  The only conclusion I have jumped to is that by using a computer I expect you live in a consumerist democracy, am I wrong?  It isn’t that you support criminal politicians but you aren’t shouting out about their crimes while you, as I said, seem horrified at the idea of Transegoism and the promotion of sterilization. You haven’t even considered that some people would accept money to become barren. I’m a great believer in Bucky Fullers’ vision; that the world should work for 100% of humanity. The welfare versus work conundrum puts this beyond reach; sterilization or, something like the Chinese, limiting people on the welfare to «X» number of children. Wanting a sister or brother means the parents must work for it not let it all hang out like mindless f^c<!ng [obscenity redacted] animals.  Rather than my post being full of non-sequiturs it begins as a response to your witticism about Heidegger. From there I go to National Fascism; do you remember bringing that up? I then offer you my thoughts on your over-reaction to the possibility of sterilization. I added a bit of depth about the US and UK being into sterilization because you mentioned that Rome had said it was a crime against humanity — are these regimes in the dock? Liberal democracies do it, so why is Transegoism equated with Auschwitz and fascism for suggesting it? As a I said from the start, if you see non-sequiturs in the words, that’s what you make of it.

NOTE: Atticus II brings up a good point, here; it’s not only a matter of solving problems — it’s also a matter of taking the initiative away from the people who, whether intentionally or not, are wrecking the world.

Athis: I have read your post. You don’t know me or what I think and you jump to all sorts of incorrect conclusions. You confuse and conflate issues.  Transegoism is an evil ideology.  There are other evil ideologies; I don’t support them either.  Compulsory sterilization is a crime against humanity….morally and legally.  That the crime has been committed before does not make this intent to commit the crime any less evil. If you want to court & support the evil of Transegoism that is your choice.  I stand against it.

Atticus II: OK, can you show that you’ve read my post and present some of these assumptions I’ve made?  Going from this wild-eyed accusation I can see you will have problems with the above. Mark has not said compulsory; only if you want welfare.  I don’t court any philosophy but I do flirt with ideas. As a humanist I prefer to think about ecocentric connections. You seem to be living in the mind of utopian idealist. You want to worry about moral and legal ethics and people are dying because you get to choose from 24 types of cornflake?

NOTE: Oh, snap.

Mark: I won’t presume to speak for Atticus II, but speaking for myself, a lot of the things I accuse you of supporting are tongue in cheek. I feel justified in having a little fun at your expense because you have an extremely melodramatic manner, and your arguments are riddled with fallacies and «bleating» (as he aptly put it) insinuations.  To be honest, I do feel that this whole welfare debate has somewhat drifted from the topics I was hoping to discuss on this post, but I’m more than happy to continue to speak for my beliefs — and if you have a better solution to the welfare problem, I’m all ears.  It’s easy to call someone a Nazi.  It’s harder to solve problems.  Given your apparent penchant for taking the easy way out, I find myself asking: are you a welfare recipient, by any chance?

Athis: Yes I am unemployed at this time and fortunate to live in a compassionate society that provides some welfare to the unemployed. Almost 20% of the population is unemployed. It’s worse in Greece and Spain. All the European nations have been bankrupted by the irresponsible speculations of the private banking system. We are paying the debts of the private banks which amount to many times our annual GDPs.  It’s the same in the USA.  I would suggest getting rid of unemployment; not getting rid of the unemployed.  I have had my say on this thread; I have been honest; I am not able to understand or communicate with your mind at all; so I will now leave you to your evil project and wish you complete failure in your vile schemes.

Mark: I’m sorry to hear that you’re unemployed. I’ve been there. I didn’t seek unemployment benefits, but it was stressful to not know how I was going to pay my bills from month to month. It used to be that a «compassionate society» was one where if one of their own was down on their luck, the society would voluntarily come together and support that person until they were back on their feet. I don’t see that there’s anything compassionate about taking by force from those that have and giving to someone else. I think it’s good to help people, and I know that the job market sucks right now, and, in fact, I’m not in favor of letting the unemployed starve. But we need start being proactive about reducing the welfare state before it tanks our economy. And just so we’re clear — I’m against corporate welfare, as well. We should have let every one of those banks fail. And when they, inevitably, started to threaten us, we should have kicked them out of our country, the way Iceland did. The only way to get bankers to make responsible choices is to make them have to suffer the natural consequences of their behavior. So long as we keep bailing them out, that’s not going to happen. The same is true of generational welfare recipients — except that now there’s just too many of them to make it feasible for us to just cut the purse-strings (in my opinion).

Atticus II (apparently frustrated by Athis’ inability and/or refusal to answer his questions): OK, Athis.  Should I remember to $#!+ [obscenity redacted] on you in a thread and leave your questions unanswered?

Athis: As a courtesy I will say this Atticus II; and then I will say no more on this thread.  I am not going to debate with someone who thinks Transegoism and its vile plans to sterilise [sterilize] people is defensible. That was where the Nazis began their road to the final solution. Transegoism is by moral and legal criteria a criminal ideology.

NOTE: Not only does Athis not bother answering Atticus II’s questions, but returns to her default of assaulting the character of anyone she happens to disagree with.  Also, this has to have been the third or fourth time she’s sworn off commenting on my post.

Atticus II: Then you’re a fool who can’t make out the difference between «considerable» and «defensible.»  Further, I would like you to reflect on where we are; in a philosophy forum in a virtual environment; how else could one be further removed from thoughts chewed over here yet be open to the information the world has to offer?

Mark: I have contended that individual rights derived from the principle of self-ownership and «human» rights as defined by the UN are at their roots incompatible. This Athis demonstrates in spades. According to this person, I am a criminal by virtue of exercising my right to free speech. We need to kick the UN out of our country, along with anyone on the board of the Federal Reserve. And they can take Athis with them.

Athis: Cant [Can’t] restrain my right to free speech.  Yes, you are quite correct; under international law your right to free speech does not extend to inciting others to commit crimes against humanity.

NOTE: I can’t restrain your right to free speech?!  Says the person who has been trying to silence me by calling me a Nazi and a criminal for days now!  The hypocrisy is staggering.  And for the record, I have made no attempt whatsoever to restrain this person’s free speech — that sort of thing is coming 100% from her side of the table.

Mark: «Crimes Against Humanity» as defined (and selectively enforced) by the very organization seeking to censor me. Besides, the UN has no business telling anyone what is and isn’t a crime against humanity [see: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/…lians-nato-committing.html; http://ijcentral.org/news/u.n._cou…_ex-ministers_of_genocide/; http://www.countercurrents.org/polya080213.htm].  Bottom line: I either have free speech or I do not. And if I do not, then I am living under a tyranny. Don’t you see that the government is standing behind welfare recipients while adopting policies that ensure that there will always be more welfare recipients?  You are the government’s excuse.

Athis: I agree that international law is ignored and perverted wholesale by other criminals; not just by you.  The USA government is a criminal enterprise in this respect; it is the principle [principal] rogue nation threatening the world today.  But the crimes of others are not credible or acceptable evidence in your defence [defense].

NOTE: In my defense?!  What, am I on trial here?!  What presumptuous condescension!

Mark: Your inability to discern the complexities of international relations is astounding. Look who is on the UN Security Council: Russia, China, the USA; these countries are the UN — or, to be more precise, elements within these countries’ governments that want to be able to have a way around their own constitutions operate the UN. If any of these countries commit atrocities (and many member states do, with no adverse consequences from the UN), then that can be attributed to the UN, as well. I’m not going submit to being censored by this nasty little band of hypocrites.  Stop being so naive, stop being so melodramatic, stop pretending this criminal organization has any credibility or legitimacy, and stop trying to silence me.

Supernumeria: As despairingly useless as the UN is; taking ourselves (we are talking about the US, right?) off the stage is quite extreme and would only serve to alienate other nations.

Mark: It depends on how we handle it. If we pull a George W. Bush and say «Screw you guys, I do what I want!» Then yes, that’s exactly what will happen. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The right way, I feel, is to say that the UN Charter of Human Rights is no longer seen to be compatible with the US Constitution (it’s not, by the way), and for that reason, in order to protect American sovereignty and the rights of the American citizen, we have found it necessary to remove ourselves from the UN, and that we will uphold any treaties that are not found to be incompatible with the US Constitution, and renegotiate those that are.  If we handle it this way, we should be able to do this without making an enemy out of the entire world. The UN won’t survive without us, but that’s probably for the best.

Supernumeria:  And yes the federal reserve ticks me off as well — primarily on the basis of quantitative easing being over-used (thus driving the dollar downward increasing the debt) they don’t need to be kicked out they need a good kick in the ass and some balls to let the economy slip rather than purchasing debt that’s the equivalent to dust in their hands.

Mark: This is true, however, I do think we need to get rid of it entirely. It takes the power of the purse away from Congress. There’s no reason that the Treasury Department can’t issue fiat currency without using it to create a national debt. Now, it might be best to have an act of Congress that puts limits on currency expansion to go along with it, but I don’t see why we need to be creating debt every time we issue currency. Furthermore, our central banking system is actually illegitimate. The 16th Amendment, which was supposed to allow for a private central bank, was never ratified by enough states to pass, but it has never been challenged at the Supreme Court, so the Fed continues to operate as if it had a right to do so. The best thing to do would be to move to a government issued fiat currency while allowing for private companies to compete in issuing currency (see the Liberty Dollar case), and then transition to a commodities based currency, once the US Treasury Department buys enough silver (or gold, or whatever) to back up the currency.  Supernumeria and Attica II: it’s been good to talk to people who are not misinformed and/or crazy. I was beginning to abandon all hope.

NOTE: As before, I will update this post as the drama continues to unfold.