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Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

“… but I live in a blue state, what can I do?”

I have to give the kudos to my dad for the idea behind this post.  It was his idea and I am simply passing it along as it is a good one.

I live in a progressive stronghold.  I like the technology and (some of the) culture in the Ann Arbor area, so I choose to remain here.  But every election, the Dingells win, the Levins win, the Conyers win, the the Stabenows win.  It’s not even close in most SE Michigan districts when the Union vote has anything to do with it.  Democrats just sweep.

There are many parts of the country where this tends to be the case.  I can imagine people with similar frustrations in the districts of Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc.  You end up looking around and you are surrounded by people that drank the progressive koolaid, so what the hell can you do?

I hate apathy.  I don’t like it when I am faced with futility.  So I was glad when my father told me how he deals with the problem.  Yeah, the Levins and Stabenows and the democrats in general always seem to win the state-wide elections in Michigan.  So last election cycle, my father looked around to see what he could do.  He watched the news and came up with an idea.

What my father did was he started to pay attention to the races around the country that were in contention and were hard to predict an outcome.  Every time he heard of such a race, he wrote the name of the candidates down.  When he had time later, he looked up the websites of those candidates and got the addresses for them.

He then not only wrote a check to those candidates, but encouraged all his frustrated friends to do likewise.  He also got on the phone to various organizations he supports such as the National Rifle Association and a few others and told them they should recommend following his example.  He told as many people as he could to give as much as they can spare to help those fighting for a few more votes to defeat democratic incumbents in other districts around the country.

Sure, Michigan might be a lock for the democrats, but you can damn well make sure those democrats are going to have a hell of a hard time getting anything done when they get there!

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Originally posted to Facebook Notes

I, like many others, have become disenchanted by the constant tit-for-tat between the two dominant governing parties in this country. (Republicans and Democrats) Many people, including myself, have described them as being more alike than different and for good reason.

Some point to lack of accountability or sense of entitlement as the problem on the republican side while others say it’s unabated greed and mass exploitation on the liberal side. With both arguments having at least some basis in fact, where then lies the problem?

It seems what is lacking the most is a simple sense of value. Not speaking of personal “values’ (morals and ethics) in this case, but an actual understand of the basic principle of what something is worth – whether it be a thing, an act or even a thought or idea.

All of the above ‘reasons’ fall under an umbrella that extends as a result of this lack of understanding; the unaccountable don’t offer value in exchange for the things they do or in return for problems they cause, the entitled don’t expend value in exchange for what they expect, the excessively greedy do not provide value equal to how they profit; the exploiter does not ‘make amends’ to to those they manipulate.

Previous generations instilled a sense of value in their children. The value of a good days work for a good days pay. The value of paying for goods and services you receive. The value of working long and hard and earning an eventual reward. The value of being truthful, ‘earning’ trust, and gaining respect. The value in being polite and of helping others.

Value is the basis for a market economy and a capitalist system. The exchange of value the method. And when it comes to instilling the value, that system is it’s own worse enemy. The modern age of marketing targets those that ‘have’ so they can ‘get’ profit from them. Those that do not have, are left feeling they should rather than understanding the need to earn the privilege.
Everything is sales, and discounts and rewards and rebates – save save save! Instant, now,or at least overnight, no assembly required, no waiting necessary! Everywhere you look the market is undermining it’s own method by eroding the simple notion of ‘value’.
The modern entertainment media portrays as heroes those that get with seemingly little effort. Stories that used to reflect the man who worked hard and made something of himself are gone, replaced by the instant star-of-the-moment on American Idol, America’s Funniest Home Videos or any number of ‘reality TV’ shows.

If you want to change our world and restore our system, start there. Re-learn ‘value’! Expect it, offer it, and teach it to others; Value in things, value in people, value in your relations to them and yes, even value in your acts of charity!

—-
See also, my prior notes posting: The Nature of Value

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Originally posted to Facebook Notes

I had a surreal dream.

It started by witnessing an altruist explaining to his followers why it should be important to ‘them’ to do things for others.
I then saw a marxist trying to convince a crowd that his ideas were better than anyone elses.
Off to the side there was a Democrat, at first I thought he simply had many faces but then I saw he actually had many ‘selves’. While one was distracting a voter telling him how much he cared for the ‘little guy’ like him, another was behind the man picking his pocket and yet another was around a corner counting the days loot and stuffing it in his own pockets.
Just past him down the ally there was a Republican. At first I thought he also had many selves but apparently the other was just his twin. The first was trying to figure out how to turn a donkey into an elephant (or perhaps it was turn an elephant into a donkey but that’s neither here nor there – all I saw was an ass that never forgets). The second was talking to a group of assembled businessmen for a rather large fee trying to explain to them how he would help them to keep more of the money they earn.
Somewhere in the background the entire time was the constant jabbering of a utilitarian describing how people who did nothing of real value were worthless.
Among the crowd there was an environmentalist handing out a huge stack of paper fliers that read ‘save the trees’!
I then spied a nihilist, he was waiting for a reason to act on something – I don’t even think he was sure what or why he would do it.
Right smack in the middle there was a feminist wearing blue jeans and a muscle shirt, with her hair cut short making very aggressive gestures while barking out loud denunciations about the patriarchal (male dominated) nature of society.
Off in another corner was a chaos theorist who was quite perplexed flipping a double headed coin that always seemed to come up heads.

(I may continue on this later)

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Originally posted to Facebook Notes

“I want to make something clear… I am not a conservative. I think that today’s conservatives are worse than today’s liberals. [..] If anyone destroys this country, it will be the conservatives. Because they do not know how to preach capitalism, to explain it to the people [and] because they do nothing except apologize [..]” – Ayn Rand {excerpt from the Tomorrow Show, 1979}

SW comment:
I have often said that as far as my identification with ‘being an objectivist’, it was not Ayn Rand and her writing that made me ‘decide’ to be an objectivist – i always was an objectivist thinker, Ayn Rand’s words simply validated a world view I already had and eloquently communicates the nature of that view in both her works of fiction and her essays and public speeches.
It never fails to astound me that when I find some other writing or read an essay I have not yet read or stumbled on footage of an interview, how things coming out of her mouth are almost identical to things I have thought, said or written myself.

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I tend to be political. When I am involved in politics, if forced to pick a ‘category’ for my politics, I most closely identify with libertarianism. But more often than not, I tend to find that my political action tend to entail fighting a similar sounding word – liberalism.
Mind you, I am one of the few in this world that still remember the difference between a Roosevelt democrat and a modern liberal. In short, I tend to associate the modern liberal with the philosophies of Moore (Thomas, not Roger) and more specifically, Marx. Therefore it comes of no surprise to me that collectivist and populist groups such as minority ‘rights’ collective movements or organized labor traditionally support or at least provide a voter base for the ‘modern liberal’ politician.
At the same time, I tend to hold an atheistic agnostic view of mysticism in general. Thus it often begs the question why I am more often willing to support a republican candidate ahead of a democratic (read: liberal) one when many republicans express an open inspiration from predominantly Christian belief systems and backgrounds. Upon thinking further on this subject I first looked at the similarities and then at the differences.

I tend to be leery of any organized movement that relies upon ‘belief’ to support their core objectives. Both religion and modern liberalism – mind you I am using that term synonymous with what could best be described as ‘softened’ collectivism – rely on belief in their ideal to support their motives and therefore their respective agendas. No biggie I suppose … just about any movement or even philosophy has behind it an idealistic goal that is as of yet unrealized and therefore requires some level of ‘belief’ that should it be realized (or at least sufficiently advanced) then the results will speak for themselves.
However, many such ideal do become at least somewhat realized and as of yet, the ideals of both parties (pun intended) have not spoken very strongly in support of their claims of what ‘should’ be expected by their realization. (at this point I could go into greater details of failed socialist or communist states or point to the horrors of time periods seen over by christian or other religious zealots – but I’m sure most are aware of enough of them to avoid the redundancy)

So what are the similarities?
Taking each onto themselves we can start with religion: a belief in an omnipotent being responsible for creating everything and somehow ever present in the events of the world. You can’t see it, you can’t question it, you must simply have faith in it. You are asked to sacrifice to your fellow man and to take your suffering as your award awaits you in the hereafter and while here the good lord will provide for his faithful. – to do otherwise is heresy, blasphemy and sin.

Then there is statism: a belief in a utopian society where the state is responsible for owning and distributing all that is created and all that is needed. You should not question it, and it does require a faith that those involved within it are upholding that same utopian ideal; From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. The state does ask you sacrifice (the first part) but also offers you assistance – dare we say to the ‘faithful’? To do otherwise is a crime against the state akin to treason.

Both ask of the individual selflessness and require duty to the whole. Both provide something somewhat intangible greater than one’s self for which they are to provide this sacrifice; for one the ‘state’ and the other the ‘almighty’.

So why then does statism bother me more than mysticism? It’s interesting now that I have stepped outside the blind ‘faith’ style of the Christians I find around me to look at many so-called ‘modern’ religions and to examine their ceremonies, rituals and methods of worship, to read in history how these developed to what they are today and to look also at how many christians (or other religions, but mind you were are talking about christians in the present) have looked upon other beliefs with their own rituals as ‘primitive’ or ‘superstitious’ – even barbaric in nature. As the tenor sings a can’t in the back and a man in a fancy robe with a pointy hat waves around his little ball of incense on a chain before offering his followers the symbolic flesh and blood of their savior I can’t help but stifle a chuckle at the hypocrisy.

But then where is God? (big ‘G’) I looked for him at many points in my life before coming to my current doubters perspective – believe me! (again, pun intended) God (big ‘G’) is this invisible man whom most say lives in the sky, he is all around us, he is responsible for everything, knows everything, sees everything. Yet no one can really prove he’s there to a reasoning individual with any level of certainty – at least one that does not also require a leap of faith.

So where is the state? The state ‘is’ all around us! Anyone that understands the least bit about causality knows that although they can – for the most part – control their own behavior, decisions and how they react to the consequences, the same cannot be said for the man (or woman) standing next to you.
As long as there are two or more people in a situation, each with their own needs, wants and desires, you will need some construct of ‘rules’ to govern their interactions with each other and with those things around them that they might need, want or desire. This would be nice and peachy in that idealistic (yet all too often unrealized) existence where everyone followed the rules all the time – but of course we know better.
Then comes the need for enforcement of the rules – enforcement that does not adversely support the needs, wants and desires of one individual over that of another. The combination of these rules and the enforcement of same sooner or later shows up as government and can be eventually found synonymous with ‘the state’.
So, therefore (using a little deductive reasoning here) as long as there are two more more people in a situation, each with their own needs wants and desires – the emergence of a governing entity that could be dubbed ‘the state’ is pretty much an inevitability.

In short? A lot of people believe in a god. A lot more believe in some type of statism. But the state is the only one that we can readily demonstrate having an immediate and incontrovertible effect upon our daily lives.

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