Alert

From my out box for a change. It's long, of course, because

it attempts to be logical and to retain an historical perspective. Besides, I don't think in Tweets or Bumper Stickers. This is the entirety of the letter sent to friends, one of them the woman in Virginia mentioned.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/movies/reviews/article_1591693.php/Inside-Job-%E2%80%93-Movie-Review


Inside Job is a docu-something-or-other about the last 4 years of the Bush Presidency. In the process it explains much that the news agencies, both print and Television, assiduously avoided seeing let alone exposing, as much because they were involved as anything else.

Some opinions about the movie are negative (including a Rotten Tomato award), possibly based on casting or performance, but more probably because it actually does get close to the heart of the truth, of both of the Republican elite and their mentally impaired hand-puppet. (How many Presidents can you name who required their own remedial teacher/spouse?)

On the other hand, there's a pair of really good articles from that Progressive site I was put on to by my friend in Virginia. http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011062312/debt-ceiling-deals-cuts-could-crash-economy

The Republican Party is assiduously mixing up the Kool-Aid for the nation, the only question is will Barack Obama (The Capitulator) and enough Dems drink it? If so, prepare for the 30's again. Remember Bush's mis-statement about "wanting to be a divider"? I know, he said so many impossible things it was hard to digest your breakfast. (a riff on Lewis Carroll, work it out)

By the same author is a discussion of the "theory" behind all Republicanism since Roosevelt. When they discovered that the real world didn't respond the way they wanted it to in 1929, they turned (and we are surprised by this, why?) to fiction, specifically to the Fascist best seller The Fountainhead (1943) by Ayn Rand. Now Ayn Rand didn't call it Fascism, she was smart enough to call it Objectivism at a time when those who had mixed the Kool-Aid she'd swallowed were trying to rule the world. She just took 9 or 10 years to digest it and turn it into something just different enough to be accepted by the cerebrally damaged or those who failed the Sesame Street "One of these things is just like the Other" Test. Her acknowledged prototype for her Objective Man or Perfectly Autonomous Individual was a serial killer, William Hickman, whom she admired because he was so dissociated from individual people and society as a whole that he just went out and did what he felt like doing, which frequently was killing people for no apparent reason. Psychopath as Superman or Ubermensch.

http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011062308/republican-embrace-ayn-rand-poison

"Some say that maybe it is a bad idea to base a political party's ideology on a belief that altruism, democracy and Christianity are "evil." Others say that maybe it is a bad idea to base a country's policies on fictional novels rather than science and history. Still others say is it a bad idea for national leaders to think of most of the public as "parasites" while saying people with tons of cash are "producers" who should govern. I am talking about the Republican Party's embrace of Ayn Rand and her cruel philosophy."
I have to admit that I've been inclining more and more to the Randian hypothesis for the Republican Party's behaviour since the departure of Bush who was such a Bozo he got in the way of seeing the philosophy guiding the hand that was up his "back" pulling the strings. Karl Rove didn't give one the Hollywood image of Randian Objectivism either that Kirk Douglas did in the movies. Of course fiction, camera angles and a cleft chin can cover a multitude of less admirable ideas. Then again Karl Rove's smirking baby face doesn't reveal the Nine Circles of Hell that appear to be going on inside his head and those of his army-centipede-like followers. I wasn't however, aware that Senator Ron Paul had actually named his son Rand Paul, after Ayn Rand, that was a discovery.

Now country of origin doesn't, or shouldn't make a difference in how we treat someone, but it often makes a difference to how they see us and our institutions, like democracy, and freedom of opinion, and in their failure to have absorbed the results of the Enlightenment and particularly those democratic principles as they developed in Western societies. It should therefore come as no surprise that Ayn Rand was "born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 - March 6, 1982), was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher,[2] playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism."

She moved to the US at the age of 20, and clearly had a remarkable grasp of English since she first worked as a writer in Hollywood for a period then had a play produced on Broadway. Her philosophy is counter-Communist to the point of Fascism. The "Individual" is exalted over all and is effectivelly above the law and social norms. None of this is particularly remarkable in a (I presume) Czarist refugee from Communism, it just doesn't take into account any of the 2500 years of the development of Western Democratic Thought from profoundly different historical circumstances.

The history of Russia is not the history of Greece, The Roman Empire, Nationbuilding, Kingship and ultimately the subordination of even the most remarkable kings and that goes back to the late 12th Century, transmuted into law in 1215.

One has to take into account the difference between an essentially open borderless tribal playground for various ethnic groups from Mongolia to the Baltic, and its development of a very weak central government based remarkably on the influence of the Norse who were responsible for founding most of the cities west of the Ural mountains. Even the word Rus means Norseman, because of their red beards. The Norse were equally influential in England, Scotland and Ireland and along with the Saxons invented the roots of Parliamentary meeting and decision making. The Great Moot of Iceland and another roughly contemporaneous in England among the Saxons are seen as the earliest forms of Parliamentary expression. Congress is a Parliament where ideas and policies and decisions are discussed (French, parler).

So why in god's name would Americans who have had the benefit of 2500 years of gradually developing democratic leaning rule, chose to follow a totalitarian from the steppes? Regrettably I have no answer except that it exalts the successful lucky minority at the expense of the majority. It appeals to the totalitarianism in that minority who think that just because they've been very lucky and perhaps unusually smart, means that they should rule without regard to anyone particularly not the majority. In other words it is the antithesis of the pre-Revolutionary thinkers like Thomas Paine, and the antithesis of those who conceived drafted and wrote the Declaration of Independence (Jefferson, Madison, Mason, Adams et al.) which was about the freedom of individuals as a group from the coercion of the Individual as a singular leader or the member of an elite class whom all unquestioningly followed.

Just look at the make up of the opposing forces, the British led by the aristocracy but manned by the poorest of the poor, opposing a rather chaotic far less hierarchical group eventually based on merit. it was roughly 40 years later that Arthur Wellesley and Irishman and Duke of Wellington described the British Army as "The scum of the nation led by the fool of the family." Of course commissions were still purchased then, you didn't have to go through all that tiresome learning and working your way up the ranks, you payed L10,000 and bought your kit and you were a Colonel.

Ayn Rand's philosophy is the archetype of the boy who through great good fortune finds himself on third base convinced that he'd hit the ball far enough to enable him to run there, instead of being directed there by family, or luck or the ineptitude of the other players. The smart ones are the ones who actually do hit a triple, and notably these days, they are the ones Gates, Soros, Buffet in the lead speaking out against the concept of being born on third and thinking you've hit a triple. Of course they've had 8 years to observe the problems with that idea.

Rob

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Moderators

Can you please delete the above post?
I'd rather not have to do another mod alert.

"of the Republican elite and their mentally impaired hand-puppet. "

Tasteless and classless as usual.

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Thanks I'll forward it to my friends as an example of

thinking in Tweets and bumper stickers.

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Moderators, by all means delete everything after Republican

elite, if this forum can't stand a little contrary opinion. It's just that Mike or Tony or James have a crack at President Obama, in ways they objected to vociferously when it was President Bush, with the justification that you couldn't talk that way about a sitting President. Now much as it hurts them, President Bush is no longer a sitting President. I thought the division between current and past Presidents was silly, but they made clear that you couldn't criticize Bush the way you could criticize Carter.

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RE: mentally impaired hand-puppet. "
mentally impaired hand-puppet. "Tasteless and classless as usual

how 'bout this, in another thread

Since you're on a Crusade.

Certifiable?????? yeppers

I suppose you didn't see that post.
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Of course I saw Toni's post, And I'm not on a crusade

except insofar as I want to see the US return to the healthy economic land of my youth. Regrettably Toni and I don't agree on much, so I keep silent out of respect.

I do think Ayn Rand is the most influential "polemicist" that some influential Republicans look to, and admit to looking to. I also think that she preached a profoundly divided society, exalting the wealthy for no other reason that they are wealthy, and belittling the vast majority who have been less fortunate. She believed in "the godlike nature of the creative genius", while basing her idea of personal independence on a serial killer. Apparently he was deemed some sort of creative genius. Shame he didn't meet Ms Rand.

I don't believe that removing the tax breaks and incentives from the wealthiest and from corporations is un- American, frankly I think that the amount of government involvement in businesses which enjoy immense wealth based on legislation that is decades out of date, Oil depletion allowances for example or any of the Corporate Welfare that is not on the chopping block in this Congress is un-American.

The Bush Tax Break should have ended the minute the Wars started. Who is fighting these wars, not the 1% who get all the money. This is a ludicrous situation where on the one hand the US pretends there are no unusual demands on it and we're rich enough for tax breaks, while trying to fight an Anti Terrorist Crusade in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a NATO action in Libya, all while refusing to end the Tax breaks which are contributing greatly to the deficit. The second Obama got to Washington there should have been a firm line on the end of tax breaks, plus equally strong legislation on the Banks and Investment Houses bail out that there would be a surtax on all transactions of dubious merit, and an imposition that bonuses should be paid out 3 to 5 years after the year in which they accrued. There was every reason to penalize Wall Street, and no reason to facilitate business as usual. Bonuses should have been held until the budget was balanced and the deficit was on the decline. I have written on the differential between average workers and CEOs frequently but to no avail. CEOs don't create jobs, and they don't create product unless they're very unusual, half way up the pyramid, which means that 70 or more percent of the workers are below you (It's a pyramid, see, small at the top) the employees cease earning for the company. They are merely paper shufflers and implementers of policy.

I need to look up figures for the mid and late 60's when there was a war going on, and an attempt at a break for the lower classes. I wonder if the Defense/Intelligence Establishment gobbled down half of every dollar the government spends then. I bet they didn't. But people blamed that two pronged strategy for the problems in the American economy brought on by OPEC under Nixon. I wish there were a way of posting actual graphs rather than URL's for graphs, then I could be reasonably sure people actually looked at the differences.

I have also said, a rich man saves his money or spends it outside the country, a poor man spends his money at the corner store making work for local people, and supporting the country. That's as true as the day it was said in the 19th Century.

People here at SE either don't believe it, or don't care. It puzzles me that so many people vote against their own best interests. The 1% I can understand, but the other 27%, since the US rarely excedes a turn out of 54%, I can't understand. Do they expect to be invited into the club? "I know you only earn $65,000, but c'mon in anyway." That isn't going to happen. It's only the Bushes of this world who get paid for a bankrupt business by Saudi businessmen so he can run a Baseball team. In other words, you have to be in the club, to be invited in or even bailed out.

Obama won because he got people excited and hopeful. I hope he's able to do it again, and grows a pair while he's at it (that's from my letter to the White House should you be interested). His attempt to compromise with a party which refused all compromise was a waste of time and governance. When you have a majority, you implement policy regardless of minority opinion. When you compromise to the point of capitulation, you risk being a one term President.

Rob

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(NT) I was replying to Mike_Hanks
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I don't advocate returning Israel to it's dangerous pre 67

borders. Are you trying to make some peculiar and ridiculous comparison between peculiar geographical borders, and the distribution of income.

If you are, Certifiable? Yeppers!

They are in no way alike. Economies are malleable inchoate entities capable of growth and retraction. Physical borders between peoples, particularly hostile peoples are far less malleable. The situation in the Middle East has been engineered by Arab refusal to accept the State of Israel. The second Israel's borders were guaranteed by the rest of the Middle Eastern States, things would settle down and there might well be a retraction, but not to '67 borders. The Golan is a dagger pointed into Israel, and the old narrow border meant Israel was barely 30 minutes driving time wide. The Arab people are going to have to accept some responsibility for 62 years of conflict, and that's going to cost land. It is that denial which assures the continuation of the conflict. I am not a fan of Netanyahu, I think he's a posturer and is provocative, but he's the Prime Minister, and he's who the Arabs have to deal with. He also understands the military realities Israel has lived through since the 56 war. Tiny equals unsafe. Arabs, who have had the resources and the room to absorb Palestinians since 1948 have refused to do so purely to keep the pressure on Israel. Given the wealth of Arab nations, they could make a garden surrounding Israel for the Palestinians, and hardly notice the cost. They could learn just as every immigrant, forced or voluntary (and most were forced economically) to say "I'm Polish back 3 generations", or "My Mum was born in England, but I was born here (that's me, and my father was only born here, Maryland, by accident and the beginning of WW1). We're all immigrants in North and South America except for a very small population. And people have moved around Europe since the 19th Century. To expect the return of your great grand fathers land? Certifiable?? Yeppers.

The solution is not one or two sided, it is much as I dislike the word, nearly Global. All of the Arab Countries including Iran have to agree to Israel's right to exist, and to prosper and to live safely. Israel can offer money and assistance once it is secure, and certain that they will not be attacked by the 4 nearest neighbours. Those neighbours have to monitor their Arab neighbours and be willing to join Israel in Israel's defence.

It's not like Jews haven't lived in Palestine since Roman times. The Diaspora occurred but it was not universal, and a small Jewish population has always been there. The Arab position is to return to 18th Century, or 15th Century borders, which if you read a book, you will find never existed. The borders we deal with now with quite small changes were laid out in 1919 after WW1. The next thing that occurred wasn't a change of real borders, but a violent partition of Palestine as a result of the Second World War. Jews with nowhere to go, and tired of being Europe's football said, we're going back to Palestine. Without our own country we are nothing. We have roots there, we have family there we have history there we've only been away for as long as North America has been becoming Europeanized. Our own best interest says we must have our old land back or we will be extinguished. Nobody is trying to extinguish the Palestinians except perhaps their Arab neighbours who refuse to accept them.

Israel didn't build the camps in Jordan and Gaza, Egypt and Jordan did, so that they didn't have to accept Palestinian emigrants forced out by the partition of 1948. If the direction of the conflict were turned to one of acceptance and resolution, there could be a great step forward. Israel would have safe borders, Palestinians would have full participation in the states like Jordan which was the part of Palestine which remained Arab. Why do the Palestinians of Jordan not accept the Palestinians of the camps. Because to do so, means to give up hope that some miracle will destroy Israel. As potent as the Rift Valley is, that isn't going to happen.

So, Jonah, how'd I do? How wide of the mark (leaving aside my hopefulness) is my assessment of the causes and the results of the conflicts. I'm sorry I didn't deal with the West Bank. Part of the West Bank is going to have to be the price of agreement, but the agreement will have to be rock solid before any person of good sense lets go of a hectare, of a metre. I do think that to give standing communities surrounded by Arabs to the Arabs would be a good gesture. I just don't know if it would be appreciated by them, and I know that for Israelis giving up their homes would be an appalling wrench, but again, there is money there which can be freed by the retreat from hostility. Build a community to replace the one being given to the Arabs, and make a ceremony of giving to the Palestinian Arabs, new housing which might be appreciated. During the negotiations offer the structures still standing. If the Palestinians say "we don't want your houses" bulldoze them and let them build what they want.

Rob

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Truthfully JP. Though I replied twice to your post last

night, I have no idea what you are talking about. I didn't see Toni's post as relating particularly to the point I was trying to get across, and since it followed Mike Hanks' post I was under the impression that it was related to that as much as the original.

Should you care to enlighten me, I may regret it, but I'd rather understand your point than not know.

Nonetheless I reiterate, I'm not on a Crusade, or a crusade. I'm just attempting to elucidate for people unfamiliar with Rand's work, origin, and essentially totalitarian motives just what is meant by embracing fiction as political truth. Even Animal Farm, and 1984 are recognized as fiction despite the former's fairly close approximation of Soviet history for the preceding 30 years.

1984 is a far more powerful work, and is far nearer the bone when compared with the contemporary situation. In the absence of the Soviet menace, other menaces, certainly not trivial, but not state supported have emerged, and the Defense Budget is larger in absolute terms than it was when the Soviet Union and its puppet regimes were the threat. Why? I understand the broad spread of ex Soviet weaponry, and the threat of, as the British described their own preparations for resistance to a German invasion, Ungentlemanly Warfare. But it seems to me that a great amount of effort is being exerted to put the US in a state of permanent undeclared war. Not least among the results of this situation is the ongoing squeeze on the middle class who should be enjoying a peace dividend, but aren't. And a greater division between those earning $250,000 a year, and the one percent who earn far more individually than that and pay far less proportionately in taxes. I'd have thought that the concept of equal sharing of the costs of defense, or infrastructure, or true medicare, or an improvement of the domestic manufacturing sectors would be a given. But in terms of % per capita, it is the middle and particularly the lower middle classes who are suffering, and the 1 percenters who are laughing all the way to the bank. And that's not mere good humoured or happy laughter. It is laughter at the expense of the entire country. The 1 percenters, don't really care where they live, so long as they can live very very high, and look down on others. There is an aura of schadenfreude about the whole thing, an enjoyment of the discomfort or downright misery of the rest of the country, and that too is a component of Ayn Rand's philosophy.

Her ideas were dead as a doornail until they were resurrected by a guy who couldn't tell Hollywood from reallity, because Hollywood was his reality. The problem came when he brought a collection of fictional beliefs and fashioned a political platform around them. Reagan was as divorced from reality as Bush Jr. (both ex-Presidents, Mike, and there's very little anger here, despite what I continue to pay in US taxes, all local thank heaven. But there is disgust that demagogues of the William Jennings Bryant order have taken power and impoverished the United States.) At least Bryant believed in what he was saying, and understood a good portion of it. I do not believe that either Reagan or Bush understood what they were doing. Certainly on pure performance of the duties of his office, Clinton far outranks them. Perhaps it is a measure of the United States immaturity that they allow sexual stupidity to overwhelm profound good management of the economy of the US, though I have quarrels with some of his policies and legislation. Most Western nations shrug and say private behaviour is private behaviour, except Italy which revels in the sexual misconduct of its Prime Minister, just like characters out of Staying Alive, to use a fictional source.

Rob

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Welcome to the Ziks Hour Of Amusing Ramblings

and Interest Numbing Banalities.

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(NT) I see it didn't "numb" your fingers.
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How many

insane diatribes on " I HATE BUSH" do we need to hear?

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RE: How many

As many as "I HATE OBAMA" posts?

Did you see Clockwork Orange, the persons eyes were held open, and he was forced to see something he didn't enjoy?

Are your eyes forced open?

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It would seem a few more

Isn't there some term for that sort of obsession, when someone is no longer in power, yet obsessor still feels threatened in some manner? There's probably a proper term for it. It can't be paranoia, it goes beyond that.

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Yes

I'm not a Dr., but could make a pretty good guess

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(NT) WGAFP?

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