OK… I Know Some Are Confused

I know, some of you feel as though your head is going to explode. It is OK. I know it seems a bit overwhelming with all of these big, fancified words. It feels as though much of this stuff is going right over your head. I am here tonight doing nothing but settling it all down. No new content. Nothing new to try and wrap our heads around. No big words, and no new ideas. Just a bit of an explanation as to why this nasty topic is important and some thoughts that will hopefully help everyone to focus on the important take away material while merely reading and gaining a minimal understanding of the rest.
 

Believe me when I tell you that I understand how you are feeling. And you are thinking that this website just got a whole lot more complicated than you really wanted to get. But I submit that you are half right and half wrong with that statement. The site didn’t really get more complicated. We are going through a bit of tough material, but Thursday night will be a regular topic and Friday will be right back to guest commentary. We will then pick this subject up again on Sunday night. Once we have these basic concepts down, the material will actually get easier, as the focus will shift more towards politics and issues. However, it is getting a little harder in terms of political discussion, which is what you want. Let me explain.

We all want to make the country a better place. And we are all here to discuss ways that we can make that happen. The founders were great, but not infallible. There were mistakes they made too. And the politicians since those guys have really made some doozy mistakes. We want to eliminate as many inconsistencies and mistakes from our path forward as we can. I think we all agree on that. In order to do so we need to think on a higher level about our basic core principles and values. This series will set us up to do that. 

I sense frustration in that people are not understanding where this is going or how this leads us to a better place. To that I say a few things. First, just trust me and follow along on this little journey for a bit. It is only 7 or so articles. And it will make more sense in the end than it does now. Second, remember way back when I started? One of the things that I said we wanted to accomplish was education and waking up of our friends, neighbors, families, accomplices, etc.. Everyone talked about how the people that they talked to had their head in the sand or were unwilling to listen to logic. The key to breaking that wall down is understanding why they think the way that they do and how the arguments they believe are flawed. It is not enough to say “you are wrong” to these folks. You have to be able to explain why they are wrong, where the inconsistency is in their argument. 

This series, at its conclusion, will give you tools in a way that will allow you to be better armed to explain why their argument is flawed (whether they are liberal or conservative is irrelevant). It will further give you the tools to understand how to refine your positions in a way that eliminates contradiction in your position. Every single one of us is passionate about politics. That is why we are here. So it is important that the things that we are passionate about, we make sure that are right about. Look at it like a sport. If you were passionate about baseball (and I am), you wouldn’t be good at it without the practice. And those hours and hours of practice hurt. We push our bodies through tremendous pain in order to be better prepared for when the time comes to perform. Think of this as wind sprints in preparation for political battle. Sure it hurts. Sometimes you run so hard you throw up. But in the end you are better prepared to win that political battle than your foes. 

Look at it another way. Many of you have tangled with BlackFlag in debating an issue. It is maddening because he is prepared. You want to beat him at his own game? Here he is teaching you how to do so. Embrace that. Seize that moment, and figure out how to argue the way that he does, by eliminating as much inconsistency as possible from your argument. The scary thing is you may find some of your positions are flawed, and no one likes to find they have been defending something that is “wrong”. It may hurt to find you are wrong, but it will feel awful nice when you have drilled your positions down to unbreachable truths. 

Don’t get too wrapped up in trying to understand any one person’s philosophy, such as Ayn Rand or anyone else. She does a great job of explaining the importance of philosophy and the reasoning and base behind it. Nothing more and nothing less. At the end of this you won’t be Rand disciples. Her purpose here was to underscore the importance of this topic and to help explain some of the basics. Don’t let the big words get in the way of the concepts. Don’t get intimidated by them. Today is an extra day to do nothing but review the first two articles and clarify with JAC, BF, and myself any concepts that you are struggling with. I urge you to do so. I beg you to do so. I see so many intelligent commenters on this site from the right and the left. I want everyone to get this. Because then we will be able to have some principled and valuable discussions of the way forward with everyone eliminating inconsistency and flaws. That is the point where we are ready to find the proper path forward.

To this I want to add the thoughts that Just A Citizen posted at the end of yesterdays comment thread, so that you can see his thoughts as well. He posted the following:

OK Everyone. It is past dinnner time, even out here. Some have expressed confusion and others frustration. Others have helped and even others, unheard before have stepped in with some very profound stuff.

BUTS LET’S FOCUS!!

You are two parts through a three part series designed to give you a basic understanding of philosophy by providing you with:

1) Terminology

2) The hierarchy of philosophy

3) How to use reduction to think in terms of fundamentals. How to find which level of the hierarchy you are dealing with and to make sure the foundation supports the parts above it.

4) How to identify general principles in catch phrases or other rhetoric.

5) How to use reduction and identify principles that affect your emotions.

6) How to evaluate various types of rationalizations.

Now, here is what I hoped you would all get out of the first three parts.

Part 1:

1) A recognition that philosophy is important because it is what drives the world, especially the politics.

2) There is a hierarchy that consists of the following:

Esthetics Politics

Ethics

Epistemology

Metaphysics

Note that esthetics and politics are separate branches of ethics. Politics, our primary concern here, rests upon Ethics which rests upon Epistemology which rests upon Metaphysics.

Part 2:

1) Definitions so you will know what others are talking about when you try to defend your belief in individual liberty. And so you have a basic language skill to communicate with other detectives.

2) Basic detection skills, the art of reduction. An understanding that you must reduce all pirnciples and concepts to find the essential or foundation. The principle or concept that can not be recuded.

3) An introduction to two of the major camps which are fighting for control of your mind. Realists (Aristotle, Locke, Smith, Rand, etc) and those who think reality is a state of mind (Kant, Hegel, Marx, etc). A third is mysticism (Aquinas, the Catholic Church, etc).

 4) How to use reduction to identify fundamental, or essential, components hidden in catch phrases. A tool that I hope you can use on other positions and statements.

Part III: Coming Soon

 1) How to identify how philosophical principles affect your feelings.

 2) Understand why people rationalize things and use reduction to find the hidden philosophical principles.

 Future Parts: One or more parts to include a dialogue between BF and I and others designed to show you how to dig for your essentials and hopefully help you reaffirm them or dump them for new ones. I am sure we will get into examples here.

 One part with the title How our Founders Went Wrong. Figured that will generate alot of discussion. But we need our basic skills first. It will also provide the lead in for the conclusion.

 The Wrap Up: We will start to construct a philosophical system that will support the resurrecton of America. The politics will come to play in a big way here.

 YOU CAN NOT CHEAT AND SKIP TO THE END AND HOPE TO SUCCEED. YOU MUST MAKE THE JOURNEY WITH US FROM START TO FINISH. IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL AGREE WITH THE CONCLUSION. BUT YOU WILL KNOW WHY YOU DON’T AND HOW YOUR CONCLUSIONS WILL AFFECT YOUR GOALS, THE COUNTRY YOU WANT. AND YOU WILL KNOW WHY SOME OF US HAVE CHOSEN A DIFFERENT PATH.

 Don’t let all the fancy terms intimidate you. Their meanings are pretty straight forward. You don’t have to use them just know what they mean. If you do you will be amazed at how you start to reclassify the world.

 You will know that much of what we talk about here is either Politics or Ethics. You will know that Politics must be consistent with the Ethics. As contradictions mean one or both are false. You will know that ethics and morality are essentially the same. You will know that logic is a problem solving method or way of thinking that eliminates contradictions. Reason without logic is an oxymoron, in my opinion.

 You will know that when someone tells you that freedom is critical in our democracy and it is only logical that we tax the rich to help the poor that they have created a contradiction in ethics and therefore, by definition they are not logical.

 The goal of the first three articles is to give you just enough information to be dangerous, to those who will attack your desire to restore our constitution and resurrect our country. We can not send you into battle without at least a few of the weapons needed to fight this foe.

 Last thoughts to keep you sane:

DON’T LET OTHERS COMMENTS OR THOUGHTS GET YOU OFF TRACK. SOME OF US HERE WILL CHASE SOME VERY BIG FUZZY RABBITS. YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO ALONG. STAY FOCUSED ON THE BASIC OBJECTIVES I JUST OUTLINED ABOVE AND YOU WILL BE FINE.

 ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. DID YOU ALL NOTICE BF IS TRYING TO BE VERY HELPFUL SO PLEASE TAKE HIM UP ON IT. IT’S GOING TO GET UGLY WHEN WE GET TO POLITICS SO ENJOY HIM WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!!

 Now a little humor for those who feel overwhelmed. It wasn’t all that long ago that I thought epistemelogy was something you got penicillun shots for in order to get rid of it.

Funny I thought Epistemology was what they did to a woman during the birthing process. Don’t sweat folks. Just read again and let the important points jump out to you. Discuss for another day and then we will be ready to continue.

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Comments

  1. Richmond Spitfire says:

    US Weapon and JAC,

    Thank you so much for taking the “break” and using today to clear things up. I read both articles and truly thought I was an idiot — was planning on going back and re-reading articles and all postings to see if they helped to clear things up for me!

    Deep stuff here!

    Kind regards,
    RS

    • Alan F. says:

      Never an idiot which is something to remember about yourself and those around you. Experiences are what you bring to the table and they are your own. Not a soul can challenge you on your perspective. They can disagree with the argument itself but can never challenge how you got to your position without having lived your life in place of their own.

      All this has been an exercise in “think before you speak” and “here’s a methodology for rendering down your thoughts” to better state your case and provide less handholds for your opponent’s rebuttal. I remember that coming from a debating class in high school which I admit to mostly sleeping through. Never took Philosophy in University either as my Humanities credits were coming from elsewhere in the curriculum too. I GUESS We’re in the same boat on this topic RS… I’ll be on the other oar.

    • Black Flag says:

      Degree in Philosophy = not necessary.

      Degree in Thinking like a Human = necessary.

      Reality is.

      It is immune to anyone’s ‘perspective’ of it.

      Our choice as humans is to either ignore reality or do our darnedest to align with it.

      It will not align with us, that’s for sure!

      • Alan F. says:

        “Reality is.” but how could it not?

        “Immune to anyone’s perspective of it.” is again misleading if we are manifesting this “reality” in any media which is colored by something as fallible as ourselves and interpreted by the same.

        Even writing in Fortran, the more complex code takes on something of its author. Its indeed why we don’t debug our own. That’s about as black and white as it gets for me and there’s still grey showing.

        • Black Flag says:

          The goal is to move closer to reality, is it not?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Reality is immune to your perspective of it.

          This is NOT misleading.

          Your INTERPRETATION of reality is certainly not immune to your perspective of it, but that is not the argument.

          Reality is, and reality could care less if you see it through a clear lens or through rose-colored glasses.

          This is where the problems lie. My perception, or my interpretation of reality, is not going to align perfectly with your perception.

          Also, it is VERY likely that NEITHER YOUR PERCEPTION OR MINE WILL BE IN PERFECT ALIGNMENT WITH REALITY ITSELF!

          Woohoo! There’s a big conundrum for ya!

          So, how do we as human beings attempt to not only come to an agreement on what is real, but how do we also figure out how to make our “agreed reality” in the best possible alignment with “actual reality”.

          If all humans could simultaneously figure this out, the need for any sort of government, religion, or any other means of controlling people would immediately vanish.

          This is not to say that government or religion is NECESSARILY bad. The ideals behind many governments and many religions are actually quite good!

          The problem is that the ideals behind government and religion rarely translate into what these institutions end up DOING.

          Wow… ok.. I need more coffee after writing that :)

          • Alan F. says:

            “Your INTERPRETATION of reality is certainly not immune to your perspective of it, but that is not the argument.” The argument is reality is unto itself, fine. That a problem needs to be rendered to its simplest form before seeking a solution. Easy-peasy and common sense to boot.

            What I’m not seeing is where this has relevance on a political system. The notion that uncolored data will rule the day is a flight of fancy when human beings are actually involved in any significant number.

            Oh and as for “Also, it is VERY likely that NEITHER YOUR PERCEPTION OR MINE WILL BE IN PERFECT ALIGNMENT WITH REALITY ITSELF!”, I’ve already stated such by holding to the position that our perception of reality is individual. By that token how could we ever be in perfect alignment with anything?

          • Godzilla says:

            Ah, Schrodinger’s damn cat is out of the box again isn’t it?

      • Godzilla says:

        I seem to recall some guy that got us into a discussion over what the “IS” means, did Mr Clinton ever clear that up for us?

  2. I too, am glad for a break just to put out the brush fires ya’ll have started in my brain. Don’t worry about me. I’m going to hang with it through the whole series and beyond.

    This series has really srtarted me thinking. I was thinking about Common Sense on the way to work this morning and how little there seems to be of it in our Government today.

    I don’t know how many of us watch Beck. I watch him as long as I get home on time every day. One thing he has really stressed lately is for us to just use common sense. For our Government to do the same.

    I know he gets all spastic sometimes but hey, so do I lately. And even though he keeps the Liberals all pissed off, it’s because they choose not to open their ears. He is not blaming the mess we are in on the Liberals alone. Sure, they are catching it, but so are the Republicans. I can appreciate a lot of what the man has to say. A common sense approach to Government.

    Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    ….would challenge the authors a bit to extend the conversation and define for purpose of understanding:

    1. Knowledge
    2. Truth
    3. Belief
    4. Difference between belief and truth
    5. Hyperbolic Truth
    6. When is hyperbolic truth good and when is it bad

    anything else?

    • USWeapon says:

      I hope JAC and BF will work on these for you today Ray. I am off to Charlotte for the day. Driving down to meet some friends for a little afternoon golf. A rare treat for me these days. Hope your day is shaping up well.

      How is the impending arrival doing? You should be getting close about now, right?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Have fun golfing! This is the time of year to do it – and best of to anyone with the patience for golf!

        Arrival is – ugh – any day now. Supposed to be next Thursday but many have told me not to plan on that date.

    • Morning Ray, Hopefully these will be answered in the upcoming articles. I’m still trying to digest the last two days, which have certainly pushed my thinker to another universe. I’ve never dealt with philosophy at this level, so todays break is much welcome. Some of the things that I’ve read, I’ve actually applied in meetings with senior leadership, not knowing what I was actually applying until this week, so I’m learning. I’m going to apply some more today in a meeting with a V.P. this morning, and I will challenge him mentally (which should be fun).

      I enjoy reading your posts, it’s important to get varying views on these issues.

      PEACE

      G!

      • Moanin’ G! I went to the FoxForum this morning. Don’t know why I bothered. All that’s happening there is SSDD. Man! It aggrevates the crap out of me to watch the alleged Cons and Libs rip and tear each other up. And God forbid a REAL cons, or even a REAL Lib step in and make a comment.

        Then it’s a Bad Day at Black Rock! (old Western novel)

        • Alan F. says:

          I’ve posted for quite some time there myself and quit just recently for the lack of “on topic” discussion. Those who can articulate on topic do and those who can’t change the topic itself. The majority of rants having absolutely nothing to do with the opinion piece in question outside of an English character set being used is now the norm there. You are 100% on it being a far left and far right poisoning of the well.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks G – same here.

        Good luck today – most VP where I work hate being challenged ;-)

    • Good Morning Ray: Man you want to get right after it this morning don’t ya?

      So lets take one at a time:

      1. Knowledge: The range or accumulation of what we have learned, perceive, about truth. Which of course requires the perception of what is not true. Knowledge is not absolute as what we perceive to be true today may change when we acquire new information, i.e., knowledge. It is acquired through the use of reason.

      2. Truth: The expression of concepts that are not contradicting reality. In essence an expression or statement of reality.

      3. Belief: What we think to be true or not true, but may not be accurate. May or may not be grounded in reason. This one is dangerous because it is used two ways in these types of discussions. I believe it is true is a statment affirming an understanding of truth at the moment. I believe in unicorns is a statement of belief without foundation, any support of reality, reason or logic.

      4. Difference between belief and truth: Think I covered this with the above.

      5. Hyperbolic Truth: Lets have fun with this one. Following are Wiki definitions of the two possible meanings of “Hyperbolic”.

      Hyperbole (pronounced /haɪˈpɝːbəli/ hye-PER-buh-lee; “HYE-per-bowl” is a common mispronunciation) comes from ancient Greek “ὑπερβολή” (meaning excess or exaggeration) and is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is rarely meant to be taken literally.
      Hyperbole is used to create emphasis. It is a literary device often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. It is also a visual technique in which a deliberate exaggeration of a particular part of an image is employed. An example is the exaggeration of a person’s facial feature in a political cartoon.

      Hyperbola (hyperbolic)In mathematics a hyperbola is a smooth planar curve having two connected components or branches, each a mirror image of the other and resembling two infinite bows aimed at each other.[clarification needed] The hyperbola is traditionally described as one of the kinds of conic section or intersection of a plane and a cone, namely when the plane makes a smaller angle with the axis of the cone than does the cone itself (Figure 1), the other kinds being the parabola and the ellipse (including the circle).

      Assuming you are using the geometric term I would conclude that “hyperbolic truth” does not exist. Truth is a reflection of reality. A curvalinear truth, especially one that curves away from itself would be a contradiction to reality. We all know truth is straight and not a curve. “Give it to me straight”.

      If you are using the literary term then I would say “hyperbolic truth” does not exist. Truth is truth. It can not be exagerated or diminished. Our rhetoric can certainly be exagerated when trying to explain what we perceive as the truth.

      6. When is hyperbolic truth good and when is it bad: “Hyperbolic truth” does not exist. I do think “hyperbole” has a place in discussions, arguments and art. It is bad when the target can’t distinquish from “hyperbole” and “truth” or “logic”.

      I know I’m usually a little more wordy than BF so it will be interesting to see him use the razor on these thoughts.

      Stay close to the phone. Little information regarding delivery day. My wife was at the end and had exceeded the predicted day. And I mean she was at the end, of her rope. All three times she went for a long walk and we were headed to the hospital a few hours later.

      Good Luck
      JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        Hyperbolic Truth:

        JAC is correct – Truth is Truth.

        However, I’d venture a slight difference regarding the meaning of Hyperbolic Truth.

        Adjectives matter. So, we should be able to consider the word ‘Hyperbolic’ as it modifies ‘Truth’.

        Most discovery of “Truth” starts from some center, and continuously moves closer and closer to reality.

        Physics as an example:

        Newton offered a ‘truth’ about the universe – darn close, but not quite.

        Einstein offered the same ‘truth’, but a bit closer to reality, but not quite.

        Planck offered the same ‘truth’, but a even closer to the reality, but not quite.

        The whole process gets closer and closer to the reality – but not quite.

        (The CERN project is an attempt to reach the “God Particle” – the last and final step to achieving the Unified Field Theory – the theory that explains it all from soup to nuts – from the smallest quanta of energy to the largest objects in the Universe – I think they’ll find that there is, again, one more step ;) )

        As far as Physics – I believe that we will never reach the perfect understanding of of reality and the perfect truth – we will just get ever closer and closer to it. Maybe one day, we will do the equivalent of Mathematics – calculus – and just simply ‘jump’ over the gap and declare – “this is the value that the curve is moving towards – therefore, at the end of infinity, this is what it is!”

        So, for me, Hyperbolic Truth is a path or process of reaching for truth.

        • Oh but what you have described is an expanding bubble not an hyperbola.

        • CERN, isn’t that where they are trying to create a Higgs Bosun? And some stuff called Quarks and Mesons?

          • Black Flag says:

            Yes.

            The question is:

            a quark and a quanta of energy are almost the same, except one has mass and the other does not.

            The search is for the “mass particle”, the thing that makes matter matter!

            • I researched that after reading a Sci-Fi book series by John Ringo called Into The Looking Glass.

              I didn’t research long because I know when I’m overreaching on my learning curve. ;-)

            • Black Flag says:

              The current belief is that there exists a “Unified Theory” that combines all the aspects of matter and energy.

              At the upper-most, we have the Singularity – the core of a black hole.

              The theory has that gravity has crushed all matter into a particle of pure mass, and nothing else.

              At the smallest-most, we have Quantum Physics. The search for the building blocks of matter and what does what with energy that causes it to coagulate into matter.

              The theory there is that there exists a particle that give matter mass – so when that particle exists with a quanta, it creates a quark. Without that particle, the quanta stays as energy.

              So, we see that we now have a circle – from the biggest of the big to the smallest of the small – the discovery of Singularity.

              This is why some went ‘ga-ga’ – a singularity is the essence of a black hole, so some believed that a black hole would be created at CERN and suck in the world. Obviously, they are missing a concept called “quantity”.

              All of this is nice
              if it exists!

              I, myself, do not think that they will find it.

      • Alan F. says:

        Hyperbole is used in argument to exaggerate for the sake of leveraging emotions and as such is a deviation from “the truth and nothing but the truth”. Tying it to math in the setting of a social argument is itself an example of such.

        • Alan: Since your comment appears to be a response to my original answer to Ray, let me explain.

          Ray used the term Hyperbolic Truth. The word “hyperbolic” only refers to a geometric curve. There is no such word tense related to hyperbole, or exageration.

          As we must take phrases literally in testing a concept is was necessary to pose both definitions. Because I can not be positive as to Ray’s meaning I used both definitions and got to the same answer. Thus disarming him of any chance to claim I made the wrong assumption.

          I come across this type of statement from those on the left all the time. This is how you must deal with them. Now in fairness to Ray I don’t think he was playing word games with me. But to test it, I elected to short cut the discussion by dealing with both possibilities in one response.

          Therefore the interjection of a geometric figure was appropriate and not an exageration. It follows a “logical” process of problem solving. Your statement does bring up an example of how differing perspectives can affect a discussion.

          My response to Ray is what I would consider a logic based presentation. Others would think I was just being a smart ass, especially those on the receiving end of the argument.

          I hope you can now see it was not my intent to exagerate anything.
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            JAC – no worry – I wasn’t trying to jackpot anyone – back in the college days I recall the phrase being used by a poet who was ranting about the everyday usefulness of philosophy relative to linguistics.

            He stated something to the effect that hyperbolic truth was a philosophical construct of the absolute nature of truth. Sometimes this works and other times it may not?

            Take the statement (this is merely an example): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, …”

            In looking for the hyperbolic truth may we say that well, no, not all men are created equal – in one aspect we are not all the same height and weight, in another aspect, clearly many of the time owned slaves – we can perhaps, from a hyperbolic perspective say that the statement is not a true statement and should merely read:

            “We hold these BELIEFS to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator (Change upper case “C’ to lower case “c” – there is no hyperbolic truth to the statement that there is a Creator) with certain unalienable Rights, …”

            • Ray

              You may have me even more confused now. So was this guy using hyperbolic as in hyperbole?

              If so, the example you give doesn’t make sense to me, at least relative to the phrase he used and your example.

              Your statement does make sense in terms of deciding whether to reduce a sentence into two parts, as this one or to take the entire thought together. Interestingly enough this is exactly one of the word problems the Supreme Court has referenced when trying to interpret meaning of the Constitution. For example,

              What you say about equality and truth is true, but only if you assume the comma separates the firt part from the second as if the word “and” had been inserted. So is the comma separating two thoughts or creating a pause to explain what the first part meant. Kind of like saying after a long thought, “in other words …..”. If it is the latter then the equal status referenced is with regard to rights, not status or stature.

              I think it would be best if the whole “hyperbolic truth” phrase were abandoned. I bet we can all develope better terms to desribe the concept. But first you have to tell me whether it means Exagerated Truth or something else.

              Thanks for the follow up on this.
              JAC

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                The poet was Ginsburg fwiw – an incredibly confusing evening for me as a result of a Gen Ed poetry class – not something I was wired for at the time.

      • TexasChem says:

        Heyas guys been busy with a new project at work and haven’t had the time to post at all. I apologize for my absence. I have approximately 10 more days of this project then I will have time to join back in with the debates.

        BF:Truth is NOT truth unless proven.Would that be a TRUE statement or am I just a victim of methodic doubt? :)

  4. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi JAC, US Weapon, Black Flag & any other interested parties,

    I’ve been meaning to put Ayn Rand on my reading list (specifically Atlas Shrugged) for about a month now as per suggestions from other folks.

    Question: Is there a specific sequence of Ayn Rand writings that I should read? Please note that I do better with reading novels as they keep me more interested…I passed American History by reading Historical Fiction – bodice ripping included! ;)

    Thanks,
    RS

    • Hey RS, I love anything Historical. Whether True or Fiction.

      A historically accurate novel is always a good read.

    • Good morning my dear Spitfire:

      You might consider reading The Fountain Head first. As I recall the philosophical speeches were much shorter. And I remember the passion was a little greater. There must be real passion so that the bodice ripping is mutual.

      I to leaned on historical novels when younger. Still love them for a fun change of pace. Recently read one where the South won the war. It was about the conspiracy of the John Brown crowd to destroy the new govt. Jeb Stewart was still alive. It was a very fun read while provoking a little thought. I will try to find the title next time at the library for you.

      My first was an historical novel about Alexander the Great. Stoked full of young man aggression and passionate love. What a great book. Only problem was that when I started arguing years later about what Alexander had done I would revert back to the novel, ie fiction. I couldn’t stand the movie because it so violated my vision from that first novel.

      If you are truly interested in Ayn Rand’s philosophy I will provide some other books that get to the point. Not novels but then you don’t have to suffer the long intermission in the action, like Atlas Shrugged.

      Hows that for lightening up the discussion?

      Best wishes this spring day
      JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        Atlas Shrugged got me going on Rand – so I approached it backwards to JAC.

        I enjoyed some of the great speeches in the book – especially by the character
        Francisco d’Aconia -

        http://www.working-minds.com/money.htm

        Francisco is a Black Flag ;)

        • I forgot about Francisco. You are perhaps correct.

          Maybe Francisco can join our walk somewhere along the path. Sounds like the perfect name for a Muskateer type.

  5. Birdman says:

    I spent some time this morning reading through some of the discussion from Tuesday. It helped me understand some of the concepts. This is a very deep subject and it takes me back to one college professor who taught history and asked the class what a “fact” is, “your perception of time” and other concepts. He took the class through some philosophy to get the class to understand how history is written. You were required to pick at least 2 authors of history and analyze the book and how they wrote history. It made you think and view history differently.

    I look forward to the next part of your series. Thanks for writing this subject and teaching us or reminding us on the importance of philosophy.

    • Black Flag says:

      Definition of History:

      Lies told by victors.

      • That would not be the definition but a description of the content.

        History is reality. It exists as it is, but we may not know the truth.

        Sorry, couldn’t help it.
        Hows your frost bite? Healing I hope.
        JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        The definition is, of course, tongue-in-cheek – with a grain of truth.

        The work of a real historian, of course, is to scrape away the lies to lay bear the truth of our past.

        Yes, the great non-emergency has passed – with no worse for wear than a running nose.

        Not bad for an old guy.

        Now, back to poker and posting!

    • My first exposure was in Jr Year of High School. A biology teacher started with this little ditty; What is the meaning of Life?

      We even got to break into teams to figure it out. Everyone shared their views. Being young high schoolers and it being the age of Aquarius and all, you can imagine the length and complexity of many answers. When it was my turn I answered:

      Life

      Everyone chuckled and the teacher asked me to explain. I said:

      Life is the meaning of life.

      That’s it? he asked.

      Yes, I said.

      Many, many years later I still like that answer the best. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      Wouldn’t want you to let the brain rest to long you know.
      JAC

      • So what grade did you get for your answer? :-)

        • There was no grade for the discussion. Just an “my, that’s interesting”.

          I did get a B in the class but thats because our term project ate itself.
          My lab partner and I decided to do an experiment with crawdads. Went to the lake and caught about 30 of the things. Can’t remember now what the project was about, only that before we could get the study done there was only two crawdads left.

          That kind of blew up our sample size. Teach gave us a C on the project because we came up with a creative report on why our assumptions failed. We had failed to think about and thus ignored reality. I think if we had just thrown up our hands he would have given us an F.

          I remember alot of my teachers were really focused on challenging our minds back then. Perhaps nostalgic, I don’t know. Just seems we explored more than kids in school today. We had advanced classes in every science subject and math for those who thought they knew what their career might be, as well as auto, wood and metal shops. You could take shop for three years if you wanted. The basics of reading, writing and arithmatic, oh and PE were required for all.

          Now we make a big deal about the need for “advanced classes” to challenge the smart kid. In my day they were part of the standard fare. And somehow my parents and other taxpayers managed to pay for all of that without suffering the heavy tax burden we see today.

          Whoa!!!! Getting far afield aren’t I?
          Hope all is well at Esom Hill
          JAC

          • Maybe you’re getting too far afield, but I know what you mean. We must be near the same age. :-)

            My son is in the Advanced Classes. And they do make a bigger deal of it than they used too.

            • What the hell. I feel like being side tracked for awhile.

              They were called college prep classes in my day. Those of us who thought we were headed that way were encouraged to take as many as possible. I even got to take a Russian class. Now here is the fun part.

              When I got to college I had to take all these entrance exams to see which classes I should be put in Freshman year. I did’nt do so well on these. Although at the same time I passed the same tests administered by the Marine Corps, with flying colors. All except English. Damn near flunked that one on both tests.

              Anyhow, the college put me in these “beginning” level classes. This turned out to be a God Send as I was playing baseball and fall practice was running about 6 hours a day. My college classes turned out to be repeats of my Jr. and Sr years of High school. Don’t know if that was an attaboy for the highschool or a slam on the college.

              But, I pulled a 4.0 my entire freshman year with 18 credits in fall and 16 in spring. Even playing ball. You see I was aceing the tests without attending all the classes. Proff’s were somewhat peeved by the whole thing.

              Of course I spent the next 4 years chipping away at that GPA trying very hard to get it below a B. Almost made it too. LOL for sure.

              How was that for a side trip?
              JAC

              • esomhillgazette says:

                I did all my chipping away in High School. When I finally went to College at 32, I had a 4.0 all the way through.

                Just a Technical College though. But I did so good because I wanted it worse then than I did in HS. In HS I was all about the Party Hardy.

      • Black Flag says:

        The meaning of life is to discover our talents and the purpose of life is to share it with the world.

  6. Hey guys,

    It seems that religion plays a very important role in our world (Muslim, Christian, Catholic, etc.), in our countries, in our governments, and in our people. We are talking about philosophy, ethics, morals, contradictions, and realities – are you going to bring religion into the fray?

    • Black Flag says:

      I’m sure it will pop up somewhere.

    • amazed1 says:

      I thought religion was a philosophy….see I guess I am still confused :)

      • I thought religion was a belief.

      • Amazed and Esom:

        Religion can be thought of as a “philosophical system” depending on how complete it is. Most religion based discussions never get deeper than morality and ethics. In this case it would not be a complete system, in my opinion.

        But of course any given religion is not the “only” philosophy or phiolosophical system. Each may have its own, as can those systems without religion.

        Does this help?
        JAC

  7. Yesterday, JAC asked me “what is right?”

    I typed up a response, but couldn’t hit submit because that little question was so profound that I knew I had to think on it more. I kept thinking about “what is right” when it comes to killing another human being. I was thinking about self defense. If I am defending myself or my family, is it “right” to take another human life?

    I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. My religious upbringing would say “don’t kill, turn the other cheek, and let God handle your enemies.” “Pray for your enemies and let God intervene.” Still, I carry a Glock 40 next to my bed (in a safe) and keep loaded rifles in my house and my barn. I know that if someone attacked my family, I would shoot them without hesitation.

    Is my logical thinking overruling my religious upbringing? Do I simply not have enough faith?

    • I would have to say that God gave man the instinct of self preservation. And preservation of self and family is a part of the human makeup, that God made!

      G!

    • Good morning Roper

      Yes we have to discuss God and Religion. Right out of the chute, they are not necessarily the same. The belief in God is not the same as a set of rules or concepts taught to you by other human beings. So with that little ditty lets go to your dilemna about the guns.

      You are acting in what I would consider a rational manner as any human interested in living would act. This is logical and it is consistent with the nature of man.

      Yes, your logic is overruling your religious teachings. Which of course means your teachings were not logical. You can take the rest of the way from here.

      Faith has nothing to do with this situation, unless you are expressing faith in the religeous teachings. If the latter then you do not have enough faith in the teachings. Why? Because you know that turning the other cheek can get you or your family dead. The teaching is not computing, it is false because it doesn’t square with reality.

      Your faith in God is not dependent on your belief in the religeous dogma.

      This of course is the humble opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion shared by everyone. Had to add that, feeling a little on the fun side today.

      Does this make sense to you?
      JAC

    • Not to me you’re not. When someone breaks into your house threatening your family, I don’t think God expects you to Spread your arms and say “do with me what you will brother! My God will protect me!”

      I think God expects you to grab that ‘ere gun and protect your family. God’s grace will not stop an evil person from committing an evil and violent act against you.

      “Turn the other cheek” is a parable showing how God’s love is supposed to be. It was also written over 2000 years ago. Before we had as many sickos as we have now.

      So fire away without hesitation. A sick concience is better than a dead or hurt family member due to inaction.

      Good luck and I hope it never happens to you.

    • Roper,

      You have to answer those questions by breaking them down to your most basic reasoning. Your family forms the most basic society. It functions by both
      stated and un-stated rules. Parents are expected to provide for and protect their offspring. We could discount feelings such as “love” and reason that
      the family unit is successful and necessary for our species to survive. But that would be a mistake, love, loyalty and other emotions have a place in determining who, what and why we are the people that we are.

      As for faith, the Bible also says,”if a thief is struck dead entering your home, there is no sin”. The Bible is the word of God, written by men, so has a few imperfections. The principles it preaches, if understood and accepted by every would result in a truly wonderful world.

    • Black Flag says:

      Roper

      I agree with JAC – first separate God from Religion; they are not the same thing.

      Think about this quote from Gandhi.

      God needs no religion

      What is the Truth about that statement?

      • I’d like to take a stab at this one if I may.

        God needs no religion because religion is based on God. The core, so to speak.

        yes? no? maybe?

        • I would say no.

          We accept there is only one god. But there are many religions and sects within religions. They don’t all share the same morality or ethical standards. Therefore either religion is not necessarily based on god or there are multiple gods, or a combination of the two.

          I offer this not as a position but as an example of how to explore your statement.

          Does this make any sense Kym?
          JAC

          • Your explanation does make sense if we all agree there is only one God.

            • I want you to try and tackle your own statement.

              Go back to your original question and replace God with “the Gods” and see if you get a different answer than I gave.

              If you need help just holler.
              JAC

        • Black Flag says:

          Yes.

          Religion is man’s attempt to discover how to align with God. God doesn’t need it – He is, by definition, already aligned with Himself.

          So, if a ‘spiritual man’ is working to align with God, and God doesn’t need religion, then….

          …a spiritual man doesn’t need religion either.

          The word is ‘need’ – that is, not required.

          It could be used – it is a tool among many tools. But it is not a necessity.

          So, that is why I suggest the God and Religion are distinct and separate.

          • Godzilla says:

            Have any of you read the “Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialog” written by Neal Walsh? For me at least, in got me back in touch with the big guy since I’m fairly disgusted with the hypocracy in a lot of the folks I met while attending: Southern Baptist(snakes, speaking in tongues), regular run of the mill Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic churches. Incorrectly, I blamed the religion and not the people, but Im much better now. I think I’m leaning to the belief in Divine Evolution as one that makes the most sense. Hope I didn’t offend anyone that attends one of these religions, Im not blaming the religion, I want to believe it’s just what those folks do with their religion that I never understood.

        • Black Flag says:

          And as you can see….

          …the next few weeks is going to be a lot of fun!

          • OK…so I get a “yes” from BF and a “no” from JAC…yup, next few weeks are gonna be fun, lol

            • I reviewed BF’s response and think you got diff. answers because we assumed diff. meanings for “based on”.

              I assumed that you meant it came from, as the claim that god basically wrote the 10 commandments, or god gave a particular religion to man.

              I think BF was assuming “for god” or “on behalf of god” as in man created religion to align himself with god.

              Of course we might just disagree.
              Keep Smiling
              JAC

        • Kristian says:

          Kym,

          I don’t know if this helps but here goes… God is faith and religion is laws or a guideline if you will.

          • Kristian says:

            I’ll add this to my first post. One doesn’t need the other to exist. Religion can and does exist without God and God does exist without religion.

    • Roper

      Now that we have addressed you specific example let me explain the nature of the question I asked yesterday. I was looking for a definition of sorts, not examples of your moral or ethical principles. Your example does serve well to launch the subject, however. So:

      What do you know about “right”?
      How do you know it?

      Don’t freak just yet. These are the basic questions to ask about external knowledge. So, we want to find out what is right.

      First we have to know what right means and how do we know that is what it means.

      Right is just that. Right means it is correct, it is consistent with truth and thus reality, as we know it. The opposite is wrong, or left. That gets back to why I am a radical right wing liberal and not left wing. Rather be right than wrong.

      How do I know it? Because that is how man has defined it.

      That’s the fuzzy side, now lets look at the practical and this relates to your gun/faith question and why I answered it the way I did. Now we need some way to tell whether a particula concept or principle is “right”.

      For something to be right it must be consistent with the universe, which also means the very nature of man. Our nature is to survive. To do anything else would be comletely illogical, it would result in our destruction. And by the way, this is a metaphysical statement.

      I’ll let that digest for awhile. Let me know when you want to go farther or have more questions.

      JAC

    • Roper, Let’s look at an example from the Mountains of WV of the snake handlers.

      Now they say that they can pick up a Rattler and it won’t bite them if they have enough Faith.

      I Agree with their Principle of having enough Faith, but I believe that not only does God provide me with the chance to have Faith in Him, he also gave me the brains to not pick up a Rattlesnake!

      God gives you the chance to keep faith with Him, but he also gives you the instincts and ability to protect your family.

  8. Black Flag says:

    As this is an open day,

    I had posted that California was doomed.

    Schwarzenegger’s 3rd budget reform attempt flops

    ,says APWire

    They are.

    California has but two choices – bankruptcy or begging the Fed.

    If the former, it will send a tidal wave through the Muni Bond market, and trigger State and Municipal defaults across the country. The financial collapse will further impact the already shaky US economy, probably pushing it fully into a inflationary depression.

    If the latter, it will begin the process of Empire; if the Fed bails out California, there will be at least 35 more States in line with the “if them, then me too” attitude. It will be the end of all independence of the States vs. Federalism.

    The end of the Republic as we know it.

    My comments inserted into the article .

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to permanently fix California’s “broken budget system.” But three times now he has tried and failed to smooth out the state’s roller coaster revenues.

    Yep, 3 times trying to raise taxes.

    God forbid any idea of actually cutting the budget.

    Voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected his latest effort, a package of budget-balancing measures that he promised would provide a short-term patch for the current financial crisis and prevent further catastrophe in the future.

    The beginnings of a citizen’s tax revolt. The citizen’s are betting to let the cards fall where they may – but they are, for sure, sick of taxation.

    Instead, he now faces a $21.3 billion budget deficit and a budget system that has not changed a bit since he took office nearly six years ago.

    “I think he’s discovered that this job is a lot harder than he anticipated in a state of economic downturn,” Treasurer Bill Lockyer said Tuesday of the governor who came into office in 2003 promising to “end the crazy deficit spending.”

    Promises, promises.

    As always, they promise do cut, but all they do is spend.

    The Republican governor faces another tough round of budget negotiations after months spent haggling with lawmakers to close the state’s first budget shortfall, which was initially $42 billion through June 2010.

    Schwarzenegger will be forced to spend much of his final year-and-a-half in office struggling with the same financial woes that led to the recall of his predecessor instead of enacting the sweeping policy changes he once envisioned.

    There is no difference between Team A or Team B, other than color of the shirts.

    It is no surprise that both Parties find themselves in exactly the same quicksand – their policies have no discernible difference.

    Party #1- tax and spend.
    Paryt #2 – spend and tax.

    “The biggest loser would be Arnold,” said Dave McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University. “It’s time to start looking for a cabinet post in the Obama administration or an ambassadorship someplace warm.”

    Back sided comment admitting the unstated.

    State politics is the schooling for moving into Federal politics. Arny will be given a passing grade.

    Lockyer said Schwarzenegger and lawmakers will have to reach a new budget agreement quickly, with tax revenue coming in far below projections. Unless a compromise is struck by the end of June, the state could have trouble paying its bills by the end of July.

    That is moving at speeds unheard of for Politics.

    Thus, the only option is begging the Fed – the Fed moved within a weekend to fund nearly a $1 trillion bailout.

    California will take them less than an hour – IF they want to do that.

    Political observers say Schwarzenegger and lawmakers will have little choice but to go after even politically sacred programs such as schools. An unusually high two-thirds vote threshold in the Legislature for passing budgets and partisan polarization could combine for a painful summer.

    “The choices facing the governor and Legislature are daunting,” said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California. “Democrats have taken heat for accepting spending cuts. Certain Republicans have taken heat for accepting tax increases, and the heat’s only going to get more intense this summer.”

    This is the politicians punishing the citizens – attack their kids.

    There is so much other spending that California could cut – like public servant wages – but that would punish themselves – oh, bury that thought!

    Many Californians have been hearing about the state’s budget problems but have yet to feel the severity of the crisis. That will soon change, Pitney said.

    “For a lot of people, the budget’s been an abstraction. But with the next round, there will probably be serious consequences, particularly in the schools,” Pitney said.

    “We will whip you senseless, you pitiful idiots of citizens! We are your rulers and you will suffer!”

    Last week, the governor said he will consider shortening the school year by seven days, laying off up to 5,000 state employees and taking money from local governments, which likely would translate into cuts to police and firefighting services.

    Note: the first threat of service cuts goes upon the duty that the State justifies it’s existence – protection.

    Touch not the other junk that the State has assumed over and above its “social contract” – nope, invalidate the contract first!

    Tens of thousands of teachers also face the prospect of layoffs.

    Schwarzenegger’s warning did not sway voters, many of whom said they did not trust that the ballot propositions would do much to solve California’s budget trouble.

    The citizens are smarter than the poly-ticks think they are.

    The majority of registered voters didn’t bother to vote at all. Partial results from nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday showed only 19 percent of voters had cast a ballot, according to the secretary of state’s office.

    Chris Almanza, 55, of Sacramento was among those who chose not to vote, in part because she was angry and frustrated at state lawmakers.

    “I’m not going to vote because I don’t think it’s going to matter,” Almanza said.

    :)

    That has the government worried.

    Not voting is the ultimate vote of ‘no confidence’ in the system.

    The governor had particularly championed Proposition 1A, which would have created a stronger rainy day fund for troubled times and capped state spending, while extending a series of tax increases lawmakers approved in February. Those taxes would have brought in about $16 billion to state coffers in future years.

    Capped spending – that is, no cuts.

    Yep, we’re spending like drunken sailors – so let’s not cut back – just level it off to a near-total stupor!

    Proposition 1A also was crucial to solving many of the budget problems Schwarzenegger has had to confront in office and help him carve out a legacy for himself.

    He reiterated Tuesday that he wanted to be remembered as a fighter for budget reform and said he wouldn’t be dissuaded by the overwhelming repudiation from voters.

    Read: “I couldn’t careless what the voters demand – I will continue to force the same plan, over and over again, until its pounded down their throat”.

    “I have been working to accomplish this kind of reform since I was elected in 2003 and I will keep working toward it because we cannot allow this harmful and out-of-control budget process to continue,” Schwarzenegger said in a concession statement late Tuesday.

    “But hear my words! No CUTS to our pay, pension or perks!”

    The governor planned to return Wednesday from Washington, D.C., where he spent Election Day, to start discussing the grim options with legislative leaders.

    His Masters congratulated him. He done well. They let him know what the next few steps will be.

    1) Offer the same, rejected, proposal.
    2) Appear to be trying “hard”
    3) Fail
    4) Save the day by offering the Fed
    5) Graduate into the Elite Political Party. They’ll throw the rules away and make him President of the Empire.

    Watch this play out. It will be the game plan for most of the States for the next couple of years.

    In a handful, they will resist it venomously, and attempt secession. Then the ‘fireworks’ will really start….

    • BF, which of the bad things, Fed bailout, or bankruptcy, would you see as the better option? I would be against a bailout.

      G!

      • Me too G! Let’s the idiots go bankrupt.

      • Depends on your goal G Man.

        Do you want to speed up resurrection of our nation or just perpetuate what we have?

        If we bail them out, how do we keep it from spreading.

        Remember, we need 75% of the states on our side to fix things. If the Fed Govt becomes the defacto CFO and CEO of each state, how will we get them on our side?

        JAC

    • I HOPE my flippin’ state at least ATTEMPTS secession. And is not one of those looking for a bailout.

    • The REality of the situation in California is that the Governator has virtually no contol or power over expenditures. The legislature has created a “mandated” set of expenditures that the governor may not touch. He has less leeway in his budget than the President.

      That is why he furloughed employees to save money. It was one of the few things he can actually control.

      So now we will see if the legislators will simply run over the people and start imposing fees and hidden taxes to raise revenue.

      OH RAY!!! You asked about the difference between belief and truth. The legislature in California believes everything will work out. Truth doesn’t look so rosey right now.

      See how we find this philosophy thing everywhere?
      Keep yer hats on everyone.
      JAC

      • JAC, I saw on Fox last night about their being Laws on the CA books that will not let them touch the Budget. And the Governator swearing he wasn’t going for a bailout (sure).

        My question is. Are they really that stupid in CA? They made a law whereby they cannot cut fuding to study Sea Otters? But they can lay off teachers and firefighters?

        Those folks are even more screwed up than I thought. Did the hippies take over CA? Obviously they did. And they’re trippin’ on something far worse than LSD.

        • Yes they are that stupid. Cause most of the smart ones left years ago for Idaho and Montana, and some to Wyoming and Utah.

          See that survival of the fittest thing does work, as does voting with your feet.

          Oh by the way, a lot of the not so smart ones left also, but they went to Oregon and Washington state. Now, what condition do you think those two states are in compared to Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming?

          Ohhhh Feeeet Don’t Fail Me Now!!
          JAC

          • Oh yeah. I saw the map of the states who were experiencing budget problems. There were only 3 who weren’t. Guess who they were? MT and WY and I believe it was SD.

            But only a few were actually experiencing shortfalls in their budget. The rest were just having to cut back.

        • You have no idea just how crazy CA really is. Tree huggers have taken control of almost everything and what they didn’t grab, the illegals have. They are actually going to cut water to farm land because they need a waterway to help some damn fish get to its spawning grounds! We can starve but hey…the fish are mating once again.

          About 10 or 15 years ago we had a Snack Tax, sales tax added on to chips and candy, stuff like that. It brought in tons of revenue and Cali got used to the extra $$$. The politicians had a blast coming up with programs to spend that money on and the huggers got every native bug, bird and creature named “endangered” or “protected”. Now we can’t do squat because we may bother the blue footed tree turtle or whatever’s habitat. Assinine to say the least.

          • I have family in CA. Some I have never seen who live in Brownsville. Another lives and works in Silicon Valley or thereabouts as a Electronic Engineer.

            I wonder how long it will take them to come back home, or if they will?

            Dang Kym! Glad I don’t live there! Georgia has enough problems of her own without any like that!

          • Bama dad says:

            KYM

            “They are actually going to cut water to farm land because they need a waterway to help some damn fish get to its spawning grounds! We can starve but hey…the fish are mating once again.”

            It has already been done. It was on the news last week, showed a dried up irrigation ditch, dead fruit and vegetable plants and the workers out of work standing in line for food hand outs. The reporter interviewed a third generation farmer whose family had been getting water for years and according to him they stopped the pumps because of a small fish was getting sucked into the pump intake, not that they could not mate.

            • Still makes no sense to me. I was raised on a ranch and we had 130 acres in alfalfa to feed our stock and sell some to others. I can’t believe these idiots are killing agriculture and families to keep fish from being sucked up. 5 more years and I can kiss this state farewell! But then, my husband works for the city and he has been informed his head is on the chopping block…so it may be sooner.

          • CA Mama says:

            Kym,

            You are so right and either I can’t or won’t imagine what this state’s politicians will be up to next. Well, I guess they can’t eat us, right :)

            Take Care,

            J

            • Mama:

              You old enought to remember Soylent Green?

              Be careful what you say.

              Hugs and sympathy to you and Kym
              I was raised next door so I know of what you speak.
              JAC

        • Godzilla says:

          Remember, these are the same folks that keep re-electing Pelosi and Feinstein, nuff said!!

    • Black Flag says:

      G-Man,

      My answer is, of course, a question back… ;)

      What is better, death by hanging or death by drowning?

      The path is untenable. Either way is a disaster.

      This is why it is so incredibly important about the discussions we are having.

      If the People chose the same path as they did before, they will get the same result.

      Therefore, a change is coming.

      What is a ‘good’ change? How do we know what is ‘good’ for the re-organization of society and what is a ‘bad’?

      How can we tell the difference?

      We can’t predicate the future – it is unknown – so what choices do we make to best prepare us for the decisions of the future? What is our method and process?

      • Black Flag says:

        PS:

        The reason the path is untenable is because of the root assumption of the Government – it will NEVER cut back its own pay, benefits or perks, nor reduce its impact on society.

        This is the ONLY path to save the State and the Nation, and it is the ONLY choice the Government will never make willingly.

        • BF, My thought is to let the cards fall as they may. The government will cause their own destruction, eventually. I’m ready for whatever happens, in the meantime I’ll be watching it all happen while I’m hangin out here, lots more to learn!

          G!

          • I think the GMan might be getting a Black Flag in the mail.

            This would all be good for a great laugh if it wasn’t so damn sad.
            JAC

            • I hate to say this JAC. But the longer our Government in it’s present form stays in office, the closer I feel to BF’s POV.

              I had rather have no Government at all than what we have now!

              G-Man is right. If left alone the Government will self-destruct. As a matter of fact, I’ve already begun my contingency planning.

    • Flag

      From Project 912, the dollar to be replaced with an international monetary unit. Care to tell us what in means in English?

      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/996b1af8-43ce-11de-a9be-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

      • LOI Let me take a stab at making this plain as day.

        The U.S. dollar will no longer be the standard for international trade.
        No more oil in dollars.
        No body has to buy our debt any longer.
        No body has to maintain large amounts of dollars to trade, so they dump them into the market.

        No way to finance debt and massive inflation and devaluation of dollar ensue.
        That is cowboy version.

        JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        The US economy dominates the world – any move to avoid the US$ will probably not work – somewhere the dollar will trade.

        The EURO was supposed to rival the US$ – its in a worse mess than the US$ – the reason we haven’t seen the inflation is because the rest of the world still sees the US$ as the best in a reverse beauty contest – its the least worse.

        The failure of the US$ will not grant superiority to another currency – if it goes, the whole thing falls.

        The US$ will probably be replaced by a new US$, with a whole bunch of zero’s deleted from the numbers.

        Weimer Republic did the same thing – issued a currency that deleted 10 zeros. It was an instant hit. A little trust is a lot better than no trust.

        It is the transition that wipes out people. Most will be stuck with worthless paper. Thus, don’t be that someone.

  9. Everyone this is a must see. I think its time to introduce the truth to the masses. “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” —Thomas Jefferson

    This might begin to clear up some of the “conspiracy theories” that some of you are so adamant on beliving they are conspiracy theories and not truth.

    Watch the Obama Deception

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Hey Nubian. I can’t seem to get there from the line. Is something missing?

  10. Black Flag says:

    To all:

    USWep, JAC and myself will not ‘triple team’ any responders here on these subjects.

    We’ll set up some process to allow more one-on-one responses, unless the others are invited. Probably USWep will referee.

    Obviously, JAC and I type fast! It is not our goal to overwhelm anyone – we are not here to confuse – quite the opposite.

    Our goal is to aid the achievement of clarity.

    And, as well, though JAC and I are aligned in a great many ways (particularly on the need to think clearly), we do not agree on all things!

    We are both excited to share our mutual dialogue in the future, and let the chips and cards fall whereever they may!

    • Birdman says:

      Black Flag:

      What are your thoughts on secession? Is there a way to peacefully seceed without a civil war?

      If the Federal Government bails out California and all U.S. taxpayers have to pay for their social experiment, I think that may be the start of serious secessionist talk in some states.

      What are you doing to prepare for the future should everything go to hell?

      • Black Flag says:

        Czech and Slovaks succeeded in peaceful separation.

        Most of the USSR states did so, to … not all, but most.

        But it is not the norm. Governments do not like to give up the extent of its power without a fight.

        I’ve posted a number of ideas in the past. I’ll probably consolidate them into a guest post for USWep.

  11. Found an article & cartoon worth a quick look. Drawn in 1934, could be used today
    on government spending.

    http://thebobofiles.com/

    • Yeah, and I also saw where man was pulled overf and detained by the LA Gestapo for having a “Don’t Tread On Me” sticker on the bumper of his truck.

      Guess they’ll throw my ass in jail when they see the header of my blog site. I just changed it to the Gadsden Flag like my Avatar. And I’m just stubborn enough to keep it there. I changed it from the crossed Confederate Battle Flags so I could get a more diverse group of folks to come there. I didn’t want anyone to be offended by my Battle Flags.

      If they are offended by the Gadsden Flag they can kiss my ass!!!

  12. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Since this is a semi-off day to give our brains a chance to digest stuff from the past 2 days, I thought I would throw in this bit of news:

    Due to a scandal involving improper trading and improper handling of funds in the teacher’s retirement fund, the NEA (National Education Association) is taking over for the ISTA (Indiana State Teachers Association).

    Sound familiar? Yet another example of the Federal Government increasing it’s authority at the expense of a State.

    • Peter, Indiana teachers’ reps have been busy today:

      http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/not-so-fast-indiana-state-pension-fund.html

      “In several motions with the Chrysler docket earlier, the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund, Indiana State Police Pension Trust, and Indiana Major Movers Construction Fund, fiduciaries for “approximately 100,000 civil servants, including police officers, school teachers and their families” have objected to the 363 sale, and demand Judge Gonzalez should block the sale, claiming ‘the plan is illegal and tramples their rights.’”

      Peter, do you remember what it was with Elkhart and Major Moves? It seems like they didn’t like it all, job loss maybe? I’m enjoying the irony of this since Mr. Obama is fond of the good people of Elkhart that he has twice graced them with his presence. c

      • somedays are just no fun:

        Wednesday, May 20, 2009
        Indiana Chrysler 363 Objection Promptly Rejected
        Posted by Tyler Durden at 5:01 PM

    • Black Flag says:

      The consequences of Chrysler’s bond holders will have long-term far reaching effects – already being felt.

      If the Government, for its own needs, can set aside the rule of law and ignore the rights of the bond holders, the capital markets will read this as a sign of things to come.

      There will be a sudden halt to bond purchases – this capital will now start following to China, where the government there is building a reputation of supporting capitalists.

      At exactly the time the US needs as much real capital it can get, the government overt action will ensure none.

  13. Black Flag says:

    Two mothers of soldiers who served in Iraq have failed in their attempt to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of the war.

    U.S. District Judge Jose Linares (luh-NAHR’-ess) dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday.

    The women and the group New Jersey Peace Action claimed President Bush overstepped his authority by invading Iraq in 2003 without formally declaring war.

    Linares sided with the government’s position that the courts don’t have jurisdiction to rule on what is essentially a political matter. He also wrote that second-guessing Congress is not the judiciary’s duty.

    So, for all those who believe the Constitution protects them, re-read that last sentence.

    A Judiciary is merely another arm on the monster of government – do not depend on it to defend you from itself.

    • I’ve been told by someone I trust that the military is running urban warfare games. I was very young, but …Kent State … Ohio …give me chills. That same someone reminded me that the nat’l guard was at Kent State, the military is not tasked with those type of actions. I never find that comforting. Today is one of the days where I have to push back the panic… and I don’t speak Mandarin, but I think I know someone who can teach me.

      On a lighter note, I was ok with the philosophy discussion, (though when Schroedinger’s Cat came up, I was slightly alarmed because that was the third time for me in a single day, and let’s be honest the Cat doesn’t figure into as many conversations as general well-being or the weather)

      Earlier today I had running to do and took my book — “The Future in Plain Sight” Eugene Linden 1997. He took a macro stable/unstable view against broad topics and hit a more than a few nails… Page 130 is where I got stuck…

      “…the ascendance of quantum mechanics might ultimately redefine notions of reality and in doing so spell the end of the so-called stick and ball model of reality that has dominated science and everyday life in the West since the days of Sir Isaac Newton. This paradigm shift would entail a tremendous chase to understand what constiutes proof and truth in its brave new probabilistic world. The shift would open doors both to serious inquiry and to the worst kind of undisciplined charlatanism. ” just thinking c

      • Black Flag says:

        CSM,

        The best way to consider quantum theory is to understand coin flips.

        If I went to you and asked:

        “Tell me what side of the coin will appear on your next flip” – you couldn’t – the best you could do is tell me the probability of either the head or the tail.

        Do this example confuse anyone? I didn’t think so.

        It’s pretty obvious that we cannot determine conclusively a random event, but we can assign probability to a random event.

        When do we know which side of the coin came up? After we observe the result.

        Did that confuse anyone? I didn’t think so.

        When dealing with probabilities, we can only know the result after we observe it.

        What we do is we separate our understanding of probability away from the result. When we talk about coin flips before we flip the coin we are not thinking in results orientated mode.

        We know we are discussing probable outcomes

        Further, did our observation determine which side of the coin came up? No.

        Our observation merely confirmed the result that the universe decided.

        Why this seems challenging when we move this same thinking into our understanding of the universe is, I believe, because of our educational process.

        We are taught simplification – that everything as a one-to-one cause and effect.

        1+1=2 is deterministic. As humans, we build our world in a very deterministic fashion.

        The fact is, an infinitesimally small part of the universe is deterministic. Near infinitely, the universe is probabilistic.

        So why do we notice almost exclusively the deterministic patterns of the universe?

        Because of the law of very large numbers of trials.

        If we were betting on heads and tails, a dollar traded between winner and loser every flip, we notice in the short term one of us making money vs. the other losing it.

        But do those flips over a trillion times – the difference in wins/losses is, practically, unobservable.

        Do that of trillion trillions of times – the wins/losses difference appear to not exist.

        If we give the difference between win/loss a singular name , say ‘even money’ and set the value of ‘even money’ to be ’1′, we would claim that the value ’1′ is static – unchanging – for ‘even money’.

        We would not see the very unobservable ‘coin flip’ win/loss difference playing in the back ground over the trillions of times, even though that is what is determining the value ’1′ – we don’t realize that the value is really changing every time we flip a coin – that really, the value ’1′ is approximation or rounding of the real value.

        Only when we observe in very fine detail the actually flip, do we see that the ’1′ is an approximation – and constantly varying.

        This is quantum mechanics and our universe is a nut shell.

        • you say the ‘1′ is an approximation – and constantly varying. If I were wise enough, I would truly understand why that variation is and is important, rather than accept it as a variable constant. Today I will settle for ‘Knowledge is changeable (as Adam & Eve found out), but truth is eternal. Therefore, any change in knowledge does not in the least threaten or affect truth. So let us trust truth … ‘ madeleine l’engle

          • Black Flag says:

            Just refer to the coin flip example.

            After a trillion, trillion tries, heads would have come up trillion trillion tries and so would have tails … approximately

            Heads:1,000,000,000,000
            Tails:1,000,000,000,003

            Head divided by Tails (Heads/Tails) is … about 1.

            Now, flip the coin again.

            H: 1,000,000,000,001
            T: 1,000,000,000,003

            Do the division, it is approximately the same, that is about 1.

            But, it is not exactly the same.

            The difference, though, if you only used a few significant digits, does not really exist.

            The difference is rarely important on such a macro scale. It disappears in the ‘significant digits’.

            But it matters massively if we magnify the difference by a trillion.

            However, your idea of truth vs. knowledge I can agree with.

            Knowledge grows and expands.

            A real truth exists, immutable.

            • Thanks, that helps. I was thinking the ’1′ value applied to the dollar that was constantly changing hands and didn’t get how it’s value was affected by the coin toss. Sometimes, I’m afflicted by a tendency to look at things completely bass ackwards… hope the day is kind to you ..

      • Sfc Dick says:

        CSM

        Ofcourse the military is conducting urban warfare training, Have ya been watching the news in, say the last EIGHT YEARS!

        well, I know what CSM doesn’t stand for.

        SFC Dick, as in Sergeant First Class

        • Chris Devine says:

          It’s more than eight years:

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105089/

        • Sergeant Dick, My son is much like I used to be, certain that he’s the smartest one in the room, the best able to put pieces together. My mother was a wise woman, having been down that same stretch of the path with my brothers. She would simply remind me after some particularly tiresome arrogant episode that they could build a whole new world based on what I didn’t know.

          She’s been gone a long time now, but you made me think of her today and I thank you for that.

  14. Black Flag says:

    “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence.

    Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values.

    Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced.

    Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it.

    Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’

    Gold was up $20/oz today on the report that GM maybe bailed and bought by the government.

    • My favorite prof in college read this poem at the end of all his 101 classes …

      William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903

      Invictus

      OUT of the night that covers me,
      Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
      I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

      In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
      Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

      Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
      And yet the menace of the years
      Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

      It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate:
      I am the captain of my soul.

      In my book, handwritten in the margin:

      An Awful Responsibility

      I am the captain of my soul,
      I rule it with stern joy.
      And yet I think I had more fun
      When I was cabin boy.

      I didn’t note the author ;)

  15. Chris Devine says:

    Re: http://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/building-a-foundation-for-resurrecting-america-part-ii/#comment-12457

    It’s not arrogance to assert that difficult topics require hard work and experience. Philosophy is not easy work. Saying that anyone can do it is not the same as saying that the skills are innate or self evident. I spent five years studying philosophy. The more I learn the more I realize how ignorant I am. The oracle at Delphi didn’t tell Socrates he was the wisest man, she said there was none wiser. His wisdom was a direct result of his willingness to admit his ignorance.

    Do yourself a favor and get a proper introductory text in philosophy and leave Ayn Rand for later. I’m not saying you need to possess a degree to be considered competent, but don’t try to tell me that a few buzzwords like modus ponens, modus tolens and metaphysics are all you need to understand.

  16. Black Flag says:

    I haven’t laughed about a car so much as in this article.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/jeremy_clarkson/article6294116.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1

    Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid

    It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.

    …engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer.

    So you’re sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you’re doing only 23mph because that’s about the top speed, and you’re thinking things can’t get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit. … the engineers have plainly peeled the suspension components to the bone. The result is a ride that beggars belief.

    …feels as if it’s been made from steel so thin, you could read through it. And the seats, finished in pleblon, are designed specifically, it seems, to ruin your skeleton. This is hairy-shirted eco-ism at its very worst.

    The future of Obamamobiles….

    • Chris Devine says:

      Jezza is funny but he’s an ass. Here’s the real future of motoring:

      http://www.topgear.com/us/features/more/driven-hard-honda-fcx-clarity

      • Chris:

        He never did mention the source of hydrogen with this tech. Do you know?

        Earlier versions were saying we would use water. Which of course would not be a good alternative.

        JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        Chris,

        I hold that there is but a limited future for Hydrogen cars.

        Reasons:

        1) Hydrogen is nasty.

        It is the most combative element in the Universe. It wants to bond with anything. Hence, storage is a constant problem – it corrodes everything.

        2) Thus, the need for ‘fuel cell’ – which simply bonds hydrogen to some element, that then energy is applied to break that bond, then bond Hydrogen to Oxygen to get the power of the most powerful chemical combination in the Universe.

        But wait! Energy efficiency just sucks! It takes energy to break the first bond, and that energy is lost.

        3) Hydrogen, even in fuel cells are lousy energy per volume providers. They take up too much room for the amount of energy they produce.

        The F-5 engine which drives the Saturn 5 rocket is the most powerful engine ever made by man. To power the engine, it combines liquid Oxygen with….

        …not Hydrogen. Yes, H2+0 is the most powerful chemical energy, but Hydrogen takes too much volume. The most potent energy per volume is Kerosene – yes, jet fuel. And that is what powers the Saturn 5 Stage One.

        And that is the problem with all fuel cells – driving range. There would need to be double the number of ‘fuel’ stations to handle the reduce range per volume – where are those going to go and who is going to build them?

        4)Because Hydrogen bonds to anything, it needs to be manufactured, typically by cooking petroleum – heck, that takes energy – and, yes sir, that’s right!! we still need oil!!! SO this whole scam NOT use oil resources, but in fact uses MORE oil resources~!

        Because of storage problems, Hydrogen needs to be manufactured on demand – you can’t store the stuff. So, fuel cell companies will need to have the cookers literally outside their door – you want an oil refinery plant in your back yard?

        The whole focus of the stupid eco-cars is all on the back end. Few actually count the costs up front – both in money and energy. As it turns out, they are energy losers.

        There are real, physics, reasons we use petroleum for energy. If an alternative was viable – believe me – we’d be using it. Because we aren’t, there are no alternatives that are viable. If someone claims such, then somewhere in the equation is a undisclosed cost that is prohibitive.

        Maybe one day, battery technology will make an electric car viable – but, opps, battery manufacturing is nasty business too…..

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