San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 5, 2017

Interfering In Sovereign Elections

Presumptive Queen Hillary has been squawking about how Vladdie Putin stole the election from her last year.  Hillary and her supporters love to use the technique of ambiguous language to convey an idea that is nowhere near the truth.  They repeatedly state that "Russia hacked the election."  Just what is that supposed to mean?  A nation, like "Russia," does not hack something.  People hack things.  Claiming that people in Russia, theoretically working for Vladdie, were able to "hack" into the election process in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika and alter the outcome of the voting process is crazy.  Hillary uses the word "hack" to intimate that someone actually changed election results when in reality all that happened is somebody hacked into her emails and made them available to the public.   Hacking into her email account and "hacking" an election are two very different things.  Listening to Hillary supporters talk would make one think that they are not capable of recognizing the difference between the two.
Even the possibility that Vladdie might have had some influence over the outcome of the last election for King of the SDA has driven career politicians from both parties to madness.  What appeared to be warming relations between Donnie and Vladdie now appear to have frozen over, mostly because of the "hacking" issue.  One thing the socialist citizens of this country will not tolerate is any attempt by any stinkin' foreigner to have an impact upon the outcome of our most high and holy ritual of selecting the next Emperor.  How dare them interfere in the sovereign process of selecting our next god!  Merely thinking that someone like Vladdie might have done something of that sort seems to be sufficient reason for most folks to go to war and start killing some dirty foreigners.
What would you think if, on the eve of our last election, Vladdie had purchased television advertising time and made an impassioned plea for you to vote for one of the candidates?  How would you feel if you saw a commercial of a smiling Vladdie telling you to vote for either Donnie or Hillie?  I suspect most patriotic Amerikans would see red and immediately phone their Congressmen demanding a new law be created forbidding foreigners from campaigning for SDA candidates.  I believe there would be calls for powerful economic sanctions upon the nation of the offending foreign ruler.  The most patriotic among us would probably call for a declaration of war against the offending nation.
I tuned into a cable news network this morning and witnessed something truly amazing.  It was a television commercial running on French television.  The French, as you are probably aware, are going to choose their next King/Queen in the next couple of days.  All advertising for each candidate is required to stop by the end of today, according to French rules.  As you would expect, both candidates are running commercials non-stop in order to get their various messages across to the electorate.  So the mere fact that the Amerikan news channel had a video of a French commercial endorsing one of the two candidates is not unusual or shocking in any way.  What is unusual and shocking is who paid for the commercial and who was in it.
The commercial I saw this morning was of a French speaking (he also spoke English) Barack Obama telling the French citizens to vote for the male candidate in the election.  Like most Amerikans I pay little to no attention to what goes on in the rest of the world so I don't recall the names of the two candidates.  All I know is that one is a man and one is a woman, I think.  They could be gender-fluid.  Although I cannot prove it I would guess that the commercial presently airing on French television endorsing one of the French candidates for King/Queen is being paid for by Amerikan taxpayers.
What I found most amazing is that nobody thought that it was it was even mildly inappropriate that the former Emperor of the Amerikan Empire should be purchasing television time in France to tell the French people how to vote.  It all seemed quite normal and appropriate to everyone.  So for all of you patriotic citizens of the SDA who think that it is just dandy for our former Emperor to meddle in the elections of foreign countries I have a couple of questions.  Why is it immoral for a foreign nation to seek to influence the outcome of our elections but not immoral when one of our rulers seeks to influence the outcome of an election in a foreign country?  Why should the French not be very angry with us for the simple fact that our former Emperor is telling them what to do?  How can Barack's actions not be considered an act of interference in a foreign election?  How is Barack any different than Vladdie, if Vladdie did indeed "hack" the election?
If your answers to the above questions involve some form of the argument that Amerikans are "exceptional" and the rules of civilized relations between sovereign nations do not apply to us, please explain how that is so.  It is outrageous that our former King would be on French television telling the French people how to vote in their upcoming election.  We should be as equally outraged with his actions as the Democrats are outraged about Vladdie's alleged activities in our last election.  But there is no outrage.  There is nary a whimper of complaint about what Barack has done.  The obvious fact that Amerikans believe it is right and proper to live by a different standard than the one they impose upon the rest of the world is proof positive that the SDA is an Empire.  In case you are not aware, being an Empire is not a good thing to be.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The "Feel" Generation

I was reading an article the other day in which the author was pointing out that nobody thinks anymore.  He placed the blame for this condition upon the government schools.  He believes that government schools have long ago stopped attempting to teach kids to think, believing instead that it is far more important to teach them to have the proper feelings.  Proper feelings, as defined by government schools, are those directly related to the role of government and business in our society.  The author believes, and I concur, that government schools seek to inculcate feelings of affection for civil government and all that it does while, at the same time, building powerful feelings of anger and hatred toward profit seeking businesses.  I know from experience that it only takes a brief conversation with many of the high school graduates receiving diplomas this spring to discover that most of them have learned their lessons well.  They perceive government employees and career politicians as saviors of the universe and profit seeking businessmen as evil destroyers.  Thankfully some of them will eventually grow up and abandon their erroneous beliefs but most of them will persist in their delusions and become good citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
I just finished reading my Denver Post and was intrigued by a letter to the editor that perfectly illustrates the point made by the author I was reading yesterday.  This observation is not earth shaking.  Indeed, I have been making this observation for decades.  But this one article poignantly illustrates the point that nobody thinks anymore so I have to quote it for you here.  Carol Cook, of Lakewood, writes asking a series of questions of Trump supporters.  Here are some of her questions, "How do they feel about Trump's outright lies?  How do they feel about his accusations of wiretapping by Barack Obama with absolutely no evidence provided?  How do they feel about Trump's multiple conflicts of interest with his many business dealings, not to mention his family's conflicts?  How do they feel about the multiple connections to Vladimir Putin and Russian throughout Trump's campaign and administration?"  The bold print for emphasis is mine.  Carol clearly feels bad about King Donnie.  King Donnie must therefore be evil and supporters of the King must be idiots.
Language means something.  Language changes throughout time for a reason.  The fact that the word 'feel' has replaced the word 'think' in our vocabulary is not an accident.  Carol's malady is not unique to her.  No doubt most readers of this blog have also noticed that nobody says "think" anymore, that word having been replaced by "feel."  What can we conclude from this fact?  I believe the most obvious conclusion is that people no longer use the process of rational thinking to arrive at the conclusions about life they believe are factual.  Instead they have replaced the rational process with an analysis of their own inner feelings about something as their source of truth.  Something is true if it makes me feel good.  Something is false if it makes me feel bad.  In the meantime, don't talk to me about facts since I have already made up my mind by following my sovereign feelings.
Replacing ratiocination with emotional self-analysis has crippled communication to the point where nothing ever really gets said anymore.  When a rational person talks with an emotion based person there is no ability to communicate whatsoever.  It is as if they are speaking two different languages.  Even when an emotion based person speaks to another emotion based person there is no possibility for real communication because each person is using his own unique emotional experience in response to life's stimuli to determine what is true.  In the absence of rational, factual and logical truth statements there is no possibility of real communication.  When men are awash in subjectivity it is impossible to even conceive of objective truth, much less believe it.
Many people these days seem to be wondering why the public dialogue has become so hateful.  They can't understand why people just can't get along.  They remember the good old days when Democrats and Republicans would fight on the floor of Congress and then dine together later that evening.  Today it seems as if you are either support someone or some thing or you are worse than Hitler.  I don't know if things are really worse today than they were in the past but I do know that using each individual's emotional perspective as the primary avenue for assertions about truth is at least partially to blame for the lack of civil communication among us.
Feel talk is the perfect language for socialism.  Socialism crumbles under logical scrutiny.  I can ask a socialist why it is moral to do something as a member of a group that would be immoral to do as an individual and he has no answer to that question.  I can ask a socialist why it is morally right to make one person pay the bills of another and he has no answer for me.  I can ask a socialist how it can be moral to have a political and economic system built upon the sinful emotion of envy and he has nothing to say.  But if I ask a socialist why he believes in socialism he will fill their air with colorful and emotional stories about how socialism is compassionate, loving, kind and cares for people.  He will tell me tale after tale of people he knows who have been helped along the way by the beneficent administration of socialistic programs designed by career politicians and bureaucrats.  He may also sprinkle in a few stories about how evil profit seeking businessmen try to thwart the benevolent activities of his many saviors but are unable to overcome their loving compassion for humankind expressed through the socialist system.
I make a point to say I feel something only when I am talking about my feelings.  I also make a point to say I think something only when I am talking about things I believe to be true.  My practice of distinguishing between thoughts and feelings makes me a very odd character in most places.  I have made few friends, and quite a few enemies, when I inform the person I am speaking with that I am not interested in his feelings but would much rather know what he thinks.  One man once accused me of being hateful and evil because I insist upon talking about facts and arguments in the context of logic whenever discussing issues about the real world.  When I refused to repent he cut me off and we have never spoken again.  I don't mind though.  We never really spoke in the first place.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Threats We Face Around The World

The latest Republican created spending package for the next six months included an increase in the amount of money spent on the military, as I observed in yesterday's blog post.  Here is how the current competition stacks up as far as military spending by governments around the world is concerned:

Republican reaction to the increase in spending was positive.  According to a CNBC report yesterday, "This means that we can finally make real important strides to increase and improve our readiness," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday. "It means we can get our service members the tools and the resources they need to confront the threats that we face all around the world."  Ryan's comment got me to thinking......hummm.....just what sorts of threats do we face around the world?  Let's consider that idea for a bit today.
Here is a graphic showing all of the countries in the world where the Amerikan Empire maintains at least one military base:
Image result for graphic of us military bases worldwide

Ryan's comment and the graphic above create one very important question.  It is the old question of the chicken and the egg.  When considering the existence of threats all around the world, did those threats come into existence as a result of the prior presence of SDA military bases in those countries or are the SDA military bases in those countries there as a result of a prior existing threat to the SDA homeland?  In other words, did we have enemies around the world before we built military bases in or near their lands or did they become our enemies after we decided to make military incursions in their regions?  How that question is answered tells us a lot about the nature of the Amerikan Empire.  Clearly if the threats only came into existence after the SDA built a military base in another country then the threats would go away by simply removing the military bases.  That would be a very inexpensive solution to the problem of threats around the world.  Conversely, if the military bases are there to fight a threat to SDA security that already existed, they need to remain there until the threat is eradicated. That could end up costing SDA taxpayers a lot of money.
Another important question goes to the philosophy of civil defense.  Paul Ryan believes that the SDA is threatened by forces all over the world and therefore needs hundreds of billions of dollars to protect its citizens.  Does Ryan believe that a credible threat to the safety and security of SDA citizens residing on SDA soil comes from the governments and their military forces in countries such as Somalia, Algiers, Finland, India, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia or China?  I rather doubt it.  The key expression in my question is "residing on SDA soil."  The only moral theory of war and civil defense that has ever existed in the western world is that which believes that acts of aggression against foreign nations are only justified when an attack against our nation is imminent or already taking place.  Conversely, a moral theory of war has always asserted that attacks upon foreign nations that were not directly related to a defense of the people and property of the homeland are immoral and constitute the evil act of empire building.  What do you think the SDA is doing in all of the countries shown above?  Is SDA military defending your life and property by fighting threats all around the world or is it building an empire?  I do not believe the answer to that question is a difficult one.
There is no doubt that there a many legitimate threats to SDA interests around the world, as Paul Ryan has observed.  What is in doubt is how those threats can be considered to be directly related to a moral theory of self defense.   Is there anyone out there who would like to do that?  If so, I would love to hear from you.  Until then I will continue to maintain that the threats we face around the world are 100% the creation of the empire building activities of the SDA and none of them would continue to exist if we simply made up our mind to mind our own business and withdraw from their lands.  The threats that Ryan perceives could be eliminated by simply withdrawing the Empire from around the world and minding our own defensive business exclusively.  Doing so would save hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars per year and greatly increase the security of the SDA homeland. By the way, isn't that what the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to be doing anyway? 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Career Politicians Will Never Cut Spending

Maybe you heard about the federal spending deal that was cut Sunday night that allows the federal government to stay in operation until September.  We have all been down this path before and most of us no longer pay any attention to it.  We are told that the government is going to "shut down" if a new spending bill is not passed.  My how I would love to see the day the federal government really and truly ceases to operate.  What a wonderful day that would be!  But alas, all talk of a government shut down is mere smoke and mirrors to keep our attention focused on career politicians as they tell us how we can't exist without them.  Sadly, at least 51% of the citizens of this land believe them.
I took some time to examine what was in the new spending bill.  The Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House.  Surely now they would press their agenda and engage in massive spending cuts.  Surely now all of the immoral intrusions of the federal government into our lives would be defunded.  Surely now the Republicans would make good on their promises to drain the swamp, reduce the size of government and, above all, dramatically cut total government spending.  And, I hoped, surely now they would introduce legislation banning abortion.  After all, that is something just about every Republican has been promising us for decades.
According to this website, here is what the new spending bill contained (or did not contain):
  • No Funding For Trump's Border Wall:  This did not come as a big surprise.  By now I think everyone but the true believers in Trump recognize that his "build a wall" mantra was nothing more than a way to garner votes.
  • No Provision to Defund Planned Parenthood:  Republicans profess to despise Planned Parenthood but they continue to spend taxpayer dollars on the institution responsible for the murder of millions of Amerikan citizens.  Business will continue as usual with that group.
  • A 1% Cut in EPA Funding:  King Donnie wanted to cut the funding to the Environmental Protection Agency by 31%.  He got a 1% cut with no firing of personnel.  The career bureaucrats at the EPA are screaming bloody murder because they believe a 1% cut is reprehensible.  Boo hoo for them. 
  • Continuing Funding for Obamacare Subsidies:  After all of the hullabaloo about repeal and replace the Republicans actually extended Obamacare.  Not only were they incapable of getting rid of the odious program of socialized medicine, they committed themselves to its continuation.  Like I have written before, an entitlement can never be taken back.
  • A 6% Increase in Funding for the National Institutes for Health:  A total of $34 billion dollars of taxpayer money is now being given to the government agencies responsible for keeping socialized medicine alive.  
  • $15 Billion Increase in Military Spending:  King Donnie requested $30 billion and got half of what he wanted.  Although the SDA spends $600 billion on the military already, the Republicans in Congress thought that was not enough to pay for the costs associated with expanding the empire even more around the world. They are probably right.
  • Increases In Domestic Spending:  In addition to increased military spending, which is to be expected from Republicans, domestic spending increases as well. As the website article wrote, "Trump has called for $18 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary spending, but instead will have to sign a bill that grows the size of government. Several provisions in the omnibus — including the $4.6 billion Appalachian coal miners health extension and $2 billion in disaster relief — ensure that the budget will continue to rise even separate from the defense spending."
  • No Legislation To End Abortion:  I am aware this is not a budget item but it is the Republicans who keep bringing it up.  Every election cycle they profess to oppose abortion, especially when speaking to ostensibly Christian groups.  Then as soon as they are elected all talk about abortion ends.  This time is no different.  Hey, Christians, how long will you allow yourselves to be duped?
Do you notice anything about the new budget?  It is essentially the same as the budgets during King Obama's tenure.  This has been going on for quite some time now.  The Republicans and the Democrats, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, are essentially the same.   They are united by their common aspiration to be in control of the political power in this immoral and democratic land.  Both parties recognize that remaining in power in a democracy requires the constant transfer of wealth from the politically unprotected top 49% of the income population to the politically powerful bottom 51%.  All career politicians realize that the only way to stay in power is to keep giving the voters more and more "free" stuff.  Every career politician in the universe recognizes that he runs a serious chance of not being reelected if he even talks about cutting spending.  So spending is never cut.
I have only one word for the Republicans and that is 'Hypocrites.'  They lie every time they move their lips.  They promise one thing knowing full well they will never deliver what they promise.  They care about one thing alone and that is keeping their own personal power.  They promise to cut spending while they bask in the glory of their adoring constituents who praise them for bringing the bacon home.  Ultimately the career politician is just sinfully doing what the citizens want him to do.  Until the citizens of this envy-filled land rise up, cast off their envy and make the conscious decision to live as free people things will only get worse.  Trust me on this one, things will only continue to get worse and career politicians will never cut spending.

Arrival Review

Arrival is a movie that was released in 2016 and described by Rotten Tomatoes as follows, "Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person's sci-fi that anchors its heady themes with genuinely affecting emotion and a terrific performance from Amy Adams."  It received a critic's ranking of 94% and an audience score of 82%.  Being a fan of science fiction and looking for a "must-see" movie I decided to watch the movie last night.  If you plan on watching the movie in the future you should probably stop reading this blog post.  Let me give you the Mad Welshman's review of Arrival.
The movie begins with a contrived and manipulative series of images of the featured character, who's name I forget and played by Amy Adams, as she gives birth to a daughter who eventually dies in her teen years of some unnamed "rare illness."  I am a sap for a sad death tale as much as the next emotionally secure fellow but this one was presented with no backdrop and no given reason for why I should care about either the daughter or the mother.  As a result, I didn't care about the daughter or the mother and I was immediately put off by the movie, looking at it from the outside with no care or concern for the characters.
After the girl dies we jump to the present and find Amy teaching languages at some college on the day a group of 12 alien spaceships arrive at various places on the face of the earth.  As expected, none of them landed in Wales.  Also as expected, some landed in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika, China and Russia.  At this point the typical plot development revolves around why the aliens have come to earth. Are they here to kill us all?  Are they here to enslave us all?   Or are they here to give us lots of presents?  The movie tries to develop tension around the question of their "purpose in coming to earth" but fails miserably to do so.
It was refreshing that rather than moving to an immediate series of action scenes in which various military forces engage the gigantic egg-like spaceships, the movie decided to go down the road of trying to figure out how to communicate with the gigantic squid-like looking aliens.  I found that portion of the movie most engaging as Amy uses all of her linguistic skills, as well as some genuine moxie, as she bravely engages the aliens while the military cowers in the background.  She eventually forms a bond with two aliens, whom she names Abbot and Costello, and the process of figuring out why they have come to earth begins.
As expected a couple of military types begin to develop itchy fingers.  These guys are all action and they believe it is time to start killing some aliens.  I must admit that I also appreciate the portrayal of the military as a bunch of neanderthals intent upon nothing but violence and empire expansion.  I thought that portion of the movie was quite accurate.  Why the military powers decide that the aliens constitute a threat is never clearly defined, other than a vague reference to the possible use of the word 'weapon' in one of the alien communications.  That was all they needed and the next thing we know China, Russia and the SDA are preparing to blow the aliens to smithereens.  Movie watchers are left wondering why it is so important to start killing these clearly benign creatures. 
Along the way various pot-shots are taken at different groups.  Although the references are veiled, they seem to me to have been thinly veiled.  One of the primary protagonists that inflames the military to start killing aliens is a caricature of Glenn Beck.  At one point Amy is speaking on the telephone with her worried mother and she tells her to quit watching "that news channel" because the people there are "all idiots."  It is not hard to figure out which cable news network she is referring to.  All of this is expected in any movie that comes out of Hollywood so I was not offended by it.  In fact, I found it mildly amusing.
As Amy is running around trying to keep the Russians, Chinese and Amerikans from blowing up the alien space ships she manages to find out that their mission is indeed beneficent.  They have come because they have seen the future and the future, at least for the earth, is not good.  In 3000 years, she is told, something terrible is going to happen to the earth.  Not to worry though, the aliens have something, mistakenly interpreted as a "weapon," that will keep us all alive a bit longer.   I couldn't help but think that the cause of our future demise had to be global warming, although no specific reference was ever made to it.
The big surprise ending has to do with time travel and all the standard errors are made in regards to the concept of space/time.  Science fiction writers have long used the concept of time travel to cover gaping holes in their scripts and this story is no different.  At the end of the movie we discover that the aliens comprehend time differently than we do and they share their gift of being able to see the future with Amy.  While sharing their gift with Amy they give her some specific information about the Chinese military leader who is spearheading the war with the aliens.  She quickly grabs a cell phone, calls him up and impresses him with her knowledge about his life so much he decides to call off the attack.  Even positing the possibility of time travel this portion of the movie makes no chronological sense whatsoever.  It was best to not even attempt to figure it out.  The aliens, however, have had enough with man's evil intentions and they dissipate into space, never to be seen again I suppose.
Space/time is not a box, it is a dimension that moves forward in a linear fashion.  It does not oscillate.  It does not leave a trail in the past nor does it project a path for the future.  Space/time does not exist in all moments along the continuum of itself.  The concept of moving forward or backward through time is an interesting way to create dramatic story lines but it has nothing to do with the real world.  In the real world there is only one time and that is now.  The past is past and the future is not yet.  There is no place for a time traveler to go in the real world because neither the past nor the future exist.  I appreciate a good story as much as anyone and using the absurd concept of time travel is a way to create a good story but Arrival uses it to ill effect.
The entire message of the movie ultimately has nothing to do with time travel, space aliens, the aggressive tactics of the military, the stupidity of conservatives, the inevitable reality of global warming killing off all human beings or even the death of Amy's daughter from a rare and incurable disease.  I was able to see the end of the movie well before it arrived, as I suspect most movie watchers were also able to do.  At the very end of the movie we discover that Amy's flashbacks to her earlier life in which she was married and had a child that died young are really yet in the future.  To the surprise of nobody, the man she is working side by side with as she attempts to communicate with the aliens is her future husband.   We learn that he is a colossal jerk and will abandon her and his daughter the moment he finds out about her illness.  So here is Amy's dilemma....should she marry this guy who will eventually walk out on her and have a daughter with him who will die young of a terrible disease?  She knows what is going to happen and none of it appears very fun.  What should she do?  Those of you who have seen the movie know the answer.  I will not tell those of you who have not.  To me it really did not matter in the slightest because by this point in time I had experienced so many bait and switch plot twists I no longer cared about anything any of the characters did.