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Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Sat Sep 9, 2006, 07:02 PM
Number of posts: 2,195
Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Sat Sep 9, 2006, 07:02 PM
Number of posts: 2,195
Ayn Rand knew deep down inside she was a phony and a hack.
She was far too weak and flimsy a thinker to withstand any counter-argument or disagreement with her
pathetic excuse for a "philosophy".
Ayn Rand is a joke, taken seriously only by the ignorant, or willfully deceptive.
Posted by nikto | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 05:23 AM (0 replies)
I was the beneficiary of a great birth year---circa 1950s----A better, fairer (with all its injustices) era of American history,
due to The new Deal and a more liberal era of the country (watch some of the western shows from the
late 50s/early 60s for some of the flavor of that popular liberalism--Fine liberal values on display in many episodes of
Have Gun Will Travel, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, etc etc). Very different from today---because it was a different era.
With all it's problems,
It was a far better America, with far more level playing field, than it is today.
Back in the late 70s and 80s I could see cynical change coming, and voted against Reagan both times, and I oppose all corporatists (both Dem and GOP) as should all freedom-loving (and opportunity-loving) Americans.
But in 2014, amazingly, the country is still being re-made by THEM, not by people who feel as I do.
The New Deal is being totally rolled-back, as was forecast and seen by some folks way back in the 80s.
This economy has been partly made by the Clintons, and by Obama's bows to banks and corporations,
as well as by the GOP corporatists themselves. All those in power who made their deal with The Devil of American Big Business (and those who were susceptable to their dishonest sales pitches) were part of the cause of our present troubles.
Progressive political REFORM is the answer.
But America isn't listening.
Instead we are continuing to drive very fast in the opposite direction.
As pitiful as it may seem,
I sincerely, and with an aching heart,
apologize to you for all the members of my generation who voted for
the garbage-America we are getting now.
I am so sorry.
And for the perpe-traitors, I have only...
Posted by nikto | Mon Sep 1, 2014, 09:33 PM (5 replies)
Out of OBAMA's POLICIES
--Getting out of Iraq/Afghanistan
--Raising minimum wage
--NOT bombing Syria
--Setting aside land for Nat'l Parkland
--Obama's Support of Same-Sex Marriage/Gay Rights (although it was a tad wobbly in 1st term)
--Federal support for renewable energy sources
--Policy of not invading countries for no reason, so much as it has been stated
--Promoting growing gardens (Michele)
--Supporting voting rights via Justice Dept actions
--Letting stupid Donald Trump have it that WH correspondents' dinner (OK, not a policy, but I loved it )
I feel the ACA is maybe the start of a good thing, but needs to add a Public Option,
or transmute to Single-Payer, within 5 years or so, 10 at most, or it could be disaster.
I DO NOT SUPPORT:
--Public Ed privatization/Charter Schools/Race-to-Top/Arnie Duncan
--NSA meta-spying of citizens/evesdsropping on Merkel, etc
--Obama's recent statement in support of "American Exceptionalism"
--Non-prosecution of Wall St investors/"Too big to Fail" (for banks)/Geitner's/Paulson's app'ts
--vast numbers of deportations of undocumented Immigrants (increased over Bush)
--Promoting TPP and similar Trade deals that greatly favor elites
--Busting Medical Cannabis dispensaries in California (Holder & DOJ).
I may have forgotten something, but that's basically how I sum up Obama's polices for me.
Posted by nikto | Thu May 29, 2014, 01:16 AM (0 replies)
And too many so-called "Liberals" have been duped into supporting horrid trade deals,
for-profit Charter Schools and foreign wars--All policies with a strong rightward lean.
It's not a fair fight in America---The right has the money and numbers, while the left has only numbers and
the fact their policy stands are morally more justifiable for the health of the Nation
and for the greatest number of people.
The left can't even get its best spokespeople on major media tv/radio, and have to go to places like RT or The Web
if they want to hear from brilliant thinkers such as Chomsky, Hedges, Richard D Wolff,
Dahr Jamail, Glen Ford and others.
Centrism, in this slanted climate, yields largely Conservative economic
and foreign policy wins over the long-run.
Wall Street Larcenists remain untouched.
Drones continue to rain down death without due process on distant, dark-skinned foreigners.
Unions are continually pushed back and weakened. Public Schools are privatized, daily.
NSA is perusing your cell phone records as you read this.
TPP is getting pushed through as we speak. The USPost Office is being slowly snuffed
by colluding members of both parties.
THAT is the true face of Centrism.
When somebody says they are a "Centrist",
that is why I, am, uh, not impressed.
Posted by nikto | Mon May 19, 2014, 07:30 PM (2 replies)
That Centrism, on the important economic and foreign policy issues at least,
looks a whole lot like slow-motion Conservatism.
Posted by nikto | Mon May 19, 2014, 07:22 PM (3 replies)
It's part of its structure.
Honesty, facts and reality no longer support (if they ever did) most Conservative positions/arguments,
whether the issue is taxes, healthcare, foreign policy, trade policy, education, environmental issues,
business regulations, wage and distribution-of-wealth issues, whatever.
The result is that a nation of Conservatives who suscribe to the lies and distortions that are given to defend their philosophy and policies, are systematically, insidiously, being made less and less honest, day-by-day.
Empirics and factual touchstones are swept-aside and an almost religious-like faith (in somehow just being right) is elevated.
The big question is, will this process of making people increasingly dishonest, result in mass-numbers of people being able to eventually do evil, disruptive, violent things to other Americans they perceive as "the (Liberal) enemy"?
Is that the end-game of this process?
Serious food 4 thought.
Posted by nikto | Mon May 5, 2014, 05:31 AM (0 replies)
If you encounter a person who holds a philosophy, and that "philosophy" has been distorted to
promote falsehoods, misconceptions, personal attacks and racism in multiple areas to "make its case", then that "side" is morally weaker than another side that has a philosophy built on arguments that are more consistently fact-based and less-dependent on evoking prejudices/bigotry to reinforce their "arguments".
Neither side is perfect, but it is empirical that Conservatism in America relies, far far more than Progressivism/Liberalism, on anti-science (climate and pro-dominionist arguments), racism/classism (hate-talk radio, dog whistle-attacks against Obama, minorities, entitlement programs, etc), extreme over-exaggerations (Bhengazi, Whitewater, Clinton rumours, non-existent WMDs, lies about ACA), etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc
With false arguments being an institutionalized bedrock of seemingly most Conservative tactics these days, I believe this has a mass-effect of gradually converting a large population of people (US Conservatives) into less-honest people, day-by-day, issue-by-issue, lie-by-lie, distortion-by-distortion. And their pit seems to be getting ever deeper as time passes.
While either side can be stupid (or miss the point of a particular argument), there is no Progressive/Liberal equivalent for the lies, deception and nonstop use of bigotry and non-rational hateful emotion that is standard procedure for Conservatives/GOP supporters, all the time, every day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
There just isn't.
Posted by nikto | Mon May 5, 2014, 03:07 AM (11 replies)
There once was a time when Conservatism in the US actually was pro-environment (read Barry Goldwater's 1971 book, and related statements), and stood for actually conserving some things (being frugal with the budget, avoiding too many foreign intanglements, etc).
Nowadays, it is clear that Conservatism has become mere Corporatism and a set of knee-jerk rationalizations
that mainly support banking/investment and corporate interests with no exceptions.
Conservatism has morphed from a legitimate philosophy into a hi-jacked vehicle for blind support of wealth
and economic elites. It is self-serving for elites now and has no legitimate general applications
to the actual common good of the Nation as a whole.
It lies about science; It supports every war with no distinctions; It mis-represents what is Constitiutional and what is not;
It criticizes the separation of church and state; It supports predatory financialism and lopsided trade; It is racist, and uses racism to achieve its goals; It suppresses voting rights, it pursues secrecy in government, pushes the Drug War, crony capitalism, etc etc etc etc.
Conservatism, as preached nowadays by the GOP, Tea Party, Heritage Foundation, Koch Bros, Jamie Dimon, David Brooks, Fox, Limbaugh, etc etc etc, is wrong about everything.
If there are exceptions, please list them and empirically justify them here.
I'd really like to hear some, honestly.
While it may be true that for many people. FDR Liberalism isn't what it was, it at least still stands for something.
The term, Progressivism, still has meaning and makes distinctions that are sincere.
Present-day US Conservatism--Illegitimate, IMO.
Posted by nikto | Mon Apr 28, 2014, 05:31 AM (13 replies)
spiritus mundi ---- "Spirit of the world" ---- From "The Second Coming" (poem) by William Butler Yeats. Refers to Yeats' belief that each human mind is linked to a single vast intelligence, and that this intelligence causes certain universal symbols to appear in individual minds. The idea is similar to Carl Jung's concept of the collective unconscious.
Godzilla is a universal symbol with roots deep in the collective imagination of humankind,
and, via contemporary media, has achieved status as
a modern internationally-recognized mythological archetype on a Joseph Campbell/Carl Jung level.
Posted by nikto | Mon Apr 28, 2014, 01:53 AM (0 replies)
While some may never be able to see past the image of those 1970s movies and cartoon show, Godzilla is in reality a literary metaphor of nearly unmatched relevancy and power in today's world. Others have written of Godzilla in literary or cultural terms, well before me.
But I think the symbol of Godzilla is an apt one for this particular era of history and its issues.
This is not about the new film coming out in a few weeks, although, if it proves a hit, that may get people talking about Godzilla, and the symbolic resonance of what he represents.
Hopefully, the film will trigger a lot of conversations beyond just the special effects and production values.
As an ideal emodiment of a particular and persistent human theme, Godzilla matters in today's world, far beyond just the action-movie excitement and box-office receipts.
The Japanese established kaiju (giant monsters) as a film genre, but real-life
kaiju are part of the Japanese DNA. Puzzled? Go check out some actual kaiju on youtube---The 3-11 tsunami at Kessenuma, or Minamisanriku, or Sendai, as an unstoppable giant monster spread it's unimaginably powerful limbs across the land, tossing trucks, ships and buildings around like Cracker-Jack toys, making a mockery of puny human barriers built for the foolish illusion of security, and ultimately laying all to waste.
But Godzilla, the king and biggest star of all the kaiju, is distinctly American-inspired, and so in essence,
a co-creation of Japan and America.
We gave Japan the nuclear connection tragically via Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and later, through Fukushima reactors #1,2,3 and 4---All built at near sea-level (against some Japanese objections at the time), as insisted upon by General Electric in the 1970s, in order to sell their reactor design without costly modification.
And this was after the recent tsunamis of 1946, 1960 and 1964!
Human folly provided the opening through which Fukushima was ripped-open, literally, by the earth's own kaiju.
America gave Japan the dark gift of radiation, and Japan fused their own ancient mythologies, their seismic heritage, and recent history together in a burst of inspiration, and gave the world Gojira (Godzilla)---The radioactive super-dragon that cannot be killed or stopped, and that humanity helped create.
The theme that Godzilla embodies, is deeply colored by the age-old issue
embodied in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein---Has humankind taken on too much power---More than our limited wisdom can handle?
This is a theme that haunts the human race more and more with each passing year.
Perhaps Godzilla is the new, and even more topically relevant,
Frankenstein, for our age.
Godzilla represents everything we fear, that we cannot control, and that can destroy us all. This includes phenomena of nature (tsunami, typhoons, earthquakes), as well as things we are partly responsible for (climate change? Pollution? Fukushima?).
The primary theme behind Godzilla as a metaphor is something many people simply avoid thinking about, but is the thing that all human beings, as citizens of Earth, NEED to be thinking about.
It is a question.
Actually, it is the question:
Will the human race survive?
Put that in your action-movie and smoke it.
For many people choosing not to look, or think, too deeply, Godzilla will continue to be merely an action-flick phenomenon,
a social event, a punch line.
But for the more philosophical among us----Those not afraid to look
at The Big Picture of human life on earth, even via a piece of popular mass-entertainment,
Posted by nikto | Thu Apr 24, 2014, 02:03 AM (90 replies)