Friday, May 29, 2015

Quote Of The Day ~ Civilizations have always been plagued by politicians with false knowledge who spread false ideas...

by Norman E. Hooben
Posted back in September of 2000, Charles Stampul writes a book review of Plagues of the Mind by Bruce Thornton, professor of classics and humanities at Cal State Fresno.  A question posed by Stampul, "...they look to government for protection from everything from economic stagnation to beach erosion. How did we get that way?" is answered in a six paragraph essay which is summarized with:
Despite increasing levels of formal education, people are more and more apt to give credence to fallacious ideas and claims. In addition, it makes the important point that, while civilizations have always been plagued by epidemics of false knowledge, the spread of false ideas at this time in history is more dangerous “not just because high-tech media multiply exponentially the mischief that falsehood can work, but also because we are a democracy and democracy cannot thrive without a certain diet of truth.”
Probably the most fallacious idea and claim bandied about the world today is that of climate change (global warming, global cooling, anthropomorphic climate change, or whatever name you want to give it).  Despite their formal education and/or brainwashing by left leaning institutions of higher learning, the politicians promoting such falsities are all in the same school of thought...devise a scare tactic that no one has control over and tax the bee jeebies out of the people in an attempt to control the people while the climate keeps on being uncontrollable (← The weather; its been that way since day one.)  Civilizations have always been plagued by politicians with false knowledge who the spread false ideas... 

Read Stampul's full narrative here: http://fee.org/freeman/detail/plagues-of-the-mind-the-new-epidemic-of-false-knowledge

Meanwhile...ponder this ↓
 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Doomsayers + Optimists = ?

This may be too sophisticated for some to read.  The unsophisticated will never read...and so it goes with the average bloke who is still walking around in a daze for they may not know how to read! ~ Storm'n Norm'n

The Doomsayers Are Right
But so are the optimists
By Issaac M. Morehouse

It is 1900. Two visitors from the year 2015 arrive at your doorstep. They are here to tell you about the future.
One hundred years of horror
The first visitor looks grim. He tells you that “the war to end all wars” will soon begin. It will encompass the globe and destroy millions of lives. Cities will be decimated. The Great War will have a scope and level of brutality never before imagined in human history. It will be followed by economic collapse, political upheaval, and tremendous human suffering.
A decade later, the largest economies in the world will teeter, then collapse. Hyperinflation, panic, stock market crashes, breadlines, and financial ruin will be the norm. Hunger, poverty, and desperation like no modern society has ever experienced will span a decade. Before recovery, war will break out again — this one even more catastrophic than the last. Tens of millions will die.
A new form of evil will show its head. Totalitarian regimes aided by advanced weaponry and propaganda machines will lead the mass execution of millions. Weapons of mass destruction will be created, and two will be deployed, leveling cities in minutes with effects lasting years. Governments the world over will grow in power and brutality. Control over all facets of personal and economic life will expand.
The second great war will end and economic growth will resume, but not without constant smaller wars across the globe. Government will balloon out of all proportion. Surveillance will become ever present, even in the freest states. Acts of terrorism will be all over the news. Inflation, regulation, and taxation will increase once again to levels rivaling those that led to the great economic collapse. Countries will go bankrupt, drowning in debt. Police will turn on citizens regularly. Finally, the first traveler concludes, all signs in 2015 point to another painful reckoning.
But the other traveler seems unfazed by his companion’s tale. “Do you have anything to add?” you ask hesitantly.
One hundred years of human achievement
He smiles and begins to recount the next century with excitement. Automobiles are mass produced. Soon, they are everywhere. Temperature-controlled vehicles, homes, and workplaces pop up and spread. New forms of communication that instantly connect people across countries and then the world proliferate at incredible speed. People get healthier and wealthier the world over.
Air travel takes over where automobiles leave off. Humans safely traverse the world many thousands of feet in the air. Appliances do all the most tedious, painful, and time-consuming tasks — and not just in wealthy homes.
Hunger is no longer a problem in developed countries, and it is increasingly rare throughout the world. Common diseases like polio and malaria are all but eradicated with medical and pharmaceutical developments. Average lifespan dramatically increases; infant mortality plummets.
Information is freed in ways never before imaginable. Every book ever written can be transmitted anywhere in the world through crisscrossing networks of data transmission. Humans enter outer space. Satellites beam information, video, and voices back and forth around the globe. Rich and poor alike hold in their hands devices more powerful than anything kings or tycoons of ages past could have hoped for.
Money and memories alike can be sent anywhere, anytime, easily. Anyone can learn anything without access to prestigious centers of knowledge. Gatekeepers for information are no longer impediments to human cooperation and progress. Laboring in fields and factories is decreasingly necessary, as a host of new and intelligent machines take on these tasks.
Finally, the second traveler concludes, humans focus more than ever on creativity, freedom, and fulfillment.
Who’s correct?
Both travelers have described the same future for the same planet. Neither description is untrue, and both are important.
It’s easy to feel confused by conflicting theories about the future. If you have a firm grasp on economics and political philosophy and get stuck in the political news cycle, it’s depressing. You look at the state of our economy and government intervention and see nothing but storm clouds on the horizon. There’s no way the mountains of debt, the constant currency debasement, the damaging social programs and interventions, and the buildup of regulations and nanny-statism can result in anything but an ugly future.
But if you’re up on the start-up scene, you hear tech optimists describing a future of 3-D printing, cryptocurrency, robotics advancements, colonizing Mars, and mapping the human genome, and you can’t help but see the future burning bright.
Both groups are accurately describing the possible and probable future, and there are lessons to be drawn from each.

Will history repeat?
Storm'n Norm'n
Click on picture to enlarge.
There are striking similarities between today’s developed democracies and ancient Rome. Bread and circuses and political decay may lead to a Roman-style collapse. Then again, we have something today that the citizens of the Roman-ruled world did not: digital technology.
Storm'n Norm'n
Click on picture to enlarge.
We are able to coordinate and collaborate via dispersed networks in ways individuals in the past never could. The centrally planned state, with all its military and monetary might, is a lumbering beast compared to the nimble, adaptive entrepreneur and citizen today. Yes, the state may
use technology to spy and oppress, but always through a top-down management structure. We are a headless conglomerate of individual nodes, networked across the globe, that cannot be destroyed.
Maybe the US dollar will, in fact, collapse. Maybe states will go bankrupt. Maybe government services will fall into disarray. And maybe in the middle of it all, individual humans and civil society won’t even notice.
Do you remember how the Cold War ended? Neither do I. It just kind of did. Do you remember the great collapse of government-monopolized phone lines? Neither do I. Cell phones just emerged and it stopped mattering. The post office is in perpetual deficit. So what? Email and FedEx and Amazon drones will continue to make it irrelevant.
You see, striking as the similarities to great collapses of the past may be, history is not an inevitable indicator of the future. Collapse of government systems in an increasingly complex, market-oriented world may not spell disaster for society at large. It may spell improvement.
Problems are real … real opportunities
Take your knowledge of unsustainable government and extrapolate it into the future. Yes, these bloated systems are unsustainable. Don’t turn a blind eye and pretend it doesn’t matter. Instead, let the insights of your inner doomsayer inform the actions of your inner optimist.
Every government problem is an entrepreneurial opportunity. Stifling licensing or work restrictions or immigration bans can be overcome with peer-to-peer technology, the sharing economy, virtual work software, and more. Bad monetary policy can be sidestepped with cryptocurrency. Defunct educational institutions bubbling over with debt and devalued credentials can be ignored while private alternatives emerge. Clumsy socialized medicine, transportation, and communication systems are all begging for innovation. Entire countries can be exited — physically or digitally.
The innovators must be realistic enough to see problems with the status quo and optimistic enough to innovate around them instead of merely shaking their fists.
Informed optimism as adventure
It’s good to wake up to the tragic missteps of government policy that surround us. But if lovers of liberty only ever point to the problems, predict trouble, and head for the hills, the future may indeed be lost. If, instead, we see those problems as opportunities and talk about the possibility in front of us, we stand a chance. Optimism is a powerfully attractive force that invites bright minds to join us. As F.A. Hayek once said,
We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage.… Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.
We must recapture the intellectual and practical adventure of not just demonstrating the failures of a planned society, but building the glories of a free one. Only then will the world look at us and say, “Why are you so optimistic? What do you know? How can I be a part of it?”
One hundred years from now
There are two stories we can see unfolding in our future. One of increasing political foolishness leading to dystopia. One of emerging technology and innovation leading to utopia. Neither is untrue. Both are instructive.
What would you expect to hear from a traveler from 2115? Which story brings out your best self and inspires you to live free and help others do the same?
We need doomsayers: they help discover and highlight the greatest areas of opportunity for optimists and entrepreneurs to seize on. Listen to them, then act to overcome or sidestep or make irrelevant the problems they predict.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hillary Clinton the bloody-handed Merchant of Death who profited off of the American government’s lucrative arms business.

Source: Moe Lane
Hillary Clinton and the Merchants of Death.
Oh, come ON, Hillary Clinton: “The State Department under Hillary Clinton authorized arms sales to countries that had donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, according to a new report…. State approved $165 billion worth of weapons sales to 20 foreign governments during Clinton’s tenure, the International Business Times reports. Among the countries involved in the sales were Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.” And the Clinton Foundation got anywhere between fifty to a hundred and fifty million in donations from relevant parties in that time.
:pause:
OK, it’s not just me, right? This looks bad on a basic level, yes? It is not ridiculous to be upset that the Secretary of State was taking millions of dollars from the countries that she was funneling billions of dollars’ worth of business – weapons business – to, correct? Because as the Hill did not particularly note – but the International Business Times (H/T: Hot Air) did – these weapons sales represent a significant increase (read: ‘doubling’) over arms sales as those made during a similar chronological point in the Bush administration. Simply put: the State Department turned on the arms spigot, and various foreign governments and companies started filling up the Clinton Foundation trough.
So what’s the point? The point, my friends, is that you may now tell your liberal friends and colleagues that Hillary Clinton, by the Left’s own rules, can be fairly called a bloody-handed Merchant of Death* who profited off of the American government’s lucrative arms business. Watching them process that should give you some amusement.
Especially when you remind them that they’re voluntarily going to vote for a woman who made money from arming regimes that oppress and execute their own subjects.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*”Lady of War” is far too nice-sounding. I frankly wouldn’t trust her to run a paintball tournament, at this point.
_______________________________
 
And from the "You-Got-To-Be-Kidding-Me" Department:
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WOW !!!



According to Progressives, Indivualism is a Bad Idea...see 7 stages of the progressive agenda

The author's pen name may sound satirical but the commentary is pretty much on track.  Why we have gotten away from the word, "Democrat" and replaced it with, "Progressive" is still somewhat of a mystery to me but in either case they are not democratic nor are they progressive...almost everything (I could say 100% but someone might find 1% or 2% that pulls a positive note) they do is regressive not to mention the high cost of everything they call a success.  What we call a failure, Progressives call a success...but even that gets flip-flopped depending in the time of day and the relative proximity to a camera or microphone. ~ Norman E. Hooben
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7 Stages of the Progressive Agenda
http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/7-stages-of-the-progressive-agenda-t16369.html


By Commissarka Pinkie

7_Stages_Progressive_Agenda.jpg


STAGE 1: Identify the issue.

Any Progressive can make an issue out of anything. That's the Power of the People! Just name it and blame Republicans. Many issues never go beyond Stage 1 because they are so readily and widely embraced by the masses. Examples include free cell phones, free gas, and free Obama money from his stash. Whatever the issue, throw it at the wall and don't worry if it doesn't stick—there are at least six more ways to make sure it does!

STAGE 2: Promote the issue.

Exhort media minions to give saturation coverage to the latest issue, to build consensus, create buzz and subsequently demand. People who never thought this was something they should have, and have happily lived without it for years, will start thinking this is something they should have and absolutely cannot live without—especially if they're persuaded that not having it is why they've never been as happy as they previously and mistakenly believed. Blame Republicans. If it still shows signs of sliding down the wall, then proceed to the next stage.

STAGE 3: Say it's a MORAL issue.

Remember back in the 80's, when evangelical Christofascism was infecting the country at fever pitch, and Progressives tried to combat it by saying you can't legislate morality? When that didn't work, we simply expropriated the word and changed the definition like we do with everything else. Now, morality refers to support of the Progressive agenda, and you'd better believe we're going to legislate it to the hilt! Whatever it is Progressives want to do, it is the MORAL thing to do. Ergo, to oppose it is simply...immoral.

And who among us wants to be immoral? Don't we all want to do the right thing? The correct thing? All we want to do is help people so they can live better lives—what's wrong with that? It's moral, isn't it? Somewhere down the line, there are supposed to be grand and glorious rewards for being moral, for without them, who would bother?

To say it's a moral issue is like giving the masses a mild laxative—sometimes all people need is just a gentle little push, something to soften them and ease the passage. At this point, we usually get government funding, and maybe a czar to oversee it. The media continues to do its part to promote it, while celebrities begin sporting the appropriately colored awareness ribbons.

Yet there will still be those who are either too confused or ignorant to see the light. That, or they're simply...immoral. Or amoral. Either way, they're so not moral that they're perfectly happy to see that issue slide down the wall till it plops on the ground. Blame Republicans. But that's when we must implement the next stage.

STAGE 4: Declare the issue a CRISIS!

Sometimes Progressives will skip over the first three stages to Stage 4, in which case, this is where it really starts. You don't get anything through Congress or the courts simply by saying it's "nice to have." No. It is a CRISIS! Lives are in danger! Planet is in peril! Time is running out! We must start taking steps to begin taking action NOW!

A crisis receives even more funding, and the establishment of a government agency to impose regulations that will eventually bring it under control—but only as long as funding continues and keeps pace with inflation.

The media will continue beating their drums. In addition to the awareness ribbons, celebrities make speeches about it at awards shows, and start incorporating it into the plot lines of their movies and "Very Special Episodes" of TV shows, etc. The masses must be made aware of the CRISIS!

But there will still be scoffers. Skeptics. Deniers. Those who say there is no crisis. Those who say that no matter what the crisis, it's always been here and hasn't hurt anyone or anything. Those who say it's just another wealth redistribution scheme. Those, especially at the corporate level in the private sector, who spend millions, billions, and gazillions to convince the masses that there is no crisis, all to protect the ill-gotten profits they stole from those same masses! Why, they'll say that it isn't even an issue, let alone a crisis! Blame Republicans. People dependent on being told what to think will be tricked into believing these lies instead of the current truth.

That's what we Progressives call "a messaging problem." Therefore, we must double down and move to the next stage.

STAGE 5: Call it a HEALTH issue!

All we want to do is help people. All we want to do is help them make better decisions, the right choices, so they can live healthy, happy, productive lives without fear of death, disease, or destruction. How can anyone with an ounce of compassion be against that?

But sometimes it's not enough to say lives are in danger, or the planet is in peril. Sometimes we have to be more specific, because some people, dagnabbit, just aren't satisfied with vague generalities. This is why "individualism" is such a bad idea—it encourages people to dwell on the nitpicky details of how an issue, even when it's been elevated to the level of crisis, will personally affect them and their selfish little private world.

So let's make it personal! Bring on the testimonies! Call on those who will share their heartbreaking stories of how their health, and by extension their lives, have been ruined because of the crisis! Blame Republicans. Poverty, income inequality, climate change...all of these things have an adverse impact on a person's health and well being.

Show pictures of suffering children. Crumbling glaciers. Rising floodwaters. Drowning polar bears. Smokestacks belching out billows of black smoke. Oil-soaked baby animals with huge, sad brown eyes. Tearful Native Americans standing at the side of the road with heaps of garbage at their feet. Don't just tug on those heartstrings—yank 'em taut and play 'em like a Strad!

Then show the masses what it all leads to: Starvation! Disease! Non-breathable air! Undrinkable water! Carcasses! Stink! Gross! Death! Destruction! Doom!

Only one thing will solve these problems and reverse the inevitable before it's too late—more government funding! Yet there will still be those who don't care. Who just want others to die quickly. Who don't want to spend the mere few pennies a day per person it would cost to eliminate these horrors forever and ever and ever.

That's when we roll out the next stage.

STAGE 6: Enshrine it as a CIVIL RIGHTS issue!

Nothing shuts down dissent like calling it a civil rights issue, because anyone who opposes anything to do with civil rights can be labeled a bigot, a hater, or any kind of phobe. Civil rights always trump all other rights, and this allows us to shame the haters and bigots and make them feel like the outcasts they are, on the extreme fringe, the wrong side of history!

Once an issue is consecrated as a matter of civil rights, the masses will hold marches and rallies across the country to demand it. There may be riots and vandalism, and many innocents will be hurt or jailed, or even killed. Blame Republicans.

The issue will finally go before the people for a vote—and if it doesn't pass, no problem! The courts will overturn it because it is a civil right! And the people will keep marching and rallying and blaming Republicans until that happens!

Nothing is more sacred than a civil right...except, perhaps, the government that keeps it sanctified through continued funding and special protections and privileges for anyone the civil right touches.

In the meantime, there will still be bigots and haters who are just too shameless to be shamed. Haters gotta hate. There will still be those who insist that religious rights and so-called inalienable rights endowed by some mythical being should matter. And there will still be enough of them to block the march of progress, and with it the necessary funding, without which all will be lost if we don't make the decision to do something to take the needed steps to start action now, before it's too late!

Which brings us to the next stage...

STAGE 7: Dammit! Can't you people see the crisis is not just a moral issue or a health issue or a question of civil rights? It's a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY!

To not treat it as a matter of National Security is, as President Obama recently told graduates of the Coast Guard Academy, a "dereliction of duty." Members of the military can be court-martialed for it. Under conditions of war, they may be executed for it.

When something is declared a matter of National Security, anyone who does not treat it as such is willfully endangering millions of lives and the future of the entire planet. They are seditious. They are enemies of the State. They are guilty of treason and crimes against humanity. Therefore, they must forfeit all. We kept warning them millions would die, didn't we?

Throw them against the wall. Don't worry if they don't stick. This time, we want them to drop to the ground.

And don't forget to blame Republicans.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Largest Threat To Freedom ...defined

The Largest Threat To Freedom
By Norman E. Hooben

If I could come up with a mathematical formula that would define not just the country’s problems, but the entire western world as it seems to be regressing into a deeper abyss; it would probably look like this:


It’s an obvious word problem so the answer should also be in words and nowhere in my research have I found a definitive narrative that would justify an explanation…that is until I ran across the following (had it in my archives all this time):
The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity is no longer socialism or Communism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism. The environmental movement has transformed itself into an ideology that seeks to restrict human activities at any cost, and that policies being proposed to address global warming are both economically harmful -- especially to poor nations -- and utterly unjustified by current science.
Even through environmentalism boasts about its scientific basis, it is in fact, essentially a metaphysical ideology that refuses to see the world, nature, and humankind as they really are. It has no regard for technological progress and takes the current state of the world and nature as an untouchable standard, any changes to which would be a fatal jeopardy. Moreover, the environmentalists' attitude toward nature is analogous to the Marxist approach to economics: the aim in both cases is to replace free enterprise and individual liberty by the would-be optimal, central, or -- using today's fashionable adjective -- global planning of world development. ~ Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, in Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What Is Endangered -- Climate Or Freedom?
Solutions anyone?  The obvious solution would be to remove all the causes and you would end up with: 0 = Problems… that’s right! Zero problems!  See how easy it is when you work it all out on paper.
 
Footnote: the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology ...has a certain Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid ring to it.