Sunday, March 08, 2009

Antichrist Update, Vol. 2 (1.08.10)

We're having a little fun reviscerating some of the eviscerations I conducted on Obama early last year, just to see how well they hold up in light of his ongoing hold up of the country, and as infantile omnipotence meets the rigors of the reality principle. Given the level of fantasy projected into Obama, we knew the country was going to be in for a screwed aweakening, as this Nobody from Nowhere underwent the formality of actually existing. But I'm pretty sure that only wideawake goddballs with 20/∞ cʘʘnvision knew it would be this bad.

*****

I really was never any more than what I was -- a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze. Now it had blown up in my face and was hanging over me. I wasn't a preacher performing miracles. It would have driven anybody mad. --Bob Dylan

Let's meditate for awhile on the political implications of the Devil card with our Unknown Friend.

First of all, one must understand that the being known as Satan is a source of inspiration; to be in-spired is to receive spirit, and it should go without saying that to merely be "spiritual" is neither here nor there, since there are good and evil spirits.

Thus, this demonic counter-inspiration is still a kind of inspiration. In fact, very much so. To avoid premature saturation, let's just call it (-i). Most of us, assuming we weren't permanently damaged by college, can recognize (i) when we see it, but many people confuse (i) and (-i), with catastrophic results.

For example, America's revolutionary founders were obviously animated by (i). The reactionary counter-revolutionaries -- i.e., the proglodyte left -- are always more or less animated by (-i). Regardless of what they say, they specifically want to arrest and undo our founding, which revolves around liberty converging upon the nonlocal attractor of the Judeo-Christian God (i.e., e pluribus unum, or freedom converging upon the One, or Sovereign Good). Obviously, the founders did not envision a radically secularized and demoralized populace converging upon an omnipotent state.

The campaign of John Edwards, for example, was an exercise in pure (-i). How then did it differ from Obama's campaign? I would say that the Edwards campaign was equally driven by (+H), whereas Obama's campaign is imbued with a meretricious (-L). True, there is always deep (H) under the (-L), but the obamaniacs are able to split off and deny the (H) by bathing in the (-L). To see this, all you have to do criticize Obama, which shows that you are not a part of the social trance, which then triggers the anger that is analogous to being rudely awakened from a deep sleep at 3:00AM.

Along these lines, reader Mike M. left an astute comment yesterday:

"This swooning Obama-worship of someone who seems to be an empty suit is bizarre and curious. Note how it follows the irrational demonization of the current POTUS now seen as a figure of such mythic evil that he, George Bush, is held to have deliberately murdered thousands of innocent Americans on 9/11 as a pretext for immoral imperialist war. This is a view which is resolutely held by graduates of our most prestigious universities! That such an event would have no historical precedent and that such a purported crime would exceed the ruthless cynical evil of the purported Nazi burning of the Reichstag cannot be without meaning....

"Given the powerful projection, scapegoating and displacement poured into the demonization of George W. Bush, could it be that this Obamessiah personna is a necessary counter to the fabricated evil Bush-Hitler figure, and the powerful divisive hysteria and paranoia which has accompanied the demonization of George Bush -- sort of virtual particle and anti-particles emerging from a spiritual vacuum?"

Yes. That is exactly what I am trying to say. Genuine (L) is convergent upon wholeness, truth, beauty, light, harmony, ananda, and freedom. It is never reactive, but active. On the other hand, the Obama-love (-L) is almost wholly reactive, as it exists side by side with the (H) from which it is derived.

This is one of the first and most useful things I learned in my psychoanalytic education. That is, some patients will develop a transference toward the therapist in which they express a lot of anger and hatred. No problem. One expects that. They are not nearly as troublesome as the ones who develop an idealized transference, or "pseudo-love," because when that happens, you had better fasten your seatbelt. You're in for a bumpy ride.

The reason for this is that idealization (understood in its psychoanalytic sense) is a defense mechanism which is simply the other side of denigration, devaluation, and contempt. (Think of our peaceive-aggressive namasté! trolls who have no idea how angry they are.)

In other words, both idealization and contempt are simply ways for the person to manage their own psychic economy. You might say that one person places the bad object outside of himself in order to distance himself from it and attack it, while another person places the good object outside of himself to protect it from his own toxic anger and hatred. Often, on an unconscious level, the patient idealizes you to prevent themselves from tearing you apart -- i.e., to protect you from their own hostility. Haven't you ever been around this kind of person, whose attraction to you was kind of spooky?

Importantly, this is not to confuse the defense mechanism of idealization with its spiritually normal variety. It's somewhat difficult to precisely define the difference, but you can definitely sense when it's the pathological kind. As a therapist, you can intuit the shadow underneath, which gives you an apprehensive feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You find yourself with a foreboding sense of, "boy, this guy loves me now, but am I gonna get hammered as soon as I do something to disappoint him."

I suppose it's similar to the creepy signals that an abusive man gives out to a potential victim. When a woman gets involved with an abusive man, it's usually because she ignored the creepy idealization at the beginning of the relationship. And the reason she ignored it was probably because she wasn't loved by a virtuous and spiritually integrated father, so she can't recognize proper male love. With no psychic defense, she sees none of the many red flags.

This is why I mentioned yesterday that a normal person would definitely be unnerved by the kind of hysterical adulation (-L) being directed at Obama. You cannot help wondering about the state of his soul, and whether it is a pathological mirror-image of what is being projected into him -- like an unconscious lock that corresponds perfectly to the projected key. Such a man -- as was true of Clinton -- seeks his own center in the periphery of the idealizing crowd, so to speak. It couldn't be more different from a man with an immutable axis and incorruptible center to which people are "magnetized," such as Ronald Reagan.

(cf. George Will: "In his preternatural neediness, Clinton, an overflowing cauldron of narcissism and solipsism, is still smarting from Obama's banal observation, four weeks ago, that Ronald Reagan was a more transformative president than Clinton.")

If mother love is like the open circle that is both infinite and enveloping (and potentially suffocating), father love is like the absolute point or axis. The circle must come first (i.e., the ineffable background boundary of being), followed by the point, which forms the center (and which will in turn extend "vertically" to the celestial Father, of whom our earthly father is just an authorized deputy).

A man without a father (or father energy, which can come from other sources) is generally a man without a center. He will be either a weak man, or a weak man imitating a strong man (the Sean Penn or Keith Olbermann type).

In addition to seeking his center in the adulation of others, it is also possible for the weak man to fabricate it in a kind of centerless, manic energy -- again, Clinton comes to mind. He is bubbling over with scattered hysterical thought devoid of any coherence or consistency. He is most focussed when he is focused on the adulation of the crowd, which provides him with a faux center and a temporary integration (and also keeps shame and guilt at bay). But it's an addiction, which is why he can't leave politics alone, but also why he has no enduring political principles.

There is a fascinating chapter in Dylan's autobiography, in which he discusses at length the horror of being idealized in the manner he was back in the 1960s. Again, our society has become so narcissistic, that not only is such a bizarre situation seen as normative, but it is something that people actively seek (i.e., the cult of celebrity). People want to be famous and adulated, but obviously for all the wrong reasons. There are few good reasons to be famous. Which is why, as Dennis Prager says, most famous people are utterly insignificant, while most significant people aren't famous.

I am also reminded of something Schuon said, that the spiritually normal man does things because they please God, not for the horizontal affirmation of others. He made a related comment about the purpose of secular humanism, which is "to make oneself as useful as possible to a humanity as useless as possible." Look at Obama, whose whole economic platform involves making himself useful to the takers against the makers. And once there are more takers than makers, i.e., people dependent upon the state, there is no coming back.

One reason why conservatism is always a tough sell, is that these are the kinds of truths that cannot be uttered to the masses. They will think you are saying these things because you have contempt for them (H), when it is really because you deeply wish to help liberate them (L). You will notice, for example, that Rush is routinely described by the left as "hateful," which is only 180˚ from the truth.

I can't help wondering if Obama's absence of a father is a critical element here. It is interesting, is it not, that he identifies with his "blackness," even though his father was an utterly useless abandoning-irresponsible-alcoholic-bigamist-Marxist? If a boy is not initiated by the love of a virtuous man, then he will remain left behind in the murky, oceanic, intoxicating, boundary-less realm of mother love, which is as different from father-love as night is to day or sun is to moon.

Please bear in mind that I am in no way denigrating mother love. Indeed, in watching Mrs. G. interact with Future Leader over the past three years, I am more in awe of it than ever. However, I am equally aware (as is Mrs. G) that if this love weren't tempered by father love, we could have a real monster on our hands.

Awhile back Hoarhey made an insightful comment to the effect that the country wasn't prepared to cope with another fatherless president working out his issues on the national stage. In fact, it is probably no coincidence that in Clinton, the country chose a feminized, mother-bound man as president after the conclusion of the Cold War, since father had done his job and was therefore felt to be no longer necessary. But now, in a time of hot war, are we naive enough -- or in such denial -- to think that we can cow our enemies with sufficient mother love?

Yes. We. Were.

118 Comments:

Anonymous hoarhey said...

The unconscious vitriol of local Obamites has me realizing that I am indeed living inside a zombie flick.
Oooobaaamaaa! Oooobaaamaaa!

3/08/2009 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of fatherlessness, Dr. Helen has an interesting link up today.

3/08/2009 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

wv:bersperc
Berserk Percolate

A bitter drink indeed!

Best served cold?

I like mine Haught!

(not haute)

3/08/2009 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D
I almost missed the artists of the day. I'll have to check them out, when I get a chance.

3/08/2009 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

A simple plan to deal with life's financial roadbumps.

3/08/2009 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oleg A. of ThePeoplesCube does some Russian/English translations for us:

translate “out of sight, out of mind”
into Russian, you get “invisible lunatics”

"Did you know that if you translate “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” into Russian, it becomes “the vodka is agreeable but the meat has gone bad”? Literal translations can be tricky that way."

3/08/2009 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father left home when I was six, and I have never been blessed to come under the guidance of a spiritually aligned and psychologically integrated male, so what measures can I take not to drown in the waves of the Mother?

I recently read Robert Bly's book "Iron John," which was like a slap in the face to my "Look at how beautiful I am" version of actualization and spirituality. Here is his description of what he refers to as the Naive Man, which, sadly, fits me to a T:

"The Naive Man will lose what is most precious to him because of a lack of boundaries. This is particularly true of the New Age man, or the man seeking 'higher consciousness.' Thieves walk in and out of his house, carrying large bags, and he doesn't seem to notice them. He tells his 'white light' experiences at parties; he confides the contents of last night's dream to a total stranger....We could say that, unaware of boundaries, he does not develop a good container for his soul, nor a good container for two people. There's a leak in it somewhere...The lack of boundaries will eventually damage him."

I finished reading the book a couple of weeks ago and that passage is still sending shockwaves throughout my life.

Here is my question: now that I recognize the lack of boudaries and my need to be seen, how do I move ahead with my life when the entire thing up to this point has been cultivated from that place of self-worship? I am aspiring to be a perforing artist, for crying out loud, and now I find that it is a demonic influance that is driving me to be such.

On top of that, I truly feel the blessing of Shakti coming through me at certain times, in writing and performing as well. It's like the selfish, infantile portion of me wants to steal the thunder of a Divine Gift. I don't know how to integrate the two.

What the fuck?

Jason the Confused Poet

3/08/2009 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You shouldn't be involved in esoteric spirituality at all until you get your psychological house in order. Or, to put it another way, your spiritual task is to work on a much stronger foundation capable of withstanding the shakti. A foundation is just as important as the roof.

3/08/2009 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze, I think HIllary could have used that article before making her oh so wise and crafty symbollic gesture gift. Looks like everyone in this administration shops at the same gift shop.

3/08/2009 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

This is exciting: the B'ob is somebody's favorite wingnut!

3/08/2009 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Could Worst Person in the World be far off?

3/08/2009 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You shouldn't be involved in esoteric spirituality at all until you get your psychological house in order. Or, to put it another way, your spiritual task is to work on a much stronger foundation capable of withstanding the shakti. A foundation is just as important as the roof."

Are you saying that I should give up meditation and prayer? The emergence of Shakti happened spontaneously on two occasions very early on in my meditation practice, which I began about four and a half years ago. Now It is a regular experience in my person. I felt like it was going to be a healing Grace, and it has in many ways. But the truth of the matter is that now I am beginning to see how screwed up emotionally I am, but if I don't take the time to meditate I very well may lose it.

My entire life is dedicated to mindfullness practice. Every moment of the day I focus upon the Transcendent One Whom is ever-present, and I surrender to that Highness in all things. You're are telling me to give up spiritual practice, but my spriritual practice is my life. How does that work. I'm not going to go on a kool-aid bender just because you say so, Bob.(Just kidding.)

Just thinking aloud, maybe what I need is a safe container for my Illumination, a monastic life-style to set me on the right track. My life has certainly lacked structure, and that might help me out. But will any of the traditions help me foster a healthy and well adjusted ego? Can Love heal all, or is Love manifesting as the help of my Knowledgable brothers and sisters?

I know for a fact that I was mistaking infantine fusion states with transcendent Unity states, alternating back and forth with no real ego to transcend. Well, an ego to be sure, but one rife with pathology, selfish graspings, and mama-daddy problems.

Anything will help. I am trying to find some direction.

Jason

3/08/2009 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Jason - I hope you find the help and direction that you need.

On a completely different note, YouTube + iPod + Shakti = a happy trip to WalMart. Awesome, and the music described my mood perfectly.

Also, nice job on being someone's favorite wingnut, Bob. Looking at that site is like seeing the madhouse mirror version of what OC actually is.

3/08/2009 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van,
DC is crawling with speakers of Russian, both native and trained linguists. Having lunch at their local Borscht cafe & asking the owners would have worked out better than this. To top it off: Teh Hillmorons used Latin letters/alphabet, not even Cyrillic. You just know those yutzes used some online translation-toy, typed in 'reset' & ran with the result.

Oh man, we used to get this sort of cringe-inducing caliber as Ambassadors to So Am - clueless yahoos who had made big donations to some Prez & were being rewarded with a post. Always, always, a terrible embarrassment.

wv:reem a ter

3/08/2009 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

From da 'favorite wingnut' site:
In some respects he's the worst kind of douchebag: the kind who doesn't realize he's a douchebag...

(-d}?

hmmm... that somehow doesn't look right. How does one do a double-negative?

3/08/2009 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

How does one counter such witty repartee!

3/08/2009 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Col. J. C. Beaglehole said...

I must say, this gentleman Orthogonad reminds of the legendary wit of Sir Winston. I well remember on one occasion, when he was getting a bit tipsy at a hoity-toity social dinner. The aging hostess, a certain Dame E., said, "Winston, you're drunk!" To which Churchill replied, "I may be drunk, but you are ugly, so fuck you!"

3/08/2009 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Col. J. C. Beaglehole said...

Another amusing anecdote just came to me. This concerns the time at the Potsdam Conference when President Truman barged into Churchill's room demanding to see the great man immediately. WC's valet protested that the Prime Minister was in the bath. "I don't care," Truman retorted, "get him out here!"

So Churchill burst into the room, dripping wet and stark naked, and dryly intoned to his guest, "What are you staring at, homo?"

3/08/2009 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Hi folks! I already semi-apologized for the language here.

But please keep in mind: your host is accusing me, Obama, and the roughly half of the country that supported his election of being in league with Satan. So who is making the worse insult? I'm sorry I couldn't think of a wittier term for a professional psychologist who is willing to freely hurl around that kind of contempt for a large segment of humanity.

But I'm going to drop the personal insults in the hopes of having an actually productive exchange, if that's possible between people with such radically different worldviews. Should be interesting.

3/08/2009 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Jason:
First off, let me qualify: I don't know anything about Shakti, or any system of Yogic, or any other sort of organized spiritual practise. Nor could I claim the kind of depth of faith that many others here have attained. I spend a lot of time at war with my own brood of mind parasites, and a good part of the time I lose the battles.
So I'm not exactly an expert in the field.
But hey when did that stop anyone from throwing out advice unasked for?
Perhaps, rather than a rigorous discipline of meditation, ritual, or whatever your practise involves, a simpler, approach may suffice. Rather than a thousand spiritual pushups everyday, a brief, direct, and sincere prayer for guidance. One that you can repeat silently many times per day. For this one day I place my life and my will in your care... Lord, what would you have me do this day? Hey- You fly the ship here, will ya' please? Something along those lines. Maybe you're using a computer to do the job of a simple wrench.

JWM

3/08/2009 07:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Why should a secular person take offense at the idea that he is in league with demonic forces? Isn't that like taking offense at the suggestion that he is doing the work of pink unicorns?

3/08/2009 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Dr. Bob:

I note that you wonder "if Obama's absence of a father is a critical element here". However, young Indonesian raised Barack was also abandoned by his obsessively anti-American mother and, in effect, by his Indonesian Muslim stepfather. Might this be perhaps a contemporary American version of the Celtic triple death. The third abandonment of young Barack by his mother no less must have been a particularly devastating blow.
.
.
.
Mike O'Malley

3/08/2009 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

And what, pray tell, is a "hateful non-cretin?"

3/08/2009 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

MIke:

That's an excellent point, but I'm actually uncomfortable speculating in a psychoanalytically deterministic way unless it is for the purpose of higher insultainment. It's just too easy to misuse it to pathologize one's ideological opponents.

Suffice it to say that, for whatever reason, Obama is an unusually empty and impressionable person.

3/08/2009 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But please keep in mind: your host is accusing me, Obama, and the roughly half of the country that supported his election of being in league with Satan."

Most folks on the Left don't even believe in Satan, let alone evil incarnate, so why take that as an insult?

Besides, it's not like Bob is accusing you of knowingly being in league with satanic principals.

3/08/2009 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Sleep Well!

3/08/2009 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Also of note, Mtraven-
What you call "accusations" are only Bobservations.

Perhaps you can enlighten us on the virtues of leftism, because I can find nowhere in history where it makes people more free or increases liberty in any way.

3/08/2009 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Hoarhey...

"Imhotep!" "Imhotep!"

:)

The more subtle thing about Obama is he is reactive and not proactive. He is aggressive with his agenda, but when it comes to confrontation, he is a wuss.

Oh, he is so tired.. Stop partying. Oh, he did not expect the work load. What a bed-wetter.

Do they really thing excuses show strength?

Enemies salivate at such chances.

The guy is a boy in a man's suit. He will never be a man, and always be a retaliator. He will never lead, but always force the issue.

He has no wisdom, and perhaps no heart -other than one that is messed up seriously.

And now back to our regularly scheduled horror movie, "Zombies from the Obamasphere."

3/08/2009 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What Luke just said is obvious to anyone whose eyes are opened.

3/08/2009 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Contrary to what everyone says, he's not even that bright, much less well read -- just look at his helpless dependence upon the teleprompter. It's clear that he's never seriously grappled with ideas counter to those he's passively absorbed.

3/08/2009 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anyone who could stay in that demonic church for all those years is either a boob or a knave.

3/08/2009 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Hey Bob, I have a question.

Do you think Barack has had a stuttering problem in his life?

I used to work with a man who had been a stutterer in his youth. He pretty much grew out of it, and communicates well. It would only begin to occur under pressure.

What I am trying to say is, i see the same traits in Obama.

Perhaps he uses the teleprompter to avoid those micro stress moments that cause him to stutter and "uhhh" a lot, more than being completely ignorant or a boob.

I am not saying I think he is some hidden intelligence, I believe the stories about his being more of a C student fit the profile.

He leans on the social interaction skills (in his case, intimidation and etc. already discussed) to cope with circumstances. This is rather than being able to think well on his feet.

I say this, as during the campaign, when cornered into speaking off the cuff, he was only an "expert communicator" in sarcasm. A punishment for challenging his ego.

-Just a thought.

-Luke

3/08/2009 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Or a knaveboob.

3/08/2009 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Bob..

"..passively absorbed.."

A good one. Another example of bad company corrupting. (No need to mention his sphere of influence again).

3/08/2009 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

There must be a good reason why Zero refuses to release his college transcripts.
Poor grades and/or crappy papers would be the number one reasons.

3/08/2009 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Luke:

I noticed the stuttering, but it seems more like a cognitive problem. He just doesn't know what he's talking about, and is only comfortable with vaporous abstractions. He wouldn't last a day in talk radio. Although I must admit that he has a fine voice to be a late night jazz deejay.

Good night.

3/08/2009 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Luke said,

"Do they really thing excuses show strength?"

And the total capitulation and need to "dialog" with terrorist/communist entities (spelled out for the Obamites means Cuba, Iran, Syria, etc.)isn't seen by totalitatians as being "progressive", it's seen as a weak gesture from people who realize they are losing the struggle and need to compromise to remain viable. Keep your eyes open for what happens next boys and girls.

Mtraven, I notice Obama is still commiting those war crimes against the Constitution which George Bush needed to be perp walked to jail for by spying on you in public libraries and when you call your Mom on her birthday. What's up with that? Hmmm, maybe it's only about power and the retention thereof,....... ya think?

"Teleprompter Jesus"..... perfect.
And each time he speaks, I envision his 27 year old speechwriter behind the curtain, wiping his nose with his sleeve.

w.v. gagout; what happens when they come for the jugular.
Either that or a rock concert with Gagsdaddy on bass. ;*)

3/08/2009 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Well, MTRaven, it's mighty nice of you to be willing to drop personal insults for a while. But I'm afraid you won't get what you came for if you're looking for a "productive exchange." What do you expect the exchange to produce? What you want to do is pick a fight with a bunch of wingnuts, and walk away feeling like you won. No one could refute your arguments or change your mind, so there. I looked at a few of the posts over at your blog. Your a smart enough guy, but you are bringing a two dimensional worldview into a four dimensional discussion. Essentially, this is a "Faith Based Blog". As the "Satan" question illustrates, you already sailed off the edge of a flat earth argument, and nothing that any of us can say is going to convince you that the world in discussion here is round. No doubt you're too well educated to believe in Satan. Or talking snakes, parting seas, burning bushes... How about if I save you the trouble. You win. Ain't no reasnin' with the likes of us.

JWM

3/08/2009 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lefty scientists are hard at work designing a teleprompter eye lens so that Obambi doesn't look, I mean SOUND, so vacuous all the time.
Preferably with a working calculator so that at least one democrat can get the numbers right.

Of course, the downside is they still need someone to tell him what to say that ain't a bloomin' idiot, and no teleprompter technology can do that.

But at the very least, they could build one that gives decent gift suggestions to our staunchest allies, that ain't some cheap-ass plastic toys or gifts easily obtained only everywhere.

3/08/2009 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Dr. Bob, I agree regarding "pathologize one's ideological opponents". Moreover, thanks to efforts of the Sanity Squad and in particular of yourself I've become more aware of scapegoating as a social phenomena and ubiquitous political weapon.

BTW Dr. Bob, I owe you many thanks for your earlier recommendations regarding René Girard. I have read Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads,, by Gil Bailie, Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, and I'm now half way through Violence and the Sacred and now find that René Girard's work shines a powerful light upon the social and political pathologies of our time.

Many thanks again

Mike O'Malley

3/09/2009 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

Something I occurred to me while reading the Antichrist Update Vol.1

Might Secular Humanism be thought of as the Anticrhist's 'John the Baptist'?

John the Baptist called sinners to repent and seek healing in the baptismal water. The modern and inverted John also prepares the way for his lord, but by affirming people in their sins and immersing them in the bapdismal spiritual desert. It is unremarkable that humanity parched in this way will drink any (seemingly cost-free) spiritual kool-aid by the gallon.

That said, Obama is not the antichrist. That is not to say that he couldn't become the Anticrhist. He certainly has the perfect foundation for it; adulation the world over, narcissistic, emotionally, physically and spiritually charismatic.

But he is still only human, and he may be well on the way to catastrophic failure of his policies and presidency. This, however, sets up a near perfect copy of Soloviev's scenario.

3/09/2009 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

jwm, fair enough questions. I wasn't actually looking for a productive exchange or any other. I like to debate, but I find most Internet arguments founder because of exactly the kind of problem you allude to -- if the parties have radically different assumptions there is no real basis for communication. But hope springs eternal.

What underlies my fascination with right-wing hate sites is an a topic I may address in a later post. For now, let's put it this way: I don't really care if your worldview is 2-dimensional, 4-dimensional, or an infinite-dimensional compactified Hausdorff space. Since it seems to involve virulent hostility for large groups of people, groups of which I am a member, I think that gives me something of a legitimate reason to examine it.uncom

3/09/2009 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

mtraven said "Since it seems to involve virulent hostility for large groups of people, groups of which I am a member, I think that gives me something of a legitimate reason to examine it."

I looked through your site last night, and while you don't fall wholly into typical left-wing nut job role, I'm get curious, do you have any similar qualms at being a member of a group that directs at least equal hostility towards other groups, such as conservatives, or is it ok as long as it's not your group that's being targeted?

I saw your post on The Myth of Natural Rights by L.A. Rollins, where you shot his notion down as "combination of the banal and the offensively stupid...", but I didn't get much of a grip on what your conception of rights or morality was, or wasn't, and didn't get much more from your 'I hinted at an answer to that here' link.

Care to elaborate or point out where you have?

3/09/2009 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Van:

do you have any similar qualms at being a member of a group that directs at least equal hostility towards other groups, such as conservatives

It is my opinion that the present-day left does not display the level of violent rage that can readily be found on the right. "Hostility" does not really cover it. You don't see the left talking about violent overthrow of the government, blowing up buildings, or shooting up churches. (Today. There were some elements of the left that did fall into violent rhetoric and violent action back in the sixties).

I didn't get much of a grip on what your conception of rights or morality was, or wasn't...

Do you really need a thoroughly worked-out moral philosophy to call out Holocaust denier? I don't have time to write mine down, so I'll outsource it to Hillel, who was asked to explain the Torah while standing on one foot: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole of the law; the rest is commentary."

3/10/2009 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

That's just kooky talk. No one should be surprised that studies show that conservatives "Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less...and Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals."

After all, how can anyone be happy if they think they need a huge state in order to make their life functional? It's no wonder liberals are so miserable. It's an ideology for bitter losers or guilt-ridden neurotics.

3/10/2009 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"It is my opinion that the present-day left does not display the level of violent rage that can readily be found on the right. "Hostility" does not really cover it."

Yeah... ok, so shouting down or actual violence against speakers on campus or violent and destructive riots against the businesses in the vicinity of IMF meetings (not that the IMF is in any way legitimate), or making and supporting movies and books on how to assassinate Bush... that all qualifies as mere 'hostility' to you. Ok, no openings for conversation there. Next -

"Do you really need a thoroughly worked-out moral philosophy to call out Holocaust denier?"

Do you really need to turn the holocaust into a straw man, in order to just admit you haven't given it much thought? And by the way, Hilel is fine for every day life, but if you are going to express opinions on actions the Gov't should or should not take, and on policies it should or should not enforce, then yes, you really ought to have worked out a clearer idea of Rights and the limitations they may or may not have put upon them, than "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole of the law; the rest is commentary."

I guess there's no point in pursuing it any further than that, thanks anyway.

3/10/2009 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Ho! Here in California, the homosexuals just got finished rioting over the November election. When was the last time conservatives rioted when they didn't get their way?

BTW, you have to be a conservative and have an actual profession to understand the coercive pressure one is under to toe the politically and academically correct line. Trust me, pal -- some day you'll grow up and maybe even have a real job, and know what I mean.

Also, I suggest that you meet some actual conservatives, not the church-burnin', Bible-thumpin', cousin-humpin figments of your overheated imagination. You sound like an ACLU fund-drive letter.

3/10/2009 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Van:
Do you really need to turn the holocaust into a straw man, in order to just admit you haven't given it much thought?

What? I suspect you don't know what a straw man is. You asked me about my response to Holocaust-denier LA Rollins.

Petey:
Here in California, the homosexuals just got finished rioting over the November election.

I live near San Francisco. If the homosexuals were rioting I think I would have noticed. You are spreading falsehoods.

When was the last time conservatives rioted when they didn't get their way?
Florida, 2000.

When was the last time a leftist shot up a church, assassinated a doctor, or blew up a day-care center?

Also, I suggest that you meet some actual conservatives, not the church-burnin', Bible-thumpin', cousin-humpin figments of your overheated imagination.

I've been reading blogs like this one and many others that are even viler. Are you suggesting that the posters are not actual conservatives? Sometimes I think they are so far off the deep end that it's all a put-on.

3/10/2009 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

mtraven said "What? I suspect you don't know what a straw man is. You asked me about my response to Holocaust-denier LA Rollins."

Know what a strawman is. I did not ask about your response to holocaust-denier LA Rollins, and sorry, but I really don't give a fig about him, or your thoughts about him....

I'll stop there. I don't get the sense that you're the typical moonbat(I could be wrong, been wrong before, but...), so I won't treat you like one. What I asked was "but I didn't get much of a grip on what your conception of rights or morality was, or wasn't". When I come across people who seem capable of thinking, who seem to have an interest in similar areas that I do, but whose views I disagree with, there are two key areas I like to get a grasp of their thinking on. One is Individual Rights, which is what I was looking for above, and the other is Truth - do they see it as nothing more than unrelated facts, or do they grasp that it has a hierarchical nature. I don't have any illusions that we'll agree on things, but it does clue me into whether further disagreement is going to be interesting or just annoying.

"I've been reading blogs like this one and many others that are even viler."

You're not really going to say something like 'our whacko's are better than your wacko's' ... are you?

3/10/2009 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Cousin Dupree:

Weak tea. Your examples amount to a few intemperate blog comments and dubious reports about protests at a Church in Michigan. Whatever excesses these might represent, they do not rise to the level of eliminationist rhetoric (and occasional action) that you can find on the right without even trying.

Theodore Kaczynski in the mid-1990s comes to mind
Kaszinski was not a leftist. His entire manifesto is an attack on the left, and it reads like standard wingnut boilerplate, quite similar to the wretched pseudo-psychology found on this blog. For example: Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives.

When is the last time anyone but a Muslim blew up a daycare center?

There was one in the Murrah Building.

3/10/2009 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Van:
I don't get the sense that you're the typical moonbat
Gee thanks. I guess you people are not the typical wingnuts either, or so I hope.

Whatever thoughts I have about rights are not simple enough to squeeze into a blog comment. You can see some of them on my onwn blog. As for Truth, I'm generally in favor of it, but I have no idea what kind of distinction you are trying to draw.

3/10/2009 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

mtraven said "You can see some of them on my onwn blog."

Yeah, I read through your 'Human Rights' tags, and the ones (with some skimming) on libertarian, natural law, philosophy and a few others too... I found some pointed criticisms which makes me hesitate to call you a full out moonbat (that's ok, no thanks needed), but I found very little substance of your own... you seem to enjoy giving a soothing caustic bath of cynicism, but you don't seem to be too interested in laying out and building up your own thoughts on the matters.

Which is fine, better hand at tearing down than building up perhaps, it does make your criticisms a bit thin though... but then again, you've a lot more tags on your site than I've got patience, which is why I was hoping you could point me towards something a bit more substantial.

"As for Truth, I'm generally in favor of it, but I have no idea what kind of distinction you are trying to draw."

Okey dokey. The distinction would be (without bothering you for an elaborate definition of either), do you believe that between the choice of morality and immorality the moral is possible and would be the superior choice; or do you believe in many competing and contradictory 'truths' that are all equally valid life choices, and which disapproval of, or terming any of them as 'immoral', would display intolerance and more than a touch of neanderthalism.

I'm not looking for a 'which morality' here, or even a secular vs non-secular, just asking it in the most general terms.

Or, how about something more concrete on the political level; while I generally agree with your opinion on libertarianism, though I suspect for different reasons (much of what they say seems on target on the surface, until you dig into their fundamentals, particularly apparent in "intellectual property", government vs anarcho-whateverism, or taxes, at which point most tend to show themselves as 'hippies of the right'), how would you summarize the nature of the Left and the Right?

To show my cards, I'll label myself as a classical liberal (pre-j.s. mill) and pick one of my posts that covers most of these bases... with the caution that it is more than a wee bit long winded.

3/10/2009 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Van, how much time do you want to expend on this guy?

Take a look at two of his arguments for example:

I live near San Francisco. If the homosexuals were rioting I think I would have noticed. You are spreading falsehoods.

It is hard to imagine that this argument was made in good faith. And notice the personal attack.


And this too
When was the last time conservatives rioted when they didn't get their way?
Florida, 2000.


Notice how democratic peaceful dissent of 2000 is conflated with the fascistic acting out of the anti-Prop 8 agitators in 2008. Is this not a red herring? It is certainly freighted...

Should one look for a more likely opportunity for productive civil discussion?
.
.
.
BTW: I'm a former radical left-wing activist and fallen-away Catholic. I'm a charter/founding member and organizer of my union local. Today I'm a NeoCon and I had returned to the Church.

3/11/2009 05:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Agreed. It is fruitless to argue with someone who is so paranoid, angry, and delusional as to think that Timothy McVeigh was anything other than paranoid, angry, and delusional. This kind of massive projection is not susceptible to reason, as its genesis is in primitive defense mechanisms, not fact or logic. His brand of hatred is its own sufficient reason. For abundant proof, see previous debate on his own blog, where he is politely but thoroughly slapped around by reader Michael, to no effect.

3/11/2009 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Van:
One of the advantages of being an amateur, unpaid philosopher is that you can address questions on your own terms, not someone else's. So I decline your dichotomy, sorry. You seem to want to know whether morality (a very different thing than truth) is a human invention, a product of evolution, or baked into the fabric of the universe. Might it not be all three? I make no special claims to metaphysical knowledge, all I can do is describe the world as it appears to me. If I make moral judgemnts, I do so as a human being. Human beings are free to make moral judgements without having figured out moral philosphy from first principles.

You asked about my definition of left and right: For me, the right is the party of tradition, authority, domination, stasis, and class privilege. The left is the party of personal freedom, opposition to arbitrary authority, progress, universalism, and democracy. At least, that is their essences. I don't mean to imply that the left is all sweetness and light and the right all darkness, far from it. It has been all too common, for instance, for parts of the left to fall into authoritarianism. Because of this and for other reasons, I don't find the left/right spectrum all that useful as a tool to analyze politics.

I'm sorry, your post that you linked is too long for me to process, but a cursory skim makes it seem like you are very confused about evolution at least.

3/11/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Mike and Petey, I suspected that my last comment would be straining the bounds of decent patience... sorry about that, ... it's a flogger thing. I did see those same comments above (though I'd only seen the first two replies to the thread Petey linked to), and it was difficult to not leap upon them.

It fascinates me though, when someone who can engage in 'critical thinking', not only doesn't do it in the most obvious places, but actually avoids doing it. How is that possible?

But Mike, "...how much time do you want to expend on this guy?"... me? Really? Are you the same 'Michael' on his site with comments stretching back over 10 pages of google hits? If not, never mind.

I am a flogger, but it only to a point (my wife is laughing hysterically at that last). I've no interest in debating politics and current events with someone who is so obviously going to duck and weave, as he has done with just the couple questions that I've asked so far. Which is why I'm trying to get to the root of the matter right off, and if Petey is right, and the odds are he is, nothing will continue to be the result.

But I am interested in finding out if mtraven is just a bottomless pit of cynicism with a leftist mask on, or is there something solid behind it all, and if so, what is it that makes it possible to see things so very differently? Where do the paths diverge? I think I do understand much of how it is possible on the philosophical end, but virtually live examples might shed new light, however inadvertently, and are tough for me to pass by.

Just something that intrigues me.

mtraven, last call....

3/11/2009 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

me: I live near San Francisco. If the homosexuals were rioting I think I would have noticed. You are spreading falsehoods.

Mike O'Malley: It is hard to imagine that this argument was made in good faith. And notice the personal attack.

Let me put it more bluntly: there have been none, zero, nada credible reports of any Proposition 8 related protests that could conceivably called "rioting". So if you say there are, you are a liar, a slanderer, a spreader of falsehood, division, and hate. And I suspect you know you are -- what else could the remark about "good faith" be, other than projection?

All your spiritual bullshit will not serve to hide the truth of your being from yourselves.

3/11/2009 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah. Sorry, hadn't seen your 11:34 am comment before making my last.

"You seem to want to know whether morality (a very different thing than truth)..."

Different or separate, would be what I was looking for from you.

"Human beings are free to make moral judgements without having figured out moral philosphy from first principles."

True, and necessary, but when they begin to make moral pronouncements, they should engage in quite a bit more examination of the ground of moral philosophy and first principles they are making them from... if not, that next step could be a doozy.

"I don't find the left/right spectrum all that useful as a tool to analyze politics"

Agreed. How ever faulty and clumsy that either side may be in grasping and applying their own fundamentals, in my summary of the modern parties, the Left is that which believes that the way to improve peoples lives is to change their circumstances and all rights, particularly property rights, are secondary to that purpose. The Right believes that rights, particularly property rights, are vital to people being able to improve their own lives, and infringing on those rights is destructive to their rights and to their lives.

Note: the Right, since the early 1900's, has been an uneasy collation of classical liberals (who fled the democrat party from the likes of Wilson), conservatives, and conservative leaning progressives (TR variety), to the extent the conservatives seek to conserve classical liberalism as expressed in the Constitution, I'm with them, to the extent that they side with the conservative leaning progressives (who resemble your definition of the "Right"), I'm appalled by them.

"I'm sorry, your post that you linked is too long for me to process,..."

;-) I feel your pain.

"...but a cursory skim makes it seem like you are very confused about evolution at least"

Nah, no problems with evolution, and my post wasn't about that, but the errors in philosophy and materialism behind the likes of Dennet and Dawkins, and what such 'thinking' leads to... but that requires more than a cursory interest in moral philosophy from first principles, and if you don't have the interest, it'd be kinda pointless pursuing current events and political issues, since your surface level reflections of those principles (which you DO hold, but haven't fully investigated or defined) are too far from mine to result in any benefit for either or us.

I'd just note that failing to take more than just a cursory interest in moral philosophy from first principles, makes it very likely that good intentions will lead to authoritarian actions such as Rousseau's insistence that legislator's must 'force them to be free'.

Thanks for replying.

3/11/2009 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Gay riots. Of course, not as bad as those barbaric Republicans who pushed open a door in Florida in 2000.

3/11/2009 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous The Committee said...

Dupree, you are confused, and quite possibly an eliminationister. For a leftist, there is no such thing as a "credible" account that casts an officially sanctioned victim group in a bad light. This is what they call "freedom" -- the freedom to believe acceptable truths, one of which is the right to radically redefine the meaning of marriage and force this magical redefinition of reality upon the rest of us.

Yes, I know this type of thought control sounds arbitrary and authoritarian, but it is for your own good. Always remember the 1-2-3 of leftist thought, i.e., RaceClassGender, and you will not fall into this error again.

3/11/2009 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dupree, you are an insult to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Bicurious, Transgender, Cisgendered, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Polysexual, Pansexual, Two Spirit, Drag King, Drag Queen, Closeted, Queer Youth, and Curious community.

3/11/2009 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'alley said...

Dear "The Committee":

If counterrevolutionary Cousin Dupree can't get with the 5 year program, save yourself some trouble and simply refer his name and identification number to the Obama Current Truth Squads.


You can find the necessary contact information for your referral here:

http://thepeoplescube.com/red/viewtopic.php?t=2378

3/11/2009 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Dupree:
"Credible evidence" does not mean "anonymous, unsourced post on a wingnut blog". If gay riots are a widespread or even slightly real phenomenon, there would be at least a few reports about it in the media, don't you think? Hm, five minutes with Google reveals that this was mostly ripped off from a Fox News story, distorted in the process by adding wording about "riots" and "screaming obscenities" that did not appear in the original. Pathetic.

Hm again: looks like you are part of an ongoing propaganda campaign, wittingly or unwittingly or half-wittingly.

And BTW, is there some reason you've named yourself after a character in a song that is described rather unflatteringly:

She said maybe its the skeevy look in your eyes
Or that your mind has turned to applesauce
The dreary architecture of your soul
I said - but what is it exactly turns you off?

Seems pretty appropriate to me, especially the "dreary" part, but I'm not sure why anyone would view themselves this way.

3/11/2009 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

More left wing eliminationist rhetoric.

3/11/2009 09:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Well Cousin Dupree it seems conservatives are deemed not credible out of hand.

This is part of an account of riotous behavior and assault upon Christian demonstrators in San Francisco's Castro District as posted on Nov 17, 2008 by a liberal gay activist.



"At first, they just shouted at us, using crude, rude, and foul language and calling us names like "haters" and "bigots". Since it was a long night, I can't even begin to remember all of the things that were shouted and/or chanted at us. Then, they started throwing hot coffee, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us. Then, a group of guys surrounded us with whistles, and blasted them inches away from our ears continually. Then, they started getting violent and started shoving us.

At one point a man tried to steal one of our Bibles. Chrisdene noticed, so she walked up to him and said "Hey, that's not yours, can you please give it back?". He responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her. I called the cops, and when they got there, they pulled her out of the circle and asked her if she wanted to press charges. She said "No, tell him I forgive him." Afterwards, she didn't rejoin us in the circle, but she made friends with one of the people in the crowd, and really connected heart to heart.

Roger got death threats. As the leader of our group, people looked him in the eyes and said "I am going to kill you.", and they were serious. A cop heard one of them, and confronted him. (This part is kinda graphic, so you should skip the paragraph if you don't want to be offended.) It wasn't long before the violence turned to perversion. They were touching and grabbing me, and trying to shove things in my butt, and even trying to take off my pants - basically trying to molest me. I used one hand to hold my pants up, while I used the other arm to hold one of the girls. The guys huddled around all the girls, and protected them.

Soon after, the cops came and stood between us and the mob. When it was getting more heated, the cops were like "You guys should leave." and Roger said "We want to stay." Someone tried to steal my backpack, but I tapped a cop on the shoulder, and said "Hey, that's my bag." and he got it from him and gave it to me. Others weren't so lucky. Probably half our team got their jackets stolen.

Eventually, as the crowd was getting more and more uncontrollable, the cops were afraid for our lives, so they escorted us to our van. (The cops were very nice to us from start to finish.) Our van was parked pretty far because it was hard to find parking that day. As the cops escorted us, the mob followed us, until the cops formed a line, and held off the people so we could "
.

http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2008/11/chaos-in-san-francisco-as-anti-gay.html



http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2008/11/
chaos-in-san-francisco-as-anti-gay.html

3/11/2009 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

You're forgetting that the liberal sense of entitlement entitles them to their own facts.

3/12/2009 06:01:00 AM  
Anonymous The Committee said...

Mike:

I am afraid you have missed the point. Conservatism is to be judged by its worst exemplars (Alinsky's "pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it"), whereas leftism is to be judged solely by its beautiful intentions, irrespective of how much destruction and human misery is caused by their polices.

I hope this is clear. You are perilously close to mandated attendance of the summer reeducation camp run by our own Mr. Traven.

3/12/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous The Committee said...

Besides, it's okay to hate the white man. That's not eliminationism, it's just common sense.

3/12/2009 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Islamo-fascism: left wing eliminationism by proxy.

3/12/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous The Committee said...

Let us begin by denying the intrinsic value of the human embryo, which has no more worth than a decayed tooth. Others will come later.

3/12/2009 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Well, OK. You've managed to find an instance of a demonstration that got kind of ugly. I would sat it barely qualifies as a riot. There is no evidence in the video of any actual violence, although some reports say there were some incidents. The textual account bears clear signs of exaggeration and fabrication: "maybe even peeing on us"? I don't know about you, but I can usually tell pretty clearly when someone is or isn't peeing on me. It falls far short of justifying the original comment, which implied widespread, long-term violence. But as I pointed out, actual violence is (in recent times at least) almost exclusively a product of the right.

I make these remarks not to defend whatever happened (or didn't happen) in the Castro -- it is what it is -- but to point out how you folks manage to exaggerate and inflame the things that bother you into vast generalizations and conspiracies. It's part of the modus operandi of the lunatic right.

Someone above claimed that "Timothy McVeigh was anything other than paranoid, angry, and delusional". Well, he was certainly paranoid and angry, which makes him fairly representative of his milieu, which was the right-wing militia movement. In other words, he was very much in tune with the toxins spilled here and in the other blogs I identified. I don't imagine any of the readers here are going to go out and kill. But you enable and encourage those who do.

3/13/2009 01:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Thank you for your civil response MTRaven.


Sadly and as expected you go about simultaneously raising the evidentiary bar while dismissing the personal testimony. I read the same text you quoted in the larger context of the abusive assault with thrown liquids which said: “Then, they started throwing hot coffee, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us.” And given some of the behaviors I've observed taking place at “Gay Pride” events one could easily understand how an observer arrive at such a concern.

The original report, linked above, which you dismissed out of hand reported the following: "several protesters stopped at busy intersections, screamed obscenities at motorists, were blocking traffic and prompting intervention by police. An additional group of about 500 protesters gathered near CNN’s Los Angeles bureau, where they were seen banging on the doors and walls, breaking glass and throwing objects, causing the Los Angeles Police Department to declare a tactical alert — requiring all available officers to respond to the protest — some of whom were brought in from other stations.
Television cameras showed one protester jumping on top of a police car at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland. He was quickly wrestled to the ground by police and handcuffed."
. This most certainly does not fall “far short of justifying the original comment” about rioting gay political activists. Most certainly if it were not for the competent professionalism of the San Fransisco RIOT POLICE the disgusting abusive RIOTING by the gay political activists (which any reasonable person would now acknowledge did indeed happen) would have got well out of hand in BOTH of these TWO instances.

I've attended and even helped organize bunches and bunches of demonstrations. The only physical abuse and attack that I've ever witnessed at such events came from the Left. BTW: on two occasions I was even subjected to an attack with some kind of homemade poison gas during demonstrations at which I was a volunteer non-violent leftist “peace marshal” because I wasn't radical enough for some ...

3/13/2009 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have to agree with Mike. Having been a leftist for most of my life, I know how angry and violent they are. I've written a number of posts on the reasons why, but the main one is that leftism is an ideology of victimhood, which has the effect of disabling the conscience and legitimizing violence toward the perceived "oppressors." The left teaches that the entire system is corrupt -- that laws are made by the powerful for their own benefit, that capitalism benefits only the wealthy, etc. Thus the constant threat "no justice, no peace," by which they mean, give us what we wan or we will riot.

Meanwhile, conservatives don't riot, because we've all got jobs and families, and are too busy enjoying life. The "militia movement?" Please. If you're going to worry about such things, why not worry about wholesale violence, such as in the Democrat-run inner cities, and the relationship between violent crime and single motherhood?

3/13/2009 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

I've been through this discussion on my own blog and am not going to get into it further here. If leftists have a lock on the market in rioting, then rightwingers have the lock on mass murder and assassination. Which is worse?

What is remarkable to me is the failure of your side to own up to its actions. Especially remarkable given the long diatribe about "truth" that was just posted. How can you claim access to deep metaphysical truth when you are blind to the earthly truth of your own existence? You are vessels of hate, it oozes out of every other utterance here, in between the grandiose theological gas. It's ugly. It's the opposite of what I consider spiritual. And it's based on lies.

Somebody cited Mark Levin in a comment, and I listened to him for the second time in my life. Damn, what an ugly voice and an ugly mind. If the reptile-brain fear/fight response had a voice, it would sound like that. I counted five lies in the first five minutes, which was all I could bear to listen to. For example "Obama is out to destroy people who make over $250000". The use of the word "destroy" is very telling, I think. He elevates a small tax increase into an existential threat. He makes Obama into a figure of darkness and destruction -- sound familiar? All fun and games I suppose, but as the country enters what could be a catastrophic economic climate, this kind of ugliness could escape from moron radio and blogs and become very ugly indeed. Do you really want to be a party to that?

3/13/2009 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Hmmm? So rightwingers are suppose to have “THE lock on mass murder”? Hmmm...


Communist Party of China ~ 70,000,000 dead
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ~ 40,000,000 dead
National Socialist German Workers' Party ~ 13,000,000 dead
Vietnamese Communist Party ~ around 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 dead
Communist Party of Kampuchea ~ around 2,000,000 dead

all on the left ...

Well that list will do for now. It certainly conveys the real story about mass murder. One could of course add other mass murders and make a comprehensive list. Others such as: Partito Nazionale Fascista, Dai Nippon Teikoku, Jön Türkler, West Pakistan and other Islamofascist groups. Yet these paleo-right-wing groups are very very very different than the American Republicans and Conservatives.


MTRaven, you ask, “which is worse?”

Radical Left? Or Paleo Right?

Well that is a hard call, but American conservatives and America Republicans just don't make it onto the list mass murders. Be thankful MTRavan that your American political opponents are unusually decent people and not a mirror image of the Left. ;-)

3/13/2009 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Let's see. My post today is a "diatribe," but Mr. Traven's comments are calm and reasoned dissertations.

Interesting.

Anyway, it was a leftist who assassinated JFK and a Palestinian animal who assassinated RFK, and Palestinians are for whatever sick reason the darlings of the anti-Semitic international left.

I don't think it was conservatives who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Pope John Paul, and George Bush I. And I don't know, but my guess is that James Earl Ray was a solid Dixiecrat, like Robert KKK Byrd. And Dan White, who assassinated Mayor Moscone and Councilman Milk, was a Democrat.

And a vastly disproportionate amount of violent crime in America is caused by populations that vote over 90% Democrat, so just do the math.

And 100 million dead in the 20th century alone due to socialist ideologies. There is nothing remotely comparable that one could say of conservative liberalism, which has liberated more human beings than any other ideology by far.

3/13/2009 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I'll take the economic end. From mtraven's blog link, he says "the most commonsensical refutation is that most of the bad subprime loans were made in the last five years; so if a bill passed in 1975 is responsible why was there a 25-year lag time?"

If anyone is looking for THE action that caused the current crisis, they are on a fools mission. If anyone is looking for all the causes within the last 25 years, or less (5?!), or within a single administration or party, sorry, but that doesn't even rise to the level of foolish.

Even through the few boom periods of the last three decades, the problems were still building right alongside the prosperity - a bustling economy doesn't mean an absence of rot.

The causes are cumulative, and they involve the Fed's money printing policies and artificial manipulation of interest rates, CRM, freddie mac, fannie mae, moving off of the gold standard, market regulations and controls and a host of other issues going all of the way back to the early 1900's, at least.

But to say something like 'THIS wasn't THE cause and therefore it wasn't A cause and you're a wing nut loon for suggesting it played any key part in the current crisis...' isn't even wrong. Here's another brick from the wall, from the NY Times, 9/99:

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
...''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

...In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''


...Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings. ..."


Just one more brick removed from the wall... and it took all of them together to help bring it crumbling down on us today. But most of the blame for all of the bricks being loosened or removed, is thinking such as this (from your links, link) "The [any blah blah] Act requires banks to make loans in the...".

Setting aside the issue of Rights, just the notion that a legislator or regulator can reach into the dynamic decisions of the marketplace, any portion of which involve far reaching motives and constraints known only to those parties directly involved, and force them to conform to govt's doo-gooderish controls imposed upon their decisions, in order to 'Fix' how that portion of the market operates and make it look as nicey-nice as they'd like it to look, without setting off an unending ripple of unforeseen and destructive consequences, is not only an act of the purest hubris and ignorance, but just plain stupid... or in other words... Progressive.

Our current economic troubles can't be pinned to one administration or party, but they can pretty much all be pinned to one set of ideas, the Progressives, and by a wide margin, the home of the progressives today, is with the Left.

None of the Proregressive's ideas are new, not with Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or Carter, or either of the Roosevelt's; but they were identified, exposed and refuted for the short sighted foolishness they still are, centuries ago, but most progressives & Keynesians are so enamored of their legal and macro-economic epicycles, which they seem to feel will create the economic equivalent of a utopian perpetual motion machine, that they are absolutely clueless when it comes to the basics of economics, or Law for that matter ( and sad to say that cluelessness is not confined to the Left... just ask McCain).

But those basic principles are known, and they are easy to find and to comprehend, and understanding those basic principles exposes the epicycles to be the idiotic whimsies which they are.

Contemporary pointers can be found in Thomas Sowell's "Economic Facts and Fallacies", or as a free online alternative, Sowell's counterpart from the early 1800's, the last worthwhile Frenchmen, Fredrich Bastiat's "Economic Sophism's" , or The Law. And for a glimpse of how seemingly isolated economic operations fit together, there's Leonard Read'sI Pencil.

End of the wind.

3/13/2009 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

I thought it was clear that the context of this discussion is contemporary US politics. Obviously, if you expand the context to include the last hundred years and the entire world, there are a great many deaths on the hands of the left. But there are also many on the hands of the right.

BTW, only idiots try to put the Nazis on the left. And trying to saddle the left with James Earl Ray and Dan White is beyond idiotic, into some realm of nonsense quite new to me.

How about we forget the left for awhile? For the sake of argument, say it's wholly in league with Satan and has an unbroken record of nothing but unspeakable evil. Let's say that the most milkwater NPR liberal has to answer for the liquidation of the kulaks. Or whatever. It's your side I'm focusing on. Can we get anyone here to admit that the seething anger on you can find on the contemporary right is not exactly healthy? That right-wing hate has inspired murders from Oklahoma City to the guy who shot up a Unitarian Universalist Church a few weeks back? Or is what you define as "the right" inherently pure as the driven snow, innocent of all violence? Are you so obsessed with demonizing the left that you can't be bothered to examine your own side?

3/13/2009 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Why confine the argument to the United States, when we are talking about ideas that are universal? The left is intrinsically violent, if for no other reason than they want to impose a gargantuan state that is by its very nature coercive. Ideas have consequences. I want a smaller state and less government, because I want more freedom.

I'd be interested to know -- in what way was Nazi Germany conservative, i.e., classical liberal? There is nothing conservative about state control of the economy, assault on tradition, hatred of Christianity, judging people by ethnic groups, etc. These are all specialties of the left.

Likewise, contemporary anti-Semitism is overwhelmingly a province of the international left, whereas conservatives are the greatest friends of Israel.

You were the one who brought up assassinations somehow being a problem of conservatives, when that is simply not true. Dan White was a in fact a Democrat, as were most if not all of the Southern racists. And nowadays, only the left wants to make it against the law to consider race irrelevant, so you're on pretty weak ground. The whole movement of multiculturalism and "diversity" is entirely race based.

You seem to be amazingly blind to your own anger, which is probably why you are also blind to the anger of the left. I think any objective person could read some of the big leftwing blogs such as Huffpo or Dailykos, and compare them with, say, Powerline and NRO, and see that there is a huge difference in terms of civility. Indeed, that is one of the reasons why I left the left -- I just couldn't handle the barbarism.

Just because someone provokes hatred in you, it doesn't mean they are hateful. Do you have any close friends who are conservatives? From your descriptions, it almost sounds as if you've never met one. Living as I do in southern California, I am surrounded by liberals. I live in a liberal district, all my coworkers are liberal, my relatives are mostly liberals, and my profession has been totally hijacked by leftwing activists. Most of them are fine people. They just have bad ideas. I understand this, because I used to be one of them. There is nothing you say that I didn't once believe, I'm ashamed to admit. Yes, I used to hate conservatives just as much as you do.

One of the biggest differences between a leftist and the conservative liberal is that the latter holds people responsible for their actions, rather than blaming "social factors" and the like. Thus, I don't really care why someone says he shot up a Unitarian church, so long as we lock him up and throw away the key, just as I don't give blacks a free pass on crime just because Al Sharpton thinks it's a "racist country."

And you don't do yourself credit to keep referencing Alexander Cockburn, an avowed Marxist who has a lifetime behind him of supporting truly evil causes.

3/13/2009 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Come to think of it, instead of sending you my book -- which you will not enJoy -- I should have sent you some of the embarrassing political stuff I published in the late '80s/early '90s. You'd love it!

3/13/2009 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mike:

I think I accidentally deleted your comment, but your point about Hayek is extremely well taken. How anyone could think that National Socialism was anything other than... National Socialism, is beyond me.

As a matter of fact, it was the communists who branded nazism "right," since they wanted to discredit a competing form of socialism -- a form that was national instead of international.

But in any event, socialism, communism, national socialism, or any other form of collectivist state control are all 180 degrees from conservative classical liberalism.

3/13/2009 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

mtraven said "BTW, only idiots try to put the Nazis on the left."

Only those who are shallow enough to define a political movement by whether or not they are authoritarian, fail to realize that the National Socialist Workers Party, was generated from the left. If you read Mein Kampf, you'll see that Hitler made his recruitment drives in direct competition with the Marxists, for the same socialist leaning members of the populace. Hitler saw his party as an improved form of socialism, one that substituted the Marxist focus on international class interests, for a nationalistic racial interest, but in it's principles, Nazism was purely socialist, that he chose to give it an authoritarian form, is incidental to its ideals.

"...The fact that we had chosen red as the colour for our posters sufficed to attract them to our meetings. The ordinary bourgeoisie were very shocked to see that, we had also chosen the symbolic red of Bolshevism and they regarded this as something ambiguously significant. The suspicion was whispered in German Nationalist circles that we also were merely another variety of Marxism, perhaps even Marxists suitably disguised, or better still, Socialists. The actual difference between Socialism and Marxism still remains a mystery to these people up to this day. The charge of Marxism was conclusively proved when it was discovered that at our meetings we deliberately substituted the words 'Fellow-countrymen and Women' for 'Ladies and Gentlemen' and addressed each other as 'Party Comrade'. We used to roar with laughter at these silly faint-hearted bourgeoisie and their efforts to puzzle out our origin, our intentions and our aims."

Aside from the internationalist vs nationalist change, the key difference between socialism and fascism, is the fascists ultimate abandoning of the philosophic framework of socialism (such as it may be), in favor of almost purely pragmatic policies, as chosen and embodied by one leader, rather than a politburo or the like, but their defining aims are nearly interchangeable.

If you haven't read Mein Kampf, you should, especially the key points of the party platform and you may be surprised at the amount of 'hope' and 'change' and 'transformational ideals' you'll find within it. The only people who could say something as factually stupid as "only idiots try to put the Nazis on the left.", are those who accept their ideas upon the emotional say so of those they think know what they are talking about. Those who don't bother to understand their moral philosphy from first principles, are most doomed to making self-satisfied judgments based upon such shallow issues as uniforms and mustaches... and are most likely to be swallowed up by them.

3/13/2009 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

Aahh ha! The lost post remained in cache! So with Dr. Bob's indulgence...

***
RECOVERED RESPONSE TO MTRaven REPOSTED BELOW:
***

.

.



So MTRaven, you are telling us that "only idiots try to put the Nazis on the left"!

You mean "idiots" like Nobel Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek!

.


You are wasting our time, MTRaven. You either argue in bad faith or you don't know what you are talking about. (I'd say both) And you seem to insult and degrade your interlocutors as a matter of course too boot!


.

Here is a link to Hayek writing in 1933 about how German national socialism was ... well ...
German
National
&
Socialist!


http://books.google.com/books?
id=qg61T_I1mwsC&pg=PA245&
lpg=PA245&dq=Hayek+nazi+soc
ialist&source=bl&ots=3bdjDlRM
YE&sig=H_9WvREOyokFYE6f
Fmku4EnykLw&hl=en&ei=9t66
SauRNYGCtwf9-LnkDw&sa=X
&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct
=result

.

***
post script:
***

MR. MTRaven, you might do well to spend some time reading and digesting the thought of a true liberal thinker, Christopher Lasch. and learn from Dr. Lasch why and how to practice democratic discourse in the public square.

3/13/2009 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, Hayek was specifically not a paleo-conservative, but a conservative classical liberal. Like me, he was a conservative because he was a liberal.

3/13/2009 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The true tale of a right wing assassin.

3/13/2009 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

I see nobody is going to actually answer my questions. I'm not terribly surprised.

Why confine the argument to the United States, when we are talking about ideas that are universal?

I have a specific interest, which is understanding the angry, violent, eliminationist rhetoric that comes from today's right.

The universality of political ideas is overrated. What works in one era may not work in another. What is progressive in one era might be conservative in another. Societies and ideas evolve.

The left is intrinsically violent, if for no other reason than they want to impose a gargantuan state that is by its very nature coercive.

That is moronic. States are inherently coercive; any political philosophy save anarchism is "violent" by that definition. Conservatives, or what passes for them in the present-day US, have done more to increase the size and scope of the state than anyone on the left.

Ideas have consequences. I want a smaller state and less government, because I want more freedom.

I trust you opposed the Bush expansion of the national security state then? Didn't think so. In fact I see you actually defended state-sponsored torture. Sorry, that permanently revokes your license to claim you are a small-government classical liberal. You want the state to have far greater powers than I do.

I'd be interested to know -- in what way was Nazi Germany conservative, i.e., classical liberal?

That should win a prize for "most clumsy attempt to redefine terms in the middle of a debate". Conservatism and classical liberalism are very different things. Nazi Germany was neither.

Nazi Germany was a right-wing regime because it was authoritarian, paranoid, chauvinistic, and anti-intellectual. Most germane to this discussion, it was constructed on fear of a perceived alien element in society, a demonized, group that could be simultaneously viewed as an out-group and an oppressive elite. I don't mean to call you or anyone else a Nazi, but the striking similarities between the way right-wing blogs and hate radio talk about liberals with the way Nazi rhetoric talks about Jews is impossible to ignore.

You were the one who brought up assassinations somehow being a problem of conservatives

I was referring to the targeted assassinations of doctors by anti-abortione extremists.

Dan White was a in fact a Democrat, as were most if not all of the Southern racists.

Being a Democrat does not automatically place you on the left side of any political divide. As would be obvious to anybody who was thinking honestly. Do you know anything about Dan White? He was a conservative, working-class Catholic, and based his short-lived political career on appealing to that sort against the gays, hippies, and liberals.

And nowadays, only the left wants to make it against the law to consider race irrelevant, so you're on pretty weak ground.

What are you talking about? I haven't said a word about race.

You seem to be amazingly blind to your own anger, which is probably why you are also blind to the anger of the left.

How do you know how blind I am?

Let me be clear -- there is anger and other strong emotions on all sides of the political spectrum. Politics is a form of competition, controlled conflict, and passions can run strong and can even get out of hand and lead to violence. No particular faction has a monopoly on being able to contain the passions of their members.

So, there is a good deal of anger from the left at the shocking depravity and incompetence of the Bush regime and its political enablers. But I'm not talking about mere anger. From my perspective, the anger on the right is of a fundamentally different kind than the anger on the left. The left does not typically go about calling for the murder of its opponents, it does not charachterize them as fundamentally and metaphyscially evil, it does not compare them to rats and vermin. All of those tropes are very easy to find in today's right.

I think any objective person could read some of the big leftwing blogs such as Huffpo or Dailykos, and compare them with, say, Powerline and NRO, and see that there is a huge difference in terms of civility.

I really couldn't care less about "civility". And someone who regularly accuses his opponents of being tools of Satan really can't throw that out as a criterion.

Just because someone provokes hatred in you, it doesn't mean they are hateful.

I am accusing people of being hateful because they are saying hateful things. It has nothing to do with me; the nature of the examples I have picked is quite evident. Somebody who fantasizes about running a sword though people for the crime of appearing in an Obama video, for example. Or Mark Levin, whose voice could sour milk at 20 yards.

Do you have any close friends who are conservatives? From your descriptions, it almost sounds as if you've never met one.

My brother is very conservative. He's also a lunatic who spent a year of his life assembling evidence that Bill Clinton had Vince Foster and Ron Brown murdered. Honestly, I would love to know some non-crazy conservatives. I get bored with the liberal consensus; I like to argue; and I like diversity of opinion. But it is extremely difficult to find conservatives that aren't either out of their mind, or obvious apologists for power. There are some paleocons who had the integrity to oppose the Iraq war, like Andrew Bacevich -- but they are few.

I actually think this is a problem for the country. The Republican party has pretty much destroyed itself as a vehicle for anybody with half a brain, and has given itself over to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber. I don't love Democrats so much that I think they shouldn't have a credible opposition.

Thus, I don't really care why someone says he shot up a Unitarian church, so long as we lock him up and throw away the key...

So you don't blame rightist ideology for the murders it inspires. I assume you aren't going to extend the same privelge to the left.

And you don't do yourself credit to keep referencing Alexander Cockburn, an avowed Marxist who has a lifetime behind him of supporting truly evil causes.

I didn't. I referenced an article on a website that he edits. That is not the same thing, obviously.

BTW, I did get your book, and I think I probably could enjoy it, although I'll have to try to ignore what I know about your truly terrible politics. The connection between the politics and metaphysiscs is still not clear to me. It is possible to be religious and still oppose state-sponsored torture.

3/13/2009 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh well. As Dennis Prager always says, "clarity, not agreement." We have expressed our diametrically opposed values, and that is all we can do.

BTW, I think you may dislike the book less if you try to approach it in the spirit in which it was written, which was essentially one of joy. It won't really work as intended if one approaches it in a kind of oppositional manner. Think of it as analogous to a poem, film, or symphony, in which one must give oneself over to the artist or composer. For one thing, the book was written "teleologically," so to speak, in that it was written in the light of the spiritual end toward which it is leading. In short, it is only the whole that explains the parts.

Just a thought. I don't mean to spoil your lack of enjoyment!

3/13/2009 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

mtcraven said "... was a right-wing regime because it was authoritarian, paranoid, chauvinistic, and anti-intellectual."

Quick! Someone call Kim Jong-il and the Castro brothers and tell them they're Right Wing!

Talk about moronic.

3/13/2009 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Speaking of paranoia.... I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that if you look up the Department of Labor statistics, "abortion doctor" is one of the safer professions in the land.

But let's not talk about the death threats Dr. Laura routinely receives from homosexual activists.

3/14/2009 06:22:00 AM  
Anonymous LaFayette said...

Cooncur. Does anyone doubt that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly get more threats of violence than, say, Al Franken, Keith Olbermann, and Sy Hersh?

3/14/2009 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Van: Paterrico nails it. The post has a lot of subtle implications for the issues of faith and spiritual credibility as well.

3/14/2009 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Something is diametrically opposed, that's for sure. Oddly we both seem to value truth, beauty, freedom, not killing people, etc. But we seem to have different interpretations for what those values mean and how to achieve them. But left-right back-forth is boring, so let's drop that, and if I come by to carp, I will try to make it around some more interesting points.

And I don't dislike the book (on a cursory skimming). It reminds me of stuff I used to write myself when I was in an, let's say, expansive frame of mind.

3/14/2009 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, precisely. My only concern is what is the best way for people to discover their reason for being and to achieve their potential.

3/14/2009 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

However, I might add that I am absolutely certain that the idea of any truth is inconceivable in the absence of absolute truth, which would be an example of our irreconcilable values. Therefore, I would regard any philosophic version of "absolute relativity" as luciferic, meaning literally opposed to the Light.

3/14/2009 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "Van: Paterrico nails it. The post has a lot of subtle implications for the issues of faith and spiritual credibility as well."

I do agree. Reading through mtraven's site, it was obvious that the foolish spouting's above were going to follow, and I wasn't expecting otherwise, or that I could provide him the golden key that would prompt him to say 'O! Eureka! How could I have been so wrong?!'.

I have learned something from chasing Nags & Jester! But I can't shake my curiosity over how an apparently functional mind, can go so wrong. Borrowing off your post today:

"In Genesis, God's first act is simply to separate. Without separation there is only the formless void of primordial chaos. If you don't understand the holiness and the sacredness of Separation, then you don't understand anything."

And you Can't understand anything, without separation and hierarchy, you can only amass data, factoids without meaning, and any grasp of which that is mistakenly taken as 'understanding', would produce a similar effect to one of the dreaded things we geeks sometimes must face, a corrupted database. For a while, the database may appear ok, it still functions, but you begin to get increasingly inappropriate responses to queries... however my inner geek can't help but try to debug their output, to try and get a clue as to where the corruption originated.

At the moment, especially on reading as I have been on sources for 'Justice' and 'Law', it seems as if what Descartes crystallized with his 'method of doubt', although he wasn't the source, he gave it credibility and helped to mainline it into modernity, and that is a thought corrupter.

It seeks to obliterate proper separations and hierarchies, if you, from within them, can't justify their existence from within, then the doubter must act 'as if' he didn't recognize their existence. Beginning with his first (the Cogito), consciousness (and even God), he seeks to deductively prove the existence of that which the deductions are being performed within, and it seems to me that that can only succeed in dissolving, or forcing you to assert their invalidity. From within, the exterior can only be inferred 'up to', not deduced 'down to', and that introduces a corruption in thought and conceptual hierarchy, more acutely on display in those areas that near where the higher sources should be...

... and if I don't get to helping with mopping the kitchen, I'm going to deduce myself into a cold dinner and a cot on the deck... gotta go!

3/14/2009 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(hadn't seen the 'But left-right back-forth is boring, so let's drop that, and if I come by to carp, I will try to make it around some more interesting points.' before posting, agreed)

3/14/2009 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

No man has ever been shot while mopping the kitchen.

From Petey's Survival Guide to Marriage.

3/14/2009 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lol! The very point I had in mind! I'm hoping I can extend that same protection against stabbing, clubbing and Mr. Bobbit's fate, by mopping the bathrooms and laundry room as well... putting the theory to the test right now by grabbing grog's and heading out to the deck.

;-)

3/14/2009 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

MTRaven said:
That is moronic. States are inherently coercive; any political philosophy save anarchism is "violent" by that definition.

.

Hmmm, that is interesting observation MTRaven because I think you are wrong about anarchism and violence. Late 19th and early 20th century Anarchists were quite violent. Even in the USA the Haymarket Bombing (Chicago 5/4/86) and the assassination of Pres. McKinley were deeds of anarchists. Anarchy was a state of social disorganization that our pre-modern ancestors most feared. Anarchy is likely the most violent state of human social (dis)organization. It seems to be the place were near hallucinogenic levels of unlimited retaliatory interpersonal cruelty and violence occur. Paleo-religion, myth, culture and ritual all arise from a reaction to the horrors of primordial conditions of anarchy. Perhaps it would be best to say that the human inclination to intra-species violence is one of our defining features as a species?

*
*
*

MTRaven said:
It is possible to be religious and still oppose state-sponsored torture.

.

I sense that you beg the question here. You also seem to pose a false dilemma. First of all this question presumes that much of history of Western Civilization did not occur. You yourself MTRaven stand upon the civil ground recovered by devote Jews and Christians from the cruelties of normative human behavior. Again I refer you to agnostic Liberal Christopher Lasch and also to Saint Francis and Bartoleme de las Casas, first Bishop of Chiapas, scholar, historian and 16th century human rights advocate.

3/16/2009 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Coincidentally (or note) I just wrote about anarchism and torture on my own blog.

"Begging the question" is a technical term of logic which you seem to be misusing. THe other day here someone did the same with "strawman". I'd advise people to know what they are talking about before throwing around the big words.

To recap: Our host posts lengthy defenses of state torture while absurdly claiming to be a classical liberal. He also natters about God as if he and He are golfing buddies or something. I pointed out that it is quite possible to be religious and opposed to torture (in fact they former would seem to necessarily imply the latter, but apparently not). I cited an organization of devoted to just this conjunction. You point out a 17th century cleric who apparently supported human rights for indigenous people and black slaves. I believe this bolsters my point.

You are also tossing around Christopher Lasch, who wrote a great deal. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with him, so you better make it explicit rather than just waving his name in the air.

3/16/2009 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Could you direct me to my lengthy defense of state torture ? What I was specifically referring to was the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which might very well have saved my life, being that I work in Los Angeles, where the attack was to take place.

Having said that, I do definitely believe that there is something sick in the heart of a man who places this on the same moral plane as the Islamist torturers -- exactly as Evan Sayet describes, in that the leftist inevitably equates America's imperfections with the monstrosities of other nations and groups.

Could I apply extreme measures on a known terrorist to extract information of an immanent terrorist attack? In a heartbeat.

3/16/2009 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

mtcraven said "THe other day here someone did the same with "strawman". I'd advise people to know what they are talking about before throwing around the big words."

You really do seem to have a problem with reading (perhaps if you read out loud), so I'll repeat myself again. I originally asked:
"but I didn't get much of a grip on what your conception of rights or morality was, or wasn't".

You answered:

mtcraven:"Do you really need a thoroughly worked-out moral philosophy to call out Holocaust denier?""

Note, no mention of 'holocaust denier' or 'thoroughly worked out moral philosophy' in my question, to which I replied:
"Do you really need to turn the holocaust into a straw man, in order to just admit you haven't given it much thought? ",

, because you worked out an extreme version of my simple question about trying to get a grip on your conception of Rights and morality, which you sidestepped (wouldn't want to use anymore logic-lingo on you), by behaving as if I'd demanded "thoroughly worked-out moral philosophy" as well as your opinion of a Holocaust denier. In other words, you didn't answer my question, and you didn't answer it by way of pretending that I'd asked something else.

Straw man
"Straw man. This is the fallacy of refuting a caricatured or extreme version of somebody's argument, rather than the actual argument they've made. Often this fallacy involves putting words into somebody's mouth by saying they've made arguments they haven't actually made, in which case the straw man argument is a veiled version of argumentum ad logicam. One example of a straw man argument would be to say, "Mr. Jones thinks that capitalism is good because everybody earns whatever wealth they have, but this is clearly false because many people just inherit their fortunes," when in fact Mr. Jones had not made the "earnings" argument and had instead argued, say, that capitalism gives most people an incentive to work and save. The fact that some arguments made for a policy are wrong does not imply that the policy itself is wrong.

In debate, strategic use of a straw man can be very effective. A carefully constructed straw man can sometimes entice an unsuspecting opponent into defending a silly argument that he would not have tried to defend otherwise. But this strategy only works if the straw man is not too different from the arguments your opponent has actually made, because a really outrageous straw man will be recognized as just that. The best straw man is not, in fact, a fallacy at all, but simply a logical extension or amplification of an argument your opponent has made. "


I've got an interview to go to. You've got a world to come to grips with. Good bye.

3/16/2009 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

No M.T.Raven, I am not “also tossing around Christopher Lasch”. I am am make a referral; you to the care of Dr. Lasch. Dr. Lasch would likely prescribe for you the final chapter he wrote for America: The Soul of Man Under Secularism. You can find it in The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy by Christopher Lasch of course. You should read the whole book, cover to cover.

*

No M.T.Raven, I did not “point out a 17th century cleric who apparently supported human rights for indigenous people and black slaves.” I directed you to the 16th century,Dominican monk, Bartolomé de las Casas, O.P., who is held to be one of the very first radical human rights activists and generally considered to be a founder of the Modern Human Rights movement, the rights of man and modern international law. It is likely M.T.Raven that you would enjoy no democracy, human or civil rights without the labors of Dominicans such as Friar Bartolomé. You have to know this kind on information M.T.Raven if you don't want to do more harm than good. ;-)


*

BTW: I visited your linked website to find you romanticizing elderly anarchists... each to his own fetish I guess... however, even illiterate Greek Pagans of Antiquity would know these men for the fools they are. You would do well to revisit my post about Anarchism and violence above.

3/16/2009 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

M-o-M: You have entirely missed the point of the religion and torture discussion. I restated it as plainly as possible, and you are still missing the point. I give up. And as for Christopher Lasch, no doubt I could benefit from reading him but I'm not likely to get to it any time soon, so make your case yourself, or drop it.

3/16/2009 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

GB: Could you direct me to my lengthy defense of state torture ?

How about here:
Today at American Thinker there is an excellent article on how the left has used the bogus issue of torture as a platform for their insane moralizing. And because of their insanity, they have defined torture down -- tortured its definition, as it were -- so that they could use it as a bludgeon to sadistically attack the country they despise so much...By redefining torture, the left is able to disable its own collective superego, which would normally prevent the naked expression of their death wishes.... [more bullshit psychologizing follows].

And here:
Speaking of which, his views on religion betray a level of hermetically sealed ignorance that is truly astonishing. He muses that “As we ponder the spectacle of America legalizing torture, some wonder why the religious community doesn’t come out gung ho against torture.” He notes what should be a truism, that the more religiously inclined actually “support torture in some cases,” while “secular people have the lowest rate of support.”

Naturally, like all lying, agenda-driven leftists, Dr. Soldz willfully and misleadingly conflates torture with any number of techniques that do not deserve the term. But even then, what moral person would not waterboard a known terrorist to try to stop a massive terror plot? Thousands of people are only alive today because these techniques worked on people such as the number three man in al Qaeda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.


Yeah right:

As for K.S.M. himself, who (as Jane Mayer writes) was waterboarded, reportedly hung for hours on end from his wrists, beaten, and subjected to other agonies for weeks, Bush said he provided “many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans.” K.S.M. was certainly knowledgeable. It would be surprising if he gave up nothing of value. But according to a former senior C.I.A. official, who read all the interrogation reports on K.S.M., “90 percent of it was total fucking bullshit.” A former Pentagon analyst adds: “K.S.M. produced no actionable intelligence. He was trying to tell us how stupid we were."

And BTW, this was not directly about torture but displays such a stunning ignorance of Middle Eastern affairs that I can't resist doing some schooling:

Liberals will typically say that Israeli policies somehow have something to do with Palestinian terror, while I believe that Palestinian terror is caused by their psychotic death cult theology. After all, there are no Christian Palestinian terrorists. They are just as “occupied” as Palestinian Muslims, and yet, it doesn’t occur to the Christians to strap on bombs with pieces of twisted metal and rat poison in order to kill and maim as many women and children as possible.

For the record, George Habash, the founder of the PFLP, was a Christian, the membership of that organization is largely Christian, and they are certainly responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks. The various Palestinian militia organizations were largely secular until relatively recently; radical Islam has only been a major factor in that conflict in the last couple of decades. Palestinians used to be (and still are to some extent) one of the most secular and cosmopolitan sectors of Arab society.

The idea that Israeli policies have nothing to do with Palestinian terror is too absurd for a response. I can't imagine anybody actually believing this.

I do definitely believe that there is something sick in the heart of a man who places this on the same moral plane as the Islamist torturers

Well, I believe there is something sick in the heart of a man who believes that vile acts are to be condemned when others do them but are excusable if committed by him or his side. That is the very definition of moral blindness. Do you imagine the Islamist torturers, or Nazis, did not have excuses for their deeds, did not believe themselves to be moral actors?

Could I apply extreme measures on a known terrorist to extract information of an immanent terrorist attack? In a heartbeat.
Well, OK. But then you are not an advocate of classical liberalism, which includes as core principles limits on government power and respect for individual rights and human dignity. Torture is anathema to these principles; it is toxic to anything resembling liberal government. A principle is something that you stick to it even in the face of challenging situations. If you are willing to give it up just because you are scared, then it was not a principle, just a mere suggestion.

3/16/2009 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Suffice it to say, I do not consider Vanity Fair a credible source of news, except perhaps for Hollywood gossip. Again, we just have diametrically opposed values, so we can only have clarity, never agreement. I just don't understand how someone can equate evil terrorists with the good people who try to fight them, but as always, we'll let the folks at home decide.

And when I say I "don't understand," I actually do, but we'll leave it at that.

3/16/2009 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Although I think I should correct one major moral error on your part, and that is the foolish belief that context doesn't determine whether or not an act is moral. For example, I am for the principle of telling the truth, but not if an Islamist asks me where the Jew is hiding.

Likewise, when Islamists murder, it is evil. But when we murder Islamists, it is good. I know this is confusing to you, but I actually place good and evil over any political principle.

Therefore, if we waterboard KSM and he informs us of active terrorist plots, that is good. But if KSM tortures American soldiers, that is bad. We bomb nazi Germany, good; nazi Germany bombs England, bad. Police shoot bad guys, good. Bad guys shoot police, bad. Same act, diametrically opposed morality.

Again, this is only for the sake of clarity. I do not expect you to agree with me, or even to understand my logic.

3/16/2009 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Well, it's very clear, I'll say that much for it.

But seriously: good guys and bad guys? This is the kind of moral philosophy one expects from a 10-year old, not a professional psyche-wrangler. I've read superhero comics with a deeper insight into human nature than that.

3/17/2009 12:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike O'Malley said...

MTRaven:
For the record, George Habash, the founder of the PFLP, was a Christian, the membership of that organization is largely Christian, and they are certainly responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks.



For the record George Habash was born into a Christian family but he became a Marxist. Habash founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Under Habash the PFLP designated itself a Marxist-Leninist movement and is so to this day.

It is no less misleading to ascribe George Habash and the PFLP to Christianity than it is to characterize the Provisional IRA as a Roman Catholic organization. The Provos are Marxists (Maoists to be more precise).

BTW: Somewhere in my library I've got the name of George Habash's KGB contact man. He "served" Habash as a lieutenant in the PFLP. I think I recall that this KGB agent in PFLP leadership was a direct line between Habash and Moscow.


*

MTRaven:
...radical Islam has only been a major factor in that conflict in the last couple of decades. Palestinians used to be (and still are to some extent) one of the most secular and cosmopolitan sectors of Arab society.


Untrue, Radical Islam terror predated the emergence of Marxist terror organizations in the Middle East. These Marxist terror organizations emerged after WWII as the Soviet Union began to extend its influence into the Middle East after the fall of NAZI Germany as Nazi influence in the Middle East began to wane. Radical Islamic terror operated in the Middle East below WWII. In fact radical Islamic terror extended its influence into the Balkans during WWII by way of the recruitment of the Muslim Handzar SS Divisions who played a primary role in annihilating the Jewish population of Yugoslavia. In fact it extended its direct influence into the very Nazi death camps themselves ...

3/17/2009 04:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

mtraven:

Your deep confusion about good and evil results from being a relativist. All the rest of your pernicious foolishness -- all of it, the intellectual and the moral -- predictably follows from that initial error. One might even say that you are a virulent example of end-state relativism, in which the moral order of the world is overturned and the cosmos is truly upside down.

If only you could step into the light and see your darkness.

3/17/2009 06:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

BTW--

If Israel is the cause of Arab terror, are liberals the cause of all the anti-abortion terror of your fantasies?

3/17/2009 06:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Indeed, Petey. This poor soul suffers from the moral insanity so ably described by Michael Polanyi, i.e., unhinged moral fervor in the absence of any traditional channel to guide it. This is the deep structure of all of the violence and destruction that has emanated from the left over the past century.

3/17/2009 06:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Torture. Heh.

3/17/2009 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

mtcraven said "This is the kind of moral philosophy one expects from a 10-year old, not a professional psyche-wrangler."

A case of the lightweight calling the sunlight, lite.

I said earlier "I don't get the sense that you're the typical moonbat(I could be wrong, been wrong before, but...), "... wow... when I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

3/17/2009 08:09:00 AM  
Anonymous The Committee said...

Mike:

You do not seem to understand. The leftist torture narrative is true. Facts are irrelevant if they contradict the narrative that America and Israel are evil.

3/17/2009 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Your host just got through saying that murder is bad if other people do it, but fine if we do it. He said that torture is bad if other people do it, but fine if we do it. Yet somehow I'm the moral relativist? Do you people ever step back and think about what you are saying?

This conversation has degenerated into feces-flinging (from your side; I'm still trying to make actual arguments), and I have work to do, so I'm bowing out for now. Enjoy your moral superiority.

3/17/2009 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

mtcraven said "Your host just got through saying that murder is bad if other people do it, but fine if we do it. He said that torture is bad if other people do it, but fine if we do it. Yet somehow I'm the moral relativist? "

You mistake word processing, for thinking, dis-integrating concepts, for analysis and stating assertions (with links!) for arguing. Not entirely your fault, leftism is unable to think in principles or recognize the importance and necessity of context and conceptual hierarchy, to thought; without which, you are only processing and asserting. Leftism denies your ability to know reality, derive an Ought from an Is, or even the existence of Free Will. If you are unaware of those denials, read up on your Rousseau, Hume and Kant - or remain their slave.

Perhaps not entirely your fault, but as long as you buy into it, you remain a fool all the same.

As Skully might say, don't let the door hit you in your assertions on your way out.

3/17/2009 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

What can you say to someone who doesn't know that moral absolutism is not the least bit incompatible with contextualism? I can't imagine any serious thinker arguing otherwise. If morality simply worked in a machine-like manner, we wouldn't be free moral beings. Truth is also absolute, but that hardly means that a finite being can contain it.

3/17/2009 03:41:00 PM  

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