Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Good News Today #1

The good news today is that every day a stock market doesn't crash we are one day closer to a stock market crashing.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

War, Religion, Nationalism, Power, Money And Pope Francis

Pope Francis has stated that the world is at war, that this war is about power and money, not religion. If you want an expert on power and money you can't do better than asking a pope.

Of course war is about power and money, it always has been, we don't need a pope to tell us this. The information he omitted from his statement is that religion is the tool most commonly employed to dupe people into fighting a war. Nationalism, another form of religion, is the other tool employed to convince people to fight by those who will gain power and money from war. Often the two are combined, for god and country.

One thing is certain, those who fight the war do not gain any power and money, those who direct the fighting do. Every religion has been used in this way, even the peaceful Buddhists are witnessing their religion being used to inspire violence in Burma right now. Every nation has at some time has used nationalism in the same way. You'd think the people who are being talked into fighting would see through the scam by now, wouldn't you? 

Rejecting religion, rejecting nationalism, these are the first steps to ending war. If others want you to fight let them convince you that it serves you, serves humanity, not that it serves a god or serves a piece of land drawn on a map.

Pope Francis has stated the obvious, his stock in trade, but only stated half of the truth, as religion always does.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Islam Is A Pub Brawl

When the police attend a pub brawl their tactics are pretty simple. They set up a perimeter, then wait. The brawlers go at it for a while, soon enough they blow all their steam and are easily cleaned up.  The police assume that there are no innocents in a pub brawl, there is no way of knowing who started it, or why.

The police know, from bitter experience,that by jumping into the brawl they'd just make a bigger brawl. They also know that the brawlers would turn from fighting each other to fighting a common enemy, the police.

Islam is currently in a state of civil war. We of the West have made a bigger brawl by jumping in. We have become the common enemy.

This civil war is more complex than a pub brawl, but not a lot more complex. If we follow old fashioned police tactics, let them fight it out, constrain the fighting with a perimeter, the civil war will blow all its steam, then we can clean up the mess. We don't need to know who started it or why, we just need to limit the way it affects us.

Let Islam protect its own innocents, if it chooses to. Islam has become an out of control pub brawl, there is no way to reason with it. Letting them fight it out is the only sensible response.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Very Short Book Synopsis #18, The Female Eunuch

This is usually a light hearted section of this blog. There is nothing funny about this book. Any man who makes a joke about this book obviously feels threatened by it.


On Idealism

When I was a kid, and a teenager, my father taught me that an idealist was a ludicrous thing to be. I felt he was wrong then, thirty years later I know he was wrong.

At the time, being a respectful kid, I heeded his advice. In his middle age he had established some wealth, had a wife who loved him, and three teenaged kids who didn't overtly hate him. To me that's a pretty successful man. I knew he was a good guy too, he didn't tell me things for any other reason than concern for my welfare.

Yet I felt he was wrong.

An idealist is not an easy person to define. Is he a dreamer, a fool seeking his paradise, someone unable to cope with the realities of life? Or is he someone who believes that truth and beauty are greater motivations than the imaginary motivations of status and wealth? The former probably is a ludicrous character, an emotional wimp. The latter is what makes humanity great. Unfortunately most idealists are a mix of the two, to varying degrees, it's how they manage that mix that makes them ludicrous or brilliant.

Parental advice is usually reactive, responsive to the child's nature. I guess I showed signs of idealism at a young age. Imagine the concern this caused for my father, poor bastard. Parental advice is also often expressed in black and white terms, the voice from on high. It comes from a human, so naturally it varies in quality, no matter how well intentioned it is. In my case it caused a split between what I felt and what I thought. I felt like an idealist, thought I shouldn't.

Every man reaches an age when he becomes his own father, takes his own counsel. I look around me, people who have lived without ideals, people who have lived with them. The seekers of truth and beauty attract me, despite their annoying steaminess. The hardened realists repel me, they seem pointless. Sure, they get things done, but look at the things they get done, soulless, heartless, pointless. Yet very few people live at either extreme, most are a blend of both. We have to be.

The ultimate idealist might say that a mix of the practical and the ideal is, well, ideal. We all have to temper our natures to be social creatures, part of a society. Idealists often make themselves ludicrous by denying realities like this. Those who deny idealists a role in society are equally ludicrous.

A blend of dream and reality is a useful definition of a human. To deny our own nature, or anyone else's, is ludicrous.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

On Pokemon Go

When capitalism began profits could be increased by squeezing out competition. A large corporation could employ the economy of scale to drive out smaller opposition and take their profits. A point will be reached when there is no more competition to drive out, profits will cease growing, remain static. The obvious answer to this problem is to increase the population, the number of consumers and therefore the size of profits. 

This increased population will make the lives of the people less and less pleasant, driving them to seek distraction in more and more facile entertainment, until constant entertainment will be required to keep the overcrowded people sane. 

Capitalists will make and sell this entertainment. The people won't notice that it . . . has already happened.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Very Short Book Synopsis #17, Pride And Prejudice

Girlish prattle about romance and marriage that allows modern feminists to appear to be literary types while they indulge in girlish prattle about romance and marriage.